Handgun Safeties: Types and Characteristics

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Handgun Safeties: Types and Characteristics

Handgun Safeties: Types and Characteristics

There are many types of safeties on today’s modern handguns. Of course, a safety mechanism’s primary purpose is to help prevent the accidental or negligent discharge of a firearm and to help ensure safer gun handling. A lot question whether or not today’s modern handguns will fire when dropped without a trigger press and I address that later. Most of us are familiar with the external thumb safety mounted on the rear of the gun’s frame or on the slide, depending on the handgun’s design. Some guns do not have a thumb safety at all, while others have multiple safeties. How far do you go for safety? How many safeties and what types do you need? Or do you not even need a manual safety? Some say they do not even want to mess with a safety on their gun and will not buy a gun with a manual thumb safety. Some love grip safeties and others hate them. There are quite a few strong opinions about the various safeties. I frequently get questions from students and new shooters about what is the best safety they should have on the gun they are getting ready to buy. Is there a best safety design? Some say the answer is just to buy a gun with a very long and hard trigger press which is really the only good safety mechanism you need. After all, certain law enforcement agencies and some military units do that and several offices and organizations require a certain type of double action or other hard press action, e.g. NY1 and NY2 triggers. Others strongly disagree with that idea, saying most shooters are not law enforcement or military personnel involved in their unique missions, type of carry, safety scenarios, etc. and you cannot be as accurate with a hard-press action, without much practice. Again, several disagree with this. It is easy for me to recommend the best safety for a handgun and I’ll give you my idea on that later. Several ask how drop safeties, decockers, firing pin blocks, hammer blocks, transfer bars, magazine disconnects, trigger safeties, half-cock and safety notches, etc. work and how do their mechanisms differ. Some students want to know what is the Glock “Safe Action” internal-only system and its safeties. So, I want to present and discuss the eleven common types of handgun safeties and their characteristics and some safety concerns.

Semi-Automatic Pistols and Revolvers Safeties

Like I said above, some handguns do not have safeties and some related, interesting history lessons can be learned. The Colt Single Action Army revolvers back in the blackpowder Civil War era never had a safety switch and had an inherent safety problem. Some learned that all 6 chambers could not be safely loaded at the same time because a blow to the hammer would fire the round under the hammer. Thus, the old West six-shooters were really five shooters, since cowboys learned the hard way and kept their hammer down on an empty chamber.

Most contemporary pistols, except replicas of antique models, have some kind of safety mechanism, which is usually a drop safety that mandates a trigger press to fire the gun. Single-action designs, like the 1911 pistol, have a manual safety and grip safety, but the safety mechanism does depend upon the year, type, and model of the gun.

Single-action revolvers and most double-action revolvers do not have external safeties. So the long and hard trigger press of a double-action revolver will result in the gun firing, as well as for single-actions. I have found that all my double-action revolvers have a longer and harder trigger press than any of my semi-automatic pistols, even the double-action pistols, out of the box without modification. Some of you will argue the merit of this for your particular revolvers, but I know how my accuracies compare between double actions and between single and double actions. Most single-action revolvers usually have no internal safeties, like a transfer bar, hammer block, or drop safety and have a half-cock Safety Notch (defined below) on the hammer and are not drop safe. Most modern double-action revolvers have an internal safety, either a transfer bar or hammer block, to prevent firing without a trigger press. But, you can buy customized double-action revolvers or modify them with external safeties. 

Glock “Safe Action” Pistols

Glock pistols are equipped with a fully-automatic safety system which consists of three passive levels of independently operating, internal-only mechanical safeties, which sequentially disengage when the trigger is pulled and automatically reengages when the trigger is released. As the trigger is pulled, the three inline safety mechanisms are disengaged, and the striker is moved rearward within the pistol. This increases the tension on the firing pin spring. When the trigger bar releases the firing pin lug, the striker moves forward as the firing pin spring relaxes. This motion causes the striker to impact the base of the round in the chamber, which fires the round. It is called a Safe Action System by Glock. Other companies have similar systems, like Walther and some other striker-fired guns. There are are no external safety switches on these handguns. First, an integrated trigger lever safety prevents the trigger body from moving unless this trigger lever is positively pressed. This trigger safety blocks the trigger from any rearward movement until the lever is depressed. For further safety in law enforcement, Glock introduced the New York trigger module, which features a flat spring in a plastic housing that replaces the trigger bar’s standard coil spring. This New York trigger modification is available in two versions: NY1, with 5.6 lb. to 9 lb., and NY2, with 7.2 lb to 11.2 lb.

