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Old November 21, 2012, 09:15 PM   #30
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Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 3,297
From Rainbow Demon,

Black Jack Pershing cut a stripe down his leg when his 1911 went off in the holster when he threw a hissy fit during a briefing and stomped the floor very hard.
I haven't heard this story about Pershing but I have heard similar about Patton and it given as the reason he allegedly did not care for 1911's. It's said Patton tried to upgrade the trigger on his sidearm and that combined with the type holster he carried the gun in combined to a ND.

But I have not seen a primary source for this story. At any rate only a 1911 that had been "messed with" could go off under such circumstances.

Normal carry was either with empty chamber or hammer down on a round in the chamber.
"Normal carry" for the military at the time (which still had an active cavalry, depended on circumstances. The military wanted a gun that could be used and carried in all three conditions. In the 1911 they got what they wanted. The story of the development of the 1911 and how it was carried is told in Donald Bady's book "Colt Automatic Pistols".

The p-38 pistol was designed for the Wermacht. It originally had an enclosed hammer, but this was changed more due to psychological reasons than anything else. Shooters were reassured by being able to see the position of the hammer.
The reason for the change to the exposed hammer was so that the hammer could be manually cocked for a more accurate and aimed single action shot if desired.

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