The Safety Is Dead! Long Live The Safety!

M1911A1

There is no place for a manual safety on a modern defensive handgun. There, I said it. And I make this statement not as an expert pistoleer or gunfighter (although in my head I am both). I base this opinion solidly on common sense alone.

Ok, before you start throwing rotten fruit, let’s backup. I am not telling you what gun you should or should not carry. I’m not telling you what condition to carry your gun in – whether it is Condition 0 or Condition 5 Alpha Zulu (my personal favorite: it involves holding a round between your index and middle fingers so you have an spare handy in case you run dry).

What I am saying is that between a gun with a safety and a gun without, all other things being equal, the shooter who doesn’t have to disengage that manual lever will always be faster (and more accurate).

Seriously, manual safeties were meant for handguns that have the potential to shoot a hole in your femoral artery with nary a sideways look. They are a holdover from the days of keeping one chamber empty in a single action revolver. A time where you worried that if you dropped your gun it might actually discharge a round. Does anyone actually still worry that their gun will go off if they drop it?

Manual safeties are artifacts from a time where holsters were made of leather and had a flap and a button. Flaps and buttons I say!

http://scrapbookresource.com/docs/?p=1911-holsters

Source: http://scrapbookresource.com/docs/?p=1911-holsters

Manual safeties on defensive pistols should be put out to pasture or at a minimum relegated to dramatic pauses in Hollywood movies where the hero (or villain) loudly flicks his thumb as if to announce: “Yes, I am going to shoot you now”. Oh, by the way, now that I have your attention Hollywood, I hope to never hear the cocking sound of a striker-fired pistol again – I’m looking at you, Will Smith.

But John Moses Browning would be rolling over in his grave!

Or would he? Clearly Browning was a genius mechanical engineer and inventor, but what would he have said about the Glock 19? If he could have designed the Hipower or 1911 without a thumb safety, don’t you think he would have? Do you think after he pulled that polymer Austrian trigger he would have turned to the Glock designers and said, “Hey, this gun is great, but do you know what it needs? A thumb safety. You know, to slow this whole defensive shooting process down a bit.”

Yes, I get the fact that Glocks have “manual” or “external” safeties too. But you all know exactly what I mean: That little extra lever that stands in between your thumb and certain death. I also know that there are big differences in the way the actions of a manual safety gun and a non-manual safety gun operate. What I’m saying is that handguns with external safeties have a place – like in a museum or at a parade.

Get on target and pull the trigger. No thumb safety. No decock lever. No loaded chamber indicator. No magazine disconnect. Pick a quality holster and skin that smoke wagon.

You want irony? Given the opportunity, I’d carry a 1911 on duty in a heartbeat. Because that gun is just freaking awesome.

The safety is dead. Long live the safety.

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Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • jrt 82

    Well… Ok…
    But one could argue that if a Glock had a safety, no one would know the phrase Glock Leg.

    • Pete M

      That was a finger/holster failure. Not a safety failure.

      • Mystick

        Yet if the firearm had a manual safety and it was engaged, the result would have been different.

        • Bill

          A shooter who can’t handle a trigger finger could ball up the operation of a safety just as easily. Like seatbelt, presence in no guarantee of proper use.

    • glasswolf

      As already noted, “glock leg” is a user error, not a weapon failure. It’s caused typically by LEOs with inadequate training and practice using a firearm under stress, and failing to keep their finger out of the trigger guard while drawing the weapon. The other cause is a cheap, crappy holster that wears out, and a tab of (usually leather) material falls into the trigger guard, operating the firearm and discharging the weapon.

      • Soless

        You’re partially wrong. Glock leg is mostly caused when an obstruction such as a piece of clothing or part of a flimsy holster gets in front if the trigger whilst holstering.

        • Pete M

          Bonus point for using ‘whilst’.

      • jrt 82

        As an operator of a piece of equipment, I can only protect myself from known issues. On a firearm, one issue like this would be keeping my finger off or out of the trigger guard area until I need to discharge the weapon.

        The purpose of a manual safety is to protect from the unknown. One example would be a piece of clothing entering the trigger guard area when holstering a pistol. While some would say that this issue is minor I would disagree. If wounded and needing to do a one-handed reload I believe the usual consensus is that the pistol is secured by holding between the knees while extracting and inserting a magazine. Without a manual safety I would not be confident that the folds of the blue jeans are not entering the trigger guard area allowing the weapon to discharge.

        Some people argue that discharges were the fault of a holster, a stick or poor training. All of these points of view are relevant because a negligent discharge is still a discharge no matter the cause.

        This is really all semantics though. Although I own a Glock I purchased from another person, I almost always never carry it. That I feel more comfortable with an XDm because of the grip safety. While holstering I roll my hand back, disengaging the grip safety to protect myself from unknown situations. But that is what I prefer.

        • ozzallos .

          This ^^

          Random chance happens, which is why Glock Leg happens. It’s not entirely user error. I’d go so far as to say the glock design encourages those instances of random chance by building a safty in that can be engaged by snag or some other unforeseeable chance occurrence.

  • Spencerhut

    Browning never wanted the grip safety. The reason for the manual safety back then is clear, 4lb trigger and no additional safety = lots of holes in legs and horses. Between decockers and the various trigger levers/gadgets we have today, to me they are the modern “safety”.
    Still love 1911’s . . . and S&W M&P’s . . . CZ’s with or without safeties, even Glock’s.
    And lay off flap holsters, out in the field they still rule. Check out High Speed Gear’s flap holsters, they freaking rock.

    • Pete M

      There are places where flap holsters are awesome (Wilderness Systems Safe-Packer) in the wilderness…

      Honestly I love the look of a leather holster with a flap.

      • Nicks87

        I still carry the green military suicide flap holster when I’m out hunting. It fits most large frame pistols and protects the guns from tree branches, barb wire, etc. I even took it kayaking one time.

        • Nicks87

          Here’s the one.

      • Spencerhut

        On deployment I would much rather have a covered handgun out in the field.

    • glasswolf

      Just for the sake of argument, I carry an SAO pistol now, round in chamber, no external manual safety, and 4# trigger. Never had a N.D. ever. (Walther PPQ)
      Yes I know it’s not a 1911, and it is a hammerless striker-fired gun, but technically, it is SAO, not DAO.

      • Spencerhut

        PPQ’S have a safety built into the trigger. So yes, it does have a safety, you just don’t really notice it.

  • Evil13RT

    This night you will be haunted by the ghost of John Moses Browning…

    I just don’t buy the speed argument.
    As a matter of process it sounds as if the user must draw, dramatically disable the safety, say their line then fire. In practice you could disable the safety as part of the draw. It’s not an exclusive motion that must wait it’s turn. It doesn’t impact the time it takes to ready the weapon, so its never affected guns like the 1911 in races.
    The bigger risk is that you forget to disable it, but this is also a dramatic point in the movie to highlight how unfamiliar the lead character is with guns. Someone’s who’s practiced is unlikely to make that mistake.

    • Pete M

      I have no doubt that with practice, a SA gun can be almost as fast. Almost.

      • Evil13RT

        There’s no reason for it to be slower.
        It’s not
        [draw the gun][safety][fire]
        So much as its
        [draw the gun][fire]
        —–> [safety]
        Forgoing the safety simplifies the process but doesn’t speed up the draw.

        • Jwedel1231

          Simplifying the process removes possible points of failure. The main reason safeties were invented are all negated in other ways, so why should we tolerate them any longer?

          • Evil13RT

            Because every mechanical setup has its advantages and disadvantages. The presumption here is that one system of finely machined parts is better or more robust than the rest, which is a matter of debate (and, largely, of personal taste).

            To the question of whether using a safety increases the time it takes to ready a weapon, not so much. Unless the safety is poorly designed, accessing it during the draw is a non-issue.

          • richard kluesek

            old fashioned double action revolvers have some advantages as well…

          • ChiefBoring

            If you are ever responding to a wrongful death civil suit, I hope you can explain your choice of forgoing a safety. It doesn’t always matter if your answer is proper and true; unsophisticated jurors may be horrified, and wrong in their determination of your liability. It’s not always over when the smoke clears. Check Ayoob on this matter. He’s a recognized expert in the field.

        • Zebra Dun

          If the weapon is actually needed it will be in your hand and set to rock and roll.

      • n0truscotsman

        I would show him my 1911 collection for appeasement and his personal opinion 🙂

    • glasswolf

      One thing not really mentioned in detail, is that adding an external manual safety (ala M&P, 1911, etc) you add more moving parts, and you add one more step in the process of using the handgun, and that adds another level of possible failure. Thumb misses of slips off the safety, safety gets hung up or jammed, a small internal part fails, etc.. As SEALs are fond of saying, eliminate as many variables as possible to increase your chance of success.

      • Jam Sinaz

        As navy seals are fond of saying, a crappy trigger pull is a variable as well

      • Brocus

        We’ll all be ninja SEALs tactically operating at the mall this weekend. lets go, last one to Taco Bell is a fuddy duddy!

      • deanguilberry

        If just considering civilian carry and not highly trained special forces and given large quantity of ammo to practice.
        As someone with CHL not wanting to shoot themselves at the convenience store with a gun w/o a safety someone could just as easily slip a finger on the trigger and discharge a round when you were not planning as slipping a finger off the safety and not being able to fire.
        Both are bad scenarios.

        practice practice practice.

    • Fixed Sight Training

      Agreed. If you can’t work a safety you better have at least 17 rounds. Spray and Pray.

      • Pete M

        Never said I can’t work a safety. I just don’t think I should have to.

        • But it’s so much easier to argue with strawman arguments people didn’t actually make.

        • ChiefBoring

          Different strokes for different folks, Pete.

          • Pete M

            Indeed. Thanks.

          • ChiefBoring

            You’re welcome. Fair winds and following seas.

        • Anthony Rosetta

          Hey Pete, whatever grabs you! I can’t fault you for not wanting one. We can’t please everybody! I carry my 1911 cocked and locked, and I’m okay with it! But, I practice with it all the time!!!

          • Pete M

            Love it. Rock on.

      • nicholsda

        Heck, even my firearms that hold more than 30 rounds have a safety. Ever see a 50 round mag for a MPA10T? Or A Colt AR-15 9mm Carbine? 😀

    • John Gregory

      Exactly. I’ve never had a pistol without a thumb safety and won’t. Especially today when so many are not trained with them. If a perp gets your gun, but you’re able to snick the safety on before you lose control, ol’ Glocker’s going to have a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moment, hopefully giving tie to draw a knife or your BUG. Mag disconnects work the same way. You may not like them, but some LEO’s are alive today because they were able to drop the mag enough to engage the safety. Then they took care of business as their attackers held a wonderfully-shaped paperweight. I agree with Massad Ayoob in this.

      By the time my pistol’s out of the holster and getting to horizontal, the safety’s off. Practiced over and over and… Well, you get the idea. Dry fire from the holster, trying to put (and keep) the laser dot in the aperture of an Airwick air freshener at 15 yards, as fast as possible. Yeah, I needed a new battery pretty soon, but it was down to muscle memory.

    • I’ve seen plenty of people who are all kinds of experienced with guns mess up safety manipulation at competitions, and also at informal range work. I don’t buy this argument in the least. If there is a way to screw something up, people will. The more stress, the more likely. Less things = less room for human error.

      • nicholsda

        Which also applies to Glock owners who shoot themselves because they don’t have a safe safety.

        • Anthony Rosetta

          A few years ago, a deputy in the next county holstered his Glock with his finger on the trigger, and it went off, and he lost his leg. S**t happens!