Second, the gun’s striker-firing mechanism is locked in place by a extension bar linked to the trigger; the striker cannot move unless the trigger is depressed. This is a drop safety, is the last safety to be disengaged when the trigger is pressed, and is completely automatic. It prevents the premature separation of the trigger bar and spring-loaded striker bar unless the trigger is pulled completely to the rear.  As the slide moves rearward and the action cycles, the trigger bar extension moves upwards thanks to spring tension, so that when the slide moves forward, it catches the striker tab and again partially charges the striker and re-engages the drop safety.

Third, as with most pistols, a firing pin block actuated by the same extension bar prevents the pin coming into contact with the primer unless the trigger is pressed to clear the block. Although not generally considered a safety feature, the resting state of the gun has the striker in a “half-cocked” state. So, pressing the trigger will fully cock the weapon before releasing the striker. There is no concern for decocking, since all three safeties are always engaged when the trigger is in the forward position.

TYPES OF HANDGUN SAFETIES 

1. Manual Safety

Manual Safety

Manual Safety

We all know that the most common form of safety mechanism is a switch/lever that when placed in the “safe” position, prevents a pull of the trigger from firing the firearm. There are many designs of these active safeties, but the two most common mechanisms are a block or latch that prevents the trigger and/or firing mechanism from moving, and a device that disconnects the trigger from the firing mechanism. These are the oldest forms of “active” safety mechanism and are widely used, with the strong thumb used to engage or disengage the external manual safety lever or switch. By the way, for some guns pushing the lever UP puts the safety on, while for others pushing it DOWN puts it on. Know your gun!

2. Grip Safety

Grip Safety

Grip Safety

A grip safety is a lever or other device located on the back of the handgun’s grip which must be depressed by the shooter’s hand, when naturally grasping the gun in a firing position, so the gun can fire. It is usually similar to a manual safety in its function, but is momentary. This safety on the grip is deactivated only while the shooter maintains his hold on the grip and is reactivated immediately once the shooter releases it. So, it is important to grip the grip safety very firm to ensure it functions as designed. My 1911 design guns are good examples of guns with a grip safety. A related grip-type safety is the decocking grip found on some H&K pistols like the P7 Series. This gun is cocked and ready to fire only when the front of the grip is squeezed by the operator. When the grip is released, the firearm is decocked, and the single-action trigger will not cock the firearm, therefore it will not fire unless the grip is squeezed and the trigger pressed. Also, the trigger can first be pulled and then it will fire when the grip is subsequently squeezed. If both the grip is squeezed and the trigger pulled simultaneously, the pistol will fire. 

3. Drop Safeties

Drop Safeties

Drop Safeties

Some jurisdictions, like the State of California, require some form of “drop safety” on all new firearms. These are usually passive safeties designed to reduce the chance of a gun accidentally discharging when dropped or roughly handled. Such safeties generally provide an obstacle to operation of the firing mechanism that is only removed when the trigger is pressed, so that the firearm cannot otherwise discharge. Required Drop Tests were included in the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 for imported guns. 

4. Firing Pin Block

Firing Pin Block

Firing Pin Block

A firing pin block is a mechanical block used in semi-automatic firearms and some revolvers that, when at rest, obstructs forward travel of the firing pin. It is linked to the trigger mechanism and clears the obstruction to the pin just before the hammer or striker is released. This prevents the firing pin from striking a chambered cartridge unless the trigger is pressed, even if the hammer is released due to a faulty sear or the pin is dropped or struck by another object.

