SA uncocked carry?

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by BeyondTheBox, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I'm curious if anyone has ever had even second party experience or knowledge of an instance of an SA handgun going off while loaded and uncocked. I've taken my SAs out, chambered round, uncocked, and used a hammer to try and engage the firingpin, nothing. I hit as hard as I was willing to, considering the possible damage it could cause should I do so further.

    I've been told and read elsewhere, everywhere, that it's not a safe position to carry in, and I understand the reasoning, but my experience will always outweigh the "common" perception. However, I will never disregard or overlook a more experienced word to wisdom, just require more than could'ves, should'ves or would'ves.

    What's your take on it? Am I being stubborn and ignorant here? I won't lie, I've always had to learn things the hardest way possible because I don't take anyone's word for anything, but I'm not so pig headed that I can't take all into account.

    Thanks fellas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  2. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    You need to be specific as to what SA gun you are asking about. For instance, the Ruger New Model Blackhawk has a transfer bar safety that makes it safe to carry with all 6 chambers loaded, this is true of the Ruger Vaqueros as well.
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    And the 1911A1 pistol (Semi auto and Single Action) has a firing pin that when the hammer is flat against it, will not reach the primer- it "bounces" forward when struck.

    My Ruger .22 pistols are also SA/SA. So, what gun?
     
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

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    Because this is posted in the semi-auto handguns, I presume that is what you are talking about.

    Remembering that one rule is to keep the finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot (and the only way to lower most SA semi-auto hammers is to pull the trigger), there is no way to keep a round in the chamber and uncock the hammer SAFELY.

    So that means the hammer is down on an empty chamber. That is a safe way to carry.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  5. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I get the impression you're referring to single action revolvers...

    How about one of the most famous lawmen ever? Wyatt Earp.

    Legend has it that while sitting in a saloon one day with a small group of companions (believe the famous "Doc" Holliday was there), he propped his foot on a nearby chair, inverting the holster on his hip and tied to his leg, allowing the gun to slip and fall to the floor. The gun went off, blowing a hole through the leg of his own chair, causing it to collapse, and also putting a hole in the table.

    I can't confirm this, as the story varies. Supposedly he swore his friends to secrecy on the matter, out of embarrassment. Someone obviously spoke out, or spread rumors. But, I will say that I'd found it to be attributed to at least two sources, Holliday, and Morgan Earp, one of his closest friends and younger brother, respectively.
     
  6. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

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    The danger of Condition 2 (hammer down on a loaded chamber) is not so much the chance of an accidental discharge while carrying as an accidental discharge while putting the gun in that condition while manually dropping the hammer on a live round.

    Condition 2 is slower into action than Condition 1 (cocked and locked) and less safe than Condition 3 (unloaded chamber) so it really has nothing to recommend it as a method of carry.

    With the vast variety of handguns and actions available today, if you are not comfortable carrying in Condition 1 (the intended way) you should just chose a non-SA gun to use.
     
  7. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    Many years ago my partner while removing his Browning HP from his holster in our locker room dropped the gun. It fell with the muzzle hitting the floor first, causing the barrel to be pushed back. There was a round in the chamber and the hammer was down. The primer struck the firing pin and the gun discharged and the bullet struck the ground and then hit the ceiling. Never leave the hammer down in a SA auto with a round in the chamber. Also, I wouldn't believe the story about Wyatt Earp, cause they didn't tie down their holsters to their leg back then. That was invented by the movie industry and quick draw rigs weren't used in the 1800's.They didn't even use hammer thongs, only flap holsters if they wanted their guns secured. This Colt SAA .45LC is ca. 1891 with with common holster.
    [​IMG]
    This is my T-Series Browning HP like the one my partner dropped.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    So the comcern is less about what could happen during carry as it is about what could happen if it slipped while letting it down.

    I know the general rules of thumb about never have finger on trigger until I'm ready to shoot and never point the weapon at something I'm not willing to shoot, but I just think such statements are far too blanketed to apply. The gun is always aimed on something, and I don't know about you guys but I'm not willing to put a whole in my floors.

    I'm always extremely careful when letting down the hammer. I place one finger firmly atop it and one between it and the firing pin as a secondary precaution. I much prefer to carry it this way as I feel it inherently safer and quicker to use than cocked n locked, much so. I've proven it in my practice at drawing and firing.

    The guns I'm referring to would be (for open carry) my two Firestars, M45 & M43, and (for concealed) my Phoenix HP22ANB. They are SA semi-autos, not revolvers.

