By Robert Farago via The Truth About Guns
I used to be dead set against carrying a 1911. Aside from the firearm’s featherlight trigger, I believed that the 1911’s frame-mounted safety was a step too far. I worried that I’d fail to disengage the safety during a defensive gun use. It was just one more thing to “think” about at a time when thinking is about as easy as getting a date with January Jones.
When I saw how much more accurate I am shooting a 1911 than a polymer pistol I changed my mind. I thought about the importance of accuracy during the most likely defensive gun use: a confrontation in an urban environment, with innocents nearby. But I still worried about the safety.
So I did the right thing: I practiced. A lot. Still do. But one day I noticed something unsettling: when I withdrew my firearm to put the gun away, store it in my car or answer the call of nature, I didn’t disengage the safety. Simply put, I was training myself not to disengage the safety. So . . .
Whenever I remove my Wilson from my holster, I switch the safety off. And then, after a suitable pause (so I don’t train myself to switch the external safety on and immediately off), I click it back on. That’s it. That’s the simple trick that makes carrying a 1911 safer.
B-b-b-but doesn’t that make the gun MORE dangerous?
For you, maybe. For me, no. I always follow the two most important safety rules when handling any firearm. I always keep it pointed in a safe direction and I always keep my finger off the trigger until I’m ready to shoot. I have faith in my ability to follow these rules. So I’m not worried about triggering a negligent discharge when I unholster my firearm in a non-emergency situation.
I know: sh*t happens. Distractions. Senior moments. But I’ve got two safety rules working for me and, again, we’re not talking about unholstering my firearm during an adrenaline dump. If I am taking out my gun during a threat of grievous bodily harm or death, I know I’m going to switch off the safety (placing my thumb on top of the lever). Which eliminates a potentially deadly mistake.
A 1911 is an expert’s handgun. When the safety’s off, touch that trigger and the gun will fire. But I view not switching off the 1911’s external safety in a defensive gun use as the greater risk. Am I wrong?