5. Hammer Block

Hammer Block

Hammer Block

A Hammer Block is similar to a firing pin block. It is a latch, block or other obstruction built into the action and usually positioned to prevent the hammer from contacting the cartridge primer or firing pin when at rest. In the above picture you can see the Hammer Block indicated for the revolver. It is down when the hammer is cocked and up when not cocked, to prevent contact with the firing pin/cartridge. Similar to the firing pin block, the obstruction to the hammer’s travel is removed when you press the trigger. This allows the hammer to contact the primer or firing pin only when the trigger is pressed. 

6. Transfer Bar

Transfer Bar

Transfer Bar

A transfer bar is also used in revolvers and certain exposed hammer rifles, but works the opposite way from a hammer block. The transfer bar has the spur that would otherwise be on the hammer or encloses a firing pin similar to autoloading designs. As you can see from the diagram, the hammer itself cannot contact a loaded cartridge or the firing pin, but must instead strike the Transfer Bar when it is in the Up position with hammer cocked. The transfer bar is normally positioned out of line with the hammer’s travel, but is moved into place by the normal action of the trigger, providing similar “drop safety” to a firing pin block. 

7. Safety Notch

A Safety Notch is one of the oldest forms of drop safety, used on older single-action revolvers manufactured before the invention of the hammer block, some lever action rifles, 1911 guns, and hammer-fired semi-automatics that were designed before the invention of the firing pin block. The Safety Notch is a relief cut made in the tumbler at the base of the hammer, that allows the sear to catch and hold the hammer a short distance from the pin or cartridge primer, in a “half-cocked” position. The Safety Notch works first by allowing the handler to retract the hammer a short distance from the firing pin, so dropping the gun on its hammer will not result in an energy transfer to the pin, which could then discharge a chambered cartridge. A second purpose is to allow the sear to “catch” a hammer that is falling when the trigger has not been pressed, as when a drop jarred the sear loose or when the hammer was not fully cocked before being released. Recognize that a Safety Notch used to “half-cock” a gun is an active feature that must be engaged and does not positively prevent accidental discharges in all cases. Some do not consider it a safety mechanism. A certain amount of manual dexterity and familiarity with a gun is also required to “half-cock” it. If the shooter is unfamiliar with how to engage the “half-cock” position, accidental discharges can result. 

8. Trigger Safeties

Trigger Safeties

Trigger Safeties

The Trigger Safety is de-activated as a natural result of the shooter firing the gun, but is engaged in most other circumstances. The trigger is composed of two interdependent parts and the shooter moves both parts of the trigger to fire the gun. Unintentional pressure, a drop, or a strike against the trigger is unlikely to activate it, so this will not fire the gun. This design was popularized by Glock pistols and was originally used in the 1897 Iver Johnson hammerless revolver, which uses a trigger with a spring-loaded lever. This lever sticks out from the trigger face and must be fully depressed in order to disengage a lock that allows the main trigger body to move. Unintentional pressure against the top of the trigger without pressing the lever does not disengage the lock and the trigger will not move. This design has many moving parts and is advantageous in that accidental pressure on the lock release requires more force to pull the main trigger. 

9. Magazine Disconnect

A magazine disconnect is an internal mechanism that engages a mechanical safety such as a block or trigger disconnect when the firearm’s magazine is removed. My Browning Hi-Power and Ruger LC9s semi-automatic pistols are examples.  As with any safety feature, there is debate regarding the necessity of a magazine disconnect. Historically, most magazine-capable gun designs have had no magazine disconnect. Magazine disconnects are a hotly debated subject. The state of California passed legislation in 2006 requiring magazine disconnects on all new handgun designs sold in the state starting January 1, 2007. The arguments in favor of a magazine disconnect are that if the gun cannot fire without a magazine, then an accidental discharge can be prevented if someone removes the magazine but forgets that a round has been chambered. Also, if a gun grab or loss of possession of the gun might happen, the operator can render the gun useless by removing the magazine. Some law enforcement officers who survived being disarmed report their survival to the fact that during the struggle for their gun, they managed to drop the magazine before the bad guy wrestled the gun away from them, preventing them from being murdered with their own gun.

