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Old January 15, 2020, 10:06 PM   #26
Prof Young
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Made me think . . .

Well, one good upchuck from this thread is that it has made me think about my semi-auto handguns. I don't know which will fire without the mag and which won't. Probably should figure that out and be aware of it.
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Old January 16, 2020, 04:54 AM   #27
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It is obviously a "safety" feature. For instance, some guy comes home from the range, goes to clean his gun, thinks his gun is empty because he thought he checked it at the range, takes out the magazine and pulls the trigger to dissemble and then discharges the gun.
And Please, do not use the internet slogan "The best safety is the one between your ears".
Unfortunately it does happen. Even by very experienced owners. There have been post on gun forums where someone admitted to it in a attempt to warn others.
In my city, we have had a couple of them. One a young Military man with a family. Killed his child. I have owned many guns over the years with the safety feature. I prefer them.
But then again, I do not want a light Trigger, seldom carry spare magazines, do not shoot IDPA, not into high round count for a carry gun etc. Do not feel I need all the requirements of a LE. I am not a LE. Just a shooting enthusiast that is more into practical Carry, Practical training.
My present carry does not have the Mag release safety. Sure would not bother me if it did.

Last edited by Carl the Floor Walker; January 16, 2020 at 04:59 AM.
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Old January 16, 2020, 07:34 AM   #28
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Being in LE I always disabled that feature on any pistols I acquired. When I want it to shoot, I want it to shoot.
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Old January 16, 2020, 09:23 AM   #29
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The Browning HP that I carried for the better part of my first tour in Vietnam, 1970, had been through Clark's gunsmith shop in Shreveport(?) prior to my acquiring it. My predecessor carefully explained that the mag safety had been removed by Mr Clark while doing a trigger job and some slide tightening.

Since than, I've removed every mag disconnect on the Hi Powers I've owned and subsequently found that it did indeed result in a far better trigger, despite claims to the contrary. Coincidentally, it also allows for an easier mag drop when the mag release button is depressed...

For those interested in further discussion of the mag safety on BHP's, do a google search on Stephen Camp's site:

I've removed the 'mag safety' from both of my current HP's, resulting in ~4.5 lb. trigger pull with far less creep, and that's about as low a poundage I like on a carry piece. It matches my 1911's within 1/2 lb.

YMMv Rod
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Last edited by rodfac; January 16, 2020 at 09:30 AM.
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Old January 16, 2020, 01:57 PM   #30
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Even Browning's semi auto shotgun had to be first produced by FN.
Incorrect. It was first produced by FN, but it did not have to have been. Browning was in the outer office, with his prototype shotgun, waiting to meet with the Remington VP when the VP had a heart attack and died right there. At that point, figuring things at Remington were going to be "up in the air" for a while, Browning took his gun to FN, with whom he had dealings before, and the rest is history. Browning first went to Winchester, who wasn't interested, then went to Remington with his Auto5 shotgun, then went to FN. Since Remington later produced the shotgun when they got the chance, its likely they would have adopted it before FN, but the guy who would have made that decision died, minutes before meeting Browning.

Many things about the use of handguns in armies come over from their use of long guns. (Think for a bit on the role the magazine cut off played in bolt action military rifles.
I understand your general point, but I think you are confused about what a magazine cutoff is, and its intended use. It is in NO WAY comparable to a magazine disconnect in a pistol. They do not do the same things, and the concepts behind them are totally different. The only thing they have in common is the word "magazine" in their name.

A magazine cutoff "cuts off" the magazine from FEEDING into the chamber. The gun will fire the chambered round normally. The cutoff is an "active" thing, it only goes on when the user switches it ON and stays on until the user switches it off.

It is a result of US military thinking from the early repeating rifle era. In essence, the idea was that the soldier loaded the mag, cut it off, and then loaded and fired single aimed rounds, "saving" the magazine capacity for emergency use, such as repelling an assault. The brass wanted that firepower kept in reserve, as much as possible. Events later proved the flaws in this idea, and the cutoff idea was dropped. You find the cutoff on Krags and the 1903 Springfield, You don't see it on later arms, and you don't see it on other nations rifles of that period, generally.

There is one exception I know of, and that is on the Browning A5 shotgun.

Same mechanical result, stops rounds feeding from the magazine, but for a different reason than the military cutoff. On the shotgun, it cuts off the feed, so that the shooter can unload the chamber and reload it with a different shell, without having to work the action to empty the magazine, THEN be able to put a different size shot round into the chamber. Rather a slick idea, actually. Say you've got the magazine full of #6 for ducks and a goose shows up and you want #2, you can hit the cutoff, then swap out the chambered #6 shell easily. Also the gun absolutely WILL fire the chambered round with the cutoff ON (activated)

Magazine disconnects are different. They "disconnect" the firing mechanism so the gun will not fire unless the magazine (body) is in the proper place.

Big difference.

(The 1st and 2 variations of the Colt M1903 did not have mag disconnects. The later variations did have them.)
I thought this was incorrect, and had to do some digging and in the process learned some things I had not previously known. It is correct. The Colt pocket .25 (not the Browning design) and both the .32 and .380 pocket guns did get magazine disconnectors, starting about 1926. Guns made before then don't have them guns made after do. Production of all those guns ended in 1941 with WWII. After the war, Colt did not resume production of those guns and nothing else Colt made had a magazine disconnect.

