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Old 02-10-2017, 09:27 AM
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Default Why do you need a safety?

For those of you who carry open or concel and that have a model with a safety why did you choose it with a safety? Don't want to know why others should have a safety just why you feel you need one?
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:43 AM
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My first two carry pistols had safeties, but as I learned more about firearms and my own abilities, I changed my carry to non-safety.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:49 AM
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I have a Shield 9mm with thumb safety. At the time, it was not available without the safety. I am glad it has a thumb safety. I have the option of using it or not using it. I have practiced draw and shoot so many times that it has become automatic to sweep off the safety when I draw.

Yes, if I had the choice now, I would choose the model with the thumb safety again. I carry IWB with a round chambered and it's just an added margin of safety against a ND when re-holstering.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:49 AM
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My Shield has a safety but I wish it did not and I always leave it off. I got it because it was on sale and available.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:03 AM
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When I bought my Shield the no safety model wasn't available. It was my first semi auto and I figured I would get used to it but I couldn't. I know I would forget it in a crisis so now when I arm up I always check that the Shield is ready to use with the safety off. I have not purchased a firearm since with a safety.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:07 AM
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I used to carry with a safety and grew up using them--all of them, as on a 1911 with a grip safety as well as the lever. If one safety is useful, why not add another? Or two? Or three? At what point do you NOT need another safety?

I had a wonderful Browning Hi Power with a short, light, single stage trigger. I needed the safety on that gun because I carried it.

Eventually I transitioned my carry guns to Double Action Only triggers and went without a safety--like a revolver. But I kept lightening and shortening those trigger strokes to make them quicker and more accurate. Those triggers were no longer really a "safety", yet I never had an accidental or negligent discharge. I realized relying on a mechanical device for safety in concealed carry, with a good form fitting holster protecting the gun and trigger and modern design was unnecessary.

With a two stage trigger on a modern striker fired pistol, I realized the gun would not go off accidentally, only if the trigger safety was deactivated AND the trigger was pulled. That has been enough for me.

I do not want another unnecessary mechanical device on my self defense pistol that could interfere with the trigger action, break, unexpectedly stop me from shooting, or require additional steps to manipulate. For me, having a safety means a loss of confidence in the gun rather than an increase in safety.

As I am sure will be said, my brain and its training are my safeties, and step #1 is to keep your booger hooker off the trigger until it's time to shoot. Then shoot.

If you aren't yet confident in your training and discipline to be able to do that, or you carry in ways (like cheap holsters, or no holster) that do not fully protect the trigger, don't use a safety--use multiple safeties. Buy an Xd.

Last edited by CB3; 02-10-2017 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:12 AM
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I'm accustomed to thumb safeties on semi-auto pistols after decades of having them on pistols. Flicking my thumb down over a safety is as natural a movement to me as pulling the trigger.

I carried a Glock 30S concealed for almost a year. Even after that time, having it holstered with one in the chamber but no thumb safety still made me a bit antsy.

So when I bought a Shield .45, I bought one with the manual safety. It's now my carry pistol.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:17 AM
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Personal preference I carry IWB and pocket I'am more comfortable with that I know all the opinions and its still MY personal preference. I want manual safety on all my carry semi autos.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:19 AM
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"Need" may be too strong of a word but I do enjoy having the option. I never carry my shield with the safety on, but as Bozz10mm said, it's nice to have for safe re-holstering or certain other situations.
Also, I can pocket carry my bodyguard 380 without a holster (safety on) if I choose. It lets me have less bulk in my pocket, which is important with some of my pants due to pocket size, but still have the gun in a safe state for carry.

As we have been known to say on this forum -"It's better to have a gun and not need it than to need one and not have it". Same applies to safeties IMO.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:21 AM
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So many stories of LE unintentionally discharging their new Glocks when the trigger got stuck on something. Often happened in the car. Of course, the Glock I carry doesn't have a safety either. I use a tiny holster/trigger cover on mine. Same as a safety. Who knows what might happen in your back pocket.
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:21 AM
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Quite frankly, I hope I don't have to muddle through another 50 pages of "the safety's between my ears", or something along the lines of "get more training, if you feel you need a safety".....