A safety argument against a magazine disconnect is that if a round is left in a chamber due to extractor failure or other reason the gun will be “live” unexpectedly when an empty magazine is reinserted. With a magazine disconnect depressing the trigger to clear the gun or pointing it in a safe down-range direction to clear it, will not clear the round in the chamber because the trigger is disabled. When an empty magazine is inserted the firing system becomes reactivated, even though the trigger has been previously depressed. Others say without a magazine the gun is useless except as a club. Without the disconnect feature, if a magazine was lost or otherwise not available, then at least the gun could be chambered with a single round to be used as a single shot firearm.

10. Decocker

Most traditional double-action semi-automatic (DA/SA) pistols are designed to be carried with the hammer down (uncocked) on a chambered round, with or without a manual safety engaged. The pistol is considered safe in this state as the “double-action” pull that both cocks and fires the firearm is both longer and heavier than the “single-action” pull that simply releases the cocked hammer, and thus an inadvertent trigger pull is less likely. However, the act of cycling the action on such a firearm (as a natural consequence of discharging the firearm, or to chamber the first round) will leave the hammer cocked in single-action mode. To return the pistol to its safe state, it is necessary to uncock (decock) the hammer, usually by holding the hammer spur, carefully pulling the trigger, and then slowly lowering the hammer on the firing pin. This process is dangerous if done carelessly or in adverse conditions, and violates the major rule of gun safety – “keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target and you are ready to fire.” 

A decocker or manual decocking lever allows the hammer to be dropped on a live cartridge without risk of discharging it, usually by blocking the hammer or retracting or covering the firing pin before releasing the sear. This eliminates the need to pull the trigger or to control the fall of the hammer, but since all mechanisms can fail, it is still necessary to keep the muzzle of the gun pointed in a safe direction while decocking. Reminder: All mechanical devices (safeties) can fail! There are decocking levers only and there are decocking safeties, which combine the functions of both a decocker and a manual safety. You must recognize the DANGER and the difference by knowing: Is the pistol ready to fire after decocking? OR Is the safety engaged after decocking? This varies greatly by model and there are decock/safety combinations which have both a manual safety switch and a decocking lever, e.g. some Heckler & Koch, the Ruger P95, and Walther pistols. The Beretta 92FS has a slide-mounted Decocker-Safety, so engaging the safety also decocks the gun. My Sig P226 DA/SA has a decocking lever on the frame, but my Sig P226 SAO does not.

11. Loaded Chamber Indicator (LCI)

Loaded Chamber Indicator (LCI)

Loaded Chamber Indicator (LCI)

Loaded chamber indicators offer a visual warning to the shooter. In this picture, the words “Loaded When Up” are present and you can easily see the LCI raised up above the ejection port and slide. The LCI is a safety device present on many pistols to alert an operator that there is a round in the chamber. It is a small button or rod usually located just behind the ejection port on the slide of the handgun that pops up to indicate the presence of a round in the chamber. The LCI has been around for many years and some have strong preferences for and against them. Some do not like it, claiming it does not rise enough to catch your attention. Others say it is just the right height to be easily seen or felt to alert the shooter that there is a round in the chamber to avoid accidental/negligent discharges.

CONCLUSIONS

Remember, ALL mechanical devices can and do FAIL. Safeties are mechanical devices, so do not bet your life on them nor trust them completely. The Best safety for any gun is your brain. So THINK and FOCUS on what you are doing putting SAFETY FIRST at all times. Get the proper training for safely handling your gun, know your gun, its safeties and functions, and how to operate it safely and effectively. Keep your finger OFF the trigger until you are ready to shoot with your eyes and sights on the target. The large majority of modern handguns will NOT fire unless you press the trigger, so be disciplined and practice often!

Continued success!

This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense, stand your ground law, and concealed carry. This is not legal advice and not legal opinions. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. 

© 2015 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].

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  • James Van Valkenburg

    I have found that the trigger safeties (Glock type) are not real safety mechanisms at all.

    Here is my logic: A Glock will not fire unless the trigger is pulled – duh! Where is the safety?
    This is why special holsters were designed for the Glock type of pistol.
    A 1911 will not fire if the trigger is pulled unless the grip safety is depressed (firm hand on the gun).

