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Old January 24, 2013, 07:07 PM   #1
USMC EOD
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Carrying a 1911

I know there are a lot of ways to safely carry a 1911, but I would be interested in hearing from those that carry this weapon how you carry it. Do you carry with one in the chamber, half cock? One in the chamber, full cock, safety engaged? None in the chamber? Any problems carrying one way or another?
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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Condition 1: Cocked and locked
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:19 PM   #3
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Condition one cocked and locked. I have never really considered carrying it any other way.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:31 PM   #4
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Condition one, cocked, locked, ready to rock. No other way.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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Conditions

The pistol is designed to be carried in any way that you choose.

Yes. The original captive half-cock is a safety. Says so right there in the 1910 patents, along with instruction on lowering the hammer to that position with one hand.

No, it wasn't designed specifically to be continuously maintained in Condition One, nor was it the intent of JMB or anybody else.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
The pistol is designed to be carried in any way that you choose.

Yes. The original captive half-cock is a safety. Says so right there in the 1910 patents, along with instruction on lowering the hammer to that position with one hand.

No, it wasn't designed specifically to be continuously maintained in Condition One, nor was it the intent of JMB or anybody else.
Right but for many it is the preferred mode... These days most pistols allow for carry in multiple conditions. I am personally of the opinion that it is up to the individual to choose the method which they are comfortable with. I have my preferences but that does not make the universal.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:42 PM   #7
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Maybe condition 2 or 3 can be for storage. Sure...but for carry / duty? There is no other proper way than 1.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Maybe condition 2 or 3 can be for storage. Sure...but for carry / duty? There is no other proper way than 1.
This is simply not true...
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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Enlighten me please...
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Condition 0 – A round is in the chamber, hammer is cocked, and the safety is off.

Condition 1 – Also known as “cocked and locked,” means a round is in the chamber, the hammer is cocked, and the manual thumb safety on the side of the frame is applied.

Condition 2 – A round is in the chamber and the hammer is down.

Condition 3 – The chamber is empty and hammer is down with a charged magazine in the gun.

Condition 4 – The chamber is empty, hammer is down and no magazine is in the gun.

Add the half cocked position to the list and you have 5 conditions IMHO. Any of these if trained properly can be a viable carry method. I prefer C&L and believe it is the best method do to its combination of safety and speed of presentation but YMMV and who am I to tell them otherwise.....
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Last edited by WVsig; January 24, 2013 at 08:01 PM.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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I carry in Condition I, and I'm comfortable with it. I figure there are still three mechanisms between me and a negligent discharge (grip safety, manual safety, and a trigger pull). I do think it is important to use a holster that both holds the pistol securely and completely covers the trigger, though.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:03 PM   #12
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When I do carry my Government Model, it is in Condition One, when it serves as a night stand gun, it is Condition Three.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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Condition 1 but my holster has a thumb strap that goes between the frame and the hammer. Just a little more safety. I have found the gun in the holster where the safety has clicked off.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:37 PM   #14
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Condition 1, cocked and locked.

However, 1911Tuner is correct. If you read the original Ordnance Department field manual for the M1911, it was intended to be maintained and carried in what we now call Condition 3 (hammer down, chamber empty) under most circumstances. The pistol was to be cocked and locked when engagement with the enemy was "imminent."

That works great when you're part of an army of 100,000 personnel and you're in a secure base camp or rear area. When we are out on the mean streets all by ourselves and carrying for self-defense, we can't predict when a mugger may strike. Therefore, my view is that engagement with the enemy is always "imminent," and that's why I choose to carry in Condition 1.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:43 PM   #15
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I am not a fan of thumb straps, but my carry holster was wet molded with the safety on. I have had no instances of the safety dropping in the holster.
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Old January 24, 2013, 08:43 PM   #16
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Fun story time:

My Grandpa was a machine gun section leader in the Americal Division during WWII. He said that at night, he would sleep with his M-1911A1 with a round in the chamber and the safety on, Condition One as we would call it., but during the day, he would carry it with a full mag, but an empty chamber.
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:03 PM   #17
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Condition Uh-Oh

Quote:
I have had no instances of the safety dropping in the holster.
Although discovering that your "cocked an locked" pistol has been cocked and unlocked for an unknown period of time is unnerving...it's not really a big deal.