Some of my semi's have safety's and some don't. I don't really care. Perhaps there is an additional bit of training involved, to enable one to use a safety.

Just my own thoughts on the subject...
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:37 AM
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After 20 years of not owning a handgun, I felt having a manual safety was prudent until I have been carrying/handling/shooting again long enough to be sure of my capabilities.
Both my 9mm Shield and 9mm FS 2.0 have safeties, however I can see the day coming soon where I remove the safety from the 2.0.

Last edited by bblhd672; 02-10-2017 at 10:37 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 02-10-2017, 10:54 AM
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I buy every pistol I can with a safety. I do not use them when carrying, but if I need to disable the firing mechanism it is there.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:08 AM
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Like Irmnut said, its all about personal preference. I have carried with safety and without. I bought a shield and it was my first striker fired pistol. I got it with the safety because I feel more comfortable with it, and and can choose if I use it or not, but always use it, FOR ME, the inconvenience of the mili seconds that takes to remove the safety (since eventually the muscle memory does it by itself) is not bigger than the ease that provides having it while I re-holster and un-holster.
For some people it is bigger so they chose not to get the safety, and that is 100% okay.
Honestly the gun in a good holster, having a safety or not, its not going to go off since you need to pull the trigger. And the chance of a negligent discharge while holstering its really slim, specially if you are careful.
It all comes down to what you feel is right, and what makes you feel comfortable.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:10 AM
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All my carry are 3rd gen double action with safety. I carry chambered with safety on, it's a non issue flicking the safety as I draw the weapon. It's just peace of mind for me.
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:11 AM
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I'm in the did, but don't anymore category.
A Shield .40 was my first carry gun 3 years ago. At that time, I felt the need for a safety just for a little extra piece of mind.
Since then I have become more comfortable with pistols in general, carrying, and my abilities.
I've now been carrying a Glock G27 for about a year now without worrying about it not having a safety, feeling comfortable, but taking nothing for granted. That's how accidents happen.
Have fun and be safe.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:22 PM
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My revolvers have no safety. My S&W M&P Shield 9mm Laserguard does have a safety and like it. I practice putting the safety on and off during range time and as another poster stated it all happens very quickly when drawing the weapon.

To tell you the truth when I'm ready for another pistol I will make sure it has a safety as well.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:40 PM
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External Hammer Fire Semi-Autos kept Cocked & Locked (1911 etc) NEED an external Safety. I don't feel that Striker Fire pistols NEED them, as there are multiple internal safeties built in. I've often felt that some manufacturers added external safeties to their Striker Fire pistols in order to be sold in 'Nanny States', or to meet requirements of some LE Agencies.

The NTS model wasn't available when I bought my Shield in May '12 and it's the only Striker Fire pistol I own that has a Safety. I leave it in the 'Off' position and it's never unintentionally gotten bumped to the 'On' position in my pocket holster. If it had, I'd have traded it for a NTS model.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by amcline82 View Post
For those of you who carry open or concel (sic) and that have a model with a safety why did you choose it with a safety? Don't want to know why others should have a safety just why you feel you need one?
Why? Really? Because people aren’t perfect — That’s why! Mistakes do happen, and sometimes even the best of gunmen can become either: careless, distracted, or forgetful. Such waning personal ability comes with age, too. However, ‘good’ someone is with a gun, today, he absolutely positively will NOT still be (if, of course, he continues breathing) in, say, another 20 or 30 years from right now; or, who knows, perhaps in even less time!

Me? I’ve been shooting and handling guns for more than 50 years, now. In all that time, though, I’ve never been slowed down by the existence of a discretionary user-applied safety on any gun I’ve ever used; and I KNOW that there have been times when a gun’s safety (other than a silly uncomfortable lever on a trigger’s face) has prevented some sort of handling mistake from taking place.

