0208 – An Evaluation of Manual Safeties in Fighting Handguns

Violence is a horrible and dynamic thing.  It is our goal to make our performance in violence as simple as possible.  The violence itself demands so much from us that we need to make sure that the manner in which we choose to defend ourselves doesn’t increase that demand any more than it needs to.  When we are being attacked, there is an incredibly long to do list.  The more fat we can cut from that list, the more likely we are to be successful in violence.  Today we take a look at the way manual safeties on fighting handguns could effect our performance in violence.


Sponsor of the Day:

Templar Custom Arms

Enhancing Combative Pistolcraft Skills II

What we need to do to dominate violent encounters

To dominate in violence we have a long to do list that we must take care of:

Please DO NOT take this as an exhaustive list of skills and options to prevail in a gunfight.  That is not my purpose.

  • Make sure our mindset, conditioning, skills and gear are squared away and with us BEFORE the fight
  • Observe  the threat
  • Orient ourselves to the threat
  • Decide what we are going to about that threat
  • Act
Each one of these points has an infinite number of sub points depending on how detailed we want to break things down and the length of the to do list can really become daunting especially when we put it into context.  It’s dark, we are surprised, we may have been hit, kicked, stabbed, cut or shot for two full seconds all the way through O and O and we only have a precious few seconds to turn the tables.  To Decide and to Act.
I want to cut the list as short as possible.

The abridged version of handgun Fighting:  Decide, Move and Shoot

  1. Move and Access the gun
  2. Get a grip on the gun
  3. Draw
  4. Orient to the target
  5. Rip the trigger

The problem comes into paly when we realize that each and every step of this process can be a hornets nest of problems.

This isn’t an 1911 vs. Glock Argument

Why in the world would I want to add a step?  A manual safety adds a step.
This is not an argument against 1911’s
  • Love em
  • Have more money tied up in 11’s and accessories than all my other firepower combined
  • Carried a variant for years
Since some will turn this into Glock v. 1911, i’ll bite, but just for fun!
  • 1911’s have manual safeties for a reason, a light trigger pull
  • the trigger pull on a 1911 is a thing of beauty and it enhances accuracy wonderfully
  • BUT this isn’t happening at 25 yards!  Sexual distances to 2 arms length!
  • I don’t need a trigger to enhance my accuracy
  • I don’t need “accuracy” by the standard definition
If the safety wasn’t a trade off, I would take the trigger pull of the 1911 any day, but it is a trade off.

I See Manual Safeties Cause Problems

  • competitive shooting
  • students in courses
  • both situations provide stress, but nothing like the real thing baby.
We can train it, but with all that we need to train, why?
Don’t throw out your 1911.
  • This isn’t just about 1911’s
  • If you are dedicated to it no problem.  Train it.
  • 1911 solution
  • Understand that you are adding additional skills that you need to train.
  • Get it done.


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