What is the purpose of an external manual safety on a gun?
Other than the obvious, to keep the gun from being fired, I think it has several uses. One is to make it a bit safer when it's out of the holster and especially when it's placed in a glove box, slid under the seat, or put in the console to quickly step into that no gun zone we couldn't avoid.
A great use for a safety is in the event of a gun grab, if the gun has the safety engaged, it will take the BG longer to figure out how to fire the gun and he may never figure it out - well not in time to do harm anyway.
But you know one thing I've found about safeties? They're on when I thought they were off and off when I thought they were on. Don't know how that happens anymore than I know what makes socks disappear.
I can take or leave an external manual safety on a handgun, the 1911 not included. That brings me to "safety" that is built into triggers and the ultimate safety - the brain. That ultimate safety brings me to near frenzy and ranting about "the brain is the real safety". BS, BS, BS!
I wonder when we say that in reference to guns if we realize how many fingers and hands have been cut off with power tools, simply because someone's "ultimate safety" failed? Industries have long admitted that the brain is NOT so safe and they put mechanical safeties on every power tool and machine manufactured.
If the brain is such a great safety device, how come there are so many automobile accidents? Brain failure. How come we "knew better than that" but still had an accident? Brain failure. And as we get tired, distracted, and startled on top of frightened under stress, that "ultimate safety" seems to have real problems like, tunnel vision, deafness, inadvertent finger on the trigger, grip strength, sympathic reaction, and on it goes.
While can take or leave an external manual safety, I don't much want to trust my life solely on somebody's brain. I've simply seen too many brain failures to believe the brain is so great. I find much more comfort in a long, heavier trigger pull as a compliment to, or many times an over-ride to the brain. Ernst Landgon once told me that a government agency he worked for found that heavier trigger pulls was a deterant to ADs, but pull length was a much more important factor than pull weight. The two together, well...
When I'm using power tools, I find myself, removing guards sometimes for convenience or time sake, and when I do that, I am totally reliant on my brain to protect me. If something happens that my brain didn't expect or couldn't respond to correctly or quickly enough, I could get hurt. If I hadn't removed the guard(s) maybe the guard would compensate for the the brain's fallacy(s).
I believe the same is true for guns, if your brain is the only safety and it's tired, confused, frightened, distracted, stressed, etc. I wonder how "safe" it really is?
Hmmm, that was a little harsh wasn't it? But, man, do I feel better!!!