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SA auto safety training?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by glock39, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. glock39

    glock39

    392
    47
    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    I have owned several SA autos before, but they were mainly target guns. I've got a SA auto on order, to use as a CCW. Which means I need to spend some serious time training in the proper use of the 1911-style thumb safety.

    I've heard some people say that you should train to flip the safety off as soon as you clear the holster. But this would seem to nullify some the benefit of having a safety in the first place. I mean, if you trip and fall down while carrying the pistol, or are fighting an attacker for possession of the pistol, then having the thumb safety engaged helps to keep the pistol from going Bang! before you planned on it.

    And drawing the pistol is not necessarily the same thing as being ready to shoot (if a mugger threatens me with a knife, then hopefully just displaying the pistol will solve the problem).

    What are the various schools of thought on when the thumb safety should be disengaged? My first thought, admittedly from target shooting, is that the safety should only be disengaged when the sights are on target, and you are actually ready to shoot. However, I've never had tins cans shoot back at me, so I'm happy to listen to those with more knowledge of actual combat. Having the pistol not go Bang, because you forgot to disengage the safety, could also also ruin your day (under some circumstances).
     
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    4,706
    378
    Nov 6, 2005
    It's "different strokes for different folks," depending what they're doing with the gun. In a combat match, I release the safety of my 1911 or other single action auto as the gun is coming up, with the muzzle about 45 degrees to the ground...but in a combat match, I KNOW I'm drawing with the intention of immediately firing, and I KNOW the target isn't going to try to rip the gun out of my hand.

    For gunpoint, I personally think the ideal is finger out of the trigger guard, safety of the 1911 still engaged, and thumb riding atop that safety ready to swipe it down as the finger starts to move to the trigger once the decision to fire has been made.

    One guy's opinion...FWIW, YMMV, and all of that.

    Key thing when changing weapons platforms is drill yourself to work it so safety lever manipulation becomes second nature.

    Best of luck,
    Mas
     


  3. glock39

    glock39

    392
    47
    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    Does having your thumb resting on top of the safety lead to the likelihood of the safety being knocked off if, for example, someone tries to grab the gun away from you? I'm thinking of a slightly more graduated response:

    1) draw pistol, leaving thumb under or next to safety

    2) target sighted, bring pistol up and move thumb to top of safety, finger outside trigger guard

    3) decision to fire, swipe safety off, put finger on trigger


    In case of emergency, skip step 1

    I don't want to make this too difficult to remember or deal with under stress. But, as you correctly deduced, I'm transitioning from a Glock to a SA auto, and I'm trying to figure out what good habits I need to learn. Am I making this too complicated?
     
  4. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    4,706
    378
    Nov 6, 2005
    Yup, might be making it too complicated. Your first and second steps combine. If you hadn't already perceived a threat, it's unlikely you would have drawn in the first place.
    Best,
    Mas
     
  5. glock39

    glock39

    392
    47
    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    Good point. Thanks for helping me think this through.