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rooster 07-13-2007 06:03 PM

safe and sound
my colt commander has three safetys i know how the grip and slide safetys work but i dont understand how to use the half cocked safety. its probly real obvious.

Kenno 07-14-2007 02:12 AM

Back in the 1970's the US Army did a test comparing the the 1911 on half cock to a S&W. They droped both from 10 feet so that they would hit the hammer ( half cocked) on concrete. The 1911 failed most often. That is an unfair test. The half cock position is probably the 2nd most un-safe position for the hammer. Full cocked and locked, with Safety ON is the safest as the hammer is lifted away from the sear and locked away from the trigger. In that position the hammer must shear through the safety lug to fall on the firing pin which then hits the primer. Of course you should always use the safest method of carry, and avoid striking the hammer at all costs. Safety comes first
PS Your 1911 has 5 safety features, learn them all!

Kenno 07-14-2007 03:30 AM

OK I'll go a bit further into history. The 1911 was designed to be a cavalry pistol, hence its 45 caliber so that it could kill an enemy's horse. Because it was a cavalry weapon it had to be used with one hand. If you look at the older WW2 1911 holsters you will see a shaped leather covered wooden plug inside the holster. This wooden plug was not to hold the pistol in a particular attitude it was to aid a horseman, after he had replaced an empty magazine, to cylce the slide of the 1911 and load the next round into the chamber with one hand, and thus continue to fire. Unfortunately this system failed in combat, but of course, the holsters were made the same way for the next 70 years. This is why the 1911, just like the old Colt 45 SAA, had a 'half cock', a safety catch, to prevent Troopers from shooting thier leg off in the heat of combat as they cycled the weapon's slide. The half cock was an important safety feature, very cutting edge in the 19th century. Not so important now. The half cock is like a apendex or a parachute, only important when it is needed or things go badly wrong. Unless you are on horseback facing a bunch of angry Mexicans or Apaches, you do not need it, but you are stuck with it!
You own a handgun that has survived 97 years because it is THAT GOOD.
Perhaps beause it was designed to fight from horseback by John Moses Browning, America's greatest weapons designer, I'll say it again, America's greatest weapons designer. It is still the king of handgun combat today. Any man that has a 1911 is well armed. The half-cock feature should never be relied upon. Full cock with saftey on is the way to go and the way it was intended to work as a military weapon of war . Jhon Moses was no man's fool.

LuniticFringeInc 07-14-2007 09:24 AM


You own a handgun that has survived 97 years because it is THAT GOOD.
Yes indeed there is a lot to be said about a fire arm design that has survived that long and is still quiet the standard despite todays modern and innovative desings.

I wasnt much of a "1911 Commando" in the past, but stumbled into a pristine 1972 manufactured Colt Series 70 for 300.00 about 10 years ago and liked it so much it replaced my "Wonder 9" on my "Wonder Woman Belt" (duty belt) and the more I use it the more respect I have for the design. Its a great gun, hang on to it and use it in confindence!

rooster 07-14-2007 04:23 PM

thanks for the info guys

Ammo 07-15-2007 12:33 AM

It pays to ALWAYS check any safety features, on a firearm, especially a new one or one you haven't used before.
I prefer to do this with the firearm unloaded, and not pointed at anyone/anything you like or would not want to destroy.:D
A case in point; My younger son was sent a high end brand new 1911A1 .45ACP, by the manufacturer, for him to test and do an article on.
Retail price is between $1100.00 and 1200.00, I believe. Not their top model, but up there.
He opens the box, takes the owners manual out, to study and told me to "take a look, you'll like it". I did..and I did.
I dropped the magazine, locked the slide back, checked the chamber, looked down the muzzle, pulled the slide back and released it. So far so good.
Cocked the hammer, checked the muzzle/out of battery, engaged the thumb safety, pulled the trigger.. Released the thumb safety. All worked fine.
Then w/the hammer still cocked, I pulled the trigger without depressing the grip safety and all was not fine. The hammer fell. I tried it 3 more times with the same results.
Son calls factory and they could not believe it. Anyway he sent it back and they are sending him another to test.
This was on one of the finest 1911A1's, on the market today and one of the few I would fell confident in taking right out of the box and defending myself with, if necessary.
Actually, my son carries this same brand and similar model, on duty, daily, and has fired thousands of rounds through it, with no problems.
I guess the lesson, if any, is that a firearm is a mechanical device, made and assembled by humans, and can/will malfunction at some point.

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