Grip Safeties-death trap? - Page 7

Grip Safeties-death trap?

This is a discussion on Grip Safeties-death trap? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by TSiWRX This is an honest question - which malfunctions cannot be performed, under pressure, with the XD/XDm platform? Depends on you. Have ...

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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSiWRX View Post
    This is an honest question - which malfunctions cannot be performed, under pressure, with the XD/XDm platform?
    Depends on you. Have you ever tried a one-handed Phase Two (double feed) clearance, using only your support-side hand? Its difficult enough to do when you have nothing else to think about; and aren't injured or scared shitless.

    .

    ANY manipulation or series of circumstances that prevents you from getting a proper grip on the pistol means the slide is immobilized; period.


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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    One can rely upon either experience or theory in answering this question. Based on my personal experience, which involves owning and shooting about a dozen 1911s over the last 40 years, I've never had a problem with a grip safety preventing me from firing the gun.
    No kidding. I've never even heard of anyone ever having such a problem. Must be something that's come up due to someone mucking with the obsolete design to make it better, or 'tuning' the parts so they sound and feel nice or something.

    Now, in 40 years of MY experience I never quite understood why there was a grip safety, and always wondered if there was ever one single documented case where it did any good, but I suppose that's another thread somewhere. I view it sort of like the articulated (two-piece) trigger 'safety' seen on many plastic pistols--doesn't do anything, but it's there for the pleasure of Marketing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo Boy View Post
    No kidding. I've never even heard of anyone ever having such a problem. Must be something that's come up due to someone mucking with the obsolete design to make it better, or 'tuning' the parts so they sound and feel nice or something.

    Now, in 40 years of MY experience I never quite understood why there was a grip safety, and always wondered if there was ever one single documented case where it did any good, but I suppose that's another thread somewhere.
    Two posters here have experienced disabling malfunctions while firing unmucked 1911s directly related to the design of the grip safety.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bongo Boy;2178850 Now, in 40 years of MY experience[B
    I never quite understood why there was a grip safety, and always wondered if there was ever one single documented case where it did any good, but I suppose that's another thread somewhere. I view it sort of like the articulated (two-piece) trigger 'safety' seen on many plastic pistols--doesn't do anything, but it's there for the pleasure of Marketing[/B].
    On this forum there seem to be a lot of people who train hard in defensive shooting. I consider myself one of those people. But have learned, that there are many many more people who go much further than I do. Not advertising the XD, but it's my preferred carry. With the XD having both a double trigger safety and a GS, it does make me more comfortable carrying it. Maybe I bought into the hype of marketing, but for me the reasoning is justifiable.

    I am not active military, LEO or competitive shooter. I am a plain Jane----I mean Joe, guy who deeply respects the need to carry in defense of what might happen. With that said, my gun moves around to different types of carries and holster types. I change carry pistols often, all relative to weather and level of concealment. For me, I like the piece of mind of an added feature that stacks the odds against an accidental discharge. I chose the XD because the safeties disengage naturally, and only when intending to fire. For personal defense I do not want to add a step in my process, such as flipping a safety....but still want the extra level of comfort. If I am cocked with one in the chamber, I don't worry as much about rubbing the trigger by accident because there is a second step with the GS. Mind you, 95% of the time I have it in a proper holster, but there are other times it goes into a center console, or free between my belt & back to answer an unexpected knock at the door, or whatever else, plus the movements in between.

    For military or law enforcement, there is a much greater chance that there will be exposure to violence and the firearm to be drawn and used. I can certainly understand the need to avoid all extra "hindrances" to achieve ready fire status, & autonomously.

    The average CC'er does not have to use their firearm once in their lifetime in a violent situation. Even more unlikely, add the rarity that they have a safety malfunction, plus their primary hand is disabled, plus the gun jambs and they have to clear it, plus they have to dive over some barrels and through some glass to defend themselves.....but we prepare ourselves under the unlikely event that any one of these combinations could occur in "real-life". But we throw away the possibility of someone accidentally shooting themselves, because they were just dumb. Maybe, but I would guess more civilians shoot themselves than actually face anyone of the above combinations during a violent encounter that is rare in itself. I know of some situations that have occurred and I am not saying it doesn't, just that it is rare.

