Very specific beavertail safety install question

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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/20/2019, 8:52 am

Seriously amateur armorer here.  I changed out the thumb safety on my Marvel conversion for a Wilson combat (helps with my squeeze) and did the filing it needed with no problem.

Now putting a Wilson Combat beavertail safety on and while I have taken the right amount of material off the nub to get a good squeeze without the slide installed, with the slide on the squeeze alternates between "hard squeeze with surprise break" and "hard squeeze with no break because the grip safety doesn't appear to have disengaged from the trigger bow".

Should I continue filing from the front of the tab or the bottom first cut, not very bottom) of the tab, and should it be a completely flush (horizontal) direction or angled at all?

Sorry for the specificity of the question and for the lack of pictures.  I suspect with the experience resident here someone should know what I'm talking about.
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/20/2019, 8:55 am

Also it may help to mention that the trigger break is exactly 3.5 pounds as taken with multiple pulls from a Lyman digital gauge, but when using my standard high and very firm bullseye grip, it doesn't seem to clear the safety enough to get the break I am looking for consistently hence the odd results.
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Post by Jon Eulette on 5/20/2019, 9:40 am

Bottom of first cut
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/20/2019, 9:45 am

Great, thanks.  And do you file it off flush, or at any angle?  Any buffing or brushing on the finished product?
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Post by javaduke on 5/20/2019, 10:03 am

Hmm, this is strange, the slide should not make any difference, if indeed the grip safety is what's causing the problem. If you remove the grips and look through the grip at the back of the trigger bow, you may be able to see where the GS interferes with the trigger bow. Disassemble the gun, mark the tab of the GS with sharpie or dykem blue, then reassemble and try to reproduce the issue. Then you'll see the shiny metal where the parts are interfering and where the metal needs to be removed. File it down, removing very little metal at a time and repeat.

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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/20/2019, 10:12 am

Right, understood.  And I agree that the slide shouldn't make a difference; I think I proved that it doesn't since the trigger weight is the same as it was before the install, 3.5 pounds.  I think the only significance of the slide being installed is that I'm not doing my normal BE grip and trigger squeeze with the slide off and letting the hammer bang into the frame.  I AM with the slide on, dot on, performing normal game day squeeze.

I'm certain it is the grip safety as I've had it back and forth with the original safety several times.  I just can't sort out how my grip is not putting the safety all the way in, I'd figured with the speed bump it would be easier, not harder.

Good point on the sharpie.  I'd seen it done, just neglected to do so myself.  Will try again soon.
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/20/2019, 11:30 am

My grip is the problem.

Bringing my thumb around to the left, the safety is completely depressed and the hammer falls as normal.

Putting my thumb on the safety (like my normal BE grip) somehow backs the meat of my thumb off the safety just enough microns to keep it from being fully depressed. So I can change my grip (I'd rather not), add tape to the back of the safety, or modify the tab further. Recommendations?
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Post by spursnguns on 5/21/2019, 9:45 am

Hello adminbot1911,

You shoot with your thumb on top of the safety?  "Combat grip" style?  If so, I would vote for changing your grip.

Jim
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/21/2019, 12:28 pm

Hi Jim, call me Andy. That's the first time I heard it called a "combat grip" position, I figured in combat my thumb would want to be nearer to the magazine release. Understand the M1911 and M9 are different animals. I stand educated.

Regarding grip adjustments, my match day 1911 grip position is a lot like all of my other bullseye match day pistol grip positions, high thumb facilitating stability during the full trigger travel. My MkII has a rubberized thumb rest grip, also facilitating stability during the full trigger travel. My revolver grip position has the thumb high over the left side of the grip under the cylinder release; it's also in perfect position to rotate and manipulate the hammer in timed and rapid fire. All three of these mechanics allow for consistent control of the trigger.

I'd much rather figure out an equipment solution than a technical one. I have swapped out the sear spring which has lightened up the pull to 3 pounds even and applied grip tape to the back of the beavertail safety and another small portion to the speed hump. Will do some dry firing and see if further adjustments are needed.
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Post by spursnguns on 5/21/2019, 2:17 pm

Hello Andy,

Ah yes, the combat grip....Clint Smith says that is you shoot a M1911 and aren't riding the safety you should switch to a Glock....but that's not Bullseye.  Nonetheless; its hard not to apply thumb pressure (typically a big no no) with it sitting on the safety.  I believe it opens your hand up and lessens your grip strength.  Personally, I was told to cover the grip screw with my thumb and have done it that way for many decades.  It works for me.

