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Posted: 6/14/2002 1:45:19 PM EDT
Ok, so there's this really nice Wilson Combat .45 auto for sale @ the local shop but I have this nagging fear of carrying a pistol cocked & locked. I know, its safer than my Glock but I think in the back of my mind it just bugs me to know that the pistol is cocked.

I always keep my pistols with a round in the chamber, since I find them to be useless otherwise. But it just nags me knowing that there is a really powerful spring being kept under compresion.

How long can a "main spring" be kept cocked? Should I dry fire it now and then to cycle the main-spring?

I've owned a couple of single action .45's (Colt Defender & Kimber) but I always sold them due to having to keep them cocked all the time...please help me overcome my feelings since I find the Wilson 45 almost unresistable.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:02:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 2:09:09 PM EDT by ronin47]
Fear can be a good thing. It inspires that whole "fight or flight" response. But in this case, your fear is unnecessary. There are those who won't think twice about having a Glock essentially cocked because there isn't a visible hammer. Or a pump action shotgun. But because the 1911's have a visible hammer, it inspires all kinds of fear. Just consider this question: If it were really a problem, would the design have lasted this long?

Dry firing now & then is a good idea just because it helps you learn the trigger. But I don't think it prolongs the life of the mainspring. I'm not a material scientist or a metallurgist but it's my understanding that, if anything, it may shorten it because constant application and removal of tension on a spring can stress the metal as much if not more than constant tension. Or something like that.

In any case, buy the gun.

Edited to add that I love spending other people's money.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:06:17 PM EDT
With reference to your feelings that the .45 will be "safer than my Glock":

I've heard mixed feelings about this, and would like to know why you feel this way.

Lemme know when you get a chance.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:07:22 PM EDT
The 1911 design is supposed to be carried cocked and locked; the only thing safer would be to carry an unloaded giun, and that only protects you from yourself.

Buy the gun, get a good holster, cary condition one. After 24 years of carrying that way, I'm sure that it works.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:12:05 PM EDT
If you have a fear of carrying cocked and locked, try carrying it around the house unloaded with the safety on, just to get used to the "look".
I like my "cocked and locked" 1911, any you obvioulsy don't have a fear of your "cocked and locked" Glock.
And the Glock has NO safety (the SAFE ACTION Trigger is not the best concept IMHO).
Af for the main spring, don't worry about it. It will most likely out last you, if you don't let the slide slam forward on an empty chamer to many times.
And I think you will prefer the single action trigger of the Glock's.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:12:12 PM EDT
My impressions are that there have been plenty of cops that have discharged their Glocks accidentally either drawing or replacing them in holsters?

With a 1911 that menacing hammer may be there staring you down, but there are 2 safeties holding things back (one blocks the trigger and the other blocks the sear).

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:14:51 PM EDT
IMHO:

To answer your question, I feel a cocked & locked 45-auto is safer than a Glock due to the 45 having more "manual" safeties: a grip safety and a thumb safety. Whereas the Glock only has one "manual" safety; the trigger thingie.

Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:16:13 PM EDT
I'll parrot ronin47 & DavidC on this method.


Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:16:57 PM EDT
Safer than Glock? You bet. I've carried various 1911's cocked and locked for years, many times waistband carry. I won't carry my issued Glock 23 without a holster in my waistband, especially with a 31/2 connector. It takes an action other than pulling the trigger to make a 1911 fire, obviously not with a Glock. I think the only way a Glock is safer than a 1911 is if the Glock is carried chamber empty.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:17:44 PM EDT
The design of the 1911 works. The only foolproof safety is between your ears. Buy the Wilson, or you will regret it!!!
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:20:13 PM EDT
I have carried my 1911 cocked and locked for over two years now. I even carry it cocked and locked stuck in my waste band if I am in a hurry.

The 1911 was made to be carried cocked and locked....it may just take you some time to get used to it.

medcop
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:21:13 PM EDT
The 1911 style pistol HAS to be the safest to carry this way.

The safety on the backstrap is what makes me feel good about carrying a 1911 cocked and locked.

When I carry my USP cocked and locked, it never leaves my mind that I have a chambered weapon at my side.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:25:57 PM EDT
Buy the Wilson and don't worry one bit about condition 1 carry. With a properly functioning 1911 and a properly fitted thumb safety it is next impossible for the hammer to fall and strike the firing pin when the thumb safety is engaged. The stud on the thumb safety not only locks the sear in place but also blocks the forward travel of the hammer... no worries.

