You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of!    
Firearm & Gun Forum - > Handguns > Semi-Auto Handguns > 1911 Forum >

Shooting w/ thumb on safety

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-02-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 132
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Shooting w/ thumb on safety

I've been reading about holding your thumb on top on the safety when shooting a 1911. Is it dangerous to also have my thumb pressed up against the slide when I shoot?
PeteZaHut is offline  
Reply With Quote

Join Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join Today! - Click Here

Old 09-02-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
pfev1980's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 229
Liked 15 Times on 11 Posts


A lot of people shoot with their thumb against the slide safety on a 1911. I think it's uncomfortable and I shoot with more of a traditional grip. My colt had wear marks at the slide safety from the previous owner from the aforementioned grip.
pfev1980 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-02-2012, 06:49 AM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
kdog's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 448
Liked 35 Times on 25 Posts
Likes Given: 2


When gripping the 1911 with the thumbs foreward grip, your thumb can almost automatically ride on the thumbsafety.
The rason is, that when carrying cocked and locked, you position your thumb on the safety and when ready to shoot just need to press down.

Same thing the other way round. When you fired a shot to prevent accidental discharge, you just need to move your thumb a bit down, under the safety and engage it.
Also it prevents accidential engegement of the safety.

It is more comfortable doing this with the long safetylevers, but also works fine with the original ones.

Pressing your thumb agains the slide, is not such a good idea. For one, it would potentially slow down the slide and cause a malfunction and second the possibillity of injuring yourself is high.
kdog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2012, 12:10 AM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
canebrake's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 150 miles NE of Sloppy Joe's Bar
Posts: 21,941
Liked 1483 Times on 824 Posts
Likes Given: 1290


I keep my appendages clear of ANY* working controls to let the pistol operate as designed.

* Slide, slide stop, thumb safety with one exception; the TRIGGER.

Get her dirty, then clean her so she starts to respect you. When her trust is complete, she will serve you well for a lifetime!

"...if doves shot back, there wouldn't be a need for a bag limit."
- orangello
canebrake is offline  
People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2012, 02:50 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
pfev1980's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 229
Liked 15 Times on 11 Posts


Me too. My pre firing hand position is thumb on the slide safety and finger on the trigger guard or just above it. But, once I start firing I adjust to finger on the trigger and thumb on the grips. Incidentally it's the same way I fire any weapon with a safety mounted on the slide as well such as my beretta px4.
pfev1980 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
willfully armed's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Olathe,JOCO KS
Posts: 2,098
Liked 191 Times on 138 Posts
Likes Given: 16


There is almost no propensity for injury from riding the safety.

But you can slow down the slide, and that will result in malfunction. This is why oversized safeties are utilized in competition.
Shooter ready....
willfully armed is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
rock185's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Out West in the high desert
Posts: 64
Liked 34 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 17


Hello PeteZ, I have shot the 1911 type guns, with my thumb on the safety, since attending a couple of training classes at Gunsite years ago. Gunsite taught this thumb placement. I have used this hold with both the factory and extended type safeties. It has worked for me in carrying and using 1911 type pistols, and the FN/Browning, in recreational matches, and carrying the 1911 full time in LE.

Back when I shot regularly in practical pistol matches, it was not uncommon to see 1911 shooters,who used some version of thumb under the safety grip, inadvertently push up the safety as the gun came down after recoil. Then, mad fumbling as they momentarily struggle to figure out why their 1911 pistol won't shoot. I am not a Black Ops Ninja "Operator" expert, but have carried the 1911 in the military (RVN), and then LE, for years. The thumb atop the safety technique seems a simple way to insure that the thumb safety is not accidentally engaged...ymmv
rock185 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2012, 12:39 AM   #8
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
25-5's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: 1945
Posts: 3,302
Liked 1643 Times on 1088 Posts
Likes Given: 360


I have used the 1911 for forty years thumb under safety. Same grip as revolver. Never one problem. Tried the new way and teach the new way, but do not like it at all.
"...from my cold dead hands" Charlton Heston & NRA
"He which hath no stomach to this fight,/ Let him depart." Henry V
Its the size of the hole & where you put it.
25-5 is offline  
HOSSFLY Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2013, 06:14 AM   #9
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts


helps me control recoil.. I have alot more leverage on my 5" 1911 w/full size safety and faster follow up shots in competition..
patyancey is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
Thumb safety removal danf_fl 1911 Forum 4 03-25-2012 04:19 AM
need Bersa thumb safety gatormusic Gunsmithing Forum 0 01-24-2011 01:41 PM
XD with or without thumb safety??? mike481 XD Forum 12 03-07-2009 03:21 AM
How Wide Do You Like Your Thumb Safety? Joshua M. Smith 1911 Forum 4 01-06-2009 08:12 PM
Interesting Thumb Safety Joshua M. Smith 1911 Forum 4 07-29-2008 09:05 AM