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“Safe Action”-type trigger safety? Frame safety? DA/SA? The only options Mr. M doesn’t mention in the vid above is the Springfield-style grip safety. Oh, and then there’s the Kahr-like no-safety-at-all which is really just a revolver-style loooong trigger pull. So which safety (or not) is it for your semi? And why?

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    • TTITS!

      The Trigger Is The Safety

      Three safeties. No failures.
      I buy my guns to shoot. Not to not shoot. Safeties on rifles? Yes. Different animal than an auto pistol.

      But for a firearm that will be used in a chaotic defensive situation most likely with one hand and under stress and potential injury, flipping another switch is asking for failure.

      • It is great to see another Glock fan on TTAG. I am amazed at all the shade thrown at Gaston’s masterpiece. When I got into Glock hardcore, it was goodbye to my Sigs, H&Ks, etc. The best safety is the one between your ears. I have carried appendix for 20 years, in a good holster, and I have never had a problem.

        • No matter how smart you are, accidents happen. Glocks are an accident just waiting to happen. Its three safeties only make it drop safe, not accident proof. A 1911 or XD style grip safety is a far safer option, and far less “accident prone.” Google “accident and shooting and Glock” and you will see what I mean.

        • Totally agree too. Love Glocks and have since the 1980s. Zero problems.

          Got a friend, though, who pulled the trigger on a loaded pistol to see if the safety was on. It wasn’t. Sure, stupid him. But until there is a universal safety position and operation, I consider Glocks more safer than something that requires prior knowledge and muscle memory to be operated safely.

          However, considering that way too many gunners learn their skills from TV, I can certainly understand why a switch designed to disable the gun is necessary for some. Better yet, how about a mag that doesn’t hold any cartridges. Now that would be safer. Or maybe a pistol made of chocolate.

        • The safety between my ears tells me that a manual safety is mandatory on any semi-auto. Anything less is a sign of poor judgement.

  1. I alternate between the 1911 and an Xd(m). I could take out leave the 1911 thumb safety, but I love having a grip safety.

    It only takes half a second of stupid for bad things to happen. It’s one more layer of non invasive security against Murphy.

    And hey, the auto login is back.

    • Count me as a big fan of the Springfield grip safeties. Extra protection against Glock-style NDs, and you never have to wonder whether you forgot to take the safety off at the crucial moment.

      If you’re gripping the handle and ready to roll, the gun is good to go; when you’re reholstering or otherwise handling the gun, put your thumb on the back end of the slide and the grip safety will make sure the gun doesn’t do anything you didn’t want it to.

      • I “third”this comment. A grip safety plus observing the rule about keeping your finger off the trigger until you are going to shoot is all you really need. The only time I use the thumb safety on my 1911s is when I am handling the gun. Once it is holstered I deactivate the thumb safety.

        • One more for grip safety. For me, a grip safety offers the best balance between risk reduction and not being an obstacle in an emergency.

        • Count me in on the grip safety…my xdm has block (I mean Glock) style safety on the trigger plus said grip safety…just for hoslstering alone the grip safety is brilliant…did you see the pix on here of the guy that shot himself in the butt???no Glock leg (or butt) for me!!!

      • My first centerfire handgun was a Springfield XD, the second a Kimber 1911, and after a mistake buying a Mosquito (too damn many safeties and a lack of accuracy), my fourth was a Kahr. I guess that pretty much sums up how I feel about safeties–grip safety or double action trigger and I’m good to go.

    • I love shooting my 1911. The truth is if you don’t get the correct grip, it will not fire. Not a good grip, the correct one. And I have had it happen to me.

      • Any competent gunsmith can fix that for you. You should not have to have the correct or ideal grip on a 1911 for it to fire. On any gun I’ve had that issue with, very little work has to be done to make it engage with any grip that allows me to point at the target.

      • The XD grip safety is thinner, I could envision a problem with that one. But I’d hate to see just how screwed up a grip would have to be to not disengage a1911 grip safety.

  2. Manual, DA/SA, and the revolver style Double action….
    Seen enough Accidental discharges with the striker fired “safe action” guns to make my decision to have that extra measure and step…

    • I have landed here as well. Primary carry is a DAO .380 pocket rocket.

