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Thread: revolver safety

  1. #1

    Default revolver safety

    After years of hiking in bear country without protection, I finally decided to join the ranks of the handgun owners and got a .44 this fall. The main reason it took over 15 years was my indecision over which caliber and manufacturer to get. Been practicing at the range this fall/winter and will continue. Just received my vertical shoulder holster this week so I am pretty much ready for spring/summer.

    I've discuss with several folks revolver safety and a few have advised to not carry with the active cylinder loaded. Likewise, I know of one individual who recommends keeping both the active and the next cylinder unloaded, since anything that would pull the hammer or trigger would advance the cylinder. I have messed around with my 44 trying to figure out how it would be possible for the hammer plate to fail and allow a fire without fully pulling the trigger or the hammer back into a fully cocked position. Dry firing with snap caps, I just can't do it.

    Now I know the definition of a safety is a mechanical device that will fail. However, I just don't like the idea of having to cycle the cylinder in an emergency, because when you need it - you will need it now and not a few seconds later.

    My question to the list is: Does anyone want to share instances where a revolver has managed to fire unintentionally, the situation, and how it happened? These examples might be helpful in evaluating whether an unloaded cylinder is warranted.

    Thanks in advance.

    Hiker

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    If you are talking about a double action revolver of modern vintage such as a Ruger or S&W. The mechanical safety is a mecahnical hammer block or transfer bar (two different things).

    The at rest condition of an S&W hammer has a hammer block which is a piece of steel put in place to block the hammer from reaching the firing pin. Or with the older guns, blocks the hammer (with the pin on the hammer) from protruding through the frame enough to reach the primer. This is what I call a positive safety. Can it fail, well I'll have to say it could, but if you told me it did fail, I would not believe you. This hammer block is put in use by the trigger moving forward and actually wedges the block under the hammer.

    The Ruger Redhawk has what is called a transfer bar, similar to the hammer block with the opposite effect. The transfer must be in place to fire the gun, the hammer block must be out of place to fire the gun.
    Both these systems are as fool prroof as any mecahnical gizzmo can be.
    This system is also activated by the trigger moving forward under spring tension to it's normal at rest position.

    I carry all six holes filled. All of the revolver "shooting accidents" I've ever know about, or seen or read about, involved an individual pointing the gun at themselves or another and pulling the trigger. That is, 100% were the net result of human negligence. Which is pretty close to the record with semi-autos. There has not been a failure of either of the two above safety systems, that either manufacturer has determined, nor have I or anyone else to my knowledge. With the courts of today, if there was a problem the lawyers would have forced a change in them by now.

    I will tell you, that with only one exception, all of the dozen or so revolver "accidents" that I know about, were coming from the holster in something other than strong side carry. Crossing the body with the muzzly pointed at;
    1. Your own body parts.
    2. Your partner.
    3. Others at the range/ hunting field.

    This means cross draw or shoulder holsters. And of the few people I've met in Alaska that insist on carrying this way, they were afraid of the mechanical safety I've described above, and only loaded five in a six shot cylinder. The first shot of a double action revolver fired DA, is to the right of the one under the hammer (for Ruger and S&W) leaving this empty would tend to make the gun idiot proof, but would likely get you killed if you needed to shoot quick.

    Using correct holster technique, from a strong side carry, with regular practice is the only safe guard needed, other than the gun design. And, don't tell me that a back pack can't be used with a strong side carry, I've done it, many times and still do it everytime I wear a pack. I can, it works, and I can access the gun much quicker than any cross draw or shoulder rig. If you don't believe this, meet me in the street tomorrow at high noon.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  3. #3

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    Murphy,

    I have a S&W with a hammer block. It does seem pretty fail proof. I or something would have to pull or engage the trigger.

    Your comments on strong side versus cross draw shoulder are well taken. My primary carry use will be when hiking and fly fishing. I went with the vertical shoulder rig since that seems to work best with waders and holds the gun high. Its also works good with my pack.

    I may still pick up a stong side holster for when I don't need the shoulder. Either case, I like the vertical orientation as opposed to a chest holster. Contol of muzzle orientation is a very valid concern with any cross draw.

