Why Does Tim (MAC) Dislike Slide Safeties on Striker Pistols?

Ok… I admit that I went thru the trouble of signing up for this forum pretty much just to ask Tim this question. Facebook would have been a better venue, but I left on facebook 19 months ago after my employer required all the employees to provide usernames and passwords (still miss it).

I have watched dozens of MAC videos. I enjoy them for the candid, passionate, yet drama-free delivery, and excellent production value and quality. In several of the videos, Tim states something close to “I hate a [frame] safety on a striker pistol.” I keep watching more videos hoping that he will explain in one of them why he dislikes the slide safety.

Incongruently, in the CCP video, Tim specifically endorses the slide safety built into the CCP. I was confused.

I spent 25 years in, and retired from a profession where long guns and handguns were a daily part of the job. Use of these guns with intent to kill was a near-daily occurrence at times. Despite this, I don’t consider myself a “pro” in the sense that the “pro” version of a couple popular 9mm single-stacks doesn’t have the slide safety. Every assigned weapon we ever employed had a safety selector switch - Safe/fire/select fire. Not passive or integral or hidden. Granted, we didn’t use any striker fired guns.

This is relevant to me because I have narrowed my selection of a compact single stack 9mm down to the XDs and the CCP. In the XDs video, Tim liked that it didn’t have a slide safety. In the CCP video, Tim liked that it had a slide safety. Lack of a slide safety is about the only thing that’s keeping me from “pulling the trigger” on the XDs.

Thanks everyone for joining the conversation.
glances around for Tim

Are we talking about SLIDE mounted safeties or FRAME mounted safeties, because you used both terms? If you mean safeties in general on STRIKER fired pistols, I’ll try to address that first.

I will say this, though I can’t remember which video it was, Tim said that since he now carries appendix he wanted a manual/active safety. Many of us who shoot striker fired pistols see no need for a manual/active safety lever. In the end, the gun WILL NOT discharge unless the trigger is pulled. In the case of Glock or M&P, the striker is not cocked enough to set off a round without deliberate pressing of the trigger. No matter how worn the trigger components are, it can not happen. In fact, if the components are worn that much the pistol would likely FAIL to fire due to not being able to cock the striker. On a HAMMER fired pistol, such as a 1911 or M92, the hammer can slip from the sear if either component is worn. This makes a manual safety a prerequisite. Of course firing pin safeties come into play if the gun is so equipped.

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Indeed… I slung those words around rather carelessly. My apologies.

In the case of the CCP, he was using an appendix carry, and that had much to do with him liking a safety. Something to do with “preserving his nether regions”, I believe.

I guess the question is “why does the existence of a manual safety seem to offend [not just Tim] Tim?”

Since I retired, I work a gun counter at a big-box store part time for fun, and a very common customer comment when showing the Shield or LC9s pro versions (no manual safety) is that they don’t want a safety that can be accidentally engaged, causing the gun not to fire. In the case of the Ruger, the safety take upwards of 16 pounds of pressure to activate (very crudely tested with the stores questionablly reliable trigger pull scale).

Tim’s a pretty smart fella, and if he doesn’t like something, there must be a good reason.

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Ok, I’m a little clearer on your question now. I can’t speak authoritatively on Tim’s reasoning, but there are a few reasons people prefer no safety on a striker fired pistol. As I stated above, a manual safety is superfluous on most striker fired pistols just as it would be on a double action only revolver. Revolver guys, while stating they love them because of the false narrative that they don’t jam, actually like them for their simplicity. The Glock & M&P shooters are no different, point and click. There are others however, such as Tim, who do want a safety on certain pistols because it facilitates a particular method of carry.

As to the safety being accidentally engaged/disengaged, I think a lot of peoples fears are misplaced. Yes, there have been attempts to put safeties on striker fired pistols in the past(aftermarket kits) that did not have very positive detents. Those safeties were known for not staying where the operator put them or failing and causing the gun to not function at all. That is the risk in trying to redesign a firearm to operate in a manner different from the original. One other reason people tend not to like safeties on striker fired pistols is, since they are seen as superfluous for pistols of that design, they require extra(generally small) parts that some feel add possible failure points. I fall into the latter camp.

While it is no secret that I have a deep dark love of CZ 75’s, I don’t carry mine. If you have ever taken one apart, or even just pulled the slide off and looked at the trigger mechanism, you would see how incredibly complicated the system is. I have NEVER had a failure of the pistol because of those tiny and numerous components, but I see far greater chance of it happening with my CZ than with my G19. My 12 year old niece can install a Glock trigger, the CZ gives me fits and I’ve done it quite a few times.


I don’t like safeties on any gun, not just striker fired pistols.

The CCP came about when I had transitioned to appendix carry. Due to the nature of such carry, and the inherent risk, I reconsidered a manual safety as a extra safety measure for such carry. The CCP was my only pistol I carried that way for a short time. Now I’ve settled on a CZ P01 Compact with a Cajun Gun Works Pro Carry package. This pistol only has a decocker, no manual safety.

