Discussion in 'Gun Chatter' started by exhaust, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member

    It's going to depend on what model of 1911 you're shooting. There are several models and many have different features that change functionality. That's where doing you homework pays off. I personally have seen fewer hammer strapped 1911's than not. A LOT more... Here's a little more into that will help to explain more of that issue:

    The mode of readiness preferred by the experts is Condition One. Generally speaking, Condition One offers the best balance of readiness and safety. Its biggest drawback is that it looks scary to people who don't understand the operation and safety features of the pistol.

    Condition Two is problematic for several reasons, and is the source of more negligent discharges than the other conditions. When you rack the slide to chamber a round in the 1911, the hammer is cocked and the manual safety is off. There is no way to avoid this with the 1911 design. In order to lower the hammer, the trigger must be pulled and the hammer lowered slowly with the thumb onto the firing pin, the end of which is only a few millimeters away from the primer of a live round. Should the thumb slip, the hammer would drop and fire the gun. Not only would a round be launched in circumstances which would be at best embarrassing and possibly tragic, but also the thumb would be behind the slide as it cycled, resulting in serious injury to the hand. A second problem with this condition is that the true 1911A1 does not have a firing pin block and an impact on the hammer which is resting on the firing pin could conceivably cause the gun to go off, although actual instances of this are virtually nonexistent. Finally, in order to fire the gun, the hammer must be manually cocked, again with the thumb. In an emergency situation, this adds another opportunity for something to go wrong and slows the acquisition of the sight picture.

    Condition Three adds a degree of "insurance" against an accidental discharge since there is no round in the chamber. To bring the gun into action from the holster, the pistol must be drawn and the slide racked as the pistol is brought to bear on the target. This draw is usually called "the Israeli draw" since it was taught by Israeli security and defense forces. Some of the real expert trainers can do an Israeli draw faster than most of us can do a simple draw, but for most of us, the Israeli draw adds a degree of complexity, an extra step, and an opening for mistakes in the process of getting the front sight onto the target.

    Using the "half-cock" as a safety

    The half-cock notch on the M1911 is really intended as a "fail-safe" and is not recommended as a safety. However, it has been used as a mode of carry. From Dale Ireland comes this interesting piece of service history from WWII:

    When the hammer is pulled back just a few millimeters it "half cocks" and pulling the trigger will not fire the gun [on genuine mil-spec G.I. pistols]. I imagine this is an unsafe and not a recommended safety position. The reason I bring it up however is that it was a commonly used position especially by left-handers in WWII. My father carried his 1911 (not A1) to Enewitok, Leyte, first wave at Luzon, the battle inside Intramuros, and until he was finally shot near Ipo dam. He tells me that he regularly used the half cocked safety position especially at night and patrolling because bringing the weapon to the full cocked position from the half cocked created much less noise and he was left handed so he couldn't use the thumb safety effectively. He said using the half cocked position was all about noise reduction for lefties while maintaining a small amount of safety that could quickly be released.

    Again, the half-cock is intended as a fail-safe in the event that the sear hooks were to fail, and it is not recommended as a mode of carry. It should also be noted that on guns with "Series 80" type hammers, the hammer will fall from half-cock when the trigger is pulled. This would include guns from Springfield Armory and modern production Colts. But, if you happen to be a south paw and find yourself in the jungle with a G.I. M1911A1 and surrounded by enemy troops, the half-cock might be an option.

    Courtesy of: The Sight
  2. keyman

    keyman Well-Known Member

    Seems that more guys use an IWB holster than any other. All I can say is that you must all be "flat bellies." I wear "Levis" and they fit so tight in order to stay up, that I could never use an IWB because I couldn't get my hand in there to get the gun out ! !

    All of my holsters are Don Hume, and I've had good results with all of them. Four of them have the extended top to keep the gun from rubbing my body, and two of them are the short style that need a T-shirt between me and them.

    If you've never tried them, they are good holsters. The longer ones are about $40 and the short ones are about $25.

  3. tigwelder56

    tigwelder56 Well-Known Member


    You know if you keep talking like that, I could grow to really like you. "Flat Belly"? I used to be pretty proud of my belly and overall condition until an accident ruined my spine. Now I'm a Bubble Belly" cause I can't work out the way I use to. But I'm walking and breathing, that's more important than not!

    Don Hume makes some nice holsters. Here in Florida we can get away with a paddle or belt loop holster and still wear light clothing. With my round figure, I don't tuck my shirts in much anymore. It helps conceal my Budweiser body! The only thing I require in an IWB is a modicum of comfort, if I'm only going to wear it for a limited period of time. If I would have to wear it all day, then quality and comfort come into play. Of course to achieve that will cost you a few more bucks but IMO, worth every penny!