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I am right handed and like 1911s, but sold my last one. I would like another good one and would also like to hand it down to my son when he is old enough. But, he is left handed. Would a 1911 be a good choice for a left handed person. I understand the Kings/Kimber ambi thumb safety design is better than the "tradition" design. Does it really eliminate the ambi safety as being a weak point? or does it create new weaknesses? Also, could a lefty grind down the "right handed" side of the safety for more secure CCW use?

Thanks for the info / thoughts. I try to think ahead in my purchases. Who knows what will be available to our kids in a few years.
 

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Good for a lefty, yes...

Some people believe that the magazine release is ideally suited for a lefty, use your index finger. There are a couple of reversed magazine release options. Don't know much about the Kimber ambi safety, but it's supposed to be a better design. Still, it probably isn't as strong/reliable as a standard safety. I would consider it something that should be looked at to ensure its proper function. Chances are your son will never use it enough to cause a failure, but extra vigilance is a good idea. As for grinding off the left hand side of the safety, I don't see why you couldn't, but you would be left with the flat part against the frame. If it were mine, I would just get a low profile version (or make it a low profile version). You never know, he may want to practice weak hand only from time to time. I do. Use my index finger to work the safety.

My 2¢, YMMV

Robert
 

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I'm a lefty and feel the 1911 is one of the easiest to use handguns for me. I have many thousands of cycles of my safety and have had no problem at all. My daughter is left handed, but shoots a handgun right handed so you never know until your sons starts shooting.
JMHO
Bill
 

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The King's/Kimber retention system is different, but I think the jury's still out as to whether or not it's better. I have 7-8 ambis of the traditional Swenson style, from three different makers, and none of them has broken or come loose from use. A couple of them have 5000 rounds through them, so the safeties are seeing some use.
 

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Good for lefty....Yes

I believe that JMB was a lefty. The original design only had the grip safety and the Army wanted the thumb safety added…. That aside, I’m a lefty and have been shooting 1911’s for a number of years….
 

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As my Commander and 1941 are orginal I can work factory safety with my left thumbI just reach around hit and finish gripping. Won't work will well with the surf board grip safetys that people want today. Another reason not to mess with orginal design.
 

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Lefty

As a lefty, I have never had a problem with the 1911. Had more problems learning to shoot a Baretta when the Corps converted, it kept throwing the brass in my face, and down my shirt collar.(Had to qualify right handed to stop it)

I think that starting to shoot a 1911 at a young age helped a lot, and by the time I was old enough to have one issued to me, shooting one left handed was "normal", meaning needed no modifications like mag releases or safeties, to use it well.

You may want to have him use his off hand to operate the safety, so that he doesn't have to release his grip. I also use my index finger, but depending on his hand size the offhand comes in handing for the safety.
 

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michael t said:
As my Commander and 1941 are orginal I can work factory safety with my left thumbI just reach around hit and finish gripping. Won't work will well with the surf board grip safetys that people want today. Another reason not to mess with orginal design.

I've heard of people doing this, seen a demonstration, tried it myself, and would not recommend it. If you are drawing the gun, and trying to get it into action as quickly as possible, you cannot afford to grab the gun, alter/loosen your grip in order to get your strong thumb around on the "wrong" side, flip the safety off, then re-acquire a proper grip. A good opportunity to fumble the draw.
 

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Col. Cooper recommends the off-side lever be ground off for lefty's to prevent accidental disengagement by the cover garment. It can happen with extended ambi's, although very rare. The mag release doesn't need to be changed, just use the trigger finger to change mags.

My wife is a lefty and has an ambi on her Colt .380 Gov't. she CCW's, but she shoots my righty 1911's very well.
 

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Like most things in this right handed world, the more we southpaws use them, the easier it gets for us, and this includes gun handling.
There aren't many truly-ambidextrous or left-handed guns out there, though the HK P7 series is nearly completely ambidextrous, and the Walther P-5 series actually had left side ejection.
Fortunately, the side of case ejection doesn't often seem to be very important, irrespective of handedness.

The 1911 is very left-hand friendly as long as you have a left-hand (right side of frame) thumb safety lever.

Since, given the design, and assuming we're not talking about "mirror image" 1911s from Randall or Dlask, you can't have a right side lever without a left side lever (whether with a "shelf" or not), so you really just need to pick carefully.

IME of these, which includes the Swenson-style safeties from SVI, Ed Brown, SA and Chip McCormick, also the standard Colts' ambidextrous safety, and the King's ambi safety which retains the right lever by an extended-head sear pin which runs in a curved dovetail groove on the part's underside, the Brown unit is best overall.
It's durable, well-shaped, and the right lever doesn't tend to back out as readily as some others do.
Still, they ALL back out some, and I wish somebody would come up with a truly sturdy ambi safety design that got around the tongue-in-groove joint.
SVI had something close, but it proved breakable and they withdrew it.
 
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