By Mark Hampton
Want to add a custom touch to your revolver? How about a grip made specifically for your hand? We handgunners are built in all different shapes and sizes — so goes the size or configurations of our hands. What works well for one person may or may not be suited for others. You will definitely shoot better with a grip fitting your hands properly.
Want to help tame brutal recoil induced by big-bore revolvers? No problem — there are grips specifically designed to help. Some folks just want a grip to impress their friends, and there’s nothing wrong there. We can always dress up our sixgun for the Saturday evening barbeque with a touch of bling. Grips purposely created for target shooting or hunting are readily available today. Chances are pretty good, if you want it, it’s out there.
Recently my wife Karen mentioned how well she liked the new Hogue grips on her S&W Model 37. Simply changing the grips allowed her to shoot this little gun much more accurately. Now she has gained a new level of confidence. Since 1968, Hogue has been manufacturing grips for most popular guns. Today they offer a wide variety of designs in materials like rubber, fancy hard wood and polymer — even custom grip textures.
I’ve been using their soft over-molded rubber grips on a custom Ruger Blackhawk and love it. My Ruger Super Redhawk wears their Tamer grips and dampens the heaviest recoil. They’ve even introduced laser-enhanced grips. If you’re shooting a Springfield, Dan Wesson, or many others — including .22 rimfire pistols — Hogue probably makes a grip to enhance your shooting.
Left are custom laminates. Right: T/C rubber grips.
I first learned about Altamount grips when shopping around for GP-100 shoes. If you’re looking for replacement grips for your GP, Altamount has got you covered. I really fell in love with their half-moon checkered grips for Ruger’s Single-Six too. Actually I’m putting these on a Single-Seven in .32 H&R Mag./327 Fed. They have a bunch of neat choices. All design, machining and finishing are done in-house, along with every component used in the process of making grips. Altamont supplies a wide selection of grips for many makes and models including Colt, SIG, S&W, Ruger, Taurus, Walther and others.
For longer than I can remember, Pachmayr grips have always been on my Ruger Super Blackhawks, plus a few T/Cs. These rubber grips ease the sting out of brutal recoil when shooting heavy loads. They have several versions, including Gripper, Decelerator, and Presentation grips for an array of handguns including Ruger, S&W and T/C’s. Pachmayr has been in this business for many years and are virtually icons in the industry.
Our good friends at Eagle Grips offer a wide range of materials and styles, from exotic woods and ivory to synthetics. I’m fond of their Evil Roy Gunfighter grips for Ruger’s single-actions. If you thoroughly want to impress your friends — check out their new Kirinite variations in some really cool colors — especially for the 1911. They even have a blue Kirinite for Ruger’s Single-Six. For just about everything in Ruger, S&W, 1911’s and more, Eagle has been satisfying shooters with variety, including sambar stag and elk grips.
For those Ruger Mark II, and Mark III Target fans, Volquartsen makes a great laminate target grip with finger grooves, heel and thumb rest. These grips even make me a better shooter, allowing a relaxed, steadier hold. Lately I’ve been using their rubber Volthane Target grips on a custom Mark III. This comfortable, molded rubber grip also comes with thumb rest and finger grooves plus an extended bolt release.
Freedom Arms enthusiasts can’t seem to get enough of those ebony micarta grips. Some prefer the ivory micarta and either one works well depending on individual tastes. Of course the standard winewood grips are charming too. These grips are eye-pleasing, with superb fit and finish. And heavy recoil will not be abrasive to the hand. While FA provides some attractive wood, in my humble opinion, those micarta grips are a thing of beauty.
For years I’ve been shooting some really nice, custom laminates on T/C’s. These custom grips come with finger grooves and abbreviated thumb rests. The finger grooves make you grip the gun in the same fashion for every shot, which is essential for consistent accuracy. But for heavy recoil, the T/C rubber grips — also with finger grooves — are tops. These comfortable rubber grips simply take the bite out of abusive recoil. They aren’t too bad looking either, and contrast nicely with a stainless frame.
Got a handgun with grips looking like they’ve been cut out of an old fence post? There’s an easy fix. If it makes you a better shooter, what more could you ask?