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  #1  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:07 PM
KimberLady KimberLady is offline
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Safely Cocking & Locking Kimber .45




Dumb question time, and I'm seeing my instructor later this week, but I'll ask now...

With the Kimber, to keep it in C&L condition, how do you safely drop the hammer after you have racked the round into the chamber? I have lowered the hammer on an *empty* gun for transportation (by keeping thumb on hammer and pulling trigger slowly), and once or twice it's "gotten away" from me with an audible "click" that would have been a very audible BANG! if a round had been in the chamber. (Please note that the gun, as always, was aimed in a direction where muzzle will destroy part of wall, or floor, not person, or leg, or foot - Rule # 2!!!)

Help?

[This message has been edited by KimberLady (edited 06-01-2001).]
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:20 PM
Terrato Terrato is offline
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Quite simply, you don't. It's designed to be single action only, and trying to slowly lower the hammer on a loaded chamber is not a safe practice. (This can damage the internal workings of your gun, as well.) If you want to carry it with a round in the chamber, the hammer must be cocked and the manual safety engaged. (It can't be flipped up with the hammer down.)

You might look at http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/000148.html for a further discussion of this.

BTW, when it comes to firearm safety I don't believe there are any dumb questions. Thinking about what you're doing and asking for assistance is something a lot more people should get in the habit of doing.



------------------
"He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that that is where he is."
-- James Thurber
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:34 PM
h4444 h4444 is offline
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No problem we all learn somehow. And this is a great place to learn.

With a 1911 you never want to lower the hammer on a chambered round.

A distinct tactical advantage the 1911 has is its consistent trigger pull. On a double action semi-auto will will likely have a de-cocker to de-cock the gun for you safely by mechanically making it safe for the hammer to fall. With a 1911 you are always in a "single-action" state.

I'm not sure of your knowledge level, so please bear with me, I'm not assuming anything.

With a double action gun, when you pull the trigger it can perform two actions, it can cock the hammer and release it to fire a chambered round. Hence the term double action.....cock, then fire. Double action firearms can operate in single action mode by chambering a round and leaving the hammer cocked or manually cocking the hammer. Many double action autos have de-cockers, but not a full-fledged thumb safety like a 1911. Some do, but not all.

In a single action firearm such as a traditional 1911 the triger performs one action,,,,,releasing the hammer to fire a chambered round.

Your Kimber depending on the model may have up to 4 safety devices. First if carrying it cocked and Locked, it should be in a hoster to protect the trigger should the other mechanical safeties be "compromised".

The other safeties include the grip safety in which the gun will not fire in the grip safety is enganged. Then there is the thumb safety that must be disenganged from the cocked and Locked state to fire.

And lastly if your Kimber is a Series II it will have a firing pin safety block which prevents accidental discharges by only allowing the gun to fire when the trigger is pulled......This is to prevent "inertia" firings due to a drop,,,,etc.

The 1911 as a single-action auto was designed to be carried with a round in the chamber, cocked, locked, and secured in a holster.

A key to carrying a 1911 as well as any semi-auto is practicing and knowing the gun and safe handling cold, such that it is second nature. That way should you ever have to employ the firearm to protect yourself you only have to concentrate on what is important,,,,,,saving your's or other lives and concentrating on making a decision than could possibly have dramatic consequences.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:36 PM
KimberLady KimberLady is offline
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Forgot to state that I have a Kimber Custom Classic Series II, full size.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:39 PM
KimberLady KimberLady is offline
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H44444 -

So if you're saying that I should use a snap-over holster, I guess that puts a Fobus USA paddle holster out of the running, right?

I have been practicing with the Kimber in cocked and locked, safety up (safety DOWN when on target, you know the drill).

What confused me was reading elsewhere about having a round in the chamber and the hammer DOWN - not cocked. I think perhaps either I misread the question or misunderstood the reply.

Essentially, I've been using it correctly all along! Derrrr!