          • nicholsda

            Many times it is due to things getting in the trigger guard, like keys.
            Or if upon pulling it out, the booger hooks just don’t stay out of there long enough, I.E. DEA agent and his Glock 40.

          • Core

            We lost a local Officer, preparing to clean his Glock. He bled to death. At the end of the day it’s nice to have an additional safety, when you’re exhausted. I can draw my 1911 faster and place shots on target than my striker fired polymer pistols. Even with the additional safeties. Instructor Zero drew a . 80 headshot with a 1911 in one of his recent videos.

    • Zebra Dun

      I’ve seen Infantry well trained enlisted and Officer’s screw up a pistol switch and shoot a hole in the ceiling or a barrel of water by mistake.
      Even with three safeties if you screw up it wouldn’t make a difference.

    • richard kluesek

      Evil13RT, respectfully have heard of a video in circulation depicting bank surveliance footage in which an off duty Texas Ranger attempted to intervene in a bank hold up. He is presenting to fire a 1911 unsuccessfully when one of the perps turns on him and kills him with a J frame S&W. Investigators focus a close up of the deceased Ranger’s hand holding the 1911, cocked and locked, to illustrate that he tragically failed to disengage the thumb safety and lost the advantage.

      • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

        During my LE career I had numerous instances of interacting with a few of the local Texas Rangers and found most of them to be arrogant ‘I am the Best’ types who, once they received their coveted ‘Star-in-Wheel’ Ranger badge, who didn’t bother to practice good ‘tradecraft’ WRT pistol training and practice.

        My sheriff’s department’s Reserve Deputy Section held a once-a-month Practical Pistol Combat Match at our pistol range, wherein our local city, county, state and federal LEOs would practice possible actual pistol combat scenarios as competition (I qualified as ‘Distinguished Expert’ with my duty-carry sidearm at the time: the S&W Model 629).

        Of the several hundred sworn deputy personnel, only a small handful actually took advantage of that practical training – most others choosing to only do their mandatory semi-annual Firearms Qualification.

        • richard kluesek

          Juanito Ibanez, Top Cop 1988 thanks for your kind notice of my humble observation, the video was enlightening. Back in the 70s, through 2014 I packed a Colt Commander for business protection in the South Bronx, 8 + 1 shots of .45ACP being a better choice than 10+1 9mm s due to the restrictions of the Big Apple’s NYPD Licensing Division and NYS law. Preferred condition 2, hammer down on a loaded chamber, because in cocked ‘n locked the safety did swipe down unintentionally from body motion while going about daily routine, but a double action or safe action trigger system is the best option for fool proof combat readiness, was just lucky not to have to drop the hammer in a deadly force situation, but came close a few times, had the pistol cocked in hand to ward off evil. The Cops are our favorite sons but for as many that are professionally proficient there are the bureaucratic elitists and donut munchers living up to the sterotypes from whom I sometimes acquired their allotments of practice and qualifying ammo, .38s, they were too lazy to take advantage of.

          • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

            No such luck for me – carrying the .44 Mag (though loaded with .44 Speciall ammo) required me to provide my own.

            I would use retail ammo for carry and quals, but my own reloads for practice and competition.

            ps: While I had “Specials” in the chamber, I carried full-Magnum “Rhino Rollers” on my belt in Safariland Comp I Speedloaders.

          • Anthony Rosetta

            It doesn’t hurt to stack the odds in your favor!!

    • n0truscotsman

      ” In practice you could disable the safety as part of the draw”

      Indeed you could.

      The issue I have is comparing well-trained 1911 experts who frequently compete with the ‘average owner’ who probably fires a box or two of cartridges in a year. I’ve seen people fumble safeties in training classes, and not during the beginning of the duration either.

      One more reason competition is very useful. If you have an external safety. If you own a 1911, or firearm with an external safety, there is a considerable amount in investment in ammunition for training IMO.

      • Evil13RT

        The cost of not training can be just as bad tho. We get regular stories of people who put holes in their leg or accidentally shoot others because of poor trigger discipline or just general carelessness.
        You’re arguing that not having a safety means there’s one less mistake to make for someone who’s prone to making entirely different mistakes if they don’t practice.

        • n0truscotsman

          No disagreement there!

    • Anthony Rosetta

      Evil13RT
      You know? I like my Glock 17, but I love all 4 of my 1911’s!!!!!

  • Tritro29

    Except if you’re a Taurus Customer…

    • Anon

      Not even a safety can save you from that…
      But seriously, you’ve seen that video where the gun fired from being shaked even when the safety was on, right?

      • Tritro29

        … We’re TFB readers, we’ve all seen the video.

  • Reed

    Only a sith deals in absolutes.

    • Pete M

      Most of the time I agree, but I can list some absolutes you’d agree with I bet.

    • QuadGMoto

      Oh the irony of that statement. 🙂

      • Pete M

        Boom.

  • Major Tom

    As they say in Russian….

    “Safety? Is not safe. Is gun!”

    • BrandonAKsALot

      AKs don’t have safeties either. They have a selector with auto, semi, and bayonet/club mode.

      • Joshua Knott

        Neit, “safety” is empty magazine comrade

        • Joshua Knott

          of course after all rounds downrange ;D

      • AirborneSoldier

        The soviets could have cared less about individuals

      • Mikial

        Well, having carried AKs in Iraq I can say they DO have a safety. When that lever is all the way to the top you can not fire the gun or even work the action.

        • You can still use it to buttstroke some compliance into somebody, though, something I would never attempt with anything based on an AR platform. They may have the ergonomics of a steam-powered harvester and be about as pleasant to carry around all day as a small block V8, but AKs will always have the edge as blunt instruments.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          Tough crowd

    • Zebra Dun

      Safety is in arms of Babushka!

    • MichaelZWilliamson

      Awesome. Are you quoting my Mosin Nagant article?

      • Major Tom

        The one from 7.62×54 dot net? Cuz I have that page bookmarked (I did some archaeology on my Mosin based on info from there) and yes I did get that from there.

  • Jam Sinaz

    Really? Attention grabber so much?

    I shoot the best with my Open guns. They have 2lb triggers.

    Try carrying that w/o a thumb safety.

    With training it could be as fast. It’s part of the drawstroke, not a deliberate action.

    A proper trigger squeeze takes time too. Which is faster? A 2lb SAO or a modified Glock?

    And which is easier to learn, for the vast majority of shooters who dont even go through a box a year, flicking the safety or dealing with a crappy trigger pull every single shot?

    Oh you train a lot? So the safety is a non-issue and would you rather get an SAO pull or a pull full of drama, for every single shot?

    By eating that extra complexity of the manual safety, you can get an amazing SAO trigger. Some people think it worth it, some not. But flat-out denying that advantage is pure ignorance.

    • Pete M

      If you missed the humor and my sarcasm, maybe this post wasn’t for you.

      Edit: Lighten up, Francis.

      • KestrelBike

  • Jeremiah Burton

    I’ve been to the Browning Firearms Museum in Ogden UT. They have the original 1911, and it has no thumb safety.

    • pun&gun

      Because it was intended to carry with an empty chamber.

      • CommonSense23

        Where do you get that from?

        • Sulaco

          Army manuals of the time which were centered on troopers riding horses…

          • BryanS

            That doesn’t mean the designer intended it that way, that just means someone with a rank “said so”.

          • Sulaco

            Well ya, that’s what you do when you are designing a pistol for the Army…

          • AirborneSoldier

            Do you even know who Col Hatcher was? More than a Colonel.

          • JohnH

            Colonel Julius S. Hatcher in his book “Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers” Copyright 1935 Page 94 Paragraph 2 begins;

            “There are two other ways in which the automatic can be carried loaded. One way is with the hammer cocked and the safety on. This is the present regulation way of carrying the pistol in the Army.

          • albaby2

            Therefore, if no safety, cannot carry with one in the pipe.

          • Nelson Kerr

            That was over two decades after the pistol was introduced

      • JohnH

        Colonel Julius S. Hatcher in his book “Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers” Copyright 1935 Page 94 Paragraph 2 begins;

        “There are two other ways in which the automatic can be carried loaded. One way is with the hammer cocked and the safety on. This is the present regulation way of carrying pistols in the Army.”

        • Sulaco

          Try the mauals of 1911 and 1912 when discussing mounted troops for which the 1911 was built at army request. Browning had not applied a grip safety but the army wanted one so that if it left the hand while on horse back it would be less likely to go off. The gun was to be carried chamber empty until used and then the manual safety was to be applied until the trooper could be dis mounted and the pistol returned to chamber empty carry. Col. Hatcher was not chief of the army he was not writing regulations he was writing his opinion. Chamber empty carry is now standard in the army for 1911 except for specific situations and troops not carrying new approved pistols or revolvers….

          • infantryjoe

            Well ya, that’s what you do when you are riding horses.See what I did there?
            Btw, the regulations in the military are a result of risk adverse leaders who don’t enter buildings with the troops who routinely flick that safety off before going anywhere that has the possibility of a gun fight.
            For example, does the Ma Deuce or Mk19 have a safety?
            I guarantee you wouldn’t go down Haifa street back in the day without a round in the chamber of your M2 or Mk19.

          • Zebra Dun

            Everyone discounts the Cavalry angle, the caliber was chosen specifically to be able to kill enemy horses as a throwback to the Colt Army model and on back to the Walker and Dragoon pistols.
            That .45 was the caliber to get a mobility kill on enemy cavalry.
            The Safeties were in case you dropped your pistol where it dangled beside the horse on the lanyard.
            In the event your stirrup fell while tightening a cinch and struck the hammer of your pistol as was the flap holster.
            When thinking the 1911 think 1903 and think Cavalry.

          • nicholsda

            No, when thinking 1911 think Philippines and drugged up attackers who weren’t stopped by the other rounds. That is the reason for 1911s in .45ACP.

          • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

            Remember the scene in ‘Black Hawk Down’, where Rangers Captain Mike Steele confronted Delta Operator Sgt. Norm “Hoot” Hooten about his carrying his weapon in the Mess Tent with the Safety/Selector set to ‘Semi’ instead of ‘Safe’:

            Steele: Sergeant, what’s the meaning of this?

            [Thinking he’s talking about the unauthorized pig picking]

            “Hoot”: Just a little aerial target practice, sir. Didn’t want to leave ’em behind.

            Steele: I’m talking about your weapon, soldier. Now Delta or no-Delta, that’s still a hot weapon. Your safety should be on at all times.

            “Hoot”: This is my safety, sir.

            [He holds up his index finger and bends motions as if squeezing a trigger and then walks off]

          • John Mood

            The only army in the world that carries empty chambered as a standard mode of carry is the IDF, are you in Israel? USA Armed forces (special teams usually, trained to a higher standard than your average GI Joe) that use the 1911A1 still carry cocked and locked.

            BTW, I carry two different models of 191A1, a Rock island, and a Kimber, and both have a manual safety, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. That safety comes off when I prepare to go to defensive combat mode, e.g. when I draw the pistol. I don;t think anyone could get on target and fire any faster without the thumb safety. And polymer weapons, I wouldn’t take one as a gift or prize except to sell it to some buffoon. Glock leg syndrome anyone?

            Practice until it is second nature, muscle memory. And then practice some more.

            If you do not, you’re as crazy as the ideas the author here has expressed.Crazy as a bedbug.

          • GaryT

            Well put John. I carry a 1911 and when I draw the weapon, as it clears the holster, the safety is disengaged. Practice, practice, practice.

