In that case, load one, skip one, load the next four, and then cock and lower the hammer.
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While condition one is without doubt the logical answer in 2023, when first developed and issued to the military in 1911, that was not actually the intended method of carry.
Context- the military was using revolvers, some of which were still single actions, and often trained troops with DA guns to cock the hammer for accurate firing.
The original design didn’t even have a manual safety, this was ordered by the cavalry so a cocked ready to fire gun wasn’t in the hands of a trooper on an out of control stampeding horse.
In the original trials and initial fielding of the gun, the original intent was hammer down round in chamber, cock on draw like you did with your wheel gun. After a series of ND’s lowering hammers, the military went to hammer down empty chamber.
The idea of cocked and locked is fairly new only coming into popularity in the 1970’s. And yes I voted cocked and locked all the way.
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Thank you for this info (which I shortened only for space considerations in my reply) - you’ve answered some questions I’ve carried-around about how long cocked-and-locked carry has been a “thing.”
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For me the answer would be simple.
When I first started shooting with my dad one of his rules was to never carry a cocked gun. He didn't trust the safety, especially on handguns.
Handgun or long gun, makes no difference. That was one of his rules and it has just been a way of life for me.
Edit to add: That is why I don't own ANY 1911 style handguns.
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when nobody is looking.
Does this apply to P226s or 229s SAO that don’t have a grip safety? Does the lack of a group safety deter anyone?
Speaking for myself, no, as long as you keep your finger off the trigger, and keep the safety engaged when you are not loading, clearing or checking the pistol, or when you are not preparing to fire it.
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That and I'm never riding a horse which is why it was added originally for the Cavalry in case the gun slipped out of a rider's hand.
Cocked and locked ..... question for those who lower the hammer, how do you do that safely and why?
And I thought this thread was gonna be about carrying my Blackhawk
I’ve only ever carried C1 and C2 for SAO, but I do have an answer for you from someone I know. A 1911 requires two hands to lower the hammer safely. This is because of the grip safety. The palm of the weak hand rests over the slide while the weak-hand thumb presses on the face of the hammer, controlling how fast it rides forward. This is normally safe and easy to execute, but obviously not foolproof. An additional layer of safety can be added by releasing the trigger (strong-hand index finger) as soon as the hammer starts riding forward. This ensures that the hammer cannot fall past the intercept notch (half-cock position).
Why? I’ve heard from some that because any SAO gun is not ready on the draw (unless foolishly carried cocked and unlocked), they find it easier to remember to cock the hammer rather than release a safety. It’s just a way of thinking for them. Disengaging the safety is like undoing an unnecessary step that deactivated the gun in the first place = Working backwards. Cocking the hammer is akin to completing the steps necessary to make an SAO gun ready to fire = Working forwards.
I understood the logic but the problem I had with this thinking (which is likely the same problem that the rest of you C1 advocates have, whether consciously or unconsciously) is that it treats the manual safety as a superfluous tacked-on feature, rather than an integral part of an SAO gun’s design. So an SAO gun is probably not the best choice for these people anyway.
Another problem I have with this thinking is that the half-cock notch only renders the trigger inoperable on certain guns. A 1911 trigger won’t release the hammer from half-cock, but a P210 will. Probably not enough to ignite a primer, but why risk it? And yet another problem that I have is that the same logic applies much better and much more safely to C2 carry (i.e. truly no “backwards” steps, and also no illusions about the design of the gun).
An SAO should be carried C1. And I can understand C2 as well, but only if you also apply it to all other semi-auto pistols you carry. This is what the Israelis did, not because of Mossad coolness, but because they didn’t originally have a standardized service pistol.
I agree. However, I would limit that to the P320 and other guns like it (fully pre-cocked and no trigger blade) if there are any. That’s part of why the M17/M18 are the only P320s I would buy. The trigger blade on the VP9 and PPQ/PDP (all of which are fully pre-cocked) is an adequate substitute for a manual safety (for me personally).
I can understand carrying with the hammer down over a loaded chamber IF the person originally trained with and carried single action revolvers defensively. Otherwise, cocked and locked or another type handgun. The logic of some reminds me of the old British Webley revolvers-double action, heavy trigger and a manual safety. I guess it worked for Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes sidekick.
This has always baffled me.
Me? Cocked & Locked.
I learned how to carry 1911's in the Marines from some pretty good instructors, a BHP isn't much different.
When I retire, my carry gun will probably be a BHP, and I'm totally comfortable toting around a gun in that condition.
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At the agency I retired from, the P226 was the only other pistol other than the issue pistol that was approved for on duty carry, mainly because one of the administrators wanted to carry one. I showed up with a P226 SAO one day and it went something like this:
Me: Its a P226
Me: Its on the list
Me: But the list doesn't say...
Him: Days Off?
I carried a 1911 early on, but as striker guns took over a lot of agencies became less liberal in what you could carry.
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The few times I carried my Star S .380 I always did it cocked and locked.
I have always wondered how effective the "Safety Fast" system sold by Cylinder & Slide and Brownells actually is. This system uses modified trigger and safety parts so that you work the slide to chamber a round and then you can push the hammer forward into the uncocked position and apply the safety. When ready to fire, you thumb down the safety, the hammer then jumps back to full cock and you are now SAO.
Anyone try this system?
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Condition 1 only.
The BHP's SFS option is unnecessary safety theater. It's strictly meant to remove the concern about some uninformed onlooker perceiving a visibly cocked hammer as being somehow more dangerous.
Since the mid-1970's, I've carried several 1911 type pistols, a Browning P35 ("High Power"), a Star Model PD, and several SAO Sigs including:
All were carried the way they were designed to be carried: With the hammer back and safety engaged until the need to fire existed. Although my 1911s had grip safeties too, I found these to be unnecessary and redundant features. Glocks and other striker fired firearms that don't have manual safeties are IMHO more likely to be accidentally fired, because the striker is pre-cocked and it's easier to accidentally depress the trigger with either a body part or clothing that get accidentally wedged in the trigger guard.
The advantage of owning/carrying a "P" series SAO Sig, comes from the fact that you can retract the slide with the safety engaged, something that the original 1911 type pistols are not designed to do. This provides for the safest means of either checking the chamber or (after removing the magazine) ejecting a live round from the pistol's chamber.
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