    Thanks for your comments,

    Hiker

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    Default Revolver safety

    Quote Originally Posted by hiker View Post
    ...whether an unloaded cylinder is warranted.

    Thanks in advance.

    Hiker
    Hiker,

    I have to take exception to one thing you put in your post before congratulating you on all the things you said and are doing right.

    An unloaded cylinder would make a revolver totally incapable of firing, because all the chambers in the cylinder would be empty. Keeping the use of the terms "cylinder" and "chamber" correct will relieve a lot of confusion in the discussion to follow in this thread.

    Now, on to your questions.

    I thought I was the only one to consider leaving two chambers empty for safety. But even I think that is WAY over the top.

    The reason to leave the chamber in the firing position empty is to prevent an AD (accidental discharge) caused by something striking the back of the hammer, driving the firing pin into the primer. This can be by an object falling onto the hamer from above or by the gun falling hammer first onto a hard surface. Also, something may snag the hammer, draw it back and release it to strike drive the firing pin into the primer.

    Modern double action revolvers are immune to these types of AD. Their designs prevent the firing pin from being pressed to the primer unless the trigger is depressed fully. Ruger New Model single action revolvers, too.

    Single action revolvers are a different story. Un-retrofitted "Old Model" Rugers, Freedom Arms in the major calibers, reproduction model revolvers, Colt's single actions, they can and will fire a round in the chamber under the hammer if the hammer is struck. (Some single action revolvers allow you to rest the hammer/firing pin BETWEEN chambers and have a method for keeping the cylinder at that position.)

    So, the first question is, "Will your .44 be single action or double action?" If double action, all chambers in your cylinder can be safely loaded. If a single action, it will depend on if it is one of those which have a passive safety.

    If the revolver CAN have that kind of accidental discharge, a lot will depend on the type of holster in which you will carry it. A full flap holster might give you enough confidence to carry all chambers loaded. Most shooters will not recommend that.

    My recommendation would be a double action revolver since it is quicker to get into action (and make followup shots) than a single action. Both important in defending against a suddenly charging bear. With the side benefit of not worrying about that empty chamber.

    Will you be buying new? The owner's manual should tell you if fully loading the cylinder (all chambers) is safe. If you are buying used from a store, almost all stores will have salespeople who can help you determine what you need to know. If private party sale, you are on your own. But from reading your post, I am sure you have enough on the ball to figure it out. Also, a web search will reveal most manufacturers make their owner's manuals available online. The hard part there is to determine if the model of the gun matches the manual.

    Good luck,

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

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    Default Revolver safety and cross-draw holsters

    Well, obviously my post was too long. While I composed it (to make it shorter) Murphy posted and you had time to answer.

    Murphy's post caught my eye. I use a right handed cross-draw holster. I often carry with the gun over my appendix. The appendix carry keeps the grip near my right hand, but out of the way of my arm swing while hiking. I only have to make sure not to pee on the muzzle, which is in an obvious location, but pointing FORWARD, away from my vitals.

    When drawing the gun, I have an AWFUL time trying to swing the muzzle across any part of my body. How might I do that? (Not that I want to, I want to make sure I DON'T. If I am doing it without noticing, I really want to know.) Same question applies with the holster on my left side, 1/3 of the way from my navel to my left hip.

    The gun is a 7.5" barrelled Ruger Super Redhawk or Redhawk.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    Well, obviously my post was too long. While I composed it (to make it shorter) Murphy posted and you had time to answer.

    Murphy's post caught my eye. I use a right handed cross-draw holster. I often carry with the gun over my appendix. The appendix carry keeps the grip near my right hand, but out of the way of my arm swing while hiking. I only have to make sure not to pee on the muzzle, which is in an obvious location, but pointing FORWARD, away from my vitals.

    When drawing the gun, I have an AWFUL time trying to swing the muzzle across any part of my body. How might I do that? (Not that I want to, I want to make sure I DON'T. If I am doing it without noticing, I really want to know.) Same question applies with the holster on my left side, 1/3 of the way from my navel to my left hip.

