Gun Drop Safety: What It Means for Buyers

Owning a gun is a huge responsibility. Depending on the person using them, they can be a source of danger or a tool for safety. Drop safety is a feature that prevents a gun from firing if it’s dropped. This safety feature is designed to protect the user and others around them. 

Why Is Drop Safety Important For Handguns?

When it comes to owning a handgun, drop safety is crucial. It refers to the ability of a gun not to discharge if dropped or mishandled in some way, ensuring the weapon doesn’t accidentally fire and injure someone nearby. 

While drop safety may not seem like a big issue, it can be the difference between life and death in certain situations. This is why many firearm manufacturers include drop safeties in their designs and use rigorous testing protocols to ensure they function properly. 

How Could A Handgun Fire If Dropped?

Many people have the misconception that a gun will only fire if the trigger is pulled. In reality, there are several scenarios where a handgun can accidentally discharge when dropped. 

For example, if the firing pin rests on a live round and hits the primer when dropped, it can cause the gun to fire. Slam-firing, where pulling the trigger causes the firing pin to move forward and strike a live round before fully releasing, can also occur if a gun is dropped on its muzzle. 

Even improperly storing a firearm or poor maintenance can lead to accidental discharge when dropping it.

Types of Gun Drop Safety

There are two main types of gun drop safeties: mechanical and electronic. Mechanical gun drop safeties are usually found on revolvers, while electronic gun drop safeties are typically on semi-automatic pistols. 

Mechanical Gun Drop Safety

Mechanical gun drop safeties are physical mechanisms that prevent the trigger from being pulled if the gun is dropped. One example of a mechanical gun drop safety is a grip safety, which is a lever or switch that must be depressed for the trigger to be pulled. Another type of mechanical gun drop safety is a manual thumb safety, which is a switch that must be turned to the “on” position before the gun can be fired. 

Grip safeties and manual thumb safeties are the most common types of mechanical gun drop safeties, but there are other less common examples as well. 

For instance, some guns have magazine disconnect safeties, which prevent the gun from firing when the magazine is removed. There are also chamber flags, which are devices that fit into the chamber of an unloaded gun and physically prevent the trigger from being pulled. 

Electronic Gun Drop Safety

Electronic gun drop safeties are electronic mechanisms that prevent the gun from firing if it’s dropped. The most common type of electronic gun drop safety is an internal lock, which is a device that locks the trigger in place until it’s manually released by someone with the key or combination. 

Other less common examples of electronic gun drop safeties include magnetic Safes and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. 

Stay Safe With Proper Gun Handling

While many believe adding a drop safety feature to their firearm would ensure it won’t fire if dropped, this is not always the case. Drop safeties can malfunction if they become dirty or damaged, and some drop safety systems have even failed when dropped from a few feet.

So, while drop safeties can offer added protection, it’s important to always treat your firearm with care and caution – as if it may fire at any moment – to prevent accidents. Remember that drop safeties are just one of many features that can help reduce the chance of unintended discharge and should never be relied upon entirely for gun safety. 

Always remember the three basic rules of gun safety: keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot, maintain control of your firearm’s direction and target, and treat every gun as if it were loaded.

Learn how to use guns safely with the articles in the Be Safe blog