Needless to say I do NOT consider the argument that a gun safety is an impediment which a shooter has to learn how to work around to be a valid criticism. Like most things in life there are also a lot of screwy ideas on internet gun forums; and, as machismo and alluring as it might appear, THIS ill-informed idea is, in my considered opinion, one of them.

I’ve lived and worked with men who were in every sense of the expression, ‘blooded’ protagonists and very good with guns. In more than 50 year’s time, I never heard so much as one of them refer to a pistol safety as being anything even close to a user-impediment that a gunman has to learn how to work around — Not one, myself included!

This sort of pseudo-technical gun palaver is much too frequently all over the internet; and, then, it’s most often posted by, ‘cyberspace heroes’ along with other IGF wannabes who’ve never, ‘been there or done that’ when things were unexpected, up close and personal, and ‘one on one’ at anytime — anytime — in their entire lives!

Sadly, however, THIS is what so very many young, ‘budding IGF pistoleros’ are being led to accept as being valid and useful information. (Which it’s NOT!) If a pistolero is properly trained, and regularly practice then, believe me, a discretionary safety on his pistol won’t slow him down or impede his survival in any way.

A lack of personal awareness might; uncontrolled emotional fear might, or mental (politically correct) hesitancy might; but, the proper (instinctive) manipulation of a user-applied gun safety will not; nor, has it ever in any real life firearm self-defense scenario with which I am familiar. (Fortunately for the rest of us the Fredo Corleone’s of this world are always unfamiliar with how their weapons really work, and unpracticed to the point of being inept!)

THAT sort of pseudo-technical nonsense only appears on internet gun forums; and with the ever increasing popularity of striker-fired plastic pistols the myth that handguns don’t need a REAL SAFETY on them has only continued to grow, and grow, and grow; but, that doesn’t mean it’s true — Only that it’s popularly believed!

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Old 02-10-2017, 04:08 PM
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I like external safeties on pocket guns as it makes me feel safer carrying without a holster in a pocket or using a Clipdraw/Techna clip. A safety gives no exception from securing your firearms but it also makes me feel slightly better knowing that there's also an extra step to keep a curious child from having an accident.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:10 PM
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...if you're an old 1911 guy...it's hard to go "Cocked and Locked" without one...
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:31 PM
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Almost all of my semi-auto CC guns have a safety, the only exception is a little TCP that I got for deep concealment.

I don't use the safety on the ones that are DAO. Those that are SA don't get carried much, but when they do, they are "cocked and locked". I want them to be as ready for the quickest possible use, but am not comfortable with having the shorter, lighter trigger pull of a SA in a holster without the safety on. If I carry a SA pistol with one in the chamber and the hammer down, then I don't use the safety - because I feel it would be redundant. The longer, heavier trigger pull of a DAO provides a large enough measure of ND prevention to not need to use the safety IMO.

There have been too many instances of people having an ND due to getting something in the trigger guard during re-holstering, etc. It even happens to cops and military and others who are far more experienced gun handlers than me. I recognize that I am not perfect, and even training and muscle memory only goes so far when there are multiple distractions or in the aftermath of an adrenaline dump. For me a short, light SA trigger seems like it could too easily lead to an ND. At least IMO. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:36 PM
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I chamber a round in my 539 then drop the hammer and then flick the safety lever up into DA mode. Hope I never have to use it but if I do I want to be able to pull it out and squeeze without having to disengage the safety.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:36 PM
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I'm a 1911 guy.

Thumb safety is just part of the manual of arms for me operating a pistol.

I don't carry striker fired pistols although I own some.

Folks that use non safety pistols often don't have the training to safely operate them.

Their apparent simplicity creates an illusion of safety.
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Old 02-10-2017, 05:55 PM
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I don't own guns with manual safety levers, however I do install NY triggers on all my Glocks, which I view as essentially being a safety. The same with my DAO revolvers with their long, heavy trigger pulls.

