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Can anyone tell me why it is not recommended on a SA 1911 to have the chamber loaded and the hammer down when carrying? What are the dangers of doing this?
 

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Like this hasn't been done to death already...

1. How are you going to get it there? it requires you to pull the trigger while holding the hammer and gently lowering it. Slip and you've just shot something, and ripped a big chunk out of your hand from the slide recoiling.

2. Once it's there, what are you going to do with it? Unload your gun and put it in your holster, uncocked and unlocked - just like you'd be carrying it in Condition 2. Now draw, cock the gun, and fire. Do it again - this time cocked and locked (still unloaded, of course). Draw, flick the thumb safety off and fire. which got the first shot off faster? Which do you think you'd be less likely to screw up under pressure?

3. Why do it at all? Are you afraid of carrying cocked and locked, which engages 2 mechanical safeties, and would rather carry with the hammer forward, which engages only one safety? If you think the hammer will fall during daily carry - even during strange or strenuous activities - carry it unloaded, cocked and locked for a day in a proper holster. If the hammer falls I'll give you $10.
 

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An awful lot of shooters were brought up with firearms other than the 1911/BHP, and are used to handling firearms with a hammer down. They have had it drilled into their heads that they must decock the hammer before holstering their weapon or else they will have ND and blow the crap out of their leg. And for traditional DA/SA firearms, that is the correct mode of carry, and training in that fashion is prudent.

Although the 1911 has been around forever, the vast majority of current shooters have no or very little experience with it. It seems to go against their training to decock when they see that hammer back, and they do not understand the safety system on the 1911. Heck, it caused me concern when I started carrying a 1911 after using Sig's, Glocks, and revolvers for about 10 years. I often have fellow cops point out to me that my hammer is cocked. ;)

What you need to know about the various carry modes of the 1911 is this, cocked and locked really is safe, and is the fastest method to get your pistol into action against a bad guy in a life or death situation.

s far as safety is concerned, the user has to deactivate both the hammer safety and the grip safety before the gun will fire. It will not go off in your holster because, even if you somehow manage to release the thumb safety, the grip safety is still active. Now, if your choice of holster allows your thumb safety to be flicked off, you need a better holster.

Condition one, empty chamber and hammer down, requires the user to rack the slide before engaging a threat. While this looks good in the movies, it is problematic on the street. It is slow, and it is difficult, though not impossible, to do one handed (think injury).

Condition two, loaded chamber with the hammer down is just plain dangerous for the reason cited above. You need to pull the trigger to get that hammer down, you slip and you shoot something. Further, it is slow on the draw. Instead of taking a good two-handed hold, you tie up one of your hands cocking the trigger.

Cocked and Locked is the way to go to maximize the benefits of the 1911 system. I hope this helps you out.
 

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Being a left hander and being around revolvers alot longer than autos I developed the habit of carrying cond' 2.

I will say that I do not recommend this practice with 1911s that have either a beavertail, commander hammer, or both. There is not enough leverage in decocking one of these.

Only with a spur hammered 1911 have I done this. And if I were right handed I would have just carried C&L.
 

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how do you decock one, then?

Okay, so you're cocked and locked.....what happens if for some reason you wish to unload it without firing? (Dumb question, I know).
 

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To unload it, you remove the magazine, clear the laoded round by cycling the slide, check to see that there is not a round in the chamber, check to see that there is not a round in the chamber (I mention this twice because I try to remember to get two good looks at it myself), lower the slide, point the pistol in a safe direction and pull the trigger to lower the hammer.

Hope this helps!

Maddux70
 

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Re: how do you decock one, then?

JimNEPA said:
Okay, so you're cocked and locked.....what happens if for some reason you wish to unload it without firing? (Dumb question, I know).
It's not a dumb question :)

I pull the hammer back with my primary thumb(left) and pull it far enough to deactivate the grip safety. Then pull the trigger back and lower the hammer gently. By the time I get the hammer all the way down my finger is off the trigger, of course this is only helpful with a Colt80 series safety, but it's a habit I've formed.

This is practically the same way I decock a revolver, both single and double action.

I must stress that this is not considered safe so please use caution. Try this with an unloaded gun.
 

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to Maddux70:

Okay, so it's safe to rack the slide while the pistol is cocked? Or does the hammer have to be lowered slowly under thumb pressure first?
 

