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Old 09-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #21
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Garadex,

You have a valid question, unfortunately, it's a question that is asked many times and never really answered correctly, so some people like to make light of the subject. I will try to give you the reasoning I've deduced from the many threads.

There is a belief amongst the general public that dates back to the very early years of firearms. Very old firearms (1800's to 1920's) were poorly designed and could, if handled improperly or dropped, discharge. This led manufacturers to add mechanical switches that disabled operation of the firearm so that it would appear "safer" to the general public and increase sales. The largest percentage of the general public was mainly located in urban areas and were unfamiliar with guns and gun handling. Gun manufacturers realized that sales to families in which one or both spouses was untrained would be easier if their deadly weapon could be disabled as easy as flicking a switch, same action as turning out a light bulb. Sales of "safe" guns continued for decades.

Throughout the middle of the 20th century, safeties worked. Americans had a healthy respect for parents, authority and rules. Kids listened when younger and were educated to the use of firearms when old enough to be responsible. Manual safeties were still a redundancy for the uneducated, but educated shooters knew the rules. Also, there was a loss of understanding of what used to be "common” terms. For one, people who committed suicide (at one point this subject was unacceptable to discuss in polite company, and could not be printed in newspapers) and were rich and/or had connections, their family would ask the police and papers to report the death in a respectable way so that the family would avoid embarrassment, becoming the phrase "Shot cleaning his gun." Police and gun people knew this to be suicide, but the ever-growing group of urban dwellers who typically had no gun education actually believed that a gun could go off after being unloaded and half-disassembled! Manual switches to disable their activation were obviously required!

A few decades later, as violent crime increased, police were involved in more shootings and gun-owning civilians armed themselves, the Information Age was applied to firearms technology. CNC manufacturing allowed firearms to be engineered down to ten-thousandths of an inch and metals and polymers were more pure and stronger than ever before. Modern technology and materials removed all of the previous weaknesses and breakage that were responsible for previous failures and made modern firearms failure rate below 1 per 10,000.

Also improved were the shooters. Where the only previous training was the military and police academies, now sprung up training facilities in every state, taught by highly educated instructors that had personal experience and a dearth of information never before available. Police had their own department trainers and armorers, military are training Top Tier Operators, and civilians are taking advantage of this gold-level training. ”Accidental Discharge" is a thing of the past, replaced by "Negligent Discharge" and placing the responsibility on the operator, not the gun.

However, due to all of this information being applied to shooting sports, some other trends were also discovered, such as police officers and security personnel being gunned down without firing a shot, often due to not remembering to disengage their "safety" or the gun jamming because of trying to do too many operations at once and jamming the gun. The security professionals that protected the general public were dying because of their "safeties." Along comes Glock and spends years engineering a firearm that a trained professional can use at a moments notice that will also not fire when dropped, handled normally or even violently disassembled. This is the reason it became the eminent law enforcement weapon and choice for civilian defense - it has absolutely no flaws for a TRAINED professional. Of course, someone trained with an older model gun with safeties can also be competent with safeties as well, but safety is still maintained without them in modern-designed firearms.

The confusion is generated since our current market of firearms is a collection of designs dating back over a century. Colt 1911 is not a model number, but the year it was designed! The firearm itself has been updated to include new materials and safety improvements, but otherwise is the same as it was designed in 1911. In truth, it is not necessary to include all of the safety levers that come on the current model, but they are included only for familiarity sake. Many companies other than Colt have created modern firearms in a 1911-style and removed all the safeties with no operational or liability problems. The difference being that firearms are being handled by highly trained users and the manual switches to disable operation have become more of a hindrance rather than a "safety." Even the public has grown up and realizes that a gun with a "safety" does not guarantee a safe environment. While most manufacturers will not remove safeties from current designs due to court room liability concerns, the industry is definitely moving away from switches and trusting more in education. Shooters will continue to purchase handguns and long guns that feel best to them based on their training, but in general, the more educated the shooter, the less he relies on or wants his firearm equipped with switches to complicate his battery of arms.

Sorry for the text wall, but I hope it helped!
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Last edited by TekGreg; 09-10-2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:25 AM   #22
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A lot of this stuff is like the "I shoot firearm X better than firearm Y" or "bullet X is more accurate and kills better than bullet Y".

What they're really saying is that they like firearm X better than firearm Y and that they don't really know how to hit a target with a firearm. It's pretty much a given that if bullet X and bullet Y are placed exactly where they should be, the effect is going to be exactly the same.

I've shot virtually every major brand of pistol in all the common calibers and there's not a whit of difference between them insofar as what they actually do. Yes, some are better than others at this or that, but none of them are so different as to make one so much better than the other that one should be preferred to the exclusion of anything else. I'm talking about weapons primarily intended to kill other people with, not target pistols or hunting pistols.

If you put firearm X and firearm Y in a ransom rest, the accuracy differences between the two are virtually indistinguishable and both, apart from inevitable mechanical failure, will be just as reliable.

