Non-Ambidextrous Safety Left-Handers?


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Law Enforcement
July 17, 2008, 10:11 PM
If you are left-handed and carry a 1911, do you avoid ambidextrous safeties and learn to manipulate the single-sided right-handed safety when in condition 1?

Ambidextrous safeties are more fragile than single-sided safeties because of the tongue-in-groove arrangement (Kings are the exception). Ambidextrous safeties tend to work loose at the tongue and groove over time.

I am left-handed and had the ambidextrous safety removed from my Colt Series 80 Government Model and went back to the standard factory Colt single-sided safety for right-handers. The Ed Brown ambidextrous safety tended to work loose. The Colt factory single-sided safety was strong and durable and had a positive click each and every time.

I have learned to draw and swing my left thumb over to the left side of the gun to depress the right-handed safety. An alternative would be to use the Israeli draw from condition 3 and not have to worry about safety disengagement. I know all of the arguements for and against condition 3 carry (two hands needed, Murphy's Law, etc.).

My purpose is not to argue the pros and cons of condition 3 carry or the pros and cons of ambi vs non-ambi carry for southpaws. I've studied those arguments as well.

Net net bottom line, how many left-handers who carry a 1911 prefer the single-sided safety over the ambidextrous safety? Why? Do you feel confident? etc.

Thanks in advance.

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Joshua M. Smith
July 17, 2008, 10:42 PM
I've tried it and do not feel confident.

Kimber uses the same setup as King's, and I'm going to be trying their safety out starting (hopefully) tomorrow when it should arrive.

Went for the Kimber over the King's because the King's is constantly backordered. They're used by the military. As I understand it, Kimber is as well in their MEU pistol, and they were sold out of the safety for about six months.

I'd recommend, at this point, that you try an STI thumb safety. Though it does walk out a bit, it doesn't do so enough to make unreliable. In fact, I had to draw my weapon against a dog. I put full thumb pressure on it in an OH CRAP grip and it took it in stride. Strong lil' booger.

If I were restricted to carrying without an ambi safety, I'd depend on the grip safety only. This is how Browning intended it to be carried; the thumb safety was there at the behest of the US Calvary who wanted an emergency safety which could be manually engaged by a soldier holding it, while getting his horse under control.

Browning considered cocked'n'UNlocked to be the way to do things.

Josh <><

tlen
July 18, 2008, 01:09 AM
An old left handed ex-Marine friend of mine taught me to use the base of my left hand index finger to depress/release the left side thumb safety. I find this much easier than using the my left thumb, as suggested, since the web of my hand [and thumb] still provides a grip on the weapon. It is also easy to re-engage the safety with the left index finger as well.

Joshua M. Smith
July 18, 2008, 02:23 AM
You must have short fingers...

I just can't accomplish that feat.

Josh <><

Dakoma
July 18, 2008, 02:27 AM
Somebody shoots just like me:evil:I carry an old Balister though,never thought much of the grip saftey on most .45's,and John Browning did'nt feel a need for one in the begining.That was a Millitary decision.:rolleyes:

Diamondback6
July 18, 2008, 03:28 AM
I can work safeties with the base of my trigger-finger on my airsoft "house-practice/mockup" plastic, but haven't been able to with live-iron.

Hence, I'm redesigning the safety to go to a dual-plunger-tube system on my homebuilds.

At this point with a "standard model", I figure I'll take the thumb-safety off as I draw, relying on the trigger-finger-safety: keeping the ol' boogerhook off the bangswitch.

HammerBite
July 18, 2008, 03:50 AM
I simply taught myself to shoot the pistol right-handed. It took about a week before it seemed natural.

This came about when I was having cross-dominance problems with a shotgun. I went nuts and learned to do everything right-handed.

Joshua M. Smith
July 18, 2008, 04:01 AM
Somebody shoots just like meI carry an old Balister though,never thought much of the grip saftey on most .45's,and John Browning did'nt feel a need for one in the begining.That was a Millitary decision.

Nope, it was the thumb safety that the military requested.

Browning's idea was to have a safety that deactivated automatically, hence the grip safety. However, the US Calvary was still using horses, and horses can get worked up. If a soldier had a 1911 in his hand when the horse got worked up, there was a chance of a ND. The Calvary thus requested a manual safety which could be activated while the soldier brought his horse under control.

Autolycus
July 18, 2008, 05:53 AM
If you are in Law Enforcement, as the OP's name implies, then wouldn't you want a loaded chamber? I am not going to argue about the Israeli method but I cannot imagine any law enforcement academy teaching that type of method.

