Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Question about safeties on guns  (Read 5665 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline chornbe

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Wilmington, Delaware
  • Posts: 6976
    • The Pace Motorcycle Podcast
  • Motorcycles: Honda DN-01
Question about safeties on guns
« on: December 26, 2013, 03:00:36 PM »
This isn't a gun discussion (in terms of all the chest thumping, etc., that goes on with gun discussions), per se, nor do I want it to get political or offer opinions about which gun is better, etc... this is about the mechanics of a device.

If the safety is designed to prevent accidental firing, and many accidental firings are because someone pulled the trigger at an inopportune time, what is the advantage of something like a palm or trigger safety? Something like, say, the M&P offers models with or without a thumb safety (which I personally prefer to have).

The additional mechanical complexity seems to actually gain no benefit whatsoever.

What am I missing...?
this signature on hold pending review

Offline Black Hills

  • Member
  • Location: Rapid CIty, SD
  • Posts: 3545
  • Motorcycles: KTM 1290 Adventure R, KTM300xcw, 1290 SuperDuke
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 03:28:53 PM »
I know very little about this, but some guns are drop safe and others are not. I think the safety actually block the firing pin as opposed to not letting the trigger be pulled. I'm sure one of the EOE's will be along to clear it up for us shortly...
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Offline chornbe

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Wilmington, Delaware
  • Posts: 6976
    • The Pace Motorcycle Podcast
  • Motorcycles: Honda DN-01
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2013, 03:42:39 PM »
Yeah, I suppose that makes some sense.
this signature on hold pending review

Offline giaka

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: So Cal in the town of Wild-O-Mar
  • Posts: 1043
  • I am member # 12
  • Motorcycles: Versys 650 Adventure
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 04:11:29 PM »
There are all kinds of safeties in regards to mechanics. Some lock up the firing pin to prevent discharge if the weapon is dropped. Some prevent the trigger from being pulled, some prevent the action from moving, some do all three.

I think the grip safety on a 1911 was implemented before the firing pin locking mechanism (it has both now).  :shrug:

Anyway, anymore the only "accidents" that are occurring more than likely happen when someone pulls the trigger. Those types of "accidents" are hard to prevent.

I think Glock responded to your question a long time ago and the answer was the Glock 19.  8)

My opinion is that if a gun is drop safe it doesn't need a safety. But that's just me.  :bigsmile:
I don't know how to act my age, I have never been this old before.........
MR MOJO RISIN unscrambled spells JIM MORRISON

                                      -

Offline Royal Tiger

  • Member
  • Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
  • Posts: 573
  • Deutsche Rüstungs-Abteilung
  • Motorcycles: See Signature
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 05:30:27 PM »
External mechanical safeties are one more thing to forget for someone not very familiar with their handgun when they need it.  Felicia's .357 revolver and my 2 SIG/Sauer .40 semi auto are all point and shoot, and neither one of us has ever had an "accidental discharge".  I handle a gun everyday so I know I wouldn't forget, but she doesn't, so the last thing I need is for her to have milliseconds to get a shot off and pull the trigger 3 or 4 times and for nothing to happen.
~Dan

2013 Yamaha XT250 * 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 250 * 2007 BMW G650X XChallenge * 2005 BMW R1200ST * 2003 Yamaha PW80

Offline misanthropist

  • Member
  • Location: Vancouver, Western Canada
  • Posts: 414
  • Motorcycles: Griso, GSXR, and projects
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 05:44:27 PM »
This isn't a gun discussion (in terms of all the chest thumping, etc., that goes on with gun discussions), per se, nor do I want it to get political or offer opinions about which gun is better, etc... this is about the mechanics of a device.

If the safety is designed to prevent accidental firing, and many accidental firings are because someone pulled the trigger at an inopportune time, what is the advantage of something like a palm or trigger safety? Something like, say, the M&P offers models with or without a thumb safety (which I personally prefer to have).

The additional mechanical complexity seems to actually gain no benefit whatsoever.

What am I missing...?

The big concerns are drop safety and accidental trigger press on reholstering, I'd say.

The Glock trigger safety at least requires something to press the trigger in a manner fairly analogous to an intentional press.  Frankly I think it's borderline as a safety feature - if you built a big industrial press for stamping steel and the only feature to prevent it from activating was that the go button was a small button, in the middle of a larger button...you'd never get that thing installed anywhere.  It's a pretty limited safety feature and it's why I won't carry a Glock appendix-IWB.

A thumb or grip safety will stop the gun from going off if you drop it (as will the Glock safety features) but it will also stop it from going off if you are reholstering and something gets in your holster, like the toggle on a windbreaker.  Or if you're using a cheap holster and the leather collapses.

Dr. Gary Roberts (USN/does a ton of ballistics analysis work for US agencies) has a few examples of cops losing their guns in hand to hand and surviving because the guy who got it away from them couldn't figure it out.  Personally I think that's a pretty long shot, but there's been a few legitimate examples.  OTOH, he's got at least one example of the same effect with a magazine safety and a cop who managed to eject his mag before the gun got taken away, and then the bad guy couldn't use it against him.  And that's SUCH a long shot that I just can't bring myself to factor it in to anything.  So whether you think this particular argument holds water is kind of up to you.  I think it holds water...just not an amount of water I care about very much.

I think the drop safety matters and the reholster thing is a big deal to me since I point guns at my genitals and/or femoral artery all the time.

