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  1. #1
    Crux is offline Junior Member
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    Compelling Reasons Not to Have a Thumb Safety?

    Looking for well-reasoned thoughts on this if anyone has them. I'm on the verge of purchasing my first handgun, and am strongly leaning towards finding one with a thumb safety. Why? NOT to use it instead of proper gun safety! Rather, I just see it as an added layer of safety on top of proper firearm management.

    I understand the concern about forgetting to flip the safety off in high stress situations, but my plan is to drill enough that flipping the safety off becomes second nature.

    That said, apart from the slew of wonderful models that don't have thumb safeties and hence are eliminated from my range of choices (sig 226 for example ) are there any compelling reasons not to have a thumb safety on your firearm?

  2. #2
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Compelling argument? No. I just personally don't see a need for one. I carry a P229 and occasionally a P3AT. Both guns' DA trigger pull is long enough that there's no way I am accidentally going to fire them. I don't even think I could "Pull a Plaxico" with them. Adding an external safety to me seems to be overkill if you have a DA gun and have safe handling and carrying practices. If you carry in a holster with the tirgger covered, don't play with the gun while you are carrying, and keep your finger out of the guard when you draw, I just can't see the need. Plus, it's good to know that if my wife, who doesn't shoot, needs to use the gun, all she has to know is aim and fire because I am sure she would not remember to disengage the safety.

  3. #3
    nailer is offline Member
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    I agree that most DA trigger pulls are sufficient as a safety. Having said that, I don't see why I wouldn't get one with a thumb safety, if I really liked the gun. If you know there is a safety, I don't see how you would forget about it. My $.02.

  4. #4
    Crux is offline Junior Member
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    I was really looking hard at the HK P30, and I'm kind of annoyed - the P30S comes out in the 4th quarter. Just loved the grip on that thing.

  5. #5
    nolexforever's Avatar
    nolexforever is offline Junior Member
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    i think other factors play into this question as well. your environment, who else might have access, your personal gun safety rules/practices. it could also be an added sense of safety knowing the gun can be turned "off" and adds another motion before pulling the trigger.

    one neat little feature about my walther gun that compelled me to buy was the decocker function. in my situation the decocker acts as the "on/off" switch. in the decocked mode, there is absolutely no way the gun will fire by pulling the trigger only. so i can store the gun safely when its not near me.

  6. #6
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolexforever View Post
    ...[I]t could also be an added sense of safety knowing the gun can be turned "off" and adds another motion before pulling the trigger...
    Um, not exactly.
    Training with a safety-lever-equipped, single-action (or "safe action") semi-auto must include a reflexive press to disengage the pistol's safety as its muzzle comes up and onto a target you have decided to destroy.
    The safety lever serves only to keep the pistol from firing while holstered or otherwise handled.
    Before you've decided to destroy something, your gun's muzzle should be off-target (probably pointing downward) and its safety should still be "on." Once the "destroy it" decision has been made, the safety should be reflexively switched to "off" long before you acquire a sight picture or other alignment.

  7. #7
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    It is strictly a matter of preference.

    Not having a thumb safety on a semi-auto is no less safe than carrying a revolver, which a lot of very experienced people do, without any safety qualms. If you put the same drilling time you mentioned to work learning to draw with your trigger finger extended along the frame, you will never have to worry about firing it during your draw.

    I have both types, and I prefer no thumb safety, by a wide margin.

  8. #8
    SaltyDog's Avatar
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    I guess it would be a personal thing - how one feels about having or not having a thumb safety.

    I have them on my shotgun and rifle but I understand that as the trigger is exposed and they are SAO - not in a holster. I have a Glock and Sig and will soon have a Kahr and I feel confident carrying all of them.

    Funny nolexforever - I read your post and since I'm not familiar with the Walther I went to their web site and found this Safety Recall staring at me -

    Smith & Wesson has identified a condition that may exist in certain PPK and PPK/S pistols which may permit a round to be discharged without the trigger being pulled. When the manual safety is disengaged, Smith & Wesson’s Product Engineering Group has determined that the possibility exists in certain firearms that lowering the hammer may cause a chambered round to fire.
    Not picking on your weapon of choice but of all the sites I've been too this is the first recall I've seen.

    I had never heard of a decocker acting as a safety - my main reason to go to the site. So does the hammer have to be pulled back to fire the initial shot?

  9. #9
    James NM's Avatar
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    Compelling Reasons Not to Have a Thumb Safety?
    I'll play.

    Let's see......How about if you happen to be short one thumb. I think that qualifies as a compelling reason.

    Some guns having a thumb safety is mandatory. Others it simply isn't available. It depends on the gun choice and what you are used to.

  10. #10
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    If you realy want to be safe you could get one with that key lock thingy. Just ask the BG to wait a minute till you are ready.

    Kidding aside, I prefer modern without the lever safety.
    Stay safe whichever way you go.


  11. #11
    maddmatt02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolexforever View Post
    i think other factors play into this question as well. your environment, who else might have access, your personal gun safety rules/practices. it could also be an added sense of safety knowing the gun can be turned "off" and adds another motion before pulling the trigger.

    one neat little feature about my walther gun that compelled me to buy was the decocker function. in my situation the decocker acts as the "on/off" switch. in the decocked mode, there is absolutely no way the gun will fire by pulling the trigger only. so i can store the gun safely when its not near me.

    if you have the gun cocked, then the trigger is just releasing the hammer, right? and if you use the decocker, doesnt that just make the first part of the trigger cock the hammer and then the rest of the trigger releases it?

    thats how I thought the guy at the gun shop explained it to me the other day. and if thats true, then it isnt "absolutely" impossible but would be alot harder to do.