The reason for any safety is its namesake... safety. Preventing unintentional discharges. No one is perfect, we all can make mistakes. Any possible tactical advantages are relatively far fetched outside of law enforcement and even then the cons outweigh the pros as far as I'm concerned.

The reason I prefer a heavier trigger rather than a lever however is that I do believe a manual safety lever could potentially interfere with my ability to respond no matter the depth of training. Numerous instructors have reported seeing even very seasoned shooters fail to get the safety disengaged on their 1911's in Force on Force training. I have seen it as well, primarily with little pocket pistols with small safeties during ECQ FOF. It can often be difficult enough to effectively access a weapon from a pocket when engaged in a contact scenario, let alone positively get that tiny safety disengaged.

Thinking you can simply be proactive and rely on situational awareness is not an effective strategy IMO. The possibility of having to respond in a reactive close-quarter defense situation remains a realistic possibility no matter how alert or aware you happen to be. Understanding counter-ambush methods are extremely important. I'm sure many think the safety will pose no issues at all in these of encounters, and it very well may not, but relatively few have tested it thoroughly in reality-based training.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:08 PM
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I have four reasons:

1. It makes the gun generally safer to carry. (Imagine a person with modest experience carrying a M&P pistol with a four lbs trigger in an IWB).*

2. On S&W 3d Gen pistols that have safeties, the safety is mounted on the slide. In that location, it makes it easier to grip and operate the slide.

3. On S&W 3d Gen pistols that have safeties, the safety is also a decocker, which makes the gun safer during reinsertion into the holster. See "Glock Foot."

4. Having to operate the safety takes a very short period of time, but that brief additional time supports the task of gathering data on the threat, the situation, the backstop, etc.; and deciding whether to fire and what to shoot at -- the most under-rated but most important part of this concealed-carry self-defense thing.

*There are some specific scenarios where knowing how to operate a specific safety makes it hard for someone else to operate the gun. There are reported cases of police officers have benefited from bad guys not knowing how to unsafe the cop's pistol (the interweb indicates 10-20% of officers who get shot are shot with their own guns). There is also the recent case of the Mom who was shot in her car by her Shield, wielded by her two year old in the back seat -- a safety might have prevented that.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:22 PM
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The safety is not for me, it's for someone else who gets my gun and tries to shoot me with it! Numerous studies done by different PD's, law enforcement groups and such have pretty much proven that if your gun winds up in the bad guys hand it takes up to fifteen seconds for them to get it to fire, an eternity in that kind of dynamic. Time to get control, draw a back up or just scoot to cover or evasion and such.

Years of shooting IPSC with an 1911 makes disengaging the safety a automatic thing for me. I do carry at times a "point and pull" hand gun but I feel more comfortable with a safety equipped hand gun. That's why my M&P .45ACP is equipped with the safety. As always this is a personal choice thing.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:39 PM
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The probability of needing my CCW handgun for self defense is lower than the probability of an accidental or negligent discharge. This calculation also drives some old-timers to leave the first chamber empty in revolvers. An inadvertent trigger pull causes only a scary snap rather than an explosion in your pants. It also gives a second chance to the good guy who has his gun snatched away by a bad guy, even if a very short one. There's also the probability of having to draw and shoot very quickly without time to manipulate a safety. I'm sure it's happened, but I judge the probability of this event lower than having time to get the piece out and swipe off a safety. I would guess that the overwhelming majority of police shootings happen with handguns out for several seconds, not quick draw and shoot. Civilian self defense situations would of course differ, but still the probability of injury from unintended discharge outweighs any perceived speed advantage, at least for me. There is certainly little wrong with carrying a weapon without a safety as long as the owner knows what he's doing and accepts all the risks.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:46 PM
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Comparing law enforcement with civilian self-defense isn't valid IMO.
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Old 02-10-2017, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
Comparing law enforcement with civilian self-defense isn't valid IMO.
Why not? Actually, there would be many comparisons that wouldn't be the same. But for the sake of this discussion, why not?
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LAA View Post
Why not? Actually, there would be many comparisons that wouldn't be the same. But for the sake of this discussion, why not?
Proactive vs Reactive, Open carry vs Concealed carry, Pursue vs Flee, Intentionally engage vs Avoid, Arrest and control vs deter and de-escalate etc. etc. etc.

