I used to rail (so to speak) against external safety levers on everyday carry (EDC) guns. I agree with UziNineMillomeetah: it’s just one more thing to go wrong in a situation where adrenaline can make you both stupid and clumsy. And yet . . . I carry a Wilson Combat 1911 with a safety. How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Carry a Gun With An External Safety Lever: by changing my grip (thumb over the safety) and practicing. A single-action 1911 is worth it, in terms of concealability and accuracy. Otherwise, nope, no external safety lever on my GLOCK 19, FNS-9c or Kahr CM9. What’s your take? Do you have an external safety lever on your EDC? If so, why so? If not, why not?

150 Responses to Question of the Day: Do You Carry a Gun With An External Safety Lever?

  1. Nope. But that’s because my carry gun, a G43, does not have any frame mounted safeties on it. With that said, I have chosen to stay away from them if possible unless its a large thumb safety on a 1911 or any single-action style gun that has an specifically short trigger travel. Ultimately the issue can be resolved by 1. keeping your finger off the trigger, 2. extra care when re-holstering, 3. not having a trigger that is TOO light on a carry gun.

  2. I carry either a Walther PPK/S or a SIG M11A1 depending on my clothing. The former has a slide mounded safety that I use as a decocker (somebody really needs to create something like the G version of the Bertta 92 series for that gun) the latter has just the decocker.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of SA/DA guns. They are inherently safer than striker fired pistols and give the user one less thing to worry about. (I have yet to hear about anybody having a ND with a decocked SIG.)

    • “(somebody really needs to create something like the G version of the Bertta 92 series for that gun)”

      GET OUT OF MY HEAD PWRSERGE

  3. One of the reasons I chose a 1911 is because I believe a gun should have a safety. Long DA trigger pull is not a safety.

    • But it is often safer than a safety, if the gun with a safety, also has a trigger that is short, light and single action(y).

      The biggest problem with DASAs from an ND perspective, aside from holstering cocked and unlocked, is the very real possibility of an inadvertent 2nd round being fired, before sights are properly aligned. Especially when the SA pull is light, and the reset is short.

      Full pull from untensioned DAOs, like revolvers, seem to be the most ND resistant designs out there. But they are also more difficult to intentionally discharge accurately, should the need arise.

  4. I have a 1911 for everyday carry. I like the safety lever. I’ve practiced with it enough that I’m comfortable I won’t freak out and squeeze a locked trigger should that day ever arrive. If I switched to a Glock I’d practice repeatedly, before carrying it, until I wasn’t trying to flick a missing frame-mounted safety.

    In related news I can drive a car, truck, and motorcycle. All have different properties so I’ve practiced plenty getting used to each one. Never ever, when needing to hit the car’s brakes hard, did I try to squeeze a clutch lever with my left hand and a front brake lever with my right hand.

    In further related news, I love pepperoni pizza. But if I was hungry and there was only a sausage and mushroom pizza on the table I assure you I would not starve to death.

    • If I switched to a Glock I’d practice repeatedly, before carrying it, until I wasn’t trying to flick a missing frame-mounted safety.

      Why would you bother? It won’t cause problems on a Glock if your thumb sweeps down as you present. (It would be an issue if you were to switch to a pistol with a decocker OR one whose lever works in the opposite direction.)

      • This is why I don’t carry my new-to-me 1967 p64. I’m a long-time 1911 (Officer) carrier and the only thing that moves in the same direction on both pistols is the trigger, and they’re very different. Mag release is upside down, safety swings up, not down and a monster DA trigger pull.

        It shoots great, is as reliable as anything else I own and it fits well in a jacket pocket. But I don’t have a gun “rotation” as some. I’d rather not have to think about it when the fat’s in the fire.

        After years of practice disengaging the 1911 safety during the draw, it’s as natural a move as anything else I do repetitively and instinctively.

      • You practice because if your muscle memory tries to do something (like activate a non-existent safety) and fails it sends a signal to your brain: “uh-oh, something’s wrong, re-evaluate”. Then your brain remembers that this gun has no safety. But all that takes time. A little time, sure, but time. Time that would be better spent doing something else.

    • You sound like me. Add an airplane. 18 wheeler, car, motorcycles. Never tried to shift gears in my airplane, my Taurus, or forgot that my bike or truck was a manual albeit very different types.
      My wife did hit the clutch on her bicycle forgetting she wasn’t on her motorcycle.
      Resulted in a sudden stop but no over the bars.
      She destroys bulls-eyes with her 380 with a frame mounted safety.

  5. My S&W M&P9 has a frame mounted safety, though it’s not a daily carry choice for me due to the size. My initial pistol training was with the 1911, but I stopped carrying one due to weight. My Glock 19 G4 is a great alternative.
    TL:DR, I’m good either way.

  6. I do. I carry CZ-75s in the safety configuration (they also come with decockers that leave the gun at half-cock). I decided I did not want to have to deal with a differing first pull. The alternate solutions to that, of course, a 1) a Glock (or imitation), or 2) a revolver. I find Glocks unwieldy because of the grip design, plus difficult to conceal due to the brick-like slide, and revolvers are out because of limited capacity. (Revolvers are good for when you absolutely MUST be carrying a really stout round ending in “Magnum,” like in bear country…but those will tend to be huge guns if they aren’t painful to shoot, and in urban situations, I’d rather have the higher round count.)

