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Old March 16, 2013, 11:23 AM   #1
ted1a
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Safety vs decocker

I looked at a CZ75BD recently and had a question about it compared to a 75B. I believe the difference is the BD has a decocker with no safety, and the B has a safety. The store owner stated that the decocker is the safety mechanism. I am not too sure about that claim.

I am not interested in concealed carry, and more interested in safe handling and shooting at the range.

What are your recommendations regarding having a safety, a decocker, etc.? Any any good recommendations on full size 9mm pistols? I have looked at the CZ75BD, Beretta M9, Springfield, the XD. Interested in heavier for less recoil.

Thanks,
Ted
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:13 PM   #2
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I've owned pistols with de-cockers, and after the initial "Do I really trust this?" phase found them to be reliable and safe.

The only CZ-75 I ever owned was an older but immaculate one, and a truly fine gun. I still wish I hadn't sold it to get something I thought I wanted worse. If the new ones are anywhere near that good, they are splendid pistols.

Can't speak to the others you listed from personal experience, but the M92 certainly has a fine reputation for rock-solid reliability.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:47 PM   #3
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I have Sig 226's with decockers...and I trust them. In a full sized -heavy gun - a Sig 226 in all stainless, is hard to beat. Personally I like the Sig 226 a lot better than the other options you mentioned.

I also like a full sized 1911 5" barrel in a 9mm...and that will give you a thumb safety and a grip safety....

I don't have a problem with a decocker on a gun - even as a carry gun / but my primary carry gun is a 5" 1911 in .45 acp ...
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Old March 16, 2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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For just general shooting and home defense, etc., the decocker/ safety issue makes little difference. It becomes particularly important when CARRY is considered. As for the gun dealer's claim that the decocker IS the safety..... he is more or less correct. Decocker guns depend on decocking the action, in order to "safe" it, rather than using a live safety, such as the type found on a 1911 (which is intended to be engaged with the gun cocked). All modern pistols also have other safety features, such as a firing pin block, which prevents the FP from moving unless the trigger is pulled. Certain older designs, such as 1911s, do not have this feature.

Without stating a preference myself (and getting a war started - as this is an area about which many have strong feelings)....I'll just say that preferences vary - some like one system, some another. There is NO one system that is really better than the others. The OP should simply try different designs, pick the one with which he feels most comfortable (as PART of the selection process), then thoroughly familiarize himself with the operation.

"Safe gun handling" has at least as much to do with (probably more to do with, actually) following proper procedures, than with the exact safety system of the particular gun.
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Old March 16, 2013, 03:05 PM   #5
model18
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Ted, The CZ's are fine handguns. I prefer the thumb safety, because I'm a 1911 shooter first! I had a few hand guns with the decocker, but never saw a real use for them. Too many extra moving parts and more things to go wrong. Just my opinion.

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Old March 16, 2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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Decocker is a nice option although I can live without it. It has been rare but I have tapped off two rounds from a 1911 trying to lower the hammer on a live round. Both on the range and pointed to a safe target.
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Old March 16, 2013, 03:57 PM   #7
lee n. field
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Quote:
What are your recommendations regarding having a safety, a decocker, etc.?
Whatever you are comfortable with. I can see where someone might not be comfortable with only the longer and heavier double action pull as the "safety".

You might look at the Bersa Thunder series. The 9mm (and .40 & .45) have a frame mounted safety that decocks the hammer, disconnects the trigger, and locks the slide. That's about as safe as you can get.

The safety is also up-safe, down to fire, just like the 1911 guys like. Very easy to work with, in contrast to the typical slide mounted safety. IMHO, YMMV, Insert Standard Disclaimer Here.

Quote:
Any any good recommendations on full size 9mm pistols? I have looked at the CZ75BD, Beretta M9, Springfield, the XD. Interested in heavier for less recoil.
9mm doesn't have much recoil. Again IMHO, etc.. Unless there's some physical limitation, I doubt you'll have a problem with anything Glock 19 sized or above.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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The rationale behind the de-cocker is that it makes a double action gun for the first round fired and a single action gun for subsequent shots. Owing to design/safety requirements for modern guns sold in the USA, the de-cocker mechanism should engage a hammer block as it releases the hammer. There's no way the hammer is going to over-ride this design.