The directives are very different, making the dynamics very different and subsequently, often what tools are most effective different. My enclosed hammer snub is an extremely effective and suitable weapon for reactive civilian self-defense, but would be an absolutely horrible sidearm for military and police. Just the same as a police defensive tactics class is very different from a civilian reality-based martial art course.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:20 PM
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If I am not mistaken the Military specifications for the modular pistol contract that was just awarded to Sig required an external safety. (The new pistol will be striker fired. Beretta 92 has a safety/de-cocker, and the 1911A1 had a safety.

Accidents do happen and apparently the military feels that an external safety helps reduce the risk. Also the specs required that the pistol be broken down without having to pull the trigger.

I have a Shield with a safety. I take it off when I carry and otherwise it stays on.

I say whatever you train with and are comfortable with.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister X View Post
Proactive vs Reactive, Open carry vs Concealed carry, Pursue vs Flee, Intentionally engage vs Avoid, Arrest and control vs deter and de-escalate etc. etc. etc.

The directives are very different, making the dynamics very different and subsequently, often what tools are most effective different. My enclosed hammer snub is an extremely effective and suitable weapon for reactive civilian self-defense, but would be an absolutely horrible sidearm for military and police. Just the same as a police defensive tactics class is very different from a civilian reality-based martial art course.
Ok. But this is still a discussion of why or why not, in regards to safety's on a semi auto.
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Old 02-10-2017, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LAA View Post
Ok. But this is still a discussion of why or why not, in regards to safety's on a semi auto.
Regarding the proposed tactical adavantage of a safety buying you time in a disarm scenario...

If a civilian is engaged in a close-quarter struggle and has accessed the gun from concealment, the safety would be(or should be) disengaged, otherwise why is the gun even out. Therefore, in the event of an actual disarm, the manual safety is irrelevant since it is off.

LEO's open carry and must arrest and physically engage and restrain suspects, so they must be concerned with disarm attempts with the gun still in the holster which isn't really relevant to the armed civilian carrying concealed trying to avoid trouble.
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Old 02-11-2017, 12:51 AM
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I bought my Shield with a safety because I like having the two option's of either using it or not using it.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:32 AM
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To me the safety is a CYA device.

Litigating attorney (Or prosecuting atty): The shield line of firearms is available with a safety, Which yours doesn't have, Would this tragedy have been averted if the firearm had a safety on it?
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:37 AM
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Depending on which action the gun had and the condition that it is carried in, plus some other factors about safety among people that may not be as versed on the differences than you are safeties MAY be a good thing to have on a gun.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:42 AM
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Seems us old guy's like revolver's, no safety needed.
If it's a semi-auto BHP, 1911 it's condition 1.
A PPK , safety off.
I have some striker pistol's, but don't carry them.
That's just me. Don't trust them not putting a round in some part of me.
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Old 02-11-2017, 09:54 AM
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My bodyguard has a safety and my next handgun (probably a shield) will have a safety also. I like the extra security. When i am out and about i switch the safety off. When i am home the safety is on. I trained myself to draw and move safety off.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:38 AM
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Some pistols need a safety, some don't. I just kinda take 'em like they sell 'em and learn how to use 'em as they come. In the event the exact same pistol I wanted is offered with and without an external manual safety, I believe I would go without, but then again, I don't think I own one of those.
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ockgator View Post
To me the safety is a CYA device.