  7. I actually prefer a thumb after and don’t appreciate everyone calling it stupid. Let me have that option. I don’t want manufacturers to stop making them.

    I also go against the “internet grain” and have Punisher grips for which I’ve read will put me in jail if I ever use that gun in self defense. No one ever thinks of the liability of a ND that could have been prevented with a thumb safety. You don’t have many LAPD claiming the safety was on their Beretta’s and the gun “just fired” now do you.

    • You don’t have many LAPD claiming the safety was on their Beretta’s and the gun “just fired” now do you.

      Nope. It’s pretty hard to claim that “the gun just went off” 103 times.

      • Aw come on Ralph, anyone knows that a dropped machine pistol will bounce down the stairs and fire more rounds than are in its magazine, killing all the bad guys. I’m not kidding, I saw it on “True Lies” so it must be factual.

        (/sarc, I shouldn’t have to say, but will anyhow.)

    • I carry a Ruger SR9c as my EDC and it has both a slide safety and the Glock-style trigger safety. I like the slide safety when handling, not training with, this pistol. When I carry I holster the pistol, then take it off safe, since I train with and rely on the trigger safety and my own trigger discipline. Before I un-holster the pistol for other than defense/firing I always re-engage the slide safety, just as a back-up.

  8. If I’m not mistaken that firearm in the video (or at least the still that shows until you hit play) has a slide mounted safety. Up until about eight years ago, in fact, my answer would have been “no, I carry a slide mounted safety.”

    In fact, this question is a false dichotomy since it assumes you either have a frame mounted safety or none at all. Maybe someone got sloppy and meant “external safety lever” instead of “frame mounted safety lever”?

    In fact, every argument I’ve seen so far here against a “frame mounted safety” applies to ANY sort of lever safety, so I gather the real issue is with lever safeties in general.

  9. Let’s think about this for a sec, Huh? Why would somebody put a safety on a handgun? Hmmm, very interesting.

    Here’s the way I see it, Guy puts a fancy safety on a handgun ’cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.

    And, Course yah do. Why shouldn’t it? Ya figure you put that little safety under your pillow at night, the Safety Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right?

    The point is, how do you know the fairy isn’t a crazy glue sniffer? “Building model airplanes” says the little fairy; well, we’re not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that’s all it takes. The next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser, and your daughter’s knocked up. I seen it a hundred times.

    They know all they sold ya was a piece of shit safety. And that’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump on a handgun and mark it “safety”, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your handgun’s sake, for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product without a safety.

    • *grin* So what yer sayin’ there is, “Hey. Nice little safety ya got there, Pal. Be a shame if anything was to happen to it, y’know?”

    • You do recognize the point of a safety on a hammer fired gun, right? It’s not just lawyers at Ruger and S&W putting them on striker guns.

    • I agree with the ( child proof ) safety on your keyboard.
      If a safety is the difference you taking a shot and not taking one in time….do you really know your sidearm well enough to be carrying????
      Safeties are not just for the carrier but also for a child? that MIGHT get ahold of it.
      Someone was just killed just south of me by someone cleaning a gun when it fired. A 24 year young woman. Irresponsible? Accident? Yes on both. A safety MIGHT NOT HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE but it may have.
      If you don’t need or want a safety on your firearm I hope you are right and that of course is your right BUT bashing an extra measure of preventing accidental discharge , though it is your right, comes across as ignorant. ( my right to believe this way).

    • Fat gun in a little holster!

      or

      Joe Joe the idiot circus boy with a pretty new gun! Oh my pretty little gun. I love you. So I stroke it. And I pet it. And I massage it. Hehe I love my little naughty gun, you’re naughty! And then I take my naughty gun and I go…
      BANG!

  10. I would only use manual safety if it’s ambi, huge, positive, ergonomic and after which i get an amazing trigger pull.

    This means either a 1911 style or a Tanfoglio.

    However, my selection criteria No1 is reliability, followed by lightweight, capacity, component availablity etc which no matter how expensive the above 2 could be they would not satisfy me.

    I tried my luck with HK45 but it failed me miserably.

    So until i can design and make my own brand of ultralight uber-capacity super-accurate SAO glock i’ll stick with gaston’s perfection.

  11. My EDC is a GLOCK 19 and the wife carries the GLOCK 43. That being said (hate that cliche) I think it is important, no matter what gun you carry, to flag the thumb on the draw. Coincidentally, I was just thinking about this this morning. I just bought a Crossbreed Super-tuck. I was thinking about the TTAG article comparing the pros and cons of IWB vs OWB carry. One point about IWB was that it is hard to get the thumb around the grip. That is true, but I believe it is more important not to get your thumb around the grip initially. Flag the thumb and draw with your bottom three fingers. As you bring the gun up, sweep the thumb down as if there was a safety to disengage.
    I still don’t believe in a safety unless the gun is a night stand/drawer gun without a holster. But being able to unconsciously put the gun on fire mode is very important so you can carry whatever you want.

    • In general, not a bad policy (as I said to Bob above). It COULD burn you if you find yourself using a Beretta 92 FS/M9, where sweeping down might engage the SLIDE mounted decocker/safety. (On a 92 G at least all you will have done is decock the pistol, but it’s probably already decocked at presentation.)