Once the gun is "de-cocked" it becomes double action, same as a revolver or the "double action only" (DAO) semi-autos. It requires a long, deliberate trigger pull to fire the gun. This is nice in a defense situation because the first thing that goes with that huge jolt of adrenaline in a threat situation is small muscle control.

I like a de-cocker. I like semi-autos that are DAO. I like a hammer strap on a 1911 holster. Too many times I've checked the safety on the 1911, "cocked & locked" and discover that it somehow got "unlocked" in the holster. (At the range, open carry, in a holster, and the reason I was checking the safety is because I was doing a safety check.)

-- Not a big fan of "cocked & locked" even though I own two 1911, and carried one in the Army.

------------------------------------------

Recommendations for full size 9mm --

I like my Springfield XD, only mine is in 45 ACP. My nephew's is in 9mm. Both are excellent!

CZ75 is a jewel. Sharp looking, well made, reliable. Steel frame, for the weight.

I have an Uzi Baby Eagle, (Jericho). Mine is a compact, but the full size is the side arm of the Israeli Armed Forces. Steel frame for the weight.

Ruger, Kahr, Smith & Wesson -- Smith does alum. frames. I like steel, but Smith does it right.

Last edited by -Xero-; March 16, 2013 at 05:35 PM.
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Old March 16, 2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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I honestly, almost bought a cz75b after holding it, but the safety scared me. How do you decock that thing? Why even bother making it with a double action if you if you cant safely decock it. Now I know you can grasp the hammer and drop it manually, but can you do that after a self defense situation?
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Old March 16, 2013, 05:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Now I know you can grasp the hammer and drop it manually
That's exactly how you would decock the gun for use in da mode. That's how it is explained in their manual. It can be a bit nerve wracking to consciencely lower the hammer on a live round, but through practice it can be mastered.

Also note that the decocker on CZ bring it to q half cock notch so you can manually decock it to that half cock notch without actually having to place the hammer fully down.
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Old March 16, 2013, 05:10 PM   #11
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It depends on what you want to do with the gun, how comfortable you are with the gun, and how much you shoot with the gun AND, do you switch guns.

For self defense, you want simple, as in a DA only semi or revolver. You might think you know your gun, but under stress, do you?

I put on SD as well as other classes. I can't count high enough to measure how many time in a class (or even on the range during competition) where the shooter presents the pistol, it wont go off because he/she didn't get on the safety.

I shoot thousands of rounds a year, practice and competition, I'd like to think I know my guns.............but I screw up.

The club where I shoot bi-monthly pistol matches allows you to enter twice, using different guns.

I've shot a Colt 1911 for over 40 years, starting locked and cocked. My thumb naturally falls on the safety. Just slide down the safety as my finger goes to the trigger. No loss of time engaging targets.

UNTIL, I shoot a match or proactive with my Beretta 92. After shooting the Beretta and switching to the Colt, I've lost time because I tried to put the safety UP on the Colt.

Same thing at times when I try to push down the safety on the Beretta, but in practice or a match all it cost me is a second or two, no big deal because at 65 I can't keep up time wise with the younger faster shooters anyway. I only shoot against my last score.

I've seen it happen, I've done it too many times to trust my life with a safety on a firearm. I want something I can just present and pull the trigger with tout wondering if my safety goes down (Colt) or up (Beretta).

If I only shot one gun, either one, and developed muscle memory (like I use to have with the Colt) there would be no problem, but I don't so I carry a revolver or semi that all I have to do to get it to fire is pull the trigger.

The less you have to worry about, the better you are. Shooting is a mental game anyway.

Like I said, the choice depends on what you want to do with the gun, how many different types do you use, and how much you shoot the gun to develop muscle memory. Muscle memory is nothing more then acting without thinking.
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Old March 16, 2013, 06:47 PM   #12
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For a "range gun", there's no need for a decocker, as you are going to load the gun, then shoot it. If there's a reason to pause you'll probably unload, so, again, no need for a decocker.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:13 PM   #13
stmichps
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Quote:
I looked at a CZ75BD recently and had a question about it compared to a 75B. I believe the difference is the BD has a decocker with no safety, and the B has a safety. The store owner stated that the decocker is the safety mechanism. I am not too sure about that claim.

I am not interested in concealed carry, and more interested in safe handling and shooting at the range.

