Story out of Ohio.
According to Ontario Police Chief Rod Smith, the woman was a gas station at West Fourth Street and Lexington-Springmill Road when her gun fell from its holster and discharged, shooting her in the leg.
OK first up, I wanna know what kind of gun it was.
Still this is totally preventable. First step, only carry a drop-safe gun. Most modern guns these days are drop-safe. They have hammer-blocks, firing pin blocks, transfer bars, or on some of the more traditional 1911s, a lightweight firing pin and a heavy firing pin spring. (and honestly guns like the 1911 I wonder if its even possible in the wild to discharge a “Non-drop-safe version”)
Also carry the gun how it was meant to be carried. The most egregious is to carry a M1911 in Condition 2. A half-cock notch is safer, but really a 1911 is meant to be carried cocked-and-locked, or the less-desirable condition 3 with an empty chamber.
Get a good holster! Even a hi-point can run close to $100 used, don’t buy the cheapest holster out there! Even a cheap gun is worth it. Also preferably buy a holster for THAT gun. If not buy one with some form of manual retention. You should be able to jump up and down, stand up, sit down, and run without your gun falling out of your holster.
Last Rule #5! never catch a dropped gun. The most drop-safe gun is immune from negligent discharge if you grab it by the trigger. A falling gun you’re going to grab it wherever you can in whatever orientation its in. This can be deadly, so let it bounce.
Be safe out there, and carry your gun safely!
The only dangerous thing about carrying a 1911 in condition 2 is getting it into that condition. You have to decock the loaded gun manually which can be hair raising especially if you don’t have a good backstop handy.
Once the hammer is down, the 1911 has an inertial firing pin and is essentially drop safe. A long fall onto the muzzle might get it to fire, but it would do the same in condition 1. A blow to the hammer in condition 2 will impart it’s energy on the slide not the firing pin.
If the hammer is resting directly on the firing pin, and your 1911 does not have a firing pin block like the trigger-activated “Series 80” system, or the Schwartz System that works off the grip safety, it can indeed transfer energy to the firing pin and potentially pop a primer. Of course if your hammer is on the half-cock notch, or you DO have a pin-block of some sort its OK.
Still if you feel the need to carry a gun in “Condition 2”, maybe a 1911 isn’t a good fit for you.
Condition 2 is also bad because the 1911 is single action.
As you said, maybe that’s not the right gun for you.
Condition 1 or 3 (and even that has the problem of needing two hands free).
I carry mine cocked and locked.
Yep, cocked-and-locked here. My HD 1911 is kept condition 3, but that’s because its off my body.
If you want to carry a single-stack .45 with the hammer down on a loaded pipe, they make this cool thing called a SIG P220…..
Nope. The hammer has already compressed the firing pin spring such that the pin is sitting flush with the slide. It rests on the firing pin and the the back of the slide at the same time. Striking the hammer at this point will only put energy into the slide because the steel of the slide is much stiffer than the firing pin spring. The firing pin is not long enough to reach the primer on the round in the chamber and the firing pin spring will keep it that way.
The entire point of the inertial firing pin design in the 1911 was so that it was drop safe with a round in the chamber unlike the SAA which was not.
There are a few stories that say otherwise….
Also the M1911 in its original configuration is NOT drop-safe as if it is dropped directly on its muzzle from a significant height it could discharge….however unlikely all those things might happen at once…
Yes but it isn’t drop safe on the muzzle cocked and locked either. The reason it will fire on a muzzle strike is because the fall has put enough inertia on the firing pin for it to go off on it’s own.
It’s possible that you can get the gun to fire with a fall on the hammer, but it’s hard and unusual because the entire firing pin design is exists to mitigate it.
Pingback: EMP14 – 1911 Carry | Empty Mags Podcast