1911 without grip safety


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Chevelle SS
June 16, 2012, 03:37 PM
I was curious if there ever was a 1911 produced without a grip safety.

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exiledtoIA
June 16, 2012, 03:43 PM
IIRC the original 1911 didn't have a grip safety. It was added at the US Army's request and with a few other changes resulted in the 1911A1.

R.W.Dale
June 16, 2012, 03:51 PM
All the Spanish star pistols patterned on the 1911 are sans grip safety as is the Argentine ballister molina

markallen
June 16, 2012, 04:09 PM
The Detonics Combat Master.

Auto426
June 16, 2012, 04:15 PM
IIRC the original 1911 didn't have a grip safety. It was added at the US Army's request and with a few other changes resulted in the 1911A1.


The original prototypes for the 1911, such as the 1910, lacked the thumb safety, not the grip safety. The thumb safety was added at the request of the U.S. calvery, as they desired a way to make the pistol safe with one hand while riding on horseback.

As for the OP, if you so desire you can have the grip safety pinned, which is nearly the same thing as not having one at all. I believe Novak or one of the other large shops has also come up with a solution or two that gets rid of the grip safety.

sgb
June 16, 2012, 04:22 PM
http://www.novaksights.com/customguns/1911/answer.html

http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/colt/NEXT/coltnext98R.jpg

1911Tuner
June 16, 2012, 04:34 PM
IIRC the original 1911 didn't have a grip safety.

The grip safety was in place in 1905 as an add-on, and incorporated into the design in 1907...present on the 1909 Models, and retained on the 1911 prototypes produced in 1910...only eight of which were made. Six of the original eight were retrofitted with the thumb safety on request of the US Cavalry and resubmitted for evaluation...and the rest is history.

Pictured below is one of two unaltered 1910 Colts in existence.

Photo courtesy of Charles W. Clawson.

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

Jim Watson
June 16, 2012, 04:38 PM
There are pistols without grip safeties. There are even Colts without grip safeties. But they are not 1911s. "1911" is a particuar gun with specifications and parts laid out by the US Army, not a catch-all term for anything that looks kinda-sorta like a real US Army issue.

Kleanbore
June 16, 2012, 04:40 PM
^^^^

Yep.

S.B.
June 16, 2012, 05:03 PM
exiledtoIA, sorry but, you are incorrect about the original 1911s. John Moses Browning designed all 1911s with a grip safety.
Steve

kcshooter
June 16, 2012, 05:46 PM
The grip safety can also be easily deactivated if desired, without needing pinned and without seeking a gunsmith.

Chevelle SS
June 16, 2012, 05:57 PM
Thanks for all the info. BTW that 1910 Colt is really cool.

orionengnr
June 16, 2012, 09:19 PM
Since the advent of the "speed bump", I'm not sure what purpose the pinned grip safety or the one piece "always on" grip "safety"/MSH serves.

I somewhat regularly find my carry 1911 has somehow disengaged its thumb safety (this has occurred for a number of years with a number of 1911s, so it is not a mechanical issue with one 1911).

This is not a major concern as I still have two active safety devices (the grip safety and my index finger's position) between me and disaster.

If we remove the grip safety from the equation, I am down to the safety between my ears...and although my ego tells me that is sufficient, I would prefer to retain at least one mechanical safety as well. Call me crazy, or perhaps, older and wiser. :)

kcshooter
June 16, 2012, 09:35 PM
at least one mechanical safetyI don't see why that is such a concern.
I own multiple guns that don't have any safety at all, thumb or grip.
Darn things just don't go off until the trigger is pulled.
Odd, that.

eddielewis
June 17, 2012, 12:06 AM
I don't see why that is such a concern to you.
I own multiple guns that don't have any safety at all, thumb or grip.
Darn things just don't go off until the trigger is pulled.
Odd, that.
Do they have cocked hammers and 3 lb triggers also?

HDCamel
June 17, 2012, 12:38 AM
Since the advent of the "speed bump", I'm not sure what purpose the pinned grip safety or the one piece "always on" grip "safety"/MSH serves.

I somewhat regularly find my carry 1911 has somehow disengaged its thumb safety (this has occurred for a number of years with a number of 1911s, so it is not a mechanical issue with one 1911).

This is not a major concern as I still have two active safety devices (the grip safety and my index finger's position) between me and disaster.

