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Old May 19, 2019, 11:24 AM   #26
Sharkbite
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The list goes on of professional trainers that teach to ride the safety on a 1911. Your “ive been doing it different for 40 years” does not make it “correct”. Which was the OP’s question.

“I was taught it in the Army 40 years ago”, also doesn't cut it.

Teaching PROPER 1911 shooting is becoming a lost art, but those of us that have an extensive background in doing just that, insist on riding the safety UNLESS some physical deformity prevents that for happening.
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:02 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Sharkbite
The list goes on of professional trainers that teach to ride the safety on a 1911. Your “ive been doing it different for 40 years” does not make it “correct”. Which was the OP’s question.
A list of professional trainers who teach to ride the safety also doesn't make it "correct."

There is no single way that is either "best" or "correct." What is both best and correct for any individual shooter is what works best for that individual shooter. For some that's a universal, thumbs down and interlocked grip. For others it's two thumbs forward. And for still others it's thumbs sticking up in the air.

I've seen them all, I've tried them all, and I use what works for me.
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:21 PM   #28
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I might not be as experienced on 1911 but I do know riding the safety is relatively new. I’m not sure if proper or correct is the right term for a gun that’s been in use for over 100 years, most of which wasn’t riding the safety. Ambi and front slide serration used to be cool too...and here we are
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:24 PM   #29
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How are you going to ride the safety in a bullseye match?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDSLYTrH5LU

this technique is interesting because I think it gives a much stronger grip while being more consistent.

Handgun accuracy depends on the inherent accuracy of the pistol/ammunition and
Consistent trigger pull
and
Consistent hold.

Although I shoot with one hand, I can see that the technique in the video really locks the dominant hand around the grip and that's a really good thing.

Any argument based on a "resort to authority" is very weak. "Resort to Authority" had people believing the sun revolved around the earth for thousands of years with the "Authority" being Aristotle and The Church.

Last edited by stinkeypete; May 19, 2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:28 PM   #30
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The way I see it, 1911 safety is like the school bus. Not everyone rides it, and you definitely don’t want to ride the short one
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:41 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Other than depressing the grip safety enough to allow firing (and, of course, pulling the trigger) there is no "must".

If a high thumb, or thumb on the safety works for you, fine. Doesn't work for me. My right thumb goes down, below the safety. Been working well enough for me for half a century, not going to be changing.
Bingo. I can see the thumb-high argument for a carry situation, because it ensures that you take the firearm off safe and keep it off. But I'd never carry a 1911, because, to me, there are too many better options these days.

So my 1911s are range guns, and I think thumb-low feels a lot more comfortable and natural. (And there aren't many "musts" for anything.)
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:52 PM   #32
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With a 1911 type pistol, the firing side thumb MUST ride the safety.
Must? Why must? What "must" should be is what works for the individual. Same as the other thread here on where to place the trigger finger. What works best for the individual is what "must" be.
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Old May 19, 2019, 12:55 PM   #33
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If you look at old enough Army training films,the "proper" 1911 hold is the "cup and saucer",resting the mag floorplate on the palm of the weak hand.

To still be doing what was done 50 years ago is OK,if t works for you,but that does not mean no one learned anything about doing it better over 50 years.

The Weaver stance was all the rage for a while.Some might say "I used the Weaver 40 yrs ago,it worked then and.... OK. Mikulek breaks it down and explains what is wrong with the Weaver in his training vid. You can still use the Weaver. Those who come in first don't.

Its hard to "unlearn" what is familiar.

But the OP was asking about the best method to learn. Clean slate.

If Miculek,Leatham,Koenig,Gunsight,Wison Combat,etc or what might be called "The Winners" pretty much agree on what works best,why steer a shooter who wants to learn toward techniques that have been abandoned by the winners,such as push-pull and the Weaver? Or cup and saucer?

Does anyone seriously believe 1940's Army 1911 technique is superior to what gets done with a 1911 by top shooters today?


Can you outshoot Julie Golob? Until you can,you aren't going to convince me that what you learned in the Army basic 40 or 50 yrs ago is better than what champion combat shooters use today. The modern SOCOM handgun training is different than what the Army taught in WW2.(No,I have not shot with SOCOM)

Having said that, the Old Army Bullseye shooters can shoot. I shot in a league with a 72 yr old guy who had hand tremors and coke bottle glasses .He used to shoot at Camp Perry. I recall his scores for slow,timed,rapid. Like a 297 with a lot of X's.

Last edited by HiBC; May 19, 2019 at 01:15 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 01:04 PM   #34
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The list goes on of professional trainers that teach to ride the safety on a 1911.
And that list is people that train others how to put a hole in the six inch 10 ring of a b-27 silhouette target at 5 yards and think they are accomplishing something. Take a look at the people that put holes in the X ring of a b-27 target at 50 yards, or a 1.7 inch X ring at 50 yards as in Bullseye Pistol, and you will see very few to none that ride the safety.
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Old May 19, 2019, 02:34 PM   #35
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Imho what is more important is for the person to be comfortable and familiar with their grip, as long as it’s not super wrong like thumb behind the slide. Show them couple of the best techniques and let them decide that’s best.

