1911 safety a problem?

This is a discussion on 1911 safety a problem? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; i love the ergos, weight and balance, grip, pointability, and trigger on a good 1911, they are just awesome. my issue with them for a ...

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    Ex Member Array AFP22811's Avatar
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    1911 safety a problem?

    i love the ergos, weight and balance, grip, pointability, and trigger on a good 1911, they are just awesome. my issue with them for a concealment gun is the manual safety. i have heard rumors about guys drawing their guns and ending up dead because they did not get their safety off before the bad guy shot. anyone else ever head this? anyone ever forget to swipe their safety while practicing??

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    VIP Member Array Ksgunner's Avatar
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    Practice, Practice, Practice...
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    I carried a 1911 for quite a while. If you use the proper grip with the thumb riding on top of the safety, it's not going to be an issue.
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    VIP Member Array varob's Avatar
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    After drawing a 1911 for a while, you develop muscle memory and it becomes second nature to click off the safety.
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    The type of 1911 safety matters...

    I carry a 1911 frequently, but not exclusively. I have thought about the issue of failing to release the thumb safety when under pressure. I try to guard against this by practicing the release of the safety, as well as the re-application of the safety before re-holstering the gun. People have been known to shoot themselves with their 1911 when holstering because they didn't set the thumb safety first. Even when shooting at the range without use of a holster, I will load the gun, chamber a round, set the safety and put down the gun briefly. Then I pick it up, release the safety and begin shooting. You want the manipulation of the safety to be second nature and firmly ingrained in your memory.

    I also like to use a 1911 with a fairly stiff safety that "clicks" audibly when activated. Some 1911 safeties have an extended lever and rather light action, such that the safety goes off too easily to suit me. I want to know that the safety will stay off or stay on when I want it to do so. I especially like the traditional Colt safety because it doesn't have the extended lever and operates fairly stiffly. My favorite 1911 for carry is a Colt Defender with a traditional safety, as shown below in "on" position.

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    I carried a 1911 concealed for awhile, and after practice, the sweep of the safety during draw became a non-issue.
    "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk."
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    Senior Member Array Kimberpackn's Avatar
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    I can only restate the obvious answer. You must practice.
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    I used to watch deputies from Pima county practice at the range where I used to work. You could tell the shooters from the carriers. The carriers would come in a day or two before qualification, draw and you could see the gun shake as they tried to fire, they'd look at the gun for a minute then realize that they had forgotten to take the safety off. After that all was well, until the next qualification. The shooters never had a problem. Unfortunately, there were very few shooters and a lot of carriers, but then again, the percentage of cops that really know what they are doing with a gun is in the single digits (from personal observation only). Those that carry a 1911 by choice are usually to be respected.

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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    i never had this happen to me when drawing my 1911, but i have engaged the safety while the gun was out of the holster, and forgotten to disengage it before trying to fire it again. i have done this a few times at the range or during 'combat shooting scenarios' during the last 15 years.

    most of my carry guns are, "point and shoot" DA revolvers or DA/SA pistols without a manual safety, so dealing with a manual safety is not second nature for me.

    so i have made the decision that if i'm carrying my 1911 or my SA Sig P-220 Super Match, i will disengage the safety upon drawing the gun, and not re-engage it until i'm preparing to re-holster.

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    I carry a 1911 on occasion, the thing that is a must, is to know how your weapon works. It must be practiced until it is second nature. If you practice with a weapon with a manual safety, switching to one with no safety isn't a problem, your thumb will probably continue to sweep the non-existent safety, but it isn't a problem.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFP22811 View Post
    i love the ergos, weight and balance, grip, pointability, and trigger on a good 1911, they are just awesome. my issue with them for a concealment gun is the manual safety. i have heard rumors about guys drawing their guns and ending up dead because they did not get their safety off before the bad guy shot. anyone else ever head this? anyone ever forget to swipe their safety while practicing??
    Likewise, I've heard rumors of guys drawing guns from Serpas and shooting themselves because they moved the index finger directly from the holster release to the trigger. Effective training makes the difference.

    All sorts of things can cause a handgun to not go bang when you draw and pull the trigger. I've even seen revolvers get tied up and not fire because of a "double stroke" on the trigger.

    I try never to say never, but so far in 22 years I've never managed to not sweep the safety off on my 1911s.
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    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    I carried a 1911 for quite a while. If you use the proper grip with the thumb riding on top of the safety, it's not going to be an issue.
    Some people can't consistently engage the grip safety using the "proper grip" you describe.....due to hand size/grip safety design. If you check out the 1911 forum this issue has been discussed at great length. I shoot and carry 1911's and don't use the "proper grip"....... I prefer to have the same grip for ALL my handguns (pistols and revolvers) so as to be consistent. My strong thumb doesn't rest on the manual safety, but instead wraps across the top of my weak thumb....curling down. What works for one person may not work for another. I don't think 1911 advocates should insist that the only way to shoot the 1911 is with the thumb on the safety. I will agree that you need to practice to the point that swiping off the safety is second nature.

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    Distinguished Member Array sealteam20001's Avatar
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    my 2 cents practice yes,but perfect practice makes perfect....

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    I hear sales people at gun stores telling people about this pretty often. The first time I heard it I looked at the guy like he was from Mars. It seemed that crazy to me.

    I was born and bred with a 1911. OK, maybe not, but close. I started with a Ruger MK1 and soon moved to a 1911 when I was 17. Other than an HK P7, I have owned nothing but 1911's and Browning Hi Powers for the next 30 years until last year. Then I bought a Ruger LC9, but I would have passed on it without the thumb safety on it where it is.

    As others have said, the key is practice, training and more practice.
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    Member Array BadHabit's Avatar
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    How about aleviate your concern and get another platform?

    Practice. Sure, its a good thing. My personal concern is after the shooting is over and you are pumped up with adrenaline. You gonna remember to put the safety on then? You gonna remember to uncock it?

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