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What's the point of a magazine safety?

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I have 2 22 pistols with one and can't for the life of me figure out what it's for.
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I believe the 'mag safety' was originally adopted to help prevent "empty gun" accidental shootings.
The error is not in assuming that all firearms have them. The error is in NOT assuming all firearms DON'T have them.
The only firearm I own that has one is a 1975 Browning Hi-Power 9mm I inherited from my Dad.
The asumption that all guns have them is why they started stamping "idiot" cautions on receivers that no one ever reads.
One would think it not an issue for experienced gun owners and shooters, and yet we still continue to hear about shootings that happen with "empty guns".
Something my Dad said to me when I was 6 and first learning about firearms..."It's ALWAYS loaded. Especially when it's 'not'."
 

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I am still not getting your point?

And not be familiar with the P35, M49 and Luger are you saying that magazine disconnects have been on those pistols, which I'm assuming those designs are up to 80 years old?

Are you saying magazine disconnects are an operational improvement because it is better to suffer a disabled pistol that can be corrected with reseating the magazine, than the potential misfeed or jamb that could come from a magazine not properly seated?

People often do, and it is often instructed, to rap the bottom of the magazine to ensure it is seated after insertion.

The downside would be, at least the Magazine Safeties/Disconnects I have seen, a round in the chamber give you at least one shot with most pistols, but if you have magazine disconnect you can't use that round in the chamber until you insert a magazine.

You're own link right in the sub title says its a safety feature.

The way it was described in the owners manual for my Ruger 22/45 mk III was it was for cleaning safety, stating something to the effect that most ND's happen during cleaning. I'm not sure of the actual statistics on that. But I read the Army demanded for the M17/M18 there be safety provisions cleaning to avoid the high rate of ND's during cleaning. The M17/M18 safety provisions are not that inconvenient.
 

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I was always under the impression the reason they came out with them originally was so cops could drop their magazine just before they lost their sidearm in a fight so it couldn't be used against them.
I'm not a fan of these devices and have disconnected almost everyone of them on my guns that have them.

BUT … According to Mas Ayoob, the Illinois State Police were early adopters of the S&W Model 39. They have reported several "saves" when suspects grabbed an officer's gun due to these 'safties.' As the officers felt the suspects take the guns from their grasp, they pressed the magazine release, rendering the gun incapable of being fired. They were then able to overcome the suspects.
 

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I believe the 'mag safety' was originally adopted to help prevent "empty gun" accidental shootings.
On the surface it certainly seems that way. Beginners or the untrained handling firearms would assume removing the magazine would completely unload the firearm, making for a potential accident.

I only have one pistol with a magazine safety/disconnect, I find inconvenient. I store all my firearms in a safe in Condition 4, completely unloaded hammers down/striker forward. So if I cycle and check firearms, lock open to look in the chamber, etc, the only way for my one with the magazine safety/disconnect, to dry fire and drop the hammer, I have to get an empty magazine and insert it. No not much of a penalty, so don't take that the wrong way. I also don't see the advantages out weighing the disadvantages.
 

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I am still not getting your point?

And not be familiar with the P35, M49 and Luger are you saying that magazine disconnects have been on those pistols, which I'm assuming those designs are up to 80 years old?
Not sure which was the first semi-automatic or 'self-loading' pistol to have a mag disconnect or safety, but I've read it was on the list of features submitted to Mr. Browning and FN by the French Gov't. for their new pistol, which led to the P-35 or Hi-Power.