Safeties are unnecessary failure points. Many times they’re poorly executed and work their way off during normal carry. Other times they’re placed on the gun in an unergonomic place. I just don’t see a need for them. If I ever need my gun, the last thing I want to do is have to disengage a safety before I fire. I want to pull my pistol, get it on the threat and pull the trigger.

With proper practice and discipline there is nothing to fear from a pistol lacking a manual safety.

A double action auto gives me the peace of mind that I need when practicing with my appendix carry gun. That double action first shot is my “safety” from having the trigger pulled unintentionally while reholstering by a cover garment.


Fair enough. You’re certainly in good company with your opinion. As for me - blame it on years of conditioning - I like a safety.

Begin war-story:

Towards the end of my career, as my super-human cat-like reflexes began to fade, and my near-supermodel good looks deserted me, I moved away from the front lines and into the area of industrial hygiene and safety. In this capacity, I investigated way too many accidental and negligent weapons related deaths. During a particularly dark period, many such incidents stemmed from a change in procedure implemented by the Air Force in the operational region that included Xxxxxx, Xxxx, Xxxxxx xxxx and parts of Xxxxx (all relatively safe and quiet areas at the time). The new procedure was that the M9 (Beretta 92) would be carried holstered, with a round in the chamber, hammer cocked, and safety off. This, coupled with lax enforcement of use of the standardized M12 holster (Bianchi) led to a disastrous number of Airmen killed or injured by their own sidearms.

One specific (and damning) document that was published to implement the new policy stated “… pistol safeties are extrenious, unnecessary and will only hinder personnel in the event that they need to employ their sidearm…”.

What the policy maker failed to consider is that she was not writing policy for a body of highly trained door-busting operators - but rather a group of support and administrative Airmen who maybe get to the range for qualification once a year. She also lacked a rudimentary working knowledge of the M9, or ANY pistol for that matter(1). She had been “advised” by a single individual on her staff who she trusted. This particular individual, for reasons that were never adequately explained, was permitted to carry his own personal VP9 in lieu of the issued M9.

The military is unique in that you don’t (and shouldn’t) get to make too many decisions for your self. Standardization - and the discipline to enforce those standards in yourself and others - is critical to the employment of such a large group of individuals. Individuals that must move and act as a single cohesive force.

Here in the civilian world, we get to make choices for ourselves, and we must accept the consequences of those choices. The biggest (and unexpected) relief I experienced when I retired was that others are no longer influenced by my choices unless they choose to be.

End war-story

… Dang-it! Who put that soapbox there? You KNOW I can’t resist a soapbox! Sorry for the tangent, but now that I typed it, I might as well leave it there.

(1) I understand that a cocked M9 is a grossly unfair comparison to the relatively long pull of the striker trigger discussed throughout this thread.

Makes perfect sense. I hate manual safeties as well. They are a redundancy. The only gun that can get away with it is the 1911. Maybe the LH9N MKII. A decocker is fine.

Personally, I have no desire for safeties. My safety for the CZ P-09 I have never worked right (some investigation shows that it might be a tolerance stacking issue) and then when I was thinking about it, I decided I didn’t really want one on there either, seeing as my carry piece (LC9s Pro) doesn’t have one and I’ve always enjoyed that fact- why would I want a safety on a full-sized combat pistol if I didn’t want one on a carry piece?

My only concern is that I’m thinking about competing, and I don’t know if they require a safety (3 gun comps if that changes anything). If they do, I may just send my P-09 in to cajun gunworks or something to get the safety issue worked out as well as some other minor upgrades (which the pistol really doesn’t need but would make me smile).

Agreed. I understand and train for using a safety when I carry one of my 1911s but when I carry one of my XD’s then I am confident using them with no manual safety.

My XDs has a trigger safety and a grip safety, so no worried there. Just pull, aim, and shoot. The 1911 has two safeties as well, the grip safety and the manual. I try to stay in practice with the safety sweep because of the 1911 but I don’t think it’s really needed. Mr. Browning didn’t either but the military insisted, so it’s there.

I know this post is a year old however, I’ve been doing some research about striker fired pistols and they’re inherent safety or lack thereof in regards to appendix carry. This post came up during one of my searches and I noticed that someone on here mentioned the M&P Striker being partially cocked when loaded, from what I’ve found it is actually 98 percent cocked at best but more likely 100% cocked. Where as Glocks and khars coincidentally enough actually cock the striker the rest of the way during the trigger pull. It’s becoming a non-issue now as I’ve switched to a CZ po1 due to the weight and double action first shot as well as using the Shadow 2 for USPSA. Just food for thought for anyone interested.

I think that Mac mentioned that he would use the CCP if he used appendix carry. (Sorta makes sense)

PS I own a Walther CCP - My wife loves it. (Easy to rack and accurate)