Additionally, don't worry one bit about keeping a 1911 cocked and locked for extended periods of time. You can literally leave a 1911 cocked for next to forever without any wear on the main spring. Dry firing is always a good idea no matter which gun you use but it probably will not extend the service life of a 1911s main spring. I believe that the recommended replacement interval for the main spring on a full size 1911 is 25,000 rounds.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 2:29:07 PM EDT
I have a question on this matter. I know that it is possible to have the hammer set on the small half-cock with a round chambered and the safety off, therefore only requiring one to fully cock the pistol to fire. You can pull the trigger from this half cock and it strikes the firing pin, moving a fraction of an inch. Is this enough force to fire the weapon? This seems like a less nervous inducing way to store the gun, but with only the grip safety preventing the gun from discharging. I admit I feel safer with my Glock than a 1911, but I think the safest is a double action like a Sig.
Any thoughts or answers?
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 3:15:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 3:17:01 PM EDT by DavidC]

Chida66 espoused:

I have a question on this matter. I know that it is possible to have the hammer set on the small half-cock with a round chambered and the safety off, therefore only requiring one to fully cock the pistol to fire. You can pull the trigger from this half cock and it strikes the firing pin, moving a fraction of an inch. Is this enough force to fire the weapon? This seems like a less nervous inducing way to store the gun, but with only the grip safety preventing the gun from discharging. I admit I feel safer with my Glock than a 1911, but I think the safest is a double action like a Sig.
Any thoughts or answers?



The only safe way to carry a loaded 1911 pattern pistol is cocked and locked. Period, end.

Never leave a loaded 1911 on half-cock. With the hammer down you can't activate the thumb safety.

Cocked and locked or not at all. Period

When was the last time you heard of an ND from a 1911 being carried in a holster?

DA guns are a whole n'other story and not directly comparable to a 1911 or a Glock; though if you really want one, I have a Seecamp conversion DA 1911 I'll sell you.


Link Posted: 6/14/2002 3:30:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chida66:
I have a question on this matter. I know that it is possible to have the hammer set on the small half-cock with a round chambered and the safety off, therefore only requiring one to fully cock the pistol to fire. You can pull the trigger from this half cock and it strikes the firing pin, moving a fraction of an inch. Is this enough force to fire the weapon?



The only 1911s that I have seen that will do this are series 80 Colts and no it is not enough force to drive the firing pin forward into the primer causing the round to fire. This is also a fairly pointless design aspect, as a 1911 should never be lowered to half cock to begin with. A properly designed half cock notch will capture the sear and prevent any forward movement of the hammer but that is a safety mechanism only. If you want to "decock" the 1911 one must first ensure the gun is completely unloaded and the chamber is empty. After clearing the weapon, point he gun in a safe direction and dry fire the gun. You have now "decocked" a 1911.

If one desires to store the gun loaded condition 1 or condition 3 are the only safe ways to do so.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 3:39:30 PM EDT
Sig P220, the answer to all of life's problems...


Sorry, just had to get that in there! I agree that the 1911 'cocked & locked' is safe as can be. After all, it was the military standard for how many decades?
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 4:39:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 5:02:52 PM EDT by Francisco_dAnconia]
The only cure for your phobia is exposure therapy. Since I am unable to help you in person I heartily recommend purchasing your own single action pistol in order to gain the necessary exposure.

If this is not successful I will gladly dispose of the pistol for you.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 5:51:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 5:53:37 PM EDT by Tailgate]
I carry a full-size Government 1911 for my CCW. It is carried in an inside-the-waistband holster (Milt Sparks VersaMax2...most comfortable and stable IWB holster I've found for 1911) and OF COURSE it is always cocked and locked, otherwise, why carry it?

This situation has happened to me three times...I am in a restaurant or wherever sitting down. My 3-year old daughter has literally placed her foot on the top of my pistol, which is the beavertail and cocked hammer, and climbed up on me. Nothing's ever happened, and it doesn't worry me a bit. Although, I don't like her doing it and it hurts a bit to have 30 some-odd pounds of pressure jabbing the pistol into my side.

EXTREMELY SAFE. And let me tell you what: if you EVER have to draw down on some scumbag he will not only crap his pants from looking down that sewer pipe of a bore (that .45 looks like it shoots out bowling balls when it's pointed at you)...but he'll also think twice when he sees that hammer cocked.

Intimidation can save lives, both yours and his.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 5:54:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/14/2002 6:00:19 PM EDT by gregw45]
I bought a used stainless Colt 1991 that had a blued thumb safety and extended slide release added by the previous owner.

