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Some gun owners claim manual safeties are a bad, bad thing, a dangerous hindrance. Others consider manual safeties a necessary for responsible carry. It’s an old argument and these days, some anti-gun journalists (yes, that’s redundant) criticize gun makers for making pistols without external safeties. It’s time for everyone to accept a few facts about safeties on handguns.

First, it’s mostly the owners of GLOCKs, SIGs and other polymer striker-fired guns, as well as those who still carry wheel guns who say that a manual safety is pointless/unsafe/potentially dangerous. Those who who argue the opposite side love pointing out the accidental and negligent discharges they say are endemic to striker-fired guns. They mostly carry a 1911 or a DA semi-auto.

Each side claims that what they like is better than what someone else prefers. And it’s a pointless argument. Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe. Millions of people — including most cops — carry them every single day without incident. If you feel better toting a gun with a manual safety, there are plenty of models out there for you, too.

handgun with frame safety


Ever listen to truck fanboys argue Ford vs. Chevy? It’s the same thing. Both brands of truck get terrible gas mileage, few people who own them actually need a half-ton vehicle and both brands are just as liable to break down. Heck, people in Australia have literally rioted over “Ford vs GM” arguments; beer sales at the Bathurst 1000 race had to be limited to 24 per person per day to cut down on the fighting and yes, you read that right.

One of the knocks against manual safeties is they slow you down when you need your gun. Here’s an experiment: take your dominant hand and hold it out in front of you like you’re about to shake someone’s hand. Now wiggle your thumb a bit. That wasn’t so difficult, was it? That’s all it takes to disengage a manual safety.

At this point, the commenters will say, “Well it’s a totally different story under stress!” Or something like that. Prima facie, they’re right and there’s something to be said for that. But the thing is that you’re supposed to train and practice regularly, regardless of what gun you carry.

If you carry a handgun with an engaged manual safety, part of your training must include deactivating the manual safety. That isn’t hard to do at all. It fits into your draw very well, as a matter of fact.

1911 safety cocked and locked

What about real-world incidents where a concealed carrier or officer got themselves killed by not deactivating a manual safety? Back in 2009, Massad Ayoob wrote (in Tactical Life but article is now here) that he was only able to find one actual example of a manual safety failure, resulting in injury (not death). It was a private citizen who was wounded after failing to disengage the safety of his Walther .380.

Said citizen also admitted that he’d never practiced with his pistol.

Ayoob recounted several incidents in which officers were killed when a suspect got their gun away from them and shot them due to their duty pistol lacking a manual safety. He also found instances in which suspects grabbed guns, but weren’t able to shoot the disarmed officer because the safety was engaged.

He also tested the speed of drawing a gun and firing with the safety on and the safety off, finding only a 1/100th of a second difference. Granted, Mas is far better trained than most shooters and indeed most police officers. But the point remains: with regular practice — and you do need to practice — there’s little speed advantage to be gained by going sans safety.

Ultimately, the fundamentals of concealed carry are largely the same for everyone, regardless of the gun you choose to carry. You need a good holster that covers the trigger. You have to follow the four rules of gun safety. And you need to train enough to be proficient with your personal defense gun of choice. It’s that simple.

So instead of the pointless bickering, let’s just enjoy the guns we’ve chosen. Let the GLOCK people enjoy their GLOCKs and the 1911 guys pay too much enjoy their 1911s. Let the SIG people love their SIGs and let the CZ people praise their CZs. And let’s even let those snubbie fans relax in the retirement home enjoy their J frames, LCRs and K6Ss.

There’s a gun out there for everyone, whatever their preferences may be. Just be sure you train with yours for when you really need it.



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  1. Right after my nap and then the game of gin rummy I’m going to write something nasty about you dissing my j-frame.

    • Meh…I don’t argue about safeties. Didn’t own a gat until I was in my fifties. I’ve had both types of semiautomatic handguns. Had 2 revolvers. I have no preference save the “safe” thing on my AR. And I know the safe thing on my pump shotgun ain’t safe!

    • I made the mistake of buying a SAM-made long-slide. It has, I kid you not, a 40:1 barrel twist. Great for sideways bullets.

      I still can’t believe it.

  2. But pointless bickering is how comfy first-worlders get their excitement.

    Sportsball, cape shit, brand loyalties (they ARE paying you, right? Or are you just a simp cucking to some corporation?) 9mm v .45, plastic v metal, etc…

    We’re all fat, warm and relatively safe so what else is there to do? Spend time with loved ones or learn skills? Riiiggght, ain’t nobody doin’ that shit.

    • goober, what are you talking about? I like being a first worlder. Is that a word? I’m guessing you’re a first worlder too. If that ever begins to suck, I have a suggestion. Sell your possessions. Donate the proceeds to C.A.R.E. Buy a loin cloth and a ticket on a third class steamer to no one cares.