If you don't want to change your grip, I believe that you will need something thicker than grip tape to insure that you are depressing the grip safety fully.  You can buy small sheets of thin rubber (1/8", 1/4", 3/8", etcetera) at Michaels.  Cut a piece of one of those and glue it to the pad.  You will be good to go.

Jim
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/23/2019, 1:20 pm

I've done a decent amount of dry fire in the past couple of days with thumb high and thumb low position.  Allow me to describe my mechanics and train of thought.

My hands are not particularly large but they have a decent amount of meat to them.  The 1911 grip is wedged fairly tightly in between the pads of my 3rd and 4th digits and the palm of my hand.  Over the past few years my grip has become more and more firm to the point it is about the same as if I had and wanted to keep a 55 pound dumbbell.  Once sighted in, I can keep the dot fairly consistently with the thumb over the grip screw; there is little value lost by moving the thumb.  However, I feel like I am holding a bar of soap (in size and shape, not consistency).

With the thumb on the safety, my finger is not making a "squeeze" motion but almost a "pinch" motion, like there were a single strand of fine gauge wire I was trying to bend back toward my palm.  The fine motor skill of that "pinch" feels a lot more refined.

I am always looking for ways to do things better and I appreciate the grip advice.  I had the low thumb position for a while until asking Jon Shue how he did it and finding out he rested his thumb on the safety.  I tried it and it worked for me, ESPECIALLY with the low-weight triggers of .22 and revolver game. 

Ultimately, regarding the original topic, I've gone back to installing the old safety and will do what I've done the past few weeks, put pasties on the web of my thumb to keep them from getting chewed up too bad.  The Wilson Combat safety is a fine piece of gear and will find its way onto one of my other present or future 1911s.  Low tech problems require low tech solutions!
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Post by Jack H on 5/23/2019, 3:13 pm

My coach and mentor long ago told me to let the thumb and finger tips fly away from the grip to ingrain the real feel of straight back on the front strap, and straight forward on the back strap.  Once that is established, thumb and finger tips can relax and go where comfort dictates.  Or maybe they will aid the grip in someway.  But that straight back and straight forward thing is absolutely critical. 

I grabbed my OPA and wadgun to snap some illustrations. 
Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0212Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0214Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0213
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Post by spursnguns on 5/23/2019, 6:10 pm

Hello Andy,

I try not to give shooting technique advise in a forum setting.  As I age, and deal with things like arthritis, more and more of my advise falls in the "do as I say and not as I do" area.  Nonetheless...."But that straight back and straight forward thing is absolutely critical."....is too true.  Gripping,trigger movement, etcetera need to be solely along the center-line of your pistol.

I am a fan of the Wilson Combat safety too, so do what works for you "now" but keep trying the suggested shot process.  Every now and then you need to take what seems to be a step back to take two steps forward.  Let your dry firing and scores guide you.

Let us know how if goes.

Jim
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/28/2019, 2:11 pm

Jack H wrote:My coach and mentor long ago told me to let the thumb and finger tips fly away from the grip to ingrain the real feel of straight back on the front strap, and straight forward on the back strap.  Once that is established, thumb and finger tips can relax and go where comfort dictates.  Or maybe they will aid the grip in someway.  But that straight back and straight forward thing is absolutely critical. 

I grabbed my OPA and wadgun to snap some illustrations. 
Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0212Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0214Very specific beavertail safety install question Img_0213

Pictures are worth a thousand words and these are no exception.  I can see exactly where the pressure is on the heel of the hand as well as the second knuckles of the third and fourth fingers.  Thank you.
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Post by adminbot1911 on 5/28/2019, 3:16 pm

spursnguns wrote:Hello Andy,

I try not to give shooting technique advise in a forum setting.  As I age, and deal with things like arthritis, more and more of my advise falls in the "do as I say and not as I do" area.  Nonetheless...."But that straight back and straight forward thing is absolutely critical."....is too true.  Gripping,trigger movement, etcetera need to be solely along the center-line of your pistol.

I am a fan of the Wilson Combat safety too, so do what works for you "now" but keep trying the suggested shot process.  Every now and then you need to take what seems to be a step back to take two steps forward.  Let your dry firing and scores guide you.

Let us know how if goes.

Jim

Going back and forth between the two positions during dry fire the thumb up position is unquestionably more stable for me.  I don't know if it's because I have small hands but the normal front sight wiggles seem to calm down with the thumb up.  It's more noticeable with the red dot than irons.  Sight alignment through and post trigger break seem similarly stable with both grips.  

The thumb low position is good for working on the straight front-to-rear mechanics though.  I'll keep switching it up and see how she goes.
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