If we remove the grip safety from the equation, I am down to the safety between my ears...and although my ego tells me that is sufficient, I would prefer to retain at least one mechanical safety as well. Call me crazy, or perhaps, older and wiser. :)
There's still the half-cock in the event of hammer hook failure and possibly a Series 80 firing pin safety depending on the model.

Skylerbone
June 17, 2012, 01:54 AM
One very well thought of pistolsmith made note that his personal 1911 has the grip safety deactivated and an intact Series 80 safety meaning the pistol must still have the GS depressed in order for it to fire.

I suppose by strict definition I own no 1911s, just Commercial models and variants as none were ever Government Property.

1911Tuner
June 17, 2012, 05:07 AM
One very well thought of pistolsmith made note that his personal 1911 has the grip safety deactivated and an intact Series 80 safety meaning the pistol must still have the GS depressed in order for it to fire.

I think you're confusing the Series 80 system (Colt) with the Swartz system. (Kimber, etal)

For the IMHO segment...

Removing or deactivating a designed-in safety feature on a carry gun probably isn't the wisest course to take. If there's a problem with an individual's ability to reliably get it to release, it can be fine-tuned to release earlier in its travel.

hentown
June 17, 2012, 07:29 AM
So, we're all in agreement, then, that the grip safety is superfluous and patently absurd?? :cool:

1911Tuner
June 17, 2012, 08:11 AM
So, we're all in agreement, then, that the grip safety is superfluous and patently absurd??

Not at all. How did you come to that conclusion?

The Lone Haranguer
June 17, 2012, 08:16 AM
The grip safety is easily deactivated. Just hold the gun in a proper shooting grip. :p

Holding the gun too low on the grip might cause a problem, but it will also cause problems with recoil control, with the gun wanting to "whipsaw" around in your hand.

S.B.
June 17, 2012, 10:36 AM
orionengnrt, I wouldn't want to be on trial after shooting a perp, AFTER removing any gun safety? But, you do as you see best.
Steve

Skylerbone
June 17, 2012, 12:41 PM
Didn't confuse my safeties, just posted late and scrambled my wordin. Meant to read trigger must still be depressed, thanks for the catch Tuner.

As for my opinion there is no reason good enough to eliminate any functional safety on the 1911. If a particular style is absent or included deemed undesirable to a potential owner an alternate brand or model is the simpler solution. The legal consideration I take in to account is what liability I have should the firearm ever be sold. Shooting another in defense of one's life is a whole other matter and involves the intentional deactivation of all safeties in order to initiate fire. That is intentional not accidental but you will be sued none the less.

FoMoGo
June 17, 2012, 12:49 PM
2 of my 1911s are sans grip safety.
Then again, the Combat Masters were sold that way.


Jim

Jim Watson
June 17, 2012, 12:53 PM
A Detonics Combat Master does not meet my definition of "1911" or the US Army's or, I suspect, Tuner's.

hentown
June 17, 2012, 01:01 PM
Not at all. How did you come to that conclusion?

Just outstanding cognitive skills, I guess! :D Other than giving gunsmiths something else to tinker with, they're worthless, in my humble opinion...well, they do help the economy some, by all those guys who spend lots of money having them fitted by the aforesaid smiths. ;)

outerlimit
June 17, 2012, 01:07 PM
I've never found a reason for the grip safety to exist. With the thumb safety and series 80 firing pin safety this should be enough safety features in place. I'd prefer 1911's did not have them. My BHP seems to get along fine without a grip safety. As do any other guns that lack any type of thumb or grip safety at all.

Weevil
June 17, 2012, 01:36 PM
I must say I've never quite understood the point of "passive" safeties like a grip safety or the little clitoris thingy on Glock triggers or the hinged trigger S&W uses.


What exactly is it they're supposed to prevent from happening?

Jim Watson
June 17, 2012, 01:40 PM
Their purpose is to prevent the gun from going off if dropped hard on the butt, which would depress the trigger by inertia and fire the gun right back up at you.

Weevil
June 17, 2012, 01:57 PM
Cool thanks for clearing that up.

So it's basically just a drop-safety.

