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  1. #1
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    Default THE GLOCK THUMB SAFETY

    tasmanian-11.jpg.

    I first saw one in 1996 while teaching at Front Sight. The shooter was from Australia and he brought his duty pistol with him. It was a standard Glock 17 but it had a factory installed thumb safety. It was met with a collective shrug, and the notion was that it was unnecessary, with ancillary comments of "just get a 1911".

    That was almost 25 years ago and we have thousands more people carrying pistols today, both in and out of uniform. As well we know more about training the gunfighter than at any time in history. The original thought was that the safety on a 1911 would not be activated OFF quickly enough, thus why the safetyless weapon was a better choice. But I have come to rethink that and consider the addition of a manual safety as a good choice.

    Why the change? Not much of a change other than the original Glock didn't come with one and it worked fine that way. But the more I have run classes and the more we have pushed the edge of the envelope, coming very close to the realities of actual gunfights, the less I think operating a manual thumb safety is an issue.

    The thumb safety is a different matter than a grip safety. The thumb will be in position to disengage the safety anytime the pistol is gripped. And there are steps to be taken in events where the grip is not perfect. But those are training issues that are easily addressed.

    What does it do for you? What is the benefit? Here are a few.

    1). An added margin of safety when the pistol is unloaded or loaded.
    2). An added margin of safety when the pistol is set on a surface, sans holster, and out of your control.
    3). An added margin of safety when holstering - where most self inflicted gunshots occur.
    4). An added margin of safety if the weapon is dropped. Yeah...I know...but apparently it happens alot.
    5). An added margin of safety when drawing - thumb is usually not in position until cleared of holster and driving forward.

    Does it help you kill the bad guy better or faster? No, but neither does it hamper you from doing so as you manage now. In my opinion, after some nearly thirty years teaching gunfighting to gunfighters, as long as something does not detract from mission one, added margins of safety are a good thing.

    More to follow, and interested in your opinions.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
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    And yeah...I am doing it on my carry weapons. Here is the second one.

    Suarez-SI-317-Desert-Coyote_1.jpg
    Suarez-SI-317-Desert-Coyote_8.jpg
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Germany
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    From our FoF training:
    - A big additional hurdle for unintentional discharges when entangled and fighting for the gun. Keeping the trigger finger straight is not going to prevent much when the other guy is trying to peel your fingers from the gun and/or get a better grip on it any way he can.


    Also, what I never understood:
    We don't have manual safeties on our pistols because we might forget to deactivate them under stress. But with rifles and shotguns, we use them without any issues if we train diligently.
    Where is the big difference? Put the necessary time and repetitions in and you´re good to go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    1,439
    Quote Originally Posted by Bold View Post
    <snip>


    Also, what I never understood:
    We don't have manual safeties on our pistols because we might forget to deactivate them under stress. But with rifles and shotguns, we use them without any issues if we train diligently.
    Where is the big difference?<snip>
    One big difference is that we can carry handguns ready to use in a device (a holster) that protects the trigger from inadvertent contact. Slung long guns have no such trigger protection. And many long guns (AR platform) put the safety on the left side, where it can be rubbed off by contact with the carrier's body or clothing.

    A holster for a handgun with a safety should protect the safety as well as protecting the trigger. I have had an ambi safety switched off while holstered when the right side wasn't protected.

    John W in SC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    For use with an arm brace I can see the need for a safety. On holster carried glocks it would be nice to have for holstering the gun, but otherwise i want it off once it is holstered and what is out there now seems to not be ambidextrous.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  6. #6
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    Uh... What about the numerous times in training when the safety on a 1911 has been missed? In a proactive situation I don't see it as a problem or on a braced pistol but it could cause many problems in a reactive situation. Its not like a long gun where its in your hands and you can choose to take the safety off if you think trouble is close. This seems to be a radical departure from The Suarez Method and reeks of the sort of hardware solution to a software problem that would fill the pages of a gun rag or the type of thing the underachieving soy boys would advocate.

    I legit don't know if this is a joke or if I am in the Twilight Zone.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    I have many Glocks and a couple Sigs so when I need/want a pistol with a manual safety I'll go with the Sig. YMMV
    “Every day the same thing...variety”

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFSOCCRNA View Post
    I have many Glocks and a couple Sigs so when I need/want a pistol with a manual safety I'll go with the Sig. YMMV
    All of my carry pistols these days lack a manual safety and I can not use some guns that use a safety and others that do not. So it either safeties on all of them or none for CCW. At this particular moment after have just come in from outdoor chores I am wearing a S&W auto in a tanker style holster, it has exactly the same manual of arms as a glock, just a much heavier trigger pull. I still have 1911's for bullseye target shooting where actually I seldom use a safety. Gun is loaded on command only and fired on command. Basically I am no longer trained to use a safety for CCW use. Kiss principle for me. Never use a slide release to drop the slide either since those controls also vary. One movement to fit all when possible. There is a .38 spl in my pocket in a holster loaded with shot cartridges also no manual safety. Just like the glock, draw and fire.
    One who hammers his gun into a plow plows for those who do not....Unknown
    ...at the end of the day its not about anything else but YOU AND YOURS..... Gabe Suarez
    ....WANT not NEED is what America is all about. ..... Gabe Suarez
    Its not about how fast you can load, but about how well you can shoot ..... Someone being saved by a speed load is not something that has happened with any regularity. Gabe Suarez

  9. #9
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    Well...nobody is forcing anyone to do anything are they. I see a benefit. If you dont it doesnt matter.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Texas
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    If you can ride the Glock thumb safety like a 1911, it would be interesting to test out. I don't think speed on target would be affected. The extra safety outlined above especially clothing and gear getting a holster makes a safety handy.
    Last edited by Steve7; 06-30-2019 at 04:57 PM.
    "A warning is not a threat, but a spoken threat is a foolish warning to give your enemies. If a man is worth threatening, then he is worth killing. Cut him down before a word is spoken. Otherwise keep your tongue prudently sheathed along with your sword." -Akiyama Munenoshi

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