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Old June 21, 2004, 04:28 PM   #26
Denny Hansen
Join Date: June 29, 2001
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ
Posts: 2,405
I leave the safety on until the sights are on target and I'm ready to fire. While saying that this is a training issue may sound simplistic, that is truly what it comes down to. The time it takes to snik off the safety, to me at least, is inconsequential; the safety comes off as the sights simultaneously come onto the target and I'm ready to fire. Frankly, if one is shooting so fast that the mili-second that it takes to take the safety off makes a difference, they are not taking time to fully identify the threat. Real life is not an IPSC match where everything in front of the muzzle is a "shoot" target.

I applaud those rare individuals who can fall face down and get a bloody nose while maintaining muzzle discipline. I truly mean this with no sarcasm intended. However, for the great unwashed masses (myself included) an unintentional discharge is quite possible if they trip over something and go down.

I personally feel that teaching novice shooters not to use the safety is irresponsible.

Just my .02.

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Old June 21, 2004, 04:54 PM   #27
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I don't have a fraction of the training that most of you folks have, and my method of manual safety use is pretty much self evolved.

The only handguns I shoot seriously are 1911s. My firing grip is high thumb, so my safety is automaticaly depressed as my hands come together on the draw stroke. My thumb sits on the safety while I'm shooting.

Now as soon as I lower the gun to a low ready, or I need to move, I reapply the safety. Not in a situation where there are multiple targets or I'm still engaging targets as I move, but at anytime when there is a lull or I need to boogie to get someplace else the safety comes back on. I never really planned it that way, and it was never a conscious decision, just that as my immediate firing grip is relaxed I reactivate the safety.

As soon as I react to another target the safety is disengaged just by the action of me taking up my firing grip. I had not even realized that I did this until I observed myself doing it in a match once. Shoot a bunch of targets and then sprint to the next piece of cover. Noticing that I automatically reengaged the safety I kind of started paying attention and discovered that I did that everytime with out thinking about it.

Like I said, I don't have the training that many of you do, but I have a system that has evolved automatically and it seems to work pretty darn well. Plus I'm a big clumsy oaf who falls down a lot. Manual safeties AND trigger/muzzle discipline are my friends.
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Old June 22, 2004, 06:58 AM   #28
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Great information....and you guys are reminding me why I switched to Glocks

I too was taught to safe/decock when holstering, moving, assesing...anytime I was not actively engaging.

Hence the switch to Glock..what can I say...I have tender thumbs!

Now that several 1911's have snuck back into my safe, I have pondered this very issue...and have pretty much come down on the safety off as I engage targets.

Just like those that choose not to use their safety...I worry that training to ALWAYS fire as the gun comes up can be just as hazardous.

The very real worry is that pressing the trigger will become part of that muscle memory...or removing the safety will not.

One makes for no loud noise when you desperately want makes for a loud noise at the wrong time...with potentially fatal consequences.

Distilled down, it seems like clicking it (safety) off as you begin firing seems to offer the best assurance that the weapon will be ready when you need it...

Every time.....

That seems like the "best choice" YMMV

The greatest concern by everyone seems to be the time factor....I have heard the same concerns from some in regard to finger ON the trigger....

I think you have time (IMHO)

HKP7....a whole new can of worms, since we are talking now about altering your grip as you fire...but I would probably stay the course.
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Old June 22, 2004, 08:03 PM   #29
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I'll second what D. Hansen stated.

I would not hunt with anyone who carried a firearm "off safe" - ever.

Add to that fact in a deadly force situation the stress factors. several weeks ago; i had to draw down on a guy coming at me with a large stick.

After all was said and done, and i started thinking about the whole scenerio, i don't even remember drawing my weapon, it was just there in my hand where it needed to be. I index my trigger finger on the slide saftey stop, saftey never was disengaged.

I guess i've always been trained to leave the saftey on until the weapon i'm using needs to be fired. I really don't think at this stage of the game, i would want to change this mindset.

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend, it is my life. I must master itas i master my life.Without me my rifle is useless, without my rifle i am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I Will. Before God i swear this creed. My rifle and myself are defenders of my country. We are masters of our enemy. We are saviours of my life. So be it until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.
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Old June 23, 2004, 10:40 AM   #30
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You guys make a pretty good case for keeping engaged until ready to fire but I'm sorta between what Tamara & Yankytrash do. I disengege on the draw at about a 45 deg angle with finger outside the guard. It's automaticlly disengaged as part of the draw. Missed it a few times n the early years but have since burned it into muscle memory and may not be able to change it now if I wanted to, which I don't. We're talking handguns here.

As for long arms in the field, Safety on with finger on the safety (thumb on AR safety, side of finger on ext safety with the 870, Finger forward on safety inside triggerguard on Mini's & M1A type rifles, finger/thumb on safety with tr finger out of guard on bolts.) Lost a deer once due to safety being on in the field.

I admit some trepidation to my Mini & M1A technique. There may be a better way there somewhere for those type rifles. I usually always carry longarms in the field shouldered at low ready.
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Old June 30, 2004, 03:57 PM   #31
W Turner
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I realize I am not in the realm of most of the guys responding to this thread, but here are my feelings..

Handgun/Defensive longarm- If the weapon is in my hand(s) the safety is off, and my finger is off the trigger and I am at low ready.

Hunting- if I am still hunting, the safety comes off when I get to my station. When I am going to/coming from the safety is on. When stalk hunting, the safey is on until I get a sight picture.

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Old July 2, 2004, 02:34 AM   #32
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I tend towards the traditional both hunting or otherwise. But some circumstances might persuade me to have the safety off right away, and concentrating fully on shoot/don't shoot with finger parallel to the barrel. An example would be some of the home invasions described in another current thread.
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Old July 2, 2004, 09:59 PM   #33
Marty Hayes
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This is how we address the issue at the Firearms Academy of Seattle.

Upon the draw, if the stimulas to fire has already been given, then safety comes off about the time the gun is horizontal and is coming to bear on target. This of course happens very fast.

If the stimulas to draw has been given, but not the stimulas to fire, then the student draws to low ready, "guard" but safety does not come off.

When doing building searches or other tactical situations, safety is on, or gun is de-cocked, until the need to shoot is determined.

I don't see any conflicts with the above training regime and working in the real world. I do know that in the real world, people get swept with muzzles, and if I get swept, I would rather have the safety on or the gun de-cocked, along with the trigger finger being ourside the trigger guard, than being swept with the safety off the the gun cocked, and finger outside the trigger guard.

The concept of clicking the safety on and safety off as Gabe describes just doesn't make sense to me. The time the safety comes off is when a target that needs shooting appears, at which time the sound of the safety is immaterial.
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