      Backup gun is a CZ 75 BD. (it is the backup gun because I am one of those evil ‘off body’ carry types. 🙂

      A note on off body/man purse carry. I keep my bag locked in my truck most of the time. At the end of the day, I bring my bag inside. I keep the gun in condition three, to minimize negligent discharges in the extremely unlikely event someone digs in my bag and finds a gun. Some frown on off body carry, but I found a method that works for me.

  3. My first two guns were a Springfield 1911 and a GLOCK 19. I first thought I needed the added protection of a safety and didn’t use the GLOCK much. The more comfortable I became handling firearms, I realized a safety was unnecessary. I wanted a pistol that was ready to go bang immediately if I ever had to clear leather.

    I ended up getting rid of the GLOCK (personal preference) and almost never carry the 1911. I’ve found the SIG DA/SA set up works best for me. I would also be comfortable with a XD style grip safety.

    • +1. I chose the Sig DA/SA to replace my revolver. Like the revolver it has no safety levers but uncocking and reloading are improved and having a hammer it can be cocked for a SA first shot. I chose a 938 for pocket carry because I did not care for any of the DAO designs.

  4. Personally, I just don’t like trigger safeties. Not because I think they can’t be effective safeties, but I just don’t like the triggers. They all feel chunky, loose and wierd. At least everyone I’ve tried.

    • Can’t speak for all trigger safeties since I haven’t tried that many, but my Ruger SR9c has one and the trigger is SWEET.

      As for safeties in general, I carry either the SR9c or LC9s, both with trigger style safeties and both with thumb safeties. I like the extra safeties for when I an just handling the pistol from place to place, but I always take that safety off when holstered and rely on the trigger safety. Lots of practice on draw and fire and lots of emphasis on trigger discipline. To date the only unintentional discharge was on a range when the instructor was trying to show us how to keep contact with the trigger while letting it forward to reset. He was unfamiliar with the SR9c trigger which is so smooth that it is difficult to feel the reset point. Result – one round into the ceiling as I brought the pistol back down towards the target.

      OTH, rifles definitely need a manual safety, IMO.

  5. Because Springfield invented the grip safety…

    There’s also slide-mounted safeties, squeeze-cock safeties, safeties to prevent firing w/o a magazine inserted, etc.

    Personally, I like DA/SA with either a safety/decocker combo, or decocker only (coupled with a GOOD holster and carried with the hammer down, safety off). Pull the (heavy) trigger, gun goes bang.

    • Springfield did invent the grip safety. Browning was a time traveler who went to the future to get his design ideas. How else do you explain how the 1911 was so advanced more than a century ago?

  6. I’ve grown fond of DAO with a long pull for carry, for just shooting I guess I don’t even care. For years I carried a Sig 229, found that quite comfortable except the gun was too big and heavy. Newest is an XD(m), haven’t gotten used to it yet, grip safety with a shorter pull, probably not for carry, but who knows, I did get belt and shoulder holsters.

  7. I personally prefer DA/SA, as I know even in an excited situation I am not going to pull the trigger without intention. If it is not a fast draw situation and I find myself entering a combat zone and mostly likely would have gun drawn, it really is not too difficult to pull the hammer back and be ready with a SA pull nicer than any striker fired pistol has.

  8. If it is going to have a safety it needs to be a big ole flipper/lever that can be snicker off during the normal process of acquiring a proper firing grip on the gun and serves as rest for my thumb to keep it there. Basically something like the extended safety found on most modernized 1911s.

    Small buttons, anything mounted to the slide and anything that needs to be flipped upwards to deactivate is a non-starter for me.

    My current carry gun has no safety, no plans to change that.

  9. For a pistol? Striker fired with no manual safety besides the trigger.

    Shotgun? Mossberg style tang safety

    Rifle? AR style

  10. I call BS on the guy in the video. He says, “On a Glock, it won’t fire if you don’t pull the trigger.” WTF? No modern firearm with fire if you don’t pull the trigger! The point is the gun WILL fire even if you pull the trigger unintentionally. That’s why when you hear about an ND, chances are it’s a “slick side” striker gun. Yes, I know all kinds of guns can have NDs, but this type of gun has more than its share.

