Dumbest Gun Parts

Tam nominates the chamber loaded indicator as the dumbest. It’s certainly dumb, but if you look at the CLI on Bitter’s Massachusetts compliant SIG P239, it’s just a small notch drilled into the base of the chamber so you can see brass through it if there’s a round in it. It’s actually kind of handy because can just look to see if there’s brass in the chamber rather than press checking. Now, there are definitely some dumb CLIs out there, such as the one on the Ruger Mk.III, which in early version had a “feature” that it could discharge the round if dropped. It certainly makes the pistol harder to clean too.

But overall, I’m going to have to go with Caleb that magazines disconnect safeties are still the worst in my book, only because I’ve had them take guns down. Conceptually, I think Tam has a point, because it encourages a poor mental attitude when handling a gun, but practically I’ve always found magazine disconnect safeties more obnoxious. From a user interface design perspective, to draw an analogy to software engineering, you generally don’t want cripple your experienced users for the sake of novices. Magazine disconnects violate that rule, while the CLI doesn’t.

8 thoughts on “Dumbest Gun Parts”

  1. I would have to agree. I once had a Walther P22 that had that neat little giz-wizzee. I don’t know if it was the design of the mag or that of the disconnect, but in order to shoot that pistol, I had to teacup my grip so I could get enough pressure on the mag so it would disengage the safety. Shortly after I discovered this little flaw, I dumped the pistol in favor of something more, shall we say, distinguished? A Kimber UCII, and I haven’t looked back since. Won’t ever own another firearm that has that little piece of engineering hell anywhere near it.

  2. A few months back a shooter at the range had a new Ruger MK III. He suffered a case failure, and when I looked at the gun I had to inform him that his loaded chamber indicator had been blown out of the gun.

  3. A loaded chamber indicator seems useful for confirming that there is a round in the chamber when you believe there should be one, such as a failure to feed. Of course you aren’t suppose to use that for treating the gun less carefully. Just like you aren’t suppose to use a traditional chamber check to violated Cooper’s rule #2. I was taught never to do that, even if the slide is locked back.

    Magazine disconnects only serve to frustrate you when disassembling a gun or perform a function test. At least that is all I can figure they are for.

  4. My target S&W 41 has the magazine disconnect which I have always disliked. It has a cocked indicator but not a loaded indicator. I like the cocked indicator and I like the lock back of the slide after the last shot since I do not keep track of my shots.

    The only purpose for a magazine disconnect is to discourage dry firing that I can think off. It serves no other purpose.

  5. An additional point against the device: S&W 39/59 series pistols can be manipulated to fire without the magazine even with the disconnect in place; pressure on the trigger will prevent the disconnect lever from pushing the drawbar away from the sear.

    It’s easy to perform intentionally – and can easily happen inadvertently to the unsuspecting.

  6. Ditto on the magazine disconnect. I don’t have to use an LCI if it is there. The only good way to avoid using a magazine disconnect is to not have one.

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