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I think i will open a can of worms here, and possibly Pandora's box, but i want to get some feedback (pros and cons) of how to carry the Colt 1911 concealed. Specifically speaking, with a round chambered. I recently bought a 1911, and (with all single action pistols) you come in to a dilema of chambering the round and having the hammer cocked. Do you a) "de-cock" the hammer, in the safest way possible (holding hammer with thumb while squeezing trigger, and pointing in the safest direction you can) or b) just carry the 1911 without a chambered round, and hope that when all hell breaks loose you have the time to slide the reciever back, chamber a round, take aim and fire?
My 1911 does have a safety for when the hammer is cocked, but i wouldnt trust it as far as i can throw it when im concealed. -Not dinging Colt's craftsmanship but plain and simple safety's fale.
I welcome the thoughts on carrying, and safely decocking, or carrying without a round chambered?
Half cock is and has always been my preferred method for carrying the 1911. There are three safeties to prevent accidental firing of the 1911 with a round in the chamber. Palm, half cock and thumb. You still have to cock it as it's a single action but you won't have to work the slide.
Thanks. With half cock, is there any chance that hammer goes forward? I know the Colt's can occasionally fire when the slide slams forward. Last thing i want is shooting myself in the leg like the countless videos on youtube.
I also have a colt 1911 and I prefer concealing it. I always have a round in the chamber the hammer back and safety on and have never had a problem. Ifyou feel differently maybe you should by snap caps and test your safety.im not sure about your safety but mine is tight. I have tried over a thousand times to pull the trigger while safety is on and the safety has always done it's job. I have had trouble with the half packed position on my 1911 personally. When ever its half cocked and I pull the trigger it releases the hammer. I think you will be fine. You trust that 1911 with your life. Why not trust the safety?
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Might want to look into whether that half-cock notch has a capture or not. I think that is one of the differences between series 70 & 80, in addition to the 80 having the firing pin safety. The half cock notch is there to catch the hammer should it slip while trying to cock it, it is not designed as a direct safety mechanism.
1911's were designed to be safely carried in the fully loaded, cocked, and locked condition.
Whether the hammer is fully cocked or only half cocked, the trigger will release the hammer on a 1911 (assuming the safety is off). The reason for the half cock, is not to prevent the hammer from falling, but to allow it fall without enough momentum to hit the firing pin to a point it sets off the chambered round on the ever so slim chance the safety fails in some manner and the trigger is pulled.
The best way to carry any handgun is ready for action. With a 1911 that translates to cocked and locked (hammer back, thumb safety on) - some call this condition 1. However, I would never suggest that you or anyone else carry a handgun in a manner that you felt was either unsafe or unwise. Your level of training is also a factor. What is a reasonably safe manor of carry for one person may not be so for another. There is risk in carrying a handgun with a chambered round just as there is risk in carrying a handgun that's not immediately ready for action with only one hand. You have to weigh the risks as they apply to you and your carrying a handgun. My advice is to get some solid concealed carry training that includes actually shooting from concealed carry and covers various self defense scenarios.
Then make your decision on how you are going to carry your 1911.
Last edited by Chasbo00 on Thu, 19 Jan 2012 15:30:08, edited 1 time in total.
Competition is one of the "great levelers" of ego.
Not looking for an additional pistol, as the Colt will serve that purpose. This just being my first single action, having the hammer cocked, im a bit leary (for the time being) having three other dual actions w/ no hammer.
Seems that having the hammer back is a common enough way, with the safety engaged.
1911 have two safeties. The thumb safety that locks the sear and then the grip safety, that prevents the trigger from being pulled unless the gun is gripped. Series 80 type 1911s along with some other modern 1911s have a firing pin safety as well.
Click the link for a good illustration of the safeties.
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That unease when first contemplating carrying a 1911 style pistol in condition one is very common. I experienced it at first many years ago and got over it by carrying it around the house unloaded but cocked and locked for about a week periodically trying to make it fire accidentally.Never happened. You will become accustomed to it. Make sure your thumb safety is tight i.e. not too easy to release, and that your grip safety has not been deactivated (many USPSA shooters permanently deactivate the grip safety to avoid the occasional poor grip issue that fails to deactivate it in competition). With these two safeties in good working order carrying in condition one is very safe.
Carrying cocked and locked but with an empty chamber may make you feel safer but you will regret it if you ever have to use your sidearm in a life or death situation.(Then again, you might not live long enough to regret it)
From: Safety/Function Checking a 1911
If you have a model 70 style 1911 the hammer of the pistol should have a definite "hook" at half cock. This Wilson Combat replacement hammer shows it at the 3 o'clock position on the picture.
Once the pistol's sear is in that notch it can't move again until the hammer is returned to the full cock position. Pulling the trigger should NOT cause the hammer to fall.
I trust J M Browning's design.
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Condition 1 for me... I always think "worse case" scenario - what scares me?
What happens *if* your hand slips and your thumb and finger are behind the slide trying to grip a trigger? Your other hand is already pulling the trigger to drop the hammer...That's gonna hurt like a
I too trust Mr Browning's design... cocked and locked is the only way for me.
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The only safe way to carry a 1911 is what ever way you feel safe with it. But remember that when the time comes and I hope that it won't for you, what do you want to do in a split second.
1.Push off the safety catch with your thumb. (a natural movement)
2.Go from half cock to full cock.(also a natural movement with training)
3.Rack a round into the chamber.
For myself I always had my 1911 on 1/2 cock and I trained myself to go to full cock while drawing the weapon.
This issue, and some people's concern about walking around with that hammer hanging way out like that, is why (I believe) Para Ordnance developed its "LDA" trigger. Feels like a SA gun, functions like DA. Nice solution, I think.
My Para OPS is single-action and I carry it cocked and locked.
This always reminds me of the story of the infamous Texas Ranger Charlie Miller, who carrried a customized 1911. afer an incident in which he had trouble firing the gun in close-quarter combat, due to not being able to fully depress the grip safety, he tied the grip safety down with a piece of string wrapped around the grip:
The legend goes that someone once asked him whether it wasn't dangerous to carry his gun that way. He responded to the effect of: “If the damned thing wasn’t dangerous, I wouldn’t carry it!”
Here is an article about carrying the 1911 cocked and locked, as its designer intended.
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Roger that - I am still a bit uncomfortable carrying my 1911 fully cocked, but I do - and it is becoming more comfortable. I will eventually feel completely at ease.
Now it makes no sense, but I am more comfortable carrying my M&P, which has no mechanical safety, no grip safety, and a 4lb trigger. Go figure.
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Makes a feller wonder what they were thinking. On second thought, I KNOW what they were thinking................. "the 9mm is cheaper for guns and ammo".
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Gun-crazy? Me? I'd say the gun-crazy ones are the ones that don’t HAVE one.
When all that is available is ball ammo, size DOES matter.
One tidbit that may apply: if the 1911 is ambi-safety, make sure the holster of choice covers both left and right safeties. I have found that exposed safeties, on occasion, are defeated by contact other than handling.
AWESOME link! I wanted to buy a 1911 and was a little iffy on carrying cond 1, but completely forgot about the grip safety, feel much better now....TO BUY ONE!
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