      • Speaing of machetes, the hoplophobes in one Los Angeles neighborhood have their panties all twisted because some dude is wandering around the neighborhood with a (gasp) machete in his hand. He hasn’t threatened any one. He hasn’t chopped anyone. He hasn’t chopped up the stray coyote he is apparently looking for. Cops say they can’t do anything. It is a strange twist in CA law that one may wander around with a sword in hand as long as it isn’t “concealed.” Even if you have a 3-inch knife in your pocket, it can fall in the vaguely worded concealed dirk or dagger felony. There is a gent who wanders around our town with about a12 inch bowie strapped to his lower right leg. He has been in my field of knowledge for over ten years. I am sure he has had many a discussion with local leos, but it is plainly visible to all and sundry, so there is no violation of CA law. However, even simple possession of that ninja weapon of mass destruction, the shobi-zoe is a felony in CA unless one is using it for agricultural purposes. In case the term “shobi-zoe” leaves you scratching your head, it is a sharp blade attached to a stick. Sort of a do-it-yourself ninja spear. I think the CA lejislachure has been watching too many ninja movies.

    • “Spend time with loved ones or learn skills?” I’d love to do more of both, but I spend a whole bunch of time working to keep the aforementioned first-world life.

      As for J-Frames and middle-aged women – I like em both. I guess I’m old too.

  3. “weren’t able to shoot the disarmed officer because the safety was engaged.”

    I read a similar story. The cop said that gave them enough time to get their gun back from the perp. He said after witnessing that, he would always carry with a manual safety.

    “instead of the pointless bickering”

    Go to any interest forum. There will always be people just repeating what they were told when they showed up to the scene, which was usually based on bro-science.

  4. You forgot the venerable Dodge Ram.

    According to a story on ZeroHedge a few weeks ago, state-by-state, the best selling pickup truck alternates between Ford and Dodge. Chevy is almost always third.

    • Hey, the Ram isn’t a Dodge any more. Since 2010, it’s considered as its own brand under the Fiat umbrella., sold through Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealers. (What a mouthfull!)

      Let’s argue about it!

      • I put an old Fiat logo on one of my old Jeeps. Some Jeep guys think it is hilarious, some absolutely hate it. I’m definitely in the hilarious camp.

        • How I felt when GM took over Boeing.
          Would you like power windows and air conditioning with your satellite?

        • I put a “powered by Mercedes-Benz” factory badge on the back of my 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD- because it was the truth.

          Back then it was DaimlerChrysler, and my Grand Cherokee CRD (Common Rail Diesel) was powered by a Mercedes-Benz OM642 3.0 litter, 24-valve, 72° turbocharged V6 engine.

          Hands down- the most reliable vehicle I’ve ever owned.

          Wouldn’t get near a FIAT Chrysler diesel ANYTHING with a ten thousand-pieds pole.

        • I’ve owned Jeeps manufactured by at least five different entities. The only constant is :
          Jumble of

  5. This article reminds me of the Texas barbecue riots that occasionally broke out at the data center in Austin. Folk are loyal to their brands!

      • Because, generally speaking, they make crappy beer. Not all “craft brews” are good, but the good ones defecate all over any commercial beer. The problem these days is finding a “craft beer” that isn’t produced in a large factory by an international conglomerate.

        Samuel Adams USED to be a “craft beer”, as did Coors. There are damn few “family owned” breweries or distilleries in the world. Over time, the corporate-owned breweries and distilleries tend to emphasize profit over quality (c.f., Macallan scotch). I make an effort to patronize the businesses that are in it to be the BEST product in their category, even if they are more expensive. Those are ALWAYS family-owned businesses (I challenge you to find me an exception).

        • Chimay Blue. (Best readily available.)
          Or Trappist Rochefort 10. (Better, but hard to find, expensive, and tastes awful if allowed to get hot in transit…)

          Kind of a “family”… but not exactly.

        • Lamp:

          Sam Adams is not and never was a craft beer, Jim Koch’s marketing hoodoo notwithstanding.

          Except for some occasional vanity projects that are brewed on smaller brew systems, Sam Adams was a “contract” brewed beer at megabreweries before they bought their current plant in Pennsylvania in 2008 (and that plant is not a craft brewery by any definition).

          “Brewed using my great-great-grandfather’s recipe.” Complete hokum . . . Koch hired legendary beer guru Jim Owades (creator of the original Miller Lite) to come up with the recipe. (Inside joke among actual craft brewers back in the day when they’d see Jim Koch at the Great American Beer Festival during the “brewers and press only” sessions was often “Hey Jim, I just saw your great-great-grandfather over at the Miller suite!” [I was on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Brewers at that time.])

          Is SA Boston Lager a bad beer? No, and it shows that using an all-malt (no corn or rice adjuncts) grain bill makes for a better beer (certainly when compared to Bud Lite or Coors). But Sam Adams Boston Lager is no more a craft beer than is Yuengling’s (which, along with Negra Modelo, are my go-to choices of commercial brews).

