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Thread: Thumb safety pros/cons (side conversation moved from 320 lawsuit thread)

  1. #1

    Thumb safety pros/cons (side conversation moved from 320 lawsuit thread)

    (SIDE DISCUSSION MADE INTO IT'S OWN THREAD - MODERATOR)

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    I do not know for a fact that, in the heat of the moment, with an thumb on the back of the SCD that I will notice the "something's wrong here" message of the SCD, but I like the layer of opportunity to avoid an ND.

    Seems much of this stuff could be--at least partially--solved by the dedicated use of a manual safety. Something ergonomically positioned so as to make sweeping it on and off natural and second nature.

    Speaking of safeties; I do find it interesting that some people say a safety on a handgun is unnecessary or even a bad thing. It seems they think the chances of fumbling or missing the safety are too great to justify the benefit. Anything is possible, certainly, but I think a good usable safety on a handgun is probably a good thing.

    When I attended a Gabe White shooting class 18 months ago or whatever, he stressed that we holster slowly and deliberately. The idea being that we'd have time to notice something wrong and stop to fix it as opposed to just drawing in reverse. This is a good idea and fine depending on the situation/scenario. It is probably the best practice for civilian and LEO alike although a cop probably needs to train reholstering at speed as well whether some type of SCD is used or not.

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    Last edited by BehindBlueI's; 03-01-2021 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    Speaking of safeties; I do find it interesting that some people say a safety on a handgun is unnecessary or even a bad thing. It seems they think the chances of fumbling or missing the safety are too great to justify the benefit. Anything is possible, certainly, but I think a good usable safety on a handgun is probably a good thing.
    Get your thumb broken early in a struggle and you may change your mind. I've seen a few folks who lost due to not getting the safety off, especially when entangled. The SCD works the opposite of a safety. A safety you have to manipulate to fire. The SCD you have to manipulate to not fire. The default being on 'fire' can be invaluable if you are injured, being jerked around by an opponent(s), have a compromised grip, etc.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    Get your thumb broken early in a struggle and you may change your mind. I've seen a few folks who lost due to not getting the safety off, especially when entangled. The SCD works the opposite of a safety. A safety you have to manipulate to fire. The SCD you have to manipulate to not fire. The default being on 'fire' can be invaluable if you are injured, being jerked around by an opponent(s), have a compromised grip, etc.
    Sure. Anything is possible, as I said. Nothing in life is foolproof. And there are ways of manipulating the safety with the non-gun hand, sweeping it off with the trigger finger or even against the gunbelt or holster in an emergency.

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    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    Sure. Anything is possible, as I said. Nothing in life is foolproof. And there are ways of manipulating the safety with the non-gun hand, sweeping it off with the trigger finger or even against the gunbelt or holster in an emergency.

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    Of course. But it creates a single point of failure, fail and the gun won't go off when you need it to. With the SCD if you fail to use it properly, the gun still goes off when you want it to. If you fail to use it on a holstering (just like if you fail to re-safe the gun), you still have to have the other factors of an unintended discharge, so it requires two levels of failure.

    Everyone is free to figure which appeals to them, but I won't carry a manual safety or grip safety equipped handgun.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  5. #5
    Asked another way; how many cops have shot themselves while drawing or reholstering vs how many have been injured or killed because they couldn't deactivate a safety?

    Will anyone be terribly surprised if it turns out the fellow in the lawsuit above shot himself? I'm not saying he did or didn't. But stuff like this happens.

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    Get your thumb broken early in a struggle and you may change your mind. I've seen a few folks who lost due to not getting the safety off, especially when entangled.
    Can you share what happened in such instances?

    There is also the secondary idea of safeties potentially stumping (even if momentarily) a criminal if they take a gun away from a cop. I understand you think the juice isn't worth the squeeze there, but would love it if you elaborated with that context in mind balancing why it could be a bad/good idea to have a thumb safety.
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    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce View Post
    Can you share what happened in such instances?

    There is also the secondary idea of safeties potentially stumping (even if momentarily) a criminal if they take a gun away from a cop. I understand you think the juice isn't worth the squeeze there, but would love it if you elaborated with that context in mind balancing why it could be a bad/good idea to have a thumb safety.
    They tended to lose. Few things are a better predictor of losing a gun fight then presenting a non-functional firearm. You've escalated but with no ability to follow through. Lost meant things like getting shot, getting disarmed and raped, getting stabbed and battered, that sort of thing.

    The thumb thing was me. Luckily it did not go to guns. I've told the story here elsewhere, but suffice it to say if I'd been alone the story may have been different and was a close thing anyway. He was big and lethally high.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    Asked another way; how many cops have shot themselves while drawing or reholstering vs how many have been injured or killed because they couldn't deactivate a safety?
    @Mas used to track that, and I think he knew of one documented case where an officer died because he or she didnít get the safety off.

    I had a guy try to get my gun (1911) away from me several years ago, and I remember thinking during the incident that if he was able to get it out of the holster, the safety would buy me enough time to get my BUG.

  9. #9
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    Asked another way; how many cops have shot themselves while drawing or reholstering vs how many have been injured or killed because they couldn't deactivate a safety?

    Will anyone be terribly surprised if it turns out the fellow in the lawsuit above shot himself? I'm not saying he did or didn't. But stuff like this happens.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    If you looked at the history of US policing as total man-hours with a given pistol I think you'd find the amount spent with manual safety equipped guns to be a rounding error away from zero. Some 1911s for some people in some departments, the odd BHP back in the day, some brief flirting with Beretta TDAs. Revolvers, TDAs, TDAs converted to DAOs sans safeties, and striker fired sans safety make up the lion's share of what cops have carried. So I don't know of any cops who couldn't get the safety off because I don't know any cops who needed to fire a safety equipped handgun. I've seen guys on the range pull the dead trigger of an 870, though, because they thought the safety was off. For widespread institutional use by shooters with widely ranging abilities and dedication levels there's no way I'd issue anything with a thumb safety.

    Having seen the investigation of a gun that discharged in the holster, as long as the employer properly investigated the claim I would be surprised. We had an in holster discharge that resulted in a relatively minor injury. It was witnessed, on video, and was still investigated by Homicide and the gun and holster processed by Crime Lab. In our case, a foreign object (another officer's long handcuff key, I believe) slipped into the holster where it was oversized at the mouth to allow the WML to enter as the officers sat down in very close proximity. When they attempted to stand up, not knowing their equipment was tangled, the foreign object pulled the trigger.

    I also know of an unintended discharge of a holstered revolver that injured a police car, but that's a story for another day and in circumstances that would likely not be relevant to anyone using modern designs of guns and holsters and who was not shaped like the Michelin Man.
    Important rule change regarding political discussion here: https://pistol-forum.com/showthread....58#post1151858

    Quote Originally Posted by UNM1136 View Post
    Maybe with talented students I would lube up with baby oil and then go at it.

  10. #10
    10.3" Master Race TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BehindBlueI's View Post
    The thumb thing was me. Luckily it did not go to guns. I've told the story here elsewhere, but suffice it to say if I'd been alone the story may have been different and was a close thing anyway. He was big and lethally high.
    Thank god you weren't alone. I know it's riskier when there's a bunch of men involved compared to just one, but when there's just one it's just you and him in the alley behind the Blue Oyster...much easier to be taken advantage of, especially with how you like to choose the big ones.

    Last edited by TGS; 02-28-2021 at 09:02 AM.
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