    I have worked in the safety business. It’s fine to say that the primary responsibility for safety is with the user. But when you have people who have been properly trained with any mechanical device having mishaps, like LEOs do with these kinds of guns there has to be a consideration of a design flaw.

  11. No safety but a drop safety. I take extra care when re holstering to prevent a ND by way of clothing getting caught in the guard. I don’t begrudge anyone who uses a safety, I just prefer to keep it simple so there’s less parts on my carry piece that could fail at the wrong time. W/ proper training, I’m sure using a safety can be just as fast as not.

  12. I prefer a world without safeties.
    However I don’t mind most safeties.
    The two that I absolutely hate and go out of my way to avoid or deactivate when avoidance isn’t possible is the crossbolt safety and the integral trigger lock.

  13. Only 2 guns I carry are a Kahr and a GLock 19, so I really prefer the “finger” safety. Safe-action trigger seems unnecessary to me, it isn’t very good at stopping NDs so they ought not to even bother. I feel VERY safe with the long (but smooth) pull of the Kahr pm9.

    Knowing I have no safety but what has been placed between my ears I take care when holstering these 2 carry guns. No reason to rush to get the gun in there, and no reason to be distracted by anything else either.

  14. No. Just no.

    The safety setup on a Glock or Springfield XD coupled with a good holster is the most you need. IMO

  15. LC9s pro. trigger safety. Carried every day, all the time. I changed to LC9 from the LCP due to long trigger pull. Since switch, I find myself being extra cautious handling the 9 as I am aware there is only the trigger safety.

  16. For pistols I like a frame-mounted safety, like my CZ75. For shotguns, I really appreciate the safety on the Mossberg 500, on the back of the receiver because it’s ambidextrous and I shoot lefty.

  17. I used to run a stage I called “One man Left”, The squad would line up and run the stage using the weapon of the person to their left with one pocketed mag. It changed the dynamic of the stage completely ( as well as letting some folks use race guns). Guys who knew their guns hands down had to focus and concentrate on every mechanic they thought they knew. Then they found out that the sights weren’t set for them but the owner. I think it also showed that getting too attached your specific manual of arms could add a bit of carelessness when confronted with a new gun ( a shooter, used to the long pull of his started his take up while presenting and short stroked the lighter trigger in the gun he was using.)

    Safeties have their place. Your manual of arms and your practice time just make it part of the process. If someone else gets a hold of your weapon that extra time could save your life

  18. I’ve had both no safety(revolver and little TCP) and guns with frame mounted safeties. I was fine with either.

  19. Khars, or CZs with manual safety, carried hammer down, with the safety off (if it can be on with the hammer down). Non-firing pin CZs on the half cock notch.

  20. I prefer a SA trigger pull with a 1911/CZ-style thumb safety. My thumb instinctively goes to the safety when I draw. Pulling down on the safety seats the beavertail in the web of my hand more firmly.
    As for the negligible increase in failure to fire. Is it any worse than the negligible increase in NDs among striker fired safety-less guns?

    I don’t mind grip safeties.

    I despise the triggers with that silly plastic insert that’s supposed to prevent an ND. It just makes the pull on the first shot after touching the trigger weird and makes reset more difficult to judge.

    I’ll never buy a gun with a thumb safety that flicks up, that sits on the slide (or other hard to reach spot), or that doubles as a decocker when pressed down. If I can’t deactivate it with my thumb pressing down in my normal grip, it’s not consistent enough in my hands.

  21. Wow, lots of manual safetyiscts around here, makes me feel discriminated against.

    Well, it’s all y’alls guns, and that’s cool.

    For me I really like the idea of a big switch that puts the thing in ‘safe mode’ giving that extra layer of protection, but that’s just me. I am very confident I can make sure that big switch is flipped the right way when the time comes to use it. The requirement to do that small thing to me is worth the far more frequent confidence that in general day to day handling there won’t be a misplaced few pounds of force to the wrong thing resulting in an unwanted bang.

    It’s all a matter of weighing one risk against the other and making what you feel is the right choice.

    • I also like that extra wall between myself and Mr. Murphy. It’s the people that don’t respect him that he bites the hardest.

