"Cocked and Locked"...scary. Need advice.
I'll try to make this short and to the point. I've been around 9mm auto's for decades, mostly S&W or SigSauer with decockers. I wanted a .45 caliber so I purchased a Colt Defender (wow, nice gun) which is obviously a "cocked and locked" carry sidearm. To me, that's a tad scary. Please understand...no slamming. My question is this: for one who's not totally comfortable with a gun next to my side with the hammer cocked, is it reasonable to carry it without a round chambered? Feel free to explain the safety set up. Does anyone else carry one with an empty chamber? Or, is it safe to carry with one chambered and the hammer down? Remember, new "C&L" carry guy here. Be nice. Thanks
A properly made holster (think $150-$200) along with proper trigger control damn near eliminates the possibility of a ND. Besides, carrying a gun without one in the tube is just one step better than not carrying a gun at all.
For instance, lets say the fateful day comes where you have to draw your weapon in defense of yourself or your family. If you're tied up hand to hand with some bad guy, you won't be able to charge the weapon, so it's pert neer like not even having one. (same goes for those that choose not to carry a spare magazine, but that's a different story)
Guns just don't go off by themselves. With the proper equipment and proper training, you can reduce (note I said reduce) the possibility of a ND to almost zero. I've been carrying for over 16 years now and I've never had an issue, knocks on wood, and I've carried a 1911 for most of that time. This all takes time and money. If you're not comfortable at this point with carrying it with one in the tube, either sell it and get a different gun, or understand that carrying without one in the tube has it's own set of limitations and pitfalls.
DO NOT carry with one in the tube and the hammer down. More times than not, with a 1911, ND's happen when someone is trying to lower the hammer on a 1911.
OK, here we go...
Is cocked and locked dangerous? (text article)
Conditions of Readiness for the 1911 (video)
Is it reasonable to carry without one in the chamber (condition 3)? That all depends on what you consider to be reasonable. To most that carry 1911s or similar semi-auto platforms requiring the hammer to be cocked prior to firing do so with a round in the chamber, hammer cocked, safety on (condition 1).
The likelihood of successfully drawing a gun and chambering a cartridge in time is slim to none without lots and lots of practice, and that's assuming that you actually have both hands free.
The 1911 platform should be carried in condition 1 as this is actually the safest as well as the quickest to deploy method available.
Regarding loaded chamber, hammer down (Condition 2), it's as "safe" as the person doing it in that one slip and your going to fire the gun as the act of dropping the hammer is the same as making the gun ready to fire and deactivates any firing pin safeties (if present) Pulling the trigger with a live round in the chamber when you don't intend to fire the gun is a recipe for disaster in my opinion.
At home making sure that the pistol is empty put it on and draw and present using your thumb to disengage safety.
Next take it to the range and practice slowly at first then you can learn the comfort level you will need to carry.
The previous two post seem to explain the "cocked and locked" or "condition 1" very well. The text article hits it right on the head. So, it's your decision, and comes down to what YOU are the most comfortable with.
Practice makes perfect .......
Thanks for the responses.
VAMarine: The article was very informative, but the video was best. Being trained on revolvers in the 70's I think you can understand my reluctance to seeing (hammer back) and carrying a C&L firearm. I can honestly say I feel much more comfortable with such a set up.
Originally Posted by SigZagger
In order for the gun to fire the grip safety would have to be pushed in, the manual safety pushed off and the trigger pulled all at the same time.
Not to muddy the water too much, SigZagger, but if you want a 1911-style pistol but would prefer traditional double-action-only trigger action, Para offers an option with their "LDA" (Light Double Action) line. You can read about it here: Para LDA
For what it's worth, I'm a new 1911 person, too. I've done a lot of reading on 1911 and while "cocked 'n' locked" may look scary to the uninitiated, it's really not. The 1911 still has to have thumb safety and the grip safety disengaged and then the trigger pulled in order to discharge the pistol. Compare that to a revolver, and you've got two layers of safety that a revolver doesn't. As for the lighter trigger pull on a 1911, if one doesn't have it lightened, it would take a deliberate pull to fire a round.
VAMarine and others have given you good advice and links to useful info. The 1911 can be carried C-n-L'd safely but like any other firearm, the most important safety item is a competent user.
Don't agree with 150-200 dollars. A kydex trigger covered holster will suffice. Won't conceal as easy but will work. $20-50. Later look at different holsters. Maybe sharkskin.
