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Thread: Keeping a 1911 Stored Cocked & Locked, Bad?

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  1. #1

    Keeping a 1911 Stored Cocked & Locked, Bad?

    Is it bad to keep a 1911 stored cocked & locked for an extended period of time?

    Scenario: Come home with my C&L ccw 1911, store it in my gun vault in that condition until I take it out and carry the next day.

    Will any spings wear out sooner or safety concerns?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    29th October 2011
    Location
    Middleburg, Fl.
    Posts
    870
    Quote Originally Posted by AJDQ
    Is it bad to keep a 1911 stored cocked & locked for an extended period of time?

    Scenario: Come home with my C&L ccw 1911, store it in my gun vault in that condition until I take it out and carry the next day.

    Will any spings wear out sooner or safety concerns?
    I do the same with my carry pistol, however I do go to the range every other week, so it gets its exercise and a complete cleaning afterward. I would not recommend storing one for several months in a safe; I have never done this, so I am not sure if it would weaken any springs or not, but something in the back of my mind tells me not to do it. Maybe one of our more knowledgeable members will fill us in on this one.

    Be safe
    Dave
    Maybe not the sharpest tack in the box......but not dull!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the response AOCM. I feel the same way about keeping my 1911 C&L
    24/7, maybe an unwarranted concern. I used to carry revolvers for ccw and got used
    to just pick it up and go. Having to clear a pistol when I store it, then having to
    chamber a round when I pick it back up seems like it would do a number on the SD
    rounds in the pistol.

  4. #4
    This is a question that has been asked and answered many times here. Here is one of my personal favorite threads answering this question:

    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=73719

    Use the search function here or Google "m1911.org long term cocked and locked" and you'll find days of reading on the subject.
    "Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you." --Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
    Last edited by by a moderator; 12th May 2012 at 14:56.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    29th May 2004
    Location
    Athens, Greece, Earth
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    Blog Entries
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    It's the alternate compression/decompression cycles that wear springs. Not being compressed continuously.
    John Caradimas SV1CEC
    The M1911 Pistols Organization
    http://www.m1911.org

  6. #6
    Thanks for the responses and the suggested thread. Good info. I feel better now storing my 1911 C&L.

  7. #7
    I've had 1911s in my safe cocked and locked for over a year. The gun was designed to be carried that why. Storing it that way would have no I'll effect.

    The mainspring is still under some tension when un cocked. Also, the recoil spring is always under tension, and they last a long time.
    Last edited by Mr. Lebowski; 25th June 2012 at 23:15.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Lexington, North Carolina...or
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    11,206
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Lebowski
    I've had 1911s in my safe cocked and locked for over a year. The gun was designed to be carried that why. Storing it that way would have no I'll effect.
    It won't hurt it, but "Designed to be carried that way" is a myth with no basis in fact. It was designed to be carried in any one of several ways, including at half-cock.

    Browning and Colt Dream Team added the manual slide-locking safety on the US Cavalry's request after evaluating the first 8 prototypes delivered in 1910...which didn't have thumb safeties. The reason the cavalry wanted it was for temporary reholstering in order to free up both hands when the mounted trooper found himself trying to hang onto a frightened, unruly horse. Even in those unenlightened days, the boys realized that a man under stress could forget to get his finger out of the trigger guard...and that jamming a cocked pistol into a holster could result in a wounded horse or soldier.

    The cavalry is also the reason for the grip safety. A wounded cavalryman pistol dropping the pistol from horse height is likely to invert the gun and strike the ground muzzle up. If the trigger isn't blocked by the grip safety, the trigger's momentum would cause it to bump the disconnect, rotating the sear out of the hammer hooks and firing the gun upward. A charging cavalry unit has enough incoming without their own pistols firing at them. It was understood that some of them may unhook the lanyard to get it out of the way.

    The 1911 can be carried cocked and locked...but it wasn't designed specifically to be carried cocked and locked.

    Incidentally, the "locked" part of cocked and locked refers to the slide...not the hammer. It was to prevent pushing the slide out of battery during the hasty reholstering, and possibly not returning when the pistol was redrawn. A genuine concern in a war zone where the pistol's cleanliness could be neglected.

    Here is one of only two of the original 8 1910s in existence. How could Condition 1 have been Browning's intent if the first ones didn't even have a manual safety?


    1910 Colt photo courtesy of Charles W. Clawson.

    Last edited by 1911Tuner; 26th June 2012 at 03:55.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Lexington, North Carolina...or
    Posts
    11,206
    On your original thread topic...

    I was once personally involved with a commercial Government Model that had been discovered in an attic...stored in Condition One...for 62 years. It was stored there by the owner's wife following his sudden death from a heart attack in the mid-summer of 1929. After clearing the chamber for a cursory examination...I returned the chambered round, and fired the pistol to slidelock. It functioned perfectly.
    Last edited by 1911Tuner; 26th June 2012 at 04:02.


  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Location
    Washington State
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    7,954
    The only time my hammers aren't cocked, is when the gun is stored, or during a detail strip of the frame.
    If it isn't durable, it isn't reliable.

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