NEW Front Sight Training Article #14

June 18th, 2015  

Our purpose at Front Sight is to positively change the image of gun ownership in our lifetime by training responsible citizens in the defensive use of firearms, to levels that far exceed law enforcement and military standards, and deliver the training without any boot camp mentality or drill instructor attitudes so the training experience is great for your entire family.

We are entering our 19th year, have trained nearly a million citizens, and look forward to the day when our training will positively impact every American.

Here is Training Article #14…

Just last week I was on a plane seated next to a gentleman who was very talkative…you know the type! I didn’t know this guy from Adam but very early in the conversation he said he was a gun owner and strong 2nd Amendment supporter. Additionally, he said he’d recently added a Kimber 1911 to his gun collection. This was his first 1911 and he was looking to get some training. He told me that he had spent literally hours practicing “lowering the hammer.” When I asked what he meant, he demonstrated with his hands and said he was placing his firing-side thumb over the hammer, pressing the trigger, and easing the hammer forward. I gently asked him “Have you ever heard of Front Sight?” He said “No, what’s that? Is that a gun store?” I was a bit disappointed in his answer, of course, but I said “Let me explain!”

1911 handguns are fairly complex because they have a thumb safety, a grip safety, and an exposed hammer. By contrast, a Glock has none of those. Mastering a 1911 therefore takes a bit more training and practice. My airplane companion had the erroneous Hollywood notion that after you shoot a 1911, you should lower the hammer to make the gun safe. Not only is that wrong, but that’s an accident waiting to happen.

Given the complexity of 1911’s, there are obviously several different ways you could prepare your gun for action. These are called “conditions of readiness” and there are five of them. Remember, these apply only to 1911-style handguns.

Condition One

  • Round in the chamber
  • Hammer back
  • Safety on
  • Full magazine in the gun

Condition Two

  • Round in chamber
  • Hammer down (forward)
  • Safety off
  • Full magazine

Condition Three

  • Empty chamber
  • Hammer down
  • Safety off
  • Full magazine

Condition Four. (This is the same as Condition Three but without a magazine.)

  • Empty chamber
  • Hammer down
  • Safety off
  • No magazine

Condition Zero. (Condition Zero comes last on the list because it is actually a shooting condition, rather than a carry condition. Condition Zero is essentially Condition One with the thumb safety off.)

  • Round in chamber
  • Hammer back
  • Safety off
  • Full magazine

So, what’s the punchline to all of this? Condition One is the proper way to carry a 1911-style handgun. The weapon is fully loaded and ready to be placed in the holster. Condition One is what people mean when they blurt out “Cocked and Locked.” Upon seeing the cocked hammer, some uninformed people get freaked-out thinking that this condition is “dangerous.” Understand, to make the weapon fire from Condition One, you must do three things; depress the grip safety, turn off the thumb safety, and press the trigger. Is Condition One “dangerous”? Yeah, for the bad guy!

When you are ready to actually press the trigger, you will transition the gun into Condition Zero by taking off the thumb safety. Condition Zero is not a proper way to carry a 1911, but it is the only way to shoot a 1911.

Condition Two is not the proper way to carry a 1911. Lowering the hammer on a live round is not safe. Regardless of how good it looks in the movies, lowering the hammer by pressing the trigger is a bad idea, especially under stress. This is a negligent discharge just waiting to happen.

Condition Three is a viable condition of readiness for a 1911 which will be carried just out of arm’s reach. For example, if the gun is being carried inside of a backpack, having an empty chamber might make sense. Getting the gun into action from Condition Three is obviously much slower than from Condition One and it involves racking the slide. Unfortunately, some security guards and foreign military personnel are forced to carry their 1911’s in Condition Three…even when the gun is in the holster.

In Condition Four, the gun is completely unloaded and the springs are relaxed. This is not a valid condition for carry, but rather the proper condition for long-term storage.

Don’t let all of this confuse you. If you can simply count to “1,” then you can remember the proper condition for a 1911.

And here is an opportunity for you to secure our 5 Day Defensive Handgun Course, 30 State Concealed Weapon Permit and our entire set of 7 training manuals (over $2700 in total value) for only $200.

That’s right! Only $200. But you will need to act fast before this link is taken down. Go here to grab a 5 Day Front Sight Course, plus 30 State Concealed Weapons Permit, and our entire set of 7 Front Sight Training Manuals for only $200. Just do it before the offer sells out!

Keep up the great work! Together, we are positively changing the image of gun ownership hundreds of times faster than any other group in America!

Thanks again for your participation in Front Sight’s phenomenal success.


Dr. Ignatius Piazza
Founder and Director
Front Sight Firearms Training Institute
7975 Cameron Drive, #900
Windsor, CA 95492

Entry Filed under: Dr. Ignatius Piazza,Front Sight,Gun Training,Monday Blog Posts,Newsletter,Self Defense.

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