Why I Hate Manual Safeties on Pistols


When selecting your first handgun, you may want to consider NOT getting a pistol with a manual safety.

Here is why.

1. Switching a safety switch on a pistol is a fine motor skill that is severely degraded under extreme stress.

I’ve known plenty of competent 1911 carriers who drilled the heck out turning off the manual safety as part of their draw stroke, but I am still left thinking “Why fight your gun during training and when you have to defend yourself?”

If you have to use unarmed combatives as a transition to drawing your pistol in a fight for your life, the manual safety is working against you.

2. There is a tendency to forget if it is on or off.

Coming back again to “Why get equipment that works against you?”.

3. It can be looked at as a crutch in place of safe gun handling.

One thing someone might hear prior to a firearm accident/unintentional discharge/negligent discharge is “Don’t worry. The safety’s on.”

4. They can fail.

As the NRA guidebook says, “the safety is a mechanical device that can fail.”

That is all.

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Firearms Instructor in the DC Metro Area

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