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Thread: Selecting new grips for function and style

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Selecting new grips for function and style

    I just bought myself a new Colt 1911 in 9mm, and since this gun has been around for a while, there our thousands of ways to accessorize!! It can make a woman like me crazy with all the choices!

    Although the grips that came with the gun have grown on me, they are a little large for my hands and I have difficulty reaching the mag release with my thumb. So, I have 4 things I am looking for in new grips:

    1) A good fit for my smaller hands.
    2) A good non-slip texture to accommodate bad weather and competition conditions.
    3) Quality - they will last a while and not crack if I bump them.
    4) Something stylish, that complements the look of the gun, not too commando.

    Just for fun, I created a style grid for my gun. Some of the grip websites themselves have their own automated "dress up" application where you can try grips on a gun that is the same color as yours, ie. Alumagrips. Some of my grip clips are a little rough, I did not want to spend all day perfecting them, I just wanted a good enough idea. What was interesting, is the ones that I thought would look good on my gun, don't. And visa versa.

    Below is a compilation of some of the grips I have been looking at, and trying to weed through them based on the 4 fit items I mention above:



    Last edited by Blackhawkgirl; June 4th, 2018 at 06:18 AM.
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    If you want smaller grips, consider the thin or slim grips offered by several manufacturers. If you go this route you will probably need to change the grip bushings and screws. Not a big deal, but an additional expense.

    As far as stylish, that is really a matter of personal taste. Whatever floats your boat!

    So, rugged with a texture you like? Consider G-10 material. They come in a variety of textures and texture patterns, and in colors from plain black to quite garish. (See "whatever floats your boat" above.)

    Here are links to a couple of starting points: https://vzgrips.com/pistol-grips/1911 http://lokgrips.com/gun-grips/1911

    John W in SC

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John W in SC View Post
    If you want smaller grips, consider the thin or slim grips offered by several manufacturers. If you go this route you will probably need to change the grip bushings and screws. Not a big deal, but an additional expense.

    As far as stylish, that is really a matter of personal taste. Whatever floats your boat!

    So, rugged with a texture you like? Consider G-10 material. They come in a variety of textures and texture patterns, and in colors from plain black to quite garish. (See "whatever floats your boat" above.)

    Here are links to a couple of starting points: https://vzgrips.com/pistol-grips/1911 http://lokgrips.com/gun-grips/1911

    John W in SC
    Yes, I am looking at VZ, I think the bottom lower left is a pink and black VZ, with an extended thumb groove option. It is a contender, however, it appears that I either have to choose the extended thumb groove with regular thickness grips, or the thin grips with normal thumb groove. In other words, no extended thumb groove on the thin grips.

    I am also looking at Wilson Combat thin (#2), very seriously, in black cherry. There is no thumb groove for the mag release on Wilson thins, though. However, I have never been disappointed with Wilson AND if I do not like them, I can mostly likely resell them very quickly.
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    Asst. Administrator ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawkgirl View Post
    1) A good fit for my smaller hands.
    2) A good non-slip texture to accommodate bad weather and competition conditions.
    3) Quality - they will last a while and not crack if I bump them.
    4) Something stylish, that complements the look of the gun, not too commando.
    Had much the same goal back when I first acquired a CZ P-01 pistol.

    While I like a noticeable amount of palm swell, my smaller hands don't easily accommodate typical grip panels that take up far too much space along the fore and aft edges of the panels. And so, I had a set of custom grips created, with a custom shape that accommodated both of those needs.

    A checkered hardwood (say, ~18-20lpi or so) will be plenty grippy. The "right" hardwood will last a darned long time and be practically impervious to damp, bugs, bumping or other damage.

    My own choice, back then: Gaboon ebony, 18 LPI checkering, custom palm swell and shaping of edges @ Omega Custom Grips. Classy addition to a quality sidearm. Not too "tactical/camo" looking. The "right" wood can be elegant, barbeque or understated, as well as durable and functional.

    IMO, I'd select something like that, with a rough checkering, over any other grip option if you're most interested in a very good "grippy" hold on the sidearm, rain or shine, messy hands or not. I don't think there's anything that quite compares. I've done some IPSC/IDPA competitions where I fell briefly into the mud (on a rainy day), but the grippy nature of those panels was flawless.