Disaster
July 18, 2008, 07:05 AM
I'm a righty, but can work a pistol just fine with my left...except for the safety. Sweeping it with my non gun hand defeats the purpose of being ambi, IMHO. Sweeping it with my gun hand is definitely slower and more awkward. I vote for ambis on everything.

WoofersInc
July 18, 2008, 03:03 PM
I'm left handed and prefer to go with the ambi safety. For me it is faster and I don't have to change my grip during the draw to get the safety off.

Dakoma
July 18, 2008, 04:59 PM
Everyone was born left handed until they sinned:confused:I do just fine working the safety with the base of my left index finger:what:

NG VI
July 18, 2008, 06:04 PM
Or you could go with a lefty USP, they have non ambi safeties and are quite strong.

MedWheeler
July 18, 2008, 07:01 PM
Hammerbite wrote: >>>I simply taught myself to shoot the pistol right-handed. It took about a week before it seemed natural.

This came about when I was having cross-dominance problems with a shotgun. I went nuts and learned to do everything right-handed.<<<

Kind of been there, too, only not with pistols. My first firearm was a Winchester 190 rifle in .22LR. I tried initially to shoot left-handed. Catching the empty brass down my shirt stopped that, and I quickly learned to shoot right-handed. I still shoot handguns left-handed, though with my more-dominant right eye (cross-eyed shooting.)
Don't have a 1911 carry gun, but I do have a working (non-firing) replica from Collector's Armory that I acquired about 22 years ago. Gonna go try some of the techniques mentioned here on it..

Leadbutt
July 19, 2008, 01:58 AM
Am left handed as well and have carried 1911's on and off since the 50's all have all ways had the Colt ambi short safeties installed and never had a problem with them,,the extended ones seem to have caused problems for me

zxcvbob
July 19, 2008, 02:15 AM
If you are left-handed and carry a 1911, do you avoid ambidextrous safeties and learn to manipulate the single-sided right-handed safety when in condition 1?

Ambidextrous safeties are more fragile than single-sided safeties because of the tongue-in-groove arrangement (Kings are the exception). Ambidextrous safeties tend to work loose at the tongue and groove over time.

How are the ambi- safeties on BHP's? I'm a leftie and have been considering adding one to mine (it's an FM model M90)

Rexster
July 20, 2008, 02:22 AM
BHP ambi safeties are not tongue-and-groove, which means no wear and loosening in that regard.

HouTexDavid
August 5, 2008, 07:07 PM
I also shoot with the "sinister" hand. One of my justifications for buying a new Browning HP was the ambi safety. Wanted to start carrying an auto, but did not feel comfortable with using my left thumb to reach over the hammer to take off the safety on my Colt 1991A1.

What's that you say? It's possible to add an ambi safety to my Colt? You don't mean it!?! Oh well, too late. Already bought the BHP. <Grin>

Sistema1927
August 5, 2008, 08:29 PM
I am a lefty, and find that the Mueshke (http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=9212&title=MUESCHKE%201911%20AUTO%20EXTENDED%20AMBIDEXTROUS%20.45%20SAFETY) ambi safeties remain solid and secure due to the use an an extended slotted sear pin.

32winspl
August 5, 2008, 11:42 PM
I'm a lefty. My first 1911 was a series 70 Colt Gold Cup. I bought and installed an ambi safety. I'm now on my third 1911; a Kimber 2nd gen (external extractor) Team ll match. Assuming that you're a lefty, why on Earth would you WANT a righty-only pistol? Go back 25 or so years as a motorcycle rider. If you rode a Triumph, Norton, Harley, etc, you shifted on the right and braked on the left. Now, it's all standardized. ...left foot shifts and right foot brakes. Harley's, remaining Brits, Dago's as well. 1st gear is down, and all other's are up. Simple.
why would you be a lefty and buy a righty-only pistol?

Pat-inCO
August 6, 2008, 01:59 AM
If you are left-handed and carry a 1911, do you avoid ambidextrous safeties and learn to manipulate the single-sided right-handed safety when in condition 1?
YES! for all the reasons you listed.

I have learned to draw and swing my left thumb over to the left side of the gun to depress the right-handed safety.
Bad idea. Use the base of the Left index finger. Your grip then does NOT need to be re-adjusted to be ready to rock and roll.

It's actually quite easy. :D

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