Should your handgun have a manual safety?

US Army details new modular handgun based on Sig Sauer P320 | IHS Jane ...

US military new gun, the Sig P320


Your video showing the victims who went for guns that did not have a round in the chamber tells us that they most likely had pistols that did not have mechanical safeties, or if they did have safeties they did not have them engaged.

Either way, they probably thought that keeping the chamber empty was a way to keep the gun from being discharged accidentally by themselves or others who might pick it up.

We have exchanged notes before about the desirability or the undesirability of mechanical safeties on pistols.

While adherents of the no-safety guns make various arguments in defense of their position, a couple of points can be made.

I can send you many articles on many accidental shootings with guns that just “went off” and shot somebody.  These guns were fired by toddlers who somehow got their hands on them (gun owners’ neglect) all the way up to “highly trained” people such as law enforcement officers.  (Interesting that these articles don’t ever disclose the model of pistol involved—wonder if they are worried about legal liabilities.)

But since toddlers probably don’t know how to disengage a manual safety, and competent adults would not deliberately disengage a safety in an unsafe setting, we might conclude that these shootings overwhelmingly are with pistols that do not have a manual safety.

A few months ago, one of the popular gun magazines had an article by a lady firearms trainer who swore that she would never have a pistol with a safety, saying “That is just something else to fumble with” if she had to use her gun.  Strange—you would think that a professional would be trained to the point where there would be no “fumbling.”

Certainly, a gun with a round in the chamber and a manual safety engaged would have been better than the “rack and then shoot” scenarios in your video.



Hello Larry,

That’s a good point but you have to keep in mind two words: police and military.

For concealed carry I can tell you one thing; Go with a Glock. Round chambered, no safety.

Your child should NOT take hold of your gun, a safety does not make you a good parent, it does not compensate for lack of training either.

Now for a cop that may lose his gun in a struggle with a suspect, a soldier that may lose his gun in a fight, maybe when handling prisoners, these can be reasons for a safety. I do remember though a cop that had a negligent discharge with his Beretta 92, a gun that has a safety. Safeties do not in any way compensate for improper gun handling. But when it comes to losing the gun to someone that may use it against you (and lack the training to quickly disengage the safety) it may save a life.  Maybe that’s why they required it for their new issued handgun, the Sig Sauer P320.  I bet special forces will stick to their Glocks though, and so should you. A well trained operator, civilian or military, will take the most advantage of a gun without manual safety and a chambered round.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”


Should your handgun have a manual safety? — 3 Comments

  1. What I see in Larry’s statement is a lack of understanding concerning firearms safety. If you follow the four basic cardinal rules of firearms safety you will not have an ND, period!

    Furthermore, attending a CCW class, reading on-line articles, or watching YouTube videos doesn’t make you an expert in firearms. I’ve been an LEO as well as a firearm instructor for almost 29 years. I’m no expert, I’m a student!! When you become an expert you’re dangerous to yourself and others.

  2. Ferfal,
    You nailed it! But didn’t specify-
    The first rule of having a gun is….. You have to be smarter than the gun!
    The secong rule- you alluded to, but didn’t specify is that as a good guy, you will always be the second guy into a gunfight. So you want the fastest employable defensive weapon possible- a Glock!

  3. The Sig p320 actually dosnt come with a saftey and has better sights and trigger than a stock glock(it would take $300 to equal the p320s sights and trigger) . The military had to special request the saftey and the MA “compliant” model comes with one but other than that theres no saftey. I like Glock still but i like the p320 a little more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.