Litigating attorney (Or prosecuting atty): The shield line of firearms is available with a safety, Which yours doesn't have, Would this tragedy have been averted if the firearm had a safety on it?
Litigating attorney (Or prosecuting atty), after a well meaning bystander intervened in an armed robbery, displayed his pistol, which he could not fire because he forgot to deactivate the safety, and the display of the pistol caused the robber to fire indiscriminately: The shield line of firearms is available without a safety, Which yours has, Would this tragedy have been averted if the firearm had not had a safety on it?
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:45 AM
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I have Apex triggers (~4#) and thumb safeties in my Shields. If Glock made a thumb safety I would have it in my 19. A thumb safety is an added level of confidence that the weapon is not going to fire unintentionally. The little "safety lever" in the middle of the trigger is not really safe. Is a Glock 19 safer than a Sig P320 because of that little lever? And now the 320 is available with a thumb safety because our military wants it.

Just sayin...
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:57 AM
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My 1st safety is but my between ears, a good holster and finger off the trigger. Sometimes a safety can fail. I always carrying with one in the chamber. Some guns have add safeties like Springfield's XD and XDM lines. Both my Shields have safeties because I carrying appendix and I like to have a little more insurance in that area. It all comes down to your personal comfort level with firearms and training.
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Old 02-11-2017, 11:05 AM
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I prefer an active safety on a carry gun. I'm old and remember when all new guns had an active safety.

I've never heard a good argument for not having one. "Keeping your finger off the bang switch" is not a reason not to have a safety, that is just good firearm handling.

One more point to consider...every person who has ever had a negligent discharge, right up until that second, could honestly say they never had a negligent discharge.

We should be at least as concerned with gun handling other than a self defense situation as we are with self defense. Almost all of us will never have a self defense situation (thank goodness) and the few that do will still spend almost 100% of their gun handling other than that self defense situation.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by SmithNWesson View Post
My bodyguard has a safety and my next handgun (probably a shield) will have a safety also. I like the extra security. When i am out and about i switch the safety off. When i am home the safety is on. I trained myself to draw and move safety off.
My wife has a S&W Bodyguard 380 with a safety. When we purchased the gun both of us along with the sales person believed that a safety was an absolute necessity. At that time she was new when it came to shooting handguns

She is no longer new and has become a very good shooter at the range.

We know when its time for her or I to purchase another pistol both of us will purchase one with a manual safety.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Litigating attorney (Or prosecuting atty), after a well meaning bystander intervened in an armed robbery, displayed his pistol, which he could not fire because he forgot to deactivate the safety, and the display of the pistol caused the robber to fire indiscriminately: The shield line of firearms is available without a safety, Which yours has, Would this tragedy have been averted if the firearm had not had a safety on it?
I don't know if it would have been averted or not. This individual may not have had enough shooting experience and that's why he forgot to release the safety.

Had the safety been off how do you know he wouldn't have shot himself or an innocent bystander ?

I believe it all comes down to the individual that's carrying a concealed weapon. My advice to any gun owner is TRAIN, TRAIN and TRAIN SOME MORE.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:44 PM
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I don't know if it would have been averted or not. .
Agreed . . .
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:51 PM
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My son.
Other than that, my first carry gun was a p238. Cocked and locked. So since I am used to it on there it only makes sense to use my Shield the same way.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Muss Muggins View Post
Litigating attorney (Or prosecuting atty), after a well meaning bystander intervened in an armed robbery, displayed his pistol, which he could not fire because he forgot to deactivate the safety, and the display of the pistol caused the robber to fire indiscriminately: The shield line of firearms is available without a safety, Which yours has, Would this tragedy have been averted if the firearm had not had a safety on it?
Said no attorney ever, in any court, anywhere. LOL This would never be argued, or even be brought up. The simple fact is the attacker shot before the defender could even get the safety off of their weapon...fact...why he shot speculation.

And if anyone can't trust themselves enough to sweep the safety off...how the heck can they trust themselves not to discharge accidentally....and by anyone's numbers....accidental discharges, far outweigh, failed self defense because the defender forgot the safety. It's not a fair stat because so few ever use their gun in self defense...but it kind of makes a different point all at the same time.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:56 PM
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I carry with the safety off on this one since 1994. It's a great comfort to put my thumb on the hammer when re-holstering. Joe
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