This is also a CCII gun, so it does include a hammer block as well (hubby's CCI does NOT). I like the grip safety because it forces me to "choke up" on the grip - something I had a problem with in the past with the Glock 19 and .357 Magnum revolver (I know, I know - it was a present from Grampa, what can I say).
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2001, 05:51 PM
h4444 h4444 is offline
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Basically, if you are carrying cocked and locked, you just want to be sure nothing can snag your trigger.

Usually one of the first things covered in NRA style safety classes is, mechanical safeties can fail.

Therefore, with a cocked and locked single action auto,,,,,since the trigger performs one function (releasing the hammer), and most Kimbers I have fired have about a 4 or 5 pound trigger pull, it is just added security to make sure your trigger is literally covered. If the gun is firmly/securely held by your holster the butt can be "exposed" from the remainder of the holster.

Tactically, you want fast access to your firearm, but with a single action gun you will want the trigger protected.

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  #7  
Old 06-01-2001, 09:01 PM
feedramp feedramp is offline
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Yes, you've been doing it right. C&L means hammer fully cocked, thumb safety engaged. If your holster offers a strap that can go over the end of the slide, you have another layer of safety.

I still use the thumb-break Safariland I got when I bought the gun back in the 1970s. I trimmed the strap so it would fit over the end of the slide a little better, and have never worried about accidental discharge.

I don't, anyway, as the C&L 1911 is as safe as shooting rubber blanks, but the sight of a strap-over helps keep the complaints down to a tolerable level when I carry in the open.

It's certainly not mandatory. If you like the Fobus paddle, by all means, go for it. The holster should allow you to carry your gun comfortably, but not impede your ability to get it out as quickly as possible, if necessary.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2001, 09:11 PM
elsworth elsworth is offline
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Dear KimberLady,

...what they all said... plus, you might want to get some extra training w/ the 1911. It's usually considered an "experts" weapon.
What that really means is mostly people who are into guns use the 1911.
If you don't study up on the gun , or maintain a regular training program w/ this gun, you are probably better off w/ something else, like a H&K USP, also a very good gun, but more forgiving in the gun handling department.

To answer you question, how to lower the hammer on an EMPTY chamber (never a loaded chamber, VERY dangerous)
1. make sure the gun is unloaded, point in safe direction, pull trigger.

2. Or, the way I like to do it, is to grasp the hammer with the thumb and forefinger of the off hand, pull the trigger, and lower the hammer slowly. Grasping it this way is much more secure, than trying to thumb it down.

Hope this helps,
Elsworth

P.S. I like to carry my 1911 in a Bianchi Pistol Pocket, has adjustable cant, and a thumbbreak. (Good price too.)
I don't think you have to have a thumbbreak, to put a piece of leather under the hammer for greater safety on a cocked and locked gun. The 1911 is plenty safe in a properly fitting holster with an open top IMO. I just like a thumbbreak for other reasons.

[This message has been edited by elsworth (edited 06-01-2001).]
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2001, 04:34 PM
simion_levi simion_levi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by KimberLady:
With the Kimber, to keep it in C&L condition, how do you safely drop the hammer after you have racked the round into the chamber? I have lowered the hammer on an *empty* gun for transportation (by keeping thumb on hammer and pulling trigger slowly), and once or twice it's "gotten away" from me with an audible "click" that would have been a very audible BANG! if a round had been in the chamber.
I'm probably misunderstanding the question, apologies in advance;

when readied for cocked and locked carry that hammer will stay back until you sight up and pull the trigger, or unload - drop the magazine and rack the slide to eject the chambered round. You can then pull the trigger to drop the hammer before it goes in the safe (most recommend firing on the empty chamber over controlling the lowering of the hammer, to avoid trigger/sear interference).
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  #10  
Old 06-04-2001, 09:02 AM
M1911 M1911 is offline
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I agree with most of the other folks here. The procedure to lower a 1911 hammer on a loaded chamber is simple: don't do it. There's no reason to do so. The gun is safe cocked and locked (safety on). As you've found it is easy to slip when manually lowering the hammer. And why would you want to carry a 1911 loaded, but have to manually cock it before firing?

