cocked and locked 1911: dangerous?

This is a discussion on cocked and locked 1911: dangerous? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I would like to understand the rational in the concealed carry of a 1911 style in a cocked and locked condition. A little background: I ...

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    Member Array rmccoll's Avatar
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    cocked and locked 1911: dangerous?

    I would like to understand the rational in the concealed carry of a 1911 style in a cocked and locked condition.

    A little background: I used to shoot competitively using a 1911 (in 45ACP) in race guns and stock. I shot about 80K rounds a year when I was active. I paid for this hobby by building these guns for others. I only say that to say I understand the inner workings and that I am very comfortable in handling pistols in that condition; however, I am uncomfortable carrying a weapon in that condition among the general public. I never dropped a weapon nor had an AD but it still gives me the willies to be around people when I have a pistol in that condition.

    I would like to know what others think.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Jeremiah's Avatar
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    I think if you're not comfortable doing it, figure out why that is and overcome it, or chose another type of firearm for carry.
    But I don't think your having the willies is justified. It has two more safeties than my carry guns (S&W and Sig) do. Carried a 1911 for a while and if anything the safety gave me a little more peace of mind. As far as rationale, I hope I never need my handgun, but if I do, I want it to be ready right now. C&L is the only way a 1911 delivers that.

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    Welcome to the forum.

    My first handgun was a Browning HP Mark II in 9mm....so I don't think it dangerous, per se, provided the user is well versed in the use of SAO handguns.
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    Cant say as it has ever bothered me so i cant help ya out

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    VIP Member Array eagle5's Avatar
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    I never had a problem carrying Condition 1. It really all comes back to the user.

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    Carrying with the hammer down and trying to cock it is more dangerous , IMO. A C'n'L 1911 is no more dangerous than a Glock or similar trigger safety gun. When I first got my 1911, I was concerned about carrying C'n'L . I carried the gun around C'n'L empty around the house for a few days to try it.
    If you are not comfortable , carry something else.
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    I have several handguns among which are two 1911s and a Glock 19. Admittedly I’ve been around the 1911s longer than the Glock but I think a cocked and locked 1911 is much more tolerant of fools than the G19. Ignore common sense and the rules of gun safety and any handgun will give you a bad experience but IMHO, a cocked and locked 1911 is a very safe handgun.
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    Member Array rathos's Avatar
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    Cocked and locked is the only way to carry a SAO. On a 1911 you not only have the manual safety, but you also have a grip safety and most have a firing pin safety. Why is it exactly that you are scared to carry this way? I have had a few people tell me they can draw and chamber a round faster then I could draw and take off the safety. While this might be true (I know that isreali military used to carry without one in the chamber and I am pretty sure their commandos can outdraw me on my best day), they can't draw and chamber a round faster then they could draw and take off the safety. But honestly, cocked and locked is no less safe then a glock or sig with a round chambered.
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    I carry and store all my 1911's in condition 1.I think it is the safest way for them to be.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

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    My rational is that the 1911 has been carried cocked and locked for almost 100 years by THOUSANDS of Saliors, Soliders, Marines, Airmen, Police Officers, Civilians, Moms, Dads, Preachers, Criminals and everyone else I missed.

    I've not read one story where cocked and locked failed. I've not had one person tell me their cocked and locked 1911 failed. I've not seen it fail in any of the countless hours I've watched 1911s being used on ranges. It's not failed in the hundreds of hours it has been on my hip. It's not failed in the handful of times I HAVE accidentally dropped my 1911s.

    Its 100 year reputation stands witness to the fact that this is not an unsafe method of carry. If you can't trust that kind of reputation than how can you trust the more modern systems that have only been around for 20 years (plus or minus)?

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    VIP Member Array SatCong's Avatar
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    I carried it that way in Nam and now as CCW. Take care of your weapon and it takes care of you.

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    Some folks just cannot get past the "visual" of seeing a pistol with the hammer fully cocked. Many various and assorted Police Departments had "issues" with the "visual" of officers carrying holstered 1911s with the hammer cocked and locked.
    That is a documented and known fact. I don't agree with their rational but, that does not alter the fact that it's true.

    That's fine with me as there are plenty of other fine, high quality handguns for them to choose from.

    I carry my firearms concealed so nobody has to see my firearm hammer fully cocked.
    I know that I am 100% safe around other people concerning my handling habits.
    I know that my high quality guns are in great mechanical condition. Therefore no problem exists. End of story as far as I'm concerned.

    "I would like to understand the rational in the concealed carry of a 1911 style in a cocked and locked condition."

    The basic rational is that if the 1911 pistol is just not going to go off by itself...& as long as the person that is carrying it is intimately familiar and practiced with the properly functioning weapon system then I guess the real question should be why not?
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Rationale and question

    Quote Originally Posted by rmccoll View Post
    I would like to understand the rationale in the concealed carry of a 1911 style in a cocked and locked condition...I am uncomfortable carrying a weapon in that condition among the general public.
    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?

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    I carried a 1911 cocked and locked for years. It was my leo gun, and I was doing this before autos were very popular to carry. My holster was a thumb break that fit under the cocked hammer. If everything else failed the thick leather would easily stop the falling hammer. Of course nothing ever happened whatsoever, and no one ever mentioned anything to me about it "appearing unsafe". Someone may have thought it, but no one ever mentioned it to me.

    I will admit it does look a little unnerving and used to freak me out a little at first. I justified the look when I thought about automatic shotguns that are essentially "cocked and locked" all the time when shooting them, though you can't "see" it.
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    I'll admit that I have the exact fear the original poster does (welcome to the forum, by the way!).

    For me, the only type of gun I have extensive shooting/training experience with is a Glock 17. I've never had the chance to really get a handle for SAO or DA/SA guns. Since I'm strongly considering a 1911 for my first carry gun, I'm going to be going through the motions at home for a while before I'm comfortable enough to take it outside. I'll admit that mine is an irrational fear, but that's why I need to work on it.

    Limatunes, spot on with your assessment.


    -B

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