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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings! Does anyone know of a source showing drop tests on different handguns to include the M1911A1 pistol types? The reason I am asking is that my department is banning all Colt Series 70 & Springfield Armory handguns because of no firing pin safety and they can or did fail the drop test.
May the Lord protect us from the bookeepers & accountants that carry badges & guns, amen!
 

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The State of CA has a list of guns that have passed drop tests and may be sold in the state. (many Springfields are listed)

http://caag.state.ca.us/firearms/certlist.htm

3 different examples of every gun must be dropped on a concrete slab 4 different ways (including on the muzzle) from 39 inches in height and not discharge the chambered primed case.

The gun has to pass this test and reliability testing in order to be on the list.

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Mark IV Series 80

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mark IV Series 80 on 2001-04-29 02:52 ]</font>
 

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If you were not already aware of it, Para also uses the Series 80 type of pin safety. Kimber is slowly 'upgrading' theirs to include their new pin-safety. It will disengage via the grip safety, rather than trigger linkage hindering a good pull. The model name will be followed by a II to indicate the change, e.g., 'Custom Carry II'.
 

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I shouldn't say anything because I know everybody with an opinion will be on my back, but...
I have a friend who is a mechanical engineer and an avid shooter. We did our personal drop tests with a series 70 and a regular factory firing pin spring.
In 1,000 drops from a height of a Chevy Blazer to the gravel driveway (the pistol was loaded, locked on an empty case with a primer only) the pistol landed on the muzzle 4 times out of the 1,000 drops. Every other time it was flat on the side. It never dripped on the hammer. Now this was a realistic height, but later we dropped it another thousand times from the top of the tallest stepladder I could find. That time it landed directly on the muzzle only once.
After a bit of calculation, using the factory firing pin spring as a basis, and given that it might drop swuarely on the muzzle, the figures showed that the pistol would have to impact a hard surface from a height of five stories to fire.
I do know of one case where a person had a factory firing pin spring installed in a loaded and locked pistol, threw it with all of his strength a distance of 25 feet against the corner of a log cabin, the pistol impacted directly on the hammer and the rebound from the firing pin stop was great enough to ignite the cartridge. The pistol had been thrown end over end.
All in all, I'd say that when the departments did their purely unscientific studies of the 1911 that there was a Glock salesman standing in the wings, offering free loaners for life.
The U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps used the 1911 for the better part of the 20th century without any drop/ignition problems. It was only when competing firearms came onto the scene that doubt was cast on the safety of the 1911. But, try to get Glock to admit to the large number of accidents using their pistols. I know of several right in this area. More accidents in 10 years than in nearly 100 yearws of 1911 use.
Go ahead, howl, scream any yowl, but it is just hot air until you prove otherwise, and NOBODY is willing to conduct an impartial test. Air pressure inslures that a slabsided pistol will almost never impact on the muzzle when dropped. The kicker is that long before firing pin locks, the Army regulations demanded that pistols be carried with a loaded magazine, but a dry chamber. The Air Force proved that with practice, the pistol could be drawn, cocked and fired as fast as a pistol loaded and locked could be drawn and fired. The tapes of the Air AForce demo are still in existence. And, finally, the Israelis do not allow loaded chambers in carry guns. Shooters are trained to draw, cock and fire. I have a tape of this training, and the shooter gets off his shots lightening fast.
Therefore, I suspect skull diggery on the part of some competing firearm company to obfuscate the truth in order to sell their product.
Take it for what it's worth, but if lyou disagree...show your proof and be able to repeat the demonstration on demand.
If you want a completely safe police weapon, why not go to the Model 15 Smith. I know of no cases of unintentional discharge with this revolver when it is used double action only.
 

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John
I like your enthusiasm for the 1911, i myself love it.. only 1 thing.. i can't see how someone could pull a dry chamber, cock the slide and fire faster than i can pull my colt loaded and locked flick the slide saftey and pull... any takers on a good ol fashioned draw with that set up.... i get the loaded and locked one. :smile: i have seen people cock the slide by catching the back sites on their gun belt and then fire, but i still think pulling loaded and locked would be faster.. has to be..

to put my two cents on the original question... the solution is to carry a series 80 if your dept is putting in the ban on series 70, but it seems pretty bogus, if i was to carry on duty, i wouldn't want to carry anything other than my 1911 loaded and locked..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I want to thank everyone for their response, they are very educational and thought provoking. Of note, on 04/07/01 I sent letters to Springfield & Colt, (certified), requesting information/copies of their test and recalls/warnings (Colt) and anything else that would support me in fighting for THEIR weapons. Well, as of this date, I've got my green delivery cards back but nothing else. It kind of bothers me that they don't care what is officially said about their product. So I guess this issue is of no concern to the big boys.
Clem
 

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John Lawson`s well documented post is right on. The CA. " Drop Tests" are BS, have everything to do with Gun Control and nothing to do with " Safety" and any Shooter over 15 knows this.

