Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Make it Fit

ImageOne of the major requirements for a pistol is that it fit your hands properly, which means the pistol is easy to operate – shooting accurately and performing manipulations efficiently. Since fighting is an art, there is science involved but the application is definitely an art, you may need to modify your weapons, especially pistols, to fit you. Some sandpaper, files, and a trusty high-speed rotary tool with plenty of attachments can take you a long way to making a pistol truly yours.

A lot of people are timid when it comes to working on their pistol, and there are some who definitely should not be allowed near any type tools. If every time you attempt to work with tools it goes badly, then just acknowledge this and find a buddy who can help you out. But with a little bit of skill and the proper tools, which are mandatory, it’s a simple job to reshape a contour or smooth off a sharp edge. We’re not talking about a precise task like a trigger job; all we want is to work on the externals of the weapon. Also I wouldn’t be too worried about what it looks like. My main focus is on function.

My “twins,” stainless S&W Model 65’s, have seen a lot of work on their outsides. The front of the trigger guards have been narrowed slightly using a sanding drum and polishing wheels in my rotary tool. This allows me to get my finger on the trigger efficiently. I polished the edges of the triggers so they have a radius and feel smooth on the finger. A cutting wheel removed the hammer spurs, and with lots of sanding and polishing they ended up looking nice. I spent a lot of time with a belt sander and hand sanding getting the Ahrends’ stocks to feel just right in my hands.

The 1911 I carry most often, which was built by Ted Yost in the mid 90’s, saw a lot of sanding and filing on sharp edges. Every time I would finish a class I hit the bench to remove the areas that wore on my hands after sending a few thousand rounds downrange. Now I can run it for days and never get a worn or raw spot on my hands.

On the internet there are literally thousands of videos on “how-to” almost anything. Just remember it’s the ‘net, so research and confirm anything before trying it for real. A test pistol is good to have. Prior to working on the “twins” I bought an old blued Model 10 to practice on.

Don’t be afraid of performing modifications to your handgun to make it fit you. For your weapon to feel like an extension of you body, and since each individual is unique, you’ll need to make your pistol fit. The same goes for all your gear. Everything you use should support your mission, not hinder it.

June 14, 2012 - Posted by | Defensive Mindset, General Training

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