View Full Version : drawing a 1911

09-05-2010, 9:10 AM
If my 1911 is holstered cocked-and-locked, at what point should i disengage the safety when im drawing? Do i disengage it as soon as it clears the holster or do i wait until i am on target?

sorry for the newbish question, but better to look like a fool asking a question than a fool for doing something stupid.


09-05-2010, 9:16 AM
I'd say:
1) Draw
2) Disengage the safety
3) Point it in the "ready" position with finger off the trigger

Here, watch this:

09-05-2010, 9:17 AM
my 1911 grip has my dominant thumb riding on top of the safety lever. As soon as I get a solid grip on the gun is when I switch it off. At that point my index finger is the only thing I need to fire it.

09-05-2010, 9:27 AM
If used in a defensive situation I would say disengaging the safety is the first thing you do after starting to draw. Remember, you may not have time to bring the gun up into a classic two hand grip and take careful aim. If the baddy is right up on you you may have to fire as soon as you clear the holster.

09-05-2010, 9:55 AM
This has been argued, and will continue to be argued, for a long time. Training doctrine has changed over time and it is somewhat dependent on the circumstances of your intent when you draw. LEOs will draw and not shoot more often than not whentaking someone into custody or when searching a building.

Current training is to not swipe off the thumb safety until your gun is pointed at your target AND you have made the decision to fire. The thumb should be atop the thumb safety when taking the Master Grip in the holster before you even start lifting the gun and stays there until you move it to flip it back on when you are done shooting. The trigger finger does not enter the trigger guard until after the thumb safety has been disengaged...the thumb and trigger finger move together.

Whatever speed advantage you may perceive in swiping the thumb safety off before the muzzle is pointed at your target is more than out weighed by the safety you give up. Any speed advantage/disadvantage was studied and proven back in the '70s and '80s in USPSA competition.

In CQB, you would be swiping off the thumb safety as you rotate the gun after clearing the holster

09-05-2010, 2:50 PM
thanks for the advice everyone. it was exactly what i was looking for.

09-06-2010, 3:31 PM
Don't take the safety off until it's pointed in the target's general direction. The moment the gun clears the holster, rotate it to point forward in the 'retention position' and take the safety off. You can fire from there if you had to, or join your hands together and punch out to a two handed firing stance.

Looks something like this:
I would hold the gun more vertical and definitely not have my left hand there, but just to give you a loose idea.

09-06-2010, 5:27 PM
Its a glock, just point and shoot.....wait....

As you begin to draw the safety should be disengaged.

09-06-2010, 5:48 PM
As you begin to draw the safety should be disengaged.

The firearm should be clear of the holster and pointed in a safe direction. The IPSC/USPSA guys will probably tell you to disengage as you are pointing it out. 9mm's response above about law enforcement and folks using it in real life situations (don't disengage until you are pointing it at the target) makes sense.

09-06-2010, 5:56 PM
When I do my draw, my thumb is one of the first things that comes in contact with the gun, and it should be on the safety for the entire process. After the muzzle clears the holster I start rotating it towards the target, and the safety comes off during this movement. That way I can shoot from retention if I have to, and I can start driving the gun towards the target, again firing if I have to.

While under stress, I have been known to hit the safety earlier in the draw, but as long as you're maintaining trigger finger discipline, it shouldn't pose a safety issue. Just practice slow and smooth until you can start picking up speed without sacrificing smoothness.