    Thanks for the advisements fellas. And just incase the more safety police of kind were wondering, I wasn't holding my handgun in one hand and hammering against it with my other. I realized what a slide thundering back could do to the hammer in my hand and my face on the other end of it, so I had a buddy do it. Hahahaa just kidding, I rigged some C clamps up with a backstop placed under the hammer gaurd so it couldn't wildly fire into the air. If it had fired the bullet would've gone directly into the ground in front of it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  9. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    It sounds to me like for you you need a bullet trap to take your firearm out of battery http://www.actiontarget.com/store/catalog/category/view/s/clearingtraps/id/24/

    I am not "willing" to shoot a hole in my floor, but if the firearm discharges while I am taking it out of battery (this applies to any and all firearms- not just SA), the "safe direction" in my house would be pointed at the floor. I have not fired a round through the floor ever- and pray that I never do. On the other hand, I have had one negligent discharge in my house and it was pure negligence on my part- I did not properly confirm that the chamber was totally clear before handing my 10/22 to my friend and telling him to try the trigger. It put a hole in my bedroom wall:eek:.

    I have absolutely no knowledge of those firearms, hopefully someone else here does.

    What I would advise to you would be to train more and learn those guns more intimately (specifically answering your question as it applies to those guns). The more familiar you are with the specific operation of the guns (and and all guns you handle) the safer you and those around you will be. There is no substitute for this. The caution, however, is to never, ever, become too comfortable or casual in your familiarity or you will do as I did with my 10/22 and have a negligent discharge.

    What you describe is, to me, not a safe practice.:eek: I would never do that, never, ever.
     
  10. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    I'm not sure but aren't guns built differently nowadays then they were back then? I am under the impression that you can drop a gun nowadays and it won't fire. I'm sure it was a revolver in the legend you tell. I don't think that could happen with my GP100.
     
  11. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Correct Winds. Your GP100 (double-action) has a transfer bar safety that physically prevents the firing pin from being struck by the hammer unless the trigger is squeezed. Older single-action guns such as the ones that Wyatt Earp carried did not have this safety feature.
     
  12. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

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    To each their own.
    While I don't recommend that single action semi autos be carried with a round in the chamber and hammer down, there are going to be those that think it is okay. That is their choice.

    Carrying on half cock (even when not recommended by the owner's manuals), do so by their own choice.

    As an NRA certified instructor, I cannot recommend such carry, but to each their own.
     
  13. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    Well I of couse let hammer down whilest pointed down. My firearm is always directed toward the ground unless prepared to shoot, I was just using that as an example of how those old blanketed sayings don't really have valid application in every instance.

    And the experiment wasn't something I practice, I simply had to test it and did so the safest way I could come up with.
     
  14. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    But why? Is there really a greater chance of an AD over cocked n locked.
     
  15. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    The First Rule of Firearms Safety says this:
    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
    This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

    OK, I will admit that "or damage" is a bit unrealistic as a gun going off will undoubtedly cause damage to whatever it is pointed at, unless it is pointed into a bullet trap. Perhaps it would be worded better if it said "irreparable damage".

    The last sentence in red is where you come in. If you live on the second floor in a multi-level apartment complex there may not be a safe direction as I see it unless you have a proper trap handy. Common sense and circumstances dictate what you should do here.

    As to your test, it is my opinion that this was an unsafe test, but I (thankfully) wasn't there and you were. I am OK with that.
     
  16. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired

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    In my opinion (and experience as instructor), yes.
     
  17. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    As I said, blanketed and invalid, no direction is safe, and the concept of the value of "safer" is far too relative to argue.

    I don't disagree that the experiment was unsafe and/or illconceived, but we're back full circle. I could say the same of someone with bad arthritis, or of certain ages being allowed to carry let alone own firearms, due to increasing nearness to senility and lack of proper grip and dexterity to be "safe". However, I don't, because I trust that it is something considered by a responsible party and done so with utmost care.

    Still, I'm all about being as safe as I can. So I definitely plan to grab one of those traps. Great idea, especially for my application.
     
  18. BeyondTheBox

    BeyondTheBox New Member

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    I'm still walking the picket on this. I really hate cocked n locked, feel it asking for trouble. Ugh I'll keep thinking on it. Thanks a lot for your experiences and opinions fellas, food for thought for sure. For now I'll stay uncocked.
     
  19. Garadex

    Garadex New Member

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    You can't ask for trouble, usually, if your safety is on.
     
  20. bartwatkins

    bartwatkins New Member

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    I am in full agreement with Dan fl (2 posts back) - if we are discussing a SA only 1911, then by all means YES, there is a greater chance of an AD with the hammer down on a loaded chamber.
    Not so much with most DA/SA modern autos (that have firing pin blocks). I used to have an H&K USP and it had a safety assisted de-cocker too. It was also painstakingly drop tested by the manufacturer. I just offer this as an example of a gun that is made for and fine to carry chambered and hammer down.

    But again, a SA only 1911 - this is an example of a gun made and designed to be carried cocked and locked. If you are going to carry this type of gun hammer down, then in my opinion, it should be Condition 3 (magazine full and inserted but chamber empty). This would require the slide to be manually racked prior to firing.