ONE IN THE PIPE

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by CWILLIAMS, May 12, 2007.

  1. CWILLIAMS

    CWILLIAMS Guest

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    I have tried to search the site to find out if all or any of you carry the Steyr m a-1 with one in the chamber. I can't get a true and definite answer. I have the A-1 in 40sw, found a neat IWB holster and want to carry it with one in the pipe. What is the traditional answer, is it safe given the fact that there is no manual safety and I should rely on the trigger safety. I havent had any problems with the Steyr with 300+ rounds through it but I dont want to lose a leg...or ****. Anyway for you professionals is it advisable to carry the A-1 with a loaded chamber.
     
  2. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    One in the pipe, full magazine.
    If you need to draw and fire, your waisting time in getting the gun into the fight.
    Unless you've practiced the routine of getting the gun into the fight countless times and it becomes second nature you may as well be carrying a hammer if it isn't ready to be used.
     

  3. SELFDEFENSE

    SELFDEFENSE Premium Member

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    Chamber loaded makes it a gun rather than a poorly designed construction tool. If your off hand or arm gets injured in the confrontation, and you can't rack the slide or must resort to racking it on your belt buckle, you could be in a world of hurt.
     
  4. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Definitely one in the pipe. Full mag and sometimes an extra mag or two. That round is not leaving the gun unless the trigger is pulled.

    I know of an Israeli military type who can draw and chamber a round in his Glock and fire before most people can draw and fire. But Selfdefense is right, what if you can't use your off hand for some reason?
     
  5. madecov

    madecov Active Member

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    The Israeli method was designed for one reason. It is the only manual of arms that works with any semi auto pistol.

    SIG
    Beretta
    Colt
    Smith
    Browning
    Glock
    Steyr
    Ruger
    H&K
    Walther
    Etc. regardless of the safety or de cocker or safe action. Israel had no reliable source of small arms for decades and begged borrowed and stole guns from around the world. No matter what you got issued you could draw, chamber and fire.
     
  6. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I always carry with one in the chamber. It's a personal thing, but I assure you that you have nothing to worry about, so long as you use a quality holster and obey Cooper's 4 rules. 8)

    There are a few threads on this - a search should reveal many results...
     
  7. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    Well now.....

    ...I am gonna have to chime in on this one now...

    ...normally, I can see 'one in the chamber' with most semi-autos....

    But...

    ...is not exactly true..... Not with a Steyr....

    Steyr has NO firing pin safety.

    A small detail I overlooked myself until a friend of mine recently had his Steyr fire a round without his finger on the trigger. Admittedly, I was not present, and cannot say for certain what exactly transpired. However, I have absolutely no reason to doubt his story, which is that he inadvertently attempted to field strip his Steyr with a loaded magazine still in the weapon. When the slide would not come off the receiver due to the magazine, he simply pushed it back into position and KABLAMMO...

    Again, I did not witness this event, and have been trying to reconstruct it myself [in my mind, not literally :) ]. The lack of a firing pin safety to block forward movement of the striker has thus far left me unable to dismiss all suspicion of the weapon design.

    I am not looking to start a Pissing match here...

    I simply am trying to determine if the Firing Pin Safety used by so many other manufacturers is indeed not needed in the Steyr?

    ...or, perhaps, in its absence, under certain circumstances, the Steyr CAN fire a round without your finger on the trigger???
     
  8. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Man, I am on a roll. I had a feeling of dread entering this thread, sensing, even on such a seemingly simple topic as this, I am going to get it wrong.

    And here I am again: wrong!

    So let me see if I have this right. The Steyr M, S, M-A1 and S-A1 have the following in the way of safeties:

    1) Trigger safety.

    2) Drop Safety.

    3) And on some, a manual safety inside the trigger guard.

    Thats it, right?

    I await correction!

    :)
     
  9. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Actually, I don't think I was wrong. I just checked out the Steyr Arms website and it says the M-A1 has trigger, drop and firing pin safeties.

    Bab, does your friend have an M or an M-A1?
     
  10. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    M-A1

    and, yes, the Steyrs do have the safeties you mentioned:

    but they do not have a firing pin block safety....
     
  11. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Ok, maybe a dumb question, but what is the dif between a firing pin safety and a firing pin block safety?
     
  12. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    No dumb questions.....

