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Old November 15, 2023, 11:18 AM   #1
bamaranger
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1911 ambi safety, pro or con

Thought a discussion on the ambi safety might be interesting. I have 3 1911 pattern pistols, one with oversize ambi's, the other two not. Of the two single safety pistols, one is slightly oversize, the other pure GI.

I can live with the ambi, but I am not a fan. For one issue, the outboard safety seems to lend itself to getting wiped off by accident. Increasing plunger spring tension, and deepening the recess on the safety itself has helped (alot, it was wonky) but never the less, once in a while, I find the safety "off " while holstered. One of these days I will swap to a single safety.

Second issue, it just looks odd and adds bulk where there shouldn't be (in my eyes anyhow).

Where are you with the issue?
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Old November 15, 2023, 11:35 AM   #2
TunnelRat
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I carry a Staccato C2 fairly regularly. I have not had the safety swipe off. However, I carry it appendix and there generally isn’t anything that brushes against my front.
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Old November 15, 2023, 11:43 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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I have a couple of action shooting guns with helpful "bilateral" (NRA-speak) safeties, but I went single on a 3.5" Ultra Compact.
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Old November 15, 2023, 11:44 AM   #4
RickB
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I'm a lefty, have ambis on all of my pistols, but don't know that I would if I were a righty?
When I transfer the gun from strong hand to weak hand, the safety is already disengaged, so I wouldn't, as a righty, need the ambi, but if I had to "retrieve" my pistol with my weak hand, it would be nice to just sweep the safety off, rather than have to find an alternate, one-handed mean of disengaging the safety.
I've installed 6-8 ambi safeties, some of them twenty or more years ago, and none has broken or become so loose it was a worry.
I did tighten one a little after twenty years/twenty thousand rounds, but it probably wasn't necessary.
Like a match barrel, I think the fitting is more important than the part.
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Old November 15, 2023, 01:12 PM   #5
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When I was much younger, I thought the ambi safety would be a useful, desirable feature, particularly in those days when it was a complete custom build and only a couple of smiths in the country offered it.

I am right handed, and after having some experience with the ambi safeties now common, I don't find them particularly useful or desirable. Especially the models with extended levers.

A gun with an ambi safety isn't a deal breaker for me, I just no longer feel the need to have one if it doesn't come that way.
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Old November 15, 2023, 01:26 PM   #6
BarryLee
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Have them on one of my 1911s and have never seen any negatives. I have carried the gun a good bit in the few colder months we have in the south and never had the safety move. Now, as others have mentioned, not sure I really need it or would I miss it.
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Old November 15, 2023, 02:46 PM   #7
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Two of my three 1911’s have ambi safety. Had another single safety 1911 in the past as well.

They are both getting replaced with single side safety.

For just a range gun, they are fine. But, even trying several different holsters, and carrying positions, the ambi safeties get swiped off, either during holstering, or while carrying. My single side safety pistols don’t/didn’t do that.
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Old November 15, 2023, 02:57 PM   #8
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Mandatory for me as I'm left handed. Not so if I were a righty.
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Old November 15, 2023, 03:58 PM   #9
Nathan
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I see it as an undesirable feature. I don’t have a left hand. If I wanted to shoot left handed in training or because I were left handed, I think I would value it more.
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Old November 15, 2023, 06:36 PM   #10
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I don't mind them on range/race guns but, I don't use them on any of my carry 1911's.
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Old November 15, 2023, 06:48 PM   #11
mulespurs
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Just think if you were left handed.

Me personaly, I don't need a right handed safety and it's one more thing I don't need.
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Old November 15, 2023, 10:44 PM   #12
bamaranger
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outboard

The pistol with the ambi in my assortment is indeed oversize (both left and right). If carry the pistol , it is at 4 o,clock on the right side. What gets it typically is the vehicle seat.

At some point, I will have the thing swapped out.
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Old November 16, 2023, 02:50 PM   #13
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I have one with the right lever substantially shortened. It was already narrower than the left side.
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Old November 16, 2023, 11:20 PM   #14
bamaranger
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interestinig

Sounds like that might be a solution, rt. side reduced in size from left (for a right handed shooter). Jim,was that set up made that way, or was it modified
(ground down) after?
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Old November 17, 2023, 12:22 AM   #15
rc
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I think the lock and key design of the ambis I've tinkered with on 1911s are a pain to take out without risking breaking them. I removed a colt ambi from an XSE commander and replaced it with single sided ed brown when I replaced the mim parts because the single pin is a lot stronger design than the two piece pin. I don't need a lefty safety to shoot lefty in an emergency. I still have some ambi safetys on other 1911s but I prefer a smooth side with no snags.
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Old November 17, 2023, 02:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
was that set up made that way, or was it modified
(ground down) after?
Cut down by Bill M.
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Old November 17, 2023, 06:27 AM   #17
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I tried ambi, did not like it.
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Old November 19, 2023, 12:08 AM   #18
BillM
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Ambi on my competition guns. Useful for weak hand only strings. Current
favorite is the offering from Double Tap.

Single side on my carry guns.
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Old November 19, 2023, 09:15 AM   #19
Hawg
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I'm predominantly right handed but I can and do shoot lefthanded. My current 1911 has an ambi safety. I don't like it and I've been saying I'm going to get rid of it but here it is 12 years later and it's still there.
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Old November 20, 2023, 06:21 AM   #20
radom
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same idea here too dont care for them at all
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Old November 20, 2023, 09:26 AM   #21
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I have had them and loved them, but find them too delicate and end up with strong side only. I have replaced them multiple times. Why? It is the part that protrudes when worn on the hip and so there is a good chance that if you catch your gun on something, you often will be doing it with the safety selector. The two halves couple together in the middle with a dovetail joint that isn't particularly strong. Eventually, you break one of the wings off the female side of the joint and the ambi-side will cease to function.
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Old November 20, 2023, 10:30 AM   #22
Jim Watson
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There are better designs now, but I recall one ham handed southpaw who hammered his way through two Baers. I showed him the King's, which held up better but eventually failed. The last time I saw him, he was shooting a Glock.

This was the guy who wired broken parts to a board and walked through the SHOT Show displaying it to all the 1911 manufacturers.
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Old November 21, 2023, 11:17 AM   #23
gnappi
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I'm pro ambi safety but no longer go out of my way to install one, but will favor a pistol if purchased new with an ambi already installed
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Old November 25, 2023, 09:31 AM   #24
redlightrich
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Interesting conversation. I am building a 2011 now, and even though it appears to be cut on the right for ambi, I have decided against it for all the reasons stated above. I am right hand. If I were lefty, that would be another story.
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Old November 27, 2023, 05:03 PM   #25
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Ambi safeties sound practical, but are not in use. I really regret putting them on AR’s, because the right side lever digs into my hand upon recoil.
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