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  1. #1
    scoob_i_e is offline Junior Member
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    Safety/de-cock question

    Noob with question.

    Not very familiar with firearms in general, have little experience in actual handling of firearms. I'm wondering about this;


    Assuming the pistol is already on-safe.....

    While clearing a double action pistol, in order to drop the hammer back down, you would first have to deactivate the safety then reactivate it correct? (Obviously this would not only apply to clearing a pistol but also after charging said pistol--as in the case for preparing to carry/holster it.)

    Is this the case with all models of commercially produced pistols?

  2. #2
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    It depends on the model. A safety that keeps the trigger from actually dropping the hammer would need to be taken off to drop the hammer. Some safeties allow the trigger to be pulled and the hammer to be dropped, but the safety keeps the pin/striker from being hit by the hammer.

    Of course, it's always to treat all firearms as if they were loaded, and be safe and careful when handling them. But to answer your question, it could go either way. On a 1911, you need to take the safety off to decock it. On some, you don't.

  3. #3
    scoob_i_e is offline Junior Member
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    I'm still foggy on this... I guess I should have just asked about specific models (my fault.) Plus I'm not even sure if what I'm saying makes any sense.

    So to name specific DA models:

    Beretta 92
    Ruger P90
    HK USP/Mk 23

    If I have it right in my mind then this would mean that, on any of those models if the hammer is COCKED with the safety ON then the steps to return it to un-cocked would be:

    Thumb the lever UP taking it off-safe then thumb it back DOWN back to on-safe, correct?

    I guess the only reason I'm asking is that it seems cumbersome to have to take the pistol off-safe BEFORE you can lower the hammer.

    But none of this applies to any of the Sig P series, correct? If I understand correctly the de-cock lever on those models of the Sig are only a de-cock and NOT a safety. And so therefore it's only function is to lower or raise the hammer--right?

    Thanks again from a noob.

  4. #4
    Navy Jake's Avatar
    Navy Jake is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    Noob with question.

    Not very familiar with firearms in general, have little experience in actual handling of firearms. I'm wondering about this;


    Assuming the pistol is already on-safe.....

    While clearing a double action pistol, in order to drop the hammer back down, you would first have to deactivate the safety then reactivate it correct? (Obviously this would not only apply to clearing a pistol but also after charging said pistol--as in the case for preparing to carry/holster it.)

    Is this the case with all models of commercially produced pistols?
    I own a PX4 Type F, If the safety is ON, then the hammer is automatically decocked, the hammer can not be in the cocked position with the safety on.

    Now lets say I have one in the chamber and I wanted to clear it. I would put it on safe, (which would de-cock the hammer if cocked) then drop the magazine. I would then rack the slide to eject the chambered round. As the slide goes back , it will automatically decock the hammer again. Then you would have a clear and safe weapon, just be sure to eject the round while pointing away from anything you would not want shot.....JIC....

    Hope that helped...

    About the 1911 thing, if the SA 1911 has a thumb safety, you can not pull the trigger at all, which would stop the hammer from moving..... personally, I just drop the magazine, disengage the thumb safety, then eject the round, after that I point at a solid object (without a round in the chamber) and dry fire to let the hammer forward........ It may not be the right way but that is how I handle both my SA 1911 and my DA/SA PX4




    Jake

  5. #5
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    The safer way to decock the hammer on a 1911 would be to drop the mag, rack the slide to eject the chambered round, let the slide back, then decock the hammer. This way, if the hammer slips, you won't be discharging a .45 into the floor, table, or worse, yourself or another person. However, it's more time-efficient to flip the safety down (off), and carefully lower the hammer down. If you can do it safely 100% of the time, that's great. If not, don't take any chances. Drop the mag, clear the chamber, then let the hammer down.

  6. #6
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    Noob with question.

    Not very familiar with firearms in general, have little experience in actual handling of firearms. I'm wondering about this;


    Assuming the pistol is already on-safe.....

    While clearing a double action pistol, in order to drop the hammer back down, you would first have to deactivate the safety then reactivate it correct? (Obviously this would not only apply to clearing a pistol but also after charging said pistol--as in the case for preparing to carry/holster it.)

    Is this the case with all models of commercially produced pistols?
    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    I'm still foggy on this... I guess I should have just asked about specific models (my fault.) Plus I'm not even sure if what I'm saying makes any sense.

