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The 1911 is dangerous to carry in condition 2. It is a condition 1 or 3 firearm. There is a caveat. Colt created the series 80 so that a 1911 could safely be carried in condition 2. The hammer can be hit with enough force to cause a discharge. If you look at the underside of a series 80 slide, you will see a little button where the firing pin (segment) is misaligned and when you pull the trigger, the button is pushed simultaneously and brings the pin segments into alignment.
I am open minded here, please explain how the hammer can move the firing pin forward when the hammer is up against the back of the slide and the firing pin is not protruding from the face of the slide, the firing pin is a inertia type, when the hammer hits it it moves forward and hits the primer.
No matter how hard the hammer is hit if it is against the back of the slide there is no way it can move the firing pin.
 

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here is some data on drop tests, it seems like at least 6' is needed.

  • Recently I've participated in some discussion here on THR in regards to the necessity of a firing pin block (Colt Series 80 Type, and Swarz). One member brought up the drop testing done by gunsmith Drake Oldham, posted on the 10-8 forum - http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=92823#Post92823. I'm one of the few who's actually had a firing pin block plunger break in a 1911, which lead me to distrust the reliability of a part that so drastically changes the mechanics (not the cosmetics) of the original M1911 design. My experience lead me to agree with Hilton Yam's statement:
    It is possible to have a drop safe 1911 without the firing pin safety, and given the potential reliability problems with a poorly executed system, the perceived risk of drop safety is outweighed by the real risk of a failure to fire.
    http://www.10-8performance.com/pages/Choosing-a-1911-for-Duty-Use.html
    However, as pointed out by another member, even with a 9mm/.38 Super or .45 sized titanium firing pin, at a height of six, dropped directly onto the muzzle on concrete, the pistol fired 1 out of 6 times which aren't good odds. However, I noticed that Mr. Oldham had to rig the pistol on a 550 cord & pulley to ensure the muzzle would hit the floor squarely as the pistol feel freely, and also provide consistent impact on all drops. I remembered reading the original US Army drop tests years ago, which indicated that when the pistol was in an unimpeded free fall it would roll over onto its side or back before hitting the ground when dropped from otherwise unsafe heights. I could not find the documentation of those tests, so I decided to do some of my own drop testing. I was not interested in trying to get the weapon to fire, because it has been established that a muzzle impact square to the floor is needed to cause an inertial discharge. I was concerned with the likelihood of such an impact occurring from an unimpeded free fall. To prevent writing a wall of text I'll detail methodology & results in following posts to this thread.
    ugaarguy, Oct 24, 2011 Report
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  • ugaarguy
    ugaarguy Moderator Staff Member
    Joined: Mar 19, 2006 Messages: 13,664
    As noted above, for this testing I wasn't interested in getting unloaded, primed cases to fire as Drake Oldham was in his testing. My interest was simply in seeing how many times the pistol's muzzle would squarely strike the floor, which is what is needed for the inertial discharge. Because of this, and not wanting to destroy one my own pistols, I made the drops onto pillows on my carpeted floor, and observed where the pistol landed. Six feet is the critical break over height where the Ti firing pin & extra power firing pin spring are no longer 100% safe for drops onto a hard concrete floor, so that was my selected height for all drops.

    Methodology:
    Kimber Classic Custom (pre-Series II gun, no firing pin block) with Kimber Laminate grips. The pistol was dropped hammer down, on an empty chamber. A Chip McCormick power mag was inserted, loaded with 230gr Speer Gold Dot cartridges. This was done to replicate the weight of an actual carry loading, but no round was chambered for obvious safety reasons.

    Ninety (90) drops were done, again all from a height of six feet.

    The first group of thirty (30) drops was done from a firing grip. The pistol was dropped ten times with 8 rounds in the magazine, ten times with 4 rounds in the magazine, and ten times with a single round in the magazine.

    The second group of thirty drops was done with the pistol held between my thumb and forefinger to minimize free fall interference from my hands as in the firing grip. The barrel was parallel to the floor with grip vertical to floor (same orientation as a firing grip). The drops were done in three groups of ten, with magazine loaded to the same round counts as in the first subsets.

    The third group of thirty drops was done as the second, with only the orientation of the pistol changed. For this group the pistol was dropped with the barrel perpendicular to the floor - muzzle face square to floor.

