Ambi-safety a weak point on the 1911? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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ajgranda
01-14-2010, 12:52
<table id="table1" border="0" cellpadding="2"><tbody><tr><td colspan="2" valign="top">This is directly from NHC website. What are you opinions of this statement? Seems there would be a few other manufacturers that would dispute this. :dunno:




Do you offer an ambi-safety on your 1911's?
</td> </tr> <tr> <td> </td> <td valign="top"> A. If you choose to have an ambi-safety on your 1911, we will install one, but it will not be covered in our lifetime warranty. The 1911 was designed for a single side safety. The axle of the single side safety goes all the way through the frame. In order to create an ambi-safety, it requires taking that solid steel axle, cut it in half, and making some type of dovetail in order for it to un-snap to take the gun apart. By doing this, you have created a natural weak point. They have a tendency to work themselves loose over time, and that is why we do not cover them under warranty.
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sns3guppy
01-14-2010, 12:54
Ambi-safeties can be a very weak point. I've had them become sloppy enough that one couldn't take the weapon off safe with the right-side lever.

gunsablazin
01-14-2010, 13:32
I like them on competition pistols, they are handy on those weak hand pick up stages. I would not have one on a carry gun, unless I was left handed.

Rinspeed
01-14-2010, 15:24
I don't like them and agree they are a weak point.

R0CKETMAN
01-14-2010, 16:38
What NH stated makes sense, but I'm a "lefty", so it's a must. I will say mine has been flawless through several thousand rounds.

Screaming .357G
01-14-2010, 17:14
I will not have one on any carry 1911. :shakehead:

HAIL CAESAR
01-14-2010, 17:27
I will not have one on any carry 1911. :shakehead:

I agree. It's silly to have one if you ain't a southpaw.

rkba_net
01-14-2010, 22:01
I have never seen one that I would consider to be durable... but then I like to detail disassemble my M1911's...

chuckman
01-15-2010, 05:31
I agree. It's silly to have one if you ain't a southpaw.

Unless, of course, one's dominant hand has been injured and you have been forced to shoot weak-side.

Screaming .357G
01-15-2010, 09:09
Even with my weak hand I can click the saftey off with my pointer finger or even thumb with little grip adjustment. I have no use for a ambi.

Gary1911A1
01-15-2010, 09:19
If I was left handed and wanted a 1911 with a safety on the right side I'd haunt the gun auction boards looking for one of those left handed 1911s'. I beieve it was called the portsider?

Jim Watson
01-15-2010, 09:28
I tend to agree. A southpaw here broke off two or three in regular IDPA competition. I showed him the King's which has better retention and it lasted better. But he eventually changed to Glocks which don't have all those confusing levers and buttons.

The makers know it, Caspian has a new design in the works, see pictures in post #13 at:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=250481

EGW was considering one of their own but may just send you to Caspian.
SVI had one but now catalog only the regular Swenson design.

HAIL CAESAR
01-15-2010, 10:13
Unless, of course, one's dominant hand has been injured and you have been forced to shoot weak-side.

That is a training issue, or lack of it. You train to disengage the safety with your left hand. I'd rather do a bit of practicing than put a bunch of junk on my guns to make up for the lack of practice.:wavey:

R0CKETMAN
01-15-2010, 10:22
I tend to agree. A southpaw here broke off two or three in regular IDPA competition. I showed him the King's which has better retention and it lasted better. But he eventually changed to Glocks which don't have all those confusing levers and buttons.

The makers know it, Caspian has a new design in the works, see pictures in post #13 at:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=250481

EGW was considering one of their own but may just send you to Caspian.
SVI had one but now catalog only the regular Swenson design.

Thanks Jim

MD357
01-15-2010, 10:22
I agree. It's silly to have one if you ain't a southpaw.