  22. Ha, I carry both at the same time! My PM9 has no safety, just a long trigger pull. My 1911, it has 2. Between the two types, I much prefer the trigger on the 1911, but I find the whole “you might forget to take the safety off” pretty ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as a long trigger pull in an appropriate holster as being unsafe. I’ve never had any issue with an ND or with taking the safety off a gun, even in combat.

  23. I carry LCP with no safety. I carry an SR9 and 9c with the safety on.

    I prefer it. First carry auto was a 1911 so no big deal.

    There are those that say I won’t remember to flick it off and ignore that plenty of people carried cocked and locked for decades and had no problem remembering. Can we remember to keep the finger off the trigger? Or turn on a light? Or a laser? I think you can reflexively flip off a safety. But that’s just me.

    I don’t have a problem with a striker and no safety but will only carry in a kydex holster.

    Those that look at idiot-proofing a weapon by eliminating safeties are kidding themselves just like those that think a safety lets them turn off their brain.

    Pay your money and make your choice.

  24. I carried a 1911 as a duty weapon for a lot of years. The high sheriff insisted that we carry the pistol in a thumb break holster so we had the manual safety, grip safety, and a strip of leather or nylon between the hammer and frame to guard against a negligent discharge. A year or so ago I decided to start carrying a 9mm. I’ve got arthritis and a beginning case of carpal tunnel in my hands and the heavy 1911 and its .45 loads are getting pretty painful to shoot. I went with a Springfield XD9. The so called trigger safety doesn’t impress me too much but I like the grip safety.

    I started in law enforcement with a Smith 686 duty pistol and carried a Smith model 38 as a back up (I’m really dating myself here). My safety has always been my trigger finger and the grey matter between my ears. I’ve carried a variety of pistols on duty and as back ups over the years and I’ve always taken the time to practice and think. I have qualified with several pistols but I stick with one duty and one back up weapon – right now I’m carrying the XD on my belt and a Ruger LCP as the back up and off duty pistol. When I carried a 1911 I had a Springfield (I like Springers) Mil Spec on my belt and a Kimber Ultra Carry II as the back up/off duty pistol. Both had the same operating system.

  25. DA/SA SRT P226 is my preferred carry. It is OK in winter.

    During the summer, I prefer the P290RS DAO. I practice with this weekly so I’m a good shot with it.

    The BUG is a DA/SA revolver with a sheilded hammer (649). I just happen to be a good shot with it in my weak hand so I carry it in my pocket on the weak side.

    All of these guns have heavy triggers in DA. It seems like around 9 lbs. provides good safety with reasonable shootability.

    • How does the P290RS compare (size wise) to a XDS or Shield? I’ve thought about purchasing…I’m a big fan of night sights on a concealed carry pistol..but none of the local shops carry it so I have no hands on experience. I’d like to have a better idea of conceal-ability before I bid on gun broker.

      • I think the P290RS is a little smaller than the XDS or Shield. It might be heavier though.

        It is only 6+1 with the short mag but I like the DAO restrike trigger.

        I’ve only had a few failures to fire in over 7,000 rounds and that was with a certain brand of ammo that had a few rounds with primers in too far. The restrike was handy for that.

      • I have a P290RS. I think it was a great idea for a design, but poorly executed. The grip feels way smaller than an XDS. My real problem with it is that the distance from the backstrap to the trigger feels too short for me. A finger pad trigger contact doesn’t work with that heavy trigger pull, but with a first knuckle contact, the tip of my finger contacts my thumb before the break unless I grip with my thumb in an awkward position. So I really have to work out and practice a grip just for that gun. For reference, I have size “large” hands, but not XL. I really wish they would have offered replaceable backstraps with it. By contrast, I fired an XDS at the range and it just felt intuitive. I could just pick it up and hit with it.

        Also, I’ve had light primer strikes with range ammo and it was not due to recessed primers. I sent it in to Sig and they replaced the main spring, which seems to have helped. I would also skip the laser on the P290. It is not a good design. The switch is awkward to activate, but it can be accidentally activated in the holster and the battery runs down quickly. Also, it can get bumped off of zero pretty easily.

        If you like that kind of design, I think the P250 sub-compact might be a better choice. Not that much bigger or heavier, but more capacity and a much better trigger.

  26. I carry guns with safeties.

    This *reduces* my risk of a ND during routine handling of the gun; no matter how well trained and focused we are, the risk of a ND is always nonzero.

