1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The great majority of my friends who served in the military, and carried 1911 pistols on duty (Army, Navy, CG) say they carried condition 3.

While I think condition 1 is the way to go, I'm wondering what the military does these days.

Given I'm 70 years old, and most of my buddies are of similar age, I'm thinking things may have changed.

I realize there aren't as many in the military using 1911's, there still are some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,166 Posts
Yep, empty chamber, hammer down, and you were lucky to have a magazine containing ammo. That is the way that they were carried in garrison and during FTX. I left active duty prior to the introduction of the M9, but I am guessing it was much the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
I did have a few Air Force tell me that the SF (their MP) carried their M9s like most civilian LE did. Load a round, safety on to decock, then slip the safety back off. As Army I always found that a head shaker that our MPs as noted, had to carry Condition Three.

However, the Air Force went from the S&W M15, .38 Special revolver (sweet gun, BTW) to the M9. So already they were carrying firearms where all you had to do was pull the trigger to fire. Not a big stretch to figure they could carry the M9 ready like a DA revolver for the first shot.

Looking through a document by the AF on dry fire training they train for draw, sight alignment, and trigger control. Nowhere in there does it call for racking the slide or disengaging the safety. Basically the same draw, sight, squeeze, as the old S&W.

Embarrassing that the Air Force gets to carry their M9 like real cops, but the Army cops get neutered by regulation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,653 Posts
Officers have always been leery of the idea of enlisted men walking around with loaded weapons. It's been that way forever..... This is why the current stupidity of the situation of not allowing military personnel to carry on base has always been left up to the base Commander. And they will always forbid it because if something goes wrong they don't want it placed in THEIR personnel file. No one wants to deal with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I did have a few Air Force tell me that the SF (their MP) carried their M9s like most civilian LE did. Load a round, safety on to decock, then slip the safety back off. As Army I always found that a head shaker that our MPs as noted, had to carry Condition Three.

However, the Air Force went from the S&W M15, .38 Special revolver (sweet gun, BTW) to the M9. So already they were carrying firearms where all you had to do was pull the trigger to fire. Not a big stretch to figure they could carry the M9 ready like a DA revolver for the first shot.

Looking through a document by the AF on dry fire training they train for draw, sight alignment, and trigger control. Nowhere in there does it call for racking the slide or disengaging the safety. Basically the same draw, sight, squeeze, as the old S&W.

Embarrassing that the Air Force gets to carry their M9 like real cops, but the Army cops get neutered by regulation.
Ditto!

I was an MP in the 70s. We got a 5 rd mag for patrol duty (in Mainz, W. Ger. when the Bader Mainhof (sp) gang was running amok). Empty chamber, hammer down. One of my buddies actually followed a rolling shoot out between them and the politzi one time.

I joined the Air Guard when I left the Army and almost freaked out the first time I saw one of our (SPF) LEs (I was Security then) dropping the hammer on a hot pipe.

When I bought my Bersa Thunder 9 I figured out the how and why of it and that's how I carry now and will also carry my new Classic when I get home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,434 Posts
Interesting stuff here. When I was an RM2 in the Coast Guard in the 70's and had to carry the portable "lunch box" radios during boarding parties, we carried our 1911's Condition One! We had to be ready for hostiles.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,626 Posts
Ditto!

I was an MP in the 70s. We got a 5 rd mag for patrol duty (in Mainz, W. Ger. when the Bader Mainhof (sp) gang was running amok). Empty chamber, hammer down. One of my buddies actually followed a rolling shoot out between them and the politzi one time.
I was in Frankfurt at the same time as you (A/709th MP Bn), and was there when Baader-Meinhof bombed two of our buildings, and machine-gunned that Federal judge in Stuttgart.

Let's face it, we were poorly trained to carry our 1911s. With all the specialized 1911 training I have received since then, I am shocked at the lack of adequate pistol training then, which resulted in Condition-3 carry. Of course, the 1911 did not come into its own until Col. Cooper et al determined the right way to carry and use it, which happened in the late 70s & 80s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
In the early '80's the Air Force was still using S&W model 10's and 15's. We carried a full 6 round cylinder with the hammer on a live round.

We only carried when we had TS coded targeting tapes for Minuteman II so it wasn't every day. I have no idea if one of these antiques would have let off a round had the hammer spur been struck. These pistols were at least as old as I was when we were carrying them.

Combat Crew carried the same weapon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
In the early '80's the Air Force was still using S&W model 10's and 15's. We carried a full 6 round cylinder with the hammer on a live round.

We only carried when we had TS coded targeting tapes for Minuteman II so it wasn't every day. I have no idea if one of these antiques would have let off a round had the hammer spur been struck. These pistols were at least as old as I was when we were carrying them.