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Rack that slide!

It is safe to rack the slide and clear the camber. And it is IMPERATIVE to check the chamber twice to be SURE it is empty. Step one is safety. Step two is safety.


WHAT IS NOT SAFE IS LOWERING THE HAMMER ON A LIVE ROUND!

The condition of being 'cocked and locked' IS safe: The thumb safety must be flipped, the grip safety depressed and the trigger pulled before a round is fired. Screw that up and you've really screwed up...
These guys have given good instruction and while it may seem condescending at times, think of what's at stake: your own or someone else's life. It has been well said that "with great power comes great responsibility". I have gotten training on the 1911. I have a mentor. Don't be shy about asking for help. That along with some coaching and tips on this forum will save you money and a lot of trouble which is why I am a 'forum supporter'.
To understand how the machine -and the 1911 is a machine- operates is to feel comfortable and confident in its use.


Enjoy and be safe, Garry
 

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kotonk said:
no need to sound so condescending....
Condescending sounds a lot worse that my response did. I just get concerned when people ask about C2 carry because there's no good way to get into that condition and no good reason to keep it in that condition. To me it seems like the person asking has a major misperception of the basic function of a 1911, and a dangerous misperception at that.
 

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Pretty much echoing what others have said. I'm fine with Condition One or Condition Three, but I don't advocate Condition Two carry with a single-action autoloader. Even if you don't have a problem with lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber, or re-cocking the hammer (to get it to Condition Zero to fire), you're overriding some safety features by having the hammer down and the safety off with a round in the chamber. Besides, of the three (Conditions One, Two, and Three), I'm probably the slowest with Condition Two. I can draw and rack the slide pretty quickly, and it goes without saying that drawing and thumbing off the safety is the fastest . . . but trying to slow down to carefully thumb back the hammer just doesn't sit right with me.

Andy
 

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CurtisB said:
Can anyone tell me why it is not recommended on a SA 1911 to have the chamber loaded and the hammer down when carrying? What are the dangers of doing this?
In a nutshell, there is the chance that you can let the hammer slip while decocking the hammer, and there's a chance you could have an accidental discharge.

As everyone has stated it is not a safe procedure and I'm sorry for adding more info on the subject in my previous posts.

FYI, in the army the 1911s were carried in condition 3(loaded mag, empty chamber) in flap holsters.

Jeff
 

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Oh, and the Isreali Defense Force uses cond' 3 in all their handguns.

From what I understand they are pretty quick on the draw using that method too.

Jeff
 

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Danger

Not only is it dangerous to let the hammer down on a live round,but it has not been mentioned that if you drop your weapon and it happens to land on said trigger(yes the same trigger that was let down on a live round),well I would'nt want to be around for that test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If it's dropped on a cocked and locked hammer ,guess what:it's going to stay cocked and locked.Just a thought.............Chris:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :eek: :D :D
 

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On a Springfield, I'm not worried about it with the titanium pin.

If you're concerned, load one up with blanks or a primed case and drop it a dozen or three times.

Condition 2 isn't the boogeyman a lot of folks make it out to be. It's no different than lowering the hammer on a SAA revolver or black powder gun, things I do regularly.

And has been mentioned, Condition 2 for lefties is pretty much a standard with traditional type guns as one of the carry options.

As a single action shooter, thumbing a full sized hammer back doesn't take squat for time, let me tell you.

In all honesty, if you're that afraid of lowering the hammer, I'd suggest spending quality time learning the weapon and how it operates and less time reading mesage boards.
 

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Thanks for the support rfurtkamp and gudel, as a left hander I do it all the time myself .

I'm going to bow out of this thread though, seems this could get too controversial and I want to remain a 'good boy' in the eyes of the moderators ;) .

Every one be safe,
JeffC
 

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Don't feel bad bro :)

I have owned alot of firearms, but never had a 1911 or a double guide bar until recently when I started purchasing springfield. And since then my TRP , I will never buy another brand of firearm. Had some micro compact issues, but got it fixed and its great; and my milspec is awsome too. Like you it took me a bit to adjust to carrying a firearm with it cocked and loaded. It just made me feel "uneasy" , I am sure due to conditioning. But now I have adjusted and feel comfortable with the safety system, so it works out :)

But ya carry it cocked and locked and you will be good to go!! :)
 
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