        • LKB,

          Did not know that about SA, but will take your word for it. Perhaps I bought the marketing hype. And, yes, it is infinitely better than most “commercial” beers. Didn’t mention Yuengling, for a reason. My guess is that a majority of “craft” breweries really aren’t. I used to be a big fan of Kona Brewing Company (we have a house in Kona) – until I found out who owns them. Now I won’t be bothered.

          If I have to drink commercial beer, SA is far from the worst, and I typically choose Negro Modelo if I’m eating Mexican food. NOT a fan of “flavored” beers – grapefruit and mangoes are for sundaes, not beer. I like the old joke that most commercial beers are like having sex in a canoe – f***ing close to water. Coors Light is a vile crime against nature, and the very concept of beer.

  6. All my semis have manual safeties. My first centerfire semi auto handgun was a 1911 60 yrs ago, and it remained my primary side arm until went to plastic pistols in 2005, buying a gaggle of S&W, FN, and Springfield in 9 and 45, all with manual safeties. I find that little lever gives me a tad more comfort.

      • I’m in the same camp as you guys, nearly all of mine have a manual safety, and the one or two that don’t still get a thumb sweep upon draw.
        What I don’t have and would never own, is the pictured Beretta with the retarded slide mounted safety – Taurus corrected that mistake like 30 or so years back !

        • Oh yeah, I think that the Sears Christmas catalog is way nicer than the Ward’s version… they don’t cheap out on the number of glossy pages

        • I like the retarded slide mount safety: it’s an extremely robust mechanism that not only disables the trigger, but the firing pin as well. The detent is strong enough that you won’t toggle it accidentally, but it’s still easy to throw when you mean to. If you’re switching between the two systems and you’re worried about getting confused, just remember you’re not pushing the safety up or down to fire; you’re pushing it forward.

    • Anything that is even in near proximity to Woody is gonna have a safety. Many wimmins breathe a sigh of relief when informed of such.

  7. “Ever listen to truck fanboys argue Ford vs. Chevy? ”

    The correct answer in that argument, of course, is “Toyota.”

    (ducks and heads for cover)

    • In the foxhole with you.

      I grew up in a Ford family. One of my brothers and I own an auto repair business. From a purely professional perspective, I have no argument against your point. Toyota trucks simply are better than Ford, GM, or Dodge. Except maybe at making roadkill—Ford seems to have the edge there, from what I read here. From our mom on down through our kids, we have something like 16 vehicles with at least half being Hondas.

      As for the main topic, 2/3 of my autoloaders do not have manual safeties, and I haven’t had a problem switching among them. My muscle memory is pretty good because of many years of handling tools. But I’ve never been in a life/death shooting situation, so there’s that.

      • “Toyota trucks simply are better than Ford, GM, or Dodge. Except maybe at making roadkill—Ford seems to have the edge there, from what I read here.”

        Face it, marsupials just seem to be F-150 magnets… 🙂

        • Geoff (and possum),

          Or maybe folks who tend to buy Fords just hate them some marsupials?

        • It’s not so much the pickem ups as it is the people who drive them. I’ve seen ordinary people get in a F150 and somthing changes. All of a sudden they crave Skoal, Old Milwaukee’s Best, music up the Hank Williams sr, fly rebel flags and run over possums.
          Ram drivers are almost as bad.

        • “It’s not so much the pickem ups as it is the people who drive them.”

          I heard a first person account (the passenger) of a woman driving an Accord, who hit a possum, then backed up over it, and ran over it again, because it didn’t cash in with the first whack. This is not a truck person, so you have a point. –sorry if that brings a painful image to mind–

      • I learned to drive on a Ford Mustang. First vehicle in my name was a Ford. I grew up in a three-generation family of Fords. Had a Ford Ranger over a span of many years and put a whopping 487,000 miles on it over three engine blocks (yes, true). When it finally died and needed a new motor, there were no blocks available anywhere, so it was finally time to buy the next one. This was about 20 years ago.

        I decided to go for a brand new vehicle for the first time, and didn’t like anything Ford was putting out, which really disappointed me. I test drove a Toyota, and the rest was history. There have been three Toyotas parked in the Haz driveway for many years now.

    • If you really want to talk about trucks with all types of different parts, just take a look at the IH pickups and scouts. The 70s trucks built with 4wd had many differences depending what batch was run. Different brake components, axles, bearings, etc., even on the big 3 built trucks.
      And, while many truck owners will rarely need a truck with a 3/4 ton capacity, 1/2 ton is a normal load for camping, motorcycles, moving household goods and/or garden supplies, sand bags, cement, scoop of sand and/or gravel. Use a basic mini truck for this and you will need 2 trips(at least).

  8. I mostly carried a single action semi-auto. Almost always a 1911 variant. An occasional Hi -Power. Even a P7M8. DA revolvers? Why wouldn’t you carry a DA revolver? Are you stupid, or something? Safeties are not a big thing. Train. I never once wondered about the weapon in my hands, or how it worked, under stress. Train.

