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Grip Panel Legality


Sarge
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This weekend a shooter had a 1911 that he had modified the left grip panel with a ledge for resting his thumb on. He asked if it was legal. And added that it fits the box. I said I didn’t know but would look it up. Another knowledgeable CRO said it definitely legal because it’s a grip panel and you can do what you want with a grip panel. 
  I see nothing in the rules addressing grip panel mods etc. Is this one of those, “the rules don’t say you can’t” situations? I would think it would be covered in D5 but it isn’t.

  is this in a ruling or something?

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25 minutes ago, broadside72 said:

If for SS then I'd say not legal

 

D-5 22 Prohibited modifications and features
External modifications or features such as weights or devices to control or reduce recoil (such as, but not limited to, thumb rests or components which could be used as such).

So all safety's other than the original GI style are illegal ?

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Even the original style thinner thumb safety could be used to help mitigate recoil but the original intent of that component was a safety, so I think that changing that part out is okay. Just like an extended beavertail grip safety, the original design helps mitigate recoil some and any replacement continues to perform the original function of grip safety and recoil management. 

 

But no part of the 1911 grips are intended to be a thumb rest for recoil mitigation so adding a set that does it seems illegal to me.

But what do I know, they allow gas pedals in prod now so.....

Edited by broadside72
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1 hour ago, broadside72 said:

If for SS then I'd say not legal

 

D-5 22 Prohibited modifications and features
External modifications or features such as weights or devices to control or reduce recoil (such as, but not limited to, thumb rests or components which could be used as such).

when we say 'thumb rest', i generally understand it to mean something for the support hand them. Lots of grips on various guns have some kind of contour for the strong hand thumb, but i don't think it does anything to control or reduce recoil. As a CRO, I would tend to not care at all about what you do with a 1911 grip to make it more comfortable for you.

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Sarge, do you have a picture? Was there any shaping done to it? Did he mention why he wanted the grip panel that way? You said “ledge”, in your opinion, could it be used any at all for recoil mitigation? Was it a Government length model? If it fits the box, there can’t be much length to it but just want to be sure of all the specifics. Thanks.

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3 hours ago, Gary Stevens said:

Legal, IMO.

 

1 hour ago, gng4life said:

Sarge, do you have a picture? NO.

Was there any shaping done to it?  YES. IMAGINE A RAISED “7” MOLDED ONTO THE LEFT GRIP.

Did he mention why he wanted the grip panel that way? NO.

You said “ledge”, in your opinion, could it be used any at all for recoil mitigation? I BELIEVE IT COULD. I THINK IT WAS INTENDED FOR HIS STRONG HAND FINGERS TO CONTACT THE LEADING EDGE.
Was it a Government length model? YES

If it fits the box, there can’t be much length to it but just want to be sure of all the specifics. IT WAS RAISED PRETTY SUBSTANTIALLY.

Again, I’m not arguing with any specific viewpoint. I just don’t like having to answer with, “I don’t know but I’ll look it up”, only to not find an answer in the book.

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Gray area - the rules in D5 define the spirit of the rule, which leaves it open for interpretation. 

 

Common sense would be that if it's not one of the "bullseye ledges" or something that can be held with support-hand thumb in a meaningful way (subjective again), it should be legal. If it looks like an abomination and not a 1911 (subjective again), it's not. Hence the gray area until/unless there is an official ruling...

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Gray area - the rules in D5 define the spirit of the rule, which leaves it open for interpretation. 
 
Common sense would be that if it's not one of the "bullseye ledges" or something that can be held with support-hand thumb in a meaningful way (subjective again), it should be legal. If it looks like an abomination and not a 1911 (subjective again), it's not. Hence the gray area until/unless there is an official ruling...
Rules do not have a "Spirit"

--
Pat Jones
Firestone CO
USPSA #A79592

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10 hours ago, PatJones said:

Rules do not have a "Spirit"

This one does - it’s not definitive, it doesn’t define the terms it uses, it gives examples, it couldn’t be in any law since it’s too vague...

 

We either call it a “spirit,” or we call it “arbitrary.”

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Okay, so suppose I have grips made out of solid pewter or brass; they look pretty. They're not like screwing on an SJC frame weight to my Glock, but they're are heavier than your average wood panels. Legal or not? If they're illegal, if I have grips with steel inserts in them (ala Pachmyars) or are checkered steel and weigh more than wood, what then? What would be the weight limit on grips?

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6 hours ago, mpolans said:

Okay, so suppose I have grips made out of solid pewter or brass; they look pretty. They're not like screwing on an SJC frame weight to my Glock, but they're are heavier than your average wood panels. Legal or not? If they're illegal, if I have grips with steel inserts in them (ala Pachmyars) or are checkered steel and weigh more than wood, what then? What would be the weight limit on grips?

Gun weight max allowed is 43oz

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4 hours ago, motosapiens said:

yes, no one GAF how much your grips weigh. Make them out of plutonium if you want. but you may have to mill some weight out of the rest of the gun.

 

Sure, but if I can take it out of the slide (reciprocating mass) and add it to non-reciprocating mass (grip/frame) and keep the total weight within the limit, I'd think it might still be advantageous.

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There was an NROI question of the month on this last September.

 

Production and CO explicitly say that you can't modify grips to create a thumb rest. SS doesn't outright say you can't modify grips, just that you can't modify components or add devices for recoil reduction. I don't know that grips like that would count—it seems like the ledge isn't well-placed for recoil reduction.

 

The Single Stack rules are, however, frustratingly vague compared to Prod/CO on what modifications are and aren't allowed.

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