Solution For Swenson Safeties Which Back Out

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Joshua M. Smith, May 5, 2008.

  1. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith G&G Enthusiast

    Some of you have heard me whining about my ambi safety backing out. As I'm a lefty, I need a good ambi safety, and the type I'd prefer to try, King's, is sold out. Kimber uses a method very similar to King's and may in fact be superior from the opinions I've read, but they're sold out too.

    Well, I figured maybe I was the only one to experience the problem with the Swenson style backing out. Not so. I got to studying the problem and there are a bunch of people who have experienced this. The majority are righties and they just fit a standard safety as a fix, but some are lefties, like myself, who find the ambi safety a bit more than just convenient.

    I got to really looking at why these safeties back out and discovered that the front of the right side paddle was acting as a fulcrum point.

    Ok... so the problem was identified. The obvious fix would be to fit something flat relatively close to the pivot point. While I was trying to figure out what would be robust enough for this task, I was also lamenting the fact that Kimber won't have their stock in for at least two weeks. I was thinking of their method of operation, and bingo!

    Seems all it takes is a reversed hammer pin.

    By reversing the hammer pin, the right side paddle is given something flat and elevated to ride against. This stabilizes the right side paddle and takes the fulcrum point out of the equation.

    While it's true that the right side paddle rides out a bit, it's also true that it rides at a constant distance from the frame. As well, as the safety backed out prior to this, it would begin to bind a bit. It no longer does that either.

    A concern may be breakage. I noted this on a cheaper Colt style safety I had - it snapped at the tongue/groove fitting under normal use - I've actually tried to break this STI through rough use and it won't even loosen. In fact, I just took a break from writing and flipped it 200 times. No slop or binding at all. I would imagine that any high quality safety, whether it be STI, Ed Brown, Wilson, McCormick, etc, would hold just fine.

    I still don't like the distance it rides from the frame, but in reality it's only a fraction of a millimeter away, and it does not impair function. It's an aesthetic preference.

    While I still plan to get a King's style when they become available, I'm much more comfortable depending on this safety now, as it's no longer random in its behavior.

    Josh <><