SharpsDressedMan
June 17, 2012, 02:35 PM
Realizing you "remove" the safety feature OF the grip safety when you grab the gun, why would you feel handicapped in court with regards to a totally removed or deactivated grip safety? Did you intend to shoot the gun or not? That will be the issue at hand. Whether or not the gun fires with or without a safety, it will not fire BY ITSELF. The "operator" is accountable for the bullet going to the target, not the safety on the gun. Any good attorney (which you WILL have, right?) should be able to keep the questioning on track.

1911Tuner
June 17, 2012, 03:11 PM
Their purpose is to prevent the gun from going off if dropped hard on the butt, which would depress the trigger by inertia and fire the gun right back up at you.

This.

The Browning High Power has a pivoting trigger, which helps to negate it to a large degree...and since the Series 80 system deactivates by pulling the trigger...it won't help.

SDM...It's not so much the legality that comes into question with a safety disabled or removed. It's the civil liability. It can be painted as reckless disregard. The other side will have quite enough ammunition without handing them any for free.

The grip safety doesn't bother the preponderance of shooters one way or another. It mostly comes under fire from fast-draw practitioners and gamers who use radically upswept "Ducktail" safeties and foul the grip on occasion. That's what led to the development of the "Speed Bump." For others who don't require the highest grip possible, and still have trouble...the safety can be tuned for an earlier release.

Everyone makes their own choices, but they should also be prepared to accept the consequences of those choices. Disabling or removing a designed safety device is ill-advised.

Roll the dice.

ScottieG59
June 17, 2012, 03:36 PM
One would think if the grip safety were really a bad idea, over the past 100 years, it would have been addressed.

I no longer carry a 1911 variant. When I did, I gave the grip safety no thought at all. Now, my primary carry guns all use passive safety devices. A firm grip still matters for reliability and as long as the trigger is respected, all is well.

As to modification, if is my carry or home defense gun, I leave it completely stock except for night sights and sometimes a laser. I make my purchased on the requirement that guns must be combat ready from the factory.

FoMoGo
June 17, 2012, 06:01 PM
A Detonics Combat Master does not meet my definition of "1911" or the US Army's or, I suspect, Tuner's.
Meh, they started as Essex 1911s.
They were then modified to their current state.
You can take a Chevy Vega, stuff a 350 in it, ford 9" rear, and lenco transmission... and its still a Vega.
Same deal here.
It may have features different than the issued 1911 or 1911 A1, but that design IS the base.
So, let us say it is a 1911 pattern pistol with specific modifications including the removal of the grip safety.
And I have no issues or problems with that.


Jim

Vern Humphrey
June 17, 2012, 06:54 PM
Since the advent of the "speed bump", I'm not sure what purpose the pinned grip safety or the one piece "always on" grip "safety"/MSH serves.
Amen.

If you have an M1911 without the "speed bump" you can easily replace the grip safety. Or you can make a speed bump with either Mole Foam (in the Foot Care section in any drug store) or build one with epoxy.

I somewhat regularly find my carry 1911 has somehow disengaged its thumb safety (this has occurred for a number of years with a number of 1911s, so it is not a mechanical issue with one 1911).
That's often due to a holster with a "safety strap" -- something that isn't needed with an M1911. The snap tends to ride against the safety -- the Galco Fletch holster is notorious for this.

1911Tuner
June 17, 2012, 07:11 PM
You can take a Chevy Vega, stuff a 350 in it, ford 9" rear, and lenco transmission... and its still a Vega.

A Vega body does not a Vega make. If you welded a Vega body onto a Pinto chassis...it wouldn't be a Vega, either.

So, let us say it is a 1911 pattern pistol with specific modifications including the removal of the grip safety.

I prefer "1911 Variant." Colt's Commanders and Officer's Models are variants...but they're not 1911s. Technically, not even Colt's Government Model...pre-Series 70...Series 70...and Series 80...are 1911s, but I won't pick that nit.

CmdrSlander
June 17, 2012, 07:17 PM
In my opinion, the grip safety and the thumb safety as well as general engineering excellence on the part of Mr. Browning make the M1911 one of the safest single action handguns ever devised. Modern DA and Striker fired pistols may surpass it yes, but within the single action realm, the 1911 wins the day.

Jim Watson
June 18, 2012, 12:41 AM
"I prefer "1911 Variant.""

I prefer "1911 Mutant" or if I like the end result, "1911 Derivative."


