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Hi all:

I've been a cop for three different departments ( 2 big cities and a federal agency) and have used two different firearms while on the job.
My question is an old one to be sure. With the trend in LE to use Beretta, HK, Glock, and Sig DA/SA; DAO; and safe action it is evident thats all I ever have carried. I am wondering if the thumb safety would be detrimental in a quick response combat shooting scenario where one would have to draw as quickly as possible and point and shoot.
With DA/Sa and DAO triggers ... well, thats a LONG trigger pull on most guns with those triggers. Why not use a thumb safety and SA action since its so easy to depress? Wouldn't this increase accuracy and pretty much keep the trigger pull time the same (shorter trigger pull = less time but a thumb safety being depressed adds time similar to a DAO or DA/SA first squeeze)???????????????????????????????????????????????????

Just a thought and a question. Hope you guys answer.

The Big Dog
 

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I find a cocked and locked 1911 to be much faster and more accurate than a SA/DA pistol like the Beretta (which is a great pistol, by the way). Because it's cocked & locked, you need a thumb safety, but on the 1911 it is configured in such a way that it doesn't slow me down one bit. I can have it off before I even get on target. In my opinion, there is no "faster" pistol to operate. I believe it was Jeff Cooper who described the 1911 as the most efficient combat handgun ever developed.
 

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It is a non-issue if you practice thumbing the safety off as soon as your pistol clears leather. It shouldn't slow you down one bit.
 

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Practice, I have only been carrying my 1911 for 6 months but I practice everyday with it and it has become second nature to me.
 

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I could never figure out why a safety on a shotgun is OK, but the same shooter can't be trusted with one on his/her pistol.
 

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AZ Husker said:
I could never figure out why a safety on a shotgun is OK, but the same shooter can't be trusted with one on his/her pistol.
What he ^ said :scratch:
 

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I may be in the minority here, but I prefer no manual safeties on my sidearm. I've carried Sigs on my hip for the past 4 years and prefer a DA handgun myself. I have practice shooting with cocked and locked handguns for the past 2+ years and feel I could carry one if need be, but prefer not to. I wouldn't feel under powered carrying a S&W Revolver and feel very comfortable with them. My choice of sidearm would be a Glock or Sig for simplicity of arms. I'm not much on the traditional S&W or Beretta decocker/safety for a carry gun (I own several decocker/safety S&Ws and Berettas though), I'd much rather have the decocker only feature. This is largely an issue of what an individual feels comfortable with. I think anyone (well mostly anyone) can be trained to carry a gun cocked and locked. I don't want anything interferring with my pulling the trigger when I clear leather, but that's my preference.
 

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AZ Husker said:
I could never figure out why a safety on a shotgun is OK, but the same shooter can't be trusted with one on his/her pistol.
Shotgun safeties are essentially worthless anyway: they are typically difficult to use and dont actually "safe" the gun. I train most people to use the safety during administrative procedures, but to leave the safety off any other time.

I do not think that the 1911 safety is really analogous to the "safeties" on other autoloaders which I always treated as decockers anyway.
 

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To DA or not to DA

Hello Big Dog....the safety on a 45 ads 0 time to make a shot. stateing that...one must completely train the brain to engage and disengage the safety at propper times. Safety is always on unless you are in the fireing position. My safety is engaged as soon as I start to pull out of the fireing position. It's exactly like keeping your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire. Disengageing and engageing the safety is the same learned practice and if practiced enough will become second nature. Some folks who are not accustomed to workeing with a 45 ask if the safety can be bumped off....mine never has.
Buy a 45...practice slow slow slow and soon you will be very pleased with it's function.
Have a very good and safe day.
Sigkim
 

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Big Dog,
Perhaps I read this too quick but I don't think anyone ansewered your exact question.

On almost all of those Pistols the safety acts as a decocker and will automatically drop the hammer (some modes of the HK are different and the CZ which you did not mention has two modes of carry).

If the above were not true then it would depend on the location and action of the safety. As many have mentioned the 1911 safety, as well as the Browning P-35, the CZ-75, the newer HKs and the old version of the Beretta 92/Taurus have frame mounted safeties which can indeed be quickly disengaged on the presentation.

The others vary. Almost all slide mounted safeties require the shooter to lose his firing grip in order to operate it - that could be a very dangerous operation.

Food for thought,
Jim Higginbotham
 

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My opinion is that a manual safety is needless on those pistols that are DAO or DA on the first shot. Otherwise, we need to start putting manual safeties on all of our revolvers.
Secondly, most of the manual safeties on these guns are manipulated in a way that is totally unnatural to the shooter- that is, flipped forward and up with the top of the thumb. At least the 1911 has a natural, downward swipe.

When I first began my career, I carried a S&W 4506 .45, and I never engaged the safety. I did use it as a decocker before holstering.
Recently, when our chief approved the use of 1911s and other personally owned weapons, the new policy dictated that any weapon with a manual safety must be carried with the safety engaged. For this reason, none of the Berretta or other DA pistol fans began carrying their pet pistol. At least one of them is a serious shooter who has been involved in at least one shooting, and swears by the Berretta, but still, he won't carry it in that manner. That should tell you something of how practical the safeties are.
 

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It all comes down to training, mindset, what your comfortable with, and what your used to.

There is no "one action fits all" nor will there ever be as long as there are so many choices.
 

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What do you think about the manual thumb safety for LE purposes?

I think if someone isn't smart and/or diligent enough in their training to remember to use a thumb safety on a single-action pistol that they should find another line of work.
 
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