A S&W firearm without the mag safety should have a written warning on the side of the gun "Caution this firearm capable of firing with magazine removed"
S&W describes my pistol, S&W M&P9, as having a passive trigger safety. My question is how do I know if the M&P9 or M&P9C has a magazine safety? I understand both concepts but how can I know without trying to fire a round if there is a magazine safety?
Easy enough, thank you.
Just in case there's no warning label, but no magazine safety too*, here's the test:
Remove the pistol's magazine.
Empty the gun of all cartridges, and put them aside.
Check the gun's chamber, and make sure that there's nothing in it. Doing this should cock the gun's hammer, or pre-tension its striker.
With the magazine still out of the gun, try to "fire" the pistol, by pressing its trigger.
If the pistol "fires," or "clicks," there is no magazine safety. If you can't drop its hammer or release its striker, the pistol has a magazine safety.
*Some previous owner may have removed the pistol's magazine safety, if it originally had one.
Steve, that test might not always work on pistols.
The Ruger SR9 and 40s etc will still sound as if fired with the mag out of the gun. The striker releases but won't contact a cartridge.
Not sure about the M&P, we had one with the mag disconnect for a short time but never tested it.
Ideally, one would cross reference the model # of the gun on the box with the S&W website, verify the labeling of the gun etc.
I'll try and find a picture of what the advisory looks like and post it here...
Thanks for the informative correction.
Should someone remove the magazine safety from an unmarked gun, it would create a very dangerous situation!
A newer owner might assume that the magazine safety was in place, might then handle the gun in an unsafe manner, and thus could do serious damage!
It's a very good argument for always following the three basic rules of gun safety:
• Always assume that a gun is fully loaded, and handle it as if it were.
• Don't point a gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
• Keep your fingers off of the trigger, until you are actually ready to fire a shot.
S&W considers the magazine disconnect part of the guns overall safety system. Last I heard they will only disconnect them for Cops. The Gun Guru of the past Maasad Ayoob argued that in a fight for the weapon, as a last resort one might dump the magazine rendering the weapon nothing more than a club. If the bad guy is getting the better of you this might save your life. Also you should have a spare mag to use if the bad guy dumps yours.
Most of us are not LEOs. Our weapons are not normally exposed for all to see—and to attempt to grab.
It is in our best interests to keep our defensive weapons completely hidden until they must actually be used, and then, when they come into play, the use we put them to must be swift, accurate, and deadly.
Thus, it is not a meaningful consideration to mechanically make our pistols safe from a gun-grab. The magazine safety is not a necessary tool for the civilian concealed-weapon carrier.
Instead, the magazine safety is a lawyer's modification, useful mostly for going along with California's arcane and ridiculous "safety" requirements.
The magazine safety might make a gun "fool-proof," but it is a well-known precept that you must never let a fool come anywhere near your gun.
Indeed, in civilian hands, the magazine safety actually makes the pistol's user less safe: It keeps you from firing that one remaining shot, while you are changing magazines and if your opponent then charges toward you.
To me, the magazine safety is an abomination. (Of course, your mileage may vary.)
Well stated Steve... great points that I agree with.
This is an age old controversy that won't be solved here. I carried a S&W for 12 years and never felt the need to have the trigger disconnect, disconnected. By the way the opinion I stated was that of a professional trainer, not myself. In the real world, an intimate knowledge the weapon you carry is more important than the use or non-use of a safety feature.
Chacun à son goût.
Whether or not the controversy will be solved here, discussion is always valuable.
You may be completely satisfied with using a magazine safety, while I, emphatically, am not. OK. But that's no reason for you to attempt to cut off the discussion.
The professional trainer who instructed you had a different point of view from that of the professional trainer who was my long-time mentor. OK. But that's still no reason for you to attempt to cut off the discussion.
As I originally wrote, "Your mileage may vary."
(I assume that you understand what that phrase means. Right?)