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Am I the only guy in America who doesn't have duck-butt "beavertail" grip safties on all his 1911s?

I've been getting along just fine with 1911A1 grip safeties for 32 years now and see no need to make my guns look like the rear end of a Z/28 Camaro. The duck-butts feel okay but not really any better, and I don't shoot them any better.

I also must have the last solid .45 triggers in existence, judging from the gun magazines. I understand skeletonizing your trigger if it's made from solid steel (a la the Gold Cup), but honestly, do those three little holes in an aluminum trigger really do anything for you--besides collect lint, I mean?

And I don't get the skeletonized Commander hammers, either. If you want a lighter hammer, why not just hack off the useless underside of the burr, the way Col. Jeff did on the "9mm Super Cooper" of 1975? Hell, then you wouldn't even need the duck-butt grip safety.

Maybe I'm just stuck in the '60s, gun-wise....
 

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It's perfectly ok to not like beavertails, but you surely have a minority position.

To me the best thing about beavertails is that they let your hand ride higher... closer to the centerline of the bore. They also distribute recoil over a larger area and, finally, eliminate hammer bite.

I don't know if there is a historical record to say why triggers all at once had to have holes but I think the idea for lightening came in the hope of reducing inertia and the possibilities of UDs. Frankly I don't have any quarrel with solid triggers although it surely would be hard to find any now.

Commander style hammers go hand in hand with beavertails but long before they were popular there were lots of different attempts to lighten them. We frequently drilled a hole or ground away some metal in the hope of sppeding up lock time.

Actually drilling a hole was a wonderful idea because then you could tie a string to the hammer and use it to cock the hammer in dry fire exercises (this was back when men were men and shot pistols while standing on their hind legs with one hand firmly in a pocket).
 

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I don't mind the beavertails... but the "speed bumps" are what I don't like.
 

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I never appreciated the beavertail safety until I started seriously using the 1911 as a self-defense pistol. Drawing from a holster and shooting a 1911 with the standard safety gave me a bad case of hammer bite and made practicing unpleasant.

After trying a 1911 with a beavertail, the difference was amazing. I don't think I would consider a buying "fighting pistol" without one.
 

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I've never once suffered hammer bite shooting a 1911, but I like the beavertail for the same reason as Charlie does; it allows a higher grip, therefore better recoil control.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; when I first saw beavertails, I thought they were ugly. Now, I think the factory GS is ugly, and the beavertail "flows" with the gun. (I happen to like the "speed bumps" on my Ed Brown.)
 

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I can't help but wonder if the many different hand sizes contribute to the answer as to if one likes or dislikes a 1911 set up one way or the other. I have an older 45 that has the bobbed hammer and small combat sights and perfect ,but, solid trigger done by Fisher in Denver. I have a new Kimber Stainless II and I love the forward slanting 3 dot Meprolights. They are much better for my eyes. I also like the way the mild beavertail and flat MSH make the gun fit the same way every time. I like the forward slash cuts for doing chamber checks. I don't have, and, don't like front strap aggressive checkering as it eats up my fingers. I like the oversized safety on a weapon that has constant safety usuage. That is the "good news" about this old warhorse, you can get it set up for just you.
 

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I never saw the requirement for the oddly yclept "beavertail grip safety" on a 1911… sure, a good installation looked great and gave one that highly desired "professional gunman" look that really helps one get the girls… but by the time I was a confirmed 1911 kinda guy, I no longer needed any help in that area. I was shooting a Serious 70 Gold Cup competitively and my working gun was the first iteration of that which later evolved into Rod, the Wonder Pistol. But I never experienced that which the more knowledgable pistoleros told me was one of the two valid reasons for making such a custom modification: CeePee addressed the first, and the other was "dreaded hammer bite!"

Then, sometime around 15-16 years ago, the sins of a mis-spent youth started catching up with me and, the hammers of both the Springfield Armory Government Model and the Colt's Gold Cup started biting the bejabbers outta me to the extent that it hurt! My hand had apparently gotten fatter in the web!

When a relatively unknown Jack Weigand and I noodled around a project and decided to build RTWP, when he suggested an extended grip safety, and for the first time, I listened.

For me… and I'm not suggesting this for everyone… the "beavertail" has been a big plus: hammer bite is but a mildly discomforting memory and I find I can control the pistol better with the "higher hold" permitted by this modification.

And that's what I have to say about that!
 

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I am one of the few people that gets no hammer bite from firing a High Power. I have one with the ring hammer and one with a spur hammer. I always assumed I wasn't holding it correctly.

I am missing the tip of my right-hand little finger and you might not think it but it does affect how I grip things. The only time it's really noticible is with drum sticks and guns.

Ed
 

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Schmidt lent me his 1911 for a competition once. Classic 1911 with little modern style modifications. The gun was a shooting machine, it never jammed at all and was very accurate. First stage I shot very well only seeing the target.
After the stage was done it was pointed out to me that I was bleeding from my hand. Hammer bite. I had blood splattered all over me and the gun. I didn't feel it, but it dug a crater in the web of my right hand.
A couple stages later it actually got painful... not much, but enough to notice.
My hands require a beavertail. But that's just me.
If you don't require it... then of course you don't need it.
 

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Ogre, was that his Gunsite model? I really want to see his SA Micro if he ever gets the chance to finish it. It's on the back-burner right now.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, what can I say? I've never been bitten or the slightest bit harmed in any way by any 1911 with the A1 safety, regardless of hammer. The original little GS bites me, even with the Commander hammer (I think the Commander GS IS pretty much the 1911 GS. That's why my Commander-hammered guns, like the one shown, have a clearance ground in an A1 GS.)

Ring-hammered Browning HPs bite me every time. I have to have the spur hammer on those (a shame, because I like the look of a ring-hammered P35). The little Walthers bite me too, if I'm not careful. And they slide-track me even if I am. :(

Just since I'm tromping on 21st century toes, I don't like big wheels on cars, either. 15 inchers are perfect. I can live with 16, but bigger than that and the whole stupid car starts to look like a 1:1 scale Hot Wheels to me. (If anyone's interested, I have some material on rap music, too--"Rap music, the C is silent....") :D
 

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"Ogre, was that his Gunsite model?"
No. I don't know what it was... just one that he built. Did a good job on it too.
 
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