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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about buying a Colt Lightweight Defender and have a question about the thumb safety. Being a lefty I want an ambi safety on the gun. I was wondering if I could just swap the Colt's out the ambi safety on my Charles Daly stainless. The CD is supposed to be A 100% clone, but I didn't know the effect on parts sizing, etc. when you move down to a Defender-sized frame. Since the cd is a range gun and the Defender would be for carry it would be a cheap way to get my ambi safety on the Colt. I really don't want to have to drop over $50 into having the local smith replace the Colt safety with an aftermarket part. Thanks in advance,
Scatmanblues
 

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Try it, can't hurt anything. Particularly if you get lucky and it just "drops in" and functions correctly. Of course you know any safety device needs to be fit by someone who is competent in what they're doing. And, if you fit it to this sear, it may not work properly in your CD. I'm not familiar with the CD safety, does it not require the proper right side grip to help hold it on? Suggest you take it to a gunsmith. By the time you're done, $50 may be the cheapest way to go.
 

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Your life isn't worth the $50 it would cost to have a 'smith install the safety?
The CD safety might drop right in, and it might not work at all. The safety is a fitted part, and if the fit of the Colt and CD aren't identical, you're going to need a 'smith.
 

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I don't mean to contradict anyone else here, but in my experience it is a BAD IDEA to simply swap safeties like this.

I'm a southpaw, so having an ambi fitted is essential for me. As such, I've been through the process several times, and I've tried some of the same things you are going through now (fitting a new safety, exchanging another, etc.).

The main problem with just doing a direct exchange is that even though things may seem to fit right up, they often don't. This is not to say that the safety won't seem to function, but unless you understand all of the angles and tolerances involved, you are really just rolling the dice that it will work as advertised.

Remember, this is a FITTED part for a very good reason: operator safety. If it isn't done properly, what seems to work pretty well today may well fail you at the worst possible time tomorrow.

My advice? Take the time, spend the money, get a good pistolsmith and have it done it right. At the very least, get someone competent to guide you through the process a few times before you ruin a $60 part. The only thing worse than paying someone to install an ambi is paying someone to install another ambi after you've already botched one at the kitchen table. Been there, done that.


Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reminder of my neophite status with these fine firearms guys. As much as I love them, I'm still learning how complex they can be. I was hoping the safety would be a good beginner project to get closer to my babies -guess not.
You're absolutely right about taking safety first, especially for a carry gun. Thanks for the advice everyone!
Scatmanblues
 
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