    • Gadsden,

      “Train.” Yep, as any responsible gun owner should. OTOH, I would like to be at least GENERALLY familiar with any gun I happen to pick up. Might save my life, some day. I train, extensively, with every gun I carry. But I familiarize myself with other platforms . . . “just in case”. Not saying I know the manual of arms for all firearms (I don’t), just saying I try to keep a general familiarity with how firearms work. Just seems prudent, to me.

      OTOH, you should know your carry weapon like the back of your hand, and the manual of arms should be “muscle memory”. If not . . . U R doin’ it wrong. If you can’t easily operate your carry or home defense gun tired, half-awake, at 2:00 in the morning? U R doin’ it wrong. But I still want to be able to pick up a strange gun, if circumstances require, and deploy it, if that is required. I personally don’t like SA revolvers. I understand them, and can shoot them just fine – I just think it’s a design that was necessary at the time, and is objectively stupid today. I think SA semi-autos are fine, and I have a few, but . . . why??? If you don’t appreciate the difference in the trigger action between an SA semi and a DA semi “cocked and locked”, perhaps you should revisit your training.

      The DA trigger pull on a good 1911 pistol is, to me, just about the epitome of a functional defensive use trigger (admittedly, I am biased). Don’t much care for most handguns in DA mode, unless cocked and locked – the triggers are almost always for shit in that mode. While I LOVED the ergos and hand feel of my M9A1, the DA trigger pull sucked greasy puppy dog nuts.

  9. I have never understood these kinds of arguments. To me the whole thing is just as silly as calling an AR7 a ‘Survival Rifle’.

    It was never about gas mileage and if you think it is then you completely miss the point. Your not going to move a house full of furniture with a Prius. Your also not going to save money on fuel with a 1 ton Dually as a daily driver. There is a reality here.

    There are MANY different kinds of firearms to choose from. You should own, shoot, and carry what your most comfortable doing so with. If you don’t like what you have then get something else. Just get in plenty of practice with what you choose to carry. It isn’t about 45acp vs. 9mm. It’s about having the right tool for the job. I have an electric Skill saw but it makes a very poor screw driver. There are reasons why people end up with large tool boxes and hundreds to varied tools. Some things are better than others at doing certain jobs. It isn’t complicated.

    I do enjoy having a cellphone but it’s troubling to me knowing that I can think faster than it can process. In the grand scheme of things, they are wondrous but are not very good considering our current level of technology. I would rather spend my time on the desktop computer that I built but that just isn’t always practical. I’m willing to compromise somewhat by sitting down to a laptop that’s really more like a tablet with a full size keyboard.

    I wouldn’t want to cram a family of 8 into a two bedroom apartment. Although many do try. That same apartment though might be perfect for a single person just starting out on their own.

    It’s all about keeping perspective.

  10. quote————Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe. Millions of people — including most cops — carry them every single day without incident.————–quote


    But before I discus this Falsehood the Author failed to mention that often children or adults who are not familiar with firearms may pick up a striker fired gun with no manual safety and it can often end in an accidental discharge and death.

    Here are only a few of hundreds of not thousands of cases of striker fired guns without manual safeties going off and killing people.

    Chicago: As reported by the now defunct “Gun Week” newspaper:

    A cop came home and was undressing. He threw down his Glock on the bed and his 4 year old girl grabbed the gun and before he could get it away from her she blew her own head off accidentally.

    Young mother out shopping:

    A young mother was shopping with her toddler and she had her purse strung over the shopping cart. Her toddler reached into her purse and pulled out a striker fired handgun and shot her dead

    And here is one that really caught my attention:

    Loud mouth Far Right hillbilly mother (who was known for screaming about carrying a gun) while driving her pick up truck was wearing her .45 cal Glock in a holster. Her Toddler reached foreword and grabbed the gun out of her holster and shot her in the back while she was driving. It was a miracle that both of them were not killed in a crash. Luck was with her she did survive the shooting.


    More than one police department dropped the Glock because they had so many accidental discharges. Massad Ayoob commenting on this said that when the named police departments went over to traditional heavy double action pull “only” guns like the special police model Beretta 92 or the special police model Sig P226 accidents went down dramatically including the cops accidentally shooting innocent people stopped for non violent offenses like a speeding ticket.

    Many striker fired guns ARE ALSO TOTALLY UNSAFE to take down for cleaning. You must have the slide forward and then pull the trigger. If you forget to check the chamber you either shoot yourself or even worse some bystander. Its an accident waiting to happen but the Morons of the Far Right scream “I am perfect and I never made a mistake in my life and I never will”. Famous last words, the grave yards are full of such utter fools. Its called “Darwinism” and it helps thin out the defective gene pool.

    If you are a student studying psychology and want some field experience in regards to the study of fools you will find your largest group of these subjects at the nearest gun show or NRA Convention.

    • “Falsehood …”

      Nope. The article is titled “The Truth About Manual Handgun Safeties.” It’s written by someone with much more firearm expertise than you will ever hope to have.

