Lefty 1911 Shooters Chime In


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FireArmFan
April 12, 2008, 04:27 AM
I'm a southpaw and I'm in the market for a 1911. I've been bouncing back and forth between a few different models and my biggest criteria was an ambi safety.

Now I think I might be going about this all wrong. My primary use would be to have a tack driver range gun. Secondary use would be for carrying on select occasions since I already have an EDC pistol. Since I wont be carrying it that often, I'm starting to think the ambi safety isn't that important. There are many more models that don't have an ambi safety so I would have many more choices to choose from. When I do carry it, it would be slimmer without the ambi safety so that is a plus. I think with a little training I could learn to operate the standard safety quickly and efficiently.

Here's my question, for all the lefty 1911 shooters, what type of safety do you prefer? And for those that have the standard safeties, how easy is it for you work the safety? I've played around with them before but I haven't done any formal training that would give me an idea as to how effectively I could get the pistol ready to go in a crisis.

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Rustynuts
April 12, 2008, 09:10 AM
Ambi-safety period. I don't buy the whole "I don't need a feature cause I may not carry it" theory. When you do carry it and SHTF, you want to be able to draw and thumb the safety off QUICKLY. As a lefty too, I can say there's no easy way to work a regular safety without messing with the grip on the pistol. You either flip your thumb over if you can clear the tail, and then your grip is much weaker on the gun, could even fumble it in a panic if doing it one-handed. The other method would be to try and contort your trigger finger up to the safety. Again, really weird stuff going on with the grip. Lastly, you could use your weak hand thumb reaching over the slide. Be careful of slide bite if you have to shoot in a hurry though.

Most 1911's have the option of adding an ambi I think, so if you find a gun you like, get an ambi put on later

jwxspoon
April 12, 2008, 09:45 AM
+1 on the ambi safety requirement. The only 1911 style pistol I have WITHOUT an ambi safety is a para ordnance covert carry - this is double action. If I carry any other 1911 I will absolutely have an ambi safety, every time.

jw

Texastbird
April 12, 2008, 10:16 AM
There are some pistols without an ambi safety that I feel comfortable with, but a 1911 is not one of them. When the PT1911 came out, the features, one of them a factory ambi safety, won me over pretty quickly, and my quest for a nice affordable 1911 was realized.

jonnyc
April 12, 2008, 10:35 AM
I wanted to have a low-profile ambi on my Sistema 1911. Meuscke(sp?) makes a fine one. Think I got it from Brownell's.

Pat-inCO
April 12, 2008, 11:10 AM
I am left handed and added an ambi safety to one of my Kimbers. It is about to come back off. There is NO need to have the safety leaver under the thumb. You can EASILY learn to activate the safety with the base of your index finger and in turn push it off as you draw the gun. It is much the same as holding your trigger finger along the side of the gun until you are ready to shoot. It works, it's fast, it's easy AND there are no modifications to be made.

One advantage in doing this is that EVERY 1911 is now totally functional for you. Unlike what the "righties" will tell you, the 1911 is EASIER to use for a left handed person. :neener:

32winspl
April 12, 2008, 04:07 PM
Just my opinion. As a lefty, there is no way on earth that I'd have a 1911 without an ambi safety. If the gun is to be used for self defence and only by you, I would grind down the left side of it until there was only enough of it left for you to just be able to thumb it off in the event that your left hand or arm was unusable. That makes a righty who gets it away from you have to fumble around for it (if he's even familliar with the safety location at all. The left side of mine is ground down flush. If the gun is for competition (when occasionally you'll have a weak-hand or off-hand drill,) then leave it alone, but by all means, have an ambi-safety.
It blows my mind in this day and age of corporate liability attorneys, that ANY company would produce a pistol that isn't fully ambidextrous. For example, my buddy's Sig 220 is a marvelous pistol, but you can't use the decock function or slide release left-hand only, unless you really crank the thing around in your hand. Stupid. ...And you sure can't do it quickly, while in complete (one handed) control.
Other than adding an ambi-safety, a 1911 is really VERY lefty friendly. The slide-release can be accessed easily by your trigger finger; and the mag realease by your bird finger without changing your grip. Try that righties, unless you have some seriously large thumbs.
Seriously, spend the few bucks to get an ambi safety. Don't require yourself to have to learn a bunch of hand-gymnastics to operate your pistol safely, conveniently, and quickly.
Just my opinion.

BikerRN
April 12, 2008, 05:12 PM
Here's my question, for all the lefty 1911 shooters, what type of safety do you prefer? And for those that have the standard safeties, how easy is it for you work the safety? I've played around with them before but I haven't done any formal training that would give me an idea as to how effectively I could get the pistol ready to go in a crisis.


Here's my answer, for the OP and anyone that cares to read it, Ambi Safety. I am a left handed shooter. I've never tolerated a "standard safety" on any 1911 I own because I don't find it easy to work the safety with my Index Finger.

I personally think a "Standard Safety" on a Left Hander's gun is a throwback to the 1950's and some of the "less than bright thinking" that went on in those days. No, I wasn't around then, but I can read history books and most of my relatives were around then.

BikerRN

CWL
April 12, 2008, 05:37 PM
In every training class that I ever went to, it has included weak-hand/wounded drills.

Ambi is a must for my (primary) SD M1911s.

burk
April 12, 2008, 08:30 PM
I shoot with both hands fairly well, carry and shoot predominantly right handed. I still buy all my 1911's with Ambi safeties. If it's really an issue, I would assume you could get one installed for under 100$ from a decent gunsmith. But the 1911 is meant to be carried locked and loaded, and if your a lefty the ambi is required.

FireArmFan
April 12, 2008, 11:50 PM
First off thanks for the responses. I pretty much agree with everyone who said an ambi is a must. I think I was trying to talk myself out of it because the particular model I want the most doesn't come with one and didn't want to spend extra time and money getting an ambi installed.

Anybody know of a good aftermarket ambi safety for a reasonable price and also if anyone has a ballpark figure of how much it would cost to have a gunsmith install it? (I know the price for labor will vary from person to person but i'm just looking for a loose ballpark figure) Thanks.

32winspl
April 13, 2008, 12:31 AM
Most drop-in ambi's can be installed by you, and a Wilson will cost you less than $60 in either blued or stainless steel. Cheap!

greyling22
April 13, 2008, 10:34 AM
you got 3 grand? http://www.milehigharmory.com/
http://www.gunsamerica.com/976888867/Guns/Pistols/1911-Pistol-Copies/Left_Hand_191.htm

Pumpkinheaver
April 13, 2008, 11:14 AM
Buy whatever you want. If it doesn't have an ambi safty one can be installed for minimal cost.

MAKster
April 13, 2008, 03:29 PM
There is another current "lefties" thread where almost everyone is saying that ambi safties are unnecessary - even on the 1911.

76shuvlinoff
April 13, 2008, 03:50 PM
Ambi thumb safety I believe in, ambi mag and slide releases I don't.

conan
April 13, 2008, 04:07 PM
As you already know you must have an ambi-saftey on a carry gun. You also need to have that left-handed saftey to rest your thumb on for a high handed grip at the shooting range. Must faster shooting!

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