I am sort of a sucker for the 1911 and whenever a new part or an attempt at a new design comes out I find myself having to try it. It was no different when I aw that the engineers at Wilson Combat had come up with a new ambidextrous thumb safety. I quickly ordered one and 8 long days later the box arrived. Now, I know you’re saying to yourself what is so different and what in the world would make this particular part worth $142.95. Well I asked myself that same question and the answer was if it is a ambidextrous 1911 thumb safety that actually works, then I am on board.
Wilson offers a few models using the same design. The one I have is the model 620BP. It is a blue, wide lever, bulletproof part They also offer it in stainless and with tactical levers as well. All are based on the same design whereas the hammer pin is replaced with a new style pin and a machine screw combination. The machine screw is screwed in place during the fitting allowing the slave side of the lever to remain tight to the frame. I believe this will also eliminate that old problem of the pin style safeties where the pin wears over time and the slave lever becomes loose. The opposite side of the hammer pin has a flat head screw slot but I found there was no need to use it since the machine screw threaded in very easily. I would have liked to have seen a hex head wrench for the tiny hex head on the machine screw, but I found a suitable alternative on the end of an old sight tool from some company or another.
What truly sets this safety apart from the others is the way the axel is designed. Older style designs use a “tab A into Slot B” mentality that has never really held up entirely well. This new design is all about creating solid surface contact. The tab and slot system still exists but it is doubled on each side of the axel. The axel shafts protrude from both sides and are half circles designed to meet when they are assembled in the pistol. All in all it makes for a very strong design. Only time will tell how well these will hold up, but based on what I have seen so far they are bound to do better than their predecessors.
Fit was an easy as one would expect form a high quality part. A few passes with a file followed by a light touch up with a stone and it was ready to assemble. Setting the hex head screw in place and getting it tightened to the correct level took a little trial and error. Once I found that location I slide the slave side of the safety into the gun and through the grip safety. Sliding the lever over the screw head and rotating it onto the keyway cut into the back of the safety accomplish the final connection on the right side. The control side of the safety is now slid into place and you are done.
I did not have any trouble fitting the safety, as it was nearly a drop in part. The levers clear the grips nicely. I’ll likely order another safety with tactical levers for my carry gun. The wide levers will be excellent for an open carry or competition gun. I have to say that I am optimistic. I do believe it is necessary to have ambidextrous controls on a fighting gun whenever possible. Perhaps this will enable the 1911 to be closer to that goal for me.