Monday, April 6, 2015

Shaneen Allen - Crusader for Change (The Bursa 380 has 3 Safeties)


  1. Cool, my pistol has five safeties. But of course the most important one is,

    "Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands."

    ---Jeff Cooper

    Not really understanding the monotonous repetition of the safeties on the Bersa. While I'm sure its a fine weapon, its a shame she picked such an anemic caliber. I wonder if that built in trigger locking mechanism counts as a legal method of securing it from access by children.

    1. What are the five? Was that a joke?

    2. This is for series 80 1911 style pisto produced after 1983,
      1. Manual safety
      2. Grip safety
      3. Half cock safety
      4. Disconnector safety
      5. Firing pin block safety

    3. Mike,

      SSG can clarify what all of the 5 are, but when people talk about multiple safeties on a gun they are talking about various mechanisms that prevent accidental discharges. Many guns, like Bersas models, have one external safety switch, but they have other mechanisms built in to prevent the hammer hitting the firing pin if dropped or to prevent the firing pin moving unless the gun is fired by a pull of the trigger (again, a type of drop safety). Another type can be seen on Glocks and others which have a mechanism in the trigger to try to ensure that the trigger is being pulled by a finger and not just getting snagged by a branch or clothing. All of these are good things to have, but none of them is a substitute for the safety between one's ears that SSG quoted Col. Cooper on.

    4. Wow, ss. What about the model I used in basic training in 1970? Did it have all that?

    5. What about the model I used in basic training in 1970? Did it have all that?

      SSG will know better than I do, but until he sees this, I think the 1911s issued to service members at that time had all but the last one.

    6. Pre-Series 80 models didn't have the firing pin block safety. If you carried it with the hammer down on a chambered round, there was the potential for a negligent discharge if dropped. This is an example of the safety improvements on firearms I have mentioned in the past.
      To carry the old 1911's safely, you can carry with the hammer down on an empty chamber, or carry with a round chambered, hammer cocked with the manual safety on.

    7. Does anyone know, or know how to find, the specifications for the "drop test" for California's safe handgun roster? I was thinking that it was some number of drops, from 10 feet up, onto concrete.

      There area fair number of 1911s on that list. Remember, also, that many handguns are not even submitted for testing, because California requires that several be submitted, and they're not returned. For a small maker of very high-end guns, that's an intolerable expense.

      Now, of course, with the requirement for "microstamping," few, if any, new models are going to be submitted at all.

    8. "Does anyone know, or know how to find, the specifications for the "drop test" for California's safe handgun roster?"

      It looks like its from just over 1 meter.

      "(2) For the drop tests:
      (A) Have the following testing equipment available for inspection by DOJ staff:
      (1) a drop test fixture capable of dropping a handgun from a drop height of 1m + 1cm - 0cm (39.4 in. + 0.4 in. - 0 in.).
      (2) a height gauge capable of measuring the required drop height.
      (3) one or more concrete slabs with minimum dimensions of 7.5 X 15 X 15 cm (3 X 6 X 6 in.).
      (B) Demonstrate that the drop test fixture is in proper working order by dropping an object of the approximate size and weight of a handgun from the fixture. The object shall drop and come to rest without interference on or near the required concrete slab which shall rest upon a firm surface.
      (C) Demonstrate the ability to position a handgun in the drop fixture at the required drop height and in each of the six drop positions identified in Penal Code s12128.
      (c) The handguns and ammunition used during the demonstration shall be supplied by the applicant laboratory. The DOJ reserves the right to supply the handguns and ammunition used during the demonstration."

      "(f) The "drop safety requirement for handguns" is the last test to be undertaken by the DOJ-Certified Laboratory. The drop tests shall be conducted in the manner prescribed in Penal Code s 12128 and in accordance with the following:
      (1) The drop height of 1m + 1cm - 0cm (39.4 in. + 0.4 in. - 0 in.) shall be measured from the lowermost portion of the handgun as situated in the drop fixture to the top surface of the required concrete slab. The required concrete slab shall rest upon a firm surface and the face of the slab shall be perpendicular to the direction of the drop. If a handgun has an exposed hammer, the hammer shall be fully cocked during each drop test. When dropped the handgun shall initially strike the face of the required concrete slab and then come to rest without interference.
      (2) The primed cases used during the drop test shall be produced by the ammunition manufacturer of and made from the same cases and primers as the standard ammunition that is used during the firing test as set forth in ss (c)(2) of these regulations.
      (3) If a pistol has multiple chambers and/or firing pins, the tests shall be conducted as follows. For each of the drop tests a primed case will be placed in each chamber. If the hammer or firing pin alternates between chambers, the pistol will be dropped once for each hammer or firing pin position.
      (4) Minimal damage, such as broken grips or sights, can and will occur during the course of the drop testing. Damage and/or breakage that affects the overall dimensions of the handgun shall be repaired prior to continuing the drop tests. After each of the first five drop tests the DOJ-Certified Laboratory shall determine whether the handgun has been rendered incapable of firing a primed case prior to conducting the next drop test. If so, the handgun model shall either be repaired, or the test shall be stopped and three new handguns must be submitted for testing beginning with the "firing requirement for handguns.
      (5) After examining the primed case(s) for indentations after each drop test, each primed case shall be fired to determine whether the primer was functional. If not, the drop test shall be repeated with a new primed case(s). A new primed case(s) will be used for the next drop test.
      (6) Should a handgun fail the "drop safety requirement for handguns," or be found incapable of firing a primed case, three new handguns of that make and model must be submitted for testing beginning with the "firing requirements for handguns" test."

    9. Thanks, SSG.

      I was obviously a bit off about the "10 feet up" thing. 1 meter makes much more sense, although I'm puzzled as to the point of the extra centimeter.

      Anyway, the point is that each of the hundreds of handguns on that list has passed a rather rigorous test of its resistance to spontaneously discharging when dropped.

      Thanks again, SSG.

  2. The Bursa actually has four safeties. The last one is being chambered in .380 ACP so that it doesn't hurt anyone.

    1. Sorry, I don't get it.

      The .380 ACP is considered something of a "mousegun" caliber--and thus rather anemic for self-defense purposes. You know, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words and .380 ACP rounds . . . "

    2. Mike,

      It was a joke. Gun folks are always debating which calibers are best for defensive use or other uses like hunting. Complicated subject, but discussions can devolve into silliness, either because someone is an idiot or because someone is goofing around and imitating the idiots for humor. Common jokes for smaller calibers is that at least they'll alert others to your plight, that they'll just make an attacker mad, etc. etc.

      TS just took it further and turned wimpy caliber into a safety feature.

  3. Given all the stories I read about dropped guns going off, I guess the safeties don't work so well neither does Col. Cooper's "between the ears" method.