      • My baby eagle is the same way, up is “off” down is saftey on, decocked, which is why I usually carry it with a round in the chamber and the saftey disengaged “Air Force style”

        • If I were to return to carrying a 92FS, I’d do the same–decock, disengage the safety and go with it.

        • Same way I usually carry my Beretta Px4. I only engage the safety when I am not carrying the firearm. If it is on my hip, it keeps me safe. Not the other way round.

    • Try other MFG’s of IWB holsters, like SHTF gear. You can get a better firing grip than even crossbreeds with a combat cut. My thumb hits the safety on the opposite side of the sweat guard, when it clears the holster it’s resting right on the safety. Course, I carry a DASA at half cock so my safety is worthless.

      • Thanks. I’m good. The point of IWB holsters are concealment. The Crossbreed and others like it do a great job of holding the pistol flush against the body. As long as I can curl my fingers around the grip and get the web of my hand up against the beaver tail, I can make a smooth is fast draw. Even open carrying, the draw with a flagged thumb is preferable. Besides the safety lever issue, with the thumb up and out of the way, your support hand has clearance to get in proper position.

  12. Have carried a 1911A1 since the 1970s. No issue with sweeping the thumb safety off as I draw-lots of practice does that. I started out with it as an issue pistol-empty chamber but after I hung up the pickle, have carried cocked and locked ever since. I wanted a full size pistol which had weight and yet be thin enough to conceal. I have that combination in the 1911A1.

    • I’ve always thought the practice of sweeping off the safety on the draw less than ideal, although i know that’s how most 1911 carriers train. If the gun gets hung up during a fast draw, such that the two or three gripping fingers start slipping, it is far from inconceivable that the immediate reaction ends up getting the trigger finger inside the guard. People manage to shoot themselves with single action revolvers that way (cocking on the draw, which, as opposed to the 1911 sweep, you’re generally taught NOT to do), so I can’t imagine it being impossible with a 1911.

      But I’m not much of a 1911 guy to begin with. Never got much in the way of warm and fuzzies about a safety hanging out in the open. At least the trigger, and the Glock style safety, is placed inside a guard, not just poking out like a light switch, ready to be inadvertently manipulated by anything in it’s vicinity. If I was an “operator”, I’d probably get over it, as the good ones shoot like nothing else I have ever experienced. Especially at things out past 25 yds. And the problems I’m referring to, are pretty much conclusively solved by good holsters, good holster discipline, and proper training. But as a civvie (who can’t even carry most of the time), I’ll suffer some lack of outright “operating” ability, for the benefit of being able to toss the gun in the glove compartment, some occasional pocket or Mexican carry (at night, when nature calls, in bear country) and other such knockabout modes.

  13. I’ve trained so much with my CZ that I can’t stand a gun without a frame safety. Even on my Revolvers, I find myself sweeping my thumb across a nonexistent safety, as it is so far and beyond second nature for me now that I can’t help it, it’s just part of the muscle memory.

    • I personally like the safety on CZ’s as a point of reference. if my firing thumb can feel the safety, then I’ve got a good grip.

  14. Depends.

    His reference to Blackhawk Down did not convince me-a gun that is carried openly, with an unprotected trigger (like the AR in question in the movie) needs to have it’s safety on as it may be dropped/snagged at any time. Rifles are also different from handguns in that their trigger pull is usually less than the weight of the gun (so, a dropped rifle whose trigger snags on gear/whatever will get its sear tripped)

    In contrast, a pistol it’s probably not as big a deal–the trigger pull of a pistol is usually GREATER than the gun’s weight, and the “slung” equivalent of a pistol is having it in a holster w/ the trigger guard covered.

    However, if it’s a 1911–or a pistol w/ a safety in the same position as a 1911–I will use it because I think it adds a layer of protection in the event of a gun grab. But that’s really it.

  15. I prefer the use of a decocker. I have them on my Sig P220, Sig P226, and CZ P-01. Just puts my mind a bit more at ease since I carry AIWB.

  16. If all it takes to fuck up your self defense moment of truth is a manual safety on your gun then maybe you should have been carrying pepper spray and a rape whistle instead of a gun.

    • I’ve never seen a rape whistle attachment mounted to a gun. It always seems like people either want to protect themselves OR they want someone else to take responsibility for the cleanup and paperwork. Huh.

    • Safeties aren’t that complicated to work. It’s not like you’ll be Barney Fife trying to put your bullet in the gun. If you do even a rudimentary level of training with your EDC you’ll naturally sweep the safety on the draw and should the weapon not fire the first impulse will be to resweep the safety. Where I see a potential problem is when people think they’ll just leave the safety off, because if it gets bumped on it could take a couple of seconds to figure out why your firearm isn’t firing. Figured this out when I carried a Beretta 92 in a holster that didn’t cover the safety lever. It got bumped off safe a couple of time, which isn’t a problem with a 10# trigger, but it could just as easily get bumped on.

  17. I carty a fns compact with no safety. I previously had a px4 with the slide mounted safety but never used it because it’s a terrible location. I do like shooting da/sa better but the FNS is so nice and full ambi.

  18. Prefer to carry a M&P 9 Shield in the Phoenix weather. Safety never engaged when in any holster.

    Actually like the option. Any movement out of a holster (switching rigs) and it is locked up.

