Older Double Action Auto Protocol

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Hand and Steel
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Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby Hand and Steel » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:59 am

Does anyone know what the common protocol was when carrying with a loaded chamber in the older CZ 75s and Beretta 92s before they had firing pin blocks - where they intended to be carried hammer down resting on the firing pin, or carried at half cock?

Even older double action / single action automatics such as the Walther PP and PPK, and those pistols inspired by them like the Makarov, have no half cock position, no firing pin block and were intended to be carried with the hammer down over a loaded chamber - but due to the rebounding hammer design, the hammer does not contact the firing pin when the hammer is at rest - it is effectively at "half cock" whenever the hammer is down, though the hammer is not under any spring tension. This has always seemed to be such an elegant system to me. It seems odd that after decades of satisfactory service from these types of pistols, and decades of firing pin blocks being used in designs like the Walther P38, that by 1975 both the original CZ 75 and Beretta 92 would have a safety system that could potentially be seen as so "incomplete".

Any light on how these classic pistols were intended to be carried is appreciated.

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LWP
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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby LWP » Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:36 am

My Browning BDM owner's manual stresses that the hammer should be in the dropped position when carrying or storing the pistol. This is half-cock, the position which maximizes the safety features. I do this. They also say to carry with an empty chamber. I don't. Why is any safety feature or half-cock required with an empty chamber?
This pistol was developed to compete in the US military 9mm selection in the early 90's, which resulted in adoption of the Beretta 92F (M9). Because certain features were required to compete, I guess both pistols would have had the same manual of arms. The BDM is fairly rare with not much following so there's no common usage lore attached to it. Not so the Beretta.
I like the BDM because it is slim (about an inch) and lighter than a 1911, loads 15+1 rounds, fits my hand and shoots great.

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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby Nathan » Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:32 am

Hand and Steel wrote:Does anyone know what the common protocol was when carrying with a loaded chamber in the older CZ 75s and Beretta 92s before they had firing pin blocks

The common protocol was "don't drop your gun". I'm not even being a smart ass.
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Hand and Steel
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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby Hand and Steel » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:35 pm

Nathan wrote:The common protocol was "don't drop your gun". I'm not even being a smart ass.

That goes without saying. Just curious as to whether they were meant for the hammer to be down or at half cock over a live round.

LWP wrote:My Browning BDM owner's manual stresses that the hammer should be in the dropped position when carrying or storing the pistol. This is half-cock, the position which maximizes the safety features. I do this. They also say to carry with an empty chamber. I don't. Why is any safety feature or half-cock required with an empty chamber?

Sounds like they were attempting to avert any liability in the event of an accidental discharge, rather than giving actual advice.
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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby Nathan » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:26 am

Hand and Steel wrote:That goes without saying. Just curious as to whether they were meant for the hammer to be down or at half cock over a live round.

No seriously, I wasn't even trying to be a smart ass. It wasn't a factor because we weren't litigious society who blames everyone else for our own failures. It wasn't an expectation so it was a non-issue. You just didn't drop your gun. I'd like to know the real history behind the half-cock notch. I realize it was later used as a safety measure but I cannot say that was the idea behind it.
I remember (when I was a boy) it being quite common to carry a 1911 chambered with the hammer down. Back then people weren't nearly as worried about dropping their gun. Colonel Cooper I think changed this thinking (or at the very least, played a very integral role in it) in promoting Condition 1 carry. Not only was it faster but it was also safer.
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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby LWP » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:25 pm

Nathan wrote:
Hand and Steel wrote:That goes without saying. Just curious as to whether they were meant for the hammer to be down or at half cock over a live round.
...I remember (when I was a boy) it being quite common to carry a 1911 chambered with the hammer down. Back then people weren't nearly as worried about dropping their gun. Colonel Cooper I think changed this thinking (or at the very least, played a very integral role in it) in promoting Condition 1 carry. Not only was it faster but it was also safer.

Since it is safe to carry a 1911 at full cock, safe on and chambered, by extension it should be "more safe" to carry another pistol at half-cock, safe on and chambered. The half-cock position provides a hammer block or disconnect.

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Re: Older Double Action Auto Protocol

Postby Hand and Steel » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:24 pm

Nathan wrote:I'd like to know the real history behind the half-cock notch. I realize it was later used as a safety measure but I cannot say that was the idea behind it.

...I think the idea has always been that if the hammer is resting on a loaded chamber, and the hammer is accidentally pulled back but not enough to fully cock it, then when it swings back forward under spring tension it will be caught at the half cock notch instead of slamming into the firing pin and setting the gun off. That and preventing a discharge if the hammer is fumbled during manual cocking or lowering of the hammer.

Nathan wrote:I remember (when I was a boy) it being quite common to carry a 1911 chambered with the hammer down. Back then people weren't nearly as worried about dropping their gun. Colonel Cooper I think changed this thinking (or at the very least, played a very integral role in it) in promoting Condition 1 carry. Not only was it faster but it was also safer.

Agreed that condition 1 is generally better than condition 2 for a 1911, but I cannot agree with those who argue that condition 2 is unsafe because you have to manually lower the hammer. It is no more "unsafe" than lowering the hammer of a cocked revolver, or lowering the hammer on a CZ 75 or similar DA/SA autos that are not equipped with a decocker. So long as your hand is steady and your mind is clear, I see very little danger in this practice - but would still advise anyone to be especially conscious that the weapon is pointed in a safe direction while lowering the hammer.
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