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Old January 5, 2009, 09:50 PM   #1
onthejon55
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Safety on HD Gun

Just wondering when the safety on your HD gun comes off? This is assuming your gun has a manual safety like most shotguns or rifles. Do you take it off right away or wait and see? Would you take it off while moving through your house to check on other family members?
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Old January 5, 2009, 10:07 PM   #2
Rob Pincus
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My personal choice would be, and I only teach, to take the safety off after recognition of a threat while moving the firearm from the ready position to a shooting position.

-RJP
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Old January 5, 2009, 10:23 PM   #3
Shawn Dodson
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My doctrine is to disengage the manual safety when a firing grip is obtained and to keep the finger off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until the decision has been made to shoot - doesn't matter if the weapon is a 1911, Beretta 92, shotgun, AR, or whatever.

My personal defense handguns are the Glock 19 and Kahr PM9 - neither has a manual safety. The manual safety is my trigger finger.

I carried a Beretta 96 on police patrol. I disengaged the safety between the time it cleared the holster and when I mounted it in retention position. It was ready to fire at the press of the trigger as soon as I put muzzle on target.

Cheers!
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Old January 5, 2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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I have been taught that mechanical safeties are engaged when transporting a firearm where the intention is to avoid an accidental discharge, for example, carrying it through a field as in hunting in hunting, traveling on uneven surfaces, etc., just in case you stumble or fall. For my house, which is a single level, I don't have to traverse stairs and the kids do fairly well in putting away their toys (except in the livingroom) so my chances of tripping over something are minimal. If I'm moving my family to a safe place or I'm forced to clear my house I want my gun to be ready to fire as soon as I have confirmed a prospective target is a BG. So, for me, if a BG is suspected in the house or trying to force an entry into the house, a mechanical safety would be off the moment I've got it out of its locked storage. Actually, the HD firearm I wanted offered a mechanical safety as an option, but in a tense situation I didn't want to forget it was on when I want to fire it, so I opted for a model without one.

I do keep the biomechanical safety engaged until immediately ready to shoot - finger out of the trigger guard .
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Old January 5, 2009, 10:35 PM   #5
Rob Pincus
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Quote:
I carried a Beretta 96 on police patrol. I disengaged the safety between the time it cleared the holster and when I mounted it in retention position. It was ready to fire at the press of the trigger as soon as I put muzzle on target.
I would advise the same thing with a double/single firearm (actually we advise carrying them safety off in DA mode in the holster as well....). I was addressing the rifle/shotgun alluded to in the OP.... but we teach the same thing for true single action pistols (1911, etc) because of the short triggers. Consistency in training (always using the safety/decocker in the same way & same place) and more training is part of the price to be paid for carrying a more complex firearm with extra levers....


-RJP
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Old January 5, 2009, 11:09 PM   #6
TacticalDefense1911
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Quote:
My personal choice would be, and I only teach, to take the safety off after recognition of a threat while moving the firearm from the ready position to a shooting position.
+1. I was taught to "clear a room" with hands/gun in the near ready position. It can easily be fired from that position unlike low ready and you wont get tired doing so like you would with your hands extended. I always practice deactivating the safety while pushing to the firing position; muscle memory.
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Old January 5, 2009, 11:11 PM   #7
Shawn Dodson
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Quote:
I would advise the same thing with a double/single firearm (actually we advise carrying them safety off in DA mode in the holster as well....).
I have a pet peeve with the term "DA/SA". They're handguns equipped with a DA trigger mechanism (i.e., DA handgun), either auto pistol or revolver. They can indeed be fired in DA or SA "mode", but the proper description is "DA" handgun. <Rant off.>

I recommend any firearm equipped with a manual safety be carried/stored with the safety engaged, and the operator trained to disengage the safety as soon as a firing grip is obtained. This is a positive measure to ensure the safety is indeed disengaged instead of assuming the safety remains disengaged from the last handling. One less chance for Mr. Murphy to rear his ugly head.

