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Cocked & Locked: The Best Way to Carry a 1911

11860 Views 169 Replies 90 Participants Last post by  pete177
One of the most heated arguments involving handguns is the proper carry method of the 1911 semi-automatic pistol, or any other single-action semi-auto. I’ve found that those who carry single-action pistols are relentless in their convictions, either adamantly for carrying them “cocked-and-locked" or carrying on an empty chamber.

What say ye...
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The 1911 provides options. You can choose whatever you prefer and works for you.

I prefer Condition 1, Cocked and Locked. However, I can probably come up with a scenario where Condition 3, hammer down, chamber empty, could be useful. I have yet to think of a scenario where I'd prefer Condition 2, hammer down on a live round.

For those new to the 1911, and may not have made up their mind yet, this may be a helpful video.

 

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There might be a few here who haven't heard this old story:

The Texas Rangers have a very long tradition as a law enforcement agency and the 1911 pistol has been a big part of that. The 1911 is, even today, approved for carry and considered a trademark of the Rangers. As the old (true or not) story goes, a Ranger on the street was approached by a lady who pointed to the cocked-and-locked 1911 pistol in his holster and asked, "Isn't that dangerous?"

The Ranger replied, "Maam, I wouldn't carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn't dangerous!"
 

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I can only speak for 1911s. Condition One always.

I learned that hard way one day in a local convenience store that a pistol not in condition one is worthless. An argument erupted at the cashier. I was back behind the hot dog machine but in perfect position if this went bad. The only problem was my gun was in condition three (chamber empty loaded mag). That was when I realized that if I cocked my gun all the attention would be on me and I would completely lose my element of surprise which is key in these situations. Lucky for me the argument never got bad enough to deploy my pistol, thank God. It was bad enough that my pistol was out in a low ready position. From that day forward I am always cocked and locked.
 

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Bottom line, determine the way you feel the safest and most comfortable, and practice/train over and over and over. Don't conform to another individual's carry method if it is in contrast to your comfort level. Carrying a 1911 condition 1 is not for the novice. Practice.

Just because condition 1 is safer than say, a loaded Glock, doesn't negate the fact one may feel unsafe with a cocked and locked 1911. In fact, the 1911 might not the right choice for that person.
 

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One of the most heated arguments involving handguns is the proper carry method of the 1911 semi-automatic pistol, or any other single-action semi-auto. I’ve found that those who carry single-action pistols are relentless in their convictions, either adamantly for carrying them “cocked-and-locked" or carrying on an empty chamber.

What say ye...
I don't know anybody personally that currently carries any handgun with an empty chamber.
 

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Most, but not all, of my firearms in the gunsafe are empty.

They're ALL treated as if they're loaded.

If they don't need to be ready to "Honor A Threat", then they may not have a clip, magazine or loaded cylinder.

If I'm carrying it, it's loaded, cocked and locked, because you cannot "Honor A Threat" with an unloaded firearm.

In order for my 1911 to fire in Condition 1, I have to remove it from the holster, hold it in my hand in order to disengage the grip safety, thumb off the thumb safety, put my finger on the trigger and pull it.

I've regularly carried a 1911 for about 10 years now.

Not once has one gone off unless I made it.

So I have Faith that it's "Safe".

Oh, and since I frequently use the analogy that firearms are like fire extinguishers?

I always have a fire extinguisher close at hand, it's always fully charged, armed, and ready to go.

All I have to do is pull the safety pin, point it, and pull the trigger to Honor The Threat.
 
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