    For that reason, I will never own a Glock style weapon. I own pistols with manual safeties or at the very least a decocker.

    I understand there are folks on both sides of this argument, these are my opinions.

    • Earlybird

      Your best safety is training. I would never recommend any one carry a weapon without training. Basic to this is KEEP Clear OF THE TRIGGER until you are ready to fire. So I see absolutely no need for a variety of cumbersome external safety’s with the possibility of failure needed at all. So I will own whatever handgun I deemed safe and reliable, this for me includes Glock safe action pistols. I also would encourage all to use holsters that cover the complete trigger. This is not a “special holster it is the only design I would ever use.
      This is my opinion.

      • James Van Valkenburg

        Earlybird, In a perfect world, you are correct. Safeties are redundant only because, as humans, we can make mistakes. If only we lived in a perfect world. And if I might disagree with you about the holster. A special one was designed just for the Glock to completely cover the trigger guard and protect the “safety” from getting snagged on any odd thing.

        • Earlybird

          What kind of holster do you use , one that does not cover the trigger or may snag on the trigger? To me Glock ( if I was to agree with you) must have designed a better holster because ANY gun I carry will be in a holster that covers the entire trigger. I do not and will not ever carry Mexican style. I also do not ever put my finger inside the trigger guard unless I am on target and mean to fire. On my 1911 I do not mistakenly take the safety off and fire a round, even though if i was in a foggy mindset it could happen. All the safety does is prevent you from pulling the trigger logic says even if i am not thinking I still would figure out why the trigger wont engage, heaven forbid it be at a time I really need it to fire. I also do not put my car in reverse when intending to move forward. i do not mistakenly turn left when right is the oppropriate direction. I do not close the door on my wife by mistake instead of holding it open. Yes mistakes can be made but some are just to important to make. By the way I own many other revolvers and 1911 style pistols, but for me for defense i do not need any gadgets to malfunction ether by me or the weapon. Just my opinion.

    • Gruney

      The trigger blade is a drop safety, which Glock says in a round about way in their description of safe action. It is designed to prevent the trigger from moving rearward if the pistol is dropped on it’s back, which is more likely and dangerous than a drop on the business end. The “dingus” has very little mass and moves on a different axis than the trigger, which effectively locks the trigger from moving rearward and releasing the striker.

  • Daiv

    In your initial photo you show a Sig pistol with the take-down lever mislabeled as “Slide Lock Lever” and the actual slide lock is mislabeled a “Manual Thumb Safety”; this model Sig has no manual thumb safety, only the Decocker (which is correctly labeled in your photo).

  • Van Phillips

    Ben, great article. I will save it and add it to the print outs I give to students in my NRA – Basic Pistol Classes.

    • Col Ben

      Van Phillips. Please contact me ASAP by personal email (given at the end of the article by the copyright and All Rights Reserved mark) about commercial distribution.

      • jebbrush

        Thats interesting. Concerned with copyrights. Plus you wouldnt want to publish a incorrect diagram. Priorities sir!

        • soulo1

          I’m quite surprised he’d be asking for permission because he’s a racist extremist who happens to be using my photo as his own

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Kev-Kev, my little illiterate ass-monkey – he’s referring to Col Ben, not me, which is obvious to anyone without your blatant mental deficiencies. See, it says it riiiight there, next to his name, with the little arrow. Ah, how I’ve missed you little retard!

          • soulo1

            I’m very well aware of who he was responding you soulless devil. But did you not say “Hey Col Ben, you don’t mind if I use the info on this site in my survival classes, do you?” get a phuking clue and a life maggot boy

          • Mike James

            Your such a racist.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Could that be because Col Benjamin Findley, as in ConBen, is the fucking copyright owner, and author of this article, you stunningly stupid Negroid?

          • SlimJenkins

            You’re expecting too much from our little ghetto-monkey. You know how he randomly replies to other people that had nothing to do with the conversation. He’s just that stupid, this shouldn’t be news to you, brother.

          • Negerkiller88

            Nigger, you’re so stupid, any self-respecting cotton would rather pick itself.

