Is there a 1911 manufactured WITHOUT the grip safety?


PDA






rcellis
July 20, 2008, 12:03 AM
Was talking with a fellow at the gun club today - the subject came up about grip safeties on 1911's. I mentioned that I dimly recalled seeing one without a grip safety. Was there/is there one out there? Just curious.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is there a 1911 manufactured WITHOUT the grip safety?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
freakshow10mm
July 20, 2008, 12:09 AM
Novak has the "answer" one piece backstrap. I don't think they sell them, they just install them.

mljdeckard
July 20, 2008, 12:16 AM
Kind of depends on your reasoning. The safeties with a bump make engaging them easier, but I suppose you could just pin one in place, if you have a serious reason to not want it functioning. Without questioning your judgement, not knowing the reason you want one, but I could also cut off the trigger guard and have the trigger lightened. Not going to do any of these things.

nj.piney
July 20, 2008, 12:22 AM
the star pd45 was a compact liteweight copy of the 1911,it had no grip safety, i still carry one.

Jimmie
July 20, 2008, 12:26 AM
It wouldn't be a 1911 without the grip safety, so by definition, no. You can modify them easy enough to remove/disengage the safety, but any "1911" will have a grip safety from the factory.

Eric F
July 20, 2008, 12:29 AM
The answer is yes........sort of...........
I have seen them on cusstom builds for mostly IPSC shooters.

rellascout
July 20, 2008, 01:01 AM
IIRC the 1911 was design by Mr Browning originally without a grip safety. The Amry required one so he modified the design.

Technically yes a 1911 by definition needs a grips safety but they do no have to have one if you know what I mean.

I think Detoncis manufactured ones with a grip safety.

tomkatz
July 20, 2008, 01:13 AM
:D
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/1903/img6805dg9.jpg

BlindJustice
July 20, 2008, 01:27 AM
Back in the day, a way of disabling a grip safety is to pin the safety

THis can be done to any 1911 for any sloppy gripping or limp wristed
shooters, who want to bypass a safety feature.

R-

R.W.Dale
July 20, 2008, 01:34 AM
The Spanish Star's are wonderful 1911 pattern firearms that didn't come with the retarded grip safety.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg79-e.htm

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/star_p.jpg

res1b3uq
July 20, 2008, 02:44 AM
the star pd45 was a compact liteweight copy of the 1911,it had no grip safety, i still carry one.))) Nice little pistols. I wish I had mine back.

steveracer
July 20, 2008, 05:30 AM
Ummmm,
Sure. If you are having trouble, just get yours pinned. Takes minutes, and is reversible should you ever try to sell it. Certainly not a real safety issue. If it were, people wouldn't carry BHPs or CZ-75SAs.
Just my opinion. It's your gun. I say go for it.

1911Tuner
July 20, 2008, 09:08 AM
IIRC the 1911 was design by Mr Browning originally without a grip safety. The Amry required one so he modified the design

Nope. The grip safety was in place on the 1910 Prototype that Browning submitted for testing and approval. It was the thumb safety that was missing, and later added at the request of the US Cavalry.

Photograph courtesy of Charles W. Clawson

http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e243/1911Tuner/1910.gif

bannockburn
July 20, 2008, 09:54 AM
rcellis

Besides the Star Models A (.38 Super), B (9mm.), BKS (9mm.), BM (9mm.), P (.45), and PD (.45), there is also the Ballester Molina (.45) that was made in Argentina. Another M1911 variant without the grip safety, though not an exact copy, was the Arminex Trifire. As its name implied, it was capable of firing .38 Super, 9mm., and .45.

freakshow10mm
July 20, 2008, 11:52 AM
I thought the proto had a thumbsafety but no grip safety, and it was the cavalry that wanted a grip safety.

1911Tuner
July 20, 2008, 12:27 PM
I thought the proto had a thumbsafety but no grip safety, and it was the cavalry that wanted a grip safety.

Nope. The grip safety was present as early as the Model 1905.

rcellis
July 20, 2008, 06:08 PM
I said:
...I mentioned that I dimly recalled seeing one without a grip safety. Was there/is there one out there? Just curious.

mljdecard said:
Kind of depends on your reasoning. The safeties with a bump make engaging them easier, but I suppose you could just pin one in place, if you have a serious reason to not want it functioning. Without questioning your judgement, not knowing the reason you want one, but I could also cut off the trigger guard and have the trigger lightened. Not going to do any of these things.

