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

  1. #11
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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
    For what it's worth, I've discussed this issue with some folks connected to the SOCP (Special Operations Combatives Program) world. They are adamantly against safeties on service handguns. In their experience, folks generally can't get the safety off when compromised in an entanglement. I'm sure @SouthNarc could chime in with his experience here, too.

    ETA: Forgot to mention...an Academy classmates dad is on our wall of fallen officers. Carried a 1911 off duty, confronted some robbers....and couldn't get the safety off. They mentioned his case during the Academy, which was awkward with his son sitting right there....

  2. #12
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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?
    I don't have statistics by any means, but the 2014 USS Mahan incident is a really well documented case of the latter: https://news.usni.org/2015/03/18/doc...estroyer-mahan

    Summary: Perp blew through the gate and gained access to Norfolk naval base. He made his way to a pier, ignored another ECP and actually boarded the ship. The Petty Officer of the Watch confronted him with her M9. Perp said "give me that gun" and grabbed for it. She "was unsuccessful in disengaging the weaponís safety lockĒ. The perp disarmed her, disengaged the safety and fatally shot another sailor who positioned himself to shield her. Perp was subsequently shot and killed by other sailors on scene.

  3. #13
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    When law enforcement transitioned from revolvers to semiautomatic pistols, there were four main players: SigSauer, Beretta, Smith and Wesson, and Glock. While HK and Ruger and likely some others were out there, most agencies went with the big four. Beretta and S&W offered slide-mounted safeties on many of their pistols that, to my mind or, at least, in my hand, were just awkwardly placed. This resulted in some agencies mandating or allowing off-safe carry. Many agencies, mine included, adopted SigSauer or Glock, at least in part, because the pistols did not have manual safeties. Other departments adopted S&W or Beretta variants in DAO or decocker format. In retrospect, I wonder if manual safeties might have fared better had they been more ergonomically placed.

    AMC, when you spoke with the SOCP staff, did the issue of manual safeties on 1911's versus M-9's come up?

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RJflyer View Post
    The Petty Officer of the Watch confronted him with her M9. She "was unsuccessful in disengaging the weaponís safety lockĒ. The perp disarmed her, disengaged the safety and fatally shot another sailor who positioned himself to shield her. Perp was subsequently shot and killed by other sailors on scene.
    Please note that in my earlier post(s) I said I'd like to see an ergonomic safety. One that's logically placed and easily swept on and off. The M9 is many things but few will say the safety is ergonomic. In fact the only way it is easily activated is accidently when racking the slide...

    Quote Originally Posted by jnc36rcpd View Post
    When law enforcement transitioned from revolvers to semiautomatic pistols, there were four main players: SigSauer, Beretta, Smith and Wesson,
    Yep.

    Beretta and Smith were ergonomically copied from the PP and P38. None have a safety that's easy to work unless the shooter uses the support hand or has a thumb that's abnormally long. The SIG is better in regards to the location of the safety but then it isn't a safety but rather an actual decocker and not something that deactivates the trigger.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokarev View Post
    Please note that in my earlier post(s) I said I'd like to see an ergonomic safety. One that's logically placed and easily swept on and off. The M9 is many things but few will say the safety is ergonomic. In fact the only way it is easily activated is accidently when racking the slide...



    Yep.

    Beretta and Smith were ergonomically copied from the PP and P38. None have a safety that's easy to work unless the shooter uses the support hand or has a thumb that's abnormally long. The SIG is better in regards to the location of the safety but then it isn't a safety but rather an actual decocker and not something that deactivates the trigger.
    There is nothing wrong with the beretta safety if you use the proper technique- wiping down with the thumb while acquiring the grip. Thr beretta safety is spring loaded so you donít need to push it all the way up.

    The issues with the Beretta safety are accidental activation during manipulations and the fact the a lot of .MIL pistol training borders on criminally negligence.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    There is nothing wrong with the beretta safety if you use the proper technique- wiping down with the thumb while acquiring the grip. Thr beretta safety is spring loaded so you donít need to push it all the way up.

    The issues with the Beretta safety are accidental activation during manipulations and the fact the a lot of .MIL pistol training borders on criminally negligence.
    Medium size hands here. The beretta safety is plenty easy to swipe off while acquiring a grip. Never understood the criticism.

  7. #17
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    The Beretta safety is easy to swipe off. That's why 98% of serious Beretta 92 and PX4 shooters convert their guns to "G" decock only models, right?