If you subject firearm X and firearm Y to test A and B, both will perform very similarly to each other. Again some are better than others at this or that test.

I look for simplicity in use and maintenance (because I'm not smarter than a 5th grader), cost (because my wife knows how to use them and might decide to use it on me if I come home with a 3K pistol), cost of ammunition (it just keeps going up), and weight (because I have to carry it) when deciding what pistol to use. Whether it is or can be the best at this or that is a moo point- like the opinion of a cow. What can I get for a reasonable price that's simple and economical to own and operate?

Almost all reliability (blah), accuracy (triple blah), and "safety" (second only to the concept of god in the realm of mythical concepts that people get way, way too worked up about) concerns come down to the capability of the user and nothing else.

I've noticed the following:

Almost all modern carry pistols are as accurate as you are and, generally speaking, more accurate. Someone can always point out an exception, but exceptions don't denote the general case.

Almost all modern carry pistols are as reliable as the operator who cares for them. Someone can always point out an exception, but exceptions don't denote the general case.

Almost all modern carry pistols are as "safe" as the operator using them. Someone can always point out an exception, but exceptions don't denote the general case.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:27 AM   #23
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Having a safety offers no guarantee against an unintended discharge. It actually adds another layer of potential mistake, ie; "I thought the safety was on". That said, the choice should be up to the gun owner. If it has a safety and you'd prefer quicker response, leave it off. If not having one means you're going to carry unchambered then other guns may need to be considered.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #24
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Apples to oranges. Yes my long guns have external safeties and, yes, I use them. Some of my handguns have had external safeties and I used them too. Interestingly enough one of my current handguns (Taurus PT709) has en external safety and I don't use it because the gun also has an internal safety similar to a Glock. An example of a long gun with an external safety is my Browning A5. The safety switch is located inside the front of the trigger guard. I always engage the safety because when I'm carrying the gun in the field it would be very easy for a limb or some other object to bump into the trigger and make it go bang. That gun, like most long guns, has a very sensitive trigger, almost a hair trigger. You practically just touch it and it goes off. It would be foolhardy to carry it with a shell in the chamber and the safety off. On the other hand, when hunting quail you have to keep a shell in the chamber for two reasons. The magazine only holds 2 shells with the plug in and secondly if you waited until a covey rise to put a shell in the chamber the birds would be long gone before you ever got off the first shot.

My Glock on the other hand does not have a hair trigger. It has a safety switch built into the trigger and a 5.5 lb. trigger pull. Plus, there's no chance of a limb snagging the trigger because the gun is riding in a holster. When I get ready to shoot it I don't put my finger inside the trigger guard until the gun is pointed at the target. Then I have to disengage the internal safeties and fire the weapon by consciously applying 5.5 lbs. of pressure to the trigger.

Apples and oranges.

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Old 09-10-2013, 01:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garadex View Post
Let me clarify, do you use the external safety on your long guns, if so what is the difference between using a safety on a rifle or shotgun but not on your handguns? I understand that Glocks have internal safeties and that the best safety is using your brain and keeping your fingers off the trigger.
most my long guns are for hunting,so i carry them while walking and alot of times around other people.now with my glock its in my holster and is for self defense purposes and only comes out to shoot occasionaly and to clean.
heres a question how many revolvers have you seen with a saftey on them,i have several and none of them have a safety other than the taurus which requires a key to lock.
point being guns intended for self defense purposes should be easy and quick to use the less time it takes for me to present and fire my sd pistol in a truley high stress situation is all the better, and really it comes down to personal prefrence in the end.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:43 PM   #26
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Only handguns that need an external safety are single action only. That's why revolvers don't have safeties, because the trigger is heavy enough in da. Best safety is always between your ears and not on gun, even with guns with external safeties. Just my 2cents.
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Old 09-10-2013, 01:53 PM   #27
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I've been carrying a Glock on duty and off (concealed and open carry) for the past 8 years. I have never and will never have a negligent discharge. Keep your finger off the trigger of every gun until your sights are on target and you are ready to destroy said target.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:41 PM   #28
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Didn't the great elliot nest have a negligent discharge and kill himself? I believe it was a revolver or 1911 as glocks didn't exist back then. Just goes to show even trained individuals need to always be on their toes as far as gun handling.
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Old 09-10-2013, 02:50 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Didn't the great elliot nest have a negligent discharge and kill himself? I believe it was a revolver or 1911 as glocks didn't exist back then. Just goes to show even trained individuals need to always be on their toes as far as gun handling.
Im sorry guys I made have gave some wrong info about the death of eliot ness. I know I read somewhere he died from a ND but just now I read he died of a heart attack. So who really knows. Doesn't change the fact about safe gun handling though.
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:40 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainman13 View Post
Many different guns I have came with safeties. I don't use them. I don't trust them.
Just to clarify Glocks do have safeties. They're just internal.
For all of my guns, I am the safety.
Keep the booger picker off the bang switch.
Sorry to hear that!
I guess you don't use your seatbelts either!
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