I don't want one - please read my original question - I was just asking if there had ever been a 1911 platform sold without the grip safety.

BTW, thanks to those who mentioned variants and models. I was only interested from a historical perspective.

BlindJustice
July 20, 2008, 06:32 PM
1905 design differences....

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_3_53/ai_n27126481/pg_2?tag=artBody;col1

so a grip safety is NOT external?

Randall

1911Tuner
July 20, 2008, 06:48 PM
so a grip safety is NOT external?

Yes, it is. The author of that article apparently has it confused with the Model 1903 Colt pistol...or the earlier 1905s. Clawson's Commercial Series, Volume 2 has a picture of the 1905 on page 12, and a 1907 on Page 13...both sporting grip safeties. The 1905's shows the experimental grip safety, later incorporated on all subsequent 1907 contract pistols for the military.

FXWG
July 20, 2008, 07:56 PM
Besides the Star Models A (.38 Super), B (9mm.), BKS (9mm.), BM (9mm.), P (.45), and PD (.45),

You left out the BKM.
Shame on you.
I've had one for 16 years.

bannockburn
July 20, 2008, 09:03 PM
FXWG

I was just going off the top of my head; sorry about the omission. I had a Model B that was a great shooter and a real workhorse. Good service semi-autos that were really well made and reliable.

XavierBreath
July 20, 2008, 10:41 PM
I'm going to have to politely disagree with some members and state that the Star pistols are not copies of the 1911. While they may look similar, and they do have a barrel link, they also have a very different pivoting trigger mechanism with a draw bar rather than a stirrup. Few if any of the parts swap out. Still, Stars are good pistols, and I own a couple. 1911s, they are not though.

AFAIK, no 1911 has been produced without the grip safety unless you count Novak's one piece backstrap 1911s (http://www.novaksights.com/what's_new.htm). Of course, they are converted Colt's so it's arguable whether they were "produced."

http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/colt/CG00032w.jpg

Billy Shears
July 20, 2008, 11:49 PM
The closest thing out there to a 1911 with no grip safety that was ever produced is probably the old Argentinian Ballester-Molina, which has already been mentioned. The Star is reasonably close as well, though it has more significant differences than the Ballester-Molina did. But there was a gun produced just a few years ago that comes pretty close as well: the Arminex, which was made by a company in Scottsdale, Arizona.

It's not an extremely close, copy of the 1911 though, since aside from omitting the grip safety (which many people don't like, though hang me if I know why it bothers anyone), they moved the safety up to the slide. I can't explain that one, since the frame mounted safety is far more ergonomic, and I can't imagine why you'd need a slide mounted decocker/safety in a single action pistol.

Here's a link if you want to see what it looked like:

http://books.google.com/books?id=QK39J3Tlt2sC&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=arminex+.45&source=web&ots=ErD26INdBy&sig=c3q0bi1Qe6lcAGuGms5wMl9Csng&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

M203Sniper
July 21, 2008, 01:50 AM
http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/colt/CG00032w.jpg

Custom made for a father and his daughter. This set solved a problem for them both. The Colt .45's were designed to help facilitate the use of such a large pistol by not only the father but also by his smaller framed daughter. All efforts were used to fit the hand of them both and allow for control and comfort. It took over 8 months to work out the details, fabricate the proto-types, and test the final product. It was displayed for the 1st time at Shot 2005, and is installed on the pair shown. The Novak One Piece Back Strap for the Colt 1911.

I refer to it as "THE ANSWER"®. Look for more information in the near future.

Wayne Novak

Still Waiting. :)

http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/2007%20shot%20show/novak%20next/nextonepiecebackstrap2w.jpg

The 1 thing I dislike about 1911's is the Grip Safety. I hope Novak makes it available, or some other mfg picks up the idea as an option.

