Arched Mainspring Housing on 1911: Uncomfortable?


Kind of Blued
October 23, 2008, 04:08 AM
It seems like this would force the web of my hand into the grip more to ensure compression of the grip safety, but does it mess up the comfort level?

One of my favorite things about the 1911 is that the grip is a nice oval shape, just like my hand, but it looks like a lot of these arched mainspring housings are narrow and stick out a lot, messing up the oval shape.

What say you?

Does anybody have one installed to photograph?

If you enjoyed reading about "Arched Mainspring Housing on 1911: Uncomfortable?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 23, 2008, 04:29 AM
With a GI style grip safety they're quite comfortable. On a frame with an undercut trigger guard, and a high ride beavertail grip safety with memory bump, I find the flat MSH more comfortable.

October 23, 2008, 05:59 AM
I learned how to shoot them with the arched MSH, and now they don't feel right without it! A flat MSH makes the gun shoot low for me.

October 23, 2008, 06:11 AM
As for comfort I dont feel the difference, but as for point of aim they sure are different. As for arched the front sight brings up the muzzle, as for flat 'well' the point is kinda flat (low). I prefer the arched type.

October 23, 2008, 07:48 AM
Does anybody have one installed to photograph?

In the autoloader pic thread there are several.

It's a matter of shooter preference. I have both and tend to prefer the arched.

It's more a matter of how it feels and works in your hand. You have to try it to see.


October 23, 2008, 08:56 AM
It's more a matter of how it feels and works in your hand. You have to try it to see.

Exactly. Get your hands on both and see what you prefer.

October 23, 2008, 09:48 AM
I generally prefer the flat, but I have an arched one on a comped .38 Super and I am going to leave it that way.

October 23, 2008, 12:50 PM
I am putting an arched w/lanyard loop on my Kimber, When I miss it tends to be low.

October 23, 2008, 01:09 PM
I have both styles, and they both work for me.

October 23, 2008, 01:29 PM
I have big hands, and I find an arched MSH an absolute necessity.

I spent WAY too much money trying different grips to try and get rid of a problem I had where if I used a modern isosceles stance and thumbs forward grip, my shots would be all over the place with most 1911s. However, if i used a one handed bullseye style stance and grip, I'd go from shooting patterns to shooting groups.

About $250 in different grips and whatnot later, my friend buys a springfield mil spec with arched mainspring housing, and I could shoot that just fine.

my problem was that with a flas MSH, most of the grip was swimming around in my hand under recoil due to it not making contact with the meat of my palm down low.

As for it shoving your hand up into the beavertail, well that is where your hand is supposed to be. A high grip helps recoil control immensely.

Big hands? You want arched.

Small hands? You want flat.

Averaged size hands, you can probably get by with either.

October 23, 2008, 02:12 PM
The only thing I felt needed changing on my Sig GSR was the flat mainspring housing. Do what I did; go to your gun shop and try one out for feel.

October 23, 2008, 08:12 PM
Kind of Blued

I guess I'm in the minority because I definitely prefer the flat MSH. After my first Gold Cup, I decided that flat was the way to go for me, and I replaced the factory piece as soon as I was able to find a matching flat one. Maybe the most discernible difference for me is that I have rather small hands and the flat MSH allows me a better and more comfortable grip overall.

Kind of Blued
October 23, 2008, 11:52 PM
I'll try to go get my paws on one at a shop.

Concerning the photograph, I was talking about a photograph of the grip shape, as in looking straight into the mag well.

Either way, getting a hold of one is the better idea. Now that I think about it, I do shoot low with a 1911 much more often than I shoot high.


October 24, 2008, 02:24 AM
i definitely prefer the arched variety, i feel that it controls recoil much better and allows me to shoot better overall. my groups with a flat msh are just fine, but the gun just feels better with an arched msh. try both-before i shot an arched msh, i thought the 1911 with the flat one was the best thing ever. arched isnt quite as pretty, but for me it really gets the job done.

October 24, 2008, 02:27 AM
I prefer the arched. I need meatier grips if flat.

October 24, 2008, 02:50 AM
When the 1911 was introduced to the military, it had a flat MS housing and a long trigger. In the 30's the military spec'ed the 1911 A1 to require the arched housing and a short trigger. There were two reasons for the change. The military believed the arched housing improved the pointability of the gun and that the arched housing would better fit a wider variety of hand shapes and sizes. I have both set ups on my various 1911's, and I prefer the flat for precision shooting. But my LW Commander carry gun has the arched housing.

October 24, 2008, 03:46 AM
I have small hands. Small enough that no double stack 9mm feels right in my hands.

That said, I prefer the arched MSH. Whatever 1911 you choose, buy a spare MSH of the opposite type. It is a fairly easy part to change, with some common tools. Shoot it with one MSH at the range, then switch it the other one for the next trip.

If this is for a range gun, then I would suggest buying a steel MSH, because the added weight will help for recoil. If for carry, then an aluminum one for weight savings. If you get a Colt, with a plastic MSH, don't worry about it. I got curious, and bought 5 for destructive testing. It's VERY durable.

If you enjoyed reading about "Arched Mainspring Housing on 1911: Uncomfortable?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!