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I had the opportunity this weekend to try a waved MSH.

My first reaction out of the package was that this thing is very well crafted. The lines are cut flawlessly. It is a very solid, nice looking piece.

Before I even put it on my gun, I pushed the MSH into my palm with the same approximate pressure that I would grip it with, if it were installed on the gun. I then tried to rotate the housing. It did not move. The traction in incredible. I then installed it and tried the same test, this time by twisting the gun. The MSH held firm and did not slip or rotate in my hand.

The first 50 rds. I fired were simply to determine in there were any readily apparent negatives to the feel of the waved housing. I didn't find any - it felt very comfortable. I was using my Combat Commander which has always been very "torquey" in my hand. It likes to try to twist itself out of my grip when rapid firing with the potent loads I like.

The next 250 rds. were more formal. I shot hammers, double taps and squeeze-the-trigger-as-fast-as-you-can-and-empty-the-mag drills. The gun did not slip or twist at all. While I did not time any splits, my seat-of-the-pants feel was that the intervals were marginally quicker. The gun seemed to settle back on target quicker in rapid fire, as there was none of the usual counter-clockwise twist that I became used to and compensated for previously.

I still prefer checkering on the frontstrap, but I would imagine that a gun with waves front and back would be incredible, as the difference with just the MSH is very apparent.

I had always preferred a vertically serrated MSH, (my Commander has the factory serrated MSH) as it allowed my hand to slide up the back of the gun and into the grip safety very easily and quickly when presenting from holster. I was concerned that the wave would make this more difficult and slower - it did not. The waves still allow you to slide your hand quickly into a good shooting grip, but once your hand tightens, the gun becomes one with your palm.

My only real dilemma was how good the waves would look cosmetically with the hard, crisp lines of the 1911 platform. It did take me a while to adjust to the curves every time I looked down and saw them staring up at me. The more I looked at them, the more they seemed at home on the gun however. Now I don't think they look out of place at all.

An interesting note is that the waved MSH is available for left and right hand shooters. The difference being in the way the waves are oriented on the housing. They flow in the opposite direction if you are a lefty.

I highly recommend this little gem.



(Photo from Dane's archive)
 

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The Left and Right Hand issue:

One of the great things about designing something is final testing of a product. Did all your ideas come together to create a product with a noticable improvement in performance? One of the big questions is, have we addressed the needs of all potential users as well.

In the photo above you can see the first MSH that was machined. It worked as expected and gripped very well. When a competent person does the testing (i.e. Dane), that's when you can fine tune a product to near perfection. Such was the case with the MSH and the right and left handed issue.

As you look at the MSH in the above photo, notice how the WAVE starts at the grip safety AND in which direction the first curve goes. The MSH in the above photo is optimal for a left handed shooter. Let me explain.

If you are a right handed shooted, the first outward going curve in the picture above is about 5/8" below the start of the MSH under the grip frame. If, on the other hand, the first outward going curve was right under the grip safety it would catch the meaty part of your palm under the thumb better. If the picture above were reversed you could see that for a left handed shooter the outward curve is the first one in the series.

What does all this mean since the original part worked so well in the first place? It's simply a matter of fine tuning the design to get the maximum advantage from the WAVE pattern. A small point to be sure, but with custom parts, it's the small points that set them apart from everything else. In this case we have a bit more, a rather radical new treatment that has been optimized for the orientation of the shooter.

If your a high thumbs shooter you probably want that first wave in the correct position since that part of your palm is raised a bit. Shooters that take a lower hold on the gun (thumbs down) benefit as well since it just starts the gripping that much higher up in the palm.

By the way, there is no left and right hand issue with the front strap since there is so much gripping surface there to begin with it makes it a totally moot point.

It's little things like this that make a gun feel "right" in your hand. It's also things like this that sets the truly great pistolsmiths apart from the also rans. No one will ever know all the little things that makes a Burns gun feel "right", but now you know at least one of them.


_________________
if it flies it dies, if it runs it's done

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter Zahn on 2001-10-28 14:46 ]</font>
 
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