Combat Crew carried the same weapon.
They wouldn't have. They had and have transfer bar safeties. A 20 year old S&W M10 or 15, or a 50 year old one for that matter, not mangled or battered, is still a fine and reliable gun. Your issue ammo was probably weak and not a real manstopper, but the guns themselves were solid.

The S&W Model 15 is a very fine and very accurate revolver. It is a quite rare thing to ever hear of a Model 15 that isn't accurate. I'm sure there is at least one to three out there, but I'd still suspect the shooter first. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
...
I have no idea if one of these antiques would have let off a round had the hammer spur been struck.
...
S&W revolvers have a couple of mechanisms for preventing the hammer from contacting a primer while the hammer is down.

The rebound mechanism, which forces the hammer back from its full forward position, provides high resistance to hammer movement, but is not completely positive. There is also a hammer block which operates along with the cylinder rotating pawl (or hand).

The numbered models (e.g. 10 and 15) which were 1957 on, have this mechanism design. Not sure about earlier models.

-
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,191 Posts
Transfer bar mechanisms would have the firing pin located within the frame, like Ruger double actions.

Those S&W models had hammer mounted firing pins.

-
Poor terminology on my part. Hammer block, not transfer bar. Thanks for catching that.

I should know better. I have a Model 10 heavy barrel and a Model 65-1 in the safe. They have hammer blocks. The 686 has a transfer bar. That's what I get for talking on the phone and trying to post at the same time.

Bottom line. These issue S&Ws were safe carried with six. My 3-Screw Blackhawk, now that's a different story. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
They wouldn't have. They had and have transfer bar safeties. A 20 year old S&W M10 or 15, or a 50 year old one for that matter, not mangled or battered, is still a fine and reliable gun. Your issue ammo was probably weak and not a real manstopper, but the guns themselves were solid.

The S&W Model 15 is a very fine and very accurate revolver. It is a quite rare thing to ever hear of a Model 15 that isn't accurate. I'm sure there is at least one to three out there, but I'd still suspect the shooter first. ;)
As I recall, they were unjacketed lead.
 

·
Super Moderator
EDC: SIG P938.
Joined
·
22,141 Posts
I could understand the M1911 being handled somewhat like a revolver . . . in 1911.
With the adoption of a semi-automatic, magazine-fed, single-action rifle with a manual safety, why was the M1911A1 treated to a completely different standard?

Troops understood filling the magazine, "racking" to put a round in the chamber (no way to carry the M1 half-loaded with an empty chamber), engaging the safety, etc., so why not adopt that for the M1911A1?
When the M16 was adopted, with a separate box magazine, the M1911A1 and the M16 could have been operated in exactly the same way, and it seems to me having differing conditions of readiness - if there were different conditions - didn't make much sense.

I remember the news stories after 9/11, about Guardsmen patrolling the local airport, with unloaded rifles; I don't know that they were even carrying live ammo, it was just a show.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
A buddie of mine was in the Coast Guard during the Viet Nam war and was assigned to guarding a dock yard warehouse of military equipment. Stateside.

He and a partner were patrolling through different parts of the same warehouse. His partner had a dog.

He came on a guy trying to break into a crate, racked his gun and made the guy get down on the floor and held him there. The BG was getting restless and my friend was trying to decide if should shoot the BG if he got up and tried to run for it.

About then the dog showed up and the BG suddenly became very cooperative.

I could believe the CG had a higher state of readiness for boarding parties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
437 Posts
The few soldiers and Marines who carry 1911s these are in advanced units where cocked-and-locked is the norm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,949 Posts
I recently saw something on tv where the protocol on Navy bases, to combat terrorist shootings, was that no one on a Navy base could have a firearm. I am sure that is going to stop a terrorists who is going to obey the protocol - not.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,592 Posts
I was in Frankfurt at the same time as you (A/709th MP Bn), and was there when Baader-Meinhof bombed two of our buildings, and machine-gunned that Federal judge in Stuttgart.

Let's face it, we were poorly trained to carry our 1911s. With all the specialized 1911 training I have received since then, I am shocked at the lack of adequate pistol training then, which resulted in Condition-3 carry. Of course, the 1911 did not come into its own until Col. Cooper et al determined the right way to carry and use it, which happened in the late 70s & 80s.
I agree with this observation, and think is an astute one. I was in from 71 - 72 in Korea, with a sentry dog, and trained well with the dogs but sadly lacking on 1911 training. I think the DoD was giving abbreviated training to get people overseas as quickly as possible. We patrolled a high-security compound. Those that were not dog-handlers were condition three, but the mags were indeed full in both M16's and 1911's; those of us with sentry dogs had one hand occupied to handle the dog on the leash, so we were carrying C1.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top