          • Core

            I draw mine from the holster, and the thumb safety comes off as I clear the lower extremities, and it goes back on when I intend to reholster. It’s amazingly fast, you can’t really hear the click. I managed to break the right ambi safety already but it’s been repaired under warranty. If it breaks again ill send it in to be replaced by a forged safety.

          • Zebra Dun

            Actually circa 1970-1974 Marine Corps carried their 1911A1 pistols on guard and in the field not in combat with chamber empty, in some cases magazine out of the pistol as well.
            Combat was/is a whole nother level with chamber loaded in immediate contact situations.

          • John Mood

            oNE

          • nicholsda

            Dad got out of the Navy in 1971. Until he got out, the ones he had were cocked, locked, and ready to rock.

          • John Mood

            I think they applied the rule to Embassy guards and gate guards at facilities like Naval Base Charleston.

            On ships and at assignments where you were actually on alert, they carried cocked and locked. The guys at Charleston did their little stunt about 1973 or 74… (One was shot in the buttocks and the other had to clean up the blood and repair the damage to the guard booth. Shootee and shooter respectively.)

          • nicholsda

            While the AF in Vietnam carried rifles with no ammo at all while on guard.

          • Anthony Rosetta

            There were a lot of stupid rules or engagement in the Vietnam war, that American serviceman had to put up with. Same thing today in Afghanistan, our Marines and Soldiers are forced to follow stupid rules of engagement that endanger them, and the taliban have no rules! All’s fair in war, and our people are the ones that suffer. We need to start sending the politicians’ sons’ and daughters’ over there to fight, and watch how quick the rules get changed. Of course, that will never happen in our lifetime!

          • nicholsda

            Yep. The military should be told what they need to accomplish and then left to figure out the best way to do it. Things would get done quicker, cheaper, and better. Vietnam was proof that politicians have no business running a war.

          • John Mood

            Shotguns in the SANDBOX are now under ROE as a BREACHER tool only, and cannot be used on an enemy combatant. except perhaps with the butt of the stock to the face. Shoot them with a shotgun, Ft. Leavenworth you go. Some bullshit about the Geneva Convention, which the Taliban and the Islamic extremists never signed….

          • The Brigadier

            That was very rare. Protecting multi-million dollar aircraft is serious business and most airmen are given lots of ammo to do just that. The Air Force shoots more ammo in training than any other service and you can verify that. Again the reason is protecting multi-million dollar aircraft so our million dollar trained pilots have something to wage war with.

          • nicholsda

            I could put you in touch with one who was at Da Nang that says it was not the case. The AF let the other branches defend it until they got too close. Then they’d get ammo.

          • nicholsda

            John, we think alike. I carry a 1911 as my EDC firearm. Or a steel or mostly metal form of a S&W or Sig. All have either a decocker or a manual safety. No Blocks here.

    • John Yossarian

      Blech – I’d rather have a thumb safety than a grip safety any day.

      In fact, I don’t like the way the tallish blade feels in the middle of a Glock trigger, and I probably also wouldn’t like the squeeze-cocker on the HK P7.

      Why? Because I like the contact my shooting hand makes with the trigger and grip to be on “terra-firma” aka – Not suspended by springs.

      • Marty St George

        Try a P7 and then get back to us…. Love it!

      • ‘… I like the contact my shooting hand makes with the trigger and grip to be on “terra-firma” ‘

        There’s definitely something to be said for that.

        FYI: I’m a 1911 afficionado.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    I’ll keep my sao guns; safeties and all. I’ll also keep my da/sa with decocker only.

    • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

      Then there’s the “best of both worlds” – the Taurus PT92 (in 9mm – or PT100 in .40 Cal. S&W), which can be carried “cocked & locked” or “hammer down & safety OFF or ON”, as the safety lever not only acts as Safety in both scenarios, it also functions as a “decocker” – unlike its Beretta 92 forebearer, which only offered either safety selector OFF with hammer down, or safety ON when “cocked & locked.”

      I carried the PT-92 as my duty sidearm, until I switched to the Beretta 92FS so that my civilian and military (M9) carry were the same.

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        I do like the Taurus 92. My Ideal full size pistol is:

        Hammer Fired (that throws out all striker guns)
        SAO or DA/SA (that throws out all DAOs)
        Double Stack (There is no reason to design a modern full size gun without a double stack mag)
        1911 Style Safety (slide safeties are wrong; so no Berettas or S&W Autos)
        9mm (personal preference)
        Push Button Mag Release (that throws out HKs)
        $600 or less (that unfortunately throws out the P226 and variants)

        That leaves us with the following guns that I deem close enough:
        FN FNX: Meets all the Criteria
        Taurus 92: Meets all Criteria
        Sig SP2022: Meets all the Criteria except no safety, but DA/SA will do
        Beretta PX4 Type G: Meets all the Criteria except no safety, but DA/SA will do (Type G is Decocker Only; No Safety)

        If there is another that fits my description , I would love to hear about it.

        • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

          My EDC pistol – unfortunately currently discontinued by Taurus – is the PT-940 in .40 Cal. ‘Short & Wimpy’ [ACT it’s progenitor – the 10mm Auto 😉 ].

          Same features as its ‘Big Brother’ PT-100, but in a smaller, more concealable package.

  • Tyler McCommon

    I work as an RO and I’ve had some funny arguments with people over safeties. You’d call the range hot and to cease fire and show clear and they’d lay the loaded gun on the bench with the safety on.

    “Sir I need this magazine out and the gun showing clear.”
    “The safety is on its fine!”
    “-_-”

    I have no idea why but the safety to some people seems to make the gun both child proof and 100% safe.

    At least with Glock’s no one tries that crap 😛

    • Hensley Beuron Garlington

      Excellent comment and I’d say the best comment in here. This ^, this, is what the author, Pete M, was basically trying to get across. Reliance on these so-called “safety levers, buttons, and grip paddles”. I’m seriously laughing at the ignorance displayed in here. It was just a few months ago this very site reported on a guy that shot himself with Springfield XD and that thing has the trigger paddle, the grip paddle, and the bullet indicator “safeties”. Point is, just like a sharp sword, don’t point it at anything you don’t want to kill and keep it in a secured holster until ready to be used and only when ready to be used. It isn’t rocket science. These keyboard warriors be citing “well this range instructor this, or this cop this, or soldier that” had a negligent discharge that would or could of been prevented with a manual safety. The sheer number of rounds and time spent around a weapon of ANY nature, simple statistics shows those individuals are more prone to accidents than people who aren’t around them as often or using them.
      KISS applies to EVERYTHING. Following the 6 BASIC GUN SAFETY RULES!
      Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
      Keep the gun pointed in the safest possible direction.>
      Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
      Know your target, its surroundings and beyond.
      Know how to properly operate your gun.

      But no, some people want more levers, buttons, and paddles on the weapon!
      These people should just take it to the next logical extreme and get a “smart” gun or cases like these to make their unloaded and five external safety guns “safe”.
      Thank God we live in a place with options! Now if we can just expand that to include full auto, explosives, and short rifled weapons with vertical grips!

      • Pete M

        HBG – Thank you.

      • Jwedel1231

        I agree with your intent, but not your safety rules. You mention 6, but list five. Considering the late, great, borderline-inventor of handgunning Col. Jeff Cooper only handed down 4 rules (unfortunately written on paper, not stone tabs), most of us only consider 4. Where did you come up with the 5th (I actually like it) and what is the 6th and its reasoning?

  • Joe

    Did anyone ever carry their single action revolver cocked in the holster for speed?

    Between The War and The West some soldier/lawman/gunslinger would have done so if there was a measurable decrease in engagement speed, safety be damned.

    I’ve also never heard of anyone holstering a cocked single action auto without the manual safety engaged due to speed of deployment.
    DA revolvers increase rate of fire but at the cost of a longer trigger reach and heavier/rougher pull stroke.

    Striker fired designs are engineered to be as drop safe as a DA revolver with trigger characteristics of a SA.
    But this provided no barrier to AD/ND, which is far more likely than being in a gunfight, let alone needing an extra fraction of a second the one time you might need it.
    Maybe someone needs to compare the time to draw and fire between Glock, a single action revolver, a DA revolver/DAO auto, and a 1911/CZ pattern so we can come to an informed conclusion.

    • Zebra Dun

      I think Deputy Chester on Gunsmoke did once…….that’s why he limped.

  • Dave.

    “What I am saying is that between a gun with a safety and a gun without, all other things being equal, the shooter who doesn’t have to disengage that manual lever will always be faster (and more accurate).”

    A shooter who is less accurate and slower because they have to disengage a safety has no idea what they are doing with their firearm, the safety impacts neither speed nor accuracy and to think it does is ignorance in their manual of arms, and arrogance as a whole.

    8/8 gr8 b8 m8.

  • LazyReader

    All those in favor put a round in your foot

  • BryanS

    On the plus side, a holster with a flap is technically concealed… or is it open carry?

    And, what kind of oil should I use in my garand, and what kind of grease in my AR?

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    • charlesrhamilton

      I’m still wondering 9mm or .45?

      • Pete M

        .32ACP or bust!

      • OJS

        .38 of course

      • BryanS

        Clearly the answer is 11.4mm

        Or is it?

    • Mystick

      I guess it would depend on how sadistic local law enforcement is…

    • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

      “And, what kind of oil should I use in my garand, and what kind of grease in my AR?”

      Pick Me! Pick Me! – I Know! I Know! I Know! 😀

  • TC

    If the safety is no longer fashionable, why do all the rifles have one? Will you Highly Skilled Operators be removing them from yours? I think that the ‘quick draw’ mentality of the 1950’s seems to be making a comeback.

    • Pete M

      Pistols TC. Defensive pistols.

    • TCBA_Joe

      Because the trigger of a rifle is always exposed during carry. A quality holster acts as a form of manual safety until the handgun is brought into action.

      • LG

        Have you never hunted on horseback? My rifle is holstered then in it’s scabbard. The safety is still engaged.

        • TC

          There are two ways of looking at safeties. One is that they are on a firearm to decrease the chance of accidental discharge. If someone is out hunting, they leave the safety on until they are ready to fire, whether they are shooting with a rifle or a handgun. Gun owners with children in their homes should always have the safety engaged, if the firearm is loaded, as in a bedside handgun. Safeties reduce the risk of someone accidentally firing a firearm. The other viewpoint is that you should always be ready to draw and fire your weapon as quickly as possible, and you are willing to accept a lesser degree of safety in exchange for a quick shot. I’m not a hired hit man or a bodyguard, just a guy that goes to the range every week and practices. I don’t expect to get in a quickdraw contest or a duel and have no illusions about that. From all the police cam videos I’ve seen, it seems like the officers have there weapons out and aimed at the bad guy quite a while before they fire.

        • BryanS

          Most of us dont go around on horseback these days.

          • TC

            I do, almost every day.

          • Zebra Dun

            Me too! Well for two hours riding, I swap horses between the two I have the horses have this union that prohibits being ridden for longer than two hours every other day.
            I may or may not some days carry a revolver but shoot from one of these nags back?
            Nope.

          • TC

            Living in California, I can’t carry a firearm while riding, but I’ve seen bears, bobcats, coyotes, and lots of rattle snakes.

          • John Mood

            Motor officers ride a single track motor vehicle with inherent instability, an Iron Horse if you will. (I was one for years.) We had to get special holsters because the CRAP strap over he hammer would unsnap due to shock on the bike, and you’d have to retrace your steps to find your weapon when it bounced out of the holster. We ended up settling on Safariland safety thumbreak holsters. After that we never lost one to the potholes and cobblestone streets.

