Well, after my experience at Shootrite a few weekends ago I came home with a whole new perspective on fighting with a handgun. Tiger left us with some modifications he suggests and why. So, I took my full size 1911 and “tiger-ized” it. The only part I did not change was the safety. Tiger uses and recommends a low mount style safety but I installed one on my gun and it didn’t work for me. The safety was so low that my right thumb dropped too low on the frame and was competing for the same space with my left thumb with regards to my grip. So back to the factory safety where my thumb rides on top just above where my left thumb rests. Below is a full picture of the gun.
Right away you can see some of the changes. Perhaps the most prominent are the grip panels. They are magpul’s new 1911 grips. I liked the contrats of the black color as well as the rough texture. Also the generous relief on the left panel allowing for better access to the magazine release is really a nice feature.
While I didn’t adopt the low mount safety I did opt to break the edge on the factory safety as this caused me some discomfort on the range clicking the safety on and off repeatedly. You can see here I rounded it slightly and then polished it smooth.
Next, I installed the short trigger as Tiger recommends. I have long fingers so it may not have been as necessary for me but I still found it to be more comfortable and easier to control the trigger press with the short trigger.
Moving on, I took a file to the Novak rear sight and cut it into the notch shape seen below so they would be able to be used to rack the pistol one handed if the need arose.
Next, I ground down the exposed portion of the opposite side of the slide release. I had never heard of this being a problem but one of our classmates kept indexing his finger on this protrusion and by pushing ever so slightly on the pin he would cause the piece to move and the gun to lock up. Tiger then showed us his gun which had this part ground flat so as to not create this issue. (The black line is not really on the gun, it’s blocking out the serial number.)
One change not visible in the pictures is the “softening” I did to the checkering on the backstrap of the pistol. The factory checkering was deep, prominent and very sharp and after two days of manipulating the gun that checkering wore my hand out! Needless to say it got some much needed attention and it is now a lot more comfortable.
Now some of you may be wondering why the gun has no manufacturing marks on it. Well this was all me and had nothing to do with Tiger’s suggestions. I don’t point that out to sing my own praises but more so to absolve Tiger of the idea if it doesn’t make sense! Truthfully, I’m not entirely sure why I did it but if I think the reason is two fold. This gun is a Ruger and while I like Ruger firearms and own several, in this case they were a bit obnoxious with their markings. They used some kind of etching that had a raised surface and I didn’t much care for it.
However, perhaps more importantly was a psychological reason. I chose to disassociate myself from brand with this gun. This gun is a fighting tool not a show piece. The removal of the brand suggests to me, in my head, that this gun serves a singular purpose with no attachments or assumptions. I know it’s really just in my head but I don’t want to get hung up on the idea that this is my Ruger or my Kimber or whatever and I have to baby it or keep it from getting scratched, etc.
You want a “Sunday-go-to-meeting gun” or a “BBQ” gun as they call them in Texas? That’s fine, more power to ya. I’ll probably have one, who knows? But this gun is a fighting/training tool so no special love. No identity.
Anyway, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.