    I am interested in others routines?

  19. Revolver……… Draw,pull,bang! Nightstand revolver as well for those 3am dogs raising hell, half awake adventures.

  20. I appreciate mine. My clothes have a frighteningly preternatural way of finding their way into my trigger guard when I am holstering.

    • By that logic, you should be able to carry a single action with a one ounce trigger pull and no safety whatsoever. After all, if you never make mistakes, why not?

        • You’re mistaking my reducing his logic to absurdity, for my logic.

          I get a little tired of people saying they don’t need an external safety, because they will never make a mistake. That’s what his argument boils down to.

          An intelligent response would be that he has decided the risk of error is small enough compared to the risk of forgetting to disengage the safety when needed, but instead, he spewed a bumper sticker slogan about booger hooks and bang switches. I think we POTG pretty much know we should all do our best to follow that, external safety or no. In fact, if people followed that rule without fail, then one ounce trigger pulls WOULD be OK. But people don’t follow that rule without fail! So what’s plan B? What’s the backstop? It doesn’t sound like this guy not only doesn’t have one, he doesn’t even see that such might in principle be desirable, because he’ll never make a mistake.

          If you decide that in spite of the lack of a backstop for your human ability to make an error, a Glock is for you because of other considerations, that’s one thing. If you decide a safety lever is for chumps who are fuckups, and you aren’t one, that’s just dickish arrogance.

  21. First, I think the poll, while well intentioned, is likely to be skewed. If you ask ‘who hates the Carolina Panthers’…primarily the people who hate them are going to take to the time to answer. Whenever I see this question asked, I see an onslaught of ‘macho’ answers of ‘heck no’.

    That said, i do have a “thumb” safety…and I wouldn’t carry CONCEALED any other way and I’m horrified by the accidents we’ve seen because Glock. The Cincinnati cop you shoots himself in the stomach with his gun in his hoodie anyone?

    To me it is about risk and reward. The risk of actually needing to fire the weapon quickly is grossly outweighed by the risk of carrying everyday. The probability that i will need to draw my gun is small (I’m not a high value target or working security for one) is small. The probability that I will need to draw and fire is subset of that small probability (pointing it at someone may be enough). The probability that I will need to draw and fire IMMEDIATELY (as opposed to shots at the other end of the mall or an argument between some other couple) is a smaller subset yet. The probability that I or the safety will fail is…yet another subset. Needless to say…the overall probability that I will need to draw and fire immediately and the safety will be an issue then is…not very likely.

    Conversely, I will carry…and handle every day. 99.99999999999% of the time… There is a chance, however small, someone else may get their hands on it (leave it in the bathroom, etc.), I’ll drop it and reach for it…whatever.

    The probability is much higher that I will ‘mishandle’ than I will fumble the safety in a ‘quick draw’ scenario. That is a function of the time spent on each task…not poor handling skills. I’ve very well trained. Its just that we are all human. I may leave it the bathroom, drop it and try to catch it…something. While these are remote possibilities too—they are far more likely for all of us.

    Readiness versus safety–there is no magic answer. The more ready you are…no safety, round in the chamber, ‘hair’ trigger…the more unsafe you are…and vice versa. To me, designing a system that is as unsafe as can be for the remote possibility that you will need to not only quick draw and fire…is not wise. Ironically though, if the probabilities changed and I was walking down that proverbial ‘dark alley’ where the risk noticeably increased…I can always take the safety off (and/or chamber a round) before I start walking…

    I think far to many fantasize about the remotest of possibilities and design accordingly at the expense of everyday safety. Again, Cincinnati cop…and so many others.

    • That’s not because Glock, that’s because of stupidity. In the Cincinnati cop, it’s not well advised to use Hoody carry with any weapon.

  22. Well, I do currently carry a 1911. OWB. Pretty happy overall (need better sights for two eye open shooting). But, comfort is always numero uno. You have to be armed with what makes you mentally ready to use it. Because the person who wins a fight is the one who “knows” that they will win. the mental fight comes first. the fighting spirit if you will.

    Point in case. I had an LCP that I could make fist sized groups at ten paces but, every shot I had to adjust my grip. Hated it. It’s gone now. 1911 is in, now I have a gun that fills me with fighting spirit.

  23. No, carry a Ruger SR9C, practice enough that it is not an issue, plus it is my only handgun, no worries about picking up a different piece and suddenly forgetting how my gun works. I like the safety, I have taught my wife and kids to shoot with this pistol, made sure to tell them never trust a safety, it’s there as a last resort backup if you do something stupid and break a rule.

  24. Nope, my Kahr doesn’t have one. I do have a 1911 (but not a holster I like to carry it in), and I have no problem with the manual safety–either one of them. As I understand it, JMB designed the 1911 with only the grip safety, but added the frame safety at the insistence of the US Army. So it is doubly safe, very much unlike the (ND waiting to happen) Glocks.

    My daughter took a firearms class with an instructor who was anti-1911s and pro-Glocks for the very reason that they do not have an external safety, and that one might forget to take the gun off safety in an emergency. Aside from the fact that I don’t like shooting the Glock, I disagree. For one, a manual safety, as reflected in multiple comments above, is simply a question of training. Second, NDs with Glocks are legion, whether because a child gets a hold of it, or something other than a finger gets inside the trigger guard. Glock may have three safeties, but they are all drop safeties, not safeties that protect against an “object” inside the trigger guard, and as such I consider them inherently unsafe and will never own one.

