Newbe question on 1911

This is a discussion on Newbe question on 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, I'm a relatively new shooter, mostly revolvers and glock 19. I'm trying to learn about the 1911. I'm reading the Gun Digest Book of ...

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    New Member Array cyclone2015's Avatar
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    Newbe question on 1911

    Hi,

    I'm a relatively new shooter, mostly revolvers and glock 19. I'm trying to learn about the 1911.
    I'm reading the Gun Digest Book of the 1911. The author discusses "cocked and locked," which I understand. Then he says that, at night when he takes his gun off to put it into the night stand, he lowers the hammer on a live round and stores it this way. I guess if he has to shoot it, he just cocks the hammer.

    Does anyone else do this? Is this the preferred way to have a 1991 on your nightstand for home defense? How do you safely lower the hammer on a loaded 1911? If your thumb slips off the hammer does it go off?

    I never shoot my revolver single action, so the hammer is always down.

    thanks
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    I don't do this. If a 1911 is loaded up for use, it's cocked and locked ... in the holster ... on the nightstand.
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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone2015 View Post
    Hi,

    I'm a relatively new shooter, mostly revolvers and glock 19. I'm trying to learn about the 1911.
    I'm reading the Gun Digest Book of the 1911. The author discusses "cocked and locked," which I understand. Then he says that, at night when he takes his gun off to put it into the night stand, he lowers the hammer on a live round and stores it this way. I guess if he has to shoot it, he just cocks the hammer.

    Does anyone else do this? Is this the preferred way to have a 1991 on your nightstand for home defense? How do you safely lower the hammer on a loaded 1911? If your thumb slips off the hammer does it go off?

    I never shoot my revolver single action, so the hammer is always down.

    thanks
    I've carried a 1911 for nearly 35 years, I've never gotten comfortable lowering the hammer on a live round.
    If you do it, you darn sure better be paying attention.
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    As Bryan says - cocked and locked. Mine's on the nightstand exactly that way, ready to go.

    In "condition one", at least three separate actions have to happen to make the gun go bang. The thumb (manual) safety has to be pushed down to "off safe", the grip safety has to be pressed in, and the trigger has to be pressed. The act of lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber is substantially more risky than just leaving the gun in condition one.

    While there is a half-cock notch on the hammer, the exact location of that notch (half-way down, 2/3 down, etc.) varies from maker to maker and I would rather not rely on that to prevent a complete hammer fall. Lowering the hammer relies on pressing the trigger to release the hammer initially, and if the uncoordinated operator still has the trigger pressed back when the hammer gets away from him, that gun will fire.

    Likewise, to unload a 1911 in condition one, don't mess with the trigger. Drop the magazine, move the thumb safety down, then work the slide to eject the chambered round. Lock the slide back with the slide stop, then visually and digitally check that the chamber is empty.

    By the way, who is the author of that Gun Digest article?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    As Bryan says - cocked and locked. Mine's on the nightstand exactly that way, ready to go.

    In "condition one", at least three separate actions have to happen to make the gun go bang. The thumb (manual) safety has to be pushed down to "off safe", the grip safety has to be pressed in, and the trigger has to be pressed. The act of lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber is substantially more risky than just leaving the gun in condition one.

    While there is a half-cock notch on the hammer, the exact location of that notch (half-way down, 2/3 down, etc.) varies from maker to maker and I would rather not rely on that to prevent a complete hammer fall. Lowering the hammer relies on pressing the trigger to release the hammer initially, and if the uncoordinated operator still has the trigger pressed back when the hammer gets away from him, that gun will fire.

    Likewise, to unload a 1911 in condition one, don't mess with the trigger. Drop the magazine, move the thumb safety down, then work the slide to eject the chambered round. Lock the slide back with the slide stop, then visually and digitally check that the chamber is empty.

    By the way, who is the author of that Gun Digest article?
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    Yup, I don't carry a 1911 but if I did then it would stay locked until unloaded. Dropping the hammer on a live round is not a good practice. And even if you did, what is the benefit? Is he afraid that the safety will disengage while sitting on the table? But moving around in his holster is fine... Bad logic. You have made the gun less safe and put yourself in danger to do it if this practice is followed.

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    Lowering the hammer was fairly common many years ago. I know a LOT of old cops who still do it (or did...most are gone now). I thin k it likely that at one time springs weren't what they are now and relieving the tension was believed to prolong the life of the mainspring. I doubt it make a bit of difference but neither did loading down a round in a magazine yet that was common at one time as well for the same reason.

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    Welcome to the forum cyclone2015. As mentioned above, I wouldn't recommend doing what was mentioned in that article. I carry a 1911 and leave it cocked and locked 24/7 and just don't see where lowering the hammer on a live round would be anything other than less safe than just leaving it alone.

    Mine remains in the same condition until I either shoot it or tear it down for some cleaning. I actually have a separate holsters; one for carrying and one that I slip it into for the nightstand. (mainly so the trigger is covered at all times)

    I figure that the less that I mess with it, the less chance that I have for having a negligent discharge. And when I do want it to go bang, following the steps that gasmitty described above, it does it every time. Besides, that baby would be loud. My wife would kill me AND I don't feel like increasing my risk of patching up the house.

    To each his own, but I would recommend mainly what I would consider to be the safest.
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    Well, these days I do not know anybody that recommends doing that and it is totally unnecessary.

    But, just for the record the way it was done (if you are right handed) was to hold the pistol in your right hand - grip safety depressed - snick off the thumb safety - muzzle pointed in a known safe direction - hold the hammer tightly with the left hand fingers - pull the trigger - with the trigger still depressed - ease the hammer forward slightly - then take your finger OFF the trigger - and ease the hammer down to the half cock or safety cock notch.

    Now actually after you have eased the hammer slightly forward and your finger is then OFF the trigger - if you then let the hammer slip WHOOPS! - the hammer would get caught by the half cock notch and the hammer would not strike the firing pin - and the pistol still would not fire BUT, who wants play that game every night?

    Not me.

    So you can see how you might NOT want to do that every night and especially after you just finished eating some greasy ribs.
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    thanks guys.

    I read it in the book by Robert Campbell.

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    Just an added FYI the standard factory mainspring (the spring that is compressed when the hammer is cocked) is NOT overstressed at all by the hammer being fully cocked.
    So your 1911 could be stored with the hammer cocked for years and that 1911 would still go bang if you needed to fire it.
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    I think the author does this so he can scare an intruder with the sound of cocking his 1911.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
    I think the author does this so he can scare an intruder with the sound of cocking his 1911.






    I bet he lives in Hollywood.
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    Cyclone, you've been given some ver sound advice...I do the same as what has been mentioned.


    And that's all I've got, except to wish you welcome to the forum.
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    I keep my 1911 cocked and locked always. What QKShooter says is what I was taught in the Army except we were told to place your off hand trigger finger between the frame and the hammer when lowering the hammer. The Army figures a pinched finger is better than an ND..
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