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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southeast Florida
    Posts
    1,755
    I'm a bit late to this one, but I read it through first and think I have a little perspective to add.

    When I started my concealed carry journey, I read a lot online and practically everybody said "no thumb safety!". I still decided to standardize around the M&P with a thumb safety. As with many other decisions, it was about my perception of risk/reward, the stakes of possibility vs probability, etc.

    I asked myself--what's the worst thing that could happen if I don't have a thumb safety? As others have noted, I observed that the ratio of time we spend in a reactive gunfight against a live threat vs everything else we do with a loaded gun throughout our lives is pretty low. For everything outside a reactive gun fight, a manual safety offers only benefits and no downside. It just offers one more rather substantial obstacle to the gun firing unintentionally regardless of the scenario. I assume we can all agree that's a good thing.

    So the worst thing that could happen is that you miss the disengage when you really need to fire the gun as soon as possible. It seems many consider that a deal breaker. I decided that with practice I wasn't worried about it being an issue in a proactive gun fight, and the probability of a reactive gun fight was low enough that I wasn't going to worry about it. I long ago decided that if somebody pointed a gun at me and demanded my wallet, I was going to hand over the wallet and not try to draw and fire against a gun pointed at me. Others may disagree, but that's not the reason I carry a gun. I'll leave that conversation for another time.

    Soon after getting my first M&P and doing a little dry fire practice, I took a 4 day class with Gabe where we fired about 500 rounds. Unfortunately I couldn't find an airsoft for FoF with the safety, but throughout all our live fire I never missed the safety once until the last drill. We took turns exploding off the X on the angle while drawing and engaging two targets. It was the first time we were moving with more urgency outside of FoF and Gabe ramped up the pressure a little bit. On my first draw I missed the safety.

    Some may take that as prima facie evidence that no CCW gun should have a manual safety. But do you know how long it took me to recognize what had happened, disengage the safety, and engage the target? I would bet it was definitely less than 1 second. I couldn't say with more accuracy without trying to time it with a video, but I am confident that it was not a significant amount of time. If you consider that 1 second a deal breaker, that's obviously your prerogative. For me, it was confirmation that I made the right choice. Obviously I concluded that I should do a lot more dry fire training to make sure it never happened again, but the point is that recovery time was not significant even if it happened.

    At that same class, Gabe instructed everybody to look at the holster while re-holstering every time, yet I saw many people carrying appendix re-holstering their Glocks without looking repeatedly throughout the entire class. In my opinion, the risk of shooting yourself while training or handling the gun in some other way is a much higher probability than the possibility that missing the manual safety alters the outcome of a reactive gun fight.

    That being said, I understand why LE has gone away from the safety. Those guys face the very real possibility of a reactive gun fight all day every day. With a high retention holster at 3:00 OWB it's probably a bit better setup than a concealed appendix re-holster. I'm sure with enough training they could add the safety, but we all know how they have to accommodate the lowest common denominator so that's a different mindset than what we're focused on.

    Obviously the question of re-training is a legitimate concern, so it might be helpful to ask if it would change anybody's position if you limited the conversation to what you would recommend for somebody starting with their first gun. Personally I have no qualms about recommending a safety to a new shooter--I'm much more concerned about what could happen outside a gun fight than the possibility of them getting in a gun fight and having a problem. I know practically the entire gun community disagrees with that, but that's just my opinion--I won't be offended if you disagree.

    One other note--I agree with what others said here about slide-mounted safeties. I admire those of you like Greg who may have mastered it, but I find it completely unnatural, especially if you have to swipe up to disengage. For me the only option is frame mounted with a good protrusion that's easy to manipulate.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    44,860
    Will post updates soon
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

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