And by all means don’t treat those guys as gospel. Every time I see some poor soul emulating what those “trainers” teach...we’re not dumping rounds as quickly into the “A zone” as we can in real life. It’s really stupid and dangerous. Treat it as a sport, and nothing wrong if one wants to feel tactical, just don’t treat it as gospel.

How many of us has seen those who try to do those YouTube drills at the range? Doing fast mag changes and malfunction drills with others close by? You know how many of them get DQ at their weekend games? They can’t even follow a simple 180 rule

Last edited by TxFlyFish; May 19, 2019 at 02:43 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 03:15 PM   #36
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Wonder if JMB rode that tiny little safety.
Prolly not.
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Old May 19, 2019, 04:47 PM   #37
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Take your support/off-side arm and extend the arm and point the index finger at a target. Note how the arm feels, muscles are relaxed. Now, keep the arm extended and point the thumb at the target. Note how the arm muscles tighten and the hand shape is automatically flexed into support position.

Now take the support hand and put it under the shooting hand to support the firearm. Modify the 'fit' for yourself, but keep the thumb of the off/support hand pointing at the target. This keeps the off-hand muscles flexed to help support and align.

If you are shooting a revolver, be sure to keep your thumb back of the cyclinder gap.

Ultimately, you will have to find what works for you by modifying all the opinions you have been favored with.

Last edited by pwc; May 19, 2019 at 04:58 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 04:54 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinkeypete
How are you going to ride the safety in a bullseye match?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDSLYTrH5LU

this technique is interesting because I think it gives a much stronger grip while being more consistent.
My take-away came right at the beginning:

"Just like we've been talking about, there's not one right way and one wrong way to do it."

BUT ... OMG! After he showed clear, he inserted a loaded magazine into the gun (0:45). And then, at 3:30, he racked the slide. Maybe he didn't pull it back far enough to chamber a round, but DANG! There should NOT be a loaded magazine in that gun.
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Old May 19, 2019, 05:16 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Mike38
And that list is people that train others how to put a hole in the six inch 10 ring of a b-27 silhouette target at 5 yards and think they are accomplishing something. Take a look at the people that put holes in the X ring of a b-27 target at 50 yards, or a 1.7 inch X ring at 50 yards as in Bullseye Pistol, and you will see very few to none that ride the safety.
By way of some perspective, a number of years ago I used to make occasional trips to Rhode Island, and I wanted to be able to carry. Rhode Island is one of those states for which it's easier for a non-resident to get a permit than for a resident. But, they require a marksmanship qualifier, to be fired in front of a certified NRA or police department instructor.

Their criterion is a score of 195 out of 300 possible, firing 30 shots at an Army-L target at a distance of 25 yards. The black on the Army-L target is 5" in diameter. Obviously, you don't have to keep all the shots in the black to score 195 -- you could put them all in the 7 ring and still have a cushion. (The 7 ring would be about a foot in diameter, maybe 14 inches.)

I shot it using my "incorrect" grip, using a new Para-Ordnance 12.45LDA that I had just bought and wasn't familiar with, and scored somewhere around 250 or 260 IIRC.

Army-L target: https://www.pistoleer.com/shooting-targets/dod/
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Old May 19, 2019, 05:32 PM   #40
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It's a bit difficult to assess some of the posts as to whether or not they make a clear recommendation but, scanning through the thread so far, it looks like there are roughly six or seven votes for "the correct way" and nine votes for "the wrong way."

Hardly a convincing mandate either way, so I'll keep doing what works for me.

I found an interesting video on the Ed Brown web site. Ed Brown knows a thing or three about the 1911, and isn't exactly a novice at shooting them. Starting at about 0:28 of the video, it shows Ed shooting alongside one of his two sons. The son uses a thumbs forward grip. Ed uses the same thumb-over-thumb grip that I use. So one might conclude that it's a generational thing. But it also seems that Ed's son(s) haven't convinced him to shoot "the right way."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyFLxSWfbIc
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Old May 19, 2019, 06:20 PM   #41
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I have never ridden the thumb safety with my strong side thumb when shooting model 1911s and I have never accidentally deployed the safety when shooting.

If I try to ride the thumb safety on my particular model 1911 pistols, I do not always depress the grip safety sufficiently even if it has a "memory bump". That produces a failure to go bang that had actually happened to me on multiple occasions as opposed to some theoretical failure to go bang resulting from not riding the safety lever.
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Old May 19, 2019, 06:25 PM   #42
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What a bunch of self proclaimed "experts", "professionals", and "teainers" say if completely irrelevant. How to hold a 1911, or any other gun is much more of a matter of what is natural, and comfortable to the individual. Keep trying to change them to be "correct" to some fictitious standard can do more to frustrate than improve.
What's important isn't form or style. What's important is that you hit the target, where you aim, consistantly.
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Old May 19, 2019, 07:45 PM   #43
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It does not matter to me how you shoot your pistol .Enjoy!

