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Jpanzer
September 02, 2013, 17:46
Greetings. Bought my first 1911 a couple of weeks ago and love it. I am a left hand shooter, and though I can reach around the hammer to manipulate the safety, it's slow and clumsy to do it.

I'm looking to buy a ambi safety, but as a newcomer to the 1911 I am kinda bewildered by all the choices. What I want is something that works well, is under $100, and can be installed without having to mangle the right side grip. Would like it in a polished blue if I can find it.

Kinda leaning towards this Kimber right now:http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/action-parts/safety-parts/safeties/1911-auto-ambidextrous-thumb-safety-prod42352.aspx
Can't tell from the pic, but don't think this one needs a grip mod.

Can anyone steer me in the right direction on this or make a suggestion?

Guy-epic
September 02, 2013, 18:04
I have had good luck with Wilson products I would say as nice if not nicer then Kimber that over charges IMO good luck never had a use for a ambi. saftey
http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Ambidextrous-Thumb-Safety-Tactical-Levers-Blue/productinfo/192B/

Jpanzer
September 02, 2013, 18:51
I have had good luck with Wilson products I would say as nice if not nicer then Kimber that over charges IMO good luck never had a use for a ambi. saftey
http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Ambidextrous-Thumb-Safety-Tactical-Levers-Blue/productinfo/192B/

Think that one requires modification to the right grip, no? I really like my grips, don't want to have them hacked up...

4x401
September 02, 2013, 19:47
I've seen so many incarnations of the 1911 ambi-safety over the years it makes my head spin, and l know there are examples made that do not require grip mods.

I'd check out Brownell's. I'd lay down a 5 spot they have what you need.

Guy-epic
September 02, 2013, 20:04
I've seen so many incarnations of the 1911 ambi-safety over the years it makes my head spin, and l know there are examples made that do not require grip mods.

I'd check out Brownell's. I'd lay down a 5 spot they have what you need.

Hmm a 1911 safety that doesn't require mods to right Side grips? Not sure but like he said there are a lot of different ones out there

Jpanzer
September 02, 2013, 20:45
I know there are tons of them guys, I've been looking!:D

The trick is finding what I'm looking for, and since I'm just getting familiar with the 1911, it's been a little confusing. The web sites - Brownells, Midway. etc. don't always spell out whether the grips need to be modded or not, and I don't yet know enough about 1911 parts to know the difference...:(

4x401
September 02, 2013, 21:17
I know there are tons of them guys, I've been looking!:D

The trick is finding what I'm looking for, and since I'm just getting familiar with the 1911, it's been a little confusing. The web sites - Brownells, Midway. etc. don't always spell out whether the grips need to be modded or not, and I don't yet know enough about 1911 parts to know the difference...:(

Try looking for a standard Colt Series 70 style set up for ambi use. Had one on my `70 back in `85 that used an Allen head bolt to hold both halves together.

Colt custom shop maybe could help you out.

StormWerkz
September 02, 2013, 21:57
Mueschke and Kimber make ambi safeties that don't need the right grip to be inletted.

CWizard
September 03, 2013, 00:51
Consider finding grips you like that are cut for the ambi safety. Check out the Wilson grips on Brownells. Or email each safety manufacturer and ask.

Jpanzer
September 03, 2013, 01:34
Think Kimber is the way to go here:

http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/action-parts/safety-parts/safeties/1911-auto-ambidextrous-thumb-safety-prod42352.aspx

Looked for the Colt mentioned but had no luck...

chet
September 03, 2013, 14:04
Your call but the inlet on my grip is so small and precisely done, it is virtually unnoticeable from the exterior.

The problem with most ambi safeties is that they are made for righties who only occasionally shoot left handed and dont want a full size lever on that side. Only a few offer a full size lever for lefties.

For that reason, I have a Wilson High Ride Ambi Safety on a full size 1911 and love it. The size and shape of the lever work extremely well for me. Unless I had a set of ivory scrimshaw grips used by Audie Murphy at the Battle of Little Big Horn, I'd inlet 'em for a Wilson ambi in a heart beat.

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/880x660/primary/362/362674.jpg

http://www.midwayusa.com/Product/362674/wilson-combat-high-ride-wide-thumb-safety-1911-ambidextrous-blue

Wildcat
September 03, 2013, 15:39
Jpanzer,

I have a Kings Gunworks ambi safety on my 1911. The Kings construction looks to be identical to the Kimber. The hammer pin is longer than normal and it mates in a slot on the right side safety.

