Single sided or ambi safety for competition

Discussion in 'Competition 1911's' started by Paul S, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. Paul S

    Paul S Member

    Jan 4, 2020
    I'm planning on getting back into competing after years and years away. Last time I did it was IDPA (only a few matches) with Gocks and Berettas. I'm full on into 1911s and 2011s now.

    Are ambi safeties a good thing for IDPA and USPSA or can you do what you need with a single sided safety?

    I'm planning on doing carry optics in IDPA with my Stacatto P Duo, and I'm looking at a single stack for both IDPA and USPSA use. Some companies seem to hate using ambi safeties on their guns (Colt, Dan Wesson, Nighthawk) and some (Springfield, STI) put them on everything.

    For a strictly competition gun is there a difference or is it personal preference?
  2. Joni Lynn

    Joni Lynn Professional Pest, NRA Patron member

    Dec 21, 2014
    I'd say it's personal preference. I'm left handed but I carry and do IDPA right handed and don't use an ambi safety. My reasons might not make sense but I'm pretty much ambidextrous so I don't think I give up much if anything by doing so.
    FWoo45, Kip and Paul S like this.

  3. ripdog28

    ripdog28 Fondle his Baer

    Nov 8, 2012
    Unless your a left handed shooter, Single sided. Ambi work great but also add one more potential point of failure to the gun.
    Fred_G and Paul S like this.
  4. jjfitch

    jjfitch Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2012
    USPSA/IDPA: As a right handed shooter, I don't recall ever being required to start a stage from the left hand with the safety engaged. Others may have a different experience or have the time to review the current rules.

    That being said I have shoot a lot of "outlaw" USPSA/IDPA style club matches and have been doing stage designs for years. I have had stages start from the low ready from the weak side. Because the firearm is pointed down range the firearm can be "off safe" with "the trigger finger along the frame outside the trigger guard". Because all stages were "revolver friendly" the firearm was switched to the strong side hand after 6 rounds to complete the stage.

    All the best in 2020,
    gps man, fieldgrade and Paul S like this.
  5. gearguywb

    gearguywb Member

    Jul 18, 2019
    Ambi safety on any 1911 for competition use (as long as they are allowed).

    Where the real issue comes in is the draw, transfer to weak hand. There are two ways to do this.

    1. If you don't have ambi's then you will need to draw the pistol like a normal draw movement, disengage the safety, then make the transfer.

    This is a tougher move as the transfer has to be done while the strong hand is still using all of the grip surface.

    2. With ambition safeties you can use what I call a lower 1/3rd draw. Draw the pistol with the thumb, index, and middle fingers around the grip. Bring it to the centerline of your body and make the transfer.

    This way there is plenty of room for the weak hand on the grip and after the transfer is completed, take the safety off, and leave the thumb on top of the safety.
    gaijin, dhearth and Paul S like this.
  6. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    ^^^This is also my approach to support hand “strings of fire” in my own IDPA stage design.

    I personally don't like Ambi safeties because I ride the safety pretty hard with my strong thumb and it jacks up my trigger finger knuckle into the bottom of the safety on the opposite side. Just too crowded for me.
    Greenrunner and Paul S like this.
  7. jcc7x7

    jcc7x7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2019
    On my competition guns I keep ambi's on them.
    One time about 10 years ago I had a single side on and clipped it with my left knuckle while changing hands. Went ambi for comp guns after that!
    Carry guns all have single sided gov't style on them, FWIW
  8. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    I don't think I've ever lost more than a tenth switching hands on the draw with a single side safety.
  9. dhearth

    dhearth New Member

    Mar 25, 2020
    if you don't have ambi safety, where do you put your thumb when you shoot week hand?
  10. Karsten

    Karsten Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    Years and years ago on in a galaxy far away we didn't have Ambi Safeties but then again folks were prone the chop up USGI Surplus 1911's and the start of Race guns began......

    I never saw the need back then....Then I bought a couple that had then and it was like I had joined the modern day....I had Ambi Safeties, double door frig, flat screen TV and Cable.

    These days the ones I still have with Ambi Safeties I would just as soon sale off or send them off and have them replaced...No place for and Ambi Safety on a Carry Gun and I did fine without them in IPSC.

  11. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
  12. Liggett

    Liggett Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2018
    same place I put it shooting strong hand with a "safe action" pistol. On top of my other thumb.
  13. gaijin

    gaijin Well-Known Member

    May 18, 2015
    Ambi on a competition gun.
    wrmiller likes this.
  14. jcc7x7

    jcc7x7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2019
    On the top edge of the grip.
    wrmiller likes this.
  15. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Personal choice but if you shoot a stage where both strong hand and weak hand shooting is required, ambi makes life easier. All my comp guns had them.
    wrmiller likes this.
  16. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I have had ambi safeties on all of my 1911/2011 pistols. Competition or otherwise.

    As stages started getting bigger, with more aggressive 'obstacles' in my way, I started switching back and forth between shooting right or left handed while running a stage. I also made a habit of switching on my safety if I had to move more than a few steps between shooting positions. Why? IMO it's safer and it costs me zero time. So I needed to be able to engage/disengage the safety while shooting left or right handed, with one or both hands.

    But that's just me.

    One time I had several shooters go to great lengths after shooting a stage to point out how I was loosing time switching hands and engaging/disengaging the safety between shooting positions. I asked them what class they shot in, and I think they were B or A class shooters. I told them that they were entitled to their opinions, but I just shot FTD on that stage. And walked off in search of more intelligent people to talk to. ;)
    Bmlewis5117 likes this.
  17. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    Where in the world are you shooting that they're letting people move in between positions without the safety on ?
  18. jcc7x7

    jcc7x7 Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2019
    Uspsa and idpa both.
    Finger out of trigger guard and gun pointed down range
    Bmlewis5117 likes this.
  19. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2017
    On the old IPSC matches that was an immediate D/Q.

    If that's the way it is in IDPA, I'll get after the ROs. I jumped the NRA safety officers at an FN match for people wandering around in an unsafe manner with their ARs.
  20. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016

    Edit: Actually, I started out just like everyone else, until I watched a man trip and fall while running towards the next shooting station. While he was falling he lost his grip (or intentionally let go) on the pistol and it went flying into the dirt. With the safety off and the pistol pointed at about 3 O'clock. Fortunately, it didn't go off, but you should have seen the folks in that direction scrambling.

    I never moved without my safety on after that.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2020

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