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

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    Safety engaged pretty much any time the rifle is not actually being fired.
    How hard was it to make AR safety manipulations a habit?

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  2. #52
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Thumb safety pros/cons (side conversation moved from 320 lawsuit thread)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    How hard was it to make AR safety manipulations a habit?

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    Get yelled at enough and it’s fairly easy, I guess? Somehow my brain knows to use a rifle safety but knows not to on a pistol.

    I think this is a good thing to do in dryfire, while drilling a good index when mounting the rifle.
    Last edited by Clusterfrack; 03-01-2021 at 01:21 PM.
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJM View Post
    The irony of a thumb safety is it benefits skilled shooters more. While less skilled shooters might be able to benefit more from a thumb safety, they are far more likely to screw up use of a safety, making there firearm (temporarily) inert.

    I also find the design of the thumb safety and the type firearm it is on is important. I have no issue with a thumb safety on a 1911 or AR. For my use, I would just as soon remove the thumb safety from my defensive field shotguns. Where I find a thumb safety can be a real gotcha, is when it is poorly designed or on a firearm that comes with or without a thumb safety. As in darn, I have my FS today not a G, or I have the Shield with that little tab referred to by S&W as a thumb safety today.
    As you have pointed out safeties also matter on shotguns. They need to be in a location where they can be easily taken off, like on the top of the tang. Those safeties in the trigger guard like the 870 are almost unusable. I used to shoot a lot of trap and just about every outing I would see someone using a field gun to shoot clays. The safety is a problem here because even experienced shooters forget to take the safety off. Most serious target shooters disable their safeties for that reason. Some shotguns (O/U's) engage the safety when the breech is closed so you have to deal with it unless you know how to disable it or can find someone to do it.

    I would never hunt without a safety but I know many people who shoot clays without one. The Browning BT99/100 has no safety. The reason is target shooters would rather concentrate on something else in that environment. I feel the same way about my carry.
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  4. #54
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalDep View Post
    I bet if you learn the correct technique, the safety will be off before the gun is out of the holster, and with the right holster the safety will be off before your grip is even complete. In fact, the position of the thumb when properly actuating the SLS assists with disengaging the Beretta safety during the draw - even with SLS holsters that prevent access to the safety when the pistol is holstered. The fact you can manipulate the SLS tells me you can naturally manipulate a Beretta safety.
    I think if you read my previous post, most of what you're trying to say here has already been addressed.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    For those of you who don’t go off safety during the draw: is your grip fully formed with safety off, or do you have to adjust grip tension after safety off?
    If I am drawing to fire as opposed to a low ready position, I disengage the safety while extending to the target prior to firing.

    As for the draw, when I attain my grip on the pistol my thumb actually goes to a consistent and repeatable index point on the forward inside ridge of the holster mouth. At that point I have a pretty firm grip on the gun with my shooting hand even though my thumb isn't touching it yet. Then my thumb moves into position over the safety as the gun is drawn. I have full tension in both hands about the same time as I flick the safety off, maybe a split second after. It sort of all happens naturally but that is more or less the order of things when I do it.

  7. #57
    I heard a story once of a guy during a robbery who was able to hide his draw (leather holster) but believes he alerted the bad guy when he disengaged the safety. Drove the guy off but got into shot in the ensuing gunfight instead of having a defensive shooting. Admittedly this is a low probability scenario given the use of kydex holsters, but wondering how much louder slowly drawing from a kydex holster is vs leather vs disengaging a safety.

  8. #58
    I have to agree with those who expressed the thinking that a manual safety is just fine, as long as the operator is trained to use it (and that usage has become ingrained). I will limit this to 1911s, as I have zero experience with Beretta safeties/decockers.

    It wasn't, or at least I didn't see mention of it, until the mid-40s/early-50s posts of @GJM and @Tokarev, that manual safeties on ARs and shotguns don't appear to create the same level of concern.

    I'm not the sharpest tack in the box, but given enough instruction and range repetition, I'd find it hard to believe anyone who's halfway trying can't learn to not safety-off a 1911 until the muzzle is downrange, on target and/or a decision to fire is made (which of those applies depends of course upon whether on a range, real life, situation, etc). Similarly, to safety-on when the threat is over, the gun is about to come off target, the shooter is about to move (same caveats).

    On those same lines, am I sensing the idea that the 1911 is somehow more dangerous than a striker-fired pistol? That a 4-lb, short take up 1911 trigger is THAT much more dangerous than a 5-6-lb scratchy, longer-pull striker trigger, or a striker fired pistol with a "better" trigger that is in fact not a lot different than a 1911 trigger?

    I can go to the range with a stock striker or LEM trigger, shoot it a while, and switch to a "nice" 1911 trigger. Can I have an oops - - - didn't mean to fire quite that soon - - - release (ND)? Sure. Will I do it if I've exclusively shot that 1911 trigger for a while. Don't think so; can't recall doing so.

    Checked about half a dozen 1911s to see if pushing down on hammer could move the grip safety enough to allow the trigger to release. None of mine moved the grip safety at all. Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

    Enough meandering. I'm on the side of a manual safety is a good idea, as long as the shooter has spent the time to learn the system. Same as learning to use the SCD, M4 safety, decocker, etc.

  9. #59
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrodr View Post
    ...manual safeties on ARs and shotguns don't appear to create the same level of concern.
    I find them very concerning. I don't think there is a reasonable alternative to a thumb safety in an AR. That doesn't mean it's not problematic in the same ways as for handguns.

    @BehindBlueI's has solid data showing an alarming correlation between safety misuse and losing self-defense encounters. I doubt comparable data exist for defensive use of long guns. However, I've observed numerous cases of people in classes and matches failing to take off or put on their AR safeties when needed. This happens more in newer shooters and less often (but not never) in squared away operators and competitors.

    Often it happens under pressure when unexpected things happen. I've seen it happen in a class where a guy got stung by an insect.
    Last edited by Clusterfrack; 03-01-2021 at 04:14 PM.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  10. #60
    IS WHAT PLANTS CRAVE BehindBlueI's's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    I find them very concerning. I don't think there is a reasonable alternative to a thumb safety in an AR. That doesn't mean it's not problematic in the same ways as for handguns.

    @BehindBlueI's has solid data showing an alarming correlation between safety misuse and losing self-defense encounters. I doubt comparable data exist for defensive use of long guns. However, I've observed numerous cases of people in classes and matches failing to take off or put on their AR safeties when needed. This happens more in newer shooters and less often (but not never) in squared away operators and competitors.

    Usually it happens under pressure when unexpected things happen. I've seen it happen in a class where a guy got stung by an insect.
    I'm not at a real keyboard, but short version is it has been less of an issue with shotguns and a non issue with the AR. Reasoning later.
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