TimboKhan
July 21, 2008, 02:04 AM
Dudes, for the record, if you ever want to know anything about 1911's, 1911Tuner is one of a handful of guys on THR that can tell you pretty much whatever you could possibly want to know about the 1911. Not only can he/they tell you, but it would be pretty darn hard to ever prove him/them wrong. I only mention this because this was an interesting thread and one of our best sources on the topic chimed in. It's good to know who the no-BS, take-it-to-the-bank guys are, and 1911Tuner is one of them.

spiroxlii
July 21, 2008, 02:27 AM
This is slightly off-topic, but if you want something like a 1911 but without a grip safety... what about a Browning Hi-Power? Originally, Browning had to work around the 1911 patents when he designed the Hi-Power, but once those patents expired, many 1911 features ended up being incorporated into the Hi-Power. I'm not saying that a 1911 and a Hi-Power are twins, but they're definitely close siblings.

45auto
July 21, 2008, 08:25 AM
If a manufacturer would produce a "1911-like" handgun without a grip safety, they would sell a lot of guns IMO.

Jim Watson
July 21, 2008, 10:35 AM
I think it would have to be a new gun with whatever took up the backstrap not interchangeable onto a real 1911. The corporate lawyers and Internet Legal Worriers would have a fit over a part that could be installed on an existing gun that would "disable a safety feature." Probably the reason Novak is so tight with The Answer.

When Arminex was in business, that was less of a worry. They would sell their one-piece backstrap separately and it would fit a Colt.

Rescomp, the South African maker of IPSC gear, once advertised but never delivered a similar device. I asked Mrs Resca at SHOT about it some years ago and she said they had made an error in the manufacture and had a crate full of off-spec backstraps that the press of other business did not allow them to rework for sale. I said if she would sell me a couple as-is I would undertake to have them fixed locally. She said she would but nothing ever came of it.

1911Tuner
July 21, 2008, 10:37 AM
If a manufacturer would produce a "1911-like" handgun without a grip safety, they would sell a lot of guns IMO.

Probably...but I wouldn't buy one for the same reason that I'd never pin an existing grip safety...and it's not just about liability.

In the event that the gun is dropped, and flips muzzle up before it hits the ground...the grip safety automatically activates to block the trigger. A gun that hits the ground with the thumb safety in the OFF position...which can happen during a hasty draw that is fouled by covering garments...the trigger's inertia could bump the disconnect with enough force to move the sear.

That often happens during slide release with guns that have a little hitch in the fire control group. Witness the number of instances of hammer follow to half-cock...and that's just from the inertial trigger bounce that occurs from the slide going to battery. If the gun were dropped, the half-cock notch could easily get past the sear...and BANG!

Not even the Series 80 system negates this, as it deactivates off the trigger. The tiny plunger in the slide may offer a bit of extra wiggle room...but not a whole lot.

Although it's not documented, I have a strong suspicion that this is the reason that the grip safety was specified in the original government contracts. The pistol was primarily intended for horse-mounted cavalry...which would mean a longer drop to the ground, and it wouldn't be much of a stretch to believe that
dropping an off-safe pistol while trying to deal with a frightened horse is a very real possibility.

Old Fuff
July 21, 2008, 11:02 AM
While you have a good point, there is nothing in the known trial records or reports concerning the pistol being dropped, relative to the grip safety.

What the cavalry was officially concerned about was that a trooper could have problems controling his mount, and be forced to holster the pistol while it was cocked but unlocked. Remember at the time the prototypes did not have a safety lock (manual safety).

Unofficially, they were pushing for the Colt New Service revolver, which they pointed out, had a positive hammer block. It would be safe to reholster so long as the trigger could follow the hammer down.

Cougfan2
July 21, 2008, 11:10 AM
I had a Colt .380 Govt. model that did not have the grip safety. I eventually sold it because I originally bought it as a carry piece and never got comfortable carrying it cocked and locked because several times when I took it off I found the thumb safety had gone to the off position while I was carrying it.

Have a different carry gun now, but can kick myself for selling the Colt as it was the most accurate .380 I've ever shot. :banghead:

BattleChimp Potemkin
July 21, 2008, 11:34 AM
The Ballester Molina: Very similar to the 1911 in size and capability. It takes 1911 magazines, and you can use a few 1911 parts, like the barrel and bushing. The trigger pivots instead of slides. None of the firecontol parts will work on the Ballester. Neat gun, was an idiot for selling it.

Spartacus451
July 21, 2008, 11:35 AM
I would just get one with the grip safety and pin it. It is handy to be able to remove the backstrap when working on the gun. You won't notice the grip safety when it is pinned.

1911Tuner
July 21, 2008, 12:54 PM
While you have a good point, there is nothing in the known trial records or reports concerning the pistol being dropped, relative to the grip safety.