    The gun is a 7.5" barrelled Ruger Super Redhawk or Redhawk.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)
    Larry,

    I think you're asking at what part of you does the muzzle sweep during the draw. In a cross draw you reach across your belly and pull the gun the muzzle points at your left wrist. (for a right handed shooter) When drawing from the sitting position the muzzle will sweep the upper thighs.

    I think with your belly carry, as you walk, the muzzle covers your upper thigh and if you have to be careful not to pee on it, there may be other more important parts that are in jeopardy. And of course all of these cover anyone who may wander along your left side.

    When we develop skills for a quick presentation with a strong side draw, which usually culminates in a two handed grip, we must train the support hand to go to the belt buckle to keep it from getting ahead of the right (it does because it has no load of gun weight) and the muzzle will then point at the left hand at a very bad time. (Safety off, finger on or near the trigger) In the cross draw, there is really no way to keep the muzzle from sweeping the left wrist or forearm without swinging it behind your back, which is unnatural and will off balance the other movements. I suppose one could train for this type of presentation, but the fact that you don't know you do it makes me think you haven noticed it or trained to avoid it.

    A shoulder rig (miami vice setup) keeps the muzzle pointing at the rear and anyone behind you, and drawing it points the muzzle at your upper arm. The vertical shoulder (Bianchi X14) Places the muzzle in an only slightly better position, but points down at some important bones and if a round goes inside the pelvic crest, survival would be rough.

    In a strong side carry, hip holster, you can sit down and the worst injury from an AD would just trim some unwanted surface fat off your thigh or posterior. No other carry is a safe or benign as the strong side, hip holster carry.

    When carrying a handgun for protection from vermin, two or four legged, we may have to draw quickly and our attention is on the target, and shooting will be very quick. If any conscience thought is needed to move parts out of the way or to manipulate the gun, there may be problems. We react to these situations the way we train. We can't wait for the time to come then think about what to do, so thinking about your parts or the position of your buddy probably won't happen.

    Remember if you never point a gun at anything you don't want to shoot, you'll never shoot anything you don't want to shoot.
    Last edited by Murphy; 02-16-2008 at 15:02.
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  7. #7

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    Hi Murph and Larry,

    While I agree completely about muzzle control, a strong side draw from the belt is difficult if not impossible while wearing many backpacks or chest waders. Waist belts on most packs also interfere with the holster. With lots of experimenting and wear over the years, I've settled on a break-front shoulder holster as the best possible compromise for me between accessibility and safety.

    It rides high enough to clear chest waders and it's accessible without throwing your elbow back to colide with the pack as happens to me in a strong side draw. The Bianchi's I've used so long (X-15?) point the muzzle straight down in carry, so that's no more problematic than strongside carry. As the muzzle clears the holster, it is pointed no further back than a revolver coming from a hoslter with any forward cant in a strong side draw. If your weak arm is raised a little as I practice, the muzzle never points at any part of your body as you sweep from the holster into firing position.

    It takes practice, as does any holster, but in the two situations Larry cites, breakfront shoulder holsters work far better for me than strong side draw from a belt holster. Remove the pack or the chestwaders, and I'll aways carry a conventional belt holster on my strong side.

    Yeah, it's a compromise, but for me it's a compromise that has made lots of sense in the circumstances Larry describes.

  8. #8

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    Larry, Brownbear & Murphy,

    I have a 329pd so it is double action. My vertical shoulder holster is an Alessi and is a breakfront holster. The top of the holster fully covers the hammer and trigger is enclosed during carry. When drawing, you pull down and forward to break the front snap and then draw the weapon. If the belt loop is attached adjusted properly, it will be very difficult for the muzzle to point into the pelvis cavity. The gun will point low and to the left during draw. I will practice the draw and pay attention to my left hand placement and muzzle orientation.

    Thanks for all of your comments - I've found this forum to be an extremely valuable learning tool.

