1911 hand grip

This is a discussion on 1911 hand grip within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; An old friend of mine, who is close to 70 years old now, and has been in the military, showed me how he grips a ...

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Thread: 1911 hand grip

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    Senior Member Array bunker's Avatar
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    1911 hand grip

    An old friend of mine, who is close to 70 years old now, and has been in the military, showed me how he grips a 1911. He is right handed, and places his rt thumb on top of the safety to keep it from accidentally engaging while shooting. Does anyone else utilize this technique? Bunker
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    Senior Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    With a lot of years shooting 1911s, I have never heard of the safety engaging on its own while shooting.
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    I always ride the safety. Not because I am worried that it will engage while firing, but, rather because that is the most natural, instinctive location for my high-thumbs grip. What COULD happen if one were to grip beneath the safety is that during the firing cycle, with a loose grip, one COULD accidentally push up and engage the safety. At least in theory you could, but I've never seen anyone actually do that.
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    Yes, I would say the majority of 1911 shooters have their thumb on top of the safety while firing. Not because the safety might accidentally engage itself - that just isn't going to happen. On 1911s, the thumb naturally rests on top of the manual safety... and it's a natural motion when presenting the pistol to swipe the safety off. Placing the thumb under the safety when firing is more likely to cause an unintentional engagement of the safety during recoil or if you shift your grip.
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    Senior Member Array bunker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Yes, I would say the majority of 1911 shooters have their thumb on top of the safety while firing. Not because the safety might accidentally engage itself - that just isn't going to happen. On 1911s, the thumb naturally rests on top of the manual safety... and it's a natural motion when presenting the pistol to swipe the safety off. Placing the thumb under the safety when firing is more likely to cause an unintentional engagement of the safety during recoil or if you shift your grip.
    This is how my friend Dave shoots also. Bunker
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    A spring loaded plunger holds the safety in place, it's not going to accidentally engage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius View Post
    With a lot of years shooting 1911s, I have never heard of the safety engaging on its own while shooting.
    When I was in service, the 1911 was still the standard issue sidearm. Some of you have never worked with a worn out, loose and sloppy GI 1911. Some have and this is likely the reason why.
    Personally, I've never made a habit of riding the thumb safety on a 1911 while shooting.

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Yes, I would say the majority of 1911 shooters have their thumb on top of the safety while firing. Not because the safety might accidentally engage itself - that just isn't going to happen. On 1911s, the thumb naturally rests on top of the manual safety... and it's a natural motion when presenting the pistol to swipe the safety off. Placing the thumb under the safety when firing is more likely to cause an unintentional engagement of the safety during recoil or if you shift your grip.
    100% Correct. The only people I have witnessed shooting the 1911 with the thumb under the safety were people unfamiliar with the platform.
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    Distinguished Member Array Elk Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Yes, I would say the majority of 1911 shooters have their thumb on top of the safety while firing. Not because the safety might accidentally engage itself - that just isn't going to happen. On 1911s, the thumb naturally rests on top of the manual safety... and it's a natural motion when presenting the pistol to swipe the safety off.
    Yup thats the way it's done and no swiping the saftey off does not take extra time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Yes, I would say the majority of 1911 shooters have their thumb on top of the safety while firing. Not because the safety might accidentally engage itself - that just isn't going to happen. On 1911s, the thumb naturally rests on top of the manual safety... and it's a natural motion when presenting the pistol to swipe the safety off. Placing the thumb under the safety when firing is more likely to cause an unintentional engagement of the safety during recoil or if you shift your grip.
    To me that is how you shoot a 1911, I don't know any other way.
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    Member Array gigamortis's Avatar
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    I use a high two thumbs grip with the strong thumb riding the top of the safety. This really plants the hand solidly up under the beavertail to facilitate a high grip position. The only time I don't ride the thumb safety is when I am shooting one handed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    A spring loaded plunger holds the safety in place, it's not going to accidentally engage.
    Sorry, Slim, but that is not always the case. The "right" way to grip a 1911 is with the thumb riding the safety. I've seen them engaged and, more often, partially engaged causing a malf, during firing more than once when folks tucked their thumbs. Things move around in recoil without the shooter always perceiving them, including a thumb underneath a safety. Just ask a Glock shooter who has unintentionally engaged the slide stop, and you'll sure find a lot of those folks. Also, riding the safety helps assure that it has actually been disengaged. Many times, I've seen a shooter take a hasty draw, aim, pull the trigger, and nothing happen, because the safety was missed before tucking the thumb. I've shot so many hundreds of thousands of rounds through 1911s with my thumb on the safety that I even ride the safety on Glocks.

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    Here's Todd Jarrett's take:


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    Senior Member Array JohnLeVick's Avatar
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    Good little video, Xader. Now, if ol' TJ could just keep straight that his finger has the "pad," and the trigger doesn't, it would be perfect!

    The part of the trigger he calls the "pad" is usually referred to as the "shoe" of the trigger.
    Last edited by JohnLeVick; June 16th, 2011 at 03:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Rod View Post
    When I was in service, the 1911 was still the standard issue sidearm. Some of you have never worked with a worn out, loose and sloppy GI 1911. Some have and this is likely the reason why.
    Personally, I've never made a habit of riding the thumb safety on a 1911 while shooting.
    So you are saying that those safeties defied gravity and a spring? Does your theory work with breasts as well?
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