Also - none of the 1911s I currently own have a firing pin safety.  There are some out there that do (including the USMC Colt, and plenty of other quality Colt pistols, so no knock on the Series 80) but I would say the majority still do not.
Support 12-5

Offline chornbe

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Wilmington, Delaware
  • Posts: 6976
    • The Pace Motorcycle Podcast
  • Motorcycles: Honda DN-01
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 06:06:22 PM »
OK I wasn't even considering reholstering. That's a really good point. My pt111 has a thumb safety and I like them. I "grew up" on guns with thumb safeties so they are second nature to me. But I understand the point.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk

this signature on hold pending review

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2013, 06:38:39 PM »
But revolvers don't have thumb safties, but only internal safties. It is kind of the glock argument with the NY trigger spring.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Offline Transpomgr

  • Member
  • Location:
  • Posts: 59
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2013, 06:53:58 PM »
My interpretation of having so many choices when it comes to safeties is this.-  For the bang to happen, the person wanting the bang has to know exactly what needs to be done to make that happen. My XD has a trigger and a blackstrap safety. If you are not using a proper grip, it won't bang.

Offline misanthropist

  • Member
  • Location: Vancouver, Western Canada
  • Posts: 414
  • Motorcycles: Griso, GSXR, and projects
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2013, 07:00:16 PM »
Revolvers usually have a long enough, heavy enough pull to discourage goofery...I'm flexible on the subject and spend more time shooting Glocks than anything else but I think it's all stuff to consider.

Totally agree that whatever you use, you need to know it inside out and everything has to be done without a second spent on "wait a minute, how does it work again? "

Support 12-5

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2013, 07:42:08 PM »
Revolvers usually have a long enough, heavy enough pull to discourage goofery...I'm flexible on the subject and spend more time shooting Glocks than anything else but I think it's all stuff to consider.

Totally agree that whatever you use, you need to know it inside out and everything has to be done without a second spent on "wait a minute, how does it work again? "

Have you shot any glocks with the NY trigger? I have not, but I can't imagine a 12lb trigger pull being much fun.
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Offline misanthropist

  • Member
  • Location: Vancouver, Western Canada
  • Posts: 414
  • Motorcycles: Griso, GSXR, and projects
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2013, 07:46:56 PM »
No. My position on that one is "fuck you, new york".

Seriously, no wonder their hit ratio in officer - involved shootings is what it is. A bunch of barely - trained, over - stressed, under - paid community outreach hires with 12 pound triggers...Yeah, that's totally going to work out.
Support 12-5

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2013, 07:46:19 AM »
That's why they are safer...no one hits anything.  :bigsmile:
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Offline chornbe

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: Wilmington, Delaware
  • Posts: 6976
    • The Pace Motorcycle Podcast
  • Motorcycles: Honda DN-01
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2013, 10:23:09 AM »
My old .357 have a safety. That was a S&W that was a couple years old when I bought it back in... 1988? 1989?
this signature on hold pending review

Offline FJR1300

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Location: Jefferson City, MO
  • Posts: 1190
  • Motorcycles: None
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2013, 05:27:18 PM »
That's why they are safer...no one hits anything.  :bigsmile:

Except innocent civilians.

Offline misanthropist

  • Member
  • Location: Vancouver, Western Canada
  • Posts: 414
  • Motorcycles: Griso, GSXR, and projects
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 06:08:31 PM »
My old .357 have a safety. That was a S&W that was a couple years old when I bought it back in... 1988? 1989?
boy, I completely forgot about that generation of revolvers.


Which is not surprising, really, as I am not particularly knowledgeable about revolvers.
Support 12-5

Offline Max Wedge

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: The thumb in Reg 4
  • Posts: 5827
  • Engineering Pathologist
  • Motorcycles: '10 R1200GS
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 10:35:10 PM »
My old .357 have a safety. That was a S&W that was a couple years old when I bought it back in... 1988? 1989?
boy, I completely forgot about that generation of revolvers.


Which is not surprising, really, as I am not particularly knowledgeable about revolvers.


A manually operated safety on a revolver? Are you talking about the little hex-key locks by the cylinder release on later S&Ws? The 686-629 revolvers are still available today. Basically the same designs as the models from the 1950's (the J-K-L-N frame models).

1980 no hex key lock
visitors can't see pics , please register or login


2000's with hex key 'lock' (not safety).
visitors can't see pics , please register or login
You never see a motorcycle parked outside a psychiatrists' office.
Where am I?

Online Vulcanbill

  • Contributor
  • Member
  • Location: it's a secret, WV
  • Posts: 3649
  • no thank you ... still
  • Motorcycles: XT250, Ninja 500R
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2013, 01:55:06 PM »
Drop safety?  Are there really enough instances of people dropping guns and them firing that this has to be mechanically addressed?  Does this happen on semis that aren't cocked? 

My old school P89  has no active safety and I've never really considered it a problem but I'm a casual user that controls my shooting environment 100% so I'm not too worried it.  I guess holster work changes the game a little.  I'll find out soon.
If a person's primary concern is increasing freedom, they should prepare for a reduction in average lifespan.  ---  Misanthropist

If you say "Gullible" real slow, it sounds like "Orange"

Offline Black Hills

  • Member
  • Location: Rapid CIty, SD
  • Posts: 3545
  • Motorcycles: KTM 1290 Adventure R, KTM300xcw, 1290 SuperDuke
Re: Question about safeties on guns
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2013, 02:46:04 PM »
Drop safety?  Are there really enough instances of people dropping guns and them firing that this has to be mechanically addressed?  Does this happen on semis that aren't cocked? 

My old school P89  has no active safety and I've never really considered it a problem but I'm a casual user that controls my shooting environment 100% so I'm not too worried it.  I guess holster work changes the game a little.  I'll find out soon.

some non-drop safe guns could actually fire if you bumped them hard enough? I guess I wouldn't want to take the chance. Pretty sure all modern stuff is fine.
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.