    Sorry for the long post, but that's why I believe in "natural-type" safeties, such as the GS and the double trigger. JMO.
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  5. #95
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    I do believe that it could endanger someones life if it is not function properly or if the user is not aware of it. Anything that prevents a firearm form going bang when the user intentionally pulls the trigger could be a danger. Personally I consider magazine safety devices a greater danger.

    I would not consider it such a high risk as to be called a death trap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    Tangle,

    I think you might have edited your post, but I was not accusing you of anything, sorry if it came across that way.
    I did edit my post because it was coming across 'that way'.

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...I think we are splitting hairs on this to some extent...
    Denial of a long standing problem is a little more than splitting hairs. Someone even posted this was new due to mucking with the original design - is that in itself not a design change that caused a problem? Yes it is. And he is partially correct. I seriously doubt we would see this problem with the original non-beavertail design. Of course then we'd have to deal with hammer bite - which I suspect no one on here has experienced either.

    But the grip safety block problem on 1911s likely started when the commander hammer and beavertail was added. The beavertail adds so much length and leverage from the web of the hand that a strong high grip can force the beavertail upward which forces the grip safety portion outward. That's what causes the problem.

    Now bear in mind, no one was having this problem with any other gun. In fact, in his second design, Browning eliminated the grip safety from the BHP and retained the same SA type cocked and locked action. So for those that see Browning as a god, all knowing about firearms, if we want to know what 'god' thought of the grip safety, then the BHP is pretty indicative of Browning's true feeling about the grip safety. He didn't like it.

    Browning's original design didn't have a thumb safety, so now we have to wonder if we're carrying the original design by JB or the design mucked up for the cavalry?

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...However the title of the thread is questioning whether or not the grip safety is a death trap. (thats the way I read it) You make your arguments for why some people have issues, and/or why they choose to modify the grip safety. I understand this is based on issues you or others have had with some 1911's. I have not experienced those issues, and many others haven't either. Does that mean it doesn't happen, no obviously not. But just because some have had issues doesn't mean that there is necessarily something wrong with the 1911 either.
    You didn't name one other gun that requires a safety modification to enhance reliability. What other modern gun has some safety feature that requires some of the best shooters to disable for reliability considerations?

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...You say that you have overcome your issues with the grip safety by changing the type and tuning the tang which seems to fix the problem for you. You do admit that some shooters hands have issues with making a part of the gun do what it is supposed to. That is fit to me, I don't know what else you can call it. If by changing the part to a different design you are in fact changing the fit of the gun to your hand aren't you?
    It is 'fit' to you because you believe the beavertail and grip safety caused no problems to Browning's intended design. I changed the design on a part of the gun and the problem went away. I call that a design change. Fitting is thick/thin grips and backstraps. Changing the design of a part both physically and functionally is a design change. The beavertail itself was a design change from Browning's original design.

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...They point differently than most of the other guns I have and shoot or carry.
    I carry a Glock frequently, I already have 1300 rounds through a gen 4 this year, but I consider the grip angle of the Glock a design flaw - for the very reason you mentioned. In and of itself, the grip angle works fine. If one is a single gun person, he/she will adapt to the grip angle and it will become natural and instinctive to them. But, just like you said, it's different than every other gun, and therein lies the design flaw. When shooting involves more than standing squared off to a target and aligning sights, e.g. fast presentations, the instinct that comes from many repetitions with a specific gun, causes significant problems when one switches to a gun with a different grip angle. What other gun but Glock has such a pronounced different grip angle?

    The Glock grip angle issue is demonstrated by many who choose to have the backstrap modified, not for fit necessarily but to get the grip closer to a 1911 angle. Some backstrap mods even make the back strap steeper than the front strap. Timberwolf aluminum Glock frames is another example of an attempt to bring the Glock grip angle closer to the 1911 and they say so.

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...Are you suggesting that grip safeties be removed or redesigned in the 1911 to make it more reliable, or what? I think that there are many more issues with some 1911's when it comes to feeding certain ammo or extracting issues than come up with grip safeties personally. But that is just from what I have seen. I guess we would have to find out from other members or gunsmiths which have caused more issues with their guns or others guns which were worked on.
    We've found that out. DRM has tweaked many different guns for many people; which one does he say he's done the most 'tweaking' on? He said a major problem is grip safety blocks and has modified guns to eliminate the problem. But nobody apparently believes him, or Novak (patented 1911 design with no grip safety), or me. Why would more people with less experience be believed any quicker?

