January 2012

Handgun Grips for Self-Loading Pistols: We Compare 17 Brands

Changing the panels on your favorite pistol can improve your shooting, make your grip more comfortable, or simply upgrade your gunís cosmetics. Herewith, our advice on what to buy.

When it comes to choosing handgun grips, personal preference and pride of ownership play a large part in the decision. If you are choosing a handgun for serious use, efficiency is also an important consideration. The grips must fit properly, the angle of deflection must be maintained, and the grips should enhance your ability to control the handgun. It is possible to adversely affect the handling qualities of a handgun by using poorly made handgun grips.

In this report we look at semi-automatic handguns and the most popular grip choices. The majority tested were for the 1911 handgun types, followed by some for the Browning High Power, Ruger Standard Model, and others including the Heckler & Koch P7. There were handguns with removable grip panels, including the Beretta 92 and the CZ75 that are worth discussing, but the 1911 and the High Power are the handguns most commonly fitted with custom grips. There were few choices for other handguns, but we will touch lightly on some of these in this report because we know everyone does not own a 1911. As an example, what Pachmayr does for a 1911 it also will do for a High Power or a Beretta.

We attempted to test more than one grip from the major makers. In some cases, the custom grips had a long waiting list, and some were difficult to obtain. This is a consideration if you were wanting to upgrade the pistol right now. Supply was a greater concern than expense with some of our raters. While every grip or stock on the market may not be covered, we believe we have put together a comprehensive report that covers every major type of grip panel. In several cases, the grips have been subject to a long-term test, including a decade of constant use.

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