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EMP14 – 1911 Carry

This week I jump into the dreaded 1911 Carry Condition 1 vs Carry Condition 2 debate.

There was one thing in this episode that I had planned on mentioning that I didn’t. If for some reason condition 1 is not an option, I would much prefer carrying in condition 3, rather than condition 2. You don’t have to drop the hammer, and racking the slide in condition 3 is a gross motor skill. Thumbing the hammer in condition 2 is a fine motor skill. Guess which one is more likely to be flubbed under stress?

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1911 Field Manual, scroll down to FM 23-35 (PDF). (Rules for Safety) Section VII, .25, i

8 comments to EMP14 – 1911 Carry
  • Ron Larimer

    Please dont allow this to be a debate.

    The gun was designed to be carried in condition 1. If this scares you please carry a gun where one in the chamber doesn’t scare you. If the idea of having a bullet in the chamber is the issue, consider whether or not you are ready to carry or not. If condition 3 is the only choice, fine. Condition 2 though has all of the disadvantages of condition one and three.

    • Jason Phelps


      I am mostly in agreement with you that it should be carried in condition one, and if you’re not comfortable with that, condition three is the way to go.

      I do also feel that it was designed to be carried in condition one (by way of direction from the Army). However, I can’t control whether its a debate or not. It’s been a debate for years – ever since Cooper started talking about it. The best I can do is offer the facts and my opinions and try to steer folks towards the safer options.

  • Another enjoyable episode. You pointed me to a new blog (AK and Cupcakes) and I’m eager to read the Sons of Guns article on Walls of the City.

    I don’t own a 1911 so I don’t have an opinion there. Although, I think I would be comfortable carrying condition 1 due to the thumb safety and beavertail.

  • When you rack the slide on a Glock, it resets the trigger. Now you have a gun, loaded, requiring only enough pressure to depress the trigger. There is no thumb safety or grip safety.

    Is the Glock safer because you can’t see the little shooty bits all ready to go? Is the 1911 more dangerous because the hammer is in plain sight?

    Is gun. Use brain. Avoid unintended booming noise.

  • First, excellent show. Sound is professional now. You can stop tweaking. I know you won’t, but you can. ;-)

    Second, if carrying cocked and locked was a problem, it would be well known and documented. I refer everyone to the .40 Glock kB issue.

    Next, let’s debate whether to carry long bows strung or unstrung.

  • Jason Phelps

    @ASM826 I think the difference here is an exposed hammer, resting in its down position is making contact with the firing pin.

    @Fill Yer Hands, cocked and locked is not a problem. Condition 2 is. :P

  • Skarz

    The hammer rests on the half-cocked notch when properly set in condition 2.

    That being what it is, a well known 1911 trainer privately refers to carrying the hammer down on a loaded chamber with the 1911 as “Condition Stupid.”.

    Seem to be enough said there.

  • […] Mags Podcast #14 By JP 5.56, on September 21st, 2011 Ah, the dreaded 1911 carry condition 1 vs. condition 2 debate. Share this post:EmailPrintShareShareDigg Empty Mags Podcast   1911, Carry, Cocked and […]

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