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  1. #1
    awmp is offline Junior Member
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    tried and tried to shoot 1911 but still...

    I have several nice 1911s and I can't seem to get them to fire reliably. The problem is not the pistols but my thumb positions. My left thumb keeps hitting the slide release and causing the pistol not to stay open.
    When I think about it, no problems, but during competition or fast shooting it happens all the time.
    Anyone else have the same problem?
    Solutions?
    Would love to have the 1911 be my carry pistol but with the issues I have but I don't feel confident enough to make it my CCW. Ideas ?

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by awmp View Post
    I have several nice 1911s and I can't seem to get them to fire reliably. The problem is not the pistols but my thumb positions. My left thumb keeps hitting the slide release and causing the pistol not to stay open.
    When I think about it, no problems, but during competition or fast shooting it happens all the time.
    Anyone else have the same problem?
    Solutions?
    Would love to have the 1911 be my carry pistol but with the issues I have but I don't feel confident enough to make it my CCW. Ideas ?
    In a proper two-hand hold, your left thumb should be far forward of the slide lock.
    Where you have it, you not only risk interfering with the slide lock's function, you also may destructively interfere with your trigger finger.
    Bring your left wrist her forward, so that your left hand's fingertips overlap your right hand's knuckles. That will force you to place your left thumb on the frame well forward of the slide-lock lever.
    It may also help to wrap your left index finger around the front of the triggerguard somewhat.

  3. #3
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    Actually, I have the opposite problem. after shooting my 1911s with a "thumbs high" grip, I try to shoot my sig, and I bump the slide stop, sometimes catching the slide open prematurely.

    I have to retrain my thumbs to stay down and low when shooting the Sig

  4. #4
    mikld's Avatar
    mikld is offline Junior Member
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    Pics or drawings of "proper" 1911 hold? I don't have the same prob., but would like to see what's recommended for this problem.

  5. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikld View Post
    Pics or drawings of "proper" 1911 hold? I don't have the same prob., but would like to see what's recommended for this problem.
    You'll have to wait for that. I'm supposed to be preparing an article on that subject for Concealed Carry Magazine, but I'm having trouble getting through to the editor about it. Thus, it may not happen.

  6. #6
    ichiban's Avatar
    ichiban is offline Junior Member
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    Here's a video of Todd Jarrett showing how it's done.
    YouTube - Patriot Survival Series - Pistol Techniques

  7. #7
    etaoin is offline Junior Member
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    A common technique is to ride your right thumb on top of the slide release. Works for me. That also gets your right hand a little more around the gun for better gun-forearm-elbow alignment.

  8. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by etaoin View Post
    A common technique is to ride your right thumb on top of the slide release...
    Is your last name "Shrdlu"?

    Man, you have a much longer thumb than I have.
    Didn't you mean "ride your right thumb on top of the safety"?

    If you "ride your right thumb on top of the slide release," you will keep the slide from locking open on an empty magazine, which will complicate your reload and slow it down, someday perhaps fatally.
    Not a good idea.
    Don't do it.

    The barrel (or slide) of the pistol should make a straight-line extension of your forearm, and your whole arm should be locked. You can't do this if your thumb is on the slide release (unless your hand is built like King Kong's).
    Your thumb can be on top of the safety lever, holding it down forcefully. This adds downward pressure to control upward recoil force. I do this; but some people don't.
    Your body should be turned at about 45 degrees to the target, resting comfortably on slightly-spread feet. Your weak-side shoulder and hip should be in front, your gripping-hand shoulder and hip to the rear.
    Your weak-side hand should cover your gripping hand, perhaps with your weak-side forefinger wrapped around the trigger guard. Your weak-side thumb should rest on the frame, below the slide, as far forward as you can get it.
    Your weak-side arm should be bent at the elbow, elbow pointing straight down, and your weak-side hand should be pulling back on the pistol while your gripping-hand's arm pushes forward. (On the backs of comic books, this used to be called "Dynamic Tension.")
    Bring the sights up to your eye level, not your head down to the sights.

    Now you know how to hold a pistol.

    Press the trigger straight back with a slow, even pressure. Don't "pull" the trigger, and don't jerk it either. Don't apply any side pressure at all.
    When you hear the "BANG!" don't move. Hold that pose. Count to five, slowly. That's called "follow through."
    Now start all over again.
    And again.
    And so on...

  9. #9
    etaoin is offline Junior Member
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    my mistake

    Yes, I shot off that response too quickly. The right thumb on top of the safety. The side of my left thumb seems to land against the forward part of the slide release, about where the rod goes through, missing the slide release pushy-thingy.

    BTW, good catch on the etaoin/shrdlu thing. Not many people know that. I'm an old Linotype operator.

  10. #10
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by etaoin View Post
    Yes, I shot off that response too quickly. The right thumb on top of the safety. The side of my left thumb seems to land against the forward part of the slide release, about where the rod goes through, missing the slide release pushy-thingy.

    BTW, good catch on the etaoin/shrdlu thing. Not many people know that. I'm an old Linotype operator.
    Try placing your weak-side thumb her enough forward, so that it does not touch the slide release at all. Rotate your weak-side hand further around your gripping hand to do this.
    The pleasing results will be a firmer grip and greater recoil control, and assuredly better slide-lock function.

    If you are "an old Linotype operator," you must be pretty old, indeed. I'm 72, and I remember when the NY Times was still using Linotypes. The keyboard was much better arranged than that of typewriters, "etaoinshrdlu" being the most-used letters, in order of frequency.
    I hope you saved up a whole lot of type slugs: they make great bullets. I've cleaned out a Hell-box or two, to salvage the stuff.

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