Even if you are, there's a VERY good local instructor that is southpaw. He uses his index finger with a little wider single side safety. He got tired of ambis crapping out on him.

ajgranda
01-15-2010, 10:40
Great information everyone. I will make sure to stay away from ambi-safeties. I had pointed this out primarily because I was looking at a EB MA Edition that I thought could only be had with the ambi. I contacted EB today and they said they could build it with the SS Safety and save me $75.
:supergrin:

Thanks

HAIL CAESAR
01-15-2010, 17:36
Even if you are, there's a VERY good local instructor that is southpaw. He uses his index finger with a little wider single side safety. He got tired of ambis crapping out on him.

I forgot about that method!!:wavey:

All the new kids I instruct and qualify seem to be all righties. I think the school systems nowadays spots the southpaws in Kindergarten and makes them become righties.

JK-linux
01-15-2010, 17:41
Never had the need, fortunately, to mess with any of a 1911's safeties.

txleapd
01-15-2010, 19:26
All of my 1911/2011's have ambi-safties, and I've never had a single problem. I've carried a 1991 or 2011 on duty for the last 6-7 years, and have shot competitions with them. I just had them built that way with quality parts. I really don't understand the belief that they're "stupid", or "completely unnecessary". I personally believe that are extremely useful on a work gun.

Different strokes, for different folks....

Magus
01-15-2010, 19:40
I do think ambi safeties can be a weak point. In fact, the only one I've seen break was on a Nighthawk.

txleapd
01-15-2010, 19:51
Silly question.... What in the world are people doing to their guns to break an ambi-safety? My STI Trojan has been used hard and in all kinds of conditions, I've never feared breaking a thumb safety (ambi or not).

Is it being suggested that they just break on their own?

Cobra64
01-15-2010, 21:13
It's interesting to see all the right handed shooters' expert comments.

HAIL CAESAR
01-15-2010, 22:11
Is it being suggested that they just break on their own?

Nope, they break with use. If you use them, by use I mean the lefty pad, they will break.

When will a ambi break??? Depends how much you use it, how hard you hit it, and if you use a high thumb hold to use the pad in recoil control.
But make no doubt...it will break long before a regular thumb safety.

It's interesting to see all the right handed shooters' expert comments.

Just seen a lot of ambi's break on competition guns and lefties that shoot a lot.

ajgranda
01-16-2010, 08:05
All the new kids I instruct and qualify seem to be all righties. I think the school systems nowadays spots the southpaws in Kindergarten and makes them become righties.


That's very true, I remember back in the 60s/70s about 20% off the kids were lefties. Now I don't see even 1 in 10.

GRR
01-17-2010, 00:26
Nope, they break with use. If you use them, by use I mean the lefty pad, they will break.

When will a ambi break??? Depends how much you use it, how hard you hit it, and if you use a high thumb hold to use the pad in recoil control.
But make no doubt...it will break long before a regular thumb safety.



Just seen a lot of ambi's break on competition guns and lefties that shoot a lot.

I ran my Kimber TLE for a couple of years in IDPA, shooting a match every weekend. I'm left handed and have never had an ambi safety break on any of my 1911's. I agree the two piece safety is not as robust as a single sided, but your "if you use them, they will break" comment doesn't hold water in my left handed experience.

HAIL CAESAR
01-17-2010, 02:04
I ran my Kimber TLE for a couple of years in IDPA, shooting a match every weekend. I'm left handed and have never had an ambi safety break on any of my 1911's. I agree the two piece safety is not as robust as a single sided, but your "if you use them, they will break" comment doesn't hold water in my left handed experience.

Keep using it...it will break. That is true of any mechanical or metal piece, but more true of ambi safeties.

Cobra64
01-17-2010, 02:10
I ran my Kimber TLE for a couple of years in IDPA, shooting a match every weekend. I'm left handed and have never had an ambi safety break on any of my 1911's. I agree the two piece safety is not as robust as a single sided, but your "if you use them, they will break" comment doesn't hold water in my left handed experience.