Wear the pistol (empty) around the house. Get used to the safety position. When you draw your pistol does not mean you have to push off the safety. Get used to drawing the pistol and becoming familiar withe safety. Muscle memory. My guess you need a bunch of range time. Single shot with the draw. One hand two hand.
I have carried a lightweight commander for over 30 years cocked and locked.
Now, I have a G34 tricked out and I would not carry it.
I've carried 1911 off and on since the mid 60's, with and without holster and only carried it cocked and locked....even under my pillow. I'm still here, and with all my body parts.
short and to the point part II: there's is only one (SAFE?, no such thing on ANY gun) way to "carry" a 1911 and that's cocked and locked. that's it! never, ever, EVER carry it w/ one in the pipe and the hammer down. EVER!!! discussion over.
if the gun is in any other condition it has NO business on your hip and better be emtpy in a safe or in condition zero on target. period.
get a Simply Rugged 'Cuda and put your mind at ease. under 70$. i'll shoot some pics up here of mine if ya like.
meh ill post some anyways....Simply Rugged "Cuda"...w/ my tactical Govt Mdl stuffed in.
wafer thin, built in sweat/safety guard
I too thank you Vamarine not only for your service but, the postas well. hell all your posts are informative!!
Originally Posted by VAMarine
Thankyou Eric. I try to be helpful.
Originally Posted by 8Eric6
I would never carry a 1911 with an empty chamber. It would require two hands to get it into action, and that is something you cannot count on. It is also very slow.
When I was new (and nervous) about cocked and locked carry, I had a holster that had the thumb break between the hammer and the firing pin. This added an additional level of safety.
But remember the .45 has the grip safety, the hammer block safety and the trigger safety. All of these in conjunction with a well-designed holster would seem to me as safe as DOA if you are well-practiced.
Note: DeSantis once told me that he designs holsters for hammer down only. I would not buy a DeSantis holster for cocked and locked.
Your concerns are perfectly normal, especially since you are accustomed to SA/DA, with a decocker. I went through the same thing, during my quest for the 'perfect' CCW . The perfect CCW does not exist, by the way...they are all a pain in the ass to carry.
Originally Posted by SigZagger
I overcame my worry by wearing a Commander sized 1911 clone around the house, empty, and doing everything I could think of to try to make it 'go off.' It never did, and in fact, I had to do some pretty unrealistic contortions just to bump the ambidextrous safety off. I eventually did carry cocked and locked for a few months, and still do, occasionally. But I eventually decided I preferred sriker fired polymer double-stacks, just because they are the simplest to put into operation and they aren't pretty, so I don't concern myself too much with their getting sweated on and banged around.
The Colt Defender is a fine, pretty pistol that I would only carry on special occasions...my BBQ gun, so to speak. Give me an XD or Glock to 'use hard and put up wet'.
Keep your booger hooker off the bang switch and it wont go off.
Your fear is unreasonable. It doesnít mean it isnít real, but it is based in emotion. Its like a fear of flying, either get over it or donít fly. Face your fear and conquer it, or avoid it.
If you want to carry a 1911 because of what it offers as a self defense firearm, then do so. If the condition one carry makes you uncomfortable (despite logic) then do not carry one. It is a design feature of the gun.
Choose another gun.
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain
I don't own a 1911,but I hear only good things.In reason I would hope the 1911 has a sensible
longer trigger pull.Just in case the weapons safety is "accidently" rubbed
or somehow taken off.My weapon is an auto and stays cocked and locked,however
the trigger pull is long enough that if the safety were to be taken off by accident?
I still feel comfortable knowing the trigger would have to be pulled almost "on purpose"
for the weapon to fire.Like I say,I've never felt the trigger on a 1911,so I can only say
what "I" feel is scary VS. what "I" feel is comfortable.Like was said before,it's what "you" feel
The single action pull will always be short, and ideally be smooth and have a crisp let off.
It is what makes the 1911 such a good target pistol.
It requires some training (more training than a DOA does), and if you are willing and able to do the training, then you will be rewarded with a more accurate weapon. (More accurate in as much as a single action weapon is more accurate than a double action weapon is.)
That means repeated practice sessions on letting down the hammer (de-cocking), and letting off the safety prior to shooting and reapplying the safety when you are done. You have to do this enough so that it is second nature--like stepping on the brakes of your car is second nature. Practice it enough and it will not be scary anymore.
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