          • SlimJenkins

            You know what, Kevin? I’ve come to realize something. It’s a rather sad realization, albeit, not surprising. See, what I’ve come to realize is this: Nothing, absolutely nothing you could ever say to, or about me, no matter what you might think of me, or think you know of me, nothing, nothing you could ever say, or do, will ever be as pathetic as the fact that you, a grown, and by your own admission, a smart, intelligent, educated, successful man in his forties, can not even pay his own mother’s cancer treatment. You have to beg people on the internet for money. That is such a powerful sign of your -and your siblings- utter failure in life, that nothing you could ever say to or about me, or anyone else here, will ever hold any meaning again. It’s ultimate proof of your failure at life, and you should be ashamed of yourself. You can call me soulless, but I’m embarrassed for you.

          • soulo1

            LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ME???THEN BRING IT TO MY FACE MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • soulo1

            COWARD BITCH BRING IT TO MY FRONT FUCKING DOOR YOU NO LIFE PIECE OF SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Mike James

            Criminal loser… Woman beater… Drug dealer… I checked you all out. CONVICTED FELON… Do you teach your Kids to deal drugs ?

          • Loonboy29

            Did you just reply to yourself, effectively calling yourself a “coward bitch”, “no life piece of shit”, and calling yourself out? Are you confused, or just stupid?

          • Mike James

            yes the convicted drug dealer did call himself that…

          • Mike James

            check my other replys before he deletes them and check out his felony record.

          • Mike James

            such language ZEBRAboy… You high on coke ?

          • Preilowski

            What do we have here? gofundme. com/hdhizk. I see your mother finally passed on, because you couldn’t pay a dime towards her treatment. Doesn’t surprise me. As you said, you’re a 42 year old, living with and off his mother, and you shovel snow for a living. By the way, these “many other things” you claim you also do, are they the kind that leave you with criminal record like yours? Boy, I didn’t think you were so bad, but what I’ve read here today, holy, are you a loser dirt-bag!

          • Mike James

            Like my/our photo ZEBRAboy ?

          • SlimJenkins

            Ah, you deleted all your idiotic, racist comments, I see. Coward. You know, I just went through your criminal record again, and, aside from the fact that you’re a wife beater, crackhead, and otherwise criminal buffoon, I really like Case Number 2011CM002162. Bootlegging? Really? It seems, much like your ridiculous hairdo, the rest of your limited intellect is also stuck in the 80’s. Boy, your mother must have been proud of you…

          • Mike James

            LOL…

          • Loonboy29

            Well, he probably >would< bring it to your door, but you keep getting evicted from every ghetto hole you rent, so it's probably hard to track you down.

          • Preilowski

            LOL! Typical ghetto trash – why pay rent, when you can just trash the place, and move on? Section 8 housing must be great if you’re a nagger.

          • Mike James

            Yo momma niggie

          • Preilowski

            Yeah, 1985 Ice-T called, he wants his hairdo back.

          • Mike James

            LOL… Criminal felon loser.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Did he hit a nerve there, Kevin? Good. Because it shows just how feral you people are. And if that wasn’t enough, I know everything else I’ll ever need to know about you, Kevin O Hickman – Coke dealer… women beater… evictions… felony possession of a firearm, I could go on (and your public record does go on), but I’m sure you know your own criminal record. Hint: Anyone with access to google can view it, moron. I know everything about you. And now I also know how you treat your mother, you sad excuse for a son.

          • Mike James

            Nice, your finally exposed for the liar you really are… Hitting the pipe this morning ?

          • Loonboy29

            Oh wow, that is just wrong! What is wrong with these people? I would be deathly ashamed to treat my mother like that! Someone rescue that poor woman from her negligent, loveless children! What a bunch of selfish, loser bastards!

          • Mike James

            Go hit your crack pipe dummy.

          • Mike James

            Your the racist.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            He’s not just a racist, he’s also illiterate, fat, and lives in a crappy house. His illegitimate sons are junior wanna-be gangsters, and plain out retarded. I’m not kidding, check it out on facebook – Kevin Hickman Sr. Prepare to be stunningly disgusted by this brainless racist turd.