Someone is spreading "leftist propaganda?" :rofl:

pinoy43
01-17-2010, 05:47
i'd say proper maintenance and inspection of your piece is still top of the list. sure we do clean our gun, but do we really do thorough inspection? maybe its time we do.

i agree that mechanical parts do tend to break, however if preventive inspection is done religiously, this should not happen during a shooting much.

my 2 cents.

GRR
01-17-2010, 08:20
Keep using it...it will break. That is true of any mechanical or metal piece, but more true of ambi safeties.
Pretty nebulous statement there. At how many rounds? How many have you broken? I suppose it may break before I wear the pistol out, but I'm not holding my breath. I've put upward of 20K rounds through my TLE and haven't broken one yet. If properly fit, I see no reason it shouldn't last the life of the pistol. If one were worried in the least, they could switch to a Kings safety.

GRR
01-17-2010, 08:22
Someone is spreading "leftist propaganda?" :rofl:
Absolutely not! After all, only left handed people are in their Right mind.:supergrin:

Jim Watson
01-17-2010, 08:27
It doesn't really matter whether any one ambi safety works or not, breaks or not, they are cheaply mass produced and it is about as easy to get a jewel as a lemon. They DO have extra parts and a weak joint, so unless you do get a jewel, wear and tear is going to show up.

KiloBravo
01-17-2010, 08:58
Absolutely not! After all, only left handed people are in their Right mind.:supergrin:

My cousin just returned home from the airforce with his one buddy he was discharged with. His friend shoots left handed as well. My cousin say is he "Wrong Handed." :rofl::supergrin:

Delta-x
01-17-2010, 09:25
Im a born southpaw. But in a right handed world, I have become ambi.
My 1911 has a Kings ambi safety that has been flawless.
In a stressfull situation, shtf, and life or death, I think the ambi safety is of importance.

akapennypincher
01-17-2010, 10:07
Left Handed Shooters need um...

a_tack
01-17-2010, 14:30
how hard is it to replace an ambi-safety with a regular safety?

HAIL CAESAR
01-17-2010, 15:49
Pretty nebulous statement there. At how many rounds? How many have you broken? I suppose it may break before I wear the pistol out, but I'm not holding my breath.

I had to look up the meaning of "nebulous".:rofl:
I can't tell you how many rounds it will take you to break one. Can't tell you exactly when the springs in your WC mags will weaken so much they need replaced. Neither can I tell you when your extractor dies. Most extractors die somewhere between 5k and 8k, some make it to 10k. But there are always the ones that croak in 2k and some guy on the errornet that has 20k on his extractor. But the point is that they WILL wear out or break, it WILL happen! Ambi safeties are a very weak point on a 1911, just take one apart and see how most are dovetailed together. It is a weak point. That is why the pro smiths install a stop. It is because they know ambi's are weak and will break. If it wasn't a problem nobody would even have thought up installing a stop. It has been a weakness that folks that work on guns have seen for years.

When they break takes in to account of the parts original quality, how hard you snick it off, how hard you press on it if you ride the safety, and the recoil factor of the rounds shot. So it isn't a formula or a set amount of rounds, just like the extractor probably won't break at exactly 5,231 rounds.

How many have I fixed over the years...a double dozen or three. 3 Tauruses in the last couple of months.
How many single sides have I fixed......I can't remember one but I may have done one.

It doesn't really matter whether any one ambi safety works or not, breaks or not, they are cheaply mass produced and it is about as easy to get a jewel as a lemon. They DO have extra parts and a weak joint, so unless you do get a jewel, wear and tear is going to show up.

Yup, thank you Sir.

how hard is it to replace an ambi-safety with a regular safety?

I takes me about 20 minutes to do one correctly. But I am slow and don't do dozens a day like a pro smith may.

Cobra64
01-19-2010, 00:19
Im a born southpaw. But in a right handed world, I have become ambi.
My 1911 has a Kings ambi safety that has been flawless.
In a stressfull situation, shtf, and life or death, I think the ambi safety is of importance.Born southpaw here too. My 1911s are the only pistols with an ambi, and none are for HD or SD.