    Hiker

  9. #9

    Default carry position

    I have carried in all the positions that have been mentioned during my checkered personal career with handguns. I used to favor the crossdraw because it just plain felt natural to me. But, as was mentioned, it was the way I trained and practised regularly that made the difference between being safe and having holes created where they shouldn't be. I know of one guy years ago in my old haunts that truly destroyed his left wrist making a crossdraw pull and placing his finger immediately on the trigger. I made sure that my finger was never on the trigger until the firearm was pointed in the proper direction. That being said, I did ultimately evolve into using the strongside draw for the reasons mentioned, except for carrying my usual Super Blackhawk in the bush, as I felt better drawing the 7 1/2" barreled gun crossdraw, but then I was almost always alone at those times. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, most of us don't train and practise as we should, so I would agree that strongside carry is best, as long as the trigger finger isn't placed prematurely.

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    Default Crossdraw holster dangers

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Larry,

    I think you're asking at what part of you does the muzzle sweep during the draw. In a cross draw you reach across your belly and pull the gun the muzzle points at your left wrist. (for a right handed shooter) When drawing from the sitting position the muzzle will sweep the upper thighs.

    I think with your belly carry, as you walk, the muzzle covers your upper thigh and if you have to be careful not to pee on it, there may be other more important parts that are in jeopardy. And of course all of these cover anyone who may wander along your left side.
    Murphy, Mauserboy, Hiker and BrownBear,

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Yes, I never thought about my left forearm, which might be swept by my muzzle during presentation of my Ruger. So I reviewed my typical draw and found that I have always instictively put my left hand on the holster, just in front of the gun's cylinder to secure the holster. Not that it needs to be held. The holster is just fine secured by the belt alone. So, my fingers are swept momentarily just as the gun clears leather. After that, my left hand goes directly to the grip for a two-handed hold. If my left foot is forward at the time, it is also swept.

    Since my appendix carry points the gun toward the ground about three or four feet to my left and about 3 feet in front of me I am constantly putting my left knee, shin and foot in view of the muzzle. I always figured that was an acceptable risk because the entire trigger housing is inside the holster and the thumb break completely covers the hammer. Hiking with companions is usually single file and I try to avoid being to anyone's right as well.

    That addresses hiking. Seated, however, is a totally different situation. Likewise during activities like tending the campstove, setting up a tent, gathering wood, etc.

    The advice about keeping the muzzle dry was an attempt at humor. The appendix carry is far enough to the right that the muzzle is still to the right of my midline. I suppose a skinny guy with a long barrel (on the gun) might have a concern, but I ain't that guy.

    So, thanks, everyone. You have given me a lot to think about.

    For instance, in going through this analysis, I figured out that my practice sessions are faulty. My plan, upon being surprized by a bear in the woods, is to draw and fire bear spray first (if it appears there might be time) with my left hand and draw the revolver with my right to be ready if the bear spray does not work. I have practised these separately. DUH! Where's my left hand now!? Time to re-think. Thanks again.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Sheep View Post
    Murphy, Mauserboy, Hiker and BrownBear,

    Thank you for your thoughts.

    Yes, I never thought about my left forearm, which might be swept by my muzzle during presentation of my Ruger. So I reviewed my typical draw and found that I have always instictively put my left hand on the holster, just in front of the gun's cylinder to secure the holster. Not that it needs to be held. The holster is just fine secured by the belt alone. So, my fingers are swept momentarily just as the gun clears leather. After that, my left hand goes directly to the grip for a two-handed hold. If my left foot is forward at the time, it is also swept.

    Since my appendix carry points the gun toward the ground about three or four feet to my left and about 3 feet in front of me I am constantly putting my left knee, shin and foot in view of the muzzle. I always figured that was an acceptable risk because the entire trigger housing is inside the holster and the thumb break completely covers the hammer. Hiking with companions is usually single file and I try to avoid being to anyone's right as well.

    That addresses hiking. Seated, however, is a totally different situation. Likewise during activities like tending the campstove, setting up a tent, gathering wood, etc.

    The advice about keeping the muzzle dry was an attempt at humor. The appendix carry is far enough to the right that the muzzle is still to the right of my midline. I suppose a skinny guy with a long barrel (on the gun) might have a concern, but I ain't that guy.