        • Zebra Dun

          Heck, I can think of better ways to get kilt on a horse than ride one of mine and shoot a gun from it’;s back. LOL

    • CommonSense23

      This is always a asinine statement. You pistol goes in a holster protecting the trigger when not in use. You don’t have that luxury with a long gun.

      • Mystick

        There are holsters for rifles, too….

        • Zachary marrs

          And not a single one is actually practical

    • RealitiCzech

      This is my safety!

      • TC

        ….says the movie actor. (not real life).

        • Bill

          Not necessarily; plenty of fighting rifles get used with minimal use of the manual safety.

          • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

            As “Hoot” – who is from Dallas TX, BTW – pointed out: “Keeping the finger off the trigger prevents ‘NDs’.”

        • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

          That “movie actor” (Eric Bana) was portraying a real life Delta Force Operator (Sgt. Norm “Hoot” Hooten), though.

          And it reflected a “real life” encounter.

          • TC

            I don’t think that any sane individual would base their firearms handling techniques on what they saw at the movies, any more than a surgeon would copy Operating Room techniques from watching hospital movies. But you go right ahead.

      • Juanito Ibañez, TopCop1988

        Delta Operator Sgt. Norm “Hoot” Hooten – “explaining” his weapon’s “safety” to Rangers Captain Mike Steele – “Black Hawk Down”

    • m-cameron

      i can honestly say, if they would start making ARs and AKs without safeties……i would immediately go out and buy one.

      there is never a time when my safety has been engaged on any of my rifles…..its truly amazing how guns cease to fire unless you pull the trigger…..

      • ARCNA442

        Or something pulls the trigger…

        If you only shoot on the range keeping the safety off is fine – I often do it with my 10/22. But if you’re hiking through a forest with a rifle, there is a lot of stuff that could get snagged in a trigger guard.

    • noob

      because the rifle’s triggerguard is usually exposed to the elements and liable to get things snagged in it.

      Of course, if you keep your rifle in a scabbard on your horse or motorcycle, go ahead and delete the safety.

  • stephen

    Given the opportunity, I’d carry a 1911 on duty in a heartbeat. Because that gun is just freaking awesome.

    There are two firearms that I have noticed to have the most problems in the classes I have taught; they are Taurus and the other are 1911s.

    Granted there are some of both that don’t have problems but the majority come from these two. I personally like 1911s but for EDC and classes, I don’t like because they have limited cap mags – whereas I like glock, springfield XDMs, etc.

    • Pete M

      Yes, but 1911s are still awesome.

  • Joe Moore

    Your opinion, and explanation, are flawed. The proper way to draw a pistol with a manual safety, like the 1911 or M&P, involves the shooter’s thumb resting on the safety, passively deactivating it. There is no change in speed with or without it. No additional draw step. It functions almost as a grip safety, as when the pistol is held, the safety is off.
    In that form, the additional “safety” provided by said safety would be during reholstering, or in the case of being disarmed by an assailant (gun grab of some kind), the safety can be activated to give one extra second to fight back.
    My two M&P45s both have manual safeties and that won’t be changing.

    • Pete M

      Does your thumb stay on the safety as you pull the trigger or do you have to adjust your grip?

      Have you ever trained at speed and missed/forgot to deactivate your safety? Under stress?

      • Dave

        Not Joe but figured I’d chime in with my 2c.

        “Does your thumb stay on the safety as you pull the trigger or do you have to adjust your grip?” Yes it stays there, if you need to adjust your grip, you have a crap grip.

        “Have you ever trained at speed and missed/forgot to deactivate your safety? Under stress?” No, and on the occasions where I needed my Hi-power or USP to swap out my primary when clearing haji from compounds I never consciously was aware of disengaging the safety, because I was trained how to use them properly.

      • Joe Moore

        1- As stated below, yes the thumb stays on the safety. If your thumb doesn’t naturally rest on it, you have an improper grip. This is the reason that these pistols have the safety located in that spot.
        This only applies to safeties wide enough to do so. Pistols like the M&P Shield, with a recessed safety, would fall under the category discussed by the author of this article, and will in fact be slower. That’s why my regular M&P pistols have manual safeties, but my Shield does not.
        2- I train with speed very often, and no, the safety can’t be “forgotten” because it’s passive. It happens automatically. If the pistol is being held, the safety is off. To “confirm”, yes I have drawn my pistol on duty under stress without issue.

        • Pete M

          Thanks Joe.

        • Pete M

          Joe, it sounds like you disengage the safety every time you come out of the holster and up on target.

          So why even have a safety at all if it just always comes off naturally as you draw?

  • Phillip Shen

    Queue the Black Hawk Down Hoot meme

  • Pete M

    Let’s say tomorrow someone invents a striker fired pistol that has a trigger on par with the best 1911 ever made. No safety.

    Does that change your position?

    • Vhyrus

      So your PPQ is coming in tomorrow?

      • Pete M

        The PPQ trigger is that good? Shirley you must be joking.

        • Vhyrus

          I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

          • Pete M

            I am glad there are those here that still have a solid sense of humor. X100 up votes for you sir.

          • Hensley Beuron Garlington

            Vhyrus is right. If you want a huge in depth on that trigger, go watch some Nutnfancy on YouTube or try it yourself. Been praising that pistol seems like forever.

      • jng1226

        If PPQs were more ubiquitous, it wouldn’t be called “Glock” leg anymore. Seriously, a broken-in (only takes a couple hundred rounds) PPQ trigger is just too light for a defensive gun, IMHO. I use IDPA matches to practice with my carry guns and so far in 5 matches with the PPQ I’ve experienced no less than 3 ADs on stages. They happened the same way, when I’m extending out to the target and begin prepping the trigger by taking up the slack to the break point, then BAM!, well before I was ready. Each one was in the down zero zone, so after a slight pause, I kept on shooting. However, during that slight pause I fully expected the SO to yell STOP! and DQ me from the match. My other carry guns are a Sig 1911, H&K P2000SK LEM, M&P Compact, M&P Shield, all with various degrees of enhanced triggers. The PPQ got dropped from the rotation because I don’t trust what may happen in an Ultimate-Stress situation once that thing clears the holster.

        • Hensley Beuron Garlington

          Not to be an ass, but why is your finger on the trigger before you are actually ready to shoot? Why is your finger pressing on the trigger before you are actually ready to shoot? IMHO, you should train better as the PPQ is showing you something you’re messing up on.

        • Jwedel1231

          I identified multiple problems with what you described, and none of them due to the PPQ. Why are you prepping the trigger on a PPQ? Don’t touch the trigger until your sights are on target! Why are you rotating through so many carry guns? All that’s going to do is screw up your manual of arms! You carry and rotate through so many guns so quickly that you aren’t able to become intimately familiar with each one the way you should. Example: Touching off a round unexpectedly from your PPQ like you mentioned.

          • jng1226

            I understand your point. I shoot competitions a lot, to the tune of 20,000-50,000 rounds depending upon how active I am and how much I train. To gain the maximum advantage you use some techniques such as prepping the trigger – taking up the slack to the “wall” before the trigger breaks. This is done as the gun is very close to being perfectly on target, just before you acquire/confirm the sights are exactly where you want the round to go. By this moment, you have confirmed your target, what is behind, etc. and actually are ready to shoot. When I got the ADs with the PPQ, it was during this point, and I have not had any problems like that with many other guns I’ve shot in competitions or during training, and that includes tuned 1911s with less than 3-pound triggers. Something about the PPQ and me just makes it go BOOM earlier than I want, and I’ve heard similar comments from other competitions shooters.

            By employing techniques like prepping the trigger, you can save time over the course of a stage, which can mean the difference between winning and losing. I also believe that speed and accuracy are key tactics in the real world, but that is a much lengthier discussion.

    • Mike Roberts

      I would get rid of my SAO safety gun for a striker-fired gun tomorrow… if it were steel.

  • Pete Sheppard

    A safety, with proper training and practice, can function as a primitive ‘smart gun device’. Massad Ayoob has documented many cases where a police officer’s life was saved when his on-safe pistol was taken in a fight, but the Bad Guy couldn’t figure out how to fire the pistol, giving the Good Guys time to correct the situation.

    • Bill

      Actually, I’m not sure he has documented “many” cases, and the point is essentially moot as the most common gun in domestic LE is striker fired; the second has a decocker only. He documented “several” cases, with not nearly enough context to base policy on.

  • Pete M

    Don’t worry, you guys won’t have to suffer through any more of my humor/opinion pieces.

    • Dave

      While I think this topic is very much a discussion that needs to happen, as safeties both have their place on firearms and also don’t have their place on firearms (placement/role/intended function etc all vary wildly), and getting people thinking about it can only help promote proper firearms safety and training, styling it as sarcastic fact kinda shot yourself in the foot there.

      • Pete M

        Pun intended.

    • gunsandrockets

      Comedy is hard. Even more so in a forum like this. Too easy to mistake satire for nuttery.

      • Pete M

        I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

  • TCBA_Joe

    The 1911 was originally designed without manual safeties.

    The biggest con Glock has ever pulled was getting people to think that drop safeties and out of battery safeties (that every modern handgun has) were equivalent to manual safeties.

    A quality holster IS a form of manual safety.

    • Pete M

      I knew there was a reason I always liked you, Joe.

      • TCBA_Joe

        I see you’re familiar with my work. Thanks buddy

        • Pete M

          We are regulars at the same places.

          • MRHapla

            and irregular at others? (rimshot)

  • Justin

    It’s all about training and your weapon handling. I’ve got Glocks, 1911s, and other weapons with and without external safeties. never had Glock leg but also not noticeably slower if I have to thumb off the safety.

    My bump in the night handgun has a safety and decock. the safety comes off as it leaves the holster so I’ve not had a presentation without the ability to fire as soon as I squeeze the trigger.
    so I’m got to say it’s proper training and practice that makes the shooter effective, not the presence or lack there of an external safety

  • flyfishr

    Something tells me the author walks around all day with his hand a millimeter off his gun, stopping every third step top do a press check and then clearing left and right before moving on.

    Cause it’s a war zone out there.

    • Pete M

      Nope. I low crawl and slice the pie – at the same time.

      • flyfishr

        So which is it? Is the country becoming a safer place with violence and murders decreasing?

        Or is that spilt second it takes to clear the safety so critical that YOU WILL DIE?

        You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too, but you can’t because your hands are full of spare mags.

        • Pete M

          I do love cake.

          Don’t take any of it too seriously and it all becomes clear.

      • Mystick

        Fat’s in the fryer, let’s go!

      • John

        Now just wait a second!

        No one said there was pie, why wasn’t I informed of this!!!

      • BryanS

        Why not slice the cake?

        Bakeist.

    • RealitiCzech

      I always yell ‘reloading, cover me!’ when getting a refill at McDonalds.

      • flyfishr

        That’s funny because I just set my perimeter security and deployed claymores so I could use the bathroom.

        Bastard next to me kept yelling “fire in the hole!!!!!!!!!”

        • John

          Ya know, if you eat at McDonald’s you’ll always have a “Fire in the hole”!

  • Roy G Bunting

    The manual safety has a place, it has been clearly shown to be an advantage when you may have to worry about gun grabs or open carry (like a uniformed officer does).

    But too often I hear people refer to a manual safety as a childproofing device or an infallible protection device against negligent discharge.

    If a gun needs a manually released trigger disconnect to be carried safely, that gun is obsolete by modern standards. Obsolete guns are still fun and useful (see single action revolvers) and even be competitive and have advantages of their own. But better technology has come along.

    As for safeties on rifles and shotguns, handguns are carried in holsters the cover their trigger. Rifles are carried on a sling where the trigger isn’t always under your direct control. Thus they use a different manual of arms.