    ^ That vendor is just one of many, but he does great work. Wide choice of woods, easy accommodation of custom shaping. Focuses on CZs, but I believe he also does 1911s as well.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; June 4th, 2018 at 09:39 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Senior Member SGB's Avatar
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    I'm partial to VZ grips, they're made here in Tallahassee. Excellent quality and customer service.

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    NUTS! Gen. McAuliffe Stumpkiller's Avatar
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    G-10 has a good texture to it. On a .45 most of the hand "wear" is the backstrap. After that it's grip thickness.

    THE ADMIRAL likes a set of Hogue wrap-around on "her" Officer's Model that are very thin but have finger grooves at the front-strap. Ugly as a plate of worms but they do their job.

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    Senior Member hackberry's Avatar
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    I put some Longmire style stag grips on my Colt 1911 because I thought his looked so cool...well, call it a weakness, I guess. It isn't my EDC.

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Thank you for the suggestions! Keep 'em coming! I will also add to the list Altamonte, Wilson Combat, and various makers on Etsy and Midway.
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    If fitting the 1911 to the size of your hand, here are a couple more ideas:

    If the reach to the mag release seems too long, you can install an extended release. The style I have in mind extends back toward your hand. It may or may not fit in your holster. They are easy to install, once you understand that the screw on a 1911 mag release is a cam and not a screw. See https://www.brownells.com/handgun-pa....aspx?psize=96

    If the reach to the face of the tigger seems too long, you can install a shorter trigger. Several on the market, but they may require fitting.

    Finally, if you go with a G-10 grip, particularly with more than one color fiber, sometimes the fibers down in the grooves turn a lighter, odd color. To bring back the original color you can brush "something" into the grooves and let it dry. I've seen people use everything from WD-40 to gun oil, and I've experimented with ArmorAll and Eezox, among others. I've had the best results with Eezox, although it does take many days to dry. (I keep an extra set of grips on hand so that I can have a set out of service.)

    Just more things to consider!

    John W in SC

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    Senior Member Blackhawkgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John W in SC View Post
    If fitting the 1911 to the size of your hand, here are a couple more ideas:

    If the reach to the mag release seems too long, you can install an extended release. The style I have in mind extends back toward your hand. It may or may not fit in your holster. They are easy to install, once you understand that the screw on a 1911 mag release is a cam and not a screw. See https://www.brownells.com/handgun-pa....aspx?psize=96

    If the reach to the face of the tigger seems too long, you can install a shorter trigger. Several on the market, but they may require fitting.

    Finally, if you go with a G-10 grip, particularly with more than one color fiber, sometimes the fibers down in the grooves turn a lighter, odd color. To bring back the original color you can brush "something" into the grooves and let it dry. I've seen people use everything from WD-40 to gun oil, and I've experimented with ArmorAll and Eezox, among others. I've had the best results with Eezox, although it does take many days to dry. (I keep an extra set of grips on hand so that I can have a set out of service.)

    Just more things to consider!

    John W in SC
    Good info! I think I am okay on the trigger reach. I just checked again this morning. It is right at the point where the trigger neatly falls automatically on the center of my finger pad. It would be difficult to push my finger on to the trigger up to the first joint crease.

    Darn, I just put in an order to Wilson Combat! I am going to see how the new grips work first, then, I can add the mag release (and another Wilson order) later if necessary.
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    Senior Member RightsEroding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackhawkgirl View Post
    Good info! I think I am okay on the trigger reach. I just checked again this morning. It is right at the point where the trigger neatly falls automatically on the center of my finger pad. It would be difficult to push my finger on to the trigger up to the first joint crease.

    Darn, I just put in an order to Wilson Combat! I am going to see how the new grips work first, then, I can add the mag release (and another Wilson order) later if necessary.
    Nice to hear you mention trigger reach.

    I was amazed at how much the physical shape of the grip can change one's accuracy.

    I had a good friend make me several wood grips of various depth & width. I was not concerned with texture at the time; only hand geometry.

    After many rounds at the range, I settled in and had the grip custom made with the texture I wanted.
    They are affixed proudly to my Walther PPQ-M2.

    It is a little expensive to go this route; but if my life is dependent on accuracy, I want every advantage I can get.
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