    So, thanks, everyone. You have given me a lot to think about.

    For instance, in going through this analysis, I figured out that my practice sessions are faulty. My plan, upon being surprized by a bear in the woods, is to draw and fire bear spray first (if it appears there might be time) with my left hand and draw the revolver with my right to be ready if the bear spray does not work. I have practised these separately. DUH! Where's my left hand now!? Time to re-think. Thanks again.

    Larry (Lost Sheep)
    Larry,

    I would have to agree that a gun at rest in a holster is pretty safe, it is the draw or the "adjustment" of it that could bring a problem. I get the humor about the wet muzzle but remember some barrels are longer (or shorter) than others.

    The fact that you are more aware of the situation now is better and I don't mean to say that if you don't carry straight up on the strong side hip that you are unsafe, but muzzle control is still an important consideration. No shoulder to shoulder handgun competition rules allow a cross draw because of the others on the line. We would also have trouble getting the hunting/hiking partner to always walk on the right side. But, just like getting used to shooting left handed, great skills can be developed with non conventional methods.

    I know a fellow who, for 25 or so years, was a Highway Patrol (Trooper) and for about four or five years, this force had been carrying the model 220 SiG, 45 ACP. Well, the only safe way to carry a SiG is decocked by the decock lever. For years he would start the morning by loading the gun, decocking it then holster it in the patrol approved Safariland retention type holster, specifically designed for the SiG to fully cover the trigger. At the end of his shift this one day as he took off his seat belt to get out of the car (he said for about the fortieth time this day) he placed his right hand on the top of the guns grip to push the gun outward to reach the buckle with his left hand, as he had done so many times that day. He discharged the gun into the catalytic converter of his Crown Vic. The muzzle blast burned a hole in his uniform pants and left powder burns on his underwear, but he was unscathed, a bit chagrin, but unharmed. We told him he left it cocked, he denied it but I think he knew that was the only way it could happen. The cheap Sig didn't cycle, failed to eject the spent round, go figure, it was strapped in the holster.

    An individual makes a personal decision about how to carry and with enough experience and training he can make a good decision and carry it safely. With the carry comes a great deal of responsibility, part of that is to not make oneself a casualty or to fail society by wrecklessly endangering the lives of others. As long as we do that, we are good to go. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

    In the movie "The Shootist" When young Gillam Rodgers asked why only five rounds in the old Colt revolver, Mr. J.B. Books tells Gillam "You only load five for safety, keep the hammer down on an empty chamber." Then Gillam asks; "But What if you've gotta face bad guys?" The Shootist replies; "Well, if your insides tell you to load six, load six."
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Hi Murph and Larry,

    While I agree completely about muzzle control, a strong side draw from the belt is difficult if not impossible while wearing many backpacks or chest waders. Waist belts on most packs also interfere with the holster. With lots of experimenting and wear over the years, I've settled on a break-front shoulder holster as the best possible compromise for me between accessibility and safety.

    It rides high enough to clear chest waders and it's accessible without throwing your elbow back to colide with the pack as happens to me in a strong side draw. The Bianchi's I've used so long (X-15?) point the muzzle straight down in carry, so that's no more problematic than strongside carry. As the muzzle clears the holster, it is pointed no further back than a revolver coming from a hoslter with any forward cant in a strong side draw. If your weak arm is raised a little as I practice, the muzzle never points at any part of your body as you sweep from the holster into firing position.

    It takes practice, as does any holster, but in the two situations Larry cites, breakfront shoulder holsters work far better for me than strong side draw from a belt holster. Remove the pack or the chestwaders, and I'll aways carry a conventional belt holster on my strong side.

    Yeah, it's a compromise, but for me it's a compromise that has made lots of sense in the circumstances Larry describes.
    I don't disagree with the muzzle down X-15 type shoulder carry, it points in as safe a direction as the strong side. But generally draw uses the left hand to grasp or press on the bottom of the holster as the right draws the gun. This is the most critical time for we may or may not have all the fingers and thumb on the gun correctly and the muzzle does then sweep the left hand/forearm. Certainly good training and practice can prevent this situation and I won't deny that it can be accomplished safely. And of course as different needs arise, such as with chest waders, then we would be better equipped to cope with the higher carry as it is part of our routine.