    • Pete M

      Right on point. Thanks Roy.

  • srhymer

    “Does anyone actually still worry that their gun will go off if they drop it?”

    Taurus Millennium series. Yes, there’s always the chance for mechanical defect. Add to that the stupid factor that kicks in once adrenaline and fear are added to a situation. People also lose a lot of low-order tactile awareness when adrenaline flows; there,s abeen several studies on police who were unaware they were on the trigger, or who shot accidentally because they didn’t realize they were applying pressure.

    Yes, training can mitigate that, but your average dad out for a walk with his kids isn’t going to be putting a 1000 rounds a month through his Kel-Tec P-3AT. Stupid-proofing a gun isn’t a bad idea.

    • Pete M

      If you are unaware that you are on the trigger, an the safety is stopping you from an ND. That’s a problem.

  • Mark Fajardo

    This has been known for over 75 years. I point to the first combat shooting book, “Shooting to live with the one-hand gun” by Fairbairn and Sykes; the godfathers of modern combat shooting. The book was first written in 1942 but uses their experiences starting in the 1930’s as cops in Shanghai.

    On safeties they wrote, “We have an inveterate dislike of the profusion of safety devices with which all automatic pistols are regularly equipped. We believe them to be the cause of more accidents than anything else. There are too many instances on record of men being shot by accident either because the safety-catch was in the firing position when it ought not to have been or because it was in the safe position when that was the last thing to be desired. It is better, we think, to make the pistol permanently “unsafe” and then to devise such methods of handling it that there will be no accidents. One of the essentials of the instruction courses which follow is that the pistols used shall have their side safety-catches permanently pinned down in the firing or “unsafe” position.”

    • Pete M

      Thanks for that source Mark.

      • Mark Fajardo

        It’s a great book. A very insightful historical document if nothing else. Short and easy read.

    • iksnilol

      Yeeah… Fairbarn and Sykes aren’t the smartest guys around. They taught carrying chamber empty and chopping off trigger guards.

      • Mark Fajardo

        Again, 1930’s and 40’s. Some of what they taught seems crazy now and some of it was crazy then, like actually shooting at moving targets, elevated heart rate shooting and creating ranges without booths. They were extremely cutting edge, and smart, for their time. If they were alive today and saw the technological advances in the shooting world, they would probably change some of their opinions.

    • tazman66gt

      This was also in a time when they were just starting to seriously carry semi-auto pistols. The single action and double action revolvers were still in wide spread usage and pistols were still thought of as newfangled sorcery.

  • Twilight sparkle

    I am a lot faster with my fnx, cz75, and 1911s than I am with any of my glocks
    Saying the safety is dead is like saying the revolver is dead, it may have been largely replaced, but it still has a place

    I bet if nypd replaced all of their heavy trigger guns without safeties to guns with safeties and lighter triggers they’d probably have fewer negligent discharges and more hits on bad guys

    • Big Daddy

      And if they trained more they would not need those terrible triggers and would have no NDs. NYPD does not train nearly enough. There is NO gun culture in NYC.

      • Jwedel1231

        True. Fewer innocent bystanders would get hit and accuracy would go up, but there would be a TON of cases of “I forgot the safety was on” or “he died with the safety still engaged”. Considering those two options, NYPD is going to sacrifice innocent bystanders before their own officers.

  • Don P

    Hi Pete, I was looking through some of the posts, most are very good. I have an exception to your mentioning a Magazine Disconnect. As a safety feature I like it. That is a personal preference, rather than a professional one. I purchased my daily carry partly because of the Magazine Disconnect (Bersa 380+). If I ever get in a fight over my weapon dropping the magazine will effectively render useless until the magazine is reinserted into the weapon. I would doubt most people would realize that that the weapon they just took from my is effectively a paperweight until they squeeze the trigger. This will hopefully give me enough time to either attempt to retrieve my weapon, or move to relative safety (hopefully taking the magazine with me.)

    • Pete M

      I can appreciate that Don. Thanks.

  • Mystick

    I agree with The Dude on this one.

  • Don Ward

    Nope.

  • gunsandrockets

    It all depends on the nature of the handgun. Of course revolvers didn’t have manual safeties. Revolver handling evolved from traditions going back to flintlocks, where control of the hammer was the only ‘manual safety’.

    But something like the Luger? I certainly could see the utility of a manual safety there.

  • Travis

    I am sure that I will be crucified for this, but for me an external thumb safety is a must for me on any pistol without a long true double action trigger. Here is why: I use a pistol for home defense, if I have to clear the house, I am going to have the pistol drawn out of the holster, round in the chamber, my finger off the trigger placed on the side of the frame, but my safety will be on. If I trip over something while moving through the house the last thing I want is for something to get in the trigger guard and light off a round. I don’t care how careful a person is, it can happen. I practice dry firing my handguns a lot and for me to take the safety off takes the same amount of time as it does for me to take my finger from the frame to the trigger and I do it all in one smooth motion. Lastly, there is no guarrentee that in an emergency situation I will always have my holster when I grab my pistol, so with an external safety I can use an improvised holster such as my back pocket or even my belt. Now all that being said, I understand why some do not want an external thumb safety, I have my reasons, you have yours, as long as everyone is always following the four rules of gun safety and never fully relying on a mechanical device everyone will be safe and protected.

  • Captain obvious

    Manual safeties on pistols are for the 99.9999% of the time when you are not using a firearm for defense. In the rare occasion you need it for SD you should have the safety off already. In most cases safety trump’s readiness.

  • Ed

    We all have different opinions and preferences my friend that’s just yours.

    • Pete M

      Exactly Ed.

  • DetroitMan

    “What I am saying is that between a gun with a safety and a gun without, all other things being equal, the shooter who doesn’t have to disengage that manual lever will always be faster (and more accurate).”

    Nonsense. A practiced shooter disengages the safety during the draw, before the gun is on target and before the finger is on the trigger. They are not slower or less accurate. They just train a bit more.

    “Does anyone actually still worry that their gun will go off if they drop it?”

    No, but plenty of carriers of modern wunderpistols have shot themselves when they failed to remove their finger from the trigger and holstered the weapon. Had they engaged a manual safety first, this would have been prevented.

    It’s all a matter of preference, choice, and training. It’s ridiculous to claim that there can only be one way for pistols in our modern world. There is no objective metric to back any such claim.

    • Pete M

      It’s all about the humor.

  • Edge767

    I agree 100% with this article. Well written, articulated, and points well made. Bravo!

    • Pete M

      Ha! You might be the only one.

  • RealitiCzech

    The author has never operated in a highly kinetic dynamic tactical workspace whilst driving the platform. Without a safety, how can you twirl the loaded gun around your finger after dispatching hostiles? Last time I did that I shot half my team. They got workman’s comp for their injuries and a nice vacation, but one can no longer reproduce so he’s kind of holding a grudge.

    • Pete M

      Legit.

  • Fixed Sight Training

    All things consdered working a safety is the easiest part of shooting. How many people have shot themselves in the leg because Glock created the myth that safeties are bad so he could solve this non problem and sell more guns. There is a name for it. Glock Stripe.

    Now, how many people have lost a gunfight because of a safety. Math.

  • USMC03Vet

    Grip safeties should be as common as trigger guards as far as I’m concerned. No downside to them but greatly prevents accidental discharge.

    • ARCNA442

      I’m not so sure – I saw an account where a guy was shot in the hand while defending himself with a 1911 and was unable to squeeze the grip correctly.

      • USMC03Vet

        I’d like to see that. If you can’t depress the grip safety the gun shouldn’t shoot because you don’t have control over it. The grip safety isn’t some extenuous device that requires practice to use. The most basic of pressure simply by holding the firearm disables it.

    • Mike Roberts

      Grip safeties disengage. I’ve done it more times than I can count with other people’s guns. I’ve been in the middle of firing a 1911 and the grip safety disengaged mid-string because I held the gun a little tighter and opened up a gap in my palm.

      • USMC03Vet

        I don’t even see how that’s even feasible unless you somehow were attempting to shoot the gun without having control over it with it falling from your grasp. The grip safety isn’t going to disengage as long as you’re holding the firearm. It’s like claiming the trigger safety is somehow not working correctly sometimes when you attempt to shoot, because you’re pulling the trigger in a way that is preventing the little switch to not go down as press the trigger.

  • Joshua

    I’m sorry but….
    what did I just read?
    was there a point to this article or is it just someone ranting about something because they can.

    • Pete M

      You’re welcome.

      • Joshua

        okay then

        • Pete M

          The Internet is serious business.

  • Sulaco

    As the hero LOUDLY clicks off the safety of his trusty Glock pistol and says….

  • John

    +1 on the no manual safety. With trigger pulls around 8-12 lbs these days, and a prime directive of carrying a firearm being to protect the trigger, I think we’ll be alright.

  • I believe the manual safety’s utility is wholly dependent on philosophy of use. If you’re in an environment where quickly drawing with little foreknowledge of a crisis is the norm (i.e., police officers, citizen CCWers), by all means eliminate the manual safety. On the other hand, very few soldiers will probably be required to act in similar situations without a long arm already at the ready.

    Holsters are also integral to this decision making process. A bulky triple retention Safariland holster may not be worth its weight to an encumbered soldier. Conversely, it’s vital kit to a policeman dealing with suspects up close.

    Another thought: reducing negligent discharges at the institutional level. With a large enough body of men, NDs are almost statistically certain to occur. A manual safety may reduce that annual number from 15 to 7, saving a significant amount of money. The risks of death by ND may outweigh the risks of death by slow draw in some places. Also, many “NDs” could be cover ups of suicides. That’s another post entirely.

    Ending on a personal note, none of my defensive sidearms sport a manual safety. Historical sidearms, range toys, or novel designs are exempt from this rule. Nobody should turn down a fine milsurp sidearm because of a manual safety. Finally, everything stated here applies to magazine disconnects and internal locking devices.

    • Pete M

      Well said.

    • ARCNA442

      I often hear this theory but I wonder whether manual safeties actually help reduced negligent discharges on an institutional level. It seems to me that the people most likely to accidentally shoot something are the also ones least likely to correctly operate a safety.

      I would suggest that the optimal application of a manual safety on a handgun might be on the primary weapon for highly trained users in a chaotic environment. This would provide an extra layer of safety when not actively shooting at targets in case anything slips into the trigger guard.

      • Most recently, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department noticed an increase from 12 to 30 negligent discharges after switching from the Beretta 92 to the S&W M&P. Notably, the change was implemented in order for more women to qualify with their sidearms (and avoid a lawsuit). What makes this tougher to analyze is that they switched from a double action pistol with a safety to a striker fired one without. One is left to speculate which removed element contributed more.

        • Anon

          If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it was more due to the DA trigger than the safety, because I doubt that most people actually carry the Beretta 92 with the safety on, since it isn’t the most convenient of safeties, being slide-mounted and all.

  • Don Ward

    Again. So much discussion over a silly topic when the correct response is to say “Nope” and move on. If you don’t want a manual safety on your semi-automatic handgun, don’t buy one. There are those of us who do.

    • Pete M

      Don’t take it too seriously Don. The whole point was humor and discussion.

      • Don Ward

        Nope.

        • Pete M

          You must be a riot at parties. Safety and all.

        • Pete M

          Ok, ok I got one.

          What did the man safety say to the woman safety?

          “How about a little manual hand release?”

          Have a good night everyone!

