Are external safeties a false sense of...?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Michael-Dallas, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Michael-Dallas

    Michael-Dallas Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    Guys,

    I am by no means a gun nut so please bear with me. When my friend bought his HK P30 yesterday, I noticed that it does not have an external safety.

    I understand that guns these days have internal safeties to prevent them from firing when dropped. But am I the only one that likes having an external safety as an additional method from having the trigger being pulled either by accident or intruder use? Or am I using it as a false security?

    Thanks,

    ///Michael
     


  2. phatcyclist

    phatcyclist Active Member

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I look at it as a personal preference. When I go out to my buddies ranch I usually carry a fullsize pistol in a shoulder-holster. I've carried pistols with trigger safeties and ones with external safeties (my 1911). Any good holster that keeps the trigger covered completely gives me enough confidence to carry the gun chambered and ready to go. 1911s of course have two external safeties, one being the backstrap and other being the thumb safety. You REALLY have to want to fire a 1911 to do so. My pocket carry gun is a knockoff of a Walther PPK, which has a safety/decocker. I carry it with the safety on and it decocked. That gun sometimes goes in my pocket, so it will meet my keys and other items in there.

    It takes a little time to get comfortable with the idea of a trigger safety, but once you have used one for a while you will get there.
     
  3. nalioth

    nalioth Active Member

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Houston Metro
    Idiots negate safeties each and every day.

    The ultimate safety is between ones ears.
     
  4. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Agreed, the gun is as safe as the operator makes it.
     
  5. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    Mar 11, 2008
    DFW, North Texas
    Well, the first reply was productive. :p

    It depends on the gun and how it operates. And there are multiple types of safeties for different things. Firing Pin safeties supposedly to keep a hammer from unintentionally dropping on a round, if the first safety allows the hammer to fall that far. The firing safeties whereby the shooter must disengage the safety to pull the trigger and fire. A 1911 has as many as 4 safeties including the 1 manual safety you more easily recognize on the outside.
     
  6. ChicagoTex

    ChicagoTex Member

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Allen, TX
    I think it's important to look at how the gun was DESIGNED to be carried.

    For example, despite it's grip safety, M1911A1s are, and always have been, designed to be carried cocked and locked with the thumb safety engaged.

    Some guns offer more than one safe carry mode (for example, a CZ 75 can be carried cocked and locked 1911 style or hammer down, safety off) and some guns offer superfluous manual safeties (for example: a Beretta 92FS is designed to be carried hammer down, safety off, but one can leave the safety engaged if they so desire) - in both cases it goes down to user preference.

    Beyond the fundamental design point, manual safeties exist to add what I call "Margins for Stupid" - Stupid is something we all do sometimes (whether folks like to admit it or not) and if the nominal design margins are inadequate, you tend to have accidental discharges. You have to weigh your propensity for Stupid, then, against the margins various safeties afford you.

    I generally find the best way to decide how much you need is to make sure you understand the technical details of all safeties available on your given firearm, honestly evaluate yourself based on your gun handling, and combine those two factors to decide what you're comfortable with.

    No one's gonna call you a wuss if you need extra safeties to keep you from shooting a hole in your foot (though I really hope you don't).
     
  7. Texas1911

    Texas1911 TGT Addict

    May 29, 2017
    Austin, TX
    Far from it.

    A Glock has no true safety other than the trigger. Does it make it a very un-safe choice? Not necessarily. If the owner / operator has enough common sense to know that you don't grasp the trigger then it's a perfectly safe firearm.

    People that have less experience tend to go immediately to the trigger, if this is someone that needs to be able to use the firearm (ie. girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, younger sibling, etc.), or a child that finds it, then you should seek an external safety to prevent accidental discharges.

    Any child can pick up a Glock and discharge it, but a 1911 has that extra step involved that can be all the difference. The same goes for accidents like a falling gun.
     
  8. Michael-Dallas

    Michael-Dallas Member

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    Nov 28, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    Guys,

    Thanks for your comments, they have been insightful.

    Let me clarify my previous statement of, "having the trigger being pulled either by accident or intruder use," to refer to the above situation. Although I am certain to a very high degree that my firearms will never get into unsupervised (or uneducated) hands, the small possibility still remains. There is no such thing as 100% anything. Something that stuck in my head was an incident a few years ago that involved a teen, a fatality, and the Glock that belonged to the teen's father, who happened to be a LEO.

    Another situation - the last thing I want to come home to is an intruder that has broken into my house and found my weapon(s). Considering where I keep my firearms and the monitored security, the possibility of that happening is very slim, but still remains.

    In either situation, I feel that having an external safety may be the difference between an accident/crime occurring or not. A person that just knows that pulling the trigger fires the gun may not necessarily know where and/or how to operate the external safety.

    Maybe I'm being overly paranoid or it's my plan for the worst/expect the best mentality.

    Thanks,

    ///Michael
     
  9. nalioth

    nalioth Active Member

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Houston Metro
    How come nobody ever brings this up when discussing revolvers?

    You're the same person.

    The high velocity projectiles are the same.

    Just sayin'
     
  10. phatcyclist

    phatcyclist Active Member

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    Feb 22, 2008
    Austin, TX
    My reply was only looking at it from a carrying aspect. I have no children but if I did there would be no night stand gun when I wasn't around, it would always be either in the safe or on my person. Much like it is now, at night I take a pistol out of the safe and it sits next to the bed, it goes right back in there when I leave for work.
     

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