    In the first and second group of drops, the muzzle never impacted. In the third group of drops the muzzle impacted three times. The first muzzle impact occurred on the second drop with eight rounds in the magazine. The pistol was at an approx. 45 degree angle, but even though it landed on two standard bed pillows there was enough force to move the slide back far enough to retract the hammer to the safety notch. The second muzzle impact occurred on the first drop with four rounds in the magazine. Although the muzzle landed squarely, there was not enough force to move the slide rearward. The final muzzle impact occurred on the first drop with a single round in the magazine. This was also a muzzle square to surface impact, and it also lacked enough force to move the slide rearward.

    Of note, I had to exert significant grip pressure to hold the pistol with bbl. perpendicular to the floor prior to dropping on the third group of tests. If held where it could swing freely the pistol wanted to tilt to its natural balance with the bbl at a slight angle.

    If you combine Drake Oldham's 1 discharge out of 6 drops data (when dropped from 6 feet onto concrete, rigged to ensure square muzzle impact,) with my unimpeded free fall impact data you can draw two conclusions. If you take all 3 drop methods my testing comes up with 1 out of 30 (3 out of 90 reduced to a proper fraction) square muzzle impacts. Combine that with 1 out of 6 discharges, and you get a 1 in 180 chance of an inertial discharge. If you choose to only look at the drops with muzzle square to the floor, my data shows a 1 in 10 chance of impact with muzzle square to the floor. Combined with Mr. Oldham's discharge data that's a 1 in 60 chance of an inertial impact.
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but with a 1911 hammer down on a loaded chamber it can fire if enough force is applied to the hammer? To me that is far more dangerous than cocked and locked.
What would be hitting the hammer while in a IWB holster?
That is not correct, the firing pin is not protruding from the breech face when the hammer is down, you can take a sledge hammer and hit the hammer and it will not fire. Yes I know that it was designed to be carried in condition one, It is my choice to carry in condition two when not in a holster designed to carry in condition one.
I was wondering how long it would be before the carry Nazis would jump on this.
Do what you want, don't tell me whats right or wrong!
Yes it can fire, if dropped from high enough and lands directly on the muzzle, but I am only 6'9" so I don't worry about that.
There is my quote and yours. Overreact much? Call me a Nazi? Time to lighten up.
 

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There is my quote and yours. Overreact much? Call me a Nazi? Time to lighten up.
I was not calling you a Nazi, just saying there are different situations where one's carrying types are different from others.
We all have different ideas, not saying one or the other is right, each of us has different views.
I have been a fan of Jeff Cooper for years, and know he was a fan of condition one.
If you know the workings of the 1911, you would know it is not unsafe to carry it in condition two.
 

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I was not calling you a Nazi, just saying there are different situations where one's carrying types are different from others.
We all have different ideas, not saying one or the other is right, each of us has different views.
I have been a fan of Jeff Cooper for years, and know he was a fan of condition one.
If you know the workings of the 1911, you would know it is not unsafe to carry it in condition two.
And if you knew the workings of a 1911, you would know it is not unsafe to carry in condition one.

Feel free to have the last word. Enough has been said.
 

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I did not say it is unsafe to carry it in condition one. What I said is is not unsafe to carry in condition two. If someone disagrees, an explanation of why instead of internet "truth" would go a long way to settling the discussion.
 

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My usual EDC is a Glock 43x. I also like my Springfield XDe 3.3 inch for concealed carry ....however every once in a while in cooler weather I break out my favorite handgun...the CZ P-07 and carry it. The firearm weighs more and the mag capacity and the extra mag is to much weight for the usual summer attire here in Florida of draw string shorts. My wife has her .32 mag revolver...not fond of it as I like semi autos.
 

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I did not say it is unsafe to carry it in condition one. What I said is is not unsafe to carry in condition two. If someone disagrees, an explanation of why instead of internet "truth" would go a long way to settling the discussion.
There are two additional opportunities for an ad. The first when you lower the hammer of the single action onto the loaded chamber and secondly when you recock it to use it. If you are forced to defend yourself and under stress for the latter operation it could happen.
 

