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  #1  
Old 06-03-2009, 05:39 PM
chifus chifus is offline
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Ambidextrous thumb safety.




Been thinking about upgrading to an ambidextrous thumb safety very similar to this one:



I have a norinco 1911A1 with a standard thumb safety. Are there any drawbacks to the ambidextrous thumb safety?
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2009, 05:45 PM
NewKimber+1 NewKimber+1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chifus View Post
Been thinking about upgrading to an ambidextrous thumb safety very similar to this one:



I have a norinco 1911A1 with a standard thumb safety. Are there any drawbacks to the ambidextrous thumb safety?
Yep...unless fitted properly, they can come loose in the middle where the two join. I got one like that now... done by a smith
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2009, 05:47 PM
chifus chifus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewKimber+1 View Post
Yep...unless fitted properly, they can come loose in the middle where the two join. I got one like that now... done by a smith
Oh i would be going to a smith to have it installed, do they come apart easily?

And what happens if it comes apart? can the gun still function properly?
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:04 PM
NewKimber+1 NewKimber+1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chifus View Post
Oh i would be going to a smith to have it installed, do they come apart easily?

And what happens if it comes apart? can the gun still function properly?
Think so....if the right side falls off...ya just got a hole there. It does happen. Mine is just loose.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:14 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
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Another drawback is that the extra safety can rub against clothing and what not, and that can cause it to be disengaged inadvertently.
Ambis are usually something best left to lefties.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:17 PM
brutay brutay is offline
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Other than for show, or if you're a lefty, or SWAT, why do you want one? I have them on a couple but that's how they came. I've yet to find myself in a situation where I'd had to shoot weak side and I've been shooting 1911's since 1976.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:20 PM
Kamerer Kamerer is offline
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+1 for 11,43mm.

I agree, ambis are really suited to lefties and I think they have more drawbacks than benefits for right handed people. here was a discussion on this just the other day:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=235493

In a true emergency, it is really easy to manipulate the single-sided safety with your left thumb. Just flop it over, swipe it off, and flop it back. This is the one super-unique thing about the human thumb - it's opposable! Try this drill periodically and it will become pretty quick for you.

If I were lefty I would install the safety, though, as it would get tedious day in and day out if I carried the gun.

Quote:
.if the right side falls off...ya just got a hole there
Most all designs now have an arm on the right that gets trapped under the grip (your grip needs to be clearanced for that - an "ambi cut"). They should not be able to fall off. The problem is the joint in the center is a weak design and it binds up or twists a little and makes left-side operation sketchy or incomplete.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2009, 06:22 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brutay View Post
where I'd had to shoot weak side and I've been shooting 1911's since 1976.
What if you get shot in your strong arm? Everybody should practice drawing and shooting weak-handed. I do, but have no pb disengaging the TS with my weak hand (I am slower though), so I pass on ambis to avoid adding complexity and fragility to my 1911s.

ETA: I practice and qualify using the method laid out by Kamerer, whose post I just caught. It works.
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Last edited by 11,43mm; 06-03-2009 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Typo.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:00 PM
chifus chifus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brutay View Post
Other than for show, or if you're a lefty, or SWAT, why do you want one? I have them on a couple but that's how they came. I've yet to find myself in a situation where I'd had to shoot weak side and I've been shooting 1911's since 1976.
Well, finding parts for a 1911 down here is harder than questing for the holy grail. This one is free and already here.

Plus, the problem i have with mine is that my hands are big, currently i disengage the thumb safety with the meaty part close to the hand, umm...

with this part:



The advantage i want is that it's extended/longer than my current thumb safety. Not to mention that my current thumb safety is small and worn from use, so its a bit slippery to disengage. I would replace it with a standard and extended thumb safety, but it's next to impossible to find one down here.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:15 PM
NewKimber+1 NewKimber+1 is offline
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Did ya cut off someones thumb down there just so you could take that picture? Can't you order over the net?
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:24 PM
brutay brutay is offline
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Quote:
What if you get shot in your strong arm?
Then the other guy's a bad shot. I didn't say I don't shoot weak side, I said I never was in a situation that forced me to. I haven't been shot since before 1976 and I ain't Bruce Willis either. If it were to happen, I doubt having an ambi safety matters anyway since you're liable to do anything when placed in that type of position, even, as you mentioned, the simple task of moving your left hand thumb over and down to flip off the safety.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2009, 07:49 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
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Originally Posted by brutay View Post
Then the other guy's a bad shot.
Good one. Now chifus may not be Bruce Willis either, but he does live in a volatile third world country so I believe his concerns to be real. There's plenty of other ways to end up disabled before the gunplay even starts.