So, in an effort to return it to "stock" I had to fit a thumb safety. Don't attempt if you're not mechanically inclined.

Anyhoo... I really gained respect for JMB's design. Thumb safety "on": sear CAN'T move.

Even with the thumb safety off; a shooter still must depress the grip safety. Without doing this the trigger can't move.

Thirdly, if carried in a proper holster, nothing will touch the trigger.

:o)

I agree with what others have posted. Carry it around the house for a while unloaded, cocked & locked. If the hammer ever drops I'll volunteer to take that pistol off your hands!
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 6:13:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Chida66:
I have a question on this matter. I know that it is possible to have the hammer set on the small half-cock with a round chambered and the safety off, therefore only requiring one to fully cock the pistol to fire. You can pull the trigger from this half cock and it strikes the firing pin, moving a fraction of an inch. Is this enough force to fire the weapon? This seems like a less nervous inducing way to store the gun, but with only the grip safety preventing the gun from discharging. I admit I feel safer with my Glock than a 1911, but I think the safest is a double action like a Sig.
Any thoughts or answers?



DO NOT CARRY A 1911 ON HALF COCK. I had an older 70 series and it ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WOULD GO OFF from this position.(so will my old browning HP) I tried this way back when and sometimes the weapon would fire. THE ONLY "SAFE" CARRY MODE FOR THE 1911 IS COCKED AND LOCKED. Buy a holster designed for the 1911 types. Most have a piece of leather that fits between the hammer and slide/firing pin for the added security, not to mention it keeps your weapon from falling out.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 8:04:46 PM EDT
Don't worry fellas, I was not planning on carring the weapon on half cock, just considered the possibility of storing it like that in a holster, but as you say, condition 1 is best. I was mostly curious if firing from half-cock was enough force to discharge the weapon. Knowing how dangerous the half-cock is, I wonder why it is even a feature of the 1911 pistols.

Thanks for your responses!!
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:36:21 PM EDT
I, too, had a somewhat (I wouldn't call it fear) hesitance to carry cocked-and-locked when I first got my pistol about a year ago. Luckily for myself, it is an HS2000 - a Glockish gun with a loaded chamber AND cocked firing pin indicator. For the first month or two, I carried it cocked but unloaded, simply to get used to the gun and not have it accidentally go off in my hands, considering I had never previously owned a handgun. The firing pin indicator was set, but the loaded chamber indicator was down (obviously). After about two months of handling it, I'd notice the firing pin indicator remaining retracted...signaling I had been carrying it safely.

After that point, I carried 1 in the chamber, 15 in the magazine, and more importantly...a good bit more confidence.
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 9:52:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/14/2002 10:55:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AJohnston:
If one desires to store the gun loaded condition 1 or condition 3 are the only safe ways to do so.



I'm a bit rusty with 1911's since mine stays in the safe most of the time & I usually have a Glock or a revolver in the nightstand BUT when I bought my first handgun 10yrs ago it was a series 80 Colt & I remember reading somewhere that "condition 2" was a legitimate way to store the pistol. I used to keep mine with a full mag & one in the chamber with the hammer down in my nightsand often. When I picked it up it was just an easy pull with the thumb of my shooting hand to cock the hammer & then flick the safety up.

I always figured there was no way an 80series pistol could discharge in condition 2.

Refresh my memory, is condition 2 really wrong ?
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 4:08:56 AM EDT
I've had 2 1911's that I carried "cocked & locked" for 12yrs. When I first started to carry it bothered me alittle, but I was more nervous about just carrying! I thought everyone could tell I was carrying a gun! You will get over it like anything else.

Cnatra - "one in the chamber with the hammer down" Just gotta be real careful releasing the trigger and lowering the hammer without the gun going off! One slip....Ka-Boom!
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 6:12:28 AM EDT
For a long time I was like you Mayday, but the longer I carry around and use the 1911 the more faith I have in Condition One.

I used to think all those guys who carried that way were nuts, but after working on my draw and doing IPSC matches, I have found it is a nice balance of speed and safety.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 6:41:15 AM EDT
Just get a revolver until you feel comfortable.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 6:42:26 AM EDT
Carrying a 1911 cocked and locked is a perfectly safe way for this weapon. The only criteria is practice and being totally familiar with your gun...a cocked and locked 1911 in a holster is as safe as a bank vault IMHO. I've carried this way for almost 35 years.....
Before starting you must know your gun, feel totally confident in it and your ability to handle it....and that comes with practice.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 7:17:17 AM EDT
A properly functioning 1911 is key to safe carry. Wilson's will check out any of their 1911s for safe functioning and sear engagement. Any decent smith can do this also. Good piece of mind for any second hand gun that you may use to save your life with.