  25. Nope. Steyr S9-A1 and Sig 224 are my two carry guns. I don’t see a need to add extra steps to a process that only serves to relieve the need to properly train to keep your finger where it should be. I don’t like shortcuts. The only way I would consider it is if the gun weren’t drop safe, but I wouldn’t really consider a gun that isn’t in the first place.

  26. I’m responsible and intelligent enough to carry and use a firearm in a safe way, and that’s all the safety I really need. If you want a safety then great, you have options. If you NEED or HAVE to have a safety then I recommend the NRA Basic Pistol course.

    I’ve carried firearms with both, but prefer a DA/SA with a decocker.

  27. Don’t underestimate the effects of stress.

    In a self-defense moment I once pulled the IWB holster right outta my pants and presented the gun with holster attached. This after decades of competitive IPSC shooting. As a result of shooting hundreds of thousands from a 1911 in a Chapman Hi-Ride, there was probably no amount of training that could get my feeble brain accustomed to a retention holster in a fight-or-flight situation.

    Now I rely on a .38 K-frame snub, sans switches, flippers, buttons or levers.

  28. You mean prior to the tragic boating incident, right? I want to be clear on that. 🙂

    No. A revolver doesn’t have a frame mounted safety.

    On anything else?

    If it was good enough for Col. Cooper, it’s good enough for me. Double action autos (other than the Taurus 101 and the CZ series) and slide mounted safeties are solutions looking for a problem.

  29. Yes. my wife and I both Carry Sig P938’s. I prefer the 1911 style handgun and I like having a safety. We both carry Condition 1.

    I use a Winthorpe owb holster

  30. Revolvers have worked for over 100 years without safeties. The only reason some autos come with safeties is for folks that insist on carrying them cocked or because of the mechanism the only way you can carry with one in the pipe is at half cock. No safeties on my DAO carry guns.

    • Really? Would those be single action or double action revolvers? You certainly know that the single action Colts were NOT drop safe, and the only way to carry them safely was with an empty chamber under the hammer, right? Nor is the half cock position a safety that would allow one to carry six. Further, until recently, double action revolvers were not drop safe either.

      • Which DA revolvers might that be that were “only just recently” made drop safe? Even single actions have been drop safe for about FIFTY YEARS NOW! S&W revolvers have used a different system of drop safety(the rebound slide, vs a transfer bar) since at least 1910.
        I suspect that you either have very little idea of what a drop safety is, or else you have an immortal’s idea of what “recently” means. FYI, for most of us it means a whole lot less than a century…

  31. Nope. Carry CZ 75 PCR with decocker. Practice overcame different double action pull on first shot. I like simple. Pull. Shoot.

    But if I could afford a Wilson 45, I would not quibble on the safety.

  32. Yes and no. I got accustomed to carrying an LCP, DAO, no safeties. Wanted to go to 9mm, so bought an LC9, removed safety and mag safety so that it would be a DAO LCP in 9mm, so far works fine, but I definitely do NOT handle it daily, I leave it holstered probably 10-20 days at a time, before unloading, inspecting, dry firing, reloading and reholstering. Actual firing is done with a second, identical gun and holster, carry gun hasn’t been fired since break-in and cleaning. However, I also have 1911s with normal safety, and Sig with DA/SA, no safety, haven’t had a problem with remembering which has a safety yet. Interestingly, I have that problem all the damn time with my ARs, settle down, control breathing, center up target, slowly squeeze, … , well, shit, did it again, works better if you take the safety off.

  33. Not sure why anyone has an issue with another private American citizen having one or not. Don’t we live in a country where you can have either or both? We may as well discuss 9 vs 40 vs 45 superiority since we are talking about a preference.

    CHOICE!
    ‘MURICA!

    Very first world, Constitutional Republic kind of a decision/problem. It’s no wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

  34. I often find myself wishing my nightstand gun had an external safety, but I don’t miss them at all on my carry guns.

  35. I prefer a thumb safety, and likely won’t buy a semi-auto without one. I’ve been present in two occasions when a competitor was holstering their Glock after loading and the pistol went off…because the pin that holds the trigger safety was protruding from the trigger and snagged the holster. Fortunately both times just a hole in the ground slightly behind their right heel. One with an aftermarket trigger and one with a supposedly stock trigger. Have also read several posts about this in different places, however who knows if they are true. I actually saw it happen twice, though, and don’t plan to be a part of it next time.

    Not saying it couldn’t have been prevented with a close inspection before holstering. And I’m not against firearms without a manual safety…I just don’t think I’ll ever carry one.

    • Oh, the irony! The trigger dingus, billed as a safety (even though it adds zero, zip nada to the Glock’s protections against error), itself malfunctions and is the immediate cause of the discharge!

      It’s not just useless, as I have maintained, it’s actually a hazard!

    • How would the pin cause the gun to fire without the trigger safety being pressed?
      I’ll have to look at my Glock when I get home. If the gun can fire without the trigger safety then why not just remove it and the pin that you saw fail twice?