No mods are required to the grip panels but you will need to have the grips on and off a few times during fitting.

The paddle on the right side of the pistol will impact the top of the grip panel when its thumbed down. Its not a problem in my situation but some of the more exotic grips are delicate.

Jpanzer
September 03, 2013, 16:17
I do like that Wilson High Ride Ambi Safety. I have noticed as you mentioned that on a lot of these ambi safeties the right side paddle is indeed narrower than the left. As a left handed shooter that isn't really what I want. I've been looking at the Ed Brown safety also:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/361385/ed-brown-wide-thumb-safety-1911-ambidextrous-blue

They all seem to be roughly around the same price, just trying to make the best choice. I will have to get a gunsmith to do the install anyway since I don't know enough to tinker with the 1911 the way I can with my FAL and AK's...

Wildcat
September 03, 2013, 16:39
Ed Brown has a good ambi safety; and they offer symmetrical models.

The Ed Brown does require the grip panels be relieved similar to a Wilson.

catmguy445
September 04, 2013, 13:06
The best ambi safety I've ever found for a 1911 is the original Colt design. They're the strongest mechanically, require no modifications to the gun or grips, and look like they belong on the gun.

If you just have to have an extended lever on the safety, then use the Wilson or Kings Gun Works, but there is a small caveat with those type of ambi safeties. The ones that use the slot and tab method of joining the two sides of the safety together all have the possibility (which I have seen happen numerous times) of having the slot open up a bit with use or disassembly/reassembly of the safety, and then the right side of the safety (the side that the lefties use) can and will fall out of the pistol.

Jpanzer
September 04, 2013, 15:48
I've looked around on the web for the colt ambi safety but can't find one. No luck on Colt's web site either. And I've heard Kings is no longer in business...Numrich has one listed but their link to order it is busted...

chet
September 04, 2013, 16:02
Another aspect that you will notice in shooting a 1911 from both sides: you can get away with a slimmer profile safety lever on the left side (the original side) because the safety lever itself is offset from the frame by the plunger tube already. For me, this means a narrower (standard width) safety on the left side is no big deal and I can run it fine because it hits the pad of my thumb right in the middle. A standard width lever on the other side means my left thumb has to skim the slide serrations pretty good in order to get a sure strike on the safety.

Evoskoot
September 04, 2013, 17:09
Save money, time, grips, and parts. Become the safety for the pistol and train that you don't pull the gun until ready for use and keep it ready to use. I haven't engaged the thumb safety since the early 70's, have taped the grip safety, and haven't had an AD since I made a point to know the gun is ready to fire. I carry thumb break holsters with Colt's 1911s or Sig 220s everyday, Ruger LC9 on Sunday.

Jpanzer
September 07, 2013, 15:09
Save money, time, grips, and parts. Become the safety for the pistol and train that you don't pull the gun until ready for use and keep it ready to use. I haven't engaged the thumb safety since the early 70's, have taped the grip safety, and haven't had an AD since I made a point to know the gun is ready to fire. I carry thumb break holsters with Colt's 1911s or Sig 220s everyday, Ruger LC9 on Sunday.

Are you a left handed shooter? I am. That's why I want the ambidextrous safety...

nearmisses
September 07, 2013, 18:11
I realize you're trying to save money here but a new saftey is not a "drop in fit". It must be fitted correctly by someone who knows how. You have shown and said you do not. See a gunsmith before butchering the new part. The part and life you save, may be your own.

tdb59
September 07, 2013, 18:50
I realize you're trying to save money here but a new saftey is not a "drop in fit". It must be fitted correctly by someone who knows how.....

True.

This is the type that was sold by Colt in years past. It uses an extended sear pin to retain the right side lever, as opposed to the Armand Swenson design that relies on a cut grip panel.

http://www.brownells.com/handgun-parts/action-parts/safety-parts/safeties/1911-auto-ambidextrous-safety-prod9213.aspx

Jpanzer
September 07, 2013, 19:36
I went with the Kimber model, seems like it will suit my needs nicely. And yes, it will be installed by a gunsmith, no worries there....;)

drobs
September 12, 2013, 00:40
I'm also a left hander - L to R

Kimber - Wilson, RIA - Armscor, Colt - Kings:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4099/4891720717_971b377ceb.jpg

If you have a gunsmith install the safety make sure you test it a couple times in the shop before taking it home. Most smiths are right handed and will test the safety with their right hand.

The Kimber and RIA both needed to be brought back to the smith as they didn't work from left handed. In the case of the RIA - it needed an Armscorp safety to work correctly.