What are your recommendations regarding having a safety, a decocker, etc.? Any any good recommendations on full size 9mm pistols? I have looked at the CZ75BD, Beretta M9, Springfield, the XD. Interested in heavier for less recoil.

Thanks,
Ted
I have a CZ 75 BD that I use for conceal carry and I just love it! I have always wanted a CZ 75 for it's double-action and legendary (proven) reliability but have been concerned with the "cock and lock" safety seeing that I"ve have had a incident some years ago with a 1911 and haven't trust the "cock and lock" thumb safety pretty much ever since.

I also don't like the idea of trying to let the hammer down on a loaded chamber seeing that you have your finger on the trigger and at the same time you're trying to let the hammer down with your thumb. What do you think will happen if the hammer slips from under your thumb with your finger on the trigger?

While a decock is much safer in lowering the hammer to the "half-cock position then your thumb, it is in no way a safety. The guy who is trying to tell you that the decock "IS" the safety doesn't know much about firearms. All the decock does is safetly lowers the hammer to the half-cock position, a safety "blocks" the mechanism from being able to move (generally the sear) to prevent the free fall of the hammer or striker. You might want to find either someone at this gun shop that you're going too that has knowledge about the firearms that they're selling or find another gun shop.

Last edited by stmichps; March 16, 2013 at 11:21 PM.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:21 PM   #14
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When I owned a SW 59, I never kept the safety on. After racking the slide, I would flick the safety to "safe" which would drop the hammer, then immediately push back up to "fire". This put the weapon in the condition of DA for first shot. I kept the weapon in this condition, in a holster, in a drawer, where it was my primary self defense gun. The DA trigger pull served as the safety mechanism, just like a revolver.

The original CZ-75B is sort of like an old Winchester or Marlin lever action. You have to carefully thumb-down the hammer to the half cock notch. I much prefer the CZ-75BD with the decock lever.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:40 PM   #15
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If you plan to be decocking a loaded gun anywhere other than at a range, then a decocker is an extremely useful piece of equipment.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:54 PM   #16
4V50 Gary
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A manual safety either blocks the movement of the trigger or the hammer. A decocker lowers the hammer and blocks it from contacting the firing pin.

While there is a difference, The dealer is right.
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Old March 17, 2013, 03:31 AM   #17
MarkDozier
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4V50 - your statement is not logical and the dealer was wrong.
A decocker is not a safety.
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Old March 17, 2013, 05:48 AM   #18
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Anything that reduces the possibility of an unintended discharge IS a safety. For instance, the mag disconnect on a BHP IS a safety. The firing pin block IS a safety on many pistols. Safeties can be active or passive.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:30 AM   #19
stmichps
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Quote:
Anything that reduces the possibility of an unintended discharge IS a safety. For instance, the mag disconnect on a BHP IS a safety. The firing pin block IS a safety on many pistols. Safeties can be active or passive.
The safety is the half-cock notch on the hammer, not the decock otherwise with your logic your finger on the trigger and your thumb on the hammer is a safety seeing they're doing the same as the decock.

Last edited by stmichps; March 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:15 PM   #20
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My primary home defence firearm has a decocker, S&W 4003. I was un-comfortable with it at first but after studying the design and much testing by me I am now comfortable with it. There are two systems in this firearm that blocks the firing pin, one on the hammer and the other in the firing pin mechanism. That how I have found ammo it likes including my reloads has added to my confidence in this firearm.

I also think of the decocker as a safety and use it as such. I like the decocker for a firearm my wife may have to use if I am not there. That I can keep it loaded with one in the chamber and the safety engaged is something I like. If my wife had to defend herself I do not want her to have to rack the slide before she uses the firearm. This gun replaced a Glock that was in that role that I did not feel comfortable having one in the chamber.

My 2 cents. Have a great day!
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Old March 17, 2013, 12:22 PM   #21
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There are three things we are talking about here, not two:

Manual Safety, such as on the M1911
Decocker, where it decocks the hammer (only), such as on the SIG and some HKs
Decocker/Safety, such as on the Beretta and S&W, where it decocks the hammer and prevents the gun from firing when you pull the trigger

There's also a fourth option for semi-auto pistols, the type of action found on many striker-fired guns, exemplified by the Glock.