    So to name specific DA models:

    Beretta 92
    Ruger P90
    HK USP/Mk 23

    If I have it right in my mind then this would mean that, on any of those models if the hammer is COCKED with the safety ON then the steps to return it to un-cocked would be:

    Thumb the lever UP taking it off-safe then thumb it back DOWN back to on-safe, correct?

    I guess the only reason I'm asking is that it seems cumbersome to have to take the pistol off-safe BEFORE you can lower the hammer.

    But none of this applies to any of the Sig P series, correct? If I understand correctly the de-cock lever on those models of the Sig are only a de-cock and NOT a safety. And so therefore it's only function is to lower or raise the hammer--right?

    Thanks again from a noob.
    Beretta 92FS, and military M9:
    When safety is on (slide lever in down position), hammer is decocked and trigger mechanism is disconnected. Loading and clearing may be accomplished with the safety in the on-safe position (highly recommended). If hammer is cocked and safety is applied, hammer will fall to the down/decocked position; weapon will not fire. If safety is applied while slide is locked to the rear, or if safety is on-safe and the slide is pulled to the rear and released, the hammer will "follow" the slide and will come to rest in the hammer-down/decocked position. This is perfectly safe, as a small portion of the firing pin is rotated out of alignment with the rest of the firing pin, so the hammer cannot transfer any energy to a chambered round.

    Ruger P90: There are two versions of the P90 with safety/decocking levers on the slide. One is a true safety lever; that is, you can put it on-safe and it will stay there until released. If you have that version, it will operate like the Beretta 92, explained above. The other version has a decocking lever, not a safety. The difference is in how it operates -- when the decocker is applied, the hammer will fall to the decocked position, but as soon as the decocking lever is released by the user, it will spring back up into the "ready-to-fire" position. On the safety lever version, when the safety is applied, it stays on-safe until released by the user. The decocker-only lever cannot be used as a safety, as it will not stay in the normal "on safe" position. It is used only to decock the weapon after loading or firing, and may not be applied DURING loading or clearing, only AFTER the weapon is loaded or cleared.

    HK USP/MK 23: I have no idea. Not an HK fan.

    If I have it right in my mind then this would mean that, on any of those models if the hammer is COCKED with the safety ON then the steps to return it to un-cocked would be:

    Thumb the lever UP taking it off-safe then thumb it back DOWN back to on-safe, correct?
    Incorrect. In a double-action pistol of the types you listed above, IF they have the safety lever, you simply cannot get to the condition you described. If the hammer is cocked and you put the safety on, the hammer drops. If the safety is on, and you pull the hammer back manually, it will not stay cocked. If the safety is on with the slide locked to the rear, and you release the slide, the hammer will follow the slide to the decocked/hammer down position when the slide closes.

    Hope this was helpful.
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 04-18-2008 at 05:14 AM.

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    The safer way to decock the hammer on a 1911 would be to drop the mag, rack the slide to eject the chambered round, let the slide back, then decock the hammer. This way, if the hammer slips, you won't be discharging a .45 into the floor, table, or worse, yourself or another person. However, it's more time-efficient to flip the safety down (off), and carefully lower the hammer down. If you can do it safely 100% of the time, that's great. If not, don't take any chances. Drop the mag, clear the chamber, then let the hammer down.
    Um, no.
    I suggest that thumb- or finger-dropping a 1911 hammer could be bad for the sear-to-hammer contact surfaces.
    Instead, the last thing you should do, in a clearance drill, is to point the pistol in a safe direction and merely pull the trigger.

  8. #8
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    I'm still foggy on this... I guess I should have just asked about specific models (my fault.) Plus I'm not even sure if what I'm saying makes any sense.

    So to name specific DA models:

    Beretta 92
    Ruger P90
    HK USP/Mk 23

    If I have it right in my mind then this would mean that, on any of those models if the hammer is COCKED with the safety ON then the steps to return it to un-cocked would be:

    Thumb the lever UP taking it off-safe then thumb it back DOWN back to on-safe, correct?

    I guess the only reason I'm asking is that it seems cumbersome to have to take the pistol off-safe BEFORE you can lower the hammer.

    But none of this applies to any of the Sig P series, correct? If I understand correctly the de-cock lever on those models of the Sig are only a de-cock and NOT a safety. And so therefore it's only function is to lower or raise the hammer--right?

    Thanks again from a noob.
    On an HK USp it depends on the variant you have. Some have a safety with no decock, some have a decock with no safety, some have both.

