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cocked and locked 1911: dangerous?

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Thread: cocked and locked 1911: dangerous?

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    It's the only way to carry a 1911.
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  2. #32
    AMH
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    Join the NRA!
    The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It is about keeping the government in check. This requires that the citizenry is well armed and at all times has immediate access to arms.

  3. #33
    Member Array S3ymour's Avatar
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    The entire purpose of conceal carry is to be ready for whatever, but if you're not "cocked and locked" you are not ready as you still have two items to do before being ready. Kind of defeats the purpose. I've never owned a 1911 but I did have a browning hp and I actually miss it.

  4. #34
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMH View Post
    it took me a minute to figure out what the last word on that web page link was suppose to be.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    Slimjim,

    Thanks for that very complete and well documented post.
    http://www.treasureislandbedandbreakfast.com
    Ed Brown Kobra Carry | HK P7M8, P2000sk, P30s | Sig P238, P239SAS, 1911 C3, P232, P938 | Colt Defender, Mustang Pocketlite, 1911 | Rohrbaugh R9 | Kimber Covert Ultra II | Browning HP, Buckmark 22LR(suppressed| Walter PPK(1966) | Kahr PM9 Black Rose |

  6. #36
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD View Post
    I believe you're thinking of Texas Ranger Charlie Miller.
    When ask "isn't that dangerous?" He replied, " I wouldn't carry the son of a bit** if it wasn't dangerous."
    OD,

    I apologize. I should have said "Retired Ranger Lee Young claims to have said..." I found this on the Texas Ranger Dispatch magazine's website.

    http://www.texasranger.org/dispatch/..._dangerous.htm

    I apologize if I'm spreading bad info. I wasn't there, so I'm not sure who really said it. It's entirely possible he heard it from Miller and repeated it. Heck, they may have both gotten it from Frank Hamer. FWIW, the sightm1911.org attributes it to Miller. Thanks for keeping me honest.

    Cheers,
    Herk

  7. #37
    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    Cocked and Locked it the only way to carry a 1911. It is a user comfort thing. If you are completely comfortable with the firearm then there is not an issue. I feel carrying a DAO with no safety more dangerous then carrying a 1911 in Condition 1.
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  8. #38
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    I would much rather carry a 1911 "cocked & locked" than to carry a Glock which to me is "cocked & un-locked"!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Array Steve48's Avatar
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    I carry a Springfield Micro Compact in a Don Hume holster for cocked and locked. The reason I do is that unlocking it is quicker than pulling back the hammer. never had a problem or do I anticipate it. Steve48

  10. #40
    Member Array rmccoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    I am puzzled why someone with significant 1911 knowledge would be nervous about cocked and locked carry. The holstered gun without a hand on it has 4 safety mechanisms engaged:

    1. The thumb safety
    2. The grip safety
    3. The firing pin safety (most 1911s)
    4. The holster covering the trigger

    But the gun in this condition can be drawn and fired in a second or less, releasing all these safeties, by the act of grasping the grip, drawing the gun from the holster, thumbing off the thumb safety, and pulling the trigger. So I would say that the rationale for cocked and locked carry of the 1911 is that this is the quickest and safest way to go from a "quadruple safe" gun to a fired bullet. Any other mode of carry is more complicated and less safe, involving two hands to rack the slide or use of a thumb to cock the hammer.

    I would also be interested to know what kind of gun you carry yourself, and in what condition of readiness?

    I carry either a Kahr P40 (DA only) or a Walther P99 (DA/SA but carried DA) both with a round chambered, depending on the amount of clothing I have on for the concealed part.

  11. #41
    Member Array rmccoll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimjim View Post
    Is "Cocked and Locked" Dangerous?
    By Syd

    Q: The one and only problem I've ever had with the classic 1911 is having to carry "cocked & locked.” In your opinion, are the double action only models offered by Para-Ordnance the way to go when safety is concerned?

    There are really two parts to your question so I'll deal with them separately.

