I wanted to take a moment to write about a topic that most will get all twitterpated over; Safe Queens. A safe queen can be any firearm in your safe, but are usually high end custom handguns or rifles. A lot of people will call them BBQ guns. They are a thing of beauty, finely crafted with an extreme attention to detail. I have had a chance or two to see and handle a few safe queens as well as own what most would consider a safe queen. Us 1911 guys often fall victim to the sleek lines of the finely engraved creation that was given to us by John Moses Browning after the Good Lord inspired him. Moses went up on the mountain to meet with God and brought back the 10 commandments. John Browning went up on the mountain to meet with God and brought back the 1911.
Don’t get me wrong though. The safe queen can be your 400 dollar polymer gun as well. I’ve been talking to a friend of mine and working to help him buy his first ccw pistol. I mentioned that he needs to be willing to train hard with it and fight hard with it. Putting a scratch on it is a badge of honor. He wasn’t too keen on the idea. To him, that 400-500 he will spend is an investment on a nice piece of hardware and to deliberately abuse it goes against what he’s been taught his whole life. Here’s my point folks. Don’t carry a gun that you’re not willing to abuse. Abuse may be the wrong word to use here, but most will get my point. Take care of your carry rig, but don’t hesitate to run one handed drills that require you to run the slide on a hard surface. You may scratch it, but oh well.
Most people know that I carry a Les Baer 1911, and my wife carries a Wilson Combat from time to time. Those who have been in a class I taught will also vouch that I will take my Les Baer and run the gun one handed off of my brick fireplace. As nice as my pistol may be, it’s a tool. I’ve had people mention that if I use it for self defense, the police will confiscate it for a while. Great, no problem. I bought that tool to save my life and if I am still alive to know that the police took it for a short while, then the tool did it’s job. My life is worth more than the cost of the gun. Taking it one step further, I have watched Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch Inc take his 5000 plus dollar Heirloom Precision 1911 and toss it on the gravel range deck to make a point, I have seen him do many a drills with that pistol. Make no mistake, he takes care of his stuff, but it is a tool that is there to save his life.
I have watched guys bring their safe queens out to shoot and train. They have them in a nicely padded case and as soon as they are done they wipe them down like its a newborn babe, and tuck them away. They are careful with how they handle the gun almost to the point of a white glove treatment. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a safe queen. There is nothing wrong with having a crown jewel in your collection. Be it a finely tuned and engraved 1911 or the latest tricked out Glock that Zev Tech has to offer, just be mindful of what you are trying to accomplish. Whatever gun you carry, be ready and willing to run it to the ragged edge. If you are not, then rethink what you are carrying. Being a 1911 guy I can say this, most people who carry 1911’s carry them as a fashion statement. They are proud of the work of art that they have on their hip. If that’s you, get a Glock. Personally, I look at my carry gun like I would a good truck. The bed of the truck has some dents in it and the paint is scratched, and that is a good feeling because I put those there with good honest hard work. All my carry guns are worn like that. They have blood and sweat from a hard days work in a training class. They have been ran hard in 100 degree weather and 10 degree weather. One of these days I will drop 6 grand on a 1911 built by Jason Burton of Heirloom Precision. I look forward to the first scratch, I look forward to worn bluing, I look forward to holster wear from the 1000’s of draws. I encourage you to evaluate what you carry. If the thought of running the slide one handed on a brick ledge to clear a malfunction makes you cringe, you may have a safe queen. If that’s the case, put it in the safe and get a fighting tool. Your life depends on it.