Found this interesting.
Magazine disconnects
A magazine disconnect feature does not allow a user to fire the gun when the magazine is withdrawn (even partially) by means of a mechanism that engages an internal safety such as a firing-pin block or trigger disconnect. An early example of its use was in the Browning Hi-Power pistol. As with any firearm feature, there is debate regarding the necessity of a magazine disconnect. Historically, most magazine-fed firearm designs had no magazine disconnector. There are exceptions, notably Ruger rimfire rifles and some of their newer handgun designs, and the U.S. State of California passed legislation in 2006 requiring magazine disconnects on all new handgun designs sold in the state starting January 1, 2007, which has resulted in their widespread availability in other jurisdictions as well.
The arguments in favor of a magazine disconnect are that if the gun cannot fire without a magazine, then an accidental discharge can be prevented if someone removes the magazine but forgets that a round has been chambered. Also, if losing possession of the firearm is imminent, the operator can render the firearm useless by removing the magazine. Firearms expert Massad Ayoob found instances where during a struggle, police officers carrying a pistol with a magazine disconnect were able to prevent being shot with their own guns by ejecting the magazine.
One disadvantage of the magazine disconnect is that it may add tension to components of the trigger mechanism, making the trigger pull uneven or heavy. A safety argument against a magazine disconnect is that if a round is left in a chamber due to extractor failure or other reason the firearm will revert to being live unexpectedly when an empty magazine is reinserted. This is a danger because the user may dry fire the gun during or after the unloading process. With a magazine disconnect depressing the trigger into a bullet trap or other safe direction, such as downrange, will not clear the round in the chamber because the trigger is disabled. When an empty magazine is inserted the firing system becomes reactivated, even though the trigger has been previously depressed. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute stated that an "obvious concern with magazine disconnect features is that determining whether the gun is safe becomes linked to the presence of the magazine as opposed to actually checking the gun, opening the action, and making sure it is unloaded."
Another concern is that if fatigue, debris or rust cause the disconnect mechanism to fail, it will most likely do so in the "fire" condition.
Further arguments are that functionally without a magazine the firearm is useless except as a club. Without the disconnect feature, a gun owner or police officer who accidentally releases the magazine in a gunfight would still be able to fire the bullet in the chamber; if a magazine was lost or otherwise not available, then at least the gun could be chambered with a single round to be used as a single-shot firearm. A Pro variant of the Ruger LC9s was introduced in December 2014, without a magazine disconnect, as a backup gun for law enforcement officers. "The absence of a magazine disconnect safety also is a benefit for tactical reloads that allow the user to engage a target with one round remaining in the chamber and the magazine out of the gun for reloading," Ruger said. A tactical reload is the tactic of replacing a partially empty magazine with a fully loaded magazine in a situation where increased capacity might be needed.
 

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I think the magazine safety was an ill-conceived addition lauded by a committee of lawyers in a litigious society.
Mag safeties go back to some of the first auto-pistols in the 1890s. I believe the Borchardt , the grandfather of the 'Luger' had one.
 

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I think the magazine safety was an ill-conceived addition lauded by a committee of lawyers in a litigious society.
In a 22lr steel match after a string the RO will say show clear (which means with the mag out) and then hammer down. My Buckmark 22 pistol should not be dry fired as it will strike the breech wall. When they say hammer down I pull the trigger and nothing happens, but the RO is happy and I didn't dry fire. So not saying a mag safety is good for all, but works out for this instance.
 

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Not sure if it was mentioned above but the magazine safety can save you if you have one, and point the gun at your head and fire. How Did Travis Maldonado Die? Inside 'Tiger King' Husband's Death (menshealth.com) Joe Maldonado the Lion King dude's 4th husband accidentally killed himself during a display of the magazine safety. The story here locally is a little more involved than the link, but the story goes that Travis Maldonado was explaining to other fellows how the magazine safety worked. To demonstrate how it worked, he put a round in the chamber of a 1911 45 acp, removed the magazine, held the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. That particular gun did not have a magazine safety, it fired and he died.

Joe Maldonado was a gun guy, he was often in the news around here, always shown with a handgun, usually a SW revolver with Magnum grips. They were gun guys and did a lot of shooting and such. Young Travis was not quite so knowledgeable, at least once. The pics of him in the pink shirt show him armed, the pic with 3 guys in pink shirts is him and his 2 husbands on their 3 person wedding. I was armed on my wedding too, but not openly.

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Some people say Joe Exotic was a little strange, maybe so. Not for me to judge. Point is, you need to know if your gun has a magazine safety. If so, train around it, or deactivate it. I have no problem with guns having a magazine safety, especially guns kept around children or carried by people who do not train regularly. The odds of them ever needed a reload is pretty slim. That said, I do not like them on my gun, comes from my years in law enforcement. We trained to change mags before the gun runs dry, however, in law enforcement there is the likelihood of a long gun battle that does not exist in a mugging, car-jacking or home invasion. I agree that in any self defense shooting there should never ever be a need for a reload, just the same, I prefer that my guns not have them.