    I'm saying, especially in the stress of dynamic training situations, competition, and worse, life threatening confrontations, that you just might get a trigger block.

    The denial here is just amazing, I'm not addressing that to you Farronwolf, but let's think about this. Some talk about the flawless, perfect design of John Browning, but none of them carry a 1911 like Browning designed it. He designed without a thumb safety! The cavalry required the thumb safety, so he added it to get the contract. But, he design his next gun, the BHP, without a grip safety but with the same cocked and locked action. Militaries and LE all over the world have carried the BHP without a grip safety.

    Browning did not design the 1911 with a beavertail; that was added later, and that is the problem BTW, I don't think you'd see the grip safety block problem on the original design. So how many carry 1911s in the original package design and that would include the horrible sights?

    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    ...BTW, that is a very nice looking mod you did, glad it worked out the way you wanted.
    It worked out well, but it didn't completely eliminate the problem. It helped, but I believe the combination of what my mod plus a better profile design on the grip safety, i.e. not so scalloped out, would eliminate the problem.

    But all my work was not a loss; I do have one of the most unique 1911s ever built. Maybe not 'the' most unique, but certainly one of...
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  7. #97
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    Tangle, I really like your concept of the 2-pc grip safety.

    Making the High Ride beavertail "fixed" so it can't move "up" eliminates the problem of the web of the hand pushing up on the safety while the thumb rides high on the thumb safety itself.

    It also makes 1911 grip safety function more like the XD grip safety, which is a much better design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by discoboxer View Post
    On this forum there seem to be a lot of people who train hard in defensive shooting. I consider myself one of those people. But have learned, that there are many many more people who go much further than I do. Not advertising the XD, but it's my preferred carry. With the XD having both a double trigger safety and a GS, it does make me more comfortable carrying it. Maybe I bought into the hype of marketing, but for me the reasoning is justifiable.

    I am not active military, LEO or competitive shooter. I am a plain Jane----I mean Joe, guy who deeply respects the need to carry in defense of what might happen. With that said, my gun moves around to different types of carries and holster types. I change carry pistols often, all relative to weather and level of concealment. For me, I like the piece of mind of an added feature that stacks the odds against an accidental discharge. I chose the XD because the safeties disengage naturally, and only when intending to fire. For personal defense I do not want to add a step in my process, such as flipping a safety....but still want the extra level of comfort. If I am cocked with one in the chamber, I don't worry as much about rubbing the trigger by accident because there is a second step with the GS. Mind you, 95% of the time I have it in a proper holster, but there are other times it goes into a center console, or free between my belt & back to answer an unexpected knock at the door, or whatever else, plus the movements in between.

    For military or law enforcement, there is a much greater chance that there will be exposure to violence and the firearm to be drawn and used. I can certainly understand the need to avoid all extra "hindrances" to achieve ready fire status, & autonomously.

    The average CC'er does not have to use their firearm once in their lifetime in a violent situation. Even more unlikely, add the rarity that they have a safety malfunction, plus their primary hand is disabled, plus the gun jambs and they have to clear it, plus they have to dive over some barrels and through some glass to defend themselves.....but we prepare ourselves under the unlikely event that any one of these combinations could occur in "real-life". But we throw away the possibility of someone accidentally shooting themselves, because they were just dumb. Maybe, but I would guess more civilians shoot themselves than actually face anyone of the above combinations during a violent encounter that is rare in itself. I know of some situations that have occurred and I am not saying it doesn't, just that it is rare.

    Sorry for the long post, but that's why I believe in "natural-type" safeties, such as the GS and the double trigger. JMO.
    discoboxer,
    The XD grip safety is a totally different design than a 1911. The 1911 grip safety is one piece that is pivoted on a central pin. Pressure from the web of the hand against the bottom of the beavertail with in a strong, high grip, i.e. like one might experience in training, competition, or a life threatening situation, can force the lower part of the grip safety outward. If there isn't enough contact in the palm/heel area of the hand to resist the rotation, you can get a grip safety trigger block.

    The design of the XD grip safety is entirely different, it is, in fact, very much like the design I did on the 1911 I posted a pic of. On an XD, no matter how high of a grip you get or how much pressure you put on the beavertail, it cannot impart a rotational effect on the grip safety.

