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Posted: 12/27/2003 7:03:20 AM EDT
Whenever I shoot a 1911 with my thumb riding on the safety, the frame/grip safety seems to beat on my thumb joint closest to the web of my hand. Would going with slim grips and a short trigger help my problem? I am also thinking about using a standard style thumb safety and using a lower thumb hold. I welcome all constructive critisicm. A picture of a proper gripping technique would be great.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:36:01 AM EDT
oh boy.  this should start an argument.

one key reason for using a high thumb grip is to ride the safety and prevent recoil and the thumb from accidently engaging the safety.  a properly fitted safety will not engage under recoil or with accidental contact from the thumb.  I think this was a technique invented by match shooters who used light or poorly fitting safeties.

my thought is first and foremost it's a weapon.  when you grip a spear, AR15 or a shotgun you do it by placing your index finger and thumb in line with each other.  if you move the thumb un-naturally up the grip and out of position with the index finger your grip on any weapon looses a lot of strength.  some will say you don't need a lot of strength to shoot.  but you may need it to fight.  if someone grabs the slide of a 1911 they can very easily twist it out of your hand with a high thumb grip.  not so with a lower grip.

as you pointed out your thumb get's abused.  that alone is enough for me not to do it.  
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 7:49:58 AM EDT
One custom 1911 builder recommends the thumb on the safety grip as it helps control recoil.  Jeff cooper in a tv interview suggested crossing the thumbs (weaver?)grip but I don't remember where the dominant thumb rested in relation to the safety.  He said the parallel thumbs hold that seems to be so popular in competition is the result of shooting reduced loads and compensators and the concern of managing recoil being put on the back burner.  
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 1:30:54 PM EDT
Try using a Low Mount safety.  I had one on my Norinco, and it was great.  I have beefy hands, so my knuckle would rub sometimes.  This took care of that.

Edited to add that though it looks kind of goofy in the picture, when installed it follows the lines of the pistol very well, i.e. grip panel profile and plunger tube.
Link Posted: 12/27/2003 1:33:31 PM EDT
This is a "which is better, Ford or Chevy" type of question.  I personally think the high-thumb grip is overrated, and I shoot with my strong hand thumb *off* the thumb safety.  A friend of mine who is qualified to say states that he thinks you should utilize whatever grip works best for you, and forget about "expert" advice.

It is interesting to note that Brian Enos recommends in his book to shoot thumb-low and to keep both thumbs off the gun.  But he too says to utilize what works best for you.

I guess the advice would be to experiment.  At a minimum, a proper grip should not cause pain or damage to your hands.
Link Posted: 12/28/2003 4:50:57 PM EDT
From an isosceles stance, I use the RH thumb on the safety and the LH thumb along the LH of the slide, thumb pointing at target.  The LH heel of the palm is actually in contact with the LH side of the grip.  Makes for a very stable shooting grip.  IIRC, Rob Leatham uses a grip like this, and I hear he ain't too shabby with a 1911....
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 8:47:31 PM EDT
Both hands.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 9:26:10 PM EDT
I shoot riding the thumb safety.  The standard 1911 grip safety beats my thumb up too.  If thats what you have, consider having a beavertail GS fitted.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 11:36:02 PM EDT
BTW, I put my left thumb over my right thumb, to hold the safety down.  I shot clean on my last qualification with a 45.

You should keep in mind, I am a very vocal adherent to the "Whatever Works, WORKS" school of thought.  Do what you feel comfortable with.
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