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Discussion Starter #1
So the factory grip safety on my S&W LW Commander has always bugged me. Very poorly fit. The hole for the safety is well oversized, and the part that goes into the tang is very undersized, so the whole thing just rattles. Well I had been told forever that S&W has their own unique radius and that I was just pretty much stuck with it. Come to find out, that "unique" radius is just a Wilson double radius. Once I learned this, I found a NOS old school Wilson 66B grip safety and fit it to the S&W; all is well.

Before


After - Check out how that thing curls up...that's old school right there!! And not a hint of slop, she fits the way she ought to fit.
 

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That is old school! Looks great Kevin. Sure is neat when something that's been bothering you turns out to be something you can fix.

I getting ready to try and fit a set of replacement grips on my Cimarron Colt clone. I have never done that, so if y'all don't hear from me in a while, it's probably because my wife sent me off for a nice quiet rest in a padded room. I'm not known to handle frustration well. :help::rolleyes:
 

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I always preferred the upswept beavertails myself. I think I used Kings Gun Works safeties on my own pistols. I viewed the original beavertails as just a relocated thing to jam your hand into.
 

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Does anyone here pin the grip safety on their 1911?

As to the Cimarron Colt, I thought they copied the grips of the old SAA. Anyway if you're going with an "ivory" grip that should not be a big deal to file and polish to fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Pinning the grip safety, now that IS old school Sam. I don't know about pinning, but I may make some changes to this grip safety. My S&W has the Schwarz system so full depression of the grip safety is necessary to ensure the firing pin block is disengaged. Well the one negative of the old school Wilson is that it doesn't fully depress quite as easy; kinda have to put a death grip on it. And that doesn't really work for me because my "death grip" comes from my support hand, with my strong hand actually rather relaxed on the gun. So I may end up scrapping the Schwarz system altogether, and then finely tune the grip safety to where it only takes the slightest hint of pressure to disengage.

I for one always felt that pinning was quite unnecessary. Why permanently modify the frame of the gun rather than just filing down the engagement of the grip safety?

I have to admit, I'm really surprised that no one ever came out with an aftermarket full backstrap for the 1911 that takes away the grip safety. I've seen some individual guns with custom jobs as such, but I don't recall seeing any aftermarket full backstraps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I always preferred the upswept beavertails myself. I think I used Kings Gun Works safeties on my own pistols. I viewed the original beavertails as just a relocated thing to jam your hand into.
Almost daily I wonder whatever happened to the masters for all the Kings parts? It's a crime that all their good stuff is gone forever. There isn't a big market for their stuff, but there is a market. Their hardballer rear sight is constantly sought out. The ambi safety is in high demand for those looking to build MEUSOC 1911's, and the grip safeties are sought out by lovers of the retro-look 1911.
 

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I expect Kings subbed out the grip safeties and some other parts. Ghu knows who they used and who had ownership of the molds/blueprints & tooling. Funny you should mention the rear sights, I used a lot of those after Micro bit the dust. I think I've still got one or two. I got desparate enough to mill a couple out of bar stock-I've avoided that since.

Funny things happen to some of those items. Once upon a time I heard that MMC was ceasing production of their front sight blanks and tried to buy the molds. Turned out the rumor was false, they were continuing production and the sights were machined, not cast. Still got some of those too.

There were a couple of full backstraps for the 1911. One was also a cocking device (ala HK P7, reversed) for those who didn't trust cocked & locked. Apparently, there was no market. I expect the cost was not proportionate to the utility. I'm not really sure they went beyond prototype/magazine feature stage. A short version that occupied the same place as the grip safety would accomplish the same thing cheaper.

Grip safeties with "memory bumps"/fat spots on the bottom edge have pretty much eliminated the need to pin grip safeties for those who need that sort of thing.
 

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Grip safeties with "memory bumps"/fat spots on the bottom edge have pretty much eliminated the need to pin grip safeties for those who need that sort of thing.
Not quite. I grip the gun high, near the pivot. I think that's why I'm hit or miss when it comes to deactivating the grip safety. However a mid position thumb safety fixes the issue for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not quite. I grip the gun high, near the pivot. I think that's why I'm hit or miss when it comes to deactivating the grip safety. However a mid position thumb safety fixes the issue for me.
Sounds like Tim and I hold the same way, as that's a constant issue with me also. I get around it by tuning the grip safety for a very early release; very early.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I expect Kings subbed out the grip safeties and some other parts. Ghu knows who they used and who had ownership of the molds/blueprints & tooling. Funny you should mention the rear sights, I used a lot of those after Micro bit the dust. I think I've still got one or two. I got desparate enough to mill a couple out of bar stock-I've avoided that since.

Funny things happen to some of those items. Once upon a time I heard that MMC was ceasing production of their front sight blanks and tried to buy the molds. Turned out the rumor was false, they were continuing production and the sights were machined, not cast. Still got some of those too.

There were a couple of full backstraps for the 1911. One was also a cocking device (ala HK P7, reversed) for those who didn't trust cocked & locked. Apparently, there was no market. I expect the cost was not proportionate to the utility. I'm not really sure they went beyond prototype/magazine feature stage. A short version that occupied the same place as the grip safety would accomplish the same thing cheaper.

Grip safeties with "memory bumps"/fat spots on the bottom edge have pretty much eliminated the need to pin grip safeties for those who need that sort of thing.
I'm sure everything was sub'd out, but someone has the masters. To do investment casting, you need a master to make the mold. The master has to be 3% larger in all dimensions. This is what makes things difficult to manufacture via investment casting because you have to file up a master that's over-sized.

So while the subcontractors do the actual investment casting, they typically don't own the masters. So those masters are out there somewhere.

A friend of mine is trying to work a deal out with another old school gunsmith who had his own safety, slide stop, and grip safety that were rather distinctive. The hope is to have some available for the small group of people who like that retro custom look.

So I just wonder about all the Kings masters...where are they?
 

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Does anyone here pin the grip safety on their 1911?

As to the Cimarron Colt, I thought they copied the grips of the old SAA. Anyway if you're going with an "ivory" grip that should not be a big deal to file and polish to fit.
I did go with a set of faux ivory grips. Everything I've seen and read indicates that almost ALL replacement grips need some fitting. The ones I ordered are specifically for an Uberti Model P, so maybe I'll get lucky.

Oh, and I guess you haven't noticed, but I am not very skilled in the mechanical or woodworking arts. And that sir, is an understatement. :D
 

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I have to admit, I'm really surprised that no one ever came out with an aftermarket full backstrap for the 1911 that takes away the grip safety. I've seen some individual guns with custom jobs as such, but I don't recall seeing any aftermarket full backstraps.
The only one I know of is Novak's Answer, but I think it is only available with a full house gun, not as an aftermarket part.
 

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Novak's phone number is304-485-9295. Call and ask.
 
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