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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you have been to the Waco museum you've seen that the Rangers liked the 1911. If you ever wondered just how early they took a liking to the Colt this might help.

Ugly said:
"In 1910 a member of Company C requested that the quartermaster ask the Colt company the price of a 16 gauge automatic shotgun with the shortest barrel you make- he wants it for night work and close range. Two years later Ranger Paul McAlister was using a Colt .45 automatic. And by 1913, The assistant quarter master general was "Recommending strongly to all Texas Rangers that they arm themselves with the new Government Model Colt Automatic Caliber .45"
Pretty good for a gun that wasn't available until 1912!

From the book, "The Texas Rangers and the Mexican Revolution" by Charles H. Harris, Louis R. Sadler
Published 2004

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
mtidasnubby said:
And for those that say it doesn't matter, the assistant quarter master general
didn't say get a 1911. He used the correct terminology as should still be done.
Some how 107 years later folks seem to recognize the term "1911" just fine when describing the "Government Model Colt Automatic". Like a gazzilion folks make them these days and they are all a "1911", may be not a Colt how ever. Same reason most folks just call a Colt Single action revolver a SAA (aka) "Single Action Army" which is actually only correct for a .45. Although Colt stamps SINGLE ACTION ARMY on every caliber they make these days.


 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I thought the same thing when I first saw this picture and another that is similar. I suspect if you tied the lace with the square knot as the original owner did to the inside of what ever hand you wanted to shoot with it wouldn't be much of a bother. Three wraps of lace on a 1911's smooth grip frame actually gives you some great purchase for your middle finger. Surprisingly so. Almost like the old Safari Arms finger grove addition. When it is all said it works pretty good in either hand for me.

Hot and humid Texas weather might make the addition a real attribute :) No need for checkering or serrations.

Can see it working the same way here...

 

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Interesting way to tie down the grip safety. Would seem to me to be in the way of establishing a good grip.
That’s exactly why it’s tied. It’s tied because the owner/user was worried about NOT getting a good grip in a dire situation and his gun not working.
They tied them down so no matter what grip they had on them it would still work.
 

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Those tied down safeties remind me that not everything that comes out of Texas is a good idea, in fact it's just plain stupid. I noticed one of those guns has the hammer partially cocked. I guess resting on the 1/4 cock notch. Not what JMB ever intended.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Electricmo said:
Those tied down safeties remind me that not everything that comes out of Texas is a good idea, in fact it's just plain stupid. I noticed one of those guns has the hammer partially cocked. I guess resting on the 1/4 cock notch. Not what JMB ever intended.
Might well be for some folks. Others not so much. I don't own a 1911 that isn't physically pinned. Taught LEO, military and civilians, even been State Certified in a couple of them to do it, wrestled around on the ground with a few chuckle heads and put a passel of folks in jail. Even lucky enough to have won several State matches all using the same 1911s with a pinned grip safety.

Story is Browning shot a hundred rounds a day for a good many years with a 45 Auto that had no external safety, none...grip or thumb safety. Only safety on his 45 autos early on was a half cock notch. Aint no 1/4 cock notch on any Browning design that I am aware of. Browning's last auto design (finished after his death but his design) was the Browning HP...no grip safety there either. Might want to be kinda cautious before attempting to channel JMB again :)

He was a big fish for us. Yep...the beavertail is pinned and those are real prison tats :) We wanted photos..and never noticed him fingering the jacket to get at the gun! Stupid. And could just as easily have been a deadly lack of attention there.

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You are correct on the 1/2 cock notch. Physical error on my part. Pin your safety if you like but I won't be doing it. The government wanted the grip safety due to Calvary on horses. The French wanted a totally different gun. JMB died before completion of the HP and was finished by Sieve. Please forgive my lack of knowledge about JMB and I thank you so much for informing me of your vast knowledge of the man and his guns. I'm never to old to learn something.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you need a pinned grip safety, you'll know it. Obviously most don't. No harm no foul. But one might wonder why some do it. I doubt there was a Texas Ranger that made the effort for no reason. Never thought of it as a fad.

Funny when this discussion starts with someone saying something similar to your comments. Always makes me think of a Glock. Now there is a "safe" gun! :)
 

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In the late old west Mexican Revolution era- some of the Texas Rangers that took to the 1911 carried it condition 2, round chambered, hammer at half cock, drew the gun and cocked it on the draw like a SAA. That's what they were used to doing hey- it worked for them.