      • He say it was a mechanical failure. It is possible for clothing to get caught in the trigger guards and have the force of holstering depress the trigger safety and trigger.

        • You can not buy it all you want. I saw it happen. Peacemaker National Training Center 2-Gun match, aftermarket trigger. The other was at an informal competition on a friend’s property, supposedly a stock trigger. Pin was protruding from trigger. The “safety latch” was no longer sprung at the angle needed to keep trigger from going rearward. Pin caught on holster when pistol was put in. After it happened and the pistol was emptied we took a look at it. With an empty pistol RSO had him re-holster and sure enough the striker was released. That’s how I knew what to look for when it happened at my friend’s.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on Glocks due to the trigger safety, or safe action trigger. I have an FNS9 that has a similar system. But after those two experiences I look at the trigger before holstering even though mine also has a thumb safety.

      • A Glock can definitely fire without the safe action trigger safety…that’s why these two pistols fired. All the safe action does is block rearward movement of the trigger until the lever is pulled flush with the trigger.

        Honestly I don’t understand the point of all the trigger safeties on the Glocks, XD’s, M&P’s, FNS’, etc

  36. First line military pistols tend to have safeties for the very same reason a EDC gun could/should have one: a human being is carrying it all day and human beings are imperfect.

      • This is why arguments like “this is MY safety…” (guy pointing to head) is just so much BS. In the same breath, most of the same guys will go on to say say something like “…and under stress I don’t want to have to worry about taking the safety off”.

        Well, either your brain (aka your “safety”) works perfectly all the time or it doesn’t. And if you’re going to admit that we humans sometimes cannot count on our brain/fingers to behave exactly as we might LIKE them to, then what’s the proof that safety-off is somehow less risky than safety-on?

  37. Yes, when I carry a 1911 or other classic pistols. And since I’m planning on dispensing with carrying a Glock in the near future, I will likely be carrying a piece with the 1911 safety system.

  38. At work, I carry a SIG P238, so yes. Off the job, I carry a SIG P228, then it’s a no. The pistols feel different in my hands, so I don’t get confused about which one I’m carrying. Plus, the location of where I carry each is different.

  39. I carry either a 1911 or XD variant. Both have at least one safety. The single action trigger on the 1911 reinforces trigger discipline and the grip safety on the XD reinforces safe adminstrative handling. Neither reduces the speed of response. Any experienced 1911 owner deactivates the external safety before the pistol clears the holster.

  40. I have been carrying a 1911 from my beginning and it’s not just the thumb safety. You have to have a grip on the gun too. First I am a big believer in pull it like your gonna shoot it. Meaning get the right grip right away. For me, holster choice is imperative as I want to get my hand on my gun the right way every time first time without fiddling. In that I have always shot a 1911, that right grip always, every time puts my thumb exactly always ready to disengage the safety. It is as normal as placing my finger on the trigger. That said, I recently bought my wife a Walther PPQ M2. A whole different beast and one that takes more thought for me at least. I’m actually a bit less comfortable without the safeties I have grown to. I teach and preach trigger and muzzle discipline so it should not matter….but I’m not sure I bought the right gun.

  41. Retired, don’t live in or near an urban area, and I normally OC a Hi-Point C9 (yes, it’s ugly, clunky and doesn’t hold 147 cartridges in its magazine, but it works and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg). It has a manual safety (not the best design in the world, but it works). All it takes is a flick of the thumb to release it. Training and muscle memory is what’s required with a manual safety, nothing more. I feel comfortable with it, and that’s what matters. This safety vs. no safety argument is much akin to the OC vs. CC argument – what works for you may not work for me, and vice versa.

  42. I believe every gun ever manufactured has a safety to prevent an accidental discharge. It is the trigger. Fingers off unless you intend to destroy what you are pointed at and all. I feel like a gun without any external safety vastly improves trigger discipline and once learned the habits stick and no safety is necessary to comfortably carry. I can appreciate the concern of people who want an extra measure of safety (pun intended) but personally I want a point and shoot weapon. Less to go wrong

  43. No safety on my carry gun, either a J frame .357 or a Walther PPS. With the sole exception of a 1911, I find safeties on hand guns exceptionally cumbersome and often far more difficult to disengage than to engage. Practice the fundamental rules of gun safety and “safeties” are unnecessary- particular emphasis on (1) finger off the trigger until ready to fire and (2) never muzzle anything you are not willing to destroy. My gun might not have a safety but I do.

  44. Ruger GP100, no safety. But I didn’t mind the safety on my Beretta 92 when I carried it. I can see why people with small hands had a problem whith the slide mounted safety, but the 92 grip isn’t for people with small hands anyway. Sold the 92 but I have plans to pick up a PX4 Storm to replace it at some point. Right now I don’t even own a semi-auto pistol (just 3 revolvers). All my rifles and shotguns have safeties.

  45. I carry in pretty deep concealment, such that the muzzle is often pointed slightly toward me just because of how the gun wears. In an OWB duty holster I doubt I’d care as much, but I won’t conceal a gun without a manual safety. I also like how larger levers, especially on 1911s, complement a thumbs forward grip by acting as a pressure surface for the main hand thumb. That said, I’m very picky about safeties. Must be easy to actuate in the sense that one can readily find purchase on the lever, but must have a strong and crisp detent.