For carry in a holster like a Summer Special,I don't want a skateboard size safety.I use the JMB /Colt/GI style safety. Its still perfectly fine for a landmark to place my thumb. Resting on top of the safety ensures it is disengaged.

There is another key benefit to having the thumb above the safety.It clears the real estate of the left grip panel so thr heel of the left hand can be placed on the left grip panel. The left thumb poits downrange,and the left hand fingers initially point approx. 45 deg down toward the ground.The left index finger contacts the underside of the guard. The left hand clamps the left grip and the right hand.

Left thumb over right thumb does not permit the heel of the left hand to be placed in full contact with the left grip panel.

You can shoot the gun however you want,but the grip the champs teach provides for a stable ,controlled gum under recoil. That translates to faster accurate shooting.

Here is a link to WW2 GI training. I notice the instructors rest the thumb on the safety.

https://youtu.be/jP7J-JNSUu4

Some good points

https://youtu.be/7HgpAhO-uwI

Last edited by HiBC; May 19, 2019 at 08:04 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 08:03 PM   #44
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Quote:
By way of some perspective, a number of years ago I used to make occasional trips to Rhode Island, and I wanted to be able to carry. Rhode Island is one of those states for which it's easier for a non-resident to get a permit than for a resident. But, they require a marksmanship qualifier, to be fired in front of a certified NRA or police department instructor.

Their criterion is a score of 195 out of 300 possible, firing 30 shots at an Army-L target at a distance of 25 yards. The black on the Army-L target is 5" in diameter. Obviously, you don't have to keep all the shots in the black to score 195 -- you could put them all in the 7 ring and still have a cushion. (The 7 ring would be about a foot in diameter, maybe 14 inches.)

I shot it using my "incorrect" grip, using a new Para-Ordnance 12.45LDA that I had just bought and wasn't familiar with, and scored somewhere around 250 or 260 IIRC.

Army-L target: https://www.pistoleer.com/shooting-targets/dod/
Your way obviously works for you. Proving my point, each individual shooter will end up having an individual style. BTW, since we are in the bragging mode, my Illinois CCL range test, very similar to what you describe, best possible score of 300, was shot my way, and I scored a 300-21X.
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Old May 19, 2019, 09:11 PM   #45
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I think the ww2 instructional has their thumb below the safety. For me the best 1911 setup would be a small GI safety. If the extended safeties help so much with recoil by providing downward force at the pivot point, more people would be using safeties on the modern striker pistols or having a ledge/shelf built in on the grips contour.

What do they teach nowadays? When should the 1911 safety be disengaged? How hard should you grip? Where should your thumb rest on?

Beginners are going to grip the 1911 hard while riding the thumb safety and disengage too soon at the holster. Add that to poor trigger discipline and they themselves a situation all because they want to pull some crazy split times on a bad guy

Last edited by TxFlyFish; May 19, 2019 at 09:16 PM.
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Old May 19, 2019, 10:39 PM   #46
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I find that having the thumb on top of the safety increases the chances of getting cut by the slide during recoil. Ask me how I know this.

Also, sometimes I shoot Hopalong Cassidy/Roy Rogers style. One in each hand. I do not practice quick draw with my 1911s any more (I quit carrying 1911 maybe 20 years ago). Target shoot and occasionally rabbit hunting.

I am left handed, and my thumb rests on top of my middle finger as it wraps around the grip.

I don't care if all those superior beings says it is wrong or not. It works for me.

When I took my CCW course in 1995, the instructor made comment on the range that I was the only one shooting groups. All 50 shots were covering 4".
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Old May 19, 2019, 11:38 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiBC
Here is a link to WW2 GI training. I notice the instructors rest the thumb on the safety.

https://youtu.be/jP7J-JNSUu4
Under the safety.

0:17 and 3:13.
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Old May 20, 2019, 03:17 AM   #48
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From TxFlyFish:

Quote:
I might not be as experienced on 1911 but I do know riding the safety is relatively new. I’m not sure if proper or correct is the right term for a gun that’s been in use for over 100 years, most of which wasn’t riding the safety. Ambi and front slide serration used to be cool too...and here we are
The high thumb grip came to prominence sometime after WWII. It was most popularized by Jeff Cooper and was taught at his first school. So we're talking the 1960s or 70s maybe. But it's not brand new by any means. When folks began doing that I don't know but likely after the tear drop safety replaced the small original GI safety.

For Cooper it was brought in as a way of making the 1911 more of a combat pistol than a service sidearm. It went with Cooper promoting cocked and locked carry, Condition One. When drawing the gun the thumb went to swipe the safety off. Should you decide not to disengage the safety at that moment you kept the thumb on the safety ready to disengage it. That's where riding the safety began, well actually not because it predated Cooper. But it was the way it's promotion began by Cooper.

But some folks hands can't do it.

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Old May 20, 2019, 07:55 AM   #49
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You could hold your pistol just the way the angels do and then you jerk the trigger.
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Old May 21, 2019, 11:37 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkbite View Post
With a 1911 type pistol, the firing side thumb MUST ride the safety.
Why MUST the strong hand thumb ride the safety?
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