          • Mike James

            He claims to live in the Burbs. All the pictures I viewed are in the Hood of Milwaukee. He likes to make himself important on these sites but all he is, is a hoodrat it seems.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Amen to that, brother! He’s just the average, barely literate, half-functioning, racist ghetto monkey. His whole family is dysfunctional like that. I mean really, thjs half-breed’s mother is a ghetto a

          • SlimJenkins

            My God, that is so, so pathetic! They can’t even come up with 50K for
            their own mother??? What kind of sad, pathetic, soulless children let
            their own mother rot from cancer like that? 50K? What, none of them own a
            house that they can re-mortgage? A car they could sell? Any credit
            rating? I mean, I knew they were ghetto, but this is ridiculous. If my
            mother had cancer, and needed 50K, I’d just give it to her, not like she
            would need me to pay her bills. But even if she did, my sister and I
            would sell whatever and all we owned to raise it, she’s our mother, for
            crying out loud! That’s not right, even by their limited moral
            standards. It’s sickening!

          • Mike James

            Check out his real Name Kevin O Hickman on the Milwaukee, WI court data base… Coke dealer… Women beater… Eviction… Felon in Possession of a firearm… And on and on.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            I know, eh? His little “boo” Kathleen Turner-Hickman is just as criminal as he is. Not to mention his delinquent sprog Davonte, and Kelley and Patricia – all have felony charges on their record. What a delightful family.

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Mike, my brother – thank you! Not since rope and tree figured out they had similar interests, and crime and Negro found out they were related, has a racist, pathetic, entitled, moronic, uneducated, useless ghetto nagger been this exposed, and utterly embarrassed like this! I’ve been playing around with this specific, sad example of an ungrateful, pathetic, not to mention “uneshukated” son for a while, now, but seriously…! This piece of ghetto nagger just got served.

            Oh, by the way, he’s hiding now. LOL. Like this moronic imbecile even knows how life, never mind the internet works. Of course not, it has the word “work” in it – pure Kryptonite. Let’s keep him on his fungus-infested toes, that he keeps putting under tables, in hovels he doesn’t pay rent on. Cheers!

      • Jesus H. Goldberg

        Hey Col Ben, you don’t mind if I use the info on this site in my survival classes, do you?

        • soulo1

          bgefrgunyertu7j745 7u6nbhder5

          • Jesus H. Goldberg

            Yup, that’s where I teach people how to protect themselves from thug street monkeys, and other ghetto vermin. Hi Kev-Kev!

    • Skeezix

      Please show them the corrected picture of the Sig, with it’s correct labeling of the different levers.

      • Col Ben

        Skeezix, I submitted the Sig 220 with decocker picture with correct labels to the website earlier, but it has not been published yet. Hopefully it will soon. Basically, the far left lever is the take-down lever; the decocker is the middle lever; the slide-lock lever is on the far right in the same picture. Success & let me know if you have other questions. BE SAFE!

  • RM_Loden

    First I want to point out that the image for this article and the first one you see is incorrectly labeled and should be fixed. The image I created below shows the parts and I would like to mention that a de-cocker is not a safety. It simply allows for a double action/single action to be safely de-cocked back into double action mode after shots have been fired. I hope this helps.

    • Col Ben

      Thank you & others. You and my wife caught the picture label at the same time and it has already been requested via the website that the picture be swapped out for one I sent with the correct label. The emphasis I wanted was on the DECOCKER for my Sig 220. I have about 15 Sigs with various actions and safeties, including the new Sig 226 Single-Action Only with its nuances. Thanks again!

    • Col Ben

      Thank you RM Loden for your comments. I forgot to mention in my response to you just a minute ago, like I did in the article, that the specific function of the decocker is a primary concern, because NOT ALL DECOCKERS ARE THE SAME, even if they look the same. You indicated they are. A “decocker” can be either one of two types: decocking lever and decocking safety. A decocking lever performs like you said, but a decocking safety will combine the functions of both the decocker and a manual safety. The Beretta 96G and the Beretta 96FS look similar, but the 96G has a decocker ONLY, while the 96FS is a decocking SAFETY. Like I said in the article, the difference is very important and shooters must know their gun and system. Know if the pistol is ready to fire after decocking or is the safety engaged after decocking? This is a life-death matter with the possibility of danger. Continued Success and Be Safe!

