Should You Carry With a Manual Safety?

Carrying with or without a manual safety is a big debate in the world of concealed carry. Many people believe that if you carry with a manual safety engaged, there’s no point in carrying at all, while others feel it adds an extra layer of protection to prevent accidental discharge.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to carrying with a manual safety. Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preference and comfort level.

From what a safety is to the pros and cons of carrying with one, we will cover everything you need to know to help you decide whether concealed carrying with a manual thumb safety is the best option for you.

What is a Manual Thumb Safety?

What is a Manual Thumb Safety?

Let’s start with the most obvious question: What is a manual thumb safety?

According to the USCCA, “A manual safety is a button or lever designed to immobilize the firing mechanism of the gun, preventing it from firing. Manual safeties must be manually engaged and disengaged by the shooter.”

It’s worth noting that while some companies may list “safeties,” that doesn’t always mean it is a manual thumb safety that must be engaged or disengaged. Many gun manufacturers, like Sig Sauer and Glock, feature internal safeties versus manual thumb safeties.

“Glock firearms, for instance, are referred to as ‘Safe Action’ pistols, which contain three mechanical safeties – a trigger safety, a firing pin safety, and a drop safety – but no manual safety,” according to an NRA Family article.

On the other hand, many companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson offer models with or without thumb safeties to accommodate both shooting preferences.

Pistol Safety vs No Safety

Now that you know what a thumb safety is, you may wonder why you would or would not want to carry with one. Keep in mind that even if your gun has a manual safety, it is up to you whether you carry with it engaged or disengaged.

Pros of a Manual Safety on a Carry Gun

First, a manual safety can bring shooters comfort and peace of mind. For example, some who are new to concealed carry may choose to start out carrying with a manual safety as it provides an added layer of protection from accidental discharges.

But you don’t have to be new to concealed carry to simply feel more comfortable carrying with a manual safety. Plenty of veteran concealed carriers choose to carry with a manual thumb safety simply because it makes them feel more confident.

Carrying with a manual safety engaged adds a layer of protection against the gun being accidentally fired. While it shouldn’t replace proper firearm safety knowledge and techniques, it can be beneficial, especially in instances where the pistol is dropped.

Many people instinctively reach for a firearm upon dropping it, which creates a risky scenario as the trigger could accidentally be pulled. If you choose to carry with one in the chamber, this could result in injury to yourself or someone else.

If you want to read more about carrying with a round in the chamber, check out our article Should You Carry With One In The Chamber?”.

While there are pros to carrying with a manual safety, there are some positives to not having one as well.

Pro of a Manual Safety on a Carry Gun

Pros of NOT Having a Manual Safety on a Carry Gun

Many revolvers, DA guns, and modern pistols don’t feature manual safeties and, when properly handled, are perfectly safe to carry.

It is essential that firearms without a manual safety are carried in a proper holster, though. These guns should be carried in a holster designed to protect the trigger while it’s on your waistband or anywhere else. All Vedder Holsters are designed with a full trigger guard to prevent foreign objects from reaching the trigger.

The main reason people choose to carry guns without a manual safety is because of their speed and simplicity. When you are ready to use your firearm, all you have to do is draw, pull the trigger, and fire without having to disengage a safety. When you are under the pressure of needing to use your weapon, simplicity can be key in avoiding fumbling and delay in firing.

Additionally, not having a manual safety on the outside of the frame of your gun means one less thing to worry about catching on anything as you draw. Modern firearms that include internal safeties can bring peace of mind against things like a negligent discharge if the gun is dropped.

Ultimately, practicing proper safety techniques and utilizing a secure holster can make carrying without a manual safety just as safe as carrying with a manual safety.

Do Holsters Accommodate for a Thumb Safety?

While some holsters may not properly accommodate for manual thumb safeties, all of our holsters at Vedder Holsters are custom fit to your specific gun model.

Having a holster that is custom molded to your specific firearm model means as you place your pistol into the holster, you should hear and feel it “click” into place. A quality holster that gives you that precise fit will keep your pistol securely in place until you are ready to draw.

From various sizes and manufacturers to extended magazines, aftermarket slides, and a variety of optics, there is a gun for everyone – whether you want a manual thumb safety or not. With so many options available to suit your needs, it’s crucial that your holster is just as customizable as your firearm.

At Vedder Holsters, we understand how essential customization is, which is why we make each holster to order and can tailor each one to your individual needs, whether you choose to carry with a manual safety or not.

Should I use a Manual Safety?

Should I use a Manual Safety?

Consider your needs and what works best for you when deciding whether to use a manual safety. Once you’ve decided if you want to carry with a manual thumb safety or not, you’ll need to choose a weapon accordingly. Check out our blog for gun comparisons and recommendations.

Now that you know what a manual safety is and the pros and cons of using and not using one, you can make a decision that best suits your needs.

No matter how you choose to carry, you should always practice shooting your firearm so that you are prepared in a self-defense situation to neutralize a threat. Make sure to check out our Range Guide before heading out for a training session so that you have everything you need for a successful range day.

If you’re looking for belts or holsters for a specific gun model, we recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page. For all our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.

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