      Your version is “The Lies About Manual Handgun Safeties.” When you start your own firearm discussion group, you can feature it as your first entry.

      “Its called “Darwinism” and it helps thin out the defective gene pool.”

      Then why are you still alive?

    • Sorry kid. The biggest collection of fools is in the vicinity of a college campus. Usually students paying a fortune for a useless degree. Or the various professor’s teaching the classes for said useless degrees.

    • “If you are a student studying psychology and want some field experience in regards to the study of fools…”

      I suggest you study dacian.

    • I heard of a woman who tried to commit suicide with a gun when she found out she was pregnant. But she failed because the safety was on and she couldn’t figure it out, then nine months later dacian hatched.

      Damn manual safety!

      • Good one, but Sig and Glock do be goin’ off randomly… not Taurus style in a light breeze random, but enough to bring out the lawsuits from the desk/butt pops.

        They done goofed.

    • @dacian

      “quote————Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe. Millions of people — including most cops — carry them every single day without incident.————–quote


      your “Falsehood” claim is 100% false with the ‘examples’ you stated further.

      Every case you presented as a ‘lack of manual safety caused the gun to fire’ sense, all two of them despite indicating thousands (which don’t exist by the way), are cases of a ‘person’ actually pulling the trigger and do not represent the attributes of a ‘manual safety’ either present or not.

      Evidently you do not know what a ‘manual safety’ is. Even a gun with a manual safety, if the safety had not been engaged, would have resulted in the same incidents you outline in your two cases. A manual safety does not keep the gun from being fired if the manual safety is defeated by it not being in the ‘safe’ position or condition.

      “More than one police department dropped the Glock because they had so many accidental discharges.”


      Its these kind of false statements you make that betray your ignorance on guns and show you have not the slightest understanding nor have any ‘expertise’ (as you claim some times) with guns. You are a typical left-wing troll liar.

      A negligent discharge is an unintentional firing due to a violation of safety and handling rules or other improper firearms handling. For example, playing games with twirling the gun around the trigger finger ala ‘movie cowboy’ style

      An accidental discharge is the unintentional firing NOT due to improper gun handling and through no fault of the person handling the gun. For example, a part failure or defect or design flaw (e.g. Sig P320) that under some conditions results in the gun firing on its own with no user interaction.

      Every case of what you claim was “accidental discharges” by police with the Glock was found to be ‘negligent discharge’. It is not ‘accidental discharge’ when the trigger safety is depressed as was the case in every case of the Glock with police. There may have been cases where an officer with a Glock did not intend to shoot someone or fire the gun, but it was not an ‘accidental discharge’ but rather an unintentional ‘negligent discharge’ with one of the primary safety rules being violated and that is to keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to fire. There are absolutely zero cases of a ‘manual safety’ preventing such ‘negligent discharge’ by police with ‘manual safety’ guns because police (mostly) take the safety off by the time they have the gun out of the holster and pointed at, or will ‘potentially’ point at, the ‘target’ thus still prone to fire because the officer usually has his/her finger on the trigger by that time (and may have even applied some rearward pressure to take up trigger slack or in preparation to fire).

      Oh and by the way, the Beretta and other ‘manual safety’ guns have also been used by police to shoot people unintentionally. It has to do, right or wrong, with how police overall handle their guns when they are out of the holster. Generally, when police have their guns out of the holster it tends to be under conditions where they may need to pull the trigger but at the same time they are handling multiple ‘conditional inputs’ (e.g. watching the suspect actions, watching for others, moving around quickly, running, about to approach to cuff, under stress, etc…) and tend to sometimes lose track in a ‘moment in time’ of their finger status on the trigger, and then there are those times when the gun is drawn as ‘preparation or precaution’ for ‘officer safety’ reasons but there may also be the same multiple ‘conditional inputs’ the officer is also dealing with. Then sometimes plain old human error with not realizing how much pressure the officer is putting on the trigger.

      In short, law enforcement overall tends to put fingers on triggers when they should not.

      These incidents by police, in context with your claims, are termed ‘accidents’ in the sense they were not intentional but they were not “accidental discharges”. You don’t know the difference, you are completely ignorant on the subject.

      For ‘accidentally’ shot by police vs. ordinary law abiding armed citizens:

      * Handguns: Less than a 0.0004% probability a person will be shot accidentally by an ordinary law abiding armed citizen, a little more than a 6% probability a person will be shot accidentally by law enforcement.​

      * Rifles: A 0.0005% probability a person will be shot accidentally by an ordinary law abiding armed citizen, a 4.7% probability a person will be shot accidentally by law enforcement.​

      When near misses (‘others’ not actually hit) and personal injury ‘negligent discharge’ types are factored in …​

      * Handgun: law enforcement slightly over 7% probability – ordinary law abiding armed citizen a little over 0.0004% probability.​

      * Rifle : law enforcement – 5.2% probability – ordinary law abiding armed citizen a little over 0.0003% probability.​

      (note: Overall main reason is law enforcement tends to put fingers on trigger when moving around or under stress or drawing or shouldering firearm and ordinary law abiding armed citizens tend to not put fingers on trigger until identification is positive and actually going to fire.)​

      Although tragic ‘accidents’ do happen … Society is overall literally ‘safer’, ‘manual safety’ or not, from being ‘accidentally’ shot with a gun in the hand of an ordinary law abiding armed citizen. Heck, a person is over 1,500 times more likely to be run over by a car than to be ‘accidentally’ shot by an ordinary law abiding armed citizen.