  • CapeMorgan

    Disagree strongly. You would not go into the field without a safety on a rifle…so why is a handgun different? There are plenty of ND caused by handguns w/o safeties…they are in the news all of the time. You can train to eliminate any issues in speed in the use of a safety. The accuracy business makes sense to me. Frankly, most people are not trained to the high standards that the article assumes…not even active duty soldiers.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    Haha my thought’s exactly!

  • Billi

    No one planned to drop their firearm but yet Glock put a drop safety in their gun. Why? Because they know there can be accidental/negligent dropping of a handgun. Then what? A gun accidentally dropped can be picked up a 5 year old who knows only about pointing and pulling the trigger. None of this is planned but it happened quite frequently especially in the USA. If the only safety required is the brain manufacturers won’t put drop safety or grip safety at all. Manual safety is relevant.

    Let’s talk about manual safety and speed. Thumb safety is slow. But the safety on FN FiveSeven is perfect and is as fast as no manual safety. The trigger finger is always away/above the trigger when a handgun is drawn. When the target is acquired the finger moves down to squeeze the trigger. In FN FiveSeven the safety is turned off with that downward motion of the finger. No change in grip, no extra movement. And we all know the stopping power of its small round from Fort Hood. And the ammo is not as expensive and rare as some people want you to believe. Sorry for my bad English.

  • lowell houser

    Problem: There is no rifle manufactured on planet Earth that doesn’t have a safety, usually a thumb safety. Your pistol is probably what you shoot more because it’s cheaper and easier to find a range for. That pistols lack of a safety has probably given you a training scar where you’re going to forget the safety on your rifle under stress.

    • Pete M

      If I start to shoulder my pistol under stress, I’ll get back to you. The muscle memory for each is vastly different. It’s like mixing up putting your glasses on and eating soup with a spoon.

  • Dan K

    I’ve heard of plenty of people shooting themselves in the leg, hand, with striker fired safety-less guns. I haven’t ever heard of a defensive handgun incident where the presence of a safety slowed the user down or the safety failed.

    • Pete M

      Maybe they are all dead, that’s why we never heard of it.

    • Anon

      What do you think of safeties on DA/SA guns that automatically decock the gun (Beretta 92)? Because I think that those are stupid.

      As for what you said, yes, I agree, and plus, if you somehow get your gun stolen and used against you, they might not know about the safety, possibly saving your life. And yes, I know it’s a double-edged sword, because you may not remember to take the safety off yourself, but if you’re experienced with the gun, it’s less likely to happen than the aforementioned situation of them failing to take the safety off because they don’t know about it.

  • De Facto

    Move along folks, just another piece of click bait, nothing to see here.

    • Pete M

      You were supposed to at least laugh once. Just. Once.

  • Person who owns a timer

    The author’s ignorance is breathtaking. “[A]ll other things being equal, the shooter who doesn’t have to disengage that manual lever will always be faster (and more accurate).” Given that the vast, vast majority of the highest level practical pistol competitions are won by competitors using guns with external safeties, this is a demonstrably, empricially false claim. Period.

    • Pete M

      I’m beginning to think half of the gun owners out there don’t have a sense of humor.

  • Jack

    There was just case of firearms instructor who got whistle caught in trigger guard of his Glock caused negligent discharge as try pull out trigger guard of his load Glock. I bet he wish there was safety on that firearm when happen but I bet he wish just unload firearm point in safe place not at him self clear issue . His well train brain was much of safety in that event, The most negligent discharge happen with strike firearms with out safety, Not picking on Glocks LA Police department just issue Smith Wesson MP had higher rate negligent discharge than did with 92f some that was do training. My point those get good training with striker fire handgun well never need safety on there handgun how ever those who do not better off own some kind firearm with safety. Truth is no matter case there well all,s be some one who well have negligent discharge with there firearm no matter if they have manual safety or not on there firearms. Stupid careless people well,s all,s find way injury them self other no matter what ever there doing.

  • LimaYankee

    I refer it as Passive and Manual Safies.

    • Pete M

      That’s probably better wording. Thanks.

  • There aren’t enough exclamation points to demonstrate my horror at “gun on target – finger on trigger” policy!

  • HARDSHELL

    In modern time it is really difficult to be safe where getting a weapon is really easy……..be safe and let others also.

  • jerry young

    does anyone still worry about dropping their gun and it going off you ask? why yes if you are smart you do, there is a recall on some Taurus models and who knows what can happen when a handgun is dropped the resulting jolt could allow it to fire, even with a safety after all a safety is nothing more than a mechanical devise that can fail, the only truly safe way to ensure if your gun is dropped that it will not go off is for it to be unloaded but then what good is an unloaded gun other than a paper weight? the best devise I like is the decocker while not truly a safety it does make the gun a little safer to carry, I personally like a gun with a manual safety and a grip safety combined if possible, as far as a safety on the trigger I feel it’s as useless as well just useless, most accidental discharges happen because of trigger contact so putting the safety on the trigger to me seems questionably stupid, I own a Springfield arms XD Mod 2 it has the trigger safety that is the only feature I don’t like, why they put it there I don’t know maybe they’re trying to compete with glock

  • Trevor

    At the end you list several things you think are obsolete or unwanted on a modern defensive handgun. All of them are arguable, and I can see drawbacks to all except one: the loaded chamber indicator. What is wrong with that? More information is never a bad thing, unless it gets in the way of the sights or something, but that is more an implementation problem than an intrinsic problem.

    • Pete M

      Fair enough. Thanks Trevor.

  • FredC1968

    Manual safeties are great if you trained with a safety in the same position. I replaced a 1911 with a M&P FS TS in .40S&W. The 1911 replaced a Hi-Power. The Hi-Power replaced a really great 1911. I have had the same manual of arms for about a quarter of a century. NOTE: These all have frame mounted safeties. When it comes to a slide mounted safety, I slow down considerably.

  • Some Rabbit

    If the Glock style “safety trigger” was such a great idea, John Browning or some other gun designer would’ve come up with it long before a guy who only ever designed curtain rods did. The only safe, ‘safetyless’ gun is a classic DA/SA or DAO. Those who can’t deal with that first DA shot need more range time.

    • Jwedel1231

      Now that is a logical fallacy for the ages. “If it was a good idea, someone else would have come up with it by now.” I guess the first microchips were created by Plato or Socrates? Powered human flight was actually created by the Germanic tribes in prehistory, and not by the Wright Brothers?

  • RickH

    Like others have commented, the 1911 was originally designed without the thumb safety. The army wanted a semi-auto that would be ready to fire simply by gripping the weapon, hence the grip safety. And yes that means a round in the chamber. That being said, I’ve had no problem at all with my Colt Govt. model with drawing and shooting while manipulating the safety. I know I’m faster with my 1911 then I am with any Glock, or similar style pistol.

  • Joshua Knott

    Sole reason why I took the decocker out of my CZ P09, lower thy hammer of thor by gentle means for its DA/SA next to my manhood, or FTW. Ps good write up.

    • Pete M

      Thanks Joshua.

      • Joshua Knott

        Credit given where credit is due as they say….Plus I stopped listening to some guy named Fargo on another page and have payed attention religiously (no TFB shrine yet though) to your guy’s (& Katies) work.

        • Pete M

          Awesome, glad to have you. It’s a great group over here.

  • Pete M

    Thanks Thomas. I disagree with you. But appreciate the comment.

  • ah yes Quick Draw McGraw

  • Billca

    JMB did design his pistol without a safety. Look at the earlier models, such as the Model of 1900, 1902, ’05 and ’09. It was the U.S. Army that requested a manual safety and for a fairly logical reason.

    Pistols aren’t a primary weapon for most soldiers, even those on horseback. So put yourself in a high ranking officer’s position and what do you see with JMB’s new creation? A self-loading pistol that fires single-action with a 4-6 pound trigger. Regardless of how it’s carried, once a round has been chambered or the pistol fired, how does a man riding on horseback “safe” that weapon without needing both hands? Lower the hammer? Really? You expect some 2nd Lt. to do that safely while riding without shooting himself, his horse or a friendly soldier? Simply holster it? If that cocked pistol is struck inside its holster it could discharge, wounding the wearer or others. Think about your average grunt picking up said pistol off the battlefield. He lacks a holster so how does he carry it? Strictly by the book he’d drop the magazine, clear the chamber, add the cartridge to the magazine and reinsert it. That’s a lot of activity if you’ve picked one up for a CQB weapon when you enter that house or farm up ahead.

    The manual safety was a means for a soldier to “safe” the pistol enough to put into it’s holster while he did something else – like get his rifle (or pick one up) to fight with. Without the safety, a battle-weary soldier might remove his pistol and, forgetting it was cocked & ready, discharge it into his leg/foot. Or maybe your leg or foot.

    Do we still need a manual safety? I’ll say yes. Maybe not on every pistol though. But I’d recommend new pistol shooters buy one with a manual safety as their first pistol. I’d also suggest that it makes sense for that home defense pistol since most citizens fall short of an expert pistolero classification. For those shaking their heads also consider any time you’ve been sidelined with a nasty bug, taking some cold remedy that “may cause drowsiness” or been taking pain drugs (codeine, Vicodin, etc.). Or simply if you’ve been sleep deprived for a few days.

    Bottom line: It’s your risk of injury and/or liability. You decide.

    • Pete M

      Thanks for the detailed reply. I disagree with the new shooters part, though.

      They should be focusing on everything else besides a reliance in a manual safety. Teach them that pulling the trigger at any time can cause death and destruction. Not just when the safety is off.

      • Billca

        It’d be a dull world if we all agreed on everything.

        One reason I said not every pistol needs an external safety is they don’t all work alike. A single-action pistol (1911, Hi-Power, etc.), IMO, is a hazard if there is no method of making the gun safe when cocked.

        As to new shooters, if they’re using DAO or decocking DA/SA systems a safety is rather redundant.

        I don’t know of any instructor who doesn’t repeatedly tell students to never rely on a safety to make up for poor trigger discipline.

        • Pete M

          Well, I agree with these points. Thanks.

  • Kafir1911

    I am guessing that you oppose the Israeli method of carry also? Racking that slide for use is even more cumbersome eh?

    • Pete M

      Oh, I take it one step further. Empty chamber AND empty mag well.

      Draw. Insert mag. Rack slide. Shoot terrorist.

  • Andrew Foss

    No, Mr. Browning would have looked at the Austrians and said “What the hell did you do to this trigger? It’s *horrible*!” after shooting those dirty Hun with their own weapon.

    And shall I point out the anecdotal incidence rate of people shooting themselves in the leg or groin with (un)”Safe Action”-style triggers versus firearms with positive manual safeties?

    Just because it’s “New” or “Novel” doesn’t make it “Better” or “Smarter”.

    And I say this as the owner of both styles of pistol: The best safety is between your ears: “Booger hook off of the bang switch”, “Pay attention to what’s going on around you”, &c, &c.

    • Pete M

      We are pretty much on the same page, Andrew. Thanks.

  • albaby2

    Just because a gun has a safety doesn’t mean you have to use it. Don’t use it on your 1911. Who cares?

  • gdogs

    If the amount of time that it takes to flip a safety off is the difference in a gun fight, most of us would be dead anyways. In a world where every gun grabber out there is screaming about “gun safety” (the new gun control), I hardly think that pushing a “no manual safety” policy is a good idea. That said, I generally only carry DAO guns without manual safeties – of course no amount of persuasion could get me to put a striker fired pistol in my front pocket (single action with a safety either for that matter).

