Manual safety, trigger safety, grip safety, or no safety?

We’ve talked about the best carry gun and what you should know before you buy a gun in other posts. One part a lot of new shooters insist on having on their first gun is a mechanical safety.

There are multiple types of mechanical safeties:

  • Manual safety: these are the levers usually on the left side of the firearm (sometimes both sides) that can be easily pushed down/off with the thumb as you’re preparing to shoot

  • Trigger safety: this can look like there is a second triger in the middle of the trigger of a firearm and is designed to only fire with a direct pull on the trigger

  • Grip safety - is usually located high on the back of the grip and requires you to firmly grasp the pistol in order to actually fire

With any gun, the most important safety is the user. Always abide by the fundamental safety rules no matter how long you’ve shot or how many firearms you own.

What mechanical safety do you prefer?

  • Manual
  • Trigger
  • Grip
  • No mechanical safety

0 voters

Do you plan on having a mechanical safety on your first gun? If you have guns already, did your first gun have a mechanical safety?

Share your thoughts below!

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I don’t really have a preference. I carry both manual safety with a grip safety and Glock. As long as you practice and can use the type of safety or lack thereof.


My first concealed carry gun was a xds, because I don’t want a manual safety on a carry gun. The grip safety is not a problem for me, but I am fine without one also. Just always keep in a good holster until ready for use.


I prefer no manual safety. Since, most modern pistols have a safety of some kind, trigger being the most common, I guess that’s what I’m stuck with on my M&P. Which I find to be the least intrusive. But, the wheel guns are calling my name again. Might be time to switch to a gun made of steel and wood, in my favorite caliber .357 mag.


Modern firearms always come with safety mechanism.
New shooter probably goes with common option - trigger safety.
That was also my choice.
After few months I became “1911 person”, so thumb safety was a must. Grip safety doesn’t matter, but it still exists in most of 1911/2011.


And let’s not forget magazine safety.

*Manual safety: I use it all the time and practice flicking it off every time I practice, which is daily, many times.

*Trigger safety: It doesn’t get in the way, doesn’t slow me down, helps ensure the gun really only goes bang when I want it to.

*Grip safety: Not available on my EC9s.

*Mag safety: My EC9s has this, and I get it - our guns are arguably most vulnerable to accidental discharge when we’re fiddling with them and (gasp) we still have our fingers inside the trigger guard (bad doggie, BADDDD!!!). In a real-life shooting situation, I doubt it would matter much - the mag will be empty. But at the range, it probably adds a degree of protection. Don’t wanna shoot the guy in the next booth!

If we can make our guns appear ‘safer’ to the guy on the street (except for the bad guys - I don’t want them to feel safe at all) it might help with public opinion and give people (legislators, for example) less of a reason to bash the safe ownership and use of firearms.


I won’t have a gun without a thumb safety.
My edc has thumb safety and grip safety.


Most times I DO NOT even buy hand guns with a manual safety


My first gun has a mechanical safety. But the reason O bought it was it was highly recommended by the old man behind the counter and it was on least expensive 9mm, on sale and was eligible for the Veterans Day discount. I like it more than my new Glock 43, which is my carry choice. Liked the first one so much I bought two more for my wife and son (under 21).

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I like all the safety features on my first handgun, the Ruger SR9C.

I would carry a 1911 if it has an ambidextrous manual safety.

One day, I will grow up and carry the XD with no manual safety.


I’m pretty new to this world. All my guns have manual safety. I’ve read a lot of pros and cons and favorable and unfavorable opinions about it. All of them well supported and valid. At the end I’ve opted for a pattern that I can repeat, make instinctive so that I don’t have to think about it and then try to use that same pattern on every gun I own. I understand manual safety adds parts, more parts are more failure points, more movements to “remember” under stress, etc. etc… but I prefer to carry “cocked and locked” it makes me feel more comfortable.


What about a hammer safety?
Revolver guys want to know.


You should have added “Other” to the choice. :thinking:
Doesn’t matter to me, I can adapt myself to the firearm.


@Danny54 Welcome to the community, we are glad to have you with us. :us:


Hello and welcome @Danny54

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My Kimber has a Ambi Safety, a must for lefty since I carry it cocked and locked. My P30 V3 has a manual safety but I don’t carry it the same as my 1911 since I practice with it in DA(10lb trigger pull).
My Glocks, thousands of rounds of practice from the holster, always chambered. Putting a manual safety on those would hinder them.


My first handgun might have been a replica cap & ball revolver — so half-cock and empty chamber safeties. My first defensive pistol was a ca.1980 Detonics Mark 1, basically a chopped M1911 — thumb safety, no grip safety, no trigger dongles.

Thereafter, I have never owned a handgun without a thumb safety, and don’t expect to. I have never owned a gun with a grip safety, and have never understood their purpose — I’ve had pretty good luck with guns not going off when I’m not holding onto them.

Until I acquired an M&P M2.0, I had no experience with the trigger dongles. I still don’t understand the “safety” aspect of the dongle — push on trigger and BOOM, with or without a trigger “safety”. No push; no bang. I have come to like the dongle on the M&P because it imitates a two-stage trigger, which I can prep with reasonable safety once I am on-line but still polishing up a sight picture or contemplating an abort. My 1911 variants all have a millimeter or so of pre-travel, but that is easy to miss in a hurry.

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1911s or Glocks are fine by me and I carry them interchangeably so no real preference in safeties. I do prefer the simplicity of a Glock but a 1911 does not slow me down at all. My Glocks are 9mms and my 1911s are mostly .45s with a 10mm thrown in for good measure and yes, sometimes the bigger bore wins.

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That ship has already sailed.

@Fred_G nailed it for me except I don’t own a Glock at this time!

Or no preference!

There is no wrong answer!