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HELP!....Is your right thumb on or below the thumb safety?

1585 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Walking Point
I'm confused (of course). I've been instructed to place my right thumb ON the thumb safety to help reduce muzzle flip. I'm having one heck of a time adapting to this grip. It does help me keep my smallish paws high on the gun, but I REALLY have to think about deliberately placing the thumb on it. It does reduce flip and helps me set up the next shot. I'm concerned about interfering with slide operation. What are the better safeties out there for this? It whouldn't hurt if it were a bit larger than stock, (Kimber Custom). Your help is welcome!! Thanks!!
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Thumb on safety is how I do it. Thumb underneath leads to accidentally engaging the safety.

US Government motto:
"If it ain't broke, fix it till it is."
Thumb on safety. I swap the extended safety, that comes on most 1911s now, for a "standard" safety. Much more comfortable for me.
The Colts I use for competition all have the extended ambi thumb safeties [original Armand Swenson design], and the arched main spring housing. I shoot with my thumb on the top, but, I have to fit the grip safety (the tang that engages the trigger bow) so it only required a very slight movement to disengage (even though my guns are fitted with the current "high hand hold/speed bump" beavers). Everyone's hands are different; this is what works for me. You need to find a combination that works for you.

I've been shooting 45's for ~25years, I remember the hot "Combat Shooters", as they were called, back in the early days, seems like the thumb on top / pinned grip safety setup was very popular (that was before deactivating the grip safety was considered a sin). The higher the hand hold, the less muzzle flip, and that means faster recovery for most.

Just my perspective ...

[This message has been edited by Roverman (edited 06-27-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Roverman (edited 06-27-2001).]
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Thumb on top. Practice dry firing. It will become second nature.


"And by the way, Mr. Speaker, The Second Amendment is not for killing ducks and leaving Huey and Dewey and Louie without an aunt and uncle. It is for hunting politicians like (in) Grozney and in 1776, when they take your independence away".
Robert K. Dornen, U.S. Congressman. 1995
THUMB ON TOP!!!!!!!! I let my thumb slip below at the IDPA Spring Nationals this year. I had 3 seconds to engage a disappearing target. By the time I realized I had the safety on and disengaged it the target was gone. I had trouble keeping my thumb on the safety because the safety is high and my thumb(s) are short. I had my gusmith cut the pad off and lower it approximately 3/8 of an inch and flare it out slightly. Now I have no problems.
Thumb on top. Both of my guns have Ed Brown wedge MSH that helps secure and place my hand a little it higher.

You could try Les Baer thumb safety, which is very wide (assumed you're right handed) and you could place most of your thumb on it.

Before changing comonents, try holding the grip frame with only 3 fingers (middle, ring, pinky) and your palm. Leave the trigger finger and thumb freely. Don't squeeze the thumb (you're not holding a bat), and it will never get in the way of the slide. HTH.
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I put my left thumb on the safety--------------------I'm a lefty

[This message has been edited by Silver Surfer (edited 07-22-2001).]
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On top without any doubt. Once you practice it, you won’t even know you are doing it. Than you will pick up a revo or some other non-1911 and your thumb will be lost. Much like mine was this weekend...

AF Shooting Team
Great stuff...Thanks
My right thumb rides the magazine release...a goofy grip. I don't use an extended release for that reason, it is not necessary.
Originally posted by banjobart:
My right thumb rides the magazine release...a goofy grip. I don't use an extended release for that reason, it is not necessary.
Man,You must have long thumbs.
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It got bent over backwards all the way twice in shop accidents. I think it may have an extra half inch in length or extra joint now.

I can't shoot anyone's gun with an extended mag release. At the first shot the mag falls to the ground.
Learned about riding the safety back in May... Yah, pretty sure it was May...

I ride the safety now, but it wasn't always that way... No sirreee... Then I hit Reno's BLIS (Biggest Little IPSC Stage) and I learned buddy, I LEARNED to ride the safety...

It was a side match from the regular match. It was the Junior's Program day. A beautiful day. To top it all off, I had my STI back with new FULL SIZED Ed Brown ambi-saftey that I had hardly shot with. Never in competition... and a new 2lb trigger pull courtesy of Johnny Lim!

Then I hit the BLIS... and life went BAD (grin). Had some buds that would loan me some mags, had some mags to loan them... Life was good! But something was to go amis...

Jam after Jam after Jam after JAM after JAM and I had BLOWN the stage!!! 130 rounds of studdering mags and hammer follows and all kinds of stuff! Johnny Lim asks me if I ride the safety... "Why would anyone want or have to do that?" I replied. "Cause your gun won't jam if you do" was Johnny's reply...

Darned if the next stage wasn't flawless, till I caught myself after a mag change jamming cause I wasn't riding the safety...

So Yah, I paid my dues... I RIDE THE SAFETY!!!
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On the safety. I also find that my thumb will end up also riding on an extended slide release, so I only use standard slide releases.
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