Remember, the grip safety doesn't have to be a SAFETY - you can pin it, block it, cut the actuating arm, etc. but the part still has to be there, it is the trap door through which the internal parts are installed. Spanish Stars are often mistaken for 1911 types, but they have a solid backstrap which changes the internal design and assembly.

1911Tuner
June 18, 2012, 05:39 AM
I prefer "1911 Mutant" or if I like the end result, "1911 Derivative."

Works for me.

Copeland1990
June 20, 2012, 01:29 AM
In the four years of owning my 1911A1 I have never once taken notice of the grip safety during firing, it's always there and always deactivates when I want/need it to without failure or second guessing...it's as natural to me as pulling the hammer on DA/SA Revolver, it's there for one reason or another and, save a few exceptions, most likely always will be, a 1911 affectionado will not take notice of it either way asking as the gun functions as desired...

1911Tuner
June 20, 2012, 04:41 AM
a 1911 affectionado will not take notice of it either way asking as the gun functions as desired.

Exactly.

The birth of the speed bump for positive grip safety disengagement closely followed the radically upswept "ducktail" grip safety that became the darling of the action match crowd. It allows the highest grip possible on the gun for recoil control and recovery...but the price is sometimes failing to get the proper grip necessary during a blindingly fast draw.

In this age, the shooters sometimes lose sight of the fact that the 1911 pistol wasn't designed for action games, nor for fast draw practitioners.

The IPSC/USPSA base is largely where complaints of the grip safety comes from. I never remember hearing any concerns before the rise of that particular discipline. The grip safety simply was what it was, and everybody accepted it as part of the 1911...and nobody had a problem getting the guns to fire with a properly functioning safety. My daughter is a petite 5' tall and 100 pounds. She has tiny hands, and she shoots my pistols without issue. Note that even though I have large hands, all of my range and carry pistols have flat housings and short triggers. Long triggers and/or arched housings do cause her some problems. She can always get them to fire, but it's not as comfortable for her.

kcshooter
June 20, 2012, 08:51 AM
Do they have cocked hammers and 3 lb triggers also? How many factory 1911's have a 3lb trigger??

Most are 4.5-6lb range.

So using that as the marker, yes, many do have the same weight trigger and cocked hammers. Think Glock.

Weevil
June 20, 2012, 09:13 PM
Actually a Glock isn't fully cocked like a 1911.

Racking the slide only partially cocks the striker spring, pulling the trigger pushes back the striker to fully cock the spring and then release it.

kcshooter
June 20, 2012, 09:26 PM
Not really my point. My point is, it has a comparable trigger to a stock 1911 as far as weight and travel, yet has no grip nor thumb safety. A lighter, single action style trigger pull. No actuated safety. And it's not the only one.

I was trying to make light of the fear of a 1911 in condition one with the thumb safety accidentally off. It was to point out that it still doesn't fire without a pull to the trigger.


The response was "Do they have cocked hammers and 3 lb triggers also?" My point was, it doesn't matter.

Cocked, precocked, uncocked. 3lb, 5lb, 10lb triggers. Doesn't matter. They still don't just go off. It can have 5 safeties or none. If you don't pull the trigger, it doesn't go bang.




Just making a point. I certainly would never advocate deactivating a safety on any gun that may be used to defend yourself with. But some of the competition guys prefer to have them turned off, and my point was, it's easy to do without dropping it off at a gunsmith's.

elrowe
June 20, 2012, 09:35 PM
In all of this, I haven't noticed (admittedly a quick read-through) anyone with any compelling reason NOT to have the grip safety in its fully functional role - thoughts? At least any that outweigh an additional safety feature that does not cause a hinderance to normal use.

fatmanonabike
June 21, 2012, 11:14 AM
One would think if the grip safety were really a bad idea, over the past 100 years, it would have been addressed.

I no longer carry a 1911 variant. When I did, I gave the grip safety no thought at all. Now, my primary carry guns all use passive safety devices. A firm grip still matters for reliability and as long as the trigger is respected, all is well.

As to modification, if is my carry or home defense gun, I leave it completely stock except for night sights and sometimes a laser. I make my purchased on the requirement that guns must be combat ready from the factory.
I agreee whole heartedly. Like Ruger fixed the series 80 safety.

Dr.Rob
June 21, 2012, 08:11 PM
I always wondered what the 'speed bump' is for. I don't like them.

Grip safety has never bothered me at all.

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