  46. I have a 1911 that I mainly only use in the range, have S&W MP 40 S&W Shield, Glocks 19, G 26 and a G43. I practice once a week with my preferred Glocks To this date I have had 1 jam up with the Glocks. Had frequent jam ups with the rest. I carry the boxy Glocks for reliability and the fact that I can use different ammo without worries. The best safety is your brain you can have all the safeties you want but if the gun fails what good is it? Practice makes perfect poorly trained police is not an excuse for having a safety.

  47. Kind of dumb to come up with a rule at large that doesn’t account for the fact that many platforms behave differently.

    CZ’s with manual safeties cannot engage at half cock or hammer all the way down. Once the shooting has begun, it’s pretty tough to accidentally throw a CZ safety (unless you have the obnoxiously large SA style safeties). This sounds like the kind of rule that a guy who thinks about guns a lot but doesn’t do much shooting would throw around with all the authority he would muster.

    A gun with a Beretta 92 style safety, I’d be more hesitant about. I have accidentally engaged one of those, clearing a malfunction.

  48. I don’t think either one is inherently better or worse than the other. It all comes down to training with whatever you decide to carry. Which brings up another point; if you’re someone who likes to rotate their EDC, it might not be the best idea to rotate between pistols with a thumb safety and ones without.

    • As someone who mixes up his rotation with both, I don’t find it a nuisance, but I have also trained extensively with my pistols. I wouldn’t recommend switching between safety/ no safety for a novice or someone that doesn’t have the extra time or money to practice.

    • The best “safety”, IMO is hammer checking when holstering. A decocked gun with your thumb on the hammer cannot fire, and it will tell you if something catches in the guard as it presses back on your thumb. I didn’t think I’d enjoy that feature as much as I do about carrying hammer fired guns, but I really appreciate that about DASA guns.

  49. Adding my 2cents to the pile.
    Guard rails on highways are not a sign that we need more training, or that we need more trust in our cars to work the way we direct them. It’s merely an extra margin of safety.
    The lower violent crime rates get, and the more I handle my guns outside of life/death situations, the greater the chances are of my manual safety saving me rather than harming me.
    I have yet to screw up to the point that a safety has helped, but I require it on all my guns in case it does.

  50. In the service I carried an M9. One of the first things I did was bought a Safariland holster for it to replace the issue holster. Disengaging the safety was just a natural continuation of releasing the retention on the holster, so it felt natural to disengage the safety as part of the draw.

    My EDC is either a Sig P320 (no safety) or an S&W Bodyguard, which I carry in a pocket holster with the tictac like safety disengaged. I used to be a firm believer in manual safeties, but experience carrying various Sigs has brought me around to the point of view that keeping your finger off the darn trigger until the weapon is on target and ready to fire is really the best safety.

  51. All I carry are Sigs or P99 Walthers,decocking is my saftey. No striker guns for me to carry. I like em,just prefer da/sa guns. I have now been turned on to Bersa,bought a ultra compact 45 and have a hc .thunder .40 on the way from Davidsons.

  52. I have a frame mounted safety. Had the gun a cpl of months now. Over 500 rounds through it. Very positive up and down thumb activation (right handed). Feels good and is automatic for me.
    Granted I am fairly new to pistols but I have no problem thumbing the safety.

  53. I carry a pistol with an external safety. It mostly stays in the “fire” position, but it is handy when I need to decock the hammer.

  54. If you are one of those people that thinks manipulating an external safety is a complex enough operation that it could derail your attempts to defend yourself what makes you think you are competent enough to take a safe shot in a public place? It’s a simple swipe of the thumb. If your adrenaline is so jacked you can’t make a simple thumb swipe out of muscle memory under stress, do everyone a favor, leave the guns at home.

  55. If no safety, no round in the chamber. But I pocket carry (with a pocket holster) and don’t feel comfortable “muzzling” while sitting.

  56. Both my carry guns are DAO, but check out today’s post about the dude getting his gat snatched by two ne’er-do-wells. Jeff Cooper used to recount an anecdote where a Goblin who tucked his piece into his waist band to tie up a victim when victim’s woman (who had never touched a gun previously) grabbed the gun and squeezed the trigger, killing the bad guy. Both situational awareness cases to be sure, but if I ever switch to open carry (besides my bear gun) I’ll get myself an external safety.

  57. It doesn’t matter what pistol you carry as long as you train enough with it to use it.

    In a gunfight if it goes bang and throws lead it will do the job.

    All sorts of pistols are carried and used all over the world, their is no right answer.

    Personally I like a manual safety, but some people don’t. I’m sure their have been just as many accidental discharges with Glock’s as their have been 1911’s that have not been taken off safe in a gun fight. Its called training, both tools are fine for the job.

  58. No.

    It’s something that gets in the way, and slows you down. Manual safeties also create unsafe operators, people become dependent on them and become too comfortable. Before you know it, you’ll be putting a hole in the wall. Kinda like my step-cousin.

  59. For the first year that I carried on a daily basis I liked the fact that my Shield had an external safety – not because of anything tactical – just because all the dressing and undressing and fidgeting with my holster felt a bit safer. Same goes for when I would load and chamber it. Even though I always had the pistol pointed in a safe direction I just felt like all that live ammo handling in my house made me nervous (I store everything in my safe when it isn’t on my person). Some people go through this phase just not chambering (Israeli Carry I think it is called) but that wasn’t for me.

