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How to carry a 1911

kansashunterkansashunter Senior MemberPosts: 1,911 Senior Member
A while back I purchased a 1911 and I had to read the book to take it apart. While I was looking thru the book I noticed it said to never carry it with a round in the chamber. I had always heard cocked and locked was the proper way. Is this just lawyer speak? I don't intend to carry this but I did find it curious. It is a magnum research.


  • Elk creekElk creek Senior Member Colorado!Posts: 7,697 Senior Member
    I have a Colt bench mat on my gun table. Molded into it it says “never carry With a round in the chamber” 

    The proper way to carry a 1911 is round in the chamber, cocked and thumb safety engaged in a good quality holster. 
    Aim higher, or get a bigger gun.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,750 Senior Member
    Lawer speak.  
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Manistee Natl ForestPosts: 18,280 Senior Member
    I've seen this in multiple places as well...after thinking about it for a second, it seemed that carrying an unloaded gun to protect my self seemed somewhat counter-intuitive...

    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Posts: 4,610 Senior Member
    Lawyer speak.  Cocked and locked is the proper way to carry a 1911.  If the gun can’t be trusted to be carried in that state it needs a visit to a gunsmith.

    It’s a °IIIII° thing 😎

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,696 Senior Member
    Total lawyer speak, and doubly amusing when you consider that your Magnum Research is of "modern" parts spec with an oversize thumb safety and a grip safety with a palm bump - both of which were designed specifically to enhance function when deploying from cocked and locked carry status.

    But as for the "proper" way to carry:

    ORIGINAL military doctrine for the ORIGINAL 1911 was cavalry-based and consisted of hammer all the way down on a loaded chamber.  Pre-1924 pistols had the big thumb pad on the hammer AND the short spur on the grip safety which made thumb-cocking a bit more do-able.  Engaging the safety on the cocked hammer was mainly done so you wouldn't shoot your horse when getting it under control.

    1911-A1 doctrine was mostly empty chamber / rack when needed.  Not really a problem when in the company of a bunch of guys with .30-06's and Thompsons.

    The military flap holsters for the 1911 won't close with the hammer back.  The only period military holster that will is the pilot / tanker shoulder holster, which, for added excitement, held the grip safety down.

    Then of course you have cocked and locked, which has your sear pressed into the hammer notch by the safety, and your trigger blocked by the grip safety.

    And you could also go for "Condition Zero", which leaves you cocked, unlocked, and totally reliant on the grip safety.  I wouldn't do it without a holster that totally encloses the trigger, but with one, I wouldn't be overly alarmed by it.

    Not many will advocate it today, but loaded chamber, with the hammer lowered to the half-cock notch would have been in keeping with MANY of the turn-of-20th-Century sporting arms that the original users of the pistol would have been familiar with.  Nowadays, the 1911 is accessorized in ways to make thumb-cocking awkward, and the half-cock notch is there only as an "emergency stop" to a hammer that is somehow released the full-cock notch without the trigger being pulled.

    Point being, the pistol isn't UN-safe in any of those modes, provided it hasn't been match-pistol tinkered and the user has a clue about what they're doing.

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
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