I think magazine disconnect safeties are dumber than loaded chamber indicators, but loaded chamber indicators are a close second. Both are completely unneccessary bits of mechanical junk that make your firearm less safe. Any time you put a part on a gun that could induce a shooter to think “my whatjamahit says my gun is safe, must be safe” instead of actually manually clearing the firearm you make your guns less safe.
I disagree. It is my understanding that some cops actually like mag safeties a lot. If there is a struggle for their sidearm, they can hit the mag release. Now the original mag is on the ground, the spare mags are on his belt, and the perp has a gun he can’t shoot the cop with. Very useful. Yes it tends to slow down mag transitions, but most shooters aren’t fast enough to notice. That said I took this feature off my hipower because that particular gun’s mag safety screws up the trigger pull.
Loaded chamber indicator? If it breaks (and they certainly can) you get a wrong answer. Hopefully it defaults to loaded, but I doubt all of them do. You should also know how to safely perform a press check anyway, so the mechanical system is mostly superfluous.
I’m with you Caleb! A LCI might give you a false reading, but so long as you ignore the stupid thing, I’ve never heard of an LCI causing the gun to transform into a shitty club.
Meanwhile it’s VERY easy for a Magazine Disconnector to cause your gun to malfunction….and then there’s that little issue with forcing the user to insert a magazine into their gun to function check/dissemble their piece.
I have guns with various LCIs. I ignore them, and don’t tell others about them.
I have never experienced it myself, but I heard a rumor that on the Ruger MkIII because of the way the LCI rests against the rim of the cartridge it could be discharged if dropped. Not quite the same as bricking the gun, but it does seem like a case of a safety feature making the firearm less safe.
Back when I was still shooting IDPA, I’d use a BHP from time to time. It was a PITA to carry an empty mag just to “let hammer down” at the end of a string. The local gunsmiths refused to remove the mag safety (afraid of lawsuits.) I could have sent it off, but I didn’t. Too much other demands on my $$.
For the benefit of other readers, removing the magazine disconnect safety from a Browning Hi Power is easily performed by the user. A BHP was my very first firearm, and I performed that bit of maintenance with no prior experience. It does improve the trigger pull as Jeff said, so I’d recommend it to anyone who owns one.
No, Caleb, I respectfully disagree. I believe its the ‘Zit’ (internal trigger lock) on the frames of Smith & Wesson revolvers that IS THE DUMBEST thing in all eternity.
All The Best,
Frank W. James
Magazine safeties were intended to defeat the most common source of NDs: Inexperienced or inattentive pistol shooter clears chamber, THEN drops magazine, and *BANG!*
Better fixed with a software upgrade than a hardware mod, but I can see their appeal to LE or military organizations where guns are issued to, and then turned-in/cleared every watch by, relatively inexperienced operators.
Level 3 holsters are a better solution than a magazine safety, and level 3 holsters suck too. I have a couple guns, a couple different Glocks and an MnP, that supposedly have chamber loaded indicators, but I’ve never used them. My go-to guns are always loaded; what am I gonna use an indicator for? Asking mechanical devices to take the place of safe gun handling or to defeat a lack of training in gun retention skills is a recipe for failure.
I like the S&W M&P set up, the loaded chamber indicator is nothing mechanical just a hole in the back end of the chamber. Mag safety’s arnt to protect the used from ND as much as a way to render the gun useless in a firefight very quickly. Personally I can live with them and thing there both a good idea, albeit maybe not the best idea.
Magazine safeties are an abomination.
I like loaded chamber indicators (LCIs), particularly the way that they work on the Springfield XD series. It’s very unlikely to break, and if it does break, it’s even less likely to break the gun. I don’t trust it to see if the chamber is unloaded, but it allows me to make a quick visual and/or tactile check that there is a round in the chamber, without taking the gun out of battery.
The M&P LCI is a close second; it can’t break but you have to look down from the top rather than keeping your eyes scanning for targets and performing a tactile check.
Proper training prevents morons from trusting the LCI as a check that the gun is safe. You must always remove the source of ammunition, visually and tactilely check the chamber. As for me, I then look away and check again.
LCI’s don’t interfere with function, and I ignore them.
Magazine disconnect safeties make great sense to armories, but have no place in my personal weapons.
Jeff, I’ve been hearing that claim about disabling your own gun for years. Here’s a thought. If you can get your hands on your gun, don’t let the bad guy have it. If he reaches for your gun, ventilatel him. You don’t have a method of doing that? Then that would be worth correcting.
Good weapon retention techniques and/or a BUG solve a lot of these things.
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