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Thread: Nuances of running the 1911 thumb safety (thread split)

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    Most IWB holsters tuck the gun too close to allow full firing grip to be achieved while the gun is standing in the holster. From grandmasters, cops, SOF Operators, etc, I've watched a TON of film and seen a ton of draw strokes and worked thousands of reps my ownself, and almost everyone ends up twisting the gun just a little bit to settle it during the drawstroke.
    I can't speak for IWB or any other groups of shooters, but for myself only, out of AIWB: I absolutely get a full firing grip when gun is in my concealment holster. The times when I recognize when I don't, I stop and dry fire till I do again. Usually happens when I push speed and do not wrap fingers around the front strap fully. This is the only video I have of me drawing from concealed at Gabe's class almost 5 years ago. You don't really have time to tweak the grip at a light pin run speed, and you can't hit at a light pin speed with a compromised grip. The gun is P30 LEM but I get a full grip on every concealed gun I have, including a 1911



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  2. #42
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    I can't speak for IWB or any other groups of shooters, but for myself only, out of AIWB: I absolutely get a full firing grip when gun is in my concealment holster. The times when I recognize when I don't, I stop and dry fire till I do again. Usually happens when I push speed and do not wrap fingers around the front strap fully. This is the only video I have of me drawing from concealed at Gabe's class almost 5 years ago. You don't really have time to tweak the grip at a light pin run speed, and you can't hit at a light pin speed with a compromised grip. The gun is P30 LEM but I get a full grip on every concealed gun I have, including a 1911
    I do not have a fully formed grip from AIWB or with my Production holster. As long as the web is in the curve of the beavertail, I can count on my grip being properly indexed. And even if I fox my grip a little, I can crush out the deviation with the support hand and still have a good index.
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  3. #43
    Wannabe Privateer RevolverRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YVK View Post
    I can't speak for IWB or any other groups of shooters, but for myself only, out of AIWB: I absolutely get a full firing grip when gun is in my concealment holster. The times when I recognize when I don't, I stop and dry fire till I do again. Usually happens when I push speed and do not wrap fingers around the front strap fully. This is the only video I have of me drawing from concealed at Gabe's class almost 5 years ago. You don't really have time to tweak the grip at a light pin run speed, and you can't hit at a light pin speed with a compromised grip. The gun is P30 LEM but I get a full grip on every concealed gun I have, including a 1911



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-Or...ature=youtu.be
    Tough to say from there. But it looks like your shooting hand thumb actually shifts as your hands come together in the press out, I slowed it down and watched your thumbs as much as possible. Of course if you're like me that may not mean much, because virtually all of my grip is based on getting good front/back strap tension with the palm and fingers and some balancing tension with the thumb knuckle. And then crushing the gun with my support hand.

    So don't get me wrong when I say grips aren't fully formed. They're probably super close for many folks. Close enough to not matter. Also, I don't want to come off as though I'm advocating getting a shit grip on the gun or something. I'm not get the best grip possible. Or as though initial grip on the gun is irrelevant, it is extremely relevant and we definitely want the best grip we can get.

    But the old school 1911 way where folks are taught to hop on the thumb safety while the gun is in the holster isn't necessary to achieve a good grip on the gun or run the thumb safety. And I'm not convinced it's the best course of action, either. Especially with appendix carry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    I do not have a fully formed grip from AIWB or with my Production holster. As long as the web is in the curve of the beavertail, I can count on my grip being properly indexed. And even if I fox my grip a little, I can crush out the deviation with the support hand and still have a good index.
    This is me with most IWB holsters (appendix or otherwise). It's a combination of ride height for maximum concealment and placement on body tends to generate a situation where I drive the web of the hand into the beavertail and then "lift" the gun into my palm with the fingers until I'm high enough to firmly wrap the gun up. I would say 95% of my grip is achieved while the muzzle is in the holster. The remainder is "fixed" when I clamshell around and smash the gun into the shooting hand with the support. If I go SHO I know that what I have established from the holster can run the gun.

    Upside to the thinness of the 1911, if you manage to end up slightly offset on the draw it's pretty easy to fix it. But you don't want to end up that way if avoidable.
    Seriously guys, are we not doing 'phrasing' anymore?