    I do think that for those of us who have a lot of experience with safely handling handguns, we carry them safely whether on the belt or in a shoulder holster.
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  13. #13

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    Others have already voiced many good points on this, but I'll chime in just to add my voice as well...

    I consider revolvers to be relatively safe. Expecting one to go off accidentally is a bit like expecting a bicycle to start pedaling by itself; it's a mechanical device that needs to be physically actuated in order for it to fire. I've heard you can throw a revolver on the pavement and it won't go off. (That was said by an Insights gun safety trainer. I still wouldn't try it, though.)

    I've never heard of anyone carrying their revolver with an empty chamber, but I have heard it recommended to civilians who carry automatics that they carry their gun with no round in the chamber. Even with modern DAO automatics, I still wouldn't trust them enough to carry with a live round ready to fire.

    Reguardless of what type of gun you carry, most of the "safety" comes from the user, not the gun itself. If you can manage to take a gun course taught by a professional, they will teach not only basic safety but also will make you aware of the safety concerns with handling & different methods of carry.

    I don't think it's been mentioned, but I'd only buy guns that are new; you never know when people will botch a home hair-trigger job on their handguns.

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    Default Condition 2 Carry...

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfeye View Post
    I've never heard of anyone carrying their revolver with an empty chamber, but I have heard it recommended to civilians who carry automatics that they carry their gun with no round in the chamber. Even with modern DAO automatics, I still wouldn't trust them enough to carry with a live round ready to fire.
    I have complete faith in my Glock and it is always carried in Condition 1 (full w/round in chamber). You can drop it and just like a modern DA revolver, it won't fire due to impact. The trigger must be pulled to the rear far enough to disengage 3 independent safeties for the striker to be able to move forward and hit the primer.

    There are other autos that I don't trust to this level and the small bedside pistol that is available for the wife is in Condition 2 (full mag w/empty chamber) because I don't like the single, simplistic hammer block design on that gun. So, I've taught her how to draw, rack, disengage safety, then shoot and that's what I have her practice at the range. It's very important to practice the draw and rack sequence (often called the "Israeli Carry") so that the two tasks become one movement.
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    Default

    Joat. I have a Glock and i have a single action revolver and even though they call the glock a safe action and it has "3 safetys" i really dont feel safe carying it in a holster because there is no other safty than the trigger. I would feel alot safer with a style gun that i can put the hammer down when its not in use. I feel totally safe with my SA revolver loaded because i know that the hammer has to be pulled back for that gun to be fired. I do like the glock firearms but i just dont feel safe carying one. But that is just my feeling and i also keep my long guns without one in the tube unless im in areas with bear danger or am actually ready to fire.

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    Default should have mentioned this...

    And personal comfort is just as important as the gun mechanics. If you're more comfortable with a Condition 2 carry, as long as you train for that method, then that's what you should do. Being out of your comfort zone and worried about the gun is enough distraction and stress that it might just override much of the benefit of being armed in the first place. So, carry with comfort.
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    Arrow Carry Conditions 0-4

    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    ...the small bedside pistol that is available for the wife is in Condition 2 (full mag w/empty chamber)
    Your description actually describes Condition 3, not Condition 2.

    Jeff Cooper came up with the "Condition" system to describe the state of readiness of the 1911 pistol. He defined them as:
    Condition 0 - A round is in the chamber, hammer is cocked, and the safety is off.
    Condition 1 - Also known as "cocked and locked," means a round is in the chamber, the hammer is cocked, and the manual thumb safety on the side of the frame is applied.
    Condition 2 - A round is in the chamber and the hammer is down.
    Condition 3 - The chamber is empty and hammer is down with a charged magazine in the gun.
    Condition 4 - The chamber is empty, hammer is down and no magazine is in the gun.