    I've never intentionally carried a Beretta 92 or 3rd Gen Smith with the safety set once in my life. But one time I FOUND the safety had become activated on my 3913 at some point during the day. That was the last time that gun was carried. I never trained with it that way, I probably would have lost that gunfight.

    I have an airsoft 1911 I use for a lot of dry practice. It drives my wife insane, because I literally click the thumb safety off and on several dozen times a session.

    If my right shooting thumb was broken at the outset of an engagement. It's probably going to be a knife fight long before it's a gunfight. 3 o'clock carry is not conducive to drawing left handed (I practice it, but it is not "fast" by any stretch). But the Clinch Pick is there at 11:45 on my belt and easily accessed with either hand.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  8. #18
    I personally preferred the G variety of the 92 because I find a safety with A decocker to be a bit like having a belt and suspenders. The bigger issue is accidentally activating the safety when manipulating the slide. Turning the safety off has never been an issue for me when I carried an M9 professionally during which time I didnít have a choice to just carry a G variant.

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    There is nothing wrong with the beretta safety if you use the proper technique- wiping down with the thumb while acquiring the grip. Thr beretta safety is spring loaded so you donít need to push it all the way up.

    The issues with the Beretta safety are accidental activation during manipulations and the fact the a lot of .MIL pistol training borders on criminally negligence.
    Unless I'm reading your post wrong I think your confusing the M9/92F with the 92G.

    Back when I used the 92F I found it nearly impossible NOT to put the gun on safe every time I racked the slide. With the lever down the trigger is deactivated until it is manually swept up again.

    A better approach is possibly what Taurus did with their 92 by making the frame-mounted thumb safety also a hammer drop. But then a thumb-on-safety 1911 grip could result in dropping the hammer in recoil. The USP has the same problem depending on variant.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

  10. #20
    10.3" Master Race TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HCM View Post
    There is nothing wrong with the beretta safety if you use the proper technique- wiping down with the thumb while acquiring the grip. Thr beretta safety is spring loaded so you donít need to push it all the way up.

    The issues with the Beretta safety are accidental activation during manipulations and the fact the a lot of .MIL pistol training borders on criminally negligence.
    Quote Originally Posted by call_me_ski View Post
    Medium size hands here. The beretta safety is plenty easy to swipe off while acquiring a grip. Never understood the criticism.
    I strongly agree with Tokarev and RevolverRob.

    The Beretta safety, and pretty much any slide mounted safety, is not desirable. If how your hand is built allows you to swipe it off with your thumb, good for you. That's not everyone. I can not swipe off a Beretta or S&W 3rd gen safety with my shooting hand thumb. No amount of statements on the internet about training will change that. I'm not an anatomical expert, but however my thumbs are built simply doesn't allow it. It's a stretch, at best, and certainly not reliable nor an intuitive motion. Thus, I needed to use my support hand thumb to disengage it. This may come as a surprise, but that was a practice taught in the USMC because of the wide range of shooters going through the programs and the inability of people to reliably manipulate the safety. Having been through the USMCs pistol training, as well as law enforcement and commercial market training, I have a hard time agreeing with the statement that the pistol training was "Criminally negligent". The quality was absolutely better than FLETCs program, as a point of comparison.

    Taking the attitude that you can just swipe it off when establishing a grip only addresses a portion of the problem....what about when the gun is out of the holster, but you don't yet have a PID'd threat that you're actually drawing down on? That can cover a pretty significant amount of pistol use, especially among the people who carry 92FS pistols the most (military PMO and civilian LE). If the answer is, "Well just swipe the safety off when drawing it, even if you don't have an immediate PID'd threat you're drawing down on", then what is the point of the safety?

    That whole idea is an admission that the safety is unergonomic, anyways. A safety should be easily manipulated by the broad range of shooters using it, and in such proscribed ready/carry positions that the pistol is reasonably used. 1911, M&P, yes.....Beretta, 3rd Gen S&W, not so much. Going back to what @RevolverRob insinuated, if the safety wasn't garbage then the G model wouldn't be as popular. Maybe your thumbs allow easy manipulation, but that doesn't mean everyone on the market has your thumbs, and the market trend is pretty clear evidence that the safety is suboptimal.
    Last edited by TGS; 02-28-2021 at 08:05 PM.
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