I don't see anything wrong with the decocker or decocker/safety as far as risk of the gun discharging. The double-action trigger is quite safe.

Quote:
I can see where someone might not be comfortable with only the longer and heavier double action pull as the "safety"
Double-action revolvers have been used for over a hundred years, and no one calls them unsafe or demands that they have a manual safety.

The risk I do see with a decocker/safety is that the gun will be in the wrong mode the instant you need to fire, and with the position mounted high on the slide, it's not a natural movement to sweep off the safety (such as it is on the M1911), and it can be almost unreachable for many of us, at least without breaking our proper grip on the gun.

Quote:
Too many times I've checked the safety on the 1911, "cocked & locked" and discover that it somehow got "unlocked" in the holster.
I've had the same thing happen, many times, with a holstered Beretta, with the decocker/safety. Not quite as dangerous in terms of unintentional discharge, but disturbing enough that I don't much like that form of safety.

My preference, for a self-defense gun, would be a decocker like the SIG, or something like the Glock or Springfield XD. I want to be 100% confident that it will fire when I pull the trigger.
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Old March 18, 2013, 10:48 AM   #22
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I have owned a cz75bd very good pistol I had no issues with the decocking mechanism work just the way it was expected, little heavy for owb carry but still wished I owned it
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:21 PM   #23
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Way too many youngsters who never did hear the correct way to decock a gun. OF's had to learn since there where no decockers back when we learned.

Several methods each of which put a finger in the way of the hammer to eliminate chance of firing. IE squeeze hammer between thumb and 3rd finger with index finger in the way of the hammer. Quick pull of trigger and release it before you let the hammer down. This also allows the locks (on ALL new guns) to do their job in case it gets past your finger. No way for the gun to go off accidentally but slight possibility of hurt finger
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Old March 18, 2013, 09:51 PM   #24
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The mechanical differences have been covered well in this thread.

I think the personal preference comes down to usage. If you forget to engage the safety or activate the decocker, you are left with a gun with a very light trigger pull on a chambered round. Both unsafe. However, when the shooting is done you can generally take your time. So its a push. If its a range gun, get what you like. And be safe.

However, when using the gun defensively, I feel the decocker starts to edge ahead. What if you forget to disengage the safety? What if you remember but your finger slips or misses? What if you do disengage it and accidentally fire as your finger starts to move for the trigger but you change your mind at the last second? A lot can happen in the time it takes to pull a trigger. What if you are injured or disadvantaged and you want to hand your gun to a companion or bystander? If they've seen a movie they can make a double action gun fire.

I want to be really, really sure if I ever fire a gun at another human. 12lbs of double action trigger is probably not a terrible idea. If there is some extreme case where I need to take a long shot, pulling the hammer back is a very similar motion to disengaging a safety, and accomplishes the same thing (gun is now ready to go in single action). So I have options with the DA/SA. I like options. In general I think this would be a bad idea for legal reasons. But its there if I want it.

This is why I don't like safeties on guns. It is useful at the range if you are going to be passing the gun around, but I only pass an unloaded gun with the slide locked back, so its a moot point for me.

In my mind, the only benefit you get from using a safety is a consistent single action pull. If you can't train through the DA/SA transition, and you can't find a DAO system to your liking, then the safety becomes a possibility. But there are a LOT of good DAO guns out there (think almost all striker guns) that you need to try before you are going to a SAO pistol.

This is just my opinion of course. But I think it makes a lot of sense.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:39 AM   #25
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When I carried a DA/SA auto pistol, they had decockers on them. Even at the range they are useful. When you charge the first round, you're firing in SA mode anyway and for anything that occurs while you're shooting, decocking is your safest option, even if you have a hammer drop safety like one member pointed out. Like him, I used the hammer drop safety after loading a cartridge to lower the hammer and immediately returned the safety to the fire position for first DA. With a decocker, that is done for you because after the hammer drops, the lever returns to the up position as soon as its released.

Of the various types I've used which were on SIG/Sauers, Rugers, Taurus' and H&K. I actually like the CZ (P-01) decocker best of all because when you decock, the hammer goes to half-cock. Once that trigger is broken in and smooth, your first DA shot requires a shorter pull of the trigger and in my experience with the P-01, it is both short and smooth. The BD in the different calibers, operate exactly the same as the P-01/06 models.
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