  • Earl

    The need for speed is highly over rated. The need for safety is also very highly over rated. The need for a reasonable workable level of training is valid. Gomer is not stupid. Gomer does just fine with all sorts of things that can kill and maim and otherwise do untoward things when not handled correctly. Gomer can take a G-17 and/or Lt. Gomer can take a G-19 and do just fine and dandy… even kill the enemy with it. JMB will not turn over in his grave, resurrect and turn into a dead man walking the face of the world moaning and groaning or haunt the weapons rooms/barracks and firing ranges in anger that a (horrors!!!) Austrian pistol has been acknowledged and selected as the principle, primary handgun for use by US servicemen. He will do nothing at all. In fact, other than a lot of Beretta folks having to look elsewhere for contracts, nothing much will change at all. But, the folks up in Smyrna, Ga. and their friends in Austria who make that nice handy Glock G-17, 19, etc., etc., etc., will be very busy… making pistols for the US serviceman. Very good for them. Very excellent for the US serviceman. And, very good for the US taxpayer.

    • Pete M

      Thanks Earl. On point.

  • Brian G. Lowery

    I have a friend that just recently switched back to Glock over his very expensive Kimber 1911 because when qualifying on the turning targets he was noticeably faster getting rounds on target with the Glock before the target turned away.

  • AirborneSoldier

    Modern safeties are often too small. The M1911A1 safety is still fine.

    • Pete M

      I agree with you there.

  • mig1nc

    After switching to appendix carry, I’ve become more concerned about GLS (Glock Leg Syndrome) so I’ve started going back to manual safety guns. Maybe I should take a second look at the Springfield XD platform… Any other manufacturers using secondary grip safeties besides XDs and 1911s?

    • Pete M

      A good holster helps to solve these worries.

      • mig1nc

        Indeed. That’s what they say, but I’ve known of more than one accidental discharge due to a jacket draw string or something like that inadvertently getting into the holster. Appendix carry as you well know has it’s special considerations. What do you think about the XD’s grip safety?

        • Pete M

          Raven Concealment (as well as others) make some great holsters that work for appendix carry.

          Appendix carry isn’t my favorite. Driving, sitting or pretty much anything other than standing is uncomfortable.

          Thanks for your post.

  • Wil Ferch

    Yhe assumption made that disengaging a safety is slower and less accurate..as stated in the article…is false. No other than Jeff Coopper made this abundently clear when he taught his Modern method of defensive shooting. He is long gone and a lot of his good training and ideas have therefore vanished and need to be relearned. The point?–> the time it takes to draw the weapon from a holster and then bring it up to fire….allows PLENTY of time to disengage a safety during this process…within this time frame from “draw” to “fire”. So…..it is NOT slower and less accurate. In similar fashion, during the time of Cooper’s analysis and re-education of pistolcraft, there was the similar previous thinking that “instinctive” point shooting from the hip was faster…but that too proved to be false when accurately trying to engage an adversary.

    • Pete M

      Wil, admittedly I put the quicker/more accurate in for effect.

      While I don’t see the need for manual safeties in modern defensive guns, speed and accuracy gains aren’t the reason.

      Thanks for your comment.

  • AirborneSoldier

    Ill keep my safety, and choose when to use it, i train a lot though.

  • Buck

    The only reason you and many others don’t like a manual safety is because you don’t want to spend the time training to use it. I used a Colt 45 for many years in the Marine Corps and had to practice taking the safety off while drawing the weapon to get proficient at it. Over time I developed a callous to make it even easier. If you don’t want a manual safe while carrying, take it off when you exit your home. But while at home with kids and/or grandkids are present put it back on. Gun makers have convinced most that a manual safety is bad while they go to the bank with the reduced manufacturing funds they’ve saved by not putting a safety on the weapon. Semper Fi.

    • Pete M

      Buck, I’m not sure I agree with you, but I appreciate you stopping by. Thanks for your service.

  • Core

    Pete with all due respect there is a reason why the phrase “Glock Leg” is a common adage.. Just sayin.

    • Pete M

      I can appreciate that Core. But I’m going to have to blame the trigger puller on that one.

      Thanks for your comment.

  • bobk90

    The Title is a Pun on the movie “VIDEODROME” with James Wood. LOL

  • buzzman1

    The problem will always be the loose nut behind the pistol who insists he put his finger on the trigger.

  • BR549

    OK, so you keep a gun in your bedside stand. At the very worst, if you have small kids, the best option is a larger frame and keeping it unracked. Let’s face it; if there is someone lurking in your home downstairs, having to unlock a gun takes your focus off the potential perp and his whereabouts, and having to rack the gun definitely gives your intentions away. Revolvers are a good choice here, but where are they safeties?

    I would argue that ALL firearms should have at least a simple safety because not all those people who CLAIM to be proficient with firearms are even close to being so. If people find themselves having to respond to a situation where they can’t remember to thumb their safety off, then it would seem that operating that weapon is NOT as second nature as they would profess, and if they can’t deal with some practice as simple as that, I would argue that they are probably not in the correct objective frame of mind to being using that weapon under those circumstances. I would argue the same for the use of Glocks; not my choice at all, any one of them.

    Others would argue that just when they needed the weapon to work, nothing happened because they left the safety on and lost precious seconds while having to deal with their “deer-in-the-headlights” reaction to being woken up at 3:00am. Again, is that person in the apartment or home next to you expected to be any more sane because they didn’t employ a safety?

    If nothing else, a safety is a conscious person’s last confirmation (other than actually pulling the trigger) that he is ready to use his weapon, BEFORE he actually uses that weapon. It should just one part of the READY part of “Ready, Aim, Fire”.

    • Pete M

      I appreciate your comment, BR, but I respectfully disagree. Keeping your pistol in a quality holster, even when it is in the nightstand, is better that any safety.

      • majorrod

        No, you can have that pistol in the best holster in the world but still need two hands to get to out when it’s not on your belt because most people don’t sleep with a belt on.

        That safety is just a one fingered flick away…

        • Pete M

          So, no holster, no drawer, no nothing? Laying on the nightstand in its birthday suit? How do you know for certain that the safety is either on or off in the middle of the night?

          Why can’t we use two hands? Are we doing one handed shooting for this drill?

          • majorrod

            My safety is always on until I have to use my pistol. Unlike the anti-2a crowd would like us to believe guns just don’t manipulate themselves. Further, part of my training before firing is to sweep my thumb sown. It isn’t really that hard to learn. Just like the habit of learning to hyperextend one’s trigger finger along the slide (try to reach the ejection port).

            Why not two hands? There have been situations where the intruder is in the room with you or even in bed (much more common with women being attacked of course).

            I personally like to be able to store a pistol for self defense in a manner where I can manipulate it with one hand for a variety of reasons. If we can always count on having two hands available there’d be little need to have one in the chamber.

  • deanguilberry

    I’m just talking about CHL on this post.
    I like my safety. I cram a .40 cal inside the waist holster and it is a TOTALLY different scenario than if I were law enforcement or military and carried on the hip.
    I like my safety as there are too much clothes, belts and car parts etc around the trigger area when removing from holster. The results of a discharge would be terminal.
    You go ahead and do what ever you want however I have the option OF NOT PUTTING THE SAFETY ON if i carry outside.
    Even if I had the safety off I have conditioned myself to flip the safety so it would probably get swiped even though it was off. I have caught myself trying to turn off the safety on my glock out of habit.

  • The Concerned Conservative

    “No decocker”? I say buIIshít to that. All a decocker does is enable the safe loading of a round in to the chamber – for maximum firepower. There is no safety to disengage.

    • Pete M

      True. But a decocker means a DA/SA trigger – two different pull weights. I carried a DA/SA pistol everyday for eight years. I’m much happier with my Glock.

      Thanks for your comment CC.

  • Sassparilly

    No striker, no decocker, no trigger safety, no manual safety, no grip safety…..just press trigger when drawn and then keep pressing till empty……this wonder firearm is called a double action REVOLVER !

    • Pete M

      With a trigger pull weight of a recurve bow!

  • Zebra Dun

    The French bolt action rifles had no safeties.
    I was trained on the 1911A1 and would be lost without one.
    None of my revolvers have safeties nor does my Winchester M-94.
    The Safety on these pistols was because the 1911A1 was originally designed to arm Cavalry. Bucking horses and all that.

  • squareWave

    I tend to agree with you about manual safeties, but why no decocking levers either? What is the better way to put a DA/SA pistol back in double action mode? Or are you arguing against the whole DA/SA concept and saying everything should be Glock-style DAO?

    • Pete M

      Exactly. Two different pull weights is unnatural and unnecessary.

      Again, everyone should carry the gun that is safe and accurate for them. For me, right now, that is a Glock.

      Thanks SW

  • chuckabunch

    Plexico Burress might not agree…………..a manual safety might have saved him two years of jail time………..and a career.

    • Pete M

      Ha. Well played sir.

    • maodeedee

      Because the gun slid down his leg and then “just went off” by itself?

      I doubt that it happened that way. He probably tried to catch it before it fell out of his pant-leg an stuck his finger in the trigger guard pulling the trigger. That never would have happened if he had the gun in an IWB holster.

      A firearm cannot just “Go Off” by itself though we hear about that happeing all the time.

  • Pete M

    I love firearm diversity. But Glocks are popular because they are reliable, accurate and safe.

    If I shoot myself with one, it’s because I pulled the trigger or allowed something to get inside the trigger guard.

    Are you appendix carrying without a holster?

    • The Concerned Conservative

      Are you assuming I am an idiot (carrying appendix w/o a holster) because I have a virulent disdain for all thing Glock? FYI, I am sane AND SAFETY CONSCIOUS. I carry appendix with a custom leather holster fitted for my CZ 2075 RAMI BD. Whenever I wear a suit jacket or sport coat, I carry using a custom shoulder holster fitted for my Sarsilmaz SAR K2 .45ACP pistol (14+1) and balanced with two spare mags. Both are far superior in quality and features to any Glock.

      • Pete M

        Bold statement.

        Shoulder holster? Don’t EVEN get me started. Haha

  • billinfl

    As usual, this conversation was destined to devolve into Glock vs 1911.
    And since there are passionate advocates on both sides, the argument will never be resolved. That being said; as a 62 year old firearms industry inventor/patentee and lifelong shooter since I was a boy of ten (52 years now), as well as a former Marine and former law enforcement officer, I have handguns that do not have safeties and have safeties. But the only handguns I have that do not have safeties….are revolvers. All my semi auto handguns have safeties. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s why.

    A (modern) since action revolver doesn’t need a safety because you pull the hammer to where it is just barely off the firing pin or transfer bar and carry it that way. Then even if dropped, the hammer is not against the firing pin. To shoot it, you have to pull the hammer back.

    On a double action revolver, it requires a long, very purposeful pull on the trigger to fire it.

    So no need for safeties on revolvers. Different story on a semi auto revolver. My favorite single action semi auto revolver is the 1911 high capacity Para Ordinance. I also have a single stack Auto Ordnance 1911. It is common sense that a handgun user should know their gun and practice and train with it. I carry my 1911’s cocked and locked. I can thumb off that thumb safety in a nano-second. It is second nature to me from my training. I also know that I must have the gun securely gripped to disengage the grip safety. Again, second nature to me from my training. After a lifetime of shooting, I heartfelt believe that the 1911 (type) is the safest semi auto handgun existing. The thumb safety is not stiff and can be disengaged so quickly that it would not impact nor delay a reasonably trained shooter firing the gun. It becomes intuitive to disengage it.