      • Sir TuberKopf

        Beretta’s combination safety, decocker (form F), also found on the PX-4Storm line, can easily be converted to decocker only (form G) by removing the detent ball and spring. Save those parts and it can be converted back. There are how to videos on YouTube.

        Beretta discourages this conversion but, you can buy the parts to do it more professionally. The conversion would be desireable if you had other firearms like Sig Sauer’s and wanted all weapons to operate in an identical fashion for safety and training.

        • Col Ben

          Thanks Sir T. Good info. Yes, I have the PX4 Storm & Beretta makes it in 4 types. Type F (safety & decocker) has a manual safety lever that also acts as a decocking lever. When pushed down the rear part of the firing pin is rotated out of alignment with the front of the firing pin. When the safety/decocker is engaged the trigger is inoperative & the gun automatically decocks. Just sweep the lever to make the pistol ready to fire. Type G is decocker only. Type D is DAO. Thanks again!

  • Bowserb

    Good comments so far. I agree with the author that a critical safety is a thinking person. However, things can happen to snag a trigger in spite of best efforts. Broken kydex or a thread in a holster, someone grabbing a gun, and other not-totally-in-our-control things can happen.

    Glock has no positive safety. That’s one reason Glocks are associated with the most accidental discharges. Many other striker fired guns have the same deficiency, with some exceptions: The Springfield Armory XD/XDM line has grip safeties. Smith & Wesson’s M&P line is available with (or without) a manual thumb safety. And Ruger’s striker guns have a thumb safety. Otherwise, I avoid striker guns by Glock, Sig, H&K, and most others.

    The long DA trigger pull of DA/SA guns is usually an adequate safety, as is the combo thumb and grip safety of 1911-style pistols. The Beretta DA/SA guns also have a thumb safety, albeit a bit inconvenient on the slide. A positive safety that prevents the gun from firing when the trigger is pulled, is important. I am as careful as anyone can be, but I still set the hand brake when I leave the car in Park!

    • bobfairlane

      Glock does offer some pistols with external safeties as options, and there are kits sold as gunsmithing modifications, if you want aftermarket work.

    • bobfairlane

      You can buy external-safety equipped trigger assemblies to modify Glocks.

  • Sir TuberKopf

    I have a wonderful Feinwerkbau air rifle with a safety that reengages automatically every time it is cocked. I once bought a case of five thousand rounds that is long gone, which simply is to say I’ve shot it a lot. Even though it is muscle memory to click that safety off, every few hundred rounds, because of a distraction, an interruption in the routine, I pull the trigger and nothing happens, because that safety is on.

    Because of this experience, I never bought a handgun with a safety. My choice is a sig or any handgun that operates in a similar fashion. It provides several levels of safety that different situations may call for.

    A holster is also a safety, since it prevents access to the trigger of a loaded weapon. There was a LEO who shot himself carrying a gun in his pocket without a pocket holster, recently in the news.

    Not having a round chambered in a semi auto is also another level of safety. Israeli military now trains to carry without a round in the chamber, there are you tubes videos that will show you how they do it, their technique compensates for the extra instant it takes to cycle the slide. This technique has virtually eliminated negligent discharges.

  • Teddy

    I carry the Ruger LC9 and I like it because it fits well in my hand and the thumb safety is right inline. I can draw my weapon, flick the thumb safety off, place my finger on the trigger and pew pew all in one motion. Some concealable guns I can’t reach the safety without stretching my hand and if my life depended on it, there would be no pew.

    • Col Ben

      Hi Teddy, I like my Ruger LC9s (striker fired) introduced the end of 2014. They greatly improved the trigger and it has a short and soft press; a big improvement over the previous LC9. Read my review of it in my 9-23-14 article on this website. Success and Be Safe!

  • Mike James

    Seems like the whole family is a group of losers…

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