Yup. I know. It's just a suspicion. I'll leave my grip safeties in place and fully functional, thank ya very much, 'cause...I know that as long as that ol' devil, gravity is in force...I just might drop one. ;)

Tom Fury
July 21, 2008, 06:16 PM
Smith & Wesson 4506.

Cheers, TF

herohog
July 21, 2008, 06:30 PM
From a distance, yes, the Star Super and a 1911 look striking similar, side by side, its obvious they are not alike. Field strip one, Oh yeah, WAY different animals. I love them both dearly.

Old Fuff
July 21, 2008, 08:51 PM
I know that as long as that ol' devil, gravity is in force...I just might drop one.

The Army was way ahead of ya'. They not only tied a short string (lanyard) to the pistol, but to the magazine base as well. :cool:

Or did some Jarhead invent that? :neener: :D

HammerBite
July 22, 2008, 12:21 AM
I suppose that if you dropped your cocked and unlocked 1911 and it was dangling on a lanyard alongside your horse while careering through the local vegetation, a grip safety might be a good idea.

Billy Shears
July 22, 2008, 12:58 AM
What the cavalry was officially concerned about was that a trooper could have problems controling his mount, and be forced to holster the pistol while it was cocked but unlocked. Remember at the time the prototypes did not have a safety lock (manual safety).

Unofficially, they were pushing for the Colt New Service revolver, which they pointed out, had a positive hammer block. It would be safe to reholster so long as the trigger could follow the hammer down.
This is rather funny, given that the army eventually shortened the 1911's trigger and machined those relief cuts into the frame aft of the trigger guard because of complaints that the trigger reach was too long for soldiers with smaller hands.

You ever pick up a Colt New Service and check out the trigger reach on that? If you have smaller hands or shorter fingers, you're simply not going to be able to shoot that gun well in double action mode, especially given the somewhat heavy triggers military guns so often have (and which my Colt M1917 has).

Old Fuff
July 22, 2008, 01:42 AM
If the truth were known, the Cavalry did not want an automatic pistol in any shape or form. They did everything they could to get the whole idea dumped. Not once did they write a favorable report on any pistol they tested. They were the source that demanded a grip safety, and later the safety lock (manual safety). Browning didn't like either, but in the end he had to go along.

Their idea of an ideal sidearm was Colt's New Service, with its "positive" hammer block, that Colt claimed, "absolutely prevented an accidental discharge." Another company named Smith & Wesson tried to interest them in their New Century or "Triple Lock" model, but never made any headway. However the Army did adopt the revolver they wanted as the Model 1909, Cal. 45 revolver (not to be confused with the later Model 1917).

Neither the size of the handle or weight of the trigger pull mattered – they were simply looking for an excuse to badmouth what became the 1911 pistol.

Billy Shears
July 22, 2008, 02:55 AM
Well, as Robert A. Heinlein observed, old sailors want wooden ships, old soldiers want horse cavalry.

steveracer
July 22, 2008, 04:49 AM
True. Where are my wooden ships, anyway?

1911Tuner
July 22, 2008, 07:39 AM
I suppose that if you dropped your cocked and unlocked 1911 and it was dangling on a lanyard alongside your horse while careering through the local vegetation, a grip safety might be a good idea.

*chuckle*

Yeah...but there were some people who thought that a device that prevented the gun from being fired unless purposely held in a firing grip
was a good idea...and those reasons may have been legitimate at the time...whatever they were.

The US Army liked the grip safety on the Luger, and requested one on their
new autopistol. Whether they were actually trying to make life difficult for Browning is unknown. I'm sure that some of them were. Others may have had sound reasons. Hard to say, since they're all dead and can't respond.

As for me...The grip safety is a non-issue. Its presence doesn't bother me, and neither would its absence. It's there though, and disabling or eliminating any engineered safety device on a gun is a little risky in today's litigation-happy society.

Jim Watson
July 22, 2008, 10:06 AM
Browning didn't like either, but in the end he had to go along.

I think it more accurate to say he didn't see the need for mechanical safety devices on a gun with exposed hammer. All his hammerless or enclosed hammer guns had thumb safety or grip safety, usually both. I presume without prodding from his paying customers, since they are shown in the patents.