    I wasn’t relying on the safety, it just seemed obvious that the chances of a negligent discharge were much higher than the risk of actually needing to use the gun and not being able to operate the safety.

    After that I found the right clothing/holster solutions that work for me and handling it became second nature in the morning and evening.

  60. I have a stupid European-style safety (slide mounted, up to fire), but I don’t mind it. Useful for holstering, off the the rest of the time. DA/SA good enough for the rest of the time.

  61. ” If not, why not?”
    Because S&W “J” frames, as DA revolvers, have no thought of, nor need for, an external safety. It’s one of the many things that make small revolvers great. And large ones too, even though most of these are too large for other than open carry.

  62. No factory safety. I’ve been carrying a .45 Ruger P90DC (sa/da decock only) all day, every day for 25 years. My primary safety is my brain. Secondary is STRICT trigger discipline. I am neither complacent nor overconfident. I understand the gravity of negligence and the responsibility that comes with firearms ownership. All firearms in my house that are not being carried (on body) are kept locked in the safe. Several are loaded and quickly accessible but in the safe. Having young children made that an easy decision.

    For those interested: The Ruger has a very smooth double action. The single action won’t win any prizes but I can dump a magazine into a standard pistol target at the far end of my local ranges every time. It is exceedingly accurate and dead reliable. It is built like a tank and runs reliably even when filthy. My ONLY complaint is the 7+1 capacity but magazine changes are quick and easy.

    • Sounds like my safe. All handguns are not just considered loaded, they are loaded. Those without an external safety are stored in their holster. Zero temptation to get lazy or forgetful about clearing the firearm.

  63. I carry a Colt Govt model cocked and locked regularly. At work I carry a Glock 22. Some times I carry my duty gun off duty. Some times I carry my Canik TP9SA. I’ve trained enough with the 1911 that I’ve caught myself drawing my county-issued Glock and thumbing the non-existent safety on the side.

    I honestly don’t think there is anything wrong with a manual external safety so long as the user in question has the diligence to train with it until disengaging it becomes muscle memory.

  64. I’m a point and shoot kind of guy… but I’m not dogmatic about it. The guns I’ve chosen to carry do not have manual safeties, but if I happen to find a gun that will work better for me that does have one, I will just train until I am comfortable carrying it. I absolutely would not carry it until then though. 😉

  65. I carry a DA/SA S&W with an external (slide mounted) safety and I carry it exclusively de-cocked with the safety off. I appreciate the safety however, for any time my pistol isn’t directly attached to me. When I set it on the bedside table or put it in my glove box or gym bag the safety goes on to add an extra layer of protection during handling. As soon as it gets back to the holster the safety goes back off.

  66. Nope. The ‘external safety’ for my firearm is the holster. It blocks the trigger from being pulled and doesn’t fail to disengage on draw.

  67. I have chosen apendix carry as it is the only way I’ve found to consistently conceal a full sized pistol. So uhh… Yeah it has an external safety. lol I train around it, and my boys down there thank me for it.

  68. My “carry” gun (I live in MD for the time being, so can only carry in the house and when out of state) is a Sig P938, so 1911 style external safety. I prefer DA/SA for a carry gun, such as decocker Sigs/CZs and plan to move to a CZ PCR (would have done so a while back, but carry isn’t a big priority when it happens a few times a year). I like the P938, but if I had to do it over again I would have gone with a M&P Shield sans safety for the same size category and had enough left over for most of the PCR. Also, if I had to do it over again I would have stayed on the VA side of the river and not bought a house so that I’d already be out of the DC area.

  69. if i open carried i probably would have a gun with an external safety, since i conceal i dont think its necessary. As to why? look at the story above this one about the open carrier having his gun stolen. that is one of teh main reasons i dont OC

  70. I have a S&W M&P 45 C with Trijicon NS and it has a frame mounted safety. I do not feel any advantage is gain nor lost with this combo, I train with it I know it

  71. No. Safety levers are superfluous and serve no purpose. If you require a silly switch to stop you from lighting a round off, you need frequent and intensive training and you have no business touching any firearm, ever. Now i know what you’re all thinking, but what if a kid grabs it? Well, there are only 2 acceptable places for any firearm to be, either under your DIRECT CONTROL, or locked up. Also, if someone is trying to grab your gun and they actually get it from you, you should seek frequent and intensive training to retain your piece, provided you live through the encounter. It really all comes down to mindset. Don’t want to light a round off? Don’t press the trigger. That’s literally all there is to it, and silly switches aren’t involved anywhere in that process.

  72. I transitioned from a revolver to a semi auto decades ago and chose a double action (then) radical design with no safety and a decocking lever in 9mm and stuck with it until I convinced myself I needed a modern pocket pistol and chose a1911 inspired single action with a safety. I’m convinced the safety will not be an issue because I am trained and familiar with both. On the other hand I own two cars. Car one has the wiper stalk on the left of the column and is turned towards me to operate. Car two has it mounted on the right and is pushed down to operate. In the dark I get confused snd fumble to get it right when it starts to rain. I pray to God that when the day comes that I need my weapon that I am not driving at night and it suddenly starts to rain

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