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There are two additional opportunities for an ad. The first when you lower the hammer of the single action onto the loaded chamber and secondly when you recock it to use it. If you are forced to defend yourself and under stress for the latter operation it could happen.
I agree with you about the danger of an AD when lowering the hammer (more of a concern with the Commander style of hammer). The concern about recocking is a concern but really should be taken care of by the half cock safety (which should never be used as a safety).
Using the off hand to cock the hammer (Ala cowboy fanning) is a better choice than thumb cocking, yes it does take practice but what doesn't ?
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but with a 1911 hammer down on a loaded chamber it can fire if enough force is applied to the hammer? To me that is far more dangerous than cocked and locked.
Newbie question: Is this a difference between DA vs SA ?
 

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Used to carry a Glock 19 with an extra mag all the time, but it seems the older I get, the less and less gun weight I want to carry. Even with a high-end gun belt I still feel it. Have to cinch up the belt so tight it's a Florida Anaconda or I constantly hitch up the pants. The fullsize and even medium frame pistols stay home in the nightstands/dresser or get truck duty these days and the smaller ones get full-time pocket carry.

I'm okay with that, though.
I've got real issues with My Back/Hips, and usually go for a Shoulder or Chest Rig, if it's a Large Revolver
Lately I've been mostly using My BDA (.380 acp- with 13+1 and a spare Mag'), so Yes! I know what You mean about waist/hip carry.
 

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Newbie question: Is this a difference between DA vs SA ?
Double action means a long and stiffer trigger pull whereby the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer and fires the handgun whereas single action means the hammer is pre-cocked and fires with a much lighter trigger pull.
 
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I have carried all sizes and types of handguns in different rigs and styles of carry but not IWB, its not a good fit for me. In my opinion for EDC the Kahr PM45 with a good holster that carries snug to the body allows a comfortable day long carry without needing to cinch up and in fact seems to disappear. Having 230 grain JHPs only adds to the feeling of comfort.
 

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Double action means a long and stiffer trigger pull whereby the trigger both cocks and releases the hammer and fires the handgun whereas single action means the hammer is pre-cocked and fires with a much lighter trigger pull.
Thanks for answering the poster's question accurately.
 

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Except the "Original" question, as I saw it was Specific to 1911's.
The original post was about weight of the carry piece:
Used to carry a Glock 19 with an extra mag all the time, but it seems the older I get, the less and less gun weight I want to carry. Even with a high-end gun belt I still feel it. Have to cinch up the belt so tight it's a Florida Anaconda or I constantly hitch up the pants. The fullsize and even medium frame pistols stay home in the nightstands/dresser or get truck duty these days and the smaller ones get full-time pocket carry.

I'm okay with that, though.
The question I responded to was about the difference between S/A and D/A.
 

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I usually carry a 4" "K" frame revolver and 24 extra rounds in strips or speed loaders. I considered a 1911 but just couldn't get used to teh cocked 'n locked idea. I'm planning on getting a Ruger American eventually. Either way I carry using a owb holster, partly from being used to carry a belt holster with my duty weapon and partly because iwb just isn't comfortable for me.
As far as the 1911, I went to a Para Ordnance Tech-Four. Its a Commander sized .45 with a 13+ 1 capacity with a LDA (Light Double Action) that really is light till you hit the wall. It is heavy, (didn't weigh it) but with 2 mags that's 40 rds. of goodness! The trigger is to die for.
 

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Sig P938 in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster is just about as comfortable as it gets, at least to me. Spare mag or two in other pockets and I could almost forget they are there.
Update: I recently changed to a Galco pocket holster, which is even smaller and more comfortable. Just sayin’.
 

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Kimber K6S is not airweight, but I forget it is there. I use a Dalco Force steel core belt and a Simply Rugged Pocket holster. Works great in chinos or khakis, not in jeans.

As for crooks, you would be surprised. When I worked in Corrections long ago, cheap 9s were scarce, but most felons are not very clever. They did not pack an Arsenal or big calibers. A compact 9 is likely what you would face today. Back then it was .38 snubs.

Moreover, in my experience felons of the random street-tough sort tend to neglect their weapons. Times change but felons remain similar and opportunistic. Carry what you shoot best, exercise situational awareness, be a gray man, and that will do well to get you out of most trouble.

I ain’t planning on being a hero. I just plan to get me and mine to safety.
 
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