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Old November 14, 2012, 04:52 PM   #1
nate45
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My own personal 1911 chamber condition indicators.

1) If one of my 1911 type pistols is cocked and locked, there is one in the chamber and the magazine is loaded. 100% certainty on my part.

2) If one of my 1911 type pistols has the hammer all the way down, the chamber and magazine are loaded.

3) If one of my 1911 type pistols is on half cock, it means the chamber is empty and the magazine is loaded. So I know at a glance I need to rack the slide.

4) If one of my 1911 type pistols is locked back with the slide stop its empty. No way to confuse that with a loaded chamber.

I didn't even think much about my little system till recently. I've done that for years and years and it works out well. I can instantly tell what condition my 1911 type pistols are really in by a quick glance. I never for instance leave one lying around my safe, or anywhere else, unless they are actually in the condition that matches their visual appearance. Thats the whole point I'm trying to make. Most all of us know Col. Cooper's 0-4 1911 Carry Conditions. This is different, it is a loaded chamber indicator, for a pistol that doesn't have one.


This will work with other exposed hammer, single action semi-autos as well.


Some of you may wonder why I would have a 1911 in Condition 2, or Condition 3. Well, I hardly ever do, but there are certain situations where for safetys sake I keep them that way. I question the value and safety of Condition 2 for all the reasons Cooper expressed, one could practice racking the slide from Condition 3 and be nearly as quick as cocking the hammer. While being safer in the process.

Anyway, irrespective of Conditions 2 and 3, if I look at one of my 1911s and it appears to be in for example Condition 1, you can bet your bottom dollar, that it really is.
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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I wouldn't need an indicator for Condition 2. No way I'd ever have a 1911 in Condition 2.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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That seems like a good system. My system is to be always condition 1. The only time it's not is when it is dis-assembled for cleaning. As soon as it's clean, chambered again and back in the holster. My 1911 has been condition 1 for 99.2% of the time since it was bought new in 1984 with no probs with the spring and never had a ND with it.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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Then I would suggest some time in Condition 0 as well
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:28 PM   #5
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I use a similar system, with one exception.
Any time I pick up my 1911, whether for carry, cleaning, storage, or simple appreciation, I press check the chamber...regardless of visual cues.
It is the same system I use with ANY firearm.
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Old November 14, 2012, 07:50 PM   #6
nate45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward429451
That seems like a good system. My system is to be always condition 1. The only time it's not is when it is dis-assembled for cleaning. As soon as it's clean, chambered again and back in the holster. My 1911 has been condition 1 for 99.2% of the time since it was bought new in 1984 with no probs with the spring and never had a ND with it.
Mine are seldom out of condition 1 either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amd6547
I use a similar system, with one exception.
Any time I pick up my 1911, whether for carry, cleaning, storage, or simple appreciation, I press check the chamber...regardless of visual cues.
It is the same system I use with ANY firearm.
I guess the more I think about it, the more I'm certain that the reason I began this 'system', personal preference, or whatever it is, is so I could be certain of what I needed to do to get my 1911 firing, since that was my primary SD handgun for so many years. I don't have to check any of my firearms. I keep them all loaded, all the time.
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Old November 14, 2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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If my 1911s aren't at the range, they aren't loaded.
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Old November 14, 2012, 09:59 PM   #8
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Seems like an OK system. Reading it seems like it is a lot to remember for me.
For me:
1. If C&L, then it has one in the chamber (it would either be in a holster or I am at the range shooting).
2. If hammer down, then chamber is empty.

With my pistols:
1. If loaded, then it would be in a holster or in my hand because I am using it.
2. If not loaded, then it would be in a case or my range bag/box.

Last edited by pilpens; November 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old November 14, 2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilpens
1. If C&L, then it has one in the chamber (it would either be in a holster or I am at the range shooting).
2. If hammer down, then chamber is empty.
That sounds good. I could do with out condition 2, I guess, but I need condition 3 sometimes. I suppose I could make hammer down condition 3 for me and do away with my condition 2 indicator. I used to use condition 2 a lot, with pistols like my Beretta Model 71, pictured above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedudeabides
If my 1911s aren't at the range, they aren't loaded.
The Dude's bowling buddy Walter, carried his 1911 condition 3 in his bowling bag.
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Old November 15, 2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Those are not loaded chamber "indicators". Those are what I call "assumptions". People have experienced NDs doing what you described. I have seen it happen. The only way you really "know" a chamber is empty is because you just looked in it. Distractions or the the possibilitity that someone else handled your gun can allow you to make a wrong "assumption". By making this a long ingrained habit you may even pick up someone else's gun and make one of your assumptions. While you may be able to do this I would never suggest it to anyone else who may not be as disciplined.
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Old November 15, 2012, 10:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
clarification was for you JimDandy, since you seem to need the obvious stated for you.
That isn't obvious. The only thing that was obvious is you spent actually came up with a marker for Condition 2. I can't imagine any reason to ever be in condition two with anything but a snap-cap in the gun during dry-fire. There are people out there who (At least claim) to see no problem with Coindition two, would be fine carrying in condition two, and on and on. Those people worry me.
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drail
Those are not loaded chamber "indicators". Those are what I call "assumptions". People have experienced NDs doing what you described. I have seen it happen. The only way you really "know" a chamber is empty is because you just looked in it. Distractions or the the possibilitity that someone else handled your gun can allow you to make a wrong "assumption". By making this a long ingrained habit you may even pick up someone else's gun and make one of your assumptions. While you may be able to do this I would never suggest it to anyone else who may not be as disciplined.
All of my handguns are loaded all the time. My little single action automatic system has little to do with safety and all to do with readiness.
I treat all firearms as if they are loaded all the time, I assume nothing.

RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET


Quote:
Originally Posted by JimDandy
That isn't obvious. The only thing that was obvious is you spent actually came up with a marker for Condition 2. I can't imagine any reason to ever be in condition two with anything but a snap-cap in the gun during dry-fire. There are people out there who (At least claim) to see no problem with Coindition two, would be fine carrying in condition two, and on and on. Those people worry me.

Carrying for instance a Beretta 951, Jetfire, a Model 71 like mine pictured, etc is/was often the preferred method of carry given their style of thumb safety combined with pocket carry, etc. Many safe, knowledgeable people carry/have carried one this way. The fact that you are unaware of that, or think its unsafe, speaks volumes.
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Old November 15, 2012, 11:57 AM   #13
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I always found the best loaded chamber indicator was if the slide was in battery or not.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:05 PM   #14
nate45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zincwarrior
I always found the best loaded chamber indicator was if the slide was in battery or not.
If its simply for safeties sake, leaving cleared semi-autos with the slide locked back is a good idea.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Some of you may wonder why I would have a 1911 in Condition 2, or Condition 3. Well, I hardly ever do, but there are certain situations where for safetys sake I keep them that way.
Can you provide an example of when you might opt to keep a single action autoloader in condition 2 "for safety's sake"? Just curious when you might feel that condition 2 is safer or more advantageous than another condition.
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Old November 15, 2012, 12:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsov509
Can you provide an example of when you might opt to keep a single action autoloader in condition 2 "for safety's sake"? Just curious when you might feel that condition 2 is safer or more advantageous than another condition.
When pocket carrying, or perhaps when the pistol is carried on web gear etc and the thumb safety might get disengaged.

For me pocket carrying something like my Jetfire, on Model 71 is the only time I do/did it. Cocking the hammer is faster than racking the slide. If you read the thread, you'll find that I've stated that condition 2 is in general the least safe way to have an exposed hammer, single action auto. The only reason condition 2 is 'unsafe' to any degree though is in the act of de-cocking, or cocking, with inertia firing pins you could hit the hammer with a hammer and it would not fire. So dropping it is not a worry.

Look, no one has to tell me that exposed hammer, single action pocket pistols are less safe and require more care than double action, striker fired, etc ones. I've been aware of that for 30+ years anyway. With todays choices of pocket pistols, carrying an exposed hammer, single action semi-auto isn't the best choice. However, if one does they are still faced with the choice of C&L, condition 2, or condition 3. I like condition 2, the reason being that once you pull a Jetfire out of your pocket and the safety has been disengaged without your knowledge, you won't think condition 2 is unsafe, compared to not being aware the pistol in your pocket is in condition 0.
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Old November 15, 2012, 01:52 PM   #17
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I don't recall ever having one of my 1911's in condition 2 or 3 personally. They're either cocked and locked or completely unloaded (condition 4 I think that is?) unless I'm in condition zero at the range.
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Old November 15, 2012, 01:56 PM   #18
nate45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBT
I don't recall ever having one of my 1911's in condition 2 or 3 personally. They're either cocked and locked or completely unloaded (condition 4 I think that is?) unless I'm in condition zero at the range.
Sounds like a good personal policy.
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Old November 15, 2012, 02:37 PM   #19
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Nate,

I'm having trouble identifying anything Jim Dandy said that you should be taking exception to, so let's please keep it civil. Keep in mind that few of us in these forums are professional writers, so it is easy to misread disrespect or obtuseness into something that isn't really there.

