A grip safety
is a passive safety
device that is most notably seen
on the m1911 pistol
. It is a spring loaded safety which, if not disengaged
gripping the pistol
properly, prevents the sear
from moving and dropping the hammer
even if the trigger is pulled.
The original design of Sam Colt for his autoloading pistol actually did not have this grip safety as he saw it as unnecessary and just needlessly added to the complexity of the pistol. It was the government that insisted that a passive safety device be incorporated into the design of the pistol that was to become the m1911. I, on the other hand, tend to agree with good old Sam but for better or for worse the grip safety has become integral to the legendary m1911 design and manufacture.
If you will study the design of the m1911 grip safety, you will very soon realize how it is almost impossible to have an unintended discharge , assuming one practices proper gun handling, with or without it.
There are aftermarket parts that completely disables the grip safety by installing a custom made back strap extension. With this in place the 1911 feels more like a Browning Hi Power.