  12. #12
    jc27310's Avatar
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    I don't have any compelling reasons, but as a noob to handguns I probably think a little differently from the experienced guys...

    For me, a thumb safety would not make my checklist. I don't have any bad habits to break, so I don't need the consistency from some other weapon. Its all about hand feel first, and then if I can put it on target. I like DA/SA auto loaders for the simplicity. My Sig226 is right there, I like the XD's and want to like Glocks but they don't feel good in my hand...(middle finger rub).

    I have to say, If I got a handgun with a thumb safety, I would probably look at the Kimber 1911's first and start saving for it...

    Again, I am not too experienced, perhaps someone else will have your compelling reason...
    cheers,
    jc

  13. #13
    stickhauler is offline Junior Member
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    I'd Vote Against A Thumb Safety...

    The 1911's have one, I rarely carry my 1911, my usual carry is a XD, it's got the trigger safety, as well as a grip safety like the 1911. I have no fear of an accidental discharge with dual safeties, and I don't have to remember to switch off a second safety to fire if necessary.

  14. #14
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolexforever View Post
    one neat little feature about my walther gun that compelled me to buy was the decocker function. in my situation the decocker acts as the "on/off" switch. in the decocked mode, there is absolutely no way the gun will fire by pulling the trigger only. so i can store the gun safely when its not near me.
    If the decocker on your Walther functions the way a decocker is supposed to, in the "decocked mode", if there is a round in the chamber, the gun should fire by putting enough pressure to the trigger unless, your decocking lever serves as a manual safety as well and the manual safety is engaged after using the decocker.

  15. #15
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Compelling argument? No. I just personally don't see a need for one.
    That about sums it up for me.

  16. #16
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    So.I'm guessing that the new guy is definatly wanting a single action weapon? He says he wants a thumb safety and that's fine. I carry 1911's a lot and I don't think I'd do that near as often without it. At least not cocked and locked.

    I am wondering if the OP actually has a working knowledge of the differences in DA, SA, DA/SA, and Safe Actions like a Glock. Because really without knowing how all these work and why would do a lot more for any "Compelling Arguments" for or against a thumb or any other type of safety.

    Who would want a thumb safety on a safe action Glock or a Sig Sauer that has no room in either design for one? I'd go as far as to say not many of my 1911 brethren would carry one cocked and no way to get to locked.

    So, I have to ask Crux. What kind of trigger action are you looking at and why? Answer this for me and maybe I can get a little closer to answering you.

  17. #17
    nolexforever's Avatar
    nolexforever is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    The safety lever serves only to keep the pistol from firing while holstered or otherwise handled.
    Before you've decided to destroy something, your gun's muzzle should be off-target (probably pointing downward) and its safety should still be "on." Once the "destroy it" decision has been made, the safety should be reflexively switched to "off" long before you acquire a sight picture or other alignment.
    sorry, that is what i mean to say, in more words. keeping the gun "off" would prevent accidental discharges and i felt like the OP wanted a justified reason to have the manual safety.

    SaltyDog: to clarify, i was speaking of the P99 QA model, which is striker-fired and has no manual safety. the QA is similar to glock's safe action/precocked trigger. i refer to it as a safety though it is in no way a safety. only by racking the slide just a little will render the gun shootable.

  18. #18
    nolexforever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unpecador View Post
    If the decocker on your Walther functions the way a decocker is supposed to, in the "decocked mode", if there is a round in the chamber, the gun should fire by putting enough pressure to the trigger unless, your decocking lever serves as a manual safety as well and the manual safety is engaged after using the decocker.
    the latter part of your summary sounds much better than what i was trying to say. that is exactly how the P99 QA works.

    the P99 AS version, on the other hand, is a traditional DA/SA and will work as u described in the beginning of your post. it will fire a chambered round regardless if cocked or decocked.

  19. #19
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    About the Walther decocker...
    See this: Walther PPK Recall

  20. #20
    Crux is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    So.I'm guessing that the new guy is definatly wanting a single action weapon? He says he wants a thumb safety and that's fine. I carry 1911's a lot and I don't think I'd do that near as often without it. At least not cocked and locked.

    I am wondering if the OP actually has a working knowledge of the differences in DA, SA, DA/SA, and Safe Actions like a Glock. Because really without knowing how all these work and why would do a lot more for any "Compelling Arguments" for or against a thumb or any other type of safety.

    Who would want a thumb safety on a safe action Glock or a Sig Sauer that has no room in either design for one? I'd go as far as to say not many of my 1911 brethren would carry one cocked and no way to get to locked.

    So, I have to ask Crux. What kind of trigger action are you looking at and why? Answer this for me and maybe I can get a little closer to answering you.
    Fair enough. I do know the differences between the different types of triggers. And honestly since my experience with firearms was all rifles back in Australia, I don't really have any preferences or habits regarding a particular type of trigger. I get the idea of the DA being too long/heavy of a pull for an accidental discharge there. That being said, you can never predict life. Reading about that competition shooter who nailed himself in the leg while reholstering, and by all accounts he didn't rush the action - just had a brain . You can be careful, you can train - human nature means people still make mistakes sometimes.

    So I guess really my preference for trigger would be either a DAO or a SA for consistency. I'd prefer to get the same pull each time. Outside of that, safety is a major concern. I have a daughter. I'm not considering a thumb safety as any sort of a guard against her shooting herself - if she gets her grubby little hands on a firearm I own without supervision then it's too fricking late to be worrying about thumb safeties. I'm more concerned with the 'shit happens' kind of thing. I just view a thumb safety as one more layer that takes the chances of a 'shit happens' discharge from one in a million to one in a billion.

    My leanings right now are towards a 1911, or if I can be patient was thinking about getting the P30s when it comes out later this year.

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