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"Drop In" Beavertail Grip Safety

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by RVTECH, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I would appreciate comments from any and all who have used the aforementioned part such as from Wilson's Combat or any of the others. I want to put one on my A1 but I really do not want to modify the frame for the "fitted" style. Thanks.
     
  2. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    The drop in's do work, usually there is a gap between the back end of the frame and where the beavertail starts. My friend had a gun like this, and asked me to put a new one on (a fitted one). I think even with the drop-in version you still need a bobbed hammer.

    As far as I'm concerned the stock grip safety is the only thing john browning ever got wrong.

    Realistically, unless this is a collector gun (at which point, why are you shooting it?) I would recommend going with the fitted part. Doing the conversion is fairly easy, just get some 1/2" stock, put a screw between it that will fit on either side of the frame and use a sanding drum on a drill press. (DO NOT USE A GRINDER!!!!!) As you start to get close, switch to finer and finer paper, and when there's still just a little bit to go switch to a sharpening stone.

    When i did this to my buddy's gun, by the time I was done you couldn't even get a sheet of paper between the frame and the safety, and it moved like glass. Regardless of which method you use, you still need to do some fitting. The little extension that sticks out of the safety and holds the trigger forward (what makes it a grip safety) usually needs some tuning with a fine toothed file. You need to cut where the trigger extension sits, and need to make sure you clear off enough from the top so it doesn't bind any of the sear mechanisms.

    This is a pretty easy task on any of the series 70, or series 80 guns, but the series 90 guns use the grip safety to disengage the firing pin lock.
     
  3. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    be sure to unload and clear the weapon first.
    A very expericenced 45 guy didn't whenputting in a grip safety. It took over 2 years for he to fully recover from 3 huge joles in his leg.
     
  4. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    I've used Wilson's drop in beavertail, #429BG, at least 6 times on stock guns, that I didn't want to file fit a new beavertail to. It works fine. It just doesn't have the seamless look of a fitted beavertail. It leaves a gap between the frame and grip safety, which is necessary, to qualify it as a drop in. The tang that blocks the rear of the trigger still has to be filed a touch, to clear the trigger bow. I've sold a drop in to a guy, that didn't read the instructions that came back with it, and said it's not drop in. All grip safety trigger block tangs are oversized, so they have to be fit to the back of your trigger. Also you have to use a commander hammer, or bob your hammer, to work with the beavertail. I suggest the Wilson value line hammer, #455B. Might as well throw in a wilson trigger too, while you are at it. And a Nowlin match sear spring, and mainspring, to help the trigger pull. That's a good start. I buy all my parts from Brownell's, because I have an account, that gets a discount, but these are pretty common parts, you could get them from your favorite online place. I've got an extra of all these parts too, if you want me to supply them. Good luck, go slow, have fun shooting!!!
     
  5. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    First- what's the gun make/model?

    I also agree, the drop ins generally look completely off. Fitting one isn't too difficult, just go nice and slow!!
     
  6. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Nothing special, a Colt 1991 A1 so value is not an issue when considering the fitted style. And I would not have to hand fit it as a machinist friend of mine will mill the radius for me.
     
  7. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I find they can fit good, but that depends on the make of the 1911.

    Here's a Wilson on my Commander;


    lw2.jpg
     
  8. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    I think it's a Wilson on my 1991 A-1 too; I was able to get it in there and functioning just fine, as Huntpotter outlined. Just go slow and think twice, file once each time you adjust something. :)