Charlie Miller- the nortorious coffee pot ventilator, was one who used that type of carry.



I tried it at the range with a "series 70's" format S/A 1911 worked ok with a exposed trigger guard holster not so good with a covered trigger guard holster- would not do it real world but a person who practiced that way would be pretty fast.

I also tried the leather thong grip safty tie down- that did not work for me at all, uncomfortable awkward feeling for me.



https://classic.gunauction.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=6170651

Here is another Texas Ranger 1911 circa 1917?






" "Tom Connally"-- on the slide. Connally enlisted in the Texas Rangers in 1917, and served with Company K in Laredo, Tx. The gun is in fine condition, showing only normal wear, with no flaking, or rust. Function and lock-up are excellent. The barrel is a later one marked "colt 45" on the hood, and the bore is excellent. The grips are genuine pearl, with red stones in the carved bull's eyes. The mag is a nickel plated correct one. With the gun comes a holster marked "Shelton-Payne Arms Co. El Paso". Shelton-Payne was a famous outfitter at the time, including the officer's rigs for Pershing during the Pancho Villa expedition. This holster is a military holster, modified a bit by Connally for civilian use with rawhide strap. The holster is in excellent condition. The wear patterns on the gun indicate that this rig has been together for many decades. With the rig comes copies of documents from the Ranger Museum in Waco, Tx. Connally's Oath, swearing in papers, commission, and a photo of Connally are included."
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Using the half cock notch on a loaded chamber would give a 1911 shooter eight rounds of 45 ammo. Big advantage to 5 or 6 in a SAA for a shooting scrape. Compared to a SAA the 1911 has a huge surface area on the sear and hammer notch.....no question mechanically it was a lot safer than the half cock on a SAA.

I suspect the old Texas Rangers thumb cocked their 1911s from the 1/2 cock notch, similar technique they used on their SAAs prior. Proven as exceptionally fast as a technique for the first shot. Be worth asking Jim Martin about that.

The Israeli Mossad and their Army still train and are exceptionally fast starting with nothing in the chamber and racking the slide on the presentation. The British SAS ran HPs for years loaded, cocked and the thumb safety off. Running no safety on a HP.

Most popular LE and military handgun in the world is a Glock. The "safe" trigger has to be the best sales job in firearms history :)
 

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Was not a Ranger, was a U.S.Marine. For many years we were not allowed to carry weapons loaded unless we were in actual combat. Then in the late 1980's the Marine Corps Security Force Battalions were set up. I was an firearms instructor for them. We were trained by instructors, who had been trained by Jeff Cooper, at Gunsite. We carried Condition 1 all the time when armed, as did the entire Battalion when under arms. No grip safety's were pinned down in any way shape or forum. We found that when students had trouble making the grip safety, it was because they had an improper grip on the pistol. By teaching them how to grip the weapon properly we alleviated the problem. Had some pretty heated discussions with some of the more senior students over their way of gripping the weapon. Once they got the grip right their way of thinking improved as did their scores.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
USMC69, thank you for your service and the time you spent there. A "thank you" doesn't really cover it.

I get it. I wouldn't suggest anyone ever deactivate a safety...including a 1911's grip safety. One clearly knows whether you need to do that or not to protect yourself.

Suspect you'll find this humorous or at least interesting. I spent some time at Gunsite over the years. Met the Col. Trained and competed with many of the Col.'s and later Gunsite instructors off site as well, up till 2000 or so. Col. Cooper and a good many of his accolades pinned their grip safeties and/or modified (or simply removed) on their guns so the gun was sure to fire on presentation. Common mod in the early days of "practical pistol" and IPSC. A quick Internet search shows it is still a fairly common modification for a 1911.

You'll likely not find a beavertail that wasn't pinned on the National and World IPSC champion's gun from '76 till the early '90s if not latter. No question IPSC isn't gun fighting though, it is just a game. USPSA and IPSA still allow for a deactivated grip safety on a 1911. IDPA does not.

FWIW I found it isn't generally the shooters grip that fails to de-activate the grip safety but hand size. The hand that typically won't disengage a grip safety of any size or style on a regular basis? That is a large and ex-large, skinny hand with some serious grip strength behind them. But that said given enough time most any hand can disengage a 1911s grip safety consistantly.

Two Series 80 Colt 1911s from 30 years ago....both pinned.

A .45 acp



J frame and 1911 both in 38 Super.
 
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