Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry 1911 vs. Glock 30SF: Safety


Glocks are safe. Of course they are. If you keep your finger off the trigger, a Glock will not fire. Never. Not once. Ever. Adhering to that simple rule, you could carry a Glock in your hand all day long—from breakfast to lights out—and never experience a single dangerous moment. Save the one where the SWAT team finally catches up with you at the CVS pharmacy counter. 1911s are also safe. Same thing, right? A 1911’s trigger will fire with a fraction of the finger effort required to torch the primer of a cartridge in a Glock, but if you keep your finger off the trigger, the 1911 will be just as inert as a Glock. So it’s a tie. Only not at all . . .

In terms of safety, there’s one obvious differences between a Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry (BWC) pistol and a Glock 30SF “combat” gun: the safety switch. The Wilson Combat has one, the Glock doesn’t. OK, yes, strictly speaking, the Glock does have a safety device. It’s in the trigger (of all places). Gaston’s mob describes their “Safety Action” trigger thus:

The “Safe Action” system is a partly tensioned firing pin lock, which is moved further back by the trigger bar when the trigger is pulled. When the trigger is pulled, 3 safety features are automatically deactivated one after another. When doing so, the trigger bar is deflected downward by the connector and the firing pin is released under full load. When the trigger is released, all three safety features re-engage and the GLOCK pistol is automatically secured again.

Click here for a YouTube explanation of how it works. Bottom line: you pull the trigger on a Glock and the gun goes off. Otherwise, you can drop it like it’s hot or throw it at a wall and the bullet ain’t gonna do the FPS thing. According to the 1911 folks that’s not a safety, this is a safety:

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, to fire the Bill Wilson Carry pistol, you have to flick that little switch downwards. (Provided you remember to switch it on in the first place.) You also have to grip the gun. And then pull the trigger. If you grip the gun “properly,” turn off the safety and press play, the gun will fire. If you don’t do all three, it won’t. Same drop test. Same brick wall.

So the “extra” safety makes the BWC safer than the Glock 30SF yes?

If you’re talking about safety from unauthorized users, then yes, the 1911 is safer than the Glock. A bozo bad guy—which describes the majority of the species—who grabs your 1911 to use it against you in the heat of battle will most likely forget to turn off the safety. With a Glock it’s less sturm und drang and more pull-and-bang. And?

I’m not a cop nor do I play one out on the street. I carry a concealed firearm. My main strategy for dealing with lethal threats: run like hell. Keep my distance. Put something between me and the perp or perps. Generally, I try to not let anyone with ill will get close enough to take my gun. It happened once. It won’t happen again.

So holster retention is not a major concern. If it was, and I carried a Glock, I could overcome the “problem” by wearing a retention holster. But I don’t. Because my ability to deploy my weapon quickly and effectively is a higher priority than preparing for the possibility that I’d encounter a literal gun grabber.

For the reason shown in the video above, in the heat of the moment, I don’t want to add an extra step in the de-holstering process. Nor do I want to screw the pooch in the “switch the safety off and THEN fire” process. Yes, there is that . . .

If you train yourself to draw and ready a 1911 properly, the 1911’s safety switch is not an issue. It may not offer any significant advantages, but the little lever isn’t an impediment to your ability to bring the gun to bear on the bad guy. You pull the gun from the holster, immediately flick off the safety and Bob’s your uncle. Do that a few thousand times and on a regular basis and you’re good to stow. As long as you maintain trigger discipline.

Touch a 1911’s trigger in combat and the gun WILL fire. Not press. Touch. In a high stress situation, you won’t have enough fingertip feeling or presence of mind to put your finger on the trigger and not fire the gun. I repeat: a Zen master may be able to rest his or her fingertip on a 1911 trigger in combat, while moving, without shooting. But not the average schmo.

As the rabbi’s pal says, “The 1911 is the best handgun in the world to shoot someone with but the lousiest NOT to shoot them.” Consider those words carefully. I didn’t carry a 1911 for a self-defense gun until A) I was confident that I wouldn’t put my finger on the trigger until I was ready to destroy my target and B) I was confident that I wouldn’t fire inadvertent “double taps” (a.k.a., closely paired groupings).

That required two years of training and thousands of rounds. And it’s still a leap of faith, ’cause I’ve never been in that kind of life-or-death high stress situation.

In contrast, the Glock 30SF offers an additional safety layer against [the shooter's own] potential failure. Not that you would, but you could rest your finger on the Glock’s trigger in an armed self-defense scenario with a far greater likelihood of NOT negligently discharging your weapon. That margin of error could save an innocent life or, at the very least, not waste a precious bullet.

For most people—who don’t spend near enough time training and may not have much in the way of gun-handling chops—the Glock 30SF is far safer than the Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry pistol (or any 1911).

With a Glock 30SF, a shooter doesn’t have to “remember” to switch off a safety. All they needs is trigger control, muzzle discipline and some tactical awareness. The Bill Wilson Combat pistol owner needs an extra level of expertise. In exchange, he or she gets a slimmer firearm (easier to conceal) and additional accuracy. Which is, of course, a whole ‘nother kind of safety.

As always when it comes to firearms, the key safety difference lies between the ears.

[Click here for Wilson Combat Bill Wilson Carry Pistol vs. Glock 30SF: Accuracy]