Cheers!
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Old January 6, 2009, 12:48 AM   #8
troy_mclure
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as i bring the bbl up/on target i slide forward the conveniently mounted top safety.
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Old January 6, 2009, 01:06 AM   #9
BikerRN
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Quote:
Just wondering when the safety on your HD gun comes off? This is assuming your gun has a manual safety like most shotguns or rifles. Do you take it off right away or wait and see? Would you take it off while moving through your house to check on other family members?
My self defense shotgun is kept, tubular magazine loaded, trigger to the rear, meaning it has been dry fired, and safety off. Make no mistake about this, the chamber is EMPTY!

All I have to do to load and fire a round is work the pump mechanism. This is also what I do in regards to a shotgun carried in the vehicle. I do not recommend this method, because the chance of an AD is greater. ::knocking on wood:: I've managed to pay attention and not have an AD using this method, YMMV.

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Old January 6, 2009, 12:16 PM   #10
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It depends on how much time I have.

My main carry gun has a frame-mounted, trigger finger operated safety in the trigger guard, just above the trigger.

If I'm pressed for time, I flick the safety off as I draw and bring the weapon to bear. I take up the trigger slack as I sight the weapon. If I have time, I don't take it off until I've sighted and am ready to fire. My finger is outside the trigger guard.
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Old April 6, 2009, 01:56 AM   #11
Kernellinux
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How about putting it back on?

What about once you have identified a threat and dealt with it. As you return to the ready position and examine your surroundings is the safety on or off?
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Old April 6, 2009, 06:13 AM   #12
Keltyke
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Quote:
What about once you have identified a threat and dealt with it. As you return to the ready position and examine your surroundings is the safety on or off?
My safety would be OFF and my finger OFF the trigger as I determined the threat was negated. Only then would I safety the weapon and re-holster.
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Old April 6, 2009, 06:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
My self defense shotgun is kept, tubular magazine loaded, trigger to the rear, meaning it has been dry fired, and safety off. Make no mistake about this, the chamber is EMPTY!

All I have to do to load and fire a round is work the pump mechanism. This is also what I do in regards to a shotgun carried in the vehicle. I do not recommend this method, because the chance of an AD is greater. ::knocking on wood:: I've managed to pay attention and not have an AD using this method, YMMV.
+1

My primary HD gun in a mossy 500 with a pistol grip & folding stock. Since the safety is on top of the gun, I would need to re adjust my hand positon to turn the safety off. I just use the pump as a safety. My other SD weapons are DA and no safeties. I use the safety between my ears.
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Old April 6, 2009, 07:48 AM   #14
Lee Lapin
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The safety stays ON until the muzzle is coming on target, and the finger stays off the trigger till the sights are on target and the decision to fire is made. Sights off target, finger off trigger. Muzzle comes off target, safety goes back on. Other things can trip triggers besides trigger fingers, no need to run unnecessary risks even though shotgun safeties only block the trigger.

lpl
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Old April 6, 2009, 09:23 AM   #15
Brian Pfleuger
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Safety comes off as the gun is raised to the target.
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Old April 6, 2009, 09:38 AM   #16
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Having never needed my gun for an actual HD situation, all my self training was with an empty fire arm and only against "pretend" BG's. But once I mount the shotgun my thumb goes to the safety (mossberg tang safety) and once I am in position to engage the "pretend perp" the safety goes off and I do my "address" and follow it with covering the trigger.
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:33 AM   #17
stephen426
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Quote:
My self defense shotgun is kept, tubular magazine loaded, trigger to the rear, meaning it has been dry fired, and safety off. Make no mistake about this, the chamber is EMPTY!

All I have to do to load and fire a round is work the pump mechanism. This is also what I do in regards to a shotgun carried in the vehicle. I do not recommend this method, because the chance of an AD is greater. ::knocking on wood:: I've managed to pay attention and not have an AD using this method, YMMV.

Biker
Funny... I do the same thing. Some people say the sound of a shotgun racking is over-rated in terms of acting as a deterrent. If it works, great. If it doesn't it is still very quick to rack and fire. It is also safer than fumbling for that little safety and a lot safer than leaving it loaded and safety off.

Most of my handguns don't have mechanical safeties. The only exception is my 1911s, a Beretta Tomcat, and my target .22. Everything else is ready to roll.

If I was to carry my 1911 (which I don't since it is my safe queen), I would sweep the safety off as soon as I had to draw the gun and keep my booger hook off the trigger.