I strongly recommend an extended TS, at least something like what is found on low end SAs and Colts. You need some traction there, if not a whole "paddle".
But I still would leave that ambi alone and I hope another poster can come up with a better solution.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2009, 09:08 PM
LomaxAnderson LomaxAnderson is offline
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I am left handed

...but shoot with both and am working more on the left...the whole thumb over seems so much slower to me...what am I missing?
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2009, 09:18 PM
11,43mm 11,43mm is offline
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Originally Posted by LomaxAnderson View Post
what am I missing?
Nothing. You're right: an ambi would be faster to disengage. Just like you will normally be faster and more accurate with your strong hand.

To me it's about calculated risks. If ambi safeties didn't have drawbacks, I'd have one too. I don't think that having to shoot weak-handed is as far-fetched as some apparently do, but it's still going to be an unlikely event. Breakages and snags, OTOH, I've seen too often already.

But that's a personal call to make after looking at all the pros and cons.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2009, 09:21 PM
NewKimber+1 NewKimber+1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LomaxAnderson View Post
...but shoot with both and am working more on the left...the whole thumb over seems so much slower to me...what am I missing?
Probably not missing anything...(i'm southpaw) it's muscle memory and how you practice. When your hand goes down, your left thumb sweeps the safety and has nothing to do while your pulling the gun up. (but to get to the right side of the grip)
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2009, 10:13 PM
logante logante is offline
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Only Issue I have with my Ambi is wear to the finish of my 1911. It functions properly for either a right or left handed hold.

As stated before make sure your grips have the ambi safety slot cut into them, otherwise you have to modifly the right grip to accomodate it.
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  #17  
Old 06-03-2009, 11:17 PM
LomaxAnderson LomaxAnderson is offline
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oh I see ...I don't practice dropping the thumb safety on the draw...I was thinking about trying to do that then shooting but if you release the safety on the draw I see how it works ...all in how you train
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2009, 11:42 PM
OJK OJK is offline
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Not being a southpaw, the biggest disadvantage for me is the off side thumb safety digs my knuckle of my trigger finger when using my high grip.

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  #19  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:47 AM
bud41 bud41 is offline
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I use no ambi or extended safetys, makes the 1911 alot fatter, hard to draw
and uncomfortable to hide inside waist holster.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2009, 06:38 AM
George Smith George Smith is offline
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Anyone install the new Caspian Ambi?

It uses the Hammer pin to hold it on which is in the middle of the flat instead of the sear pin (colt) or the grip (about every one else)

They added a bump on the top to limit the downward movement on a hard stop. Lefties that used the Kings often cranked them off as there was no hard down stop and by riding the safety the torque took it's toll on the joint.

Caspian also went with a different drive on the right side and not in the middle.

Anyone using or trying them out?

geo

www.egw-guns.com
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2009, 07:13 AM
Dave Berryhill Dave Berryhill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Smith View Post
Anyone install the new Caspian Ambi?
...
I didn't know they were selling them yet. I've got one of the new Wilson ambi's on order but the 1 week back-order has taken over a month already.
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2009, 07:20 AM
MikeyB MikeyB is offline
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I'm a lefty and I don't even use one.

MikeyB
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  #23  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:01 PM
automan automan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chifus View Post
Been thinking about upgrading to an ambidextrous thumb safety very similar to this one:



I have a norinco 1911A1 with a standard thumb safety. Are there any drawbacks to the ambidextrous thumb safety?
For me, they are an unnecessary PITA. As a rightie, the thumb safety on the right side gets in the way of my index finger knuckle when I shoot. I can do w/o them. As a matter of fact I've broken two when shooting, one on each different gun.

Last edited by automan; 06-04-2009 at 01:04 PM.
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  #24  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:14 PM
lunyou lunyou is offline
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This is the way I look at it. If you have a need like your are a lefty, then they are great. I have one on my Champion and it is rock solid.

Now being as I am a righty I don't need it.

If I ever have to use my pistol for its intended use, I will be drawing with my right hand and if shooting is needed then I will use my right hand to flick the safety off. The chance that I will have to draw with and use my left hand, before the shoot begins is small. If that happens then I will have to make due with what I have(all bets are off then).

So I guess what I am saying is. Most likely I will have to use my left hand only after the safety is off.

lunyou
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  #25  
Old 06-04-2009, 01:30 PM
Jeffro135 Jeffro135 is offline
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This is just a bit of advice my gunsmith-friend shared with me regarding the use of the ambi-safety. He is also a "lefty" and shot competitively for many years. He said not to use the right side lever of the ambi-safety except when NEED BE. In other words, whenever possible, engage/disengage the thumb safety by the left side of the unit to minimize the torque presented when using the right side of the system. This has added infinitely to the life of my ambi-safety units.
As an aside, do I like the ambi-safty systems on a 1911? I wouldn't if I were a right-handed shooter, but being a left-handed shooter, they are great. They are quite far from perfect (so far), but they do provide for a need, so I am grateful for their presence.
Good luck,
Jeffro
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