Firearm History

1911 Conditions of readiness

And gun safety tips.

Col. Jeff Cooper, originator of the most recent handgun shooting practices, revolutionized how people viewed the 1911 pistol’s readiness state. He created a system in which he named the different states as conditions. The conditions he named are;

What Are The Conditions?

Condition Zero is when your pistol has one round in the chamber with a cocked hammer and the safety catch off.

Condition One is also called ‘cocked and locked’. It is when you have one round in the chamber with a cocked hammer and the side frame thumb safety functional.

Condition Two is when you have one round in the pistol’s chamber with the hammer fully down.

Condition Three is when you have a magazine that is charged in the pistol but with the hammer down and the chamber having no round.

·Condition Four is when you have no magazine in the pistol, no round in the chamber and the hammer fully down.

Although very scary to those who do not have any knowledge of the preventative and control aspects of the 1911, condition one is the readiness state which enjoys the endorsement of a majority of experts. This is as it provides the foremost stability of security and promptness.

Safety First, Always.

There are several problems with condition two. It has caused more accidental discharges in comparison to the others. Due to how the 1911 was designed, you cannot evade the manual safety being off and the hammer cocked whenever you let the chamber get a round. You must pull the trigger and keep your thumb on the firing pin whenever you want to let down the hammer. The live round primer and firing pin are very near each other. You could accidentally fire the gun if your thumb slips. In addition to being embarrassing, this could also end in tragedy as the finger could be severely injured. The second challenge is that some models of the 1911 do not come with a safety block for the firing pin. Although real cases hardly exist, this could also cause the pistol to unintentionally go off. Lastly, you must manually cock the pistol with your thumb before you can fire it. This is not okay when there is an emergency.

With the chamber empty, condition three has a degree of protection. But there are many steps involved before you can use the pistol. You will need the ‘Israeli draw’ which was created and taught by Israeli forces. For most users, the draw just adds to the level of complications in using the pistol. This can bring mistakes to a beginner who is trying to put a target in sight.

Is The ‘Half-Cock’ Safe?
Instead of being a safety feature, the half-cock is meant to be just a feature to make the pistol fail-safe. But some people employ it for a readiness condition. One thing to note is that when the trigger of ‘series 80’ hammer-carrying 1911’s in half-cock condition is pulled, the hammer is more likely to fall off. But as a 1911 pistol readiness condition, half-cock is a viable option when you are surrounded by foes.

For more on gun safety, check out this episode with Kristy Titus from Pursue The Wild.

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