It still requires pulling the trigger in order to fire, and the grip safety has the trigger blocked...and the half-cock is still operational should both hammer hooks fail...and that's so unlikely that it can be ignored.

The thumb safety doesn't lock or block the hammer. It only blocks sear movement. If the sear were to instantaneously disappear, the hammer would fall and it would wipe the safety off more quickly than you can do it with your thumb...and the gun would fire unless equipped with a firing pin blocking system such as the Series 80 or the Swartz.

The "Locked" part of Cocked and Locked refers to the slide...not the hammer or any other part of the fire control group. The patent term is "Manual slide locking safety."
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:05 PM   #18
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True; also, seems to me a 1911 with thumb safety off is somewhat similar to an XD in its normal carry condition.
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Old January 24, 2013, 09:21 PM   #19
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Condition One.

30 years of it.

Still the finest defensive arm known to man.



Willie

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Old January 25, 2013, 01:26 AM   #20
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I carry my 1911 in condition 1.
I carry concealed for self-defense.
If I have to use my concealed weapon, it will likely be in response to some threat. I will likely be out of time, the threat will be right there, and I need to shoot right now.
I carry my 1911 in condition 1 because that is the way I was trained at Gunsite, the way I continue to train, and have done so for about 30 years.
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Old January 25, 2013, 02:05 AM   #21
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I don't carry one anymore but when I did it was always in condition one.

If you're uncomfortable carrying it in condition one, you should carry another gun.
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Old January 25, 2013, 03:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
If you're uncomfortable carrying it in condition one, you should carry another gun.
I agree. If you ever open carry you may freak the occasional person out due to the cocked hammer (been there, done that), but any other position has definite drawbacks. Hammer down/one in chamber requires that you lower the hammer on a live round, and thumb cocking a 1911 is cumbersome at best. Empty chamber requires two hands to make the weapon ready to fire. What if your other arm is held or otherwise disabled?
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Old January 25, 2013, 08:20 AM   #23
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On the Condition

Not to belabor the point...on the occasions that I carry a 1911 on my person these days...it's in Condition One. No question that it offers the quickest access in a ticklish situation. But to state that Condition Two is useless is painting with an awfully wide brush.

When I was a younger man, and spent a lot of time the great outdoors, that often entailed bustin' a mudhole or two astride a 3 or 4-wheeler enroute to my final destination. For those excursions...when I carried a 1911 along...I carried it in Condition Two in a full-flap holster and depended on my eyes and ears to alert me of an approaching problem.

Hammer down provides the lockwork with maximum protection from the elements...dirt and mud mostly...and the flap holster added to that protection.

Slower to deploy, but not as much as one might think...it still provides for one-hand operation...and...it helps insure that the hammer will fall when the trigger is pulled...which probably won't happen if the lockwork is choked with mud or sand or even an errant twig. A slowed draw that results in multiple rounds downrange beats a quick draw that results in "OMG! The gun didn't fire!" Every time.

Quote:
thumb cocking a 1911 is cumbersome at best.
Cocking the hammer isn't at all cumbersome if properly done. Cock it as your hand finds it while it's still holstered...not after drawing the gun. Just don't tickle the trigger until you want to fire it and you'll be fine.

There are times and situations where Condition 2 makes sense. Even Condition 3 can be overcome with one hand unless the rear sight has been replaced with one of those tactical ramped jobs, which doesn't lend itself to racking the slide by hooking the rear sight on the holster top or belt and shoving briskly downward.
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Old January 25, 2013, 10:02 AM   #24
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Condition 1, magazine inserted, round in the chamber, hammer back, safety on.
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Old January 25, 2013, 01:17 PM   #25
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I carry mine just like I did in Vietnam, condition 1 cocked and locked at all times.
I carried that old 1911A1 in some pretty nasty climate situations, never used a holster and never experienced the gun failing me when it was needed.

Now when I got back to the States it was a whole different ball game.
We had to carry in a flap holster with the gun in condition 3 when using live ammo.

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