    The Glock or Glock clones with the safety on the trigger…..different story. It is the most ridiculous thing in the world to have a safety that is disengaged by pulling the trigger. That is no safety at all. I think the only reason they are on them is because our U.S. government requires a safety to be on any semi auto pistol imported into the U.S. Otherwise they make no sense and are illogical. Why in the world would you have a safety on the trigger that disengaged when you pulled the trigger? That’s just insane. In that case, why have a safety on it at all? In reality fact, it is no safety at all and that is why the term “Glock leg” exists. Smith and Wesson got it right with one of their Glock like clones, but it DOES have a thumb safety. That’s the only plastic Glock clone type I would own. But I don’t even own that one, no need, I have my 1911’s.

    So very many poorly trained officers with their adrenaline flowing, in the heat of the moment, put their finger on the trigger as they are drawing the Glock upward out of their holster. That makes it extremely easy as they draw upward to pull the trigger and get “Glock leg”, since the Glock has a very light trigger. I also don’t like striker fired pistols since it is not readily apparent that they are cocked as much as it is by simply looking at the hammer on a 1911 type. I can tell from across the room if a 1911 is cocked. You can’t tell that about a Glock from across the room.

    Sure the Glocks are accurate, but the damn things are unsafe and no one can convince me nor have a valid argument that they aren’t, so don’t even try. Your argument will not trump my lifetime of experience.

    So I totally disagree with the author of this article. His entire argument is unsafe, invalid and ill advised because it encourages “Glock leg”.

    The bottom line is this. A 1911, chambered, cocked and locked, is by far safer than a chambered Glock that has no safety in reality and you can’t quickly and easily tell from just a glance that it’s cocked. You can pull the trigger all you want on a chambered, cocked and locked 1911 as you pull it out of your holster and it will not fire. A Glock will.

    • billinfl

      Darn, in my above post, I meant to say “single action”, not “since action”, and I also meant to say “semi auto pistols” not “semi auto revolvers”. I knew what I meant to say, my fingers just typed something else. Lol.

    • Pete M

      Bill, I appreciate your well reasoned, insightful and experienced post. I just happen to disagree.

      A quality holster should solve issues like Glock leg. I don’t want to rely on anything bu my trigger finger as being the safety.

      Most arguments here seem focused on the accidental trigger pull getting caught on clothing, etc. why not focus on holsters and proper carry?

      Again, everyone should carry what is best for them. For me, right now it’s safe-action.

      Thanks for your comments, we need more guys like you around here.

      • Hugo Stiglitz

        I’m going to have to respectfully disagree as well. The long, stout trigger pull on Sig DA/SA semi autos gives you the same safety element as the double action revolvers. I don’t like the idea of fumbling with a manual safety in the heat of the moment with sweat and adrenaline flowing.

    • Zebra Dun

      Basically you keep the hammer down on a transfer bar and your finger off the trigger unless you intend to fire.
      Three safeties makes a safe soldier proof pistol, lever, grip and disconnect not to mention half cock notch.

  • Zebra Dun

    The fact is, Learn your weapon of choice and keep your booger picker off the trigger unless you intend to shoot.

  • Haywood Jablome

    Opinions are like @sshole$….everyone has one.

  • Cottersay

    So, anyone can learn how to SIMPLY PULL A TRIGGER, but heaven help the poor slob — no matter how well trained — if he actually has to also push down on a small lever with his thumb AND pull a trigger. NO WAY TO LEARN TO DO BOTH, I guess (a walking and chewing gum issue, huh?).

    Wow, I wonder how LEO’s could EVER learn how to use Level 2 and Level 3 retention holsters?

  • maodeedee

    I agree that a safety is not necessary on SOME handguns, (like a DA Revolver or a DA-only pistol such as a Glock) and that SOME safety systems make a gun LESS safe, but right up there at the top of this page is picture of a John Moses Browning designed 1911A1 that is the one gun that has a safety that is 100 percent reliable as long as the user is properly trained.

    And that’s just WRONG.

  • majorrod

    Safeties can be analogous at times to the parking brake on a car. It really sucks when you need one and don’t have one. That often results in make shift solutions like a rock under a tire.

    Safety makes things too complicated or just not easy enough? Leave it off…

    WAIT! THAT’s UNSAFE!

    Ok? Explain…

    (Fill in the reasons______)

    Valid points, Now apply that same thinking to your pistol of choice without a manual safety…

    Hey, I own and love my Glock but would never take it upon myself to decree a safety is good or bad. So much depends on the shooter, their training level and the situation they are preparing for or are in. To ignore
    those myriad factors and apply a one size fits everything answer might be a symptom of not having gone around the block enough.

  • Kenn Bishop

    The thumb safety was the Armies requirement not Browning’s design! He added it to meet the contract requirements!

  • richard kluesek

    I totally concur but would point out that some manufacturers of striker fired modern handguns still install manual thumb safeties, either as an option or standard on all offerings, as well as internal locks and magazine disconnects. Alarmingly, politicallly correct types including elitists among us are also promoting the empty chamber carry as well as proposals of legislative enforcement, to limit magazines capacities (like the NYS SAFE Act) and prohibit the carrying of extra reload magazines on one’s person. Some retail gunstores are exhibiting signs proclaiming themselves gun free zones, and at least one such location and their sponsored trade show in my area, S. E. Florida, have featured metal detectors manned by off duty police officers instructed to arrest violators (customers) to be prosecuted to lose their carry credentials. I avoid gun free zones, let me alone and dont tread on me. Always they come back at us for more no matter what.

  • Mazryonh

    There have to be studies showing just how much “safer” things like grip safeties, decockers, and magazine disconnect safeties are at reducing ND rates. What about ND rates among forces that carry Glocks or other handguns lacking manual safeties?

  • Mikial

    Manual safety or no manual safety, it’s all about being able to make the most of whatever you’re carrying. I carry a Glock 21 because i like it. I use a high quality composite holster that covers the trigger so I can feel comfortable carrying it locked and loaded.

    But I also like my wife’s Beretta 92 which uses not only a manual safety but a decocker, and I am comfortable carrying it as well. We both have 1911’s, but our reasons for not carrying them rests more with the 8 round magazine than with the manual safety situation. I do appreciate that my Commander tactical has an extended safety and I am ‘almost’ as fast with it as I am with my Glock.

    But I have no issue with having no manual safety, and in the years since I started carrying my Glock in 2001, I have never had an ND with it.

  • Richard Lutz

    BS. Many lives have been saved as a result of gun snatchers being unable to fire a pistol with a manual safety catch. Ideally you want an automatic safety like the Magna-Trigger.

  • Justin Bailey

    It’s all fun and games till you blast the radiator as you paw at the gun on the night stand at 3 am

  • I used this same holster for duty use.

  • otto burgess

    i agree, 100%. internal safety is all that is needed.

  • waltinvt

    Common sense has died everywhere else, why not among gun owners? The problem here though is the anti-gun crowd is just looking for any excuse and displaying a lack of common sense can give them just the ammo they need (pun intended).

    In a common sense dialog, it can be reasonably argued a safety is not needed (or even desirable) on a DA/SA pistol because the increased trigger pull for double action fire or the act of cocking the hammer for single action fire constitutes a reasonable buffer to an untended discharge when there is a round chambered.

    However when common sense is removed, people somehow rationalize it’s just as safe to carry a round chambered in a pistol that not only has no safety but also is in a state where only slight pressure on the trigger is required to fire that round.

    That argument is even worse than the “cocked & locked” 1911 mentality, since it opens the door for even more situations where an unintended discharge can occur.

    In my opinion if testosterone could somehow be kept from influencing the dialog, most would agree carrying a round chambered in a striker fire pistol without a safety is a very bad idea, no matter how much training you have.

    • Pete M

      Well said Walt. I just happen to disagree.

      • waltinvt

        Thanks Pete and I must say, reading the many comments and replies, your disagreements are always rendered with much class and respect. A refreshing change sir.

        • Pete M

          This discussion had the potential to be a real disaster. Professionalism is the key to keeping things civil.

          Besides, everybody here should realize by now that I really don’t care what someone else carries. 98% of the entire piece was humor and sarcasm.

          Thanks for reading.

  • Robert V Martin

    Friends,
    Read Jeff Cooper. Read him again and AGAIN! If you have read and don’t agree that only proves that you haven’t fully understood. Read him some more. Someone once asked Ayn Rand why she insisted upon using the term “Selfish” to denote the primary virtue in her philosophy despite the fact that it prejudiced many readers from the very beginning. She replied: “For the same reason that you’re too timid to use the term boldly.” I’m not a doctrinaire Randite but that is how I feel about a 1911A1 carried “Cocked-and-Locked”—for the same reason that you’re afraid of it!
    …..RVM45

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    I carry 1911s with safety off and holster strap between frame and hammer.

  • Mazryonh

    Thanks for the link, but are there actual studies about people’s lives being saved by an additional non-manual safety? There’s plenty of news stories about people shooting themselves or others while cleaning guns and forgetting to clear the chamber, for instance. A magazine disconnect safety might save someone’s life when the gun is being cleaned but the chamber was not emptied. Is data collected on something like that? Or are incidents like that simply not reported on, because the person who realizes while cleaning a gun that the chamber was not emptied and the magazine disconnect safety saved his/her life just thanks his/her lucky stars and either tries harder to act safer or just forgets about it all?

    A Glocks’ safeties still don’t prevent cases of “Glock leg” after all, as people like Plaxico Burress learned the hard way.

    • Cmex

      There’re some reports somewhere about cops being saved by magazine safeties that stopped their taken weapons from being used to shoot them.

      • Mazryonh

        That sounds like a nice use for the magazine disconnect safety. If your gun is in danger of being taken from you, eject the magazine and render it inoperable.

  • Amaterasu_Junia

    Yet most, recent, instances that come to mind of someone shooting theirself while drawing/holstering their sidearm has involved srtiker fired pistols with no manual safety.

  • Archie Montgomery

    “There is no place for a manual safety on a modern defensive handgun.”

    Several thoughts derive from this statement:

    1. A Colt Government Model is NOT a modern defensive handgun.
    2. No real need exists for a manual safety on a Colt Government Model.
    3. One should ignore the manual safety on a Colt Government Model.

    Hmmm. Thought #3 really sounds pretty silly. Thought #2 sounds equally silly.

    From the article:
    “What I am saying is that between a gun with a safety and a gun without, all other things being equal, the shooter who doesn’t have to disengage that manual lever will always be faster (and more accurate).” Not really. Perhaps for semi or non-trained nincompoops, but not for those with experience.

    “Faster”? Immaterial. The first hit in a gunfight makes a fair difference. The first loud noise, not so much.

    “More Accurate”? I’d really like to hear the argument for this. Activation or de-activation – in the sense of ‘on or off’ has absolutely NO effect on inherent accuracy. Perhaps the idea is flipping the safety ‘off’ distracts one from lining up the sights on target? We’re back to the semi or non-trained nincompoops, aren’t we?

    The author then seemingly speaks out of both sides of his mouth by saying “Given the opportunity, I’d carry a 1911 on duty in a heartbeat. Because that gun is just freaking awesome.” Okay, I’ll go along with that.

    Skip back to the opening paragraph for a second. I’ll agree with possible thought #1. A Colt Government Model is NOT a ‘modern’ defensive pistol. It isn’t plastic, it isn’t high magazine count – okay, some versions (Para-Ordnance for one) have double stack magazines, it’s not a sub-caliber, and it doesn’t have built-in mounts for most everything and a whistle for calling one’s horse. It is a very effective, ‘passe’ defensive pistol; in that it isn’t brandy-new and ‘modern’.

    But neither am I. Nor are the concepts of honor, honesty and competence. I’ll deal with it.

    And I must agree with Major Tom. Safety is up to the user, not to some doodad.