DA/SA Sigs and HKs support that requirement. :)

txleapd
01-19-2010, 04:58
Nope, they break with use. If you use them, by use I mean the lefty pad, they will break.

When will a ambi break??? Depends how much you use it, how hard you hit it, and if you use a high thumb hold to use the pad in recoil control.
But make no doubt...it will break long before a regular thumb safety.

Just seen a lot of ambi's break on competition guns and lefties that shoot a lot.

Interesting... I was just wondering, because I use my 1911's a lot (I haven't measured how hard I "hit it", but since I use the hell out of it in training and competition I'd hazard to guess that it's not "soft". I've used a high thumb hold since before I was carrying a 1911 on duty.

My experience is that my ambi-safety still feels rock solid (I've never had an issue with it). I'm also not aware of any officer in my department who has had such a problem. Too be honest, I've never considered it a weak spot, or had the slightest inclination to even worry about it. Maybe we're all just an anomaly, or lucky.

Keep using it...it will break. That is true of any mechanical or metal piece, but more true of ambi safeties.

So..... Everything breaks. I get that. But I've honestly NEVER seen anything which would objectively support saying that an ambi-safety is more prone to breaking than a standard safety.

I'm still curious as to what qualifies this statement... "That is true of any mechanical or metal piece, but more true of ambi safeties."

HAIL CAESAR
01-19-2010, 05:09
Use what you want I don't care one bit. The topic of ambi's came up and I ( and others) felt like responding. There is a use for them. They are also very subject to be broken. Call up any big name smith and ask yourself..I have been working on 1911's for 30 years. I'm not a big name smith that has vast skills ( JH ,LAV, CR, BW, etc) but I owned a gun shop and worked on them on the side for some customers.

This same type of arguments come up in another hobby of mine, AR15s. Someone will ask about Oly Arms. Several people will post about vast troubles with them. Some dealers will post about how Oly's are the #1 AR returned with problems, they are #1 by a WIDE margin. Then a couple of guys will come in and say they have an Oly and have never had a issue, hence Oly is a fantastic AR. That may be true them, but it is not the norm.

hedrok
01-23-2010, 13:51
The biggest problem I see with an ambi safety is function when you need it. One of the better shooters I know had a fairly consistent problem in the middle of an IDPA run with the first knuckle of his right index finger bumping the safety and engaging it at exactly the wrong time. That ambi safety no longer lives.
I'd be pretty sure that if the safety could engage in the relatively low stress of an IDPA shoot...it will be far more likely to happen in a high stress situation. I've got a feeling that's why some of the responses here said they wouldn't "carry"one for SD.

Cobra64
01-23-2010, 14:16
The biggest problem I see with an ambi safety is function when you need it. One of the better shooters I know had a fairly consistent problem in the middle of an IDPA run with the first knuckle of his right index finger bumping the safety and engaging it at exactly the wrong time. That ambi safety no longer lives.
I'd be pretty sure that if the safety could engage in the relatively low stress of an IDPA shoot...it will be far more likely to happen in a high stress situation. I've got a feeling that's why some of the responses here said they wouldn't "carry"one for SD.

Ummm...

To my knowledge, there is no functional reason for a right handed person to need an ambi safety.

A left handed person may prefer to have one.

Don-wayne
01-23-2010, 14:27
Les Baer who is left handed makes his ambi real thin. His reason is south paws ride the ambi hard and can break them. I am a lefty and If you ride it hard it can break.

hedrok
01-23-2010, 16:00
Exactly, Cobra...Some folks seem to think it's a desirable option. IMHO, the odds of a right handed shooter needing needing to use the "ambi" safety because his right hand is disabled are about the same as winning the lottery.
And, if I were left handed, there wouldn't be one sticking out on the left side either..unless it was a mechanical necessity.