Over the years , beginning in the USAF in the late `60`s I have been there when 3, Yes three stock 1911`s with a chambered round _and_ the thumb safety _off_ were dropped (actually more " flipped " in a botched draw attempt) onto the hammer/rear slide area and none went off....
 

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If you will prown the archives for the Air Force demonstration tape, you will see a young sergeant draw and fire with blinding speed. The Israeli tape on their method of rapid draw will also astound you. I defy you to beat the instructor on the tape as he draws, turns the pistol on its side, racks the slide as he thrusts it into an upright firing position and gets off his shot.
It's nice to settle back and fall into delusions about your capabilities, but you have to train constantly. There is always somebody out there that has practiced more.
Does anyone know of an easy source for these two tapes? Lenny does not have them. The Israeli tape, as memory serves, was sold out of California.
 

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Rolexman:
I missed your draw and fire challenge on the first pass. Gee, I can't let that one go by.
As it happens, I carry a Series 80 Gold Cup, very highly modified by yrs truly. I'll holster mine with an unloaded chamber and you holster yours loaded and locked. Then we'll draw on steel reactive targets.
But, not so fast there! In that I live in Tacoma, where it always rains, we will be starting our draw from under a buttoned up raincoat. Still think you can beat me?
I've been a pistolsmith since 1946 and a police firearms instructor since 1954, and in the old days when somebody fancied themselves a rapid draw, I reminded them that our department issued pea coats and the draw was to begin with the coat fully buttoned up. Amazing how a little thing like a dose of reality can increase your rapid draw time.
Only foolin'. I understand your points.


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"Today we carve our own omens..." Leonidas atThermopylae John Lawson
The Sight Shop
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253 474 5465

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: John Lawson on 2001-05-03 10:26 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-05-02 23:15, John Lawson wrote:
We did our personal drop tests with a series 70 and a regular factory firing pin spring. In 1,000 drops from a height of a Chevy Blazer to the gravel driveway (the pistol was loaded, locked on an empty case with a primer only) the pistol landed on the muzzle 4 times out of the 1,000 drops. Every other time it was flat on the side. It never dripped on the hammer. Now this was a realistic height, but later we dropped it another thousand times from the top of the tallest stepladder I could find. That time it landed directly on the muzzle only once.
After a bit of calculation . . .
After a bit of calculation, it must be pretty darn boring up there in Tacoma if y'all had nothing better to do than stand around droppin' a 1911 2000+ times. :grin:
 

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well john,
with those credentials i'm not going up against you anytime soon..I live in Jersey where it is almost illegal these days just to think about having a gun, so i don't get to practice quite as much as i would like... but i'd still carry my locked and loaded...

on a serious note, having your background, how would you advise someone who carrys for "on duty" protection to carry their weapon, who may need it in a moments notice, (for instance) some one who may be a target, either a body guard or someone who carrys jewels or cash.. any thoughts on different methods between a series 80 and series 70
 

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a lot of good information.

i carry a series 80 colt on duty as a uniformed police officer. i would never carry a gun in a uniform that was not chambered.

look guys, tests are tests are tests! no amount of test will replace common sense. i don't want to get comfortable having a gun on me that is not ready to use. i don't want to have to use two hands to get my gun "threat ready". the fact is, during the winter you may have to use your off hand to help clear your coat out of the way. you may have your off hand busy holding someone or something when you have to get your "felon repelant".

there is nothing wrong with learning to run the slide back using your belt, or even the edge of your boot,( we train that!) but under stress you need to get your gun out now, why handicap yourself on purpose? if you don't feel comfortable with the cocked and locked 1911, carry something else. take your 1911 out to shoot and look at, but you have to be 100 percent comfortable with your gear.

