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When I took my CCW class the instructor had a .45. It was either a Kimber or a Springfield and it had a part below the dovetail on the backstrap that was pushed in when you gripped the gun. What is the purpose of that? Safety? Recoil?
 

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Ausmerican.
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That would be a grip safety on a 1911.
 

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It's called a 'grip safety'. It is a feature of the original 1911 designed my John Moses Browning.

It prevents the gun from firing unless the user's hand has a 'grip' on the gun and the safety is depressed.

It is sometimes seen on other pistols not limited to .45acp in caliber.
 

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The two previous posters stole my thunder! This feature is one that attracts me considerably to the 1911 to begin with. If not engaged by a decent grip of the fire arm it shouldnt fire if its properly operating. This is a great feature to have on a gun that you carry for a living like I do or if you conceal carry. The more I use a 1911 the more I am convinced its truely the working professionals gun of choice. Yeah, I went that far out on a limb and said that!
 

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Ausmerican.
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Also, many 1911s have a raised area at the base of the grip safety (I.e. Ruger 1911) for a more positive grip for shooters who have their shooting hand high on the grip under the beavertail.
 

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The two previous posters stole my thunder! This feature is one that attracts me considerably to the 1911 to begin with. If not engaged by a decent grip of the fire arm it shouldnt fire if its properly operating. This is a great feature to have on a gun that you carry for a living like I do or if you conceal carry. The more I use a 1911 the more I am convinced its truely the working professionals gun of choice. Yeah, I went that far out on a limb and said that!
I am in complete agreement with you. I love a lot of different guns, but when my life depends on it, I still prefer a 1911 over anything else.
 
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