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Discussion Starter #1
1) Is dry firing a 1911 harmful?

2) What is your prefered way of safely lowering a hammer on a loaded chamber? I know in a perfect world this would never have to be done...but if it did how would you do it?

The way that I currently do it is to place the thumb of my free hand firmly between the hammer and firing pin. I pull the trigger and then slowly roll my thumb out of the way allowing the hammer to slowly come to rest against the firing pin.

Thanks for your opinions
 

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1) Absolutely not!

2) There is NO need to EVER lower the hammer on a loaded chamber. Don't do it - ever. There is no "safe" way. Drop the mag, and cycle the slide by hand to clear the chamber. Why would you want hammer-down on a live round, anyway?

Welcome to the forum!
 

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1. I believe it will not harm your 1911.

2. Even if it is not allowed this is the way I do it. With my weak thumb and forefinger, I pinch the hammer (combat) and press the trigger and sloooowly rest the hammer to the firing pin stop.
 

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Welcome. Dry firing a 1911 does not hurt. In fact at one time the military used a device called a Target Dotter that was used for dry firing. The hammer hit the firing pin which struck a spring loaded plunger that was pointed. If the sights were on target a nice small group of pin pricks appeared on the set up. Not enough resistance to say that the plunger softened the hammer fall.

Lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber is not safe. If I were going to do it I would make sure that my fingers and thumb were very dry and teh hammer was even dryer. I'd grasp the hammer by its sides and very carefully lower it. One sneeze during the operation and people might call you stumpy.

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies guys,

I know there should never be a situation where you would WANT to lower a hammer on a loaded round, but this not being a perfect world, I was just wondering how it should be done if it ever HAD to be done, regardless of how obscure the situation. Thanks again.

As far as safely dry-firing I've recieved both opinions, so I hope to see some more.

Thanks again
 

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Originally posted by T_Smith:
As far as safely dry-firing I've recieved both opinions, so I hope to see some more.


You shouldn't see ANY nay-sayers on this forum. At least from the knowledgeable folks. Dry fire is a perfectly acceptable way to practice, and it does not harm your gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sorry Shane,

I misunderstood your "Absolutely Not" response meaning it should never be done.

My bad.

Thanks.
 

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Yes, I can see how it may have been mis-interpreted. But if I go back and edit it now, our last couple posts won't make much sense to anyone, huh!?

Regardless - DRY FIRE GOOD!
 

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Dear T_Smith, I don't think there's any harm in dry firing a modern gun. What I've read is that the metals used are so much better than even forty or fifty years ago that there is little damage of breaking the firing pin. The one exception is rimfires where repeated dry fire will damage the gun. That being said I still use snap caps. Why don't you buy a pack for your dry firing and then you won't have to worry.

As for letting down the hammer try as many methods as you can with an unloaded gun and decide which works best for you. Stay safe, Gary
 

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T_smith. DON'T ever drop or lower the hammer on a weapon with a round in the chamber, MR MURPHY never lurks far from mischief, you may go 5,10,15 years without any problem, but you WILL eventually make a mistake, and it could be fatal for you or someone else. Remember, if you start with good habits, they will follow you throughout your entire life.
 

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You guys all forgot the most important point. Keep the muzzle pointed at whatever you can replace the most easily, because if you try to drop hammer on a loaded chamber you will most likely BE replacing it.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, OK, I think all of your responses are finally getting thru to me. I promise to never, ever lower the hammer on a loaded chamber.

The only reason I even brought up this subject was for a "what if" situation where for whatever reason you HAD to do it. I was not asking "how to" because it was something I planned on doing routinely, but "how to" if you had NO CHOICE, however absurd the situation, thats all.

I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as a situation "that will never come up" and that was why I was asking opinions on how to do it, that's all.

Anyway, while we're on the subject...what is the purpose of the half-cock and would it be acceptable to store a 1911, say in a glove-box, with a round in the chamber and half-cocked instead of locked&loaded.

Sorry guys, but this is my first single-action auto and cocked&locked is going to be a pill that will take me awhile to get used to. I come from the world of Glocks, etc.

Thanks for your patience.
 

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You come from a world of Glocks? You should be right at home carrying cocked n' locked then. Instead of a partially-cocked, unlocked weapon you instead have a cocked and LOCKED (as in three safety devices) one. The Glock seemed safer only because you couldn't actually SEE the partially-cocked striker.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK dsk...you've definately got my attention.

So a Glock has the striker under continous pressure...even before the trigger is manipulated? And would it be possible for this to cause a discharge if a mechanical failure of some sort happened?

Thanks for the patience and responses...I'm learning by the hour.


[This message has been edited by T_Smith (edited 10-11-2001).]
 

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The striker in a Glock is being partially held back, but not all the way. Theoretically if the striker were to be released it could detonate a sensitive primer, but an actual failure isn't likely because of the firing pin block and the low tension placed on the parts in the partially-cocked mode. The greater danger regarding the Glock lies in the fact that the trigger only needs to travel a short distance to complete the cycle and discharge the gun. The only thing keeping it from happening is that tiny little lever on the trigger, and that is easily defeated if some foreign object should snag it and tug on the trigger. A Glock is very dangerous to carry UNLESS the trigger guard is completely covered and the gun held against movement. Most holsters are well-enough designed that the Glock is safe to carry, but the fact is that folks take it for granted.

Now regarding the 1911, people are nervous about "CnL" because of the fully cocked hammer which is fully visible, in addition to the extremely short trigger travel required to fire the piece. However, a discharge is still highly unlikely because:

1. If the hammer hook should fail the half-cock notch will catch the hammer.
2. The trigger can't move unless the grip safety is depressed.
3. The thumb safety positively blocks the sear from movement, and in a well-designed holster is highly unlikely to inadvertently snap to the off-safe position.
4. In a Series 80 or Kimber Series II there is a firing pin block safety.

So you have at least three safeties, four depending on the make of 1911. About the only way a 1911 can catastrophically discharge all by itself is if you have an old or cheaply-made gun w/o a firing pin safety and the sear nose somehow breaks off. Unless the part failed due to extreme age or was made of inferior materials, the only way it could happen is if the hammer were to receive a hellish blow from the outside.

And so, as long as you use a quality-brand 1911 with quality internal parts a CnL'd 1911 is easily as safe, if not more so than a loaded Glock.

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D. Kamm
USGI M1911/M1911A1 Pistols Website
http://www.geocities.com/M1911_M1911A1
 

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1. Nope. Dry fire as much as you can though to try and wear it out.

2. Don't. (Since I understand your interest, here's the way I would do it, if I did) Since you'll be outside of some of the big 4, make sure you obey the "Don't let your muzzle cover ANYTHING you are NOT willing to DESTROY!!" absolutely to the letter, 'cause your chance of AD'ing will increase exponentially with this practice. I would pinch hammer between weakhand thumb and middle finger, with my index finger resting on the back of the firing pin, lower until you pinch your index finger, then slide it out slowly while you continue easing the hammer down while maintaining contact with your index finger. Have bandaids around 'cause if that puppy goes off, it's gonna bite you but good!!
 
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