      • and in addition to my above and in context with that, and further for this little tidbit of your ignorant nonsense dacian…

        “More than one police department dropped the Glock because they had so many accidental discharges.”

        No, they moved from Glock for a multitude of reasons, but one of them was that their ‘accidental’ shootings (in the sense they were not intentional) were really ‘negligent discharge’ because their officers can’t keep their finger off the trigger when they should not have their finger on the trigger thus when their finger was on the trigger they disengaged the trigger safety of the Glock. In other words, they are trying to compensate for their own officers lack of ‘situational awareness’ for their fingers on the trigger.

        • and also in addition this bit of nonsense from you dacian…

          “Many striker fired guns ARE ALSO TOTALLY UNSAFE to take down for cleaning. You must have the slide forward and then pull the trigger. If you forget to check the chamber you either shoot yourself or even worse some bystander.”

          100% OF ALL GUNS – ‘MANUAL SAFETY’ OR NOT are TOTALLY UNSAFE to “take down” for cleaning if there is a round in the chamber.

          You obviously have never cleaned a gun. The very first thing you do is make sure the gun is cleared and no ammo is in the gun or chamber.

      • Contrary to your false assertion daican…

        “Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe. Millions of people — including most cops — carry them every single day without incident.”

        is 100% true.

        Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe. The fact of a defect does not mean the gun is not normally safe without the defect. You assume the lack of an external safety means the gun would not be safe when in reality if there is no defect Striker-fired guns without external safeties have been shown to be perfectly safe.

        Millions of people — including most cops — carry them every single day without incident – and this is 100% true.

        dacian … learn what context means, learn to read, learn to discuss without ‘cherry picking’ out of context or in your confirmation bias and ignorance. And by all means learn what ‘suicide’ is and practice it and put your self out of your misery of stupid.

        • to Booger Brain

          The Chinese say “One picture is worth a thousands words”.



      • to Booger Brain

        quote———–In short, law enforcement overall tends to put fingers on triggers when they should not.——–quote

        Booger Brain you just stuck your own foot in your mouth as that was precisely my point. When a cop has his finger on the trigger which gun is more likely to accidentally discharge????? Would it be the Glock with its short stroke 4 1/2 lb trigger pull or would it be the police model Beretta or Sig with a very long stroke 12 to 13 lb double action pull. And this was the weapons author Massad Ayoob’s experience when he reviewed accidental cop shootings and which weapons they were using. Of course you will claim you are more experienced than his is.

        Booger Brain you should have kept your big mouth shut on this one as you only succeeded once again in making a complete fool of yourself. Yes this one was too easy for me.

        • dacian, you are an idiot. your video and everything you replied proved and substantiated everything I wrote.

          you keep conflating ‘accidental discharge’ with ‘accident’. they are not the same thing you moron. I even gave you the definitions yet you still do it. Learn to read and comprehend.

  11. I own both types. Never had an AD with either type. Since the first handgun I ever learned the manual of arms for was a 1911, and my absolute favorite handgun is the Beretta M9A1, i prefer a manual safety. If I’d learned on a Glock, I might prefer something different.

    As long as both types are available, my preference isn’t your problem. Gustibus non disputandum. I don’t CARE what you prefer, and I don’t want to hear your ‘arguments’ in favor of your preferred species – I own, and sometimes carry, both. Get over yourself, and let me carry my preferred configuration (or the other configuration, which I sometimes do) in peace.

    If I want your opinion, I’ll torture you for it.

      • I’ll send you an engraved invitation. If it’s dacian the demented (a likely scenario), I would start with strapping him down and making him listen to Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to be an American”, Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”, and Ray Charles’ version of “America the Beautiful” on a continuous loop. He would spill his guts in two minutes, and his tiny brain would explode in 15.

  12. In my experience, most of the people I know that embrace the manual safety are not experienced shooters with training. My carry weapon is a Sig P229 in .40 There is no manual safety. The safety is what’s between my ears and the heavier first DA trigger pull.

    Only one other weapon I own lacks what one would consider a traditional safety and that’s my 1873 Colt SAA Uberti clone. Naturally the safety like all weapons of that style where the hammer would be resting on the primer of a cartridge, you keep the chamber under the hammer empty, it still has the traditional first hammer click safety and also the cylinder pin can be pushed in which also serves as a hammer block.

    All my other weapons including my Ruger SR22, ARs and my Arsenal SAM7R AK have manual safeties but I use none of them. The ARs and AK are fully loaded but not chambered.

