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Cocked and Locked

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Cameraguy, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Cameraguy


    Oct 10, 2009
    I hate to appear stupid, but having no experience with 1911s, I'm wondering:

    Why is a 1911 considered safe when carried this way as opposed to a DAO semi-auto or a DA/DAO revolver?

    From what little I've been able to read, it seems that it has something to do with a sear. What is a sear and its purpose?

    It seems to me that you are carrying a SA semi-auto with a very light trigger pull that it could be easily fired when not meant to.

    If someone could explain this to me or direct me to some further information, I would appreciate it.
  2. Navitimer


    Apr 29, 2009
    Hey man, no worries with asking any questions. With a 1911 in condition 1 (i.e., round in chamber, safety on), some would argue that you're being "safer" than with say, a Glock, carrying with one in the chamber. I alternate between Glocks and my 1911s and have no problem carrying "cocked & locked." I never carry concealed (or otherwise) unless the trigger is fully protected in a holster, so I have comfort that nothing can touch the trigger. In addition, the safety is on, and on top of that, the grip safety must still be disengaged before the 1911 will fire. I hear you on the fact that some could argue a double action revolver may seem safer, due to the weight in trigger pull. It's really all about what you get used to and works for you. I think a lot of folks get freaked out by cocked/locked 1911s cause they look a little scary with the hammer back, but I've never had any serious concerns (other than my normal caution when carrying) with a 1911. Plus, it's been around for 100 years now! Hope this helps!

  3. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008
    It's considered "safe" due to the fact that there's a thumbsafety and grip safety. If you need specifics on how they work then start playing around with this to get an idea.
  4. My sig only has to have the trigger pulled for it to go bang. My 1911 has to have the thumb safety on the slide disengaged, the beaver tail safety on the rear grip has to be pushed in, and the trigger has to be pressed. Yes the 1911 has a lighter trigger pull but in my opinion it is safer.
  5. Pima Pants

    Pima Pants Urine Idiot

    Jan 23, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    It just looks scary because the evil hammer is visible. Glock: pull trigger and it goes "bang". 1911: Disengage thumb safety, disengage grip safety then pull trigger and it goes "bang". Hmmm...which is safer?
  6. rsxr22


    Feb 25, 2009
    Youngstown, OH
    not a stupid question at all cameraguy!

    Everyone has to learn somewhere and you definitely chose the right place to get your info. Responses so far have been spot on. Like before said, There is a thumb safety inbetween you pulling the trigger and the gun going bang that must be disengaged first in order to fire. You must designate some time to training if you are unfamiliar with the 1911 platform, but they are awesome and addicting because of its ergonomics and crisp trigger which you will quickly find out
  7. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    Just to add I would say that a DA revolver is more forgiving of poor gun handling than a 1911 overall but that does not make the 1911 unsafe to carry C&L. I agree the Glock would worry me more than the 1911 being carried all things being equal. Not that the Glock is unsafe, just that less has to "accidentally" occur for the gun to discharge overall.

    I actually takes quite a bit for a 1911 to discharge. A 1911 C&L is a 100 year design and does not have a reputation as a unsafe firearm. I would think that after 100 years if it was the reputation would be there.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  8. jtull7

    jtull7 Pistolero CLM

    Jan 27, 2006
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Give me break.
  9. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I think a cocked and locked 1911 is one of the safest handguns you can carry.
  10. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    I would agree.

    I would say the HK P7 would be the absolute safest.
  11. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    I never carried mine, but it is a very safe design.
  12. Ruggles


    Jun 13, 2005
    I tried to carry mine but the balance of it was never right for me. I love the design but it is just not a good carry gun for me. I really think it would be very difficult to have a ND/AD with a P7.
  13. bac1023


    Sep 26, 2004
    It certainly would.
  14. condition 1 is the only way to go.
  15. Geeorge

    Geeorge Sarcasm Inc.

  16. ajstrider

    ajstrider Silent Warrior

    Apr 17, 2005
    Western Kentucky
    Well no one has mentioned accidentally dropping of the gun and how safe that is, until now! It wasn't until the early 1980's that 1911 received a firing pin blocking mechanism to prevent accidental discharge when dropped. Before this was added, you could feasibly drop the gun, and if the internals are jarred hard enough, sear disengages and the hammer falls forward, discharging the gun. Different companies now add their firing pin blocks in different ways, a lot are attached to the trigger, thus changing the smooth trigger pull sometimes. This is why a lot of people are fond of the older 1911's, they can mechanically have a smoother functioning trigger. Just for thought, Glocks have the same type of firing pin block connected to their trigger, thus the claim that a Glock can only be fired when the trigger is pulled. Revolvers have had to go through the same update too, newer revolvers have a transfer bar safety as they call it. Older revolvers often had a half-cock position, where the hammer is pulled back just a bit, so it not making contact with firing pin or shell if firing pin was connected to hammer. This would prevent the gun from firing if the hammer was hit hard enough while it made contact with the shell, and also the sear was not fully engaged so dropping it would have no effect on the hammer dropping. I hope this makes sense, but dropping of a gun must also be considered when referring to safety.
  17. R*E


    May 12, 2008


    Dec 19, 2007

    You do not have an understanding on how a Glock works.
  19. TheJ

    TheJ NRA Life Member Lifetime Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    I'm not certain of that from his post. I suspect he may be just confusing "accidental" and "negligent" discharge, no? Some see Glock as somewhat less forgiving of negligence even after they understand how it actually works.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  20. This is not as easy to do as you may think.
    First of all they have done quite a bit of testing on this and it is usually found that it takes a unrealistic height to make a 1911 discharge.
    Certainly not from the height of your hand or holster.
    It would also require a major malfunction in the thumb safety if it is on like it should be.
    Grip safety too.
    Parts need to break to give the sear clearance to move and then allow the gun to fire.
    All in all in is unlikely to occur in a normal dropping of the gun.
    The firing pin block systems were put in to satisfy the liability lawyers and states such as California who want to put unrealistic restrictions on guns.