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Old 09-02-2008, 02:57 PM   #1
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Southpaw pistols

I was on Charter Arms' website looking at the Southpaw model and saw this statement:

"Over the years, semi-automatic pistol companies have tried to accommodate lefties by adding ambidextrous features; however, only a couple moved the ejection port to the other side. "

Is anyone familiar with the pistols they are refering to?
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:05 PM   #2
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Sure... they are referring to the Randal left handed 1911 that was short lived a long time ago.

Marketing hype... nothing more

and this from a true southpaw who thinks most handguns were made for us
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Old 09-02-2008, 03:14 PM   #3
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Should have guessed it would be a 1911 platform, thank you for clearing that up.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Check out some of the Walthers.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Actually, the Randall wasn't a "Southpaw-ize", to my hand it was just a mirror-image of the same bastardization the Classic 1911 was. (Neither "pure left" nor "pure right", but features of both; of course, back then the assumption was you'd use right thumb for everything even if you had to twist the gun in your hand and thus weaken your grip. Before all you Brotherhood of St. John Moses types call for my scalp, remember I'm a 1911ista myself!)

How I would design a left-handed pistol (and plan to homebuild my 1911s):

1. Slide- and mag-release on left side. (Works via trigger-finger, enforcing off-trigger safety.)
2. Right-side thumb-safety. (Yes, this will require a dual-plunger-tube arrangement.)
3. Left-side ejection.
4. Catch-slot in mag cut across front, so it can go into a well with either left- or right-handed catch. (Recalling the old gunny-prank of handing someone a standard 1911 and portsider-mag here.)

Assuming the frame and slide would take the stresses, I've been thinking it'd be a simple design revision to just machine the slide-stop, safety and ejector holes on both sides of the frame, staking in a plug on the side opposite the safety, and make the relevant cuts for safety and slide-stop on the slide symmetrical as well; AFAIK, the only thing left "handing" a so-revised 1911 would be the mag-catch.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:30 AM   #6
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamondback
Assuming the frame and slide would take the stresses, I've been thinking it'd be a simple design revision to just machine the slide-stop, safety and ejector holes on both sides of the frame, staking in a plug on the side opposite the safety, and make the relevant cuts for safety and slide-stop on the slide symmetrical as well; AFAIK, the only thing left "handing" a so-revised 1911 would be the mag-catch.
The cuts in the frame for the ejector, safety and plunger tube are in an unstressed part of the frame, so that's not an issue. However, the idea that the frames could be plug-n-play won't wash. The sear and hammer pins are tapered and retained in the frame by the outer flange of the safety. If you move the entire safety to the right side, you have to drill your tapered pin holes from the other side too.

Somebody's making a mag catch that is ambidextrous.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Southpaw pistols

.

.


Back in the early-to-mid '90s, both Olympic Arms and Rocky Mountain Arms announced "true left-handed 1911 pistols;" one of them (OlyArms, I believe) said that they had acquired, and would be using, the original Randall fixtures.

Neither actually brought the southpaw pistols to market as I recollect.
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Old 09-03-2008, 10:50 AM   #8
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Re: Southpaw pistols

As a lefty it's better to have right side ejection. That's why Walther switched the ejection to the left side on their pistol. It's easier to clear a cartridge by turning your hand inward, if you are a lefty using a "righty" pistol. So that's why Walther switched to the other side, since the majority of people are right handed.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Here again, Dean, we meet the catches: 1. vaporware, and 2. Randall tooling, which to be a "true version" would need major redesign.

Mr. Moore, thanks for catching that glitch--so that means the safety's the "handing part".

Mr. Logusz, good point. (Thoughts about ejection-relocation by PM, to avoid threadjack.)

Of course, there is always the Unmentionable Option... ("Heckler & Koch. Because you suck, and we hate you, but we wouldn't mind separating you peasants from money you shouldn't have..." as THR-mod and FBMG owner Larry Correia might snark toward them.)
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:00 AM   #10
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Re: Southpaw pistols

IIRC, the Randall was called the Portsider

Also, I wouldn't be too impressed with "Randall tooling" since much of the Randall gun was outsourced to the same subcontractors who produced parts for AMT and Vega. (AMT and Vega often got Randall rejects).

Me- I was never impressed with the Randall.

The Walther P-38/P1 and Walther P5 both eject to the left, which a lefty may find pleasing.
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:35 PM   #11
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Re: Southpaw pistols

I've never had an issue with the ejection port or safety but the magazine & slide release positions are a different matter.
Maybe it's because I don't get to shoot semi-automatics that often (dumb UK Law) but I have to THINK about using them, rather than concentrating on the target - a pain in competition & potentially far worse in one of "those" situations.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:01 AM   #12
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Had a Randall 'Portsider' for awhile, was afraid to shoot it(Parts are kinda hard to come by and didn't feel like making them). Traded it for a left-hand 700 in 30-06 and some cash. Standard 1911s work just fine thankyouverymuch.
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:54 PM   #13
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Wasn't there a Curtis LeMay connection to Randall? Something seems to be triggering a memory there . . .

Mike
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:10 PM   #14
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Yup. LeMay was also a pistolero (and sometime tinkerer/gunsmith?); IIRC the chopped-down Randall Officer's model was based on a redesign LeMay had conceived for SAC aircrews but never progressed to "production/issue". Some quick Googling'll turn up more.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:49 AM   #15
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Re: Southpaw pistols

I don't think LeMay had any business connection but they did make a "LeMay" model.

There was a USAF General Officers pistols that was made at Lackland that was basically a cut down gun but I don't know whether it originalted with LeMay although it certainly could have.
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Old 09-22-2008, 01:44 PM   #16
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Re: Southpaw pistols

Charlie, Somewhere I have a book featuring Bob Day cutting down 45's. I might think he would have been from the pioneering days. I may have talked to you about him somewhere along the way.
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Old 09-22-2008, 03:08 PM   #17
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Re: Southpaw pistols

We surely may have,,, since he was my absolute hero I'll talk to anyone about him. I know that while I was there we didn't do cut downs. Bob retired in 72 and I honestly do not remember him ever mentioning doing that. Shortly after I left in 62 Bob became THE gunsmith for the big USAF teams and doubt that he would have had time for that.
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Old 09-22-2008, 04:00 PM   #18
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Re: Southpaw pistols

When I get time I'll look for the article. It's here somewhere. You were lucky to have worked with him. From what I'm told he was a genius.
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