I guess the same question could be asked of when you squeeze the cocker for the H&K P7 pistols. Even though squeezing is a very quick motion, waiting until the last second to do so could throw off you aim and cause one to miss. I would squeeze the cocker immediately upon drawing the gun and keep my booger hook off the trigger in that case too.

For some, I guess it really depends when you are drawing your gun. I am of the mindset that you don't draw unless you really absolutely need to in a self defense situation. If you are investigating a bump in the dark, that might be different. I would probably still deactivate the safety right away since that could slow your ability to bring the gun into play.
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:51 AM   #18
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I keep my 4506 with the safety off. My Rossi M92, however, I keep ready with a round in the chamber, hammer at half cock and the safety on. The safety on the Rossi actually locks the firing pin and is a backup should anything jar the hammer off the half cock notch.

The safety comes off when I bring the Rossi up to my shoulder. I can swipe the safety off and bring the hammer to full cock with a single sweep of my thumb. The safety doesn't go back on again until the threat is over, at which point I flip the safety on, and then lower the hammer back to half cock.
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Old April 6, 2009, 07:12 PM   #19
Deaf Smith
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onthejon55,

It depends on the weapon. First, even if the safety is disengaged, the finger stays off the trigger unless you know your opponent is a threat. And even then, only when you have it leveled at them.

Now as for safeties....

For DA/SAs that have the slide mounted safety, then if the student insist on carrying it with the safety on, then when they start their draw they use their thumb to disengage the safety before they pull the gun out of the holster. Otherwise, don't use it at all except to drop the hammer before holstering (and always do that, even if the weapon has not been fired and the hammer is down!)

For SAs like 1911s and P-35s or others with simular safties, the safety comes off after the weapon is leveled toward the target (and finger is STILL off the trigger unless one is gonna shoot right then.)

For guns that have awkward safeties that require two hands I tell them to get another gun and sell that one. Sorry, but a weapon that requires two hands to get into action is a poor weapon.
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Old April 6, 2009, 08:00 PM   #20
oldkim
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Which ever....

Which ever method you select you must train that way.

Once you get used to..... and how you plan on using it - it all boils down to muscle memory and making it a habit (automatic response).

If you decide to take the safety off once you unholster or pick up your handgun then do so.

If you decide to only disengage your safety after recognizing a valid target just before you fire then do that or to a point you may be deploying your gun.

Regardless, it's all about training yourself and thinking ahead of time what suits you and what you are comfortable with doing.

Everyone is different and has different needs and also different levels of comfort. Find yours and live with it.
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Old April 6, 2009, 08:40 PM   #21
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I have no safties on my guns,3 revolvers and a 4046 .40 cal dao only,shotguns are fully loaded with one in the chamber and on safe untill needed.Infact the only safty is my finger and where it shouldn't or should be.
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Old April 6, 2009, 10:49 PM   #22
SMiller
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As soon as I bring the shotgun up to shoulder, well as I bring it up to shoulder, finger doesnt touch trigger untill I see threat. Not worried about hitting anyone else, I live WAY out in the country and my wife is the ONLY person that would ever be in the house and she would be right besides ime in the bed peeing herself.


As for fumbling with the safety as some has said, on my Mossberg SPX I don't see how you would have to fumble with it, it's like right there.
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:01 PM   #23
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I carry a Sig It's only saftey is the loose nut holding it. Most Glocks are that way too.
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:16 PM   #24
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I have had big name instructors echo what Rob Pincus stated. I have had other big name instructors teach to take off the safety the minute you clear leather. I have noticed that the instructors teaching what Rob states usually are carrying a 1911. The guys teaching the immediate disengagement usually have Glocks and are worried that you will forget the thumb safety under stress. Both ways work and have merit. Left to my own druthers, I keep the safety on until I am getting ready to fire.
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Old April 6, 2009, 11:49 PM   #25
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External safety?

Does not exist on any of my handguns.

G22
G20SF
S&W 642CT
P229DAK (Duty gun)

The only safety that counts is the one between your ears. Keep your booger hook off the bang switch (and out of the little loop around the bang switch) until you're ready to go bang. Simple enough as is, no need to bring any other complications into the mix. Too many people rely on the external safety of their firearms to make them "safe". JMHO.
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