10-8 Performance Scoop Grip Panels: Impervious to most chemicals and cleanable with bleach to get rid of hazardous materials after duty uses, these grips are made from G10, which is ideal for use under harsh, real-world conditions. The thumb scoop helps your thumb reach the magazine release, and word on the street is that these are a great choice for shooters with smaller hands.
Altamont Premier Super Rosewood Classic: These striking grips feature deep grooves for aesthetics and traction as well as Altamont’s Spanish Diamond checkering, where small diamonds are each topped with even smaller diamonds to enhanced you grip from any direction to tame recoil. The grips also sport golden horse insets for striking looks.
Archangel AA108 Aluminum Mag Well Grips: Archangel Manufacturing offers a number of aftermarket stocks and accessories for rifles, and now the company is offering grip panels for the 1911, including these lightweight aluminum panels, which come with an integral magazine well to speed up reloads. If you don’t want the magazine well, more traditional aluminum grips are available.
Chip McCormick Rosewood Slim Carry: This established maker of aftermarket 1911 magazines also offers several accessories for the 1911, including grips in two thicknesses: regular and Slim Carry grips. Made of rosewood, they are cut and finished to provide a solid, traditional, double-diamond surface while being 40-percent thinner to accommodate shooters with shorter fingers or smaller hands.
Crimson Trace LG-401G Lasergrips: Using the smallest green laser diode available, the LG-401G emits a powerful green beam yet still provides over two hours of run time on four #2016 batteries. The LG-401G also utilizes Crimson Trace’s Instinctive Activation technology: When the pistol is held in a normal firing grip, the laser sight is activated. A master on/off switch also allows the shooter to completely power down the unit for range training without the laser.
Eagle Kirinite Green Pearl Grips: Kirinite is an Eagle Grips-exclusive material that provides a solid grip without the need for checkering or other abrasive surfaces because “the more Kirinite is polished, the more it grabs and bonds to the hand.” These particular Kirinite grip panels are green pearl in color, and they’re hand-polished after being CNC machined. They are available with or without the ambidextrous safety cut, and for frames with and without mag wells.
Ed Brown Double-Diamond Laminate Grips: Ed Brown uses its own grip panels and other high-end aftermarket panels on the company’s custom 1911s, and it offers many of those panels as upgrade options by themselves. The company’s classic-looking Double Diamond Laminate panels are actually made from G10 laminate—not wood—for their added durability. Ed Brown also offers other G10 options, including many slim models.
Ergo Warrior Grips: Constructed of soft rubber over a rigid polymer base, these grips are designed to offer a tacky, high-traction surface for your hand to grip your 1911. The deep grooves help enhance your grip and defeat moisture and other slippery liquids. The Warrior Grips are currently available in black and Flat Dark Earth.
FAB Defense Mag Well Grip: These replacement grips come with an integral mag well that fits perfectly beneath your Government-sized 1911’s grip frame. Install the black polymer panels, which feature the classic stippling and double-diamond design, and the magazine well is automatically aligned and held firmly in place.
Hogue OverMolded Rubber Grips: Hogue is known for producing some of the highest-quality grips for rifles and pistols, including hardwood and aluminum 1911 grips. But the company’s OverMolded Rubber Grips are its most well known because they remain as durable and useful as ever. The finger grooves give you a repeatable hold every time, and the rubber surface, with its pebbled texturing, promotes a com-fortable and extremely strong grasp.
Kimber Smooth Stipple/Scallop Grips: Kimber offers 1911 grips made from Micarta, wood laminate, aluminum, even dyed giraffe bone. The sizes run the gamut of 1911 configurations. Particularly striking are Kimber’s black and silver “Smooth Stipple/Scallop” grips, which feature a somewhat unique approach to surface texturing: the combination of smooth sections with “smooth stippling” sections, where the wood laminate is stippled and scalloped in a fine way, presents good traction without being abrasive during long range sessions.
Magpul 1911 MOE Grip Panels: Magpul offers these very straightforward grips in five colors: matte black, Flat Dark Earth, foliage green, stealth gray, OD green and bright pink. A generous relief is formed in the left grip so you can manipulate the magazine release more easily with your shooting hand, and the grips feature a diamond-shaped cross-section to prevent twisting in your hand.
Nighthawk Cocobolo Finger Groove Pin Point: To go with its high-end custom pistols, Nighthawk has developed a full line of custom grips that incorporate cocobolo hardwood, aluminum and G10 materials to fit the full range of 1911 frames. The designs reflect a range of styles—some with thumb scoops for reaching the mag release more easily, others with various textures. The Cocobolo Finger Groove Pin Point grips have checkering that corresponds to your fingers and smooth surfaces elsewhere.
