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Installing Grip safety.

1594 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Sistema1927
I am a newbie to 1911s, but not to mechanical work on guns [or other things]. I am considering installing a wider grip safety, but I have a couple of questions about it I was hoping someone would help me with.

First off, is there a wider/more beavertailed grip safety than standard [on 1911A1 mil-spec] that will allow me to use the original hammer [gun made in late 30s/early 40s]? I am not 'dying' for one of the new hammers. I would have no arguement with changing only the grip safety and the thumb safety [and sights], but leaving the rest stock: if it can be done.

Second off, what do I need to do to replace the grip safety itself? I have heard about 'radiusing', but am unclear on the location/reason.

I know: If you don't know what you are doing, don't screw with it. This is a starter 1911 for me. I am planning on buying the Kuhnhausen books this weekend, or ordering them on Monday [if my local gunshow doesn't have them] to use as a reference. I have done complete trigger jobs on my Baby Eagle [polishing every contact point & pulling every pin out of pistol to do it], as well as a couple others, so I am not a novice- just a novice to 1911s. I am very mechanically apt, but am ignorant about the 1911 mechanicals. Can someone enlighten me please?

Thanks,

jason
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...Call Kings Gun Works, 1-800-282-9449. They
make grip safeties that will work with the original hammers...
Barry
So does Wilson.

Kings http://www.kingsgunworks.com

Wilsons http://www.wilsoncombat.com



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Originally posted by jmstr:
Second off, what do I need to do to replace the grip safety itself? I have heard about 'radiusing', but am unclear on the location/reason.
Jason, the "radiusing" refers to the pivot arc, relating to the thumb saftety shaft hole. This shaft is what holds the grip safety in place. Most aftermarket grip safeties will require you to remove material from the frame around the pivot area, in order for the safety to fit.

There are some "drop-in" advertised pieces, but even they need a little bit of "blending in" sometimes as well.

You will also have to fit the grip safety tang (the flat "lug" that sticks out which engages the back of the trigger bow) in order for the safety to engage the trigger properly. (It's not hard to do, just a bit of careful filing of the lug notch.)
jmstr:

I am also a newby in the smithing world, but I have done just what you are talking about. Visit my web project and you can see how it's done. I even posted a section that tells what tools you need. Be sure to read the "About" section so you know what we are doing........it may help clear up some of the mystery behind beavertail fitting.
http://www.roderuscustom.tzo.com


Hope it helps.

PvtRyan
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JMSTR,

My big thing is to not fix it if it's not broken. Why do you want to change out these things in the first place? For instance I had to put a new grip safety on a M1927 because I wanted a commander hammer (I was replacing ALL the fire control parts because they were worn). THe commander hammer would not clear the stock grip safety thus had to have a new one. I bought a LWT commander and THOUGHT I had to change the grip safety cause the tang was biting me but a few passes with a file and all is well. Just think about it before you start swapping stuff out.

Tony G.
I have been doing some work on a Sistema 1927 as well.

Last week I installed a Chip McC skeletonized hammer, and also noted that the existing grip safety would not fit. A little bit of work with a dremel tool and some Super Blue and the top of the grip safety was modified to work. However, wanting a wider safety I ordered a Wilson drop-in unit. They say that you might need to do some minor fitting, but mine dropped in just fine,and works very well. I also added the Wilson Competition trigger as well.

I am very happy with the results.

One thing that was a bit of a disappointment is the fact that I have not been able to add a mag well. Not due to the pistol, but as a result of my spending a considerable sum to get a fist full of McGar 8 round mags. The base plate on these mags won't work with a magwell. Fortunately, I didn't spend a large sum, deciding to try the $2.00 Wilson's plastic close-out first. If it had fit I had intended to go with a steel unit, possibly an S&A. The McGar mags function without a hitch, so I really don't want to replace them at the present time.

So far I have replaced the sights with King Tappan fixed, installed an ambi-safety (I am a south paw), replaced all springs, installed a flat mainspring housing, and added the parts I mentioned above. With a little bit of polishing to the feed ramp and barrel entrance it feeds 230 gr. HydraShoks without a hitch. Accuracy is very good as well. Last night I had no difficulty keeping all hits in the IPSC "A" zone at 7 - 15 yds. rapid fire. This also included head shots. One of the reasons for my good showing over about 80 rounds was the fact that my wife was shooting a Makarov, and could do no wrong. I certainly didn't want to be showed up, so we called it a draw.
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Here is a picture of my Sistema as modified:
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