be safe
russel the cop
 
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I believe the NRA conducted a test and published the findings in 1980 or 1981 and I would tend to believe John is correct in his impartial test and Glock comment. I was indoctrinated on the Glock "accidents" by an expert, I will explain, in late 1993 I joined a protective team with a principal based out of Ireland, he was a government official and the team leader was an active duty SBS commander. In no uncertain terms we were informed that all of our pistols (Glock 17s) were to be carried with a full magazine and empty chamber. We were instructed and trained to draw the MP5K from the push down and out rigs and fire as we reached extension (MP5s were carried with a round in the chamber- the selectors were always set on semi-auto). We were taught the Israeli method of drawing, rotating the pistol slightly to the left and cycling the slide as your right hand was at midpoint touching your diaphragm/upper abdomen (muzzle indexed on target), then engaging the left hand in the two hand grip, firing as you came into extension on target with the proper sight picture. The older/faster well practiced members of the team could indeed draw, load, and fire before we the new guys could draw and fire in standard fashion.
I should note that I do not continue to shoot or carry in the Israeli method as I have suffered too many physical injuries over the years and I am not confident that I have the flexibility, dexterity, and speed to pull it off effectively.
In the last 7 years I have spent a lot of time about 2,000 hours behind a Glock trigger and I feel that I am safe with them, I believe the design is and was always sound but it is not forgiving of careless handling, in much the same manner as the p7 series can be considered one of the safest guns ever built. Yet the P7 has one of the highest rates of accidental discharge and negligent shooting rates. Consider that an agency as highly skilled and professional agency as the NJ State Police suffered dozens of Accidental discharges while carrying them. Some pistol designs require a lot of safe handling and training practice, the Glock is one of them, the P7 is another, the 1911 should also be included. That said I love all three and I am more than willing to take the time to learn to handle and use them safely.
For the gentleman who requested info on drop safety testing for the 1911 I would recommend you contact the gun smith firm of Scott,& McDougall Associates in CA.http://www.sonic.net/gunsmith/
For official LE oriented tests the FBI’s firearms instruction division at Quantico is another source.
http://www.fbi.gov/hq/td/academy/ftu/ftu.htm
 

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Great points John. Regarding the empty chamber carry, however, if you take that shooter who can get his unchambered 1911 into action as fast as someone with a condition 1 pistol and give him a 1911 in condition 1, what do you bet that he'll be slightly faster with the condition 1 pistol?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
On 2001-05-03 01:19, Clem wrote:
I want to thank everyone for their response, they are very educational and thought provoking. Of note, on 04/07/01 I sent letters to Springfield & Colt, (certified), requesting information/copies of their test and recalls/warnings (Colt) and anything else that would support me in fighting for THEIR weapons. Well, as of this date, I've got my green delivery cards back but nothing else. It kind of bothers me that they don't care what is officially said about their product. So I guess this issue is of no concern to the big boys.
Clem
Well Colt did respond. It appears that they didn't "have any recalls or safety concerns" on the M1911A1 or Series 70 pistols..............????????????? So why the Series 80?????????More $$$$,???????????
Clem
 

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Colt went to the Series 80 due to a lawsuit where a rent-a-cop was carrying a cocked and locked 1911. He handed it or was in the process of handing it to another person while still loaded. One of the morons decided it was safer if the hammer was at half-cock and let it slip, injuring one of said morons. Given that no one takes responsibility for their own actions, Colt was sued for having a defective product that would fire without the trigger being pulled. Colt installed the Series 80 to deal with such claims.
 

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Clem asks:
Greetings! Does anyone know of a source showing drop tests on different handguns to include the M1911A1 pistol types? The reason I am asking is that my department is banning all Colt Series 70 & Springfield Armory handguns because of no firing pin safety and they can or did fail the drop test.
Have your department armorer contact Officer John Bedel, Pembroke Pines (FL) P.D.… they underwent the same foolishness more than a decade ago, and resolved it to their Chief's satisfaction by taking some Series 70 Colts and "clones' out of the property room, chambering a primed case and dropping it from the station house roof… the cop house there is three stories tall.

The pistols, all confiscated, were Code H, but none discharged, and the MOS there were thereafter permitted to carry non-Series 80 1911A1s in condition one.

G'luck…
 
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Not that I am looking to fuel any anti gun issues or contribute to the controversy but with very little effort you can find hundreds of listings for accidental discharges by single action pistols, here are just a few:
According to the Harvard Injury Control Research Center's National Firearm Injury Statistics Group their have been 91 cases of single action pistols causing an accidental discharge when dropped or thrown against the ground or a hard surface.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention their were 1,300 case of firearms deaths caused by accidental discharges in 1999 and 103 of those deaths were caused by dropped single action automatic pistols.
On the other side of the argument Officer/Detective Tim Bedwell of the Gilbert Arizona Police Department offers a 1911 transition package for Police agenecies looking to transition to the 1911 full of good info and reliability/safety facts. This package was put together by Dr. Tim Urell of the Yuma County AZ Sheriffs office.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-05-27 03:10 ]</font>
 
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