  4. #44
    King of Craft Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    ...95% of my grip is achieved while the muzzle is in the holster. The remainder is "fixed" when I clamshell around and smash the gun into the shooting hand with the support. If I go SHO I know that what I have established from the holster can run the gun.
    Makes sense. I do my SHO AIWB draw differently than freestyle. My strong hand has to lift the garment anyway, so it’s already against my body. From there I slide my hand down with thumb in between beavertail and body. It’s a little slower, but gives me a more reliable index.
    "BJJ is sort of like nonconsensual yoga"
    "You don’t really graduate from certain problems or certain things… like you always have to work on trigger control and pulling the trigger straight. " --Ben Stoeger 1/24/2018

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    But the old school 1911 way where folks are taught to hop on the thumb safety while the gun is in the holster isn't necessary to achieve a good grip on the gun or run the thumb safety. And I'm not convinced it's the best course of action, either. Especially with appendix carry.
    You're right, it's not the best course of action, which is why I don't do it that way.

    I remember practicing drawing to low ready during one of jlw's defensive pistol classes. It was no problem to disengage the thumb safety within the brief amount of time it took to go from the low ready position to a firing position and press the trigger.

    My thumb doesn't touch the safety until the gun is out of the holster, and I don't click the safety off until I start extending the gun toward the target.

  6. #46
    Site Supporter Erick Gelhaus's Avatar
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    20+ years carrying a 1911 on & off-duty and several years carrying M&Ps with thumb safeties.

    I appreciate the effort the OP put into the post.

    I've spent those working with my thumb atop the safety lever except when putting it back on - I do the same thing with my ARs (or then issued M4).

    As for the manipulation, it's straight Modern Technique methodology on one end, feedback from Mil guys on the other. If drawing to the shot, the safety comes off when the muzzle rotates on to the target/threat; if drawing to a ready, the safety stays on until coming onto the threat/target. The safety goes back on as I come off of assessing the finished target/downed threat.

  7. #47
    Site Supporter JonInWA's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. And great discussions. I've always be a "thumb on the safety shelf" guy, and I've never had any inadvertant safety deactivations. My main 1911s are my Gen 2 SIG GSR, which has a OEM extended thumb safety (not sure if SIG used a Willson or Greider), and my Colt Series 70 Repro, which has the OEM Colt "teardrop" thumb safety. Alos applicable to this discussion is my FN High Power, whuch has BH Spring Solutions SFS safety levers.

    I'm going to experiment with an open mind with this thumb-under-safety technique, and see how it works with my guns, firing techniques and grips.

    Best, Jon

  8. #48
    Member diananike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHC View Post
    Back in the 80's with GI A1 pattern pistols incl the left side only safety I shot with my thumb locked down but since returning to working with 1911s more recently I adopted the thumb on the safety and found I liked it much more. And this is more modern format pistols re ambi-safeties etc.

    It complimented (or so I think) my dual use of Glocks with high thumbs. It did not play well with the USP I briefly owned though, I'd re-safe during strings of fire.
    A little bit off topic but still relevant for those who treat a USP or HK45 pistol like a cocked and locked 1911.
    I think the issue with the USP safety/decocker design is that if you ride it sometimes (at least for me) under recoil the thumb will depress it out of the safetyoff notch and partially into the decock range. It isnt enough to decock the gun but is enough to make a dead trigger.
    My answer to this idiosyncrasy of that system is to ride the back of my support hand right beside the safety so it’s still thumbs high just not resting on the safety itself.
    This leads to a very slightly different grip on my HK45C vs a 1911
    I wish I could get a picture but unfortunately it requires both hands LOL

  9. #49
    10.3" Master Race TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diananike View Post
    A little bit off topic but still relevant for those who treat a USP or HK45 pistol like a cocked and locked 1911.
    I think the issue with the USP safety/decocker design is that if you ride it sometimes (at least for me) under recoil the thumb will depress it out of the safetyoff notch and partially into the decock range. It isnt enough to decock the gun but is enough to make a dead trigger.
    My answer to this idiosyncrasy of that system is to ride the back of my support hand right beside the safety so it’s still thumbs high just not resting on the safety itself.
    This leads to a very slightly different grip on my HK45C vs a 1911
    I wish I could get a picture but unfortunately it requires both hands LOL
    The best option if you want to run a USP as a SAO gun is to swap the $10 detent plate to variant 9. Keeps the safety, loses the decocker function.

    In the case of the HK45, I believe you can do the same thing by putting a 5/6 plate in.

    ETA: Here you go. Same plate, actually: https://hkparts.net/product/detent-p...9-10-p1247.htm
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  10. #50
    Site Supporter JonInWA's Avatar
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    My two initial thoughts after some dryfire practice with the thumb-under-the-safety technique:

    1. Probably makes a 1911 marginally more viable as a threat management tool

    2. Without much practice/muscle memory RE proper thumb positioning regarding the under-the-safety technique positioning, it can be somewhat disconcertingly easy to inadvertantly engage the safety when not desired/desirable.

    Feedback, anyone?

    Best, Jon

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