    It also *increases* my risk of failing to properly deploy the gun under stress in a DGU. I accept that risk, and mitigate it by training, and by only carrying guns with safeties that function in the same way.

    My routine handling of the gun happens every day, but DGUs are (thankfully) rare, so I believe the risk of a ND is higher than the risk of failing the take off the safety in a DGU.

    Your mileage may vary.

  27. Thumb Safety, Grip Safety, half-cock notch. (and completely superfluous firing pin safety)

    Because only hits count, and nobody should have to struggle with a nasty crunchy squishy trigger that hinders accuracy.

  28. use the safety in the on position whenever the gun is not on you person. Simple method to help prevent little fingers and wads of clothes from pulling the trigger

  29. DA/SA all the way, baby!

    I’m an old revolver guy so the Sig DA/SA action is a natural to me, with the bonus of SA for the second and subsequent rounds, and none of that messy fumbling around with speed loaders on my weak side.

    I didn’t know that Astra used the DA/SA system, so when I hit “Post Comment” I’m going to check out the A-80. About 100 years ago I had an Astra 400 and 600, and I liked them some.


  30. No safety. I’ve found that big ol 1911 style safety’s can be disengaged during normal daily activities. It’s a rare occurrence but if it happens even once…
    Not to mention the higher risk of assembly error. I don’t know about others but I take my 1911 completely down for cleaning. If your not paying attention there is a possibility of malfunction.
    The best way to reduce the failure rate of any mechanical object is to start by keeping the amount of moving parts to a minimum.
    Oh and isn’t hammer follow a normal 1911 term ;p

  31. 62 yer old guy, never a FUDD. Grip safety’s-do work in a SHTF situation trust me. If you must fumble around in the middle of a good sleep, nothing is smooth and you may die. Grip safeties are the answer.

    My other option is my Winchester 94 stoked with good fuel;mine’s a ’52 and no (as in none) crossbolt safety or even a top tang lawyer thang. Half click hammer and we rock. Sorry to all the new world order people, but this ancient 30-30 still makes my life safe.
    1911 stoked on my nightstand, the 94 within a few feet. Life is good.

    • The .30-30 (assuming that’s what your 94 is chambered in) is still a great cartridge. Its even better in the old .32 special load if you can find ammunition or load your own. The 150 and 170 gr flat point loads will take down deer, bear and bad guys with ease. If you’re in a red or red leaning state and you ever have to drop the hammer on some miscreant who richly deserves it, the grand jury will look at “Grandpa’s old deer rifle” lots more favorably than a tricked out AR with every accessory in the Magpul catalog. I’ve got an 870 as my home defense long gun but I have a Rossi Model 92 in .38/.357 that could do the job pretty well too.

  32. I like my 1911 but , I carry an LCP or an XDm Compact. Just my preference. I have no problems hitting a thumb safety. XD just has better sights.

  33. Isn’t the first rule of gun safety to treat (respect) every gun as loaded? When I am teaching my family and friends, my first rule is Every Gun Is Loaded. Once they progress in their skills, then we say Treat Every Gun As If It Is Loaded. At the end of the day everyone will have their preferences, and I like most all of the systems discussed above. But I don’t rely on them solely for safe handling.

    Accidents happen, sure. But it seems like it would be a lot harder to have an accident by making that rule the first thing in your mind when handling a gun in routine situations.

  34. I run a smart gun with finger print i.d., optical pupil i.d., and revolving 20 digit manual input code that changes hourly. If i need to defend myself, i simply input all the correct safety procedures at which point a request is sent via satellite directly to the local p.d. They then process the request and send my info to the local government, which in turn sends my request to congress which then convenes and votes yay or nay. Once that is approved its on to the president for his blessing. Once Mr. obama gives the all clear a technician from the d.o.d. sends me one less leathel round of ammunition via airlift to me directly on the scene. If the less leathal round doesnt take care of the threat, i am than cleared to go through the request process again, at which point another less leathal round will be delivered to me a.s.a.p. If that doesnt stop the threat I can request a 3rd almost leathal round and if that doesnt do it finally on the 4th request i am granted a low velocity, pre fragmented, plastic, probably deadly round and that should be the end of it. Cause im fucking high speed.


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