    As far as what cops do, that’s as meaningless as anything Biden says.

    • “In my experience, most of the people I know that embrace the manual safety are not experienced shooters with training. ”

      Does that experience include any time in the US Armed Forces? I would say a lot of them qualify as experienced shooters who train, and the Colt M1911, Beretta M9, USSOCOM MARK 23, Sig M17 & M18 all have manual safeties.

        • So, your preference determines what “experienced” shooters prefer????

          Arrogant, much???

          Trust me, I know guys have put more rounds down range than you could ever hope to, truly like the 1911/M9 configuration. I know another who doesn’t. I don’t judge EITHER of them – they can shoot better than I can.

          I know the arguments for both configurations. I have a person preference. I am NOT “inexperienced” at shooting. I personally prefer a manual safety (so long as it is easily accessible when deploying the gun), YMMV. I don’t tell you what to carry, or that if you make a different choice than do I, you are “inexperienced”, so feel free to STFU.

        • MLee,

          No, you totally miss the point – it’s not that I don’t like your opinion, I just don’t give a shit what your opinion is. Feel free to have whatever idiot opinion you like, and I’ll feel free to ignore it as the ramblings of an arrogant @$$hole.

  13. My first good handgun forty years ago was a Colt Gold Cup. Manipulating the thumb safety quickly became second nature. When loading before a match, engaging the safety between cycling the action to load a round into the chamber and swapping the depleted magazine for a full one is an automatic step. If my Gold Cup is loaded, it’s in condition one.

    More recently, I bought an S&W M&P 9 from their Performance Center. No thumb safety which eliminates that step when loading. As a result, I have to be extra specially careful about the trigger. There’s no thumb safety to save my ass if I get complacent. I do pull the trigger during the field stripping process. That means, after dropping the magazine, I have to lock back the slide and make sure the chamber is empty.

    The problem most cops have with it and similar guns is that they are too thoughtless or lazy to perform the chamber check before pulling the trigger. It’s not a new issue. Magazine disconnect safeties were invented to save such people from themselves.

  14. I shot a 1911 style 38super for a lot a yrs in IPSC and then USPSA. The draw and toggling off the safety is 2nd nature. All my other gats are sans safety and that feels perfectly normal as well.

    • Just to make it more fun shouldn’t the pros & cons of SA/DA pistols be included in this free for all?

      Bonus points for grip safeties, firing pin/striker safeties and magazine safeties.

  15. It’s a matter of personal preference. There are no perfect guns or configurations. Everything is a compromise of some sort -a give and take.

    Personally, I am not going to put a striker-fired gun inside my beltline (perfect holster or not) without a mechanical safety and an external hammer and a double-action trigger. I feel I NEED all three of those belts and suspenders as I am holstering any pistol inside my waistband.

    OWB is a different story. I am mentally comfortable carrying a pistol outside the belt in a service holster without any of those redundant external safety features. If anyone feels that this is silly then that is their prerogative to laugh and giggle at the old man. IDGAF what anyone else thinks. That’s the way I roll, you do you…

    Isn’t Freedom grand? Stay strapped, stay frosty, and stay dangerous. Life is good.

    • Well stated. My EDC is a G26 in a pocket holster, but it’s been modified to have an external safety. I have drilled for many years so that sweeping the safety with my right thumb once the sights are on target is automatic.

      But if I’m carrying OWB or in a drop leg rig, it’s usually just a stock G17. No external safety needed.

  16. I was ready to get offended because I think that’s what we’re supposed to do at every post these days, but I digress. All the semis I own have a manual safety because I am retired military and that’s what I trained with my whole life. Additionally, my thumb gets bored if it doesn’t have something to do! Seriously, I never had an issue qualifying in the military or passing one of the many pistol qualification courses posted on line with a manual safety since that’s what I’m used to. You might be used to something else and with proper training, I’m sure you’ll be ok.

    Then again, I’ve never heard of 1911/M9 leg or foot! HA!

  17. The lighter the trigger and shorter the trigger stroke the more you need a manual safety or a second action (see Colt SAA) to make the weapon ready to fire. My Uberti 1873 has a 2.0 pound trigger pull that would be ridiculously dangerous in a semi-auto pistol without a manual safety, but even after installing lighter hammer springs and trigger return springs, my GP100s have a long DA pull at 8-9 pounds. Pretty damn safe without a manual safety. Anyway, I think it only takes a nominal amount of practice to make disengaging a safety an automatic part of your draw, so just practice a little with whatever you carry.

  18. What about real-world incidents where a concealed carrier or officer got themselves killed by not deactivating a manual safety?

    I know a guy who tried to commit suicide- and failed- because of a manual safety.

