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Old 01-17-2020, 04:01 PM
Ratsky Ratsky is offline
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1911 variations

I am trying to learn more about 1911s. I have been browsing lots of vendor/manufacturer sites, and am a bit confused as to different styles of the beaver tail. I think I would prefer the "downturned" variety to better keep my grip firm during recoil. Am I correct, and which manufacturers offer this style?
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:08 PM
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RickB RickB is offline
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Most prefer the upturned style, as it allows the gun to nestle down lower in the hand.
I don't think there is anyone currently making a downturned grip safety, but Colt made them for many years, and they're often called a "ducktail".
If you're not shooting you should be moving. If you're not moving you should be reloading. If you're not shooting, moving, or reloading, you should be taping or picking brass. - Z.C.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:52 PM
sevenL4 sevenL4 is offline
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I have not seen a 'downturned' beavertail. The upswept beavertail has been the choice of competitive shooters for at least 40 years. It allows the shooter to form a high grip on the pistol, making it more controllable. There are many variations on the beavertail safety and they are offered as standard equipment on pistols issued to military and police. Welcome to the 1911 Forum.

Last edited by sevenL4; 01-17-2020 at 08:53 PM. Reason: not finished
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Old 01-18-2020, 09:07 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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Colt had the "duckbill" on several models. My hand is O.K. with it but other people hate it. Below the "duckbill" on a 2002 Colt Defender and then a "beavertail" on a 2010 Defender.

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Old 01-18-2020, 11:23 PM
drail drail is offline
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A "down turned" beavertail will not help you grip the gun more firmly. Your control over the gun in recoil is down between your hands on the grip panels and front to rear by the frontstrap and MSH (rear strap). Checkering is your friend here. The only rear purpose of the beavertail is to keep the web of your hand from being pinched by the hammer or struck by the slide when it comes back. 1911s have been built with the beavertail completely ground off and people can shoot these very well. Use any type of beavertail you want.

Last edited by drail; 01-18-2020 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:20 AM
Frank Vaccaro Frank Vaccaro is offline
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Ratsky, welcome to the forum. An up swung beavertail is what I prefer. Whatever is comfortable to you. If you can handle examples of each & let your hand tell you what it likes.
Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:27 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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I had a Colt Gold Cup Trophy from 1911, not to be confused with the current version... and it had a duckbill grip safety and I hated it. It forced the muzzle to point downward from my natural grip angle. I had it swapped out when I had Alchemy use the gun as a base for a custom build.

As Dakota said....some like it....some don't.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:18 PM
jtq jtq is offline
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Originally Posted by Ratsky View Post
I am trying to learn more about 1911s. ... am a bit confused as to different styles of the beaver tail.
For clarity, not all 1911's have a beavertail.

They all have a grip safety (OK, there are a couple without, but we won't talk about them), but not all are beavertail grip safeties.

The "ducktail" was mentioned and pictured above, but what I think what the OP is asking about is probably a GI style grip safety vs a beavertail grip safety.

In the Colt line-up, for instance, this Colt has a GI grip safety https://www.colt.com/detail-page/1911-classic

This Colt has a beavertail grip safety https://www.colt.com/series/WILEY_CLAPP_SERIES

Last edited by jtq; 01-19-2020 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 01-19-2020, 01:20 PM
Tarmy Tarmy is offline
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As others mentioned...different styles for different folks.

Go rent a couple 1911 versions, in different calibers...see what fits your hands/style.

Different barrel lengths, grip sizes, calibers, weights, sights...etc...will all have an effect on what you experience shooting the guns.

I shot many different versions and found what suited me...like shotguns...it is all about how it “fits” you, your needs, your wallet and what you think feels the best for your situation...

Good luck OP...
Wilson Combat Protector, Springer 9mm Loaded, Fiochi O/U Instinct SL 12GA.
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