    First, yes the P-O LDA is an excellent option when the cocked and locked 1911 is a problem. Charles Riggs wrote a nice article for me on the LDA which addresses this:

    http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/para-ord-745.htm

    Second, I believe that the concern about the safety of the “cocked and locked” (condition 1) pistol is more a matter of perceptions than reality. It looks scary. When you're new to the 1911, it feels scary. I started out with wheel guns and it took me some time to get used to cocked and locked. But, given the huge number of M1911 pistols which are out there in service, you would think that we would hear more about accidental discharges if this were a problem. The fact is that we don't because they don't go off by themselves. I have only heard one story from one police officer who claimed one went off in his holster when it bumped against a banister as he descended a set of stairs, but when I pushed him for details, he refused to say anything more. He wouldn't tell me the kind of holster, if the gun had been modified, its state of repair or any other circumstances. This led me to believe that he was either blowing smoke or there was something about the gun he didn't want to tell me.

    What do we mean by “cocked and locked”? The M1911 pistol is loaded by inserting a charged magazine and racking the slide. This action chambers a cartridge and cocks the hammer of the pistol. The thumb safety is then pushed up toward the sight. This “locks” the pistol. The safety is on and the slide will not move. Inside the gun, a piece of the safety rotates (red area in diagram) and blocks the base of the sear which prevents the sear from releasing the hammer. If the sear hook on the hammer were to break, the sear would be captured by the half-cock notch preventing an accidental discharge. The stud that locks the sear will also not allow the hammer to fall if the safety is engaged.

    But what about the cocked and locked pistol taking a hard hit on the hammer? Could it go off then? Listen to this report from Terry Erwin:

    "About ten years ago, I was working as an armed-plain clothed-security officer. During a struggle with an arrested subject the Combat Commander I was carrying cocked and locked, holstered in a Bianchi "Pancake" on my strong side hip, struck the center door jam of a set of double doors. The center door jam was knocked loose, and two belt loops were torn off of my jeans. The hammer was bent inward and the safety would not move. A gunsmith had to press out the safety, hammer pin, and sear pin. The edge of the sear had cracked off, and a piece of one hammer hook also cracked off. The gun did not discharge upon that impact. I have carried several Colt's, including that repaired Commander for most of my adult life, and have never once worried about the weapon (myself or someone else is a different story, but not the gun)."

    The 1911 is a single action semi-automatic pistol so it has to be cocked in order to fire. People deal with this in one of three ways: cocked and locked (condition 1), or they chamber a round and carefully lower the hammer (condition 2) so they have to thumb cock the gun to fire it, or they carry it with an empty chamber and rack the slide when they bring it into action (condition 3). I would advise either condition 1 or 3 for home defense, but not condition 2. I don't advise condition 2 under any circumstances. (For more discussion on the conditions see “The Conditions of Readiness”) If you are only using the gun for home defense, there is nothing wrong with leaving it in condition 3 with a loaded magazine but with an empty chamber – as long as you have the presence of mind to load the weapon under stress. (Don't give me a "duh" on that one because weird things happen to one's mind when someone is trying to get into your house at 3 AM).

    When the gun is cocked and locked, the sear is blocked from releasing the hammer. Further, unless a firing grip is on the pistol, thumb safety swept off, and the trigger is pulled, the gun will not go off. For my money, this is much safer than a Glock or some of the other new pistol designs which have no external safety. The Glock, by the way, is also pre-cocked which is why it can have a much lighter trigger than a real double action gun. It could be said that the Glock is “cocked and unlocked” which is called “condition zero” with the M1911. Anecdotally, we hear of many more "accidental discharges" with Glocks than with M1911 pattern guns. The 1911 has two manual safeties. It may look scary, but it is really much safer than many current designs.

    If an M1911 has been butchered internally, all bets are off, and I have seen a couple like that. But if the gun is in good repair, it is safe and will not go off unless the thumb safety is swept off, a firing grip is on the handle, and the trigger is pulled. If you buy a used M1911 pattern pistol, be sure to have it checked out by a competent gunsmith just to insure that the gun has not been modified or made dangerous by a tinkerer and that it is in good working order.