There are U Tube videos on how to remove the mag safety on most guns. However, that may be a crime in some states and certainly a legal problem if someone has an accident with your modified gun.

If you see a gun at my house it is loaded, if not, that is a grave error on my part.

To answer the OPs question. The idea was to make the gun safe when the magazine was intentionally removed by the user who then might think the gun was safe. Some people might have the idea that if you remove the part that holds the bullets, then it has no bullets. It is a pretty high level of intelligence that would think to remember that there is one bullet stored in the barrel. Kind of like the Glock Leg concept. Most of the people that shoot themselves in the leg are police officers or people trained with handguns. So, guns need an extra level of safety than normal appliances. At least that is what I was taught before I could be certified by my state licensing agency and the NRA to teach and certify people for the CCW permit.

My 2 cents.
 

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... I agree that in any self defense shooting there should never ever be a need for a reload, just the same, I prefer that my guns not have them.
I'll suggest that it's a mistake to say "never … " in a self‒defense situation. One can't predict the future. It's very rare, but it has happened. If it can happen once, it can happen again.
 

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I'll suggest that it's a mistake to say "never … " in a self‒defense situation. One can't predict the future. It's very rare, but it has happened. If it can happen once, it can happen again.
There should never be a need for a reload in the three examples I gave. If you check case studies I do not think you can find a mugging or car jacking or home invasion where the victim emptied a magazine and had to rely on the reload. That said, this is a 1911 forum, probably everyone on here has had a need to drop a mag and replace it with a fresh one. In fact, I have taught that in CCW classes and in law enforcement classes I was taught the same, in a failure to feed or stove-pipe or other stoppage, a prompt magazine replacement is usually a wise move.

Also to deal with the fear of reloading issue, people carry handguns that hold 10-18 rounds. Even the lowly Glock 19 holds 15+1. My 400 Corbon and my 10mm are both 8+1. That is a lot of ammo and both with over 600 foot pounds, pretty serious power when being attacked. Even my tiny pocket gun, the Gock 43, has a spare mag of 10 rounds, the extended mag in case the first one runs dry.

So, no, you should never need a spare tire for your car, or a spare magazine. Just insurance. Now if you are hiking or otherwise in the boonies, a satchel charge and a couple grenades might be a wise in addition to a reload.
 

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It's a pretty low level of intelligence to put a gun to your head in any condition.
Yep, I would say so. The three of those guys got married to each other in a nice ceremony. One split, one died and the other is serving 18 years in prison. I am not sure of the level of intelligence in that group. Sad deal anyway, needless waste of life
 

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… If you check case studies I do not think you can find a mugging or car jacking or home invasion where the victim emptied a magazine and had to rely on the reload.
Quite the red herring there. You require that not only did a potential victim empty his gun, but he had to rely on his reload to save his life. Way to drop the odds! lol.

That said, this is a 1911 forum, probably everyone on here has had a need to drop a mag and replace it with a fresh one. In fact, I have taught that in CCW classes and in law enforcement classes I was taught the same, in a failure to feed or stove-pipe or other stoppage, a prompt magazine replacement is usually a wise move.
Yep, having a spare magazine is taught worldwide, including the school that I teach for, as part of clearing many malfunctions. And magazines should be considered consumable items. They should be replaced for carry guns at the first sign of problems. OR they can be relegated to "training only" where they'll assist in learning to clear the malfunctions they cause.

Also to deal with the fear of reloading issue
I was thinking the other day that the gun I carry today, a 2011 in 9mm, has the capacity of what was, when I started in LE, my entire load out, 18 rounds. As we pointed out in our last posts, it's not just a "fear of reloading issue." it's a realization that a malfunction might require a mag change.

people carry handguns that hold 10-18 rounds. Even the lowly Glock 19 holds 15+1.
My "lowly Glock 19" sits alongside an18 round spare mag.

So, no, you should never need a spare tire for your car, or a spare magazine. Just insurance.
My spare mag IS my insurance. Needing a spare magazine in a self‒defense situation is another outlier. Carrying a spare isn't necessary in the vast majority of such shootings. But if you're "that guy" and it happens to you, I think it would be best to be prepared.
 
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