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Thread: 1911 Grip Safety Improvement

  1. #1
    Member cclaxton's Avatar
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    1911 Grip Safety Improvement

    I recently shot some close quarters drills and noticed that the grip safety prevented me from pulling the trigger because of the angle of retention shooting. I would never want that to happen again.

    What can I do to improve the grip safeties on my 1911's so that any small amount of movement will release the safety? I don't want to use a grip sock for liability reasons.

    1911's are: Springfield Range Officer 9mm and 45cal, and Remington R1.
    Cody
    That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state;

  2. #2
    Site Supporter JonInWA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    I recently shot some close quarters drills and noticed that the grip safety prevented me from pulling the trigger because of the angle of retention shooting. I would never want that to happen again.

    What can I do to improve the grip safeties on my 1911's so that any small amount of movement will release the safety? I don't want to use a grip sock for liability reasons.

    1911's are: Springfield Range Officer 9mm and 45cal, and Remington R1.
    Cody
    The best grip safety that I've found that pretty much is guaranteed to deactivate the safety is the Caspian vertical fin/bump; it was the OEM one spec'ced by Matt MacLearn on the original SIG GSR, and I've found it to be completely successful. Some shooters don't like it for either aesthetic reasons, or because they feel it's a bit uncomfortably for extended carry.

    Function trumps aesthetics in most cases for me, particularly in the case of a contemporary 1911 for defensive use. And I don't personally find it to be aesthetically offensive. The comfort issue has never bothered me, as my normal usage is probably measured in in periods of seconds, not continually for hours. They've got a couple of alternative variants, but here's one:

    https://www.caspianarms.com/productd...dius-stainless

    Best, Jon
    Last edited by JonInWA; 05-22-2019 at 12:38 PM.

  3. #3
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    The tab at the front of the grip safety can be shaped/filed/stoned so as to adjust the interface between the safety and the trigger bow. I have done this a few times and it requires knowledge of just where to (and where not to) remove material along with some patience. You must go slowly and test often to avoid removing too much metal or the safety will be ruined unless you know how to weld material back on. There is a very fine line between a safety that works just right and one that allows the trigger to be pulled even when not engaged.

    I suggest trying the above only if you have a thorough understanding of just how the grip safety interacts with the trigger bow.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    This. ^

    Good video!
    Last edited by Rex G; 05-22-2019 at 01:10 PM.
    Retaríd LE

    Donít tread on volcanos!

  6. #6
    relevant portions of the vid are 3:00-6:30. Look at his picture on the whiteboard


  7. #7
    Site Supporter Rex G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    I recently shot some close quarters drills and noticed that the grip safety prevented me from pulling the trigger because of the angle of retention shooting. I would never want that to happen again.

    What can I do to improve the grip safeties on my 1911's so that any small amount of movement will release the safety? I don't want to use a grip sock for liability reasons.

    1911's are: Springfield Range Officer 9mm and 45cal, and Remington R1.
    Cody
    In addition to the excellent discussion by Larry Vickers, in Ampís link, pay attention to such things as the value of a high-cut front strap/undercut trigger guard, and the way the beavertail-ducktail is sculpted. Some BT/DT designs actually interfere with oneís ability to depress a grip safety.

    Holster design is a factor. High-ride rigs, especially those with the once-holy FBI cant, that force the userís hand and arm into a silly chicken-wing position, interfere with attaining a proper firing grip, especially for short-waisted folks, with skinny hands, such as, well, me. The holsterís retention system can also play a part in interfering with a proper grip. (I will not post anything too specific about a duty holsterís retention system on a publicly-viewable forum.)

    I let my ďgrandfatheredĒ Kimber Classic Customs lapse, and transitioned to Glock G22 duty pistols, in 2002, when the Safariland 070* holster, and the limitations of the Kimbers, was found to be interfering with my ability to attain a proper grip. A very fast draw was likely to result in silence, instead of ďbang,Ē a very disturbing discovery, to say the least**. I later found that my old-school Colt Classic Government, with a GI-pattern 1911A1 grip safety, as well as my Les Baer TRS, with its high-cut front strap and better-for-me BT/DT, would reliably function with the 070, but the deed was done. My 1911 quals had lapsed, so I was stuck with a list of approved Glocks, SIGs, and Smith & Wessons, until 2016, when a change in policy again allowed me to tote a 1911 on duty, in the MUCH better-thought-out Safariland 6360. (The 070 holster was a much better idea for some guns, than others. IMHO, the 070 was much better as a REVOLVER holster.)

    *In hindsight, a custom shank, to eliminate the SILLY cant, and lower the holster a bit, might have mitigated the problem.

    **My hands had become skinnier, with age, especially as I was constantly trying to manage a case of CTS.
    Retaríd LE

    Donít tread on volcanos!

  8. #8
    Member KevH's Avatar
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    If you had one gun giving you trouble I would say it is the gun.

    Three guns giving you trouble look to your grip or how the 1911 platform interacts with your hand.

    I run an arched mainspring housing which forces my hand into the correct position to actuate the grip safety perfectly and allows me a nice high grip. Can I shoot a gun with a flat MSH? Yeah, but I find the arched works much better for me.

    You can change the sensitivity of the grip safety where it interacts with the trigger bow and where it interacts with the MSH to allow more travel and you can also bend the sear spring prong that interacts with the grip safety forward to make it easier to actuate. Just bear in mind that if you remove too much material or bend the sear spring too much you can cause yourself other issues.

    The three guns you describe all come with the modern "memory pad" modification built into the grip safety. My bet is your grip is the issue.

    Try evaluating your grip and how you interact with the gun first before trying to modify three pistols.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
    In addition to the excellent discussion by Larry Vickers, in Ampís link, pay attention to such things as the value of a high-cut front strap/undercut trigger guard, and the way the beavertail-ducktail is sculpted.
    Grip safety shape and frontstrap shaping effectively change "grip angle" too. I probably shoot the best with an Ed Brown BTGS, and a non high-cut frontstrap

  10. #10
    Ive had issues with engaging the beavertail grip safety on my 1911, and hope the following will be of some help.

    there's a nice section on John Harrison's website that offers a nice overview of beavertail grip safeties. there, he describes the three types of BGSs you can find on 1911s: http://www.harrisoncustom.com/FAQ.aspx

    All involve varying levels of smithing, so I would consider other possible solutions before working on or changing the BGS on your pistols.

    I found that the following factors impacted how my hand/grip actuated the BGS:
    1. technique - I had to train myself to ride the thumb saftey to ensure that my hand was in the right position to activate the grip safety
    2. trigger length - I suspect a good number of 1911s produced today are equipped with a long trigger. perhaps a medium or short trigger might help with positioning your hand so that your grip will activate the BGS.
    3. Grip panels - perhaps a thicker/thinner grip panel will help you form a grip that will activate the BGS
    4. thumb safety - perhaps the height of the thumb safety might prevent you from forming a grip that will activate the BGS. You might want to consider a medium thumb safety (see Wilson Combat's tactical thumb safety, or Harrison Design and EGW) or a low thumb safety (Gunsite makes a low thumb safety)



    I eventually discovered that sound technique, a medium trigger, and a medium thumb safety solved my problem. YMMV




    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    I recently shot some close quarters drills and noticed that the grip safety prevented me from pulling the trigger because of the angle of retention shooting. I would never want that to happen again.

    What can I do to improve the grip safeties on my 1911's so that any small amount of movement will release the safety? I don't want to use a grip sock for liability reasons.

    1911's are: Springfield Range Officer 9mm and 45cal, and Remington R1.
    Cody
    Last edited by gomerpyle; 05-22-2019 at 03:22 PM.

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