    A sideline: of the pistols I have carried, the M1911 is the only one I carry with the safeties engaged. I carry S&W and Beretta DA/SA guns with the safety off. Glocks and wheel guns don't have a safety at all (and no, I don't consider the trigger flange on the Glock a real manual safety). In this respect, the cocked and locked M1911 is the safest pistol. It is unique in the fact that it has not one but two manual safeties which have to be acted upon to make the gun fire.

    Now, to argue the other direction for just a second, do I feel safer with a true DA/SA with a firing pin block and a manual safety like a S&W or Beretta? Yes, in an absolute sense, I do when I'm in the world of theoretical possibilities, but again, I think this is more a matter of feeling than reality. Some weird combination of events could conspire to take the safety off, push down the grip safety and pull the trigger all at the same time, but I can't visualize what that circumstance would be. Nevertheless, when I’m backpacking and I know the gun may have to ride in my backpack and flop around in a tent with me, I will often carry a S&W DA/SA just because some of these strange possibilities come to mind. For the purposes for which a gun is needed, I feel safer with the M1911 because I know I'm going to shoot it better and faster than these other options.

    I have seen "accidental discharges" with M1911's, but without exception they have been instances in which the finger was on the trigger or the fire control group had been modified by an incompetent. I have yet to document a single case in which an M1911 simply experienced a catastrophic failure and went off while cocked and locked. And I do hunt for such stories because this is a concern for a lot of people.

    Another interesting “safety feature” of the M1911 was first observed by Massad Ayoob. In the event that a bad guy might get your gun away from you, confusion about the controls of the cocked and locked M1911 could cause him enough hesitation to give you a chance to either get the gun back or flee. The current generation of thugs have cut their teeth on double action semi-autos and revolvers and many do not know how the M1911 operates. Ayoob tested this with people who were unfamiliar with pistols by giving them unloaded pistols of various designs and measuring how long it took them to figure out the controls and make the hammer drop. The M1911 proved to be considerably slower to fire than double action guns in the hands of those who are unfamiliar with the gun.
    Thanks for the time it took to write this. I appreciate your insight. The last paragraph as merit that I had not considered. The pistols I carry now simply require a trigger pull to operate.

  12. #42
    686
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    As a revolver only guy with a distrust and total lack of knowledge or experience with semi-autos,this was a great thread and Slimjims's post was very instructive.Thanks for the info.That last paragraph was eye-opening!

  13. #43
    JEC
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    While attending Aviation Ordnance 'A' school there was a phase pertaining to "small arms". I recall that our instructor while emphasizing the inherent safety features of the "Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic 1911A1" climbed on to the desk and dropped from about 10' a cocked and locked (unloaded of course) weapon and the hammer did not fall. He actually repeated this another time or two. He also performed the drop test with the safety off. Again the hammer never fell. Though it was many years ago I never forgot the image of the weapon hitting the concrete and remaining unfired. Made a believer out of me on the spot.
    I have every confidence in this pistol, that is why I prefer it over many others.

    Jack

  14. #44
    Senior Member Array imthduke's Avatar
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    JAC,

    Good post. Can't argue with results.
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  15. #45
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    I had the willies about C&L as well. Until one day, as I was in a local shop, I struck up a conversation on the topic with a gentlman who was there just hanging out and checking out the inventory. After learning I was somewhat nervous about it, he asked the nearest employee to hand him a 1911. He proceded to show me the different safetys and had me try the trigger for each one. I'll never forget what he said to me:"If that don't do it, take your 1911, make sure it's empty, cock it and put the safety on and stick in a shoe box. shake it around and check it every few days and see if the hammer had dropped. I think you'll find it won't" After that I was ok. I've carried C&L a1911 and never had a problem.
    In God we trust, everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.

    Rights are like muscles: If you don't excersise them they slowly disappear.

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