    Short of Condition 1 with a pistol you feel safe/comfortable with, I think Condition 3 is a great choice. Condition 4 is horribly slow for defensive purposes, and Condition 2 requires carefully decocking the hammer every time you load your pistol, which leaves many opportunities for error. If you happen to have a 1911 style pistol with a de-cocking lever, Condition 2 could also be a good solution.

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    Murphy:
    That’s a real education you’ve given. Including the difference in hammer block, and transfer bar. I’ve been calling them the same thing.

    I am encouraged that I’ve been doing the right thing all along, the “strong side carry”, even though it wasn’t for all the right reasons. I just find a cross draw to be unhandy. (“No amount of planning will ever replace Dumb Luck”)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since I have not had them modified, I marked one chamber on my Ruger Single Six and the same on my Wifeys Ruger BearCat with nail polish on both sides, so I can skip loading it with the others, and then put it under the hammer when we carry. I’ve done it this way for years, and even explained it to my Trusty Wife.

    This because, I understand that the safety notch could break if the gun was dropped on the hammer. It seems silly to me to skip loading the one to the left or right, though. With my New Model Ruger Blackhawk 357, I load all 6 chambers.

    Hopefully that establishes my desire for safety.

    Howsomever, I will admit to this “personal comfort” thing. I usta own a genuine Military 1911 Colt Automatic, in 45 ACP. It was made by Underwood Typewriter, or some such company. I wish I still had it.

    Anyway, I couldn’t make myself believe that if I just put the safety on it would be safe. Maybe, because I had to pull the slide back a little to get the safety on, and the hammer was cocked. (Yes, I knew about the grip safety.)

    So, when I felt the need to carry it with a round in the chamber, I put the hammer on Half-Cock, so all I had to do was pull it back and fire. Then, I only had to worry about dropping it on the hammer. Later, I hear that with the Safety On, it’s called “Cocked and Locked”, and it’s THE safe way to carry a 1911, but it still SEEMS unsafe to me, like maybe something dreamed up by the Guv’munt, and not to be trusted.

    So, JOAT, I’m glad to hear that ““personal comfort is just as important as the gun mechanics””. It makes me feel some better. Maybe not that much, but some.

    Does anyone care to address this “Cocked and Locked” stuff, and make me feel worser?

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  19. #19
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewInAlaska View Post
    Your description actually describes Condition 3, not Condition 2.
    Sorry, but we don't use that old 1911 system for general purpose. It runs from 1-3 with 3 being completely empty, 2 with magazine full and empty chamber, and 1 is fully loaded with full chamber. This the standard used with LE in Alaska and is used to describe the condition of every gun, so it is not limited to the 1911.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  20. #20
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    Jan 2008
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    Anchorage
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    Default Where's the hammer?

    Quote Originally Posted by rlcofmn View Post
    Joat. I have a Glock and i have a single action revolver and even though they call the glock a safe action and it has "3 safetys" i really dont feel safe carying it in a holster because there is no other safty than the trigger. I would feel alot safer with a style gun that i can put the hammer down when its not in use. I feel totally safe with my SA revolver loaded because i know that the hammer has to be pulled back for that gun to be fired. I do like the glock firearms but i just dont feel safe carying one. But that is just my feeling and i also keep my long guns without one in the tube unless im in areas with bear danger or am actually ready to fire.
    rlcofmn,

    I don't disagree with your positions, but want to present two facts you might want to consider if you have not already.

    The Glock's hammer, like a DA revolver, must be drawn back by trigger action before the hammer spring has enough energy to ignite the primer. In all Glocks, after the slide has cycled, the hammer is at a half-cock (more like 1/3, if I remember correctly). In that way, it is as safe as any DA revolver with the hammer down.

    Depending on the make of your SA revolver, hammer down over a chamber with a live round may not be completely safe. Colts, reproductions, Freedom Arms in major calibers, unretrofitted Old Model Rugers, all can fire if the back of the hammer is hit, either by the ground if you drop the gun or by a falling object. I had a neighbor with a 44 caliber groove down the back of his right calf courtesy of a stirrup that fell off a saddle horn onto his holstered single action revolver.

    I hope I helped,

    Larry (Lost Sheep)

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