    :) :)

    The firing pin block I refer to, as in nearly all my other pistols, is usually in the form of a vertical pin that slides up/down slightly off center of the firing pin/striker bore... This pin has a recessed area cut into it and is spring loaded, so that the full area of the pin partially blocks the striker path during rest. In normal operation, when the trigger is pulled, a cam or lever would lift the blocking pin against spring pressure revealing the recess cut into it, thereby clearing the way for the striker to complete its journey and impact the round in the chamber...

    This blocking pin is not present in the Steyr....
     
  13. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Right, I understand how a firing pin block safety works. Sorry, I should have made that clear.

    What I want to know is, if Steyr's firing pin safety is not a firing pin block safety then how does it operate and for what situations is it designed to prevent unintentional firing?
     
  14. babj615

    babj615 Premium Member

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    This is exactly what I am trying to determine!


    For illustration:

    Field strip your Steyr [Remove Barrel from slide]. Turn the slide upside down. Push back on the firing pin. Now forward.

    See what happened? the Striker is clearly able to exit the breach face and impact a round in the chamber.

    :cry: :cry: :cry:


    Try this same exercise with a Glock. If you do not have a Glock, I am sure you know someone that does.

    See what happens with the Glock? Thats Right! The firing pin cannot exit the breach face and strike a round!!!

    :) :) :)


    Now, I am unable to 'locate' a firing pin safety in this diagram:

    [​IMG]

    Can you????
     
  15. CWILLIAMS

    CWILLIAMS Guest

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    FIRING PIN SAFETY

    Thankx for the response Gentlemen. So if I may, all I have to do is load the mag, rack the slide, and trust the Steyr won't discharge and shoot my *** off. The trigger safety is cool and I will carry with one in the pipe but I wish they still had the manual safety, but that is another forum topic. Again, I thank all of you for the info. Now how do I engage the firing pin safety, and just to clarify---the trigger drop swafety is on the trigger, the key safety is exactly that..use the key, now how about that firing pin safety. The manual speaks very little on the topic.
     
  16. West01

    West01 New Member

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    Howdy CWILLIAMS,

    Just some info and rambling. Historically the Firing Pin Blocking Safety was introduce for two reasons in pistol. First, to eliminate accidental discharge known to occur on pistol with floating firing pin when dropped on hard surface Second, to eliminate accidental discharge when manually or accidentally dropping the hammer down (and that was before decocker lever). That last argument was always in question.

    Both Colt and Browning introduced this feature in there pistols in the early sixties but were not very popular in the US. In Europe it became popular early. This was mostly because LEO preferred revolver in the US in those days and the military did not care for the extra complexity and cost. Now this is almost standard for all pistol with floating firing pin.

    The first version of the Glock did not have this feature. It was considered not necessary since the striker was preloaded (at 50%) and never floating when a round was in the chamber. Unfortunately, during testing it was discover that the disconnector could fail, so Glock had to redesigned their "safe Action" with the firing pin block. Also some political pressure from some of the main Glocks Governments clients did contribute to the redesign. Hey.,,, the Australian military even managed to get an external manual safety on their Glocks.

    The Springfield Armory XD (HS Industry) had a different situation. They had to include this safety feature because : First...the stricker is loaded at 100% when the weapon is ready and some Gov. Agency considered this as a Single Action pistol thus hair trigger danger...Second the pistol use a traditional rotating sear (1911 style) that release the striker. The sear is in the lower grip assembly and striker is in the slide (like the Steyr). The mechanical connection between these two assemblies at the sear area is metal against plastic. So SA and HS Ind. were wise to include this safety feature.

    The Steyr is very different. When the pistol is loaded the striker is tensioned at approx. 70%, thus no floating firing pin. The mechanical link between the slide and the sear/trigger assemblies is steel against steel. The sear of the Steyr is a rocking component that wedge itself against the striker. It is made of very strong steel alloy and act as a firing pin stop by itself. The Steyr MA1 pass the California drop test and is a very safe pistol.

    If I may share my philosophy on the "one in the pipe". If you are a LEO and your duty is to go were the trouble is. You should be ready and "one in the chamber". If you are a civilian and your responsibility is to stay away from trouble. Nothing in the chamber is always safer.

    A gun is never safe when the finger is on the trigger. It doesn't mater what safety features the gun has. And finally. a loaded gun never fire by itself. You can bet the farm on this one.

    Hope I didn't bore you to much.

    The Best and Cheers!