Pachmayr American Legend Laminate Grips: Pachmayr’s Decelerator grips are famous, and the company’s other aftermarket grips have achieved widespread adoption over the years. Many incorporate rubber for decelerating the recoil impulse, with a host of models featuring a molded rubber pad mated to a wood or wood laminate panel to provide style, strength and traction. The American Legend Laminate grips are smooth where your thumb manipulates the safety, with textured, friction-enhancing rubber where your fingers wrap around the pistol.
Pearce PG1911-1 Finger Groove Inserts: Pearce Grips makes soft rubber grips for a range of defensive handguns, along with extended magazine baseplates that effectively lengthen the grip on subcompacts. Most intriguingly, the company offers rubber Finger Groove Inserts for 1911 shooters who want to add anti-slip finger grooves to their gun without altering their existing grips in any way. What look like grips panels actually mount underneath your existing grip panels, securing those finger grooves right where you want them.
Raasco Pinstripe Grips: Raasco’s grips are made from traditional and exotic hardwoods as well as phenolic laminate, a high-strength composite. These diverse materials allow for designs that offer a range of grip textures and aesthetics, including graphics like the Pinstripe series developed in tandem with Hatford Pinstriping & Lettering. Their grips can be cut for ambidextrous safeties at your request. The company also has a line of slim grip panels as well.
Recover Tactical 1911 Grip & Rail System: This radical grip reflects a complete re-envisioning of the role of aftermarket grips: It provides an accessory rail for 1911s that ship with a “slick” dust cover in the classic style. By completely replacing the existing grips, this option minimizes thickness while adding a combat-style triggerguard surface, aggressive texturing on the frontstrap and a durable accessory rail.
Sig Sauer 1911 Rosewood Grips: Sig Sauer’s high-end 1911 pistols come dressed in the company’s wood grips, which are also available for other full-sized 1911s. These rosewood grips fit both full-sized and Commander models, and they feature smooth wood where your thumb transits to operate the safety as well as diamond checkering with a large diamond design for the actual grip surface.
Valkyrie Dynamics Cobra Skeleton Grips: These aggressively machined grips are dramatic and rather unique: The holes go all the way through to the magazine well. The lower edges are beveled to aid concealability, and the grips are available with or without an ambidextrous safety cut. Hardened stainless steel options exist, and Valkyrie’s other grips include similarly radically CNC-machined options.
VZ 320 Carbon Fiber Orange Grips: VZ Grips for the 1911 come in a huge variety of colors and materials, from traditional double-diamond designs in wood to these carbon-fiber grips in blue, white, orange and more. Many are available with a thumb scoop for enhanced handling.
Wicked Grips: Wicked Grips has a very full line of aftermarket wood, Damascus steel and aluminum grips, with designs that range from reinterpretations of classic grips to graphic-designed aluminum grips. Generally around $90, the graphics line includes some stunning artwork like that of these “Wing” grips. The company also offers customized grip screws for those who want to get very detailed about their customization.
Wilson Combat G10 Starburst Grips: Wilson Combat’s distinctive “Starburst” pattern radiates from the rear of these grip panels with ever-widening lands and grooves that very comfortably and securely interact with the palm of your shooting hand. The micro-textured surface features tiny indentations that help the grips perform despite moisture, oil and other fluids, and the matte black color works well aesthetically with just about any finish.
The grip panels on your 1911 provide that crucial connection point between your hands and your firearm. The right panels fit your hand, fit your gun, fit your environmental needs and fit your lifestyle. Maybe they will even include an accessory, like a magazine well or laser. The choice is yours—and the market is full of choices. Here is a collection of best aftermarket grips from some of the best manufacturers in the industry. While we tried to cover every price point, make sure you dig a little deeper into each of these companies to find an amazing range of prices and options to perfectly suit your needs.
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For more information about the aftermarket grips featured in the gallery above, please visit the following sites.
10-8 Performance Scoop Grip Panels
Altamont Premier Super Rosewood Classic
Archangel AA108 Aluminum Mag Well Grips
Chip McCormick Rosewood Slim Carry
Crimson Trace LG-401G Lasergrips
Eagle Kirinite Green Pearl Grips
Ed Brown Double-Diamond Laminate Grips
Ergo Warrior Grips
FAB Defense Mag Well Grip
Hogue OverMolded Rubber Grips
Kimber Smooth Stipple/Scallop Grips
Magpul 1911 MOE Grip Panels
Nighthawk Cocobolo Finger Groove Pin Point
Pachmayr American Legend Laminate Grips
Pearce PG1911-1 Finger Groove Inserts
Raasco Pinstripe Grips
Recover Tactical 1911 Grip & Rail System
Sig Sauer 1911 Rosewood Grips
Valkyrie Dynamics Cobra Skeleton Grips
VZ 320 Carbon Fiber Orange Grips
Wilson Combat G10 Starburst Grips
This article was originally published in “America’s Handgun Model 1911” 2017. To order a copy, visit outdoorgroupstore.com.
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