  19. I have a few of each type of handgun mentioned. Glock, 1911, Da Revolver, SA revolver,
    My preference is whatever is available when I need it.
    As for the pick up issue, I have a Ford F-150, A GMC K-20 and an old Dodge PowerWagon. As well as an AM General Duece and a half. Each vehicle gets used as needed. My daily driver is a mid sized SUV. Or an older 4 door sedan. Or a horse draw wagon. Or my old HD Shovelhead.
    As with what handgun I carry, it depends on what is planned for the day when I leave the house, or what comes up during the day.
    best advice is train with whatever weapon you like to carry. And drive whatever suite you needs and fancy.

  20. What’s the difference between an accidental discharge and a negligent discharge? When I was in the Army, the verbiage switched from AD to ND, since no discharge was accidental, that it was a result of negligence.

    • “What’s the difference between an accidental discharge and a negligent discharge?”

      A negligent discharge is an unintentional firing due to a violation of safety and handling rules or other improper firearms handling. For example, playing games with twirling the gun around the trigger finger ala ‘movie cowboy’ style

      An accidental discharge is the unintentional firing NOT due to improper gun handling and through no fault of the person handling the gun. For example, a part failure or defect or design flaw (e.g. Sig P320) that under some conditions results in the gun firing on its own with no user interaction.

      The difference can be ‘nuanced’ at times. For example; In context with the article and ‘manual safety’ … the case of Alex Baldwin where the gun ‘manual safety’ was not having the hammer in a cocked state with rearward pressure on the trigger (which is exactly the condition under which Baldwin fired the gun – he defeated the ‘manual’ safety attribute of the gun by having hammer in a cocked state with rear ward pressure on the trigger). His case was not an “accidental discharge” because he was negligent by not ensuring the gun he was handling did not contain live ammo (despite the claim that he could rely on others, in the end the one with the gun in hand when it fires is the responsible party). (note: It wasn’t really a movie prop gun per se’ in the sense that movie prop guns are usually fixed so they can’t load/fire a live round but Baldwins gun was an actual gun fully capable of loading and firing an actual live round as it was designed to do and the gun was being used as a prop. The gun was not defective and did not fire on its own, proven by gun experts and FBI testing and the gun was in perfect working order and functioned exactly as intended and designed).

    • Agreed.

      Unauthorized persons occasionally access even well-protected firearms.

      A larcenous/drunk/crazed/young person is less likely to discharge a safetied weapon.

      I would bet a large sum that a significant majority of child-caused discharges involve striker-fired “squirtgun” designs. Ditto the occasional holster-fired event.

  21. I am willing to admit that several friends conspired with me to start the “pro wrestling is fake” argument just to watch our platoon spiral out of control. Fortunately, our platoon sergeant would always resolve the issue with a simple “shut the hell up.”

  22. You left out H&K. I think I’m offended. I’m going to my safe space to stew about it.
    Now, I know I’m offended !

  23. The truth about manual safeties is it depends on the individual. Age brings on changes and with age carelessness can be a factor, it has for me at 80. I have a Glock, a revolver and a 1911. My preference now is a SA. With the hammer down the SA will not fire and no manual safety is necessary for my needs. Simply put, time changes things.

  24. Buying a gun requires an investment in training as well. If you’re not doing this then you’re just wrong. Personally I’ve taken four classes so far. Even with my military training. I knew I needed to take a handgun class. Because to be frank military training, when it comes to firearms is mediocre at best.
    They certainly are very good at firearms safety and safe weapon handling. Unfortunately the military simply doesn’t have the budget, to ensure every Soldier can be as accurate as John Wick.

    • btw
      My kelTec 32 has no safety. Good. My ruger p89 has a decocker, not a safety. Also good. Even better than a safety.

  25. At some point in time people need to realize that the one thing about humans is their ability to think and we don’t always think alike. It doesn’t mean one side is necessarily wrong and the other right. It simply means different people have different preferences for what appears to work best for themselves.

    Personally, whenever I go to a gun range and see someone practicing a fast draw it makes me laugh. I have seen a great many real time self-defense videos and read many real time stories and have never seen or read one in which a fast draw was needed. It really doesn’t take long at all to simply draw your firearm from a holster, bring it into position and fire it. Matter of fact the saying that slow is fast because you are more likely not to make a mistake and accuracy might be better and more worthwhile than correcting an error or missing that first shot because of haste. In any event each to their own and what works for you is what really counts.

  26. I’ve Semi’s with Safeties and Semi’s without. I was taught that the only Safety that works 100% of the time is the one between your ears if employed 100% of the time. Good Gun Handling Discipline is what keeps you and those around you safe. Not some mechanical device designed to prevent the trigger from being pulled or the hammer/striker to drop.
    I find this endless debate as redundant as it is stupid. Carry what works best for you.

  27. The ideas in this essay required no more than a short paragraph. Brevity is the soul not only of wit; it is only what it takes to state the obvious.

  28. It is up to the end user. If you are sure that no kid will ever grab your piece and fire off a round, and that is what you want to carry, fine. Ultimately it is your choice, if you choose wrong, you could have some law trouble.

    Personally, I do not practice enough, so I like an external safety. If I carried everyday because it was my job and practiced biweekly, I could feel different. It is up to you, just be safe, please.


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