    West01

    :D
     
  17. CWILLIAMS

    CWILLIAMS Guest

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    thanks for the new info. I learn by osmosis and I just got the whole shabang.. no pun intended. This is a great forum with a wealth of knowledge and individuals willing to share that knowledge for the betterment of firearms safety and usage.
     
  18. Syntax360

    Syntax360 Premium Member

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    I believe the "firing pin safety" refers to the nature of the 72% precock after chambering a round. With most standard primers, this % of precock should not be enough to cause a detonation. MrA and BT can elaborate/clarify this point better than I...
     
  19. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

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    to clarify... there is no firing pin block. more on that later.

    the trigger safety simply keeps the trigger from being pulled unless pressure is applied to the center of the trigger.

    the drop safety is not located on the trigger. the drop safety is located next to the sear. this device ensures that the sear cannot fall down (releasing the striker) unless it is first moved to the rear.

    the only two ways that the striker can move forward to contact the primer are:

    1) catastrophic sear failure. as in a cracked or broken sear that in some way allows it to stop holding the firing pin in it's pre-cocked position. it was reported as happening on GT a few years ago. the steyr owner heard a click, took the gun to the gunsmith who pulled out a round with a dented primer and a broken sear. no harm was done.

    2) normal trigger pull. to work backwards... the sear has to fall down to allow the striker forward. it stays on the post until it is moved sufficiently rearward. the only way it can moved sufficiently rearward is by pulling the trigger.

    so... to the firing pin block. the safeties that do exist keep the weapon quite safe. until it comes to catastrophic sear failure. i asked mr.a to do some testing by dropping the striker at various degrees of cockedness on different brands of primer. the results of this testing have been removed by mr.a, though i'm not sure why but... after the testing and by examining the results, i was left feeling very confident that in the event that my striker traveled forward for no apparent reason from it's state of pre-cock that no bang would occur. dented primer... sure. bang? no. and subsequently haven't even considered keeping the steyr unloaded unless on a cold range.

    the firing pin block will definitely keep the primer from being dented. but dented primer isn't a bang.

    i see on the steyrarms site that they list "firing pin safety mechanism". this may be referring to the cumulative devices that impede the sear from traveling forward or... they may have added a firing pin block located in the slide to this newet production lot and have already advertised this feature despite the fact that previous versions did not include this safety.

    what babj is describing, from what i've heard, can only be considered a slam fire. allthough i'm having a hard time piecing together how this whole incident transpired.

    apparently the gun must have had a loaded magazine but no round in the chamber. when the trigger was pulled the gun did not discharge. when the takedown lever was released, the slide did not come off, being stuck by the magazine. at which time the slide was "re-installed" by sliding to the rear. if it was slid all the way rearward, it would have picked up a round from the loaded magazine, just as is always the case when loading the pistol. apparently the gun discharged at this moment for no reason without the trigger being pulled.

    but the "why" completely eludes me. it seems impossible from everything that i know about this weapon.

    the one thing that is true is that for the weapon to be disassembled, the trigger must be pulled. i've gathered that there was a loaded mag present in the gun when the trigger was pulled the first time in an attempt to disassemble it. from everything i've seen, (and there's a first for everything!) short of catastrophic sear failure, the only way the sear can be down, allowing the striker forward, the trigger must be pulled.

    i'd like to hear another explanation of how the slam fire occured, but i'm having a hard time putting a combination of circumstances together that lead to this slamfire.
     
  20. posterboy7

    posterboy7 New Member

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    Syn's post raises a question in my mind. I assume a 72% cocked striker is guaranteed to deliver insufficent force to cause a primer to detonate since I can't imagine Steyr would allow a safety system that wasn't 100% effective when engage and in working order. So what I want to know is, how much wiggle room is there, ie what is the range of force needed to set of a primer?

    To phrase it differently, a fully or 100% cocked primer represents a given amount of force which will set off 100% of non-defective primers. But I assume that up to a certain precentage under 100% force will also consistently set off a non-defective primer since I imagine there has to be at least a small ranges in pressures that will set off the average primer and since I also image that the spring that propels the striker upon release will return less force over time under compression so that a full cocked striker will hit with less force after 5000 rounds then it did after 500 rounds.

    I also thought about this issue when my slide didn't return fully to battery due to the ammo I was using and the gun being very dirty. I pulled the trigger and there was no bang but the primer was dented.

    Maybe these are two seperate issues...