If you've unloaded the gun (removed the magazine, locked the slide back to visually and manually check that the chamber is empty), you can then lower the hammer simply by pulling the trigger.

Regarding holsters and retention straps, retention straps are not required for M1911s. I carry mine in open-top holsters. Some folks feel that the retention straps add some additional safety because the strap would prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin if the hammer fell while in the holster. But what would make the hammer fall? The safety is on and the trigger guard is completely protected by the holster. And even if the hammer did fall, it would be caught by the half-cock notch. And your Kimber Series II has a firing pin block that prevents the firing pin from moving unless the grip safety is depressed.

1911s are perfectly safe when carried cocked and locked, provided you do your part. 1911s and all other guns are terribly dangerous when mishandled.

Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot. Keep the safety on until your draw stroke has removed the gun from the holster and the gun barrel has passed through a 45 degree line with the ground. Apply the safety before you start to reholster. Keep your finger off the trigger while reholstering. Get training on drawing and holstering and practice dry.

M1911
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  #11  
Old 06-07-2001, 01:28 AM
KimberLady KimberLady is offline
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by elsworth:
[B]Dear KimberLady,

--snip-- What that really means is mostly people who are into guns use the 1911.
If you don't study up on the gun , or maintain a regular training program w/ this gun, you are probably better off w/ something else, like a H&K USP, also a very good gun, but more forgiving in the gun handling department. --end snip--

I've actually been receiving some of the best training I can possibly get - one on one, with the 1911. I was cruising around and saw a post that seemed to say that you should carry cocked and locked with the hammer down on a loaded chamber. That didn't seem right to me and so I posted.

<my, that sounds awfully defensive, doesn't it?>

I think that even if posters *had* advised me to carry hammer down on a loaded chamber, I wouldn't do it. It didn't seem right to me, and that's why I asked.

<picture Kimberlady singing the "I'm On Defense" song. I need to stop.>

I guess I'm trying to say that I'm not a complete novice. I shoot at least 1x, sometiems 2x per week, doing all manner of drills: Mozambique (failure drill, in CA), one-handed (with other hand to ear, as if with phone), shooting over the barrier from concealment, off-hand, tactical reloading, etc. Even though I only intend to shoot for self-defense (and carry concealed), I believe that practice makes perfect and that if you hardwire the CORRECT procedures in your head, you are less likely to clusterf**k when the real time comes.

I appreciate the feedback and thank you for your kind answers! <Insecure Kimberlady signs off for the night>
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2001, 08:11 PM
dvc dvc is offline
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Kimberlady: Your assumptions are correct...

Carrying a 1911 with a round in the chamber and the hammer lowered is referred to as "condition two" where the hammer is manually cocked to fire the gun. This practice is dangerous as it increases the opportunity for a unintentional discharge.

The 1911 was designed to be carried in "condition one" where the hammer is cocked on a loaded chamber and the thumb safety is applied.

Thumb break holsters are not necessary with condition one carry, so I'd say that your Fobus is fine.

[This message has been edited by dvc (edited 06-08-2001).]
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  #13  
Old 06-10-2001, 10:03 AM
gyp_c gyp_c is offline
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I have to say you did a GREAT thing by asking about something that "felt" wrong before doing it.

That is a "very" good time to ask questions

Congratulations on your new pistol and keep up the good work!
..and keep listening when you have those "feelings"...

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>>>>>>>>>>g2<< <<<<<<<<

I Like The Shade Too!
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  #14  
Old 06-12-2001, 12:32 AM
KimberLady KimberLady is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gyp_c:
I have to say you did a GREAT thing by asking about something that "felt" wrong before doing it.

That is a "very" good time to ask questions

Congratulations on your new pistol and keep up the good work!
..and keep listening when you have those "feelings"...

It's interesting you would say that about "those feelings" - the police officer who trains me has said on more than one occasion that his "feeling" and "instincts" have kept him alive in the 30+ years he's been on the force.

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