Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why do 1911's still have the grip safety?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Preacherman, Apr 23, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    13,309
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    Hi, all. I like the 1911, but have long since stopped carrying one as my CCW piece, and in fact only have one left in my collection. I completely agree with Col. Cooper that the grip safety is a redundant feature on a modern weapon (IIRC, it was only included in the original design as a safety feature for cavalry troops, who were more likely to drop the pistol!). Since there have been 1911 variants (e.g. Ballester-Molina) that dispensed with the grip safety, why isn't any modern manufacturer simply making a solid grip frame and dispensing with this? I also don't understand why the Springfield XD bothered to incorporate the grip safety feature. I just don't see any point to it, and given the number of times I've had to grab for a gun with a sweaty/wet/bloody hand, with my grip slipping and sliding as I present the weapon, I don't want anything that would prevent my firing it without a perfect grip.

    What do you folks think?
     
  2. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    always offline!
    I understand that it was not in JMB's original design, but it was requested by the Army.

    I heard that somewhere....

    Really, I wish they'd do away with it.
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    I think your opinion of the grip safety is correct, but if it was eliminated the whole design would have to be changed because removing the grip safety is necessary to get at some of the lockwork.

    Today's smaller gunmakers usually buy the lockwork they use to make Government Model clones. If they redesign the frame they may have to make they're own unique parts, which could be expensive. Last but not least, some folks actually like the grip safety.
     
  4. GunNut

    GunNut Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,075
    Location:
    Washington State
    Now that'san easy one to answer...........




















    LAWYERS:neener:



    Steve
     
  5. John G

    John G Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    566
    Location:
    Western NY
    If it ain't broke, etcetera. ;)
     
  6. jem375

    jem375 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Messages:
    1,508
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I like the grip safety, and think it is too bad glocks don't have one, less AD's that way.......that's one of the reasons I will probably buy a springfield XD when they come out with a decent caliber......I have just become used to them and like them.....
     
  7. Graystar

    Graystar Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    1,756
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I thought that, originally, the grip safety was the only safety on the gun and it was the Army that insisted on a thumb switch...no?

    I think the grip safety is great. They should get rid of the thumb safety.

    Frankly, I can't see how the grip safety would interfere with getting a good grip on the gun. But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
     
  8. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,233
    Location:
    Central IN
    Yep... then when the person holstered their weapon with their hand on the safety and their finger on the trigger it would go off more accurately. :p Personally I think a thumb safety and/or a heavier trigger would help more with the Glock-related NDs. Well, a boot camp-type training program for officers would help the most. ;)

    I love the 1911... I don't have a problem with the grip safety and have never even given thought to having any of mine pinned but if it was completely non-functional, I'd probably like the 1911 0.1% more. :D
     
  9. EJ

    EJ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    353
    I don't mind either way -- It doesn't seem to be a problem for me--

    But of course there are options -- You can pin it--

    or--Even easier--Install a new grip safety // beavertail--
    Usually they are over long for fitting properly and if left uncut-- (the safety lever portion of the grip safety -- on the grip safety) the grip safety is functionally disengaged because it is allways in the depressed position in relation to the firearm--
    IE -- even when the grip safety is NOT depressed -- the lever -- unfitted, protrudes far enough to disengage the safety device--
     
  10. Yo

    Yo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Near the ocean
    Graystar wrote:

    Yep, you're right. That's why the funky looking safety plungers are on the outside now. Original test gun:

    [​IMG]

    Kinda cool huh?
     
  11. BigG

    BigG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,081
    Location:
    Dixieland
    You could pull the grip safety and grind off the tit that blocks the trigger. Then you would have the access panel for the parts and the grip safety would be neutralized.
     
  12. Berg01

    Berg01 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Messages:
    712
    Partly tradition, partly because the lawyers don't allow the manufacturers to get rid of a safety device that was originally designed back in the good old days so the gun wouldn't go off & shoot your horse as you rode in to battle with the rest of the cavalry.

    Today most of these guns have firing pin block safeties, which many claim make the grip safety redundant, but on the more recent designs, the grip safety deactivates the FP block safety, so the trigger pull is unaffected.
     
  13. Sven

    Sven Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,808
    Location:
    Los Gatos, CA
    ...because if it didn't have a grip safety, it wouldn't be a 1911 (?)
     
  14. 45auto

    45auto Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,241
    I would like to see a model without a functional grip safety.
    Similiar to what BigG said, which I have done and pinned it. For me, it feels better than a movable part and no issue with depressing it all the way. One less opening for the elements to get into.