I will point out that when the Army said they wanted a safety or some other feature, that Colt and Mr Browing provided it in Johnny-quick-time. The Army set out the requirements for a .45 sidearm in 1906. They had a final design in 1911, not to mention the interim 1909 revolver. Heck, the government couldn't procure a new toothbrush in five years, now.

45auto
July 22, 2008, 10:24 AM
Not even the Series 80 system negates this, as it deactivates off the trigger. The tiny plunger in the slide may offer a bit of extra wiggle room...but not a whole lot.


Tuner, I would have thought the series 80 would prevent that?

The impact would have to move two levers and plunger/spring.

1911Tuner
July 22, 2008, 10:54 AM
Tuner, I would have thought the series 80 would prevent that?

The impact would have to move two levers and plunger/spring.

It probably would...but those two levers and that little bitty spring don't offer a whole lot of extra resistance...so it would depend on how far the gun falls...what sort of surface it hits...and how it's oriented when it hits. Like dropping on the muzzle from 10 feet. If it hits almost any way except straight down, it won't fire.

Again...just a few rambling thoughts, and not to be taken as gospel. ;)

Old Fuff
July 22, 2008, 11:27 AM
Browning did indeed provide grip and manual safeties on his pocket hammerless pocket pistols - both at Colt and Fabrique Nantionale (FN). They were aimed toward civilian sales where firearms experience and training was unpredictable. He didn't consider that to be the case where his exposed hammer military pistols were concerned, perhaps being influenced by the old Colt Single Action Army model of '73, which was popular in frontier Utah where he lived.

So far as the military pistols are concerned, he had been retained by Colt for the specific purpose (among others) to develop a sidearm for the U.S. Army and hopefully other foreign military services, and he did just that. Throughout the process he would design a prototype. Colt would make them, and the Army would conduct trials. Browning personally attended all of these, and when necessary made adjustments or repairs on the prototypes as might be needed. All of the other companies involved sent hired "mechanics" to do such work. When the trial was over and reports of the results submitted, Browning would again go back to his drawing board, using both his own experience and the reports for guidance. Colt then, lost no time making whatever was called for. While there was sometimes some disagreements between Browning, Colt, and the Army concerning the best way to go, there was never what might be called an adversarial relationship, as the were all working toward the same goal.

So far as a dropped pistol discharging was concerned, Browning believed that his inertial firing pin design provided sufficient protection to prevent that. He might have been wrong, but at the time there wasn’t any evidence to suggest it.

ccsniper
July 22, 2008, 11:35 AM
star made some

1911Tuner
July 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
So far as the military pistols are concerned, he had been retained by Colt for the specific purpose (among others) to develop a sidearm for the U.S. Army

To expound just a bit on Fuff's notes...

It's a myth that Browning had full autonomy, or that he "invented" the pistol by himself. In addition to the Army Ordnance Board's input, he had a team of Colt's top engineers at his disposal...and everyone had a finger or two in the pistol.

Another one that won't let go is the notion that Browning "corrected" the mistakes and the design flaws of the 1911 with the Hi-Power.

Sorry. He was hired to do a job, and he gave what he was asked for. If
The P-35 had been ordered with a grip safety, you can take it to the bank that there would be one on the gun today. Besides...Browning died well before the Hi-Power was finished...so he didn't really have a lot to do with the final design.

spiroxlii
July 22, 2008, 01:07 PM
Browning didn't make the Hi-Power different from a 1911 in so many ways because he was "correcting" problems he saw in the 1911 design. When he was contracted to design the Hi-Power, the 1911 was still under patent, so he pretty much had to design a pistol that did not violate patent law.

Once the 1911 patents expired, some 1911 design features did find their way into at least some versions of the Hi-Power, like the Saive-Browning Model of 1928. It included the removable barrel bushing and takedown sequence of the Colt 1911.

Mike OTDP
July 22, 2008, 01:36 PM
Try a Pardini GP. Problem solved.

45auto
July 22, 2008, 01:41 PM
Again...just a few rambling thoughts, and not to be taken as gospel

No problemo. ;)

I've read JMB's biography a couple of times.

He appeared to be as good a business man, as a gunsmith/inventor. So, if a customer "wanted" something, I'd have no doubt he try to satisfy them regarding grip safeties, thumb safeties, design changes, calibers, etc.

If you enjoyed reading about "Is there a 1911 manufactured WITHOUT the grip safety?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!