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Old May 21, 2019, 10:15 AM   #26
Cosmodragoon
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I have "seriously" considered the pluses and minuses for having a safety (or not) on a semi-auto pistol intended for self-defense and long ago decided that the "extra step" is a worthwhile compromise-for me. Training makes the extra step "problem" a non-issue; keeping in mind that, as I noted earlier in this thread, you don't have to employ the safety on a typical da pistol (the Beretta Model 92 as an example) if you don't want to.
As we all weigh that decision, we will likely come to different answers. I just want to be sure people do weigh it, especially if they are new to carrying.

As far as training around the safety, that's why I ask about some different possibilities in a defensive encounter. Some of those arguments overlap with those in favor of not carrying with an unloaded chamber. A thumb flick is a much smaller extra step but still, people have sometimes been hurt or killed while forgetting or fiddling with a safety switch.

So step one is asking how rigorous the training is. This overlaps with shooting under pressure in general. Do drills that involve drawing and shooting quickly. Do strenuous exercise before drawing and shooting. (Do this with an unloaded gun at first.) When your heart is pounding and your hands are shaking, do you get it right every time? How about when your hands are sweaty or wet?

Speaking of slippery, what if something goes down at dinner? I've seen a few defensive encounters take place at diners, cafes, etc. If you have a little salad dressing, butter, oil, etc. on your thumb, can it still flick the safety every time? What if you are injured before you get to your gun and you have blood on your hand?

Speaking of injury, what if you hurt your thumb? What if you've fallen? There is also the very real chance of being entangled. What if you have a bad guy or dangerous animal on top of you? This is why I ask: "Could it take everything you have to just get your gun out and on target?" Can you operate the manual safety when wrestling with a person? (Remember that thumbs are on the inside of a "hug". Try this with a triple-checked unloaded gun.)

Sure, you could have a safety and not use it. Is there any possibility at all that it gets accidentally activated in some of the above circumstances?

These all might seem like big "what ifs" but they do happen. That's why I recommend spending some serious time watching real encounters. Get some safe practice with your particular gun in some of these kinds of situations. Is your fail/delay rate on that safety any bigger than the 0% of not having one?
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Old May 21, 2019, 02:40 PM   #27
dgludwig
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A thumb flick is a much smaller extra step but still, people have sometimes been hurt or killed while forgetting or fiddling with a safety switch
What if you forget to pull the trigger "in the heat of the moment?" TRAINING!

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If you have a little salad dressing, butter, oil, etc. on your thumb, can it still flick the safety every time? What if you are injured before you get to your gun and you have blood on your hand?
You have valid points to be made; no need to postulate the extreme to make a point. After all, if your hand is slippery for whatever reason, the grip on the gun, the pulling of the trigger, the reloading of the gun will be compromised. There's simply no substitute for training and practice. Too, one also might want to consider stop playing with their food and pocket knives if a gun fight is in the offing.

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Speaking of injury, what if you hurt your thumb?
What if you hurt your index finger? What if you sprained your wrist? If the possibility of being injured and not being able to move the safety causes such angst, you can always get a pistol having ambidextrous controls or leave the safety in the "off" position.

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Sure, you could have a safety and not use it. Is there any possibility at all that it gets accidentally activated in some of the above circumstances?
What if you don't have a safety or the safety is turned "off", and the trigger is accidentally pulled in "some of the above circumstances". Indeed, what if then?





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These all might seem like big "what ifs" but they do happen.
"What ifs" do indeed happen but the consequences of same can have equally negative affects for the users of pistols not having safeties and those having them alike. Pistols having safeties have been around as long as those without and probably even longer. Those that think having a safety on a pistol is such a liability might want to consider the merits of one of the greatest pistols for use in self-defense of all time: the Colt 1911 and its many derivatives. You just have to remember to perform that "extra step" and flick off the safety-even if your thumb is coated with oleo and blood.
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Last edited by dgludwig; May 21, 2019 at 02:49 PM.
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Old May 21, 2019, 08:36 PM   #28
Cosmodragoon
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What if you forget to pull the trigger "in the heat of the moment?"...
There are two important differences in many of the points you make. First, triggers tend to be very different in terms of use and design such that some of the points I make about manual safeties won't realistically apply. Second, the trigger is always necessary and always has its own issues, whereas the manual safety will always be an extra thing on top of that. Having an extra thing magnifies potential complications.

As I originally said, there will always be a bunch of factors we can't control. So let's control the ones we can.
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Old May 21, 2019, 09:01 PM   #29
GarandTd
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With or without a manual safety; there is no wrong answer, only a personal preference. Become intimately familiar with whichever you choose.
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