    Leave it as an access panel which fits in snug to the frame(better fit) and held in place by the mainspring housing and thumb safety.

    It would work particulary well with a series 80. Not so good with Kimbers and S&W if you want a firing pin block.
    Series 70- fine.

    Perhaps it's not a bad idea for the XD, if your safety is on the trigger.
     
  15. George Hill

    George Hill Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    6,842
    Location:
    Uintah Basin, UT
    Why is it a problem? It's pretty much a transparent system.
    You don't have to even think about the grip safety. The weapon is safe by it until your grip it. I think it's a good measure.

    XD's have it.
    Uzi's have it.
    There was a S&W revolver that had it.
    And at gunshows I have seen other handguns with it from other countries...

    There is no reason to get rid of it. I'd rather the safety lever on the backstrap than on the trigger.
     
  16. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    10,648
    Location:
    SLC
    I'm a huge fan of grip safeties.

    1. Holstering. Do not keep a firing grip on your gun as you reholster, instead take your thumb off of the grip and place it on the hammer. This does 2 things. It deactivates the grip safety, and it blocks any forward movement of the hammer. This way it is virtually impossible to fire the 1911, even if something else gets into the trigger guard. Like a bunch of untucked shirt. (hey it happens, and it will fire a Glock). I also recommend doing this with DA guns as you have your thumb on the decocked hammer, and if it begins to move then you know that something has entered the guard and is putting pressure on the trigger.

    2. If you are worried about activating the grip safety, get yourself a modern beaver tail, or something with a memory bump. You would have to be in a pretty convoluted position not to activate one of these.

    3. I often hear how the P7 squeeze cocker is so advanced, and how there should be mover squeeze cocking guns, but the 1911 is obsolete and we should get rid of the grip safety. :D (only kidding, I love P7s!)
     
  17. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    I could live without the grip safety, although I don't mind having an extra layer of protection when, as I do infrequently, I carry a model 1911. The thumb safety is absolutely essential to me, since that's where my thumb goes.
     
  18. JPoe

    JPoe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    SC
    I love the grip safety on my XD. It was one of the reasons I chose it over other similar pistols - and I couldn't be happier with it. It's COMPLETELY transparent... if you couldn't see it you wouldn't know it's there. You don't have to have a perfect, rock-hard grip on it for it to fire, but you do have to have some sort of a grip on it (which is a good thing I think). Otherwise, it will not fire - and the slide will not move back - and a firing pin block is in place (actually a function of the trigger safety) to prevent accidental discharges from the weapon being dropped, hit, etc. A very good system - especially when combined with the equally transparent trigger safety. No manual switches to forget.
     
  19. bastiat

    bastiat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    97
    No 1911, but the grip safety on the XD is great. It's a no worry safety - you don't have to worry about taking the safety off in an emergency - just grip the gun like you normally would and shoot.

    For a single action gun with no other safeties, I'm happy that there is a grip safety. For a gun with a long DAO pull, it wouldn't be as important, but it would be a nice feature that I wouldn't mind if properly implemented.
     
  20. OF

    OF Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,988
    I've had a 1911 fail to fire on me once because I didn't have a perfect grip.

    - Gabe
     
  21. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    OK, once. Out of how many times have you fired 1911's?;)

    I had it happen to me once also. Way in the early years before I was even proficient with it, and was quick draw practicing live fire.

    Twice in 18 years while CCW'ing I found the thumb safety disengaged and was glad the grip safety was in place. I like em.
     
  22. tdow

    tdow Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    35
    One of the nice things about the 1911 is its modularity. Most of us like to personalize our 1911s. Having several different options for the grip safety is part of this. It's a way to get the gun to fit the hand just a little bit better.

    --tdow
     
  23. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    854
    Location:
    Vermont
    JUST ME

    I like a grip safety (CMC 'DeActivator) because it allows me to carry cocked with safety off.

    Special need, not used too often.
     
  24. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,251
    Location:
    Colorado Springs Colorado
    I like a grip safety (CMC 'DeActivator) because it allows me to carry cocked with safety off.

    Huh? Never heard of it. Whats it do/for?
     
  25. ether

    ether Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    97
    The grip safety makes one-handed hammer-cocking safer...especially if you have a habit of keeping your trigger finger inside the trigger guard while you're doing it. It's difficult to engage the grip safety if you're busy cocking the hammer.

    I don't know if this is was the purpose of the design because you can still engage the grip safety if you cock the hammer ALL the way back.....so far that it pushes the grip safety in....but it's still safer for thumb-cocking than no grip safety at all.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page