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Thread: Should safety be on when running between targets?

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    Should safety be on when running between targets?

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    I know with all guns finger needs to be out of trigger guard.

    With a 1911 style gun should the safety be on between targets?

    What about a Sig P226? There is no safety so do you drop the hammer?

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    Senior Member BackyardCowboy's Avatar
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    Are there any competition rules about handguns with safeties?
    Are you "in control" enough that your finger won't slip onto the trigger as you are moving to a new position?
    Is there a safety officer following behind watching to ensure you always point down rainge?
    Does you weapon have an SA mode (hair trigger) ?
    What will keep you and everyone else there safe?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GBJeffOH View Post
    I know with all guns finger needs to be out of trigger guard.

    With a 1911 style gun should the safety be on between targets?

    What about a Sig P226? There is no safety so do you drop the hammer?
    Its up to the shooter. With a 1911 or similar firearm I engage the safety, with a DA/SA auto I would not decock.

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    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    IPSC/SWPL rules used to require that the safety be "on," your finger be off of the trigger, and the pistol pointed downrange, whenever a competitor moved during a match.
    There were certain exceptions, for instance when involved in an event which required shooting while moving (The Mexican Defense, etc.).
    However, it has been a long time since I've competed, and things certainly will have changed.

    The "safety-on" rule applied also to TDA pistols, which meant that the shooter 'started all over again" with a DA trigger after every move.
    That has probably changed too, as VAMarine noted.

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    Member Smitty79's Avatar
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    In USPSA, there is no requirement to put on the safety while moving. Muzzle may not break the "180" and you must have your finger clearly out of the trigger guard.

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    Junior Member OldManMontgomery's Avatar
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    "Rules" don't always reflect reality.

    Competition or not, basic safety conditions require 'making the gun safe' - either engaging the manual safety or lowering the hammer - when moving. The sole exception being shooting while moving if needed.

    Whereas certain shooting 'programs' may forbid or allow certain actions or mechanisms as part of the rules, ignoring good practice is usually bad practice. Running with a cocked pistol of any sort is not smart practice.
    win231 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManMontgomery View Post
    Competition or not, basic safety conditions require 'making the gun safe' - either engaging the manual safety or lowering the hammer - when moving. The sole exception being shooting while moving if needed.

    Whereas certain shooting 'programs' may forbid or allow certain actions or mechanisms as part of the rules, ignoring good practice is usually bad practice. Running with a cocked pistol of any sort is not smart practice.

    So anyone with a Glock, XD, M&P, PPQ, VP9, Kahr or any other striker fired pistol should never move with it (in hand?)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    So anyone with a Glock, XD, M&P, PPQ, VP9, Kahr or any other striker fired pistol should never move with it (in hand?)
    Quibbling, niggling, pettifogging, and nit-picking will not be permitted in this thread.


    But seriously, folks...
    Striker-fired-DAO and similarly controlled hammer-fired pistols are perfectly safe during movement, as long as the person using that gun keeps his finger well off the trigger.
    The long (and sometimes hard) trigger action of such guns is the only safety device needed. Oh...and the "universal safety device" between one's ears too, of course.

  9. #9
    Junior Member OldManMontgomery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine
    So anyone with a Glock, XD, M&P, PPQ, VP9, Kahr or any other striker fired pistol should never move with it (in hand?)
    Well, since you ask:

    Steve has given the politically correct answer. It actually has some merit in reality. However, I think it requires some expansion and explanation.

    First, your question which includes an implied statement demonstrates a lack of understanding. The included statement in your question implies all 'striker fired' pistols are the same. They are not. There have been many striker fired pistols manufactured with manual safeties. A striker fired pistol indicates a pistol where the force to move the firing pin to ignite the primer is supplied only by a compressed striker spring; as opposed to a hammer activated pistol.

    For instance, the Savage pistols (made from 1907 to about 1928) are in fact striker fired. However, they require a manual safety. There are others.

    I presume (as does seemingly Steve) you are thinking of pistols following the Glock example of a 'safe action' pistol. The trigger must be moved through a 'long' (which is a relative term) pull which fully compresses the striker spring and then releases the sear - or whatever the manufacturer calls the part holding the striker from falling.

    As Steve explains, this type of pistol is considered safe during movement AS LONG AS THE PERSON USING THAT GUN KEEPS HIS FINGER WELL OFF THE TRIGGER. I have taken the liberty of capitalizing the pertinent part. This part deserves some consideration. The Glock 'safe action' trigger features a 'block' which prevents the trigger from moving UNLESS pressure is directed against that block, which then allows the trigger to move. This is the weakness of the Glock safe action. I presume the other actions derived from the Glock 'safe action' contain the same weakness.

    When running, one's motor skills are diverted from fully focusing on gun handling. If in the event of a mis-footing, stumble or fall, the natural 'clenching' effect of the nervous system can easily cause the trigger finger to 'clench' on the trigger. This will quite possibly fire a 'safe action' type pistol, and may even cause a double action revolver to fire. (Usually a double-action revolver takes more effort than a semi-automatic pistol, even 'safe-action'.)

    So, even without competition rules, running with a sidearm is hazardous. A pistol with a manual safety, one that blocks trigger movement (preferably sear from disengaging) is still more secure than a non-blocked trigger/sear.

    Quick aside: A double-action/single-action semi-automatic pistol is the worst offender. I have seen people armed with da/sa pistols move (run, walk, skip, waddle) from point to point with the pistol cocked, rather than lower the hammer and then face the long 'first shot' again. Most competitions have noted this and regulated against it. However, by comparison, the 'safe-action' seems rather 'safe' vice the sa/da pistol.

    So. If the rules allow such and such, one may perform such an act. However, acts which are unsafe are unsafe - whether the person performing the act is aware of the danger or not.

    Steve said something else worth noting. His closing statement about the "universal safety device" between one's ears. It must be developed at all costs. For some, the cost is an embarrassing round fired out of season.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManMontgomery View Post
    ...Steve has given the politically correct answer...
    I am not now, nor will I ever be, Politically Correct.

  11. #11
    Junior Member OldManMontgomery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
    I am not now, nor will I ever be, Politically Correct.
    I do apologize for use of the phrase. I was using the term in the literal meaning (that is, without rancor or ire - from which you saved me and I do thank you) not the 'politically correct' meaning.

    Steve, you say too much with substance to ever be 'politically correct' according to those who revere such things.

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