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Thread: HK45 safeties.

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    Question HK45 safeties.

    How many safeties does the HK45/45c have? How do they compare to the 1911 safeties? Is it unsafe to carry a HK45/45c C&L? I ask because I read in a thread that it was unsafe to carry a HK45 C&L because it doesn't have safeties like a 1911 does. Does anyone else feel this way? I find it odd that this would be a concern, when I read up on other DA/SA guns with safeties I.E. the CZ then folks don't seem to complain about carrying those guns C&L. Bottom line, is the HK45/45c safe to carry C&L or is it more prudent to leave C&L to the 1911's?

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    The 1911 has a "grip-safety" which the HKs do not have. Until you depress the grip safety (by grabbing the grip), the trigger won't release. As I understand it, the original design submitted by John M. Browning to the US government did not have this feature. It was insisted upon by those with the power to grant him the US contract. There are many shooters out there even today who feel the 1911 grip-safety is unneeded and therefore disable it, either internally or by taping it down (I don't).

    Original 1911s do not have a firing-pin safety. Many newer ones do, and many newer ones do not. All HK45s do.

    All standard 1911s have a manual lever-safety. All HK45s are capable of having this.

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    As for the question about whether the HK45 may be safely carried "cocked & locked" (a round in the chamber, hammer back, safety-lever engaged), this is a matter of training. Of all the carry conditions, "cocked & locked" probably requires the most amount of training and care (for obvious reasons) regardless of whether it is a CZ-75, HK45, or the mighty & venerable 1911.

    In theory, the additonal grip-safety on a 1911 may provide some slight extra degree of "foolproofing", but any garden-variety half-assed fool may easily outwit it any day of the week. Bottom line in my opinion, the HK45 may certainly be considered comparable to the 1911 for cocked & locked carry, even without the extra grip-safety.

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    All of the above having been said, training is absolutely KEY to carrying a handgun with any measure of safety. . . regardless of model or of carry-condition.
    Last edited by orfeo; 01-16-2012 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default HK45 Safety Mechanisms

    IMO the HK45 is no different than the rest of the flagship HK products- ie USP etc. All of the variants can be safely carried cocked and locked. Howevere, The DAO (v7) has no external safety. The pistol must be racked to chamber the first round and with no external safety the long trigger pull (regardless of weight) is the function intended to mitigate a negligent discharge. I own both USP v1 and a HK45 v7 DAO and prefer the no external safety myself.

    Although it has never happened to me I have seen shooters draw a Cocked and Locked pistol and accidentally decock it by pushing the safety to far down. Saw this in competition but it could probably just as easily happen from a duty holster or concealment.

    One small downside to the DAO is there is no decock - you must eject the mag (if it's full) and rack the slide to empty the chamber to unload the round.

    Understand the platform and you will be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leisure View Post
    . . . Although it has never happened to me I have seen shooters draw a Cocked and Locked pistol and accidentally decock it by pushing the safety to far down. . .
    That is why there is a variant available to disable the decock function, making the safety-lever operation identical to a 1911. . . (I forget the variant #)

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    Quote Originally Posted by orfeo View Post
    That is why there is a variant available to disable the decock function, making the safety-lever operation identical to a 1911. . . (I forget the variant #)
    I believe it's Variant 3...
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    Ok. I'm gonna ask and look stupid. Is the firing pin safety you guys speak of the same safety that allows the hammer to be decocked without hitting the firing pin?

    Is this the only safety, other than the safety lever, that HK's have?

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    The 1911 grip safety is superfluous and was only added as a requirement the US army cavalry had for horseback fighters. John M Browning's later and last pistol design the Browning Hi Power eliminated the "feature".. and I have carried one of those off and on for 25 years

    Springfield Armory messed up their XPs with a grip safety out of nostalgia and it was one reason I never bought one. Yes I do own 1911s too, but the grip safety is goofy

    IMO decockers are even goofier
    Last edited by Blitzkrieg; 01-16-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darebear View Post
    Is it unsafe to carry a HK45/45c C&L?
    Safety is a relative term. One can be more safe or less safe but there is no absolute safety in dealing with firearms and pretty much everything else we do. As far as comparing the two pistols in this context (carrying cocked and locked)we'd have to compare them in the two main situations that exist. Those two situations are holstered and out of the holster.

    Let's start with "out of the holster". For me this is the time that the grip is established all the way through to the time that the pistol is holstered and the grip is released. During this time the grip safety is depressed continuously negating any safety "advantage" that the grip safety may provide. It's my opinion that during this time the two platforms are fairly equivalent as far as safety is concerned.

    That leaves us with "holstered". With a properly designed holster the trigger area should be completely covered so as to eliminate the possibility of actuating the trigger. The only time that you have a difference in the amount of safeties employed is when the pistols are holstered and the safeties are deactivated either inadvertently or negligently (not activating prior to holstering). At this time the grip safety is in play on the 1911 but obviously not on the HK45. Since the trigger is covered with a quality holster the most obvious way to get to it is to draw. As soon as the grip is established that difference is negated.

    I guess you need to ask yourself if the difference between the two during that holstered/safety off circumstance that could possibly occur is acceptable. What freak things could happen at that time initiate the firing sequence? Does your training and experience give you he ability to be comfortable with this? Everyone has a different level of comfort with such things. I for instance don't get all warm and fuzzy thinking about the chance of having a pistol holstered in single action without a safety. On the other hand I am comfortable with LEM and I understand that others are not. It really is a personal choice based on training and experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by orfeo View Post
    That is why there is a variant available to disable the decock function, making the safety-lever operation identical to a 1911. . . (I forget the variant #)
    Quote Originally Posted by fifthward View Post
    I believe it's Variant 3...
    The HK45 and HK45c follow the USP line for Variants. V9 (right hand) would be DA/SA with safety and no decock.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darebear View Post
    Ok. I'm gonna ask and look stupid. Is the firing pin safety you guys speak of the same safety that allows the hammer to be decocked without hitting the firing pin?

    Is this the only safety, other than the safety lever, that HK's have?
    The Catch is what stops the forward movement of the hammer when decocking. The Firing Pin Block Safety is the second layer of safety in this instance.
    Last edited by Brownie; 01-16-2012 at 04:15 PM.
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  9. #9
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    You're right brownie, thanks for the correction. I got it mixed up...bass ackwards.. V3 is "decock only".

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darebear View Post
    How many safeties does the HK45/45c have? How do they compare to the 1911 safeties? Is it unsafe to carry a HK45/45c C&L? I ask because I read in a thread that it was unsafe to carry a HK45 C&L because it doesn't have safeties like a 1911 does. Does anyone else feel this way? I find it odd that this would be a concern, when I read up on other DA/SA guns with safeties I.E. the CZ then folks don't seem to complain about carrying those guns C&L. Bottom line, is the HK45/45c safe to carry C&L or is it more prudent to leave C&L to the 1911's?
    If it were unsafe, do you really think HK would allow the gun to be carried that way?

    As noted, the only thing it's missing compared to the 1911 is the grip safety. There are a number of SAO guns that do not incorporate the grip safety, the Browning Hi-Power as all ready noted, the Sig 220 SAO, the Colt Mustang and Sig P238, the CZ line, The Sig 226 X5, etc.

    In short, yes the HK45 is "safe" to carry C&L. I don't see how anyone can say that it is less safe than other variants without a manual safety...

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