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Safeties, triggers, and the ultimate safety?

2241 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  KenpoTex
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!!!
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Tangle - for me mechanical safeties are ''might-be's". :smile:

By that I mean I have NEVER placed total trust in them - handgun or rifle. Arguably, a safety like on an Enfield rifle - is perhaps about as trustworthy as they get - seeing as how it locks the mechanism so totally.

With 1911 of course we have main safety and the grip safety - a very good combination IMO for condition #1 carry. When I carried my BHP C&L however - I was less happy than had it been a 1911 - only reason I did actually do it was cos the safety on my BHP Practical (an ambi) has a very positive detent and so it is very much on or off.

I do feel myself that the brain is a major safety device - in as much as even on a bad day - if we religiously follow the four rules then there should be no mishaps. Needless to say as we know - alcohol/drugs and guns do not mix - and there the brain safety can (could) be compromized.

That said I still consider that with enough attention to the four rules - even if we are overtired, perhaps a tad sluggish from a coupla late day beers at home - ''rule instinct'' should still apply. I may have said before when we discussed intoxication or tiredness - I personally find I still have my ''voice of reason'' - even if I am physically slowed. It is the ability to rationalize and analyze even when less than fully compos mentis.

Thus - for me anyways I follow the ''gun is always loaded'' route - and pay greatest attention to rule #2 ..... such that if I did screw up at least a discharge will go safe in direction.

One thing I find quite a drawback at times is, when dry firing I have to remember that I can use the trigger!!! This after numerous checks for empty. I am so imbued with ''finger off trigger'' - I just hope in extremeis I get to use it fast :biggrin:. No - I jest - because I manage perfectly alright in IDPA!

Perhaps the best is exploitation of all safety avenues - the gun and the mind - both together.
 

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I do agree Tangle - the ubiquitous ''brain fart'' is a known entity :biggrin:

One reason I like the SIG so much is that being DA/SA - it probably would in an extreme situation give me a small safety margin if I were to inadvertently take up trigger contact early, before a decision is made to actually fire. As you do rightly say - no amount of practice and training will guarantee the actual reaction under sudden and intense life-threatening pressure.

The SIG DA is beyond my trigger pull measure scale but I'll guess it's around 11# - SA breaks at 5#. If I am actually shooting, intentionally from DA, then I don't notice that poundage much - and it has smooth travel but - were I to be resting trigger finger on it - it certainly is less likely to result in an ND. By comparison it might be argued that the same situation on a 4 1/2" 1911 trigger could, if safety off, lead to an ND.

My R9 trigger is a butter smooth 7# but travel is quite long - and that makes for the need to be deliberate and so possibly safer when stressed.

Sorry - rambling again!
 

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ra - I must say if SIG did the Taurus trick it'd be the very ideal for me - I like that principle a lot.

That said, the DA travel and poundage on the SIG leaves me with no worries over either safety or first shot efficiency.
 
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