    I have not heard of anyone having to modify an XD safety to make it more reliable. I did see one post where purportedly people have had some problems in training with it, but I have to say, after carrying an HS2000 and later an XD, I'm very skeptical that the problems they had were due to the grip safety. E.g. if a person is having a problem and it truly is the grip safety causing the problem, modifying it or disabling it should make whatever the problem was go away. That's the very route taken with 1911s and we see the grip block problem go away when the grip safety is disabled.

    I think sometimes we have people that shoot 500 rounds a year on a 'square range' comparing notes with guys that shoot ten and twenty thousand rounds a year in dynamic scenarios.

    I like 1911s, I acquired three Kimbers recently, a Pro Carry in .45, one of the most accurate guns I have, a Tactical Pro in .45 and a Tactical Pro in 9mm. I love them! But I shoot them with my thumb under the thumb safety and out of thousands of rounds have not had a grip safety block. And I haven't done a thing to the grip safeties.

    I have experienced, grip blocks on 1911s, not a lot, but enough to be disconcerting, and I know the mechanism that causes the problem: a very strong, high grip. But on an XD, I can see no mechanism that would lead to a trigger block.

    I agree with your feelings about the XD grip safety. Although as some will claim it's one more thing to go wrong, time has proven the XD grip safety both extremely reliable and durable.
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  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRM View Post
    Tangle, I really like your concept of the 2-pc grip safety.

    Making the High Ride beavertail "fixed" so it can't move "up" eliminates the problem of the web of the hand pushing up on the safety while the thumb rides high on the thumb safety itself.

    It also makes 1911 grip safety function more like the XD grip safety, which is a much better design.
    Thanks D.R.

    I analyzed what could possibly cause the problem; why I had it sometimes and sometimes not. Then I started to realize that it was often the dynamics, i.e. speed, intensity, etc. where they occurred. I also notice 'stance' positions could dramatically increase the possibility, especially in a roll-over prone position. The picture started to form in my mind - I always use a high grip and it was when I was strongly gripping the gun (intensity or stress) that induced the problem.

    I figured out what was causing it was exactly what and how you described it.

    And, yeah, it is a better design. You know the Browning worshipers will get us for that don't you!

    I think it would even work with the original type grip safety, i.e. without the speed/memory bumps. I think they are really part of the problem because they are scalloped out.

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    The continued entry into the 1911 market speaks to the realiability and durabability of the grip safety design of the weapon. Problems with the grip safety are entirely due to poor technique and training of the user. In the 101 years since the 1911 design came out, any problem with the grip safety would have been identified long ago.

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    Not 100% sure but I thought I read somewhere that famed Texas ranger Charlie Miller had his
    grip safety tied down with rawhide permantly due to an incident where he couldn't get a shot off due to some handling difficulty during a maylee....
    can anyone comment on this......?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8fan View Post
    The continued entry into the 1911 market speaks to the realiability and durabability of the grip safety design of the weapon. Problems with the grip safety are entirely due to poor technique and training of the user. In the 101 years since the 1911 design came out, any problem with the grip safety would have been identified long ago.
    While the aftermarket modifications and continued departure from the 1911 market speaks to the identification and solution to those problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8fan View Post
    The continued entry into the 1911 market speaks to the realiability and durabability of the grip safety design of the weapon. Problems with the grip safety are entirely due to poor technique and training of the user. In the 101 years since the 1911 design came out, any problem with the grip safety would have been identified long ago.
    The continued entry into the MS Windows market speaks to the realiability and durabability of the Windows Operating System. Problems with MS Windows are entirely due to poor technique and training of the user. In the 30 years since MS Windows came out, any problem with the it would have been identified long ago.

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    Not 100% sure but I thought I read somewhere that famed Texas ranger Charlie Miller had hi sgrip safet tied down with rawhide permantly due to an incident where he couldn't get a shot off due to some handling difficulty during a maylee....
    can anyone comment on this......?
    I've heard a few stories like that myself. I know for a fact that Seals who carry 1911's tape theirs up. One guy I know wrapped his in grip tape. Too bad they don't get enough training...
    Last edited by DRM; February 25th, 2012 at 11:10 AM.
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