I think your system is probably a good habit from the standpoint of telling you what condition to expect the gun should be in. But if either your eyes or your hand aren't constantly on the weapon, the veracity of the indicator still needs to be checked the next time you pick the gun up. Cooper made quite a point of drilling into us never to be sanguine that a gun was in the condition we had left it in if either eye or hand had not been on it without interruption afterward. (Please note that I'm not saying you are being sanguine about it, but for the sake of readers in learning mode, this caution is important.)

I remember in the course of his class safety lecture Cooper checked his gun's condition probably a dozen times. Any time a gun was both out of his sight and out of his hand, he considered an opportunity for "gremlins" to make a change in its condition. So he checked his gun's condition again when he next handled it. Even after merely holstering it, if his hand hadn't stayed on the grip frame, when he took it out again, if it wasn't a presentation for a shot, he re-checked the chamber before doing anything else. That's the important habit to cultivate, as it keeps you safe whether the condition of the gun is as you expect or it isn't.
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Old November 15, 2012, 02:57 PM   #20
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Again, I wasn't proclaiming my way being good nor bad, or recommending it in anyway. In fact, I made note of the fact that I never really noticed doing it till recently, it might be a bad habit. All I know for certain, is that my exposed hammer, single actions are in the condition they appear to be. I just put up a topic for discussion. It has nothing to do with safety, or advocating some alternative to the conditions of carry, or recommending something new. I always follow the four rules, always.

Sorry if I hurt JimDandy's feelings I edited my previous posts.
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Old November 17, 2012, 07:50 PM   #21
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It doesn't look to me like you hurt his feelings at all, though suggesting you did reads like another dig at him as it implies he's characterized by excessive sensitivity, and that's not in evidence from his posts in this thread. FYI, he's not the member who reported your attitude toward him as uncivil. You simply seem to have taken something he said badly, but neither I nor the member who did report it can see on the surface what it was is or why it got under your skin.

Anyway, the bottom line is, it's best not to characterize other members at all. Make like Sergeant Friday and stick to the facts.

And again, even in my own reading I can misread intentions, so I'm not sure you truly had an attitude at all but maybe thought you were just engaging in friendly ribbing. It's all part of the limitations of the Internet communications game.
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Old November 17, 2012, 09:30 PM   #22
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Quote:
1) If one of my 1911 type pistols is cocked and locked, there is one in the chamber and the magazine is loaded. 100% certainty on my part.

2) If one of my 1911 type pistols has the hammer all the way down, the chamber and magazine are loaded.

3) If one of my 1911 type pistols is on half cock, it means the chamber is empty and the magazine is loaded. So I know at a glance I need to rack the slide.
Sounds like a disaster in the making to me. But then I'm more of the Cooper school that it's impossible to do too many chamber checks.
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Old November 17, 2012, 11:06 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_auto
Sounds like a disaster in the making to me. But then I'm more of the Cooper school that it's impossible to do too many chamber checks.
Disaster? Not sure how its more likely to strike me, than anyone else who obeys the four rules. As far as chamber checks go, I wonder how many LEOs pull their service pistols out a hundred times a day to check the chamber, or CCW holders, or body guards, etc that do either. If you load one, check the chamber and put it in your holster, or lock in the safe only you can open, its going to stay loaded.

All the chambers of all my handguns are loaded right now. If I get one out to wear it, of course I'd check it, but I wouldn't be afraid to just stick it in my holster and go, or flip the thumb safety off and start firing. Cooper may have believed in gremlins, been paranoid, had bad short term memory, etc, I don't know, but I do know the loaded pistol I put in my holster loaded, will still be loaded 10 min later.

Its like my PM9 I carry, when I drop the slide and load the chamber, I check to make sure the chamber did load, then that the slide is in battery and magazine is seated. I then put it in its holster and it stays loaded all day long, all by itself.
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Old November 18, 2012, 09:29 AM   #24
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Drail, good post #10...habit patterns can get you in trouble...don't ask my why I know....

Nate, good post on the four basic rules for gun safety...I'll repeat them here...they're worth a 2nd look.

Quote:
RULE I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED

RULE II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY

RULE III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

RULE IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET
Unclenick, your points from Cooper's lecture presentation are worth repeating too.

Quote:
I remember in the course of his class safety lecture Cooper checked his gun's condition probably a dozen times. Any time a gun was both out of his sight and out of his hand, he considered an opportunity for "gremlins" to make a change in its condition. So he checked his gun's condition again when he next handled it. Even after merely holstering it, if his hand hadn't stayed on the grip frame, when he took it out again, if it wasn't a presentation for a shot, he re-checked the chamber before doing anything else. That's the important habit to cultivate, as it keeps you safe whether the condition of the gun is as you expect or it isn't.
Best Regards, Rod
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Old November 19, 2012, 02:02 AM   #25
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All my 1911's are in Condition One. If they are not in Condition One I am out of ammo and they become Billy Club Mode.
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