Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cocked and Locked

Since we seem to be off the cowboy stuff for now, I thought I'd continue with the 1911 lovefest by talking about the only carry mode that you should ever consider carrying a 1911, that is cocked and locked.
Flickr Photo
What's that you say, well, since the 1911 is a single action semi-auto pistol, the hammer has to be manually or mechanically cocked before it will fire. There is no double-action mechanism to do this, the slide or operator has to cock the hammer. To maintain a firearm that is "ready" the hammer has to be cocked, to maintain safety, the thumb safety has to be "on". Hence, cocked and locked.

I'll be the first to admit that this carry mode intimidated me at first. After carrying my SW99 double-single action semi-auto for a few years, I was hesitant about having a piece strapped to me that had that hammer cocked back like that. After consistently wearing it for a mere couple of months now, I'm totally over it. I have no hesitation about carrying my 1911 cocked and locked, it just doesn't faze me anymore and the more you hear about "Glock leg" the more you realize that it isn't the gun that is inheritently dangerous, its the person carrying it. The only safety in reality is between your ears.

Some folks say that you can carry the 1911 in other ways to make it "more safe". One such is to carry it hammer down on an empty chamber. That means you'd have to rack the slide after drawing it to chamber a round and cock the hammer. That certainly sounds safe for any attacker! The other mode is to carry the hammer down on a loaded chamber. This would require you to cock the hammer manually, even slower than empty chamber carry and also that the hammer is in contact with the firing pin. Great idea! Neither of these two modes are recommended by anyone with a brain so don't do it. Carry the gun as designed or get a Glock!

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