A couple 1911 quesitons

This is a discussion on A couple 1911 quesitons within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had the opportunity to fondle a few 1911s the other day at the local gun shop. A couple nice pieces of hardware (Kimber, Springfield, ...

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Thread: A couple 1911 quesitons

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    Member Array Rattlehead's Avatar
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    A couple 1911 quesitons

    I had the opportunity to fondle a few 1911s the other day at the local gun shop. A couple nice pieces of hardware (Kimber, Springfield, and Remington). One thing jumped out at me in a major way, though - the slide stop/slide release lined up much more closely with my left (non-firing) thumb than with my right. On other handguns I've used - namely Beretta 92, and various models of Glock - the slide stop lined up with my right thumb, allowing me to pull the slide to the rear with my left hand, and engage the stop with my right as I did so, while leaving my hand on the grip in a normal manner.

    Is this an intentional design feature, or am I grasping something incorrectly? My hands are about medium-sized (had no issues getting them around the 92 and operating all controls)

    And how do YOU lock back the slide on a 1911? The only way I could manage it seemed quite awkward so thought I would ask and see what other folks are doing.

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    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    The pistol is designed for you to have 6 inch fingers.

    I've never liked the design................... but .45 outweighs the faults in the design of the weapon.
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    I think it's just one of those things you adapt to in 1911s. You don't ever "need" the slide lock when the gun is in action, only for 'administrative' handling, so having it available to the right thumb isn't really critical. On my medium-large hands I need to shift my grip to get my right thumb on the slide lock to work it. It only seems awkward if you're used to other guns, which you apparently are. If you need to drop the slide after a mag change, the two schools of thought are that the left thumb manages that chore, or you swipe the slide with your left hand as if clearing a stovepipe stoppage. The latter is my preferred method; I rarely charge an automatic by means of the slide lock lever. Antiques like Lugers aside, I haven't met a self-loading pistol where this doesn't work.

    The normal way for a righty to lock the slide back is to grab the top of the slide with the left hand (different grips for different folks), apply rearward force with the left hand and forward force with the right. Rotate the right hand slightly on the butt of the gun to allow the thumb to reach the slide lock, and apply upward pressure. Longer and more complicated to describe than to do.
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    gasmitty pretty much sums it up for you.

    I have average size hands and have no problems racking the slide with my left and using my right thumb to engage the slide latch.
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    Member Array Rattlehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    I think it's just one of those things you adapt to in 1911s. You don't ever "need" the slide lock when the gun is in action, only for 'administrative' handling, so having it available to the right thumb isn't really critical. On my medium-large hands I need to shift my grip to get my right thumb on the slide lock to work it. It only seems awkward if you're used to other guns, which you apparently are. If you need to drop the slide after a mag change, the two schools of thought are that the left thumb manages that chore, or you swipe the slide with your left hand as if clearing a stovepipe stoppage. The latter is my preferred method; I rarely charge an automatic by means of the slide lock lever. Antiques like Lugers aside, I haven't met a self-loading pistol where this doesn't work.

    The normal way for a righty to lock the slide back is to grab the top of the slide with the left hand (different grips for different folks), apply rearward force with the left hand and forward force with the right. Rotate the right hand slightly on the butt of the gun to allow the thumb to reach the slide lock, and apply upward pressure. Longer and more complicated to describe than to do.
    Agreed on the "administrative" comment; the thread wasn't started to debate mag change TTPs. It was something that just threw me a bit since out my own of habits, during admin handling, I frequently lock the slide back.

    Thanks for the advice.

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    Distinguished Member Array Exacto's Avatar
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    I will start by saying I really like the 1911. I don't carry one, but I like the feel of it. Many people have to shift the gun in their hand in order to work the control features which is not desireable in a combat situation. As far as the slide lock goes, I have been trained to use my left hand to come up over the top of the slide and rack it back and let it go to release it rather than use a slide lock. After you reach slide lock,(which you shouldn't in a defensive situation if you managing your ammo properly, drop the mag pop in a full one and roll your hand up over the slide and release it. Useing your thumb under stress is a fine motor skill which will deteriorate under stress. Using your hand to do the job is a gross motor skill which will remain longer under extreme stress. IMHO, the least you have to do to bring your gun into service, and keep it in service, the better. On a range practicing it probably wouldn't make much of a difference because your not under stress. But let's face it, alot of people train to fight, and you fight like you train. Just my 2 cents.
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I shift the gun and use my right thumb - like those mentioned above. It's an "admin" thing to do. For reloading, I could use my left thumb to release the slide - but I just pull the slide back instead. I think it's a good habit.

    Austin

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    A good 1911 example will have a very tight slide to frame fit and the spring will be tight until it's broken in, thus locking the slide will be tough until you get used to it.
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