It instantly reminds the soldier, by not firing, that the gun needs a mag in it to be useful.
Partially disagree. All not firing "reminds" the soldier of is that the gun didn't fire. The why, he has to figure out on his own, and that is a training issue.

In the real world one could as easily eject a mag from a pistol without a disconnect as from one with it.
This is not 100% accurate. It depends on the guns. The Browning High Powers I've had have a degree of drag on the magazine from the disconnect. A fully loaded mag would usually fall free. A partially loaded mag would not always fall free of the frame, and empty mags almost never did, just popping down a little bit and being retained in the grip frame due to the drag from the disconnect on them. A Coit 1911A1 by contrast (no mag disconnect) you hit the button (slide closed) the magazine "jumps" out. Slide open it falls free. (and if it doesn't its defective )

And Please, do not use the internet slogan "The best safety is the one between your ears".
Why not? Not only is it true, it's basic firearm safety, and has been taught for at least century or two before there was an Internet. The fact that some people don't use that between the ears safety well enough or often enough does not invalidate the idea, and in fact emphasizes why we should keep teaching and repeating it!

What current models of pistol, intended for the military or police market (duty pistols) have a magazine disconnect?

Pistols intended for the personal defense market sometimes still do have magazine disconnects. The civilian personal defense market includes a lot of people who are not well trained firearms enthusiasts, and are never going to be. For those people I can see a benefit to a pistol with a magazine disconnect. HOWEVER, there is also a dangerous drawback, and its not with the gun, but with the users. Simply put, since all pistols do not work the same, if you learn to rely on a magazine disconnect, and then get a gun without one, without understanding the difference there is a significant risk.

Magazine disconnects? you like em? Fine! Have all you want. I don't like them, and will avoid them if practical, but having one isn't a deal breaker for me.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 17, 2020, 02:50 AM   #31
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And Please, do not use the internet slogan "The best safety is the one between your ears".
I agree; it gets tiresome to hear this overly simplistic, condescending and infantile refrain over and over again; especially when used by people who have no other answer to the question asked. If you have to be continually reminded that gun handling safety starts and ends with your brain, you probably do need to hear it again and again and again. If that's what it takes for a person to handle a gun safely, he/she probably shouldn't be handling one in the first place.
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Old January 17, 2020, 03:56 AM   #32
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What bothered me was calling it an "internet slogan". We all should understand the message is "THINK about what you are doing", but keep hearing about people who don't so I think we need to keep repeating it. It may sound childish and simple, but that doesn't change the fact that it is true.

I also get heartburn when people say "Cooper's 4 rules". He didn't make them up, and never claimed he did, he just chose to emphasize the first 4 of the dozen of gun safety rules as the most important, and as a minimum of acceptable safety.

My father was an NRA certified Hunter Safety Instructor (among other things) and taught hunter safety for decades. I was involved from the time I was about 6 (big enough to help carry stuff) until I went in the Army. I sat through those classes every time he gave them, over and over and over until you could say its "in my blood".

One of the many things taught was to NEVER fully trust any mechanical safety. Anything made by man can fail, and relying only on a mechanical safety is false security. (like the gun may be on safe, but that doesn't release you from your responsibility to ensure the muzzle is in a safe direction or any other safe handling practices)

Magazine disconnects are in that category. It's rare, but they CAN fail. and the only warning could be an accidental discharge. If you do everything safely you will be safe even if the gun fails. IF you don't, then you aren't and neither are others.

I've seen some weird stuff. Sometimes the stars line up in strange ways. One of the strangest was a pistol a friend had, and carried for 6 months before learning exactly how it was broken.

Happened to be a model of pistol with a "decocking safety". The owner had a habit (short fingers) of tipping the gun on its side to work put the safety ON.
carried it for 6 months never any problem. Shot it on the range numerous times, never any problem. Then he let another friend try it.
Other friend chambered a round, the used the safety to drop the hammer so he could try the DA pull.

Surprised the crap out of everyone! Gun safely pointed down range, no harm done.

He was holding the gun in the normal upright position.
Tried it again, same results.
With the gun tipped at an angle, it did not fire when the safety was put on. Held in the normal shooting position, it did!
The owner was fantastically lucky his personal habit tipping the gun to put the safety on kept him safe. Serendipity, blind luck, guardian angel, or something...

Took it to the gunsmith...absolutely broken inside. He was amazed, never seen anything quite like it, but there it was. Held upright, the broken parts "lined up" in just the right way to fire the gun!!! Held canted, they did not!

The maker was contacted, and they were also amazed. Said "we never thought that could happen".

Point is, no matter what is supposed to happen, and is expected to happen, something else COULD happen, and if you think it can't you are putting yourself and others at risk.

It is not impossible that a magazine disconnect could fail and allow the gun to fire with the magazine removed. it is also possible it could fail and not allow the gun to fire, at all.

DON'T ignore the rules of safety just because they may sound childish and simple and you heard them forever. You might get away with it, until you don't and if you don't the price could be unacceptably high.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 17, 2020, 11:36 AM   #33
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I always pretend that when I drop the slide to chamber a round the firing pin will stick and cause a slam fire. It can happen.
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