    If you have both then you press the safety selector up to engage the safety. To decock you press it down (below the Fire position) and the hammer will go to half cock and be in DA mode. You can have it in DA w/safety or without. Or you can have it in SA with safety on. DO NOT EVER PULL THE TRIGGER TO DECOCK WHEN THERE IS A ROUND CHAMBERED. That disengages all the safeties and if you slip when riding the hammer down it goes BANG. Also when the trigger is pressed and you ride the hammer down on a live round the hammer is resting right on the firing pin. If something hits the hammer hard enough it will go BANG.

    I have an HK 45 with the safety/decocker lever and I will post some pictures to illustrate what I was describing to you above.

  9. #9
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Hammer Cocked & Safety engaged



    Hammer cocked & Safety off



    Safety lever in the decock position *notice the hammer is not all the way forward*



    After trigger has been pulled *notice the hammer is all the way in this time*

  10. #10
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    I agree with fivehourfrenzy; it largely depends on the model. Most newer TDAs have either just a decocking lever, a safety with seperate decocking lever (Sig's done this on a few models), or a decocking safety (the safety will decock the weapon when you put it on 'SAFE'). With any of these, you simply manipulate the decocking lever, and the hammer drops "safely" to double-action (you should always point the gun in a safe direction anyway).

    If your gun does not have a decocking feature, the safety is probably similar to a 1911 where the gun must be cocked to engage the safety. In that case, yes, you have to thumb the safety off in order to decock the weapon because you HAVE to release the hammer from the sear, and without a decocking lever you can only do so by pulling the trigger. This is VERY rare on a TDA as the whole point of a TDA is that the double-action pull is its own form of safety.

  11. #11
    submoa is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehourfrenzy View Post
    The safer way to decock the hammer on a 1911 would be to drop the mag, rack the slide to eject the chambered round, let the slide back, then decock the hammer. This way, if the hammer slips, you won't be discharging a .45 into the floor, table, or worse, yourself or another person. However, it's more time-efficient to flip the safety down (off), and carefully lower the hammer down. If you can do it safely 100% of the time, that's great. If not, don't take any chances. Drop the mag, clear the chamber, then let the hammer down.
    For 1911, it is absolutely safe to carry the weapon loaded, hammer back, safety on. The need to decock should be very rare.

    But if you have to do it, to decock loaded 1911:

    FIRST DROP THE MAGAZINE OUT OF THE WEAPON !, pull the slide back to eject the live round, do it again and visually inspect there is no cartridge in the chamber, do it again and stick your little pinkie finger in the chamber to feel if there is a round chambered, then, after you are positive there is not a round in the chamber, decock in the following manner:

    1. Point firearm in safe direction.
    2. Disengage thumb safety.
    3. If right handed, stick left thumb between hammer and slide.
    4. Squeeze trigger releasing hammer, then immediately take finger off trigger.
    5. With right thumb gently lower hammer to full rest position.

    Method also applies for decocking SA revolvers.

    The Series 80 Colts have a firing pin safety which locks until the trigger is pulled. The Series 70 and earlier Colt models did not.

  12. #12
    scoob_i_e is offline Junior Member
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    Ahh, okay. I think you can see my confusion now... I was under the impression that the hammer on the DA autos I mentioned would still cock regardless of whether the safety was engaged. So my whole assumption that the safety would have to be manipulated in the way I described is not actually the case.

    So in reality, the hammer just returns back into it's down/un-cocked position--with no need to first un-safe it then re-safe it...... Unless I'm still understanding something wrong--which I don't think I am, I think you all explained it quite thoroughly.

    And thanks so much for all your time and not snapping at me.... Some other forums are not very nice. Thanks again.

  13. #13
    Dredd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    Ahh, okay. I think you can see my confusion now... I was under the impression that the hammer on the DA autos I mentioned would still cock regardless of whether the safety was engaged. So my whole assumption that the safety would have to be manipulated in the way I described is not actually the case.

    So in reality, the hammer just returns back into it's down/un-cocked position--with no need to first un-safe it then re-safe it...... Unless I'm still understanding something wrong--which I don't think I am, I think you all explained it quite thoroughly.

    And thanks so much for all your time and not snapping at me.... Some other forums are not very nice. Thanks again.
    Again it all depends on the type of gun you're talking about.

  14. #14
    skyfire is offline Junior Member
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    i cheat, my sig has a decocking lever, works wonders
    Last edited by skyfire; 05-13-2008 at 03:58 PM. Reason: typos

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