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What is purpose of 1911 grip safety?

5489 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  500 magnum nut
I like shooting 1911 type pistols and I understand the U.S. military told Browning to add the grip safety to all of the "new" pistols before entering service. I wish that they would get smart and do away with these annoying devices! What is the purpose of the grip safety?
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I thought that the grip safety actually preceeded the 'thumb safety', but I might have this mixed up.
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