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Old 05-27-2009, 11:29 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
Under the 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!' column, Let me share this little MSH "fix" I didn't know I needed.

When I first got my Defender I couldn't hit paper with it! The gun had FTF and FTE issues and my cognitive dissonance was screaming what a dumb purchase!!!

My third trip to the range was my turning point. It was a slow day and the Range Officer was hanging around me escaping from the boredom. After watching my frustration he offered this question, "First mouse gun?" My hubris wanted to tell him to go clean up brass but my intellect said help. I said, “Yep.”

He said, “You can’t grip that mini-me like a Government model. Your grip is too low. You should go back to the Hogue’s.”

Attachment 3105

^ As-issued Defender W/Houges

I said, “There is no handle, it’s so small I can’t get good purchase.”

Attachment 3106

^ The first change I made was to remove the Goodyear's.

He went on to show me how to grip the Defender by jamming my thumb-web into the beavertail first and then let my fingers find their natural placement. He went on to tell me my grip looked good but he bet me he could make it better.

I figured at this point any assistance will help and said, “How?” He went on to explain that he bet my strong side hand was doing all the gripping and that would pull the muzzle off target when the trigger is pulled. Have your weak side hand provide about 60% of the grip pressure.

I ran the remainder of my ammo on target, NO FTF/FTEs, me in amazement and the Range Officer with a big grin on his face!

What’s that cute story have to do with a MSH? OK…OK I’m getting to it!

My hands were obviously too big for this 3” 1911. In search for a fix I thought the addition of a magwell would add to the length of the Defender frame. (I know, I know, I should’ve bought the LW Commander!!)

I called Smith & Alexander in Texas and got Allen Smith. I explained the above ‘cute’ story and WOW! Talking to Allen is like taking a pistolsmith class! He said my problem was more a MSH issue than a short grip. He ask me if my shots were mostly low and to the weak side? ...."Yep."

Attachment 3108

....^..M1911

He went on to tell me that when the Army came back to Browning for changes to the M1911 one of the complaints was the Calvary, shooting mostly from horseback, were always hitting under their targets and wanted something done with the sights. JMB being the true genius that he was knew the sights were fine and came up with the arched MSH to force the shooter’s hand up higher on the grip. This simple change causes the muzzle higher in a natural point shooting stance and increased accuracy. The arched housing is one of the few changes made to the design and the result was the M1911A1 introduced in 1924. (Thank God they didn’t change the name to 1924!)

Attachment 3109

....^..M1911A1 W/Arched MSH

The reason we see few arched MSH's on today’s production 1911’s is due to the small horseback shooting demographic.

You’re shooting looks to be fine. I share this experience with you (and others) to show how an unknown problem was fixed by observant and helpful fellow gun owner.

The MSH change along with the purchase of the Wilson Combat 47DOXB 8rd mag (giving my pinky a place to park) has taken a “bad purchase” and turned it into my favorite CCW!

Attachment 3110

^ Defender W/ Arched MSH & Mag
I learned from reading some articles from Massad Ayoob and Col. Jeff Cooper about cramming the web of my hand into the beaver tail and and allowing my weak thumb to rest on the slide stop and provide most of the pressure. I also use Hogue Combats too, as the allow my fingers to fall into the proper position to facilitate that hold.

It works well for me. I've fired pistols with arched MSHs and they feel odd. If you look at most tuner guns, you'll see that they lack the MSH for that reason. It effectively alters the grip angle and feels wrong. I find it much harder to re/acquire the front sight with an arched MSH, even though I learned pistol marksmanship with an M9 and took it farther with the huge USP. It wasn't until I got the Kimber with the flat MSH and short sight radius that I was able to accurately place shots out past 15 yards.

Center mass double taps were easy with both pistols at ranges past 45 feet, but with the Kimber, I'm (was) able to quickly dump a magazine into an 8 inch target at 50 yards. I've been using Massad Ayoob's hold (as you described) with my own bastard rifle shooting stance. It works and it works well with a flat MSH. I just can't do it with an arched MSH pistol.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by matt g View Post
I learned from reading some articles from Massad Ayoob and Col. Jeff Cooper about cramming the web of my hand into the beaver tail and and allowing my weak thumb to rest on the slide stop and provide most of the pressure. I also use Hogue Combats too, as the allow my fingers to fall into the proper position to facilitate that hold.

It works well for me. I've fired pistols with arched MSHs and they feel odd. If you look at most tuner guns, you'll see that they lack the MSH for that reason. It effectively alters the grip angle and feels wrong. I find it much harder to re/acquire the front sight with an arched MSH, even though I learned pistol marksmanship with an M9 and took it farther with the huge USP. It wasn't until I got the Kimber with the flat MSH and short sight radius that I was able to accurately place shots out past 15 yards.

Center mass double taps were easy with both pistols at ranges past 45 feet, but with the Kimber, I'm (was) able to quickly dump a magazine into an 8 inch target at 50 yards. I've been using Massad Ayoob's hold (as you described) with my own bastard rifle shooting stance. It works and it works well with a flat MSH. I just can't do it with an arched MSH pistol.
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