If condition 3 carry still make you hinky (remember it is more safe than a Glock) - consider a holster where the thumb strap rides between the frame and cocked hammer. Also consider only wearing a holster that keeps the gun pointed in a safe direction like a straight drop strong side.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 10:21:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chida66:
Knowing how dangerous the half-cock is, I wonder why it is even a feature of the 1911 pistols.



The half cock notch is simply an added safety mechanism of sorts. Should the hammer hook or sear nose break causing the hammer fall, the sear would catch in the half cock notch and prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin. A properly designed hammer will have a half cock notch that completely captures the sear and prevents the hammers forward movement.



Originally Posted By cnatra:
Refresh my memory, is condition 2 really wrong?



The main reason condition 2 is such a no no is because it requires the operator to manually lower the hammer and thus dramatically increasing the risk of a negligent discharge.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 10:32:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chida66:
Don't worry fellas, I was not planning on carring the weapon on half cock, just considered the possibility of storing it like that in a holster...



Just a word of advice: If you are truly "storing" your gun, doing so in a LEATHER holster is highly discouraged as it will increase the speed and likelihood of rust formation. This can occur even on a stainless over long periods of time...stainless is not 100% rust proof.

There are oils, chemicals and acids in leather that will cause it to do this. Don't forget, leather is simply a slab of animal flesh that is decaying much slower than normal due to chemical treatment. Therefore, it's properties change over time naturally and can be affected by temperature, humidity/moisture, sunlight, etc.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 11:15:21 AM EDT
A few things to remember, finger off the trigger, finger off the trigger, finger off the trigger. I used to be uncomfortable with C&L myself until I started shooting IPSC with an STI that had a 2# trigger. After you run around a few hundred feild courses you get used to it! Get a good holster and don't worry about it. C&L is BY FAR the most efficient way to go for defensive carry. It is not well suited for applications such as being carried in a glovebox. I personally only go C&L when the gun is in a holser and stays under my direct control.
The 1911 is an excellant design for many reasons but the grip safety comes to mind here.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 11:18:30 AM EDT
Almost forgot, the 1911 should be either C&L or chamber empty. Lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber can obviously be a problem. Condition 2, IMO, is worthless and dangerous.
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 7:27:37 PM EDT
The 1911 series of pistols have a grip safety. What's wrong with simply cocked and not cocked and locked for carrying? If it's holstered shouldn't the grip safety be enough. If it's in hand shouldn't finger off the trigger be enough? Why have two safeties engaged? If it needs two safeties is it really more safe than a Glock?
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:04:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/15/2002 9:05:17 PM EDT by cnatra]

Originally Posted By ipschoser1:
Lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber can obviously be a problem. Condition 2, IMO, is worthless and dangerous.


Well as I said before my Commander spends most of the time in the safe these days but it was my first handgun
& for a couple of years I kept it on my headboard in condition 2.
I never shot my foot or anything else the dozens(hundreds?) of times I manually lowered the hammer on a live chamber.
I agree that for carry on one's person C&L is the way to go I just thought condition 2 was OK for the casa.

I may have to dust off my Colt & take her for a spin
Link Posted: 6/15/2002 9:23:44 PM EDT
I have carried cocked and locked for seven years, no problems. Buy a quality leather holster for it. Milt Sparks, Mitch Rosen, are two of my favorites. I currently carry my fullsized S/A in an ARG DL. Love it.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 6:23:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cnatra:

Well as I said before my Commander spends most of the time in the safe these days but it was my first handgun
& for a couple of years I kept it on my headboard in condition 2.
I never shot my foot or anything else the dozens(hundreds?) of times I manually lowered the hammer on a live chamber.
I agree that for carry on one's person C&L is the way to go I just thought condition 2 was OK for the casa.

I may have to dust off my Colt & take her for a spin



IMO, condition 2 isn't the greatest because of two things. The hammer has to be lowered on a live chamber, and to me at least, thumb cocking the weapon under serious stress would seem to be more fumble prone than a gross motor skill such as racking the slide. As for lowering the hammer there are acceptable methods to do it safely but it's just one more thing to be concerned with in life. You obviously lower the hammer safely and if conition 2 works for you that's great. It's just not for me for the reasons stated. Shoot straight.
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