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Posted: 10/3/2002 11:46:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2002 12:00:28 PM EDT by stealthboy]
I carry my Kimber Compact cocked and locked, and am wondering if there are any mechanical stops to prevent the hammer from falling if the sear were to fail. Does anyone happen to know if there are internal blocks that move out of the way, for example, only when the safeties are disengaged? I'm basically trying to assess my risk of mechanical failure causing a hammer drop and discharge since I carry with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked. Internal "cut-away" drawings would help. Thanks in advance!

Edited to fix spelling.
Link Posted: 10/3/2002 12:02:07 PM EDT
If a Series I, the answer is no...Series II, yes. The tang on the grip safety protects the cocked hammer from impact directly from the rear, and should the gun fall from waist height or greater, it will almost always strike the ground on the rear. The firing pin is thus pulled away from the breech face upon impact. Occasionally, a 1911 dropped on the muzzle may fire, but this almost always happens only with guns which have the hammer down...the firing pin alone rarely (note I did not say "never") has enough force to fire a chambered round if the hammer is cocked.

As long as someone unqualified has not mucked with the internals of the gun, you are very safe with this mode of carry.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 9:20:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2002 9:23:04 AM EDT by AJohnston]
Actually Ikor that’s only partially correct. The thumb safety itself, specifically the safety lug that engages the sear, also prevents the hammer from falling should the sear nose break or hammer hook fail due to a blow to the back of the hammer or any other reason. On a properly working 1911, as long as the thumb safety is engaged the hammers forward movement is blocked. This is the case on all 1911s whether they be Kimber series 1 or 2, Springfield, Colt, etc. etc. On 1911s that utilize a firing pin safety one will also have an added measure of security against an unintentional discharge should the weapon happen to fall from a great enough height and land directly on it’s muzzle or the hammer fall onto a live chamber after the thumb safety has been disengaged.

So yes there is a mechanical stop that would prevent the hammer from falling, it’s called the thumb safety.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 10:59:03 AM EDT
You are right, and I stand corrected...this is why an occasional malfunctioning gun will actually fire as soon as the thumb safety is taken off, but is fine as long as it is in the "on" position.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 11:11:46 AM EDT
o.k., so how does the "half cock" factor in on this? you know, like on my para ord .45s, the first click that moves the hammer approx 1/2 mm and stops?

i've always wondered about that, and what it was INTENDED for.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 11:48:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2002 11:51:29 AM EDT by AJohnston]
Well, the half cock notch doesn’t really “factor” into any of this. Contrary to the common belief that the half cock notch was intended as a “safe” carry position for the hammer it was actually originally designed as somewhat of a passive safety system. Should the sear nose break or hammer hook fail causing the hammer to fall forward, the sear would stop the hammers forward movement by engaging the captive half cock notch. In currently manufactured Colts and I believe Para Ordnance 1911s the hammers half cock notch is no longer captive. The result is a hammer that may be “safely” lowered to a full rest position by first setting it in the half cock position and then pulling the trigger. The idea being that the hammer does not have enough momentum or force to drive the firing pin forward into the primer and thus setting of the round that is in the chamber. This is not something I’ve ever been really comfortable with. I am a firm believer that there is only one safe way to carry a 1911 that must to be ready for immediate use. That way is Condition 1 otherwise known as cocked and locked.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 11:55:46 AM EDT
thanks ajohnston, i'm almost ashamed to admit that i own a kimber procarry and a para p14, and i never knew what the half cock was for.


BTW, what is it called when you carry one in the chamber with the hammer down?
a MSP friend of mine carries his colt this way, and i understand it isn't as safe as condition 1., and aren't there safeties to prevent the way he carries from being hazardous, or would one just be better off carrying condition one.

BTW, i carry a glock23 or 19!!!!
i would like to start carrying the kimber with a little more practice.
Link Posted: 10/4/2002 1:38:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By serpico40:

BTW, what is it called when you carry one in the chamber with the hammer down?
a MSP friend of mine carries his colt this way, and i understand it isn't as safe as condition 1., and aren't there safeties to prevent the way he carries from being hazardous, or would one just be better off carrying condition one.



That method of carry is referred to as Condition 2 and like I said I'm a firm believer that one is always better off carrying a 1911 in Condition 1.

Allot of the dangers behind Condition 2 carry come forth when one lowers the hammer on to a live chamber and/or attempts to put the pistol into action. On a 1911 lowering the hammer onto a live chamber is an inherently dangerous situation. Should ones grasp slip or should one loose control of the hammer it will be really exciting to say the least. Additionally brining the pistol into action is significantly slower as well as more awkward as one forced to cock the hammer as the pistol is being brought up to bear on the target. Not to say this can’t be done it’s just definitely not as easy as bringing a Condition 1 1911 into action.

Depending on the make and model of your friends 1911 there may be a firing pin safety, which would help prevent an unintentional discharge. However, by carrying in Condition 2 your friend is choosing to by pass what I consider to be the best safety on the 1911, the thumb safety. But then we all know the one true safety lies between our ears.

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