3 - CT grips, 3 - J frames: a mini-comparison


March 1, 2008, 02:48 PM
For those of you wanting to see what the three different Crimson Trace Grips for Smith & Wesson J Frames look like, here's some images to see--

442/105, M&P340/405, and 640/305--side view, with ruler. (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612058)

(Okay--for the moment, I'll use URL links into the images until have images sorted out.)

The three CT grips are the LG-105 (on the 442), the LG-305 (on the 640), and the LG-405 (on the M&P 340). The LG 305 was the original one--a "compact grip" size, oversized a bit to provide a larger grip and some backstrap cushioning. The LG 405--a deluxe boot grip with a recoil pocket inserted came next, and the LG-105--a basic boot grip came last, a simple hard poly shell with no backstrap coverage. AFAICT, all three use the same laser module, but the prices vary widely: the LG-105 is readily available for $170.00, the LG-305 for about $216.00, and the LG-405 for about $240.00.

I'll add more commentary later--meanwhile, here's the other links:

3-grip comparison--left rear view: (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612063)

3-grip comparison--bottom view: (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612334)

442/105 and M&P340/405--stacked: (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612070)

442 and 340 - left rear: (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612180)

442 and 340 - bottom view: (http://www.pbase.com/jfh1945/image/93612211)

Other than the obvious cost differences, probably the next most important feature would be laser performance--and that's the same for all three models. Note that the 305 and 405 have master on-off switches in the grip bottom, and 105 does not--but, IMO, such an on-off switch is not needed. The next issue is probably recoil control--and the 405 is somewhat better for cushioning over the 305, but it also is a lot more concealable. The 105 provides no noticable cushioning, with its hard molded shell and no backgrap coverage.

Arguably, then, it comes down to which grip fits your hand and the mode of carry you use. I'm now completely comfortable shooting the M&P 340 with 38+P loads and working on conditioning to the Speer 357 Magnum 135-gr. Short Barrel loads (970-1000 fps, 135 gr. bullet). I have no issue shooting the 442 with the 38+P loads, but the 105 grip really isn't the right shape for my hand. I find it too small, whereas the 405 with its backstrap coverage fits me better. Although it feels completely different, the 305 is probably most comparable to shooting with the S&W supplied UM / Hogue compact grip.

FWIW, I carry the M&P340/405 package daily in a Mike square cut, front pocket location. The 442/105 is essentially the same difference, but the 640/305 configuration I consider not for pocket carry except with very large pockets.

OK, more later--

Jim H.

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March 2, 2008, 01:44 PM
Thanks for the comparison pics. I was wondering what the CT 105 looked like. I'll propably pick-up the 105 for pocket carry due to the smooth polymer grip, and no on/off swicth.

March 4, 2008, 02:14 PM
Thanks for the comparsion. You do good work.

I was thinking about adding the 305s to a pocket Centennial, but it sounds like it may be too much length for most pockets. Since I was going to purchase the $249 S&W version you saved me some serious $$. I'll stick with the 405s.

April 12, 2008, 10:40 AM

April 12, 2008, 01:23 PM
I have the 405's on my 642.

April 12, 2008, 01:36 PM
After posting my original comments, I realized that, with custom-fit boned leather holsters, it might be possible that the fit of the holster would contact the grip / momentary contact switch.

Be sure to check for that if you get one of those types of holsters.

October 21, 2009, 07:28 PM

October 21, 2009, 08:42 PM
Tale of 3 Grips.

Ok, post em up. Crimson Trace Thread. :D


642-2 Retrofitted with 405s.
340 with S&W logo 405s.

October 21, 2009, 08:55 PM
I have Crimson Trace grips on three handguns, and would not consider buying a handgun that CT did not make laser grips for. My first CT-equipped weapon was an S&W 637, bought seven years ago with the only grips then available -- the LG 305s. Given the recoil of that little monster, I would never consider getting the hard polymer 105s. I have often considered replacing the 305s with the 405 model (for that shock absorber), but always ended up living with the 305. I agree that the on/off switch is overkill.

Incidentally, the batteries in the model on my Browning Hi Power wear out much faster than those on my 637 and 686+, which last for years. The revolver models seem to be more efficient.

jfh, that was an excellent analysis.

Cordially, Jack

July 24, 2010, 09:38 PM
I hate to resurrect a new thread but am in the market for either a set of 105 or 405's for my M38. I wonder if anyone has an update that has posted before or any new feedback on these. I am currently using Uncle Mike grips with no backstrap and also I pocket carry.

July 24, 2010, 09:47 PM
camsdaddy: had I been able to edit it earlier (longer than the one-week window, IOW), I would have added the comment that the 105 grips were so small in diameter I could not reliabily operate the laser switch. My hands are proportional to my size, AFAIK (6'1", med. build).

Then, on the 405-side, I have 'peeled' the soft material from the front of the grips. That occurs because of the daily 18/24, 7/7 front pocket carry inside a Mika holster. That peeling issue is not enough for a free exchange under the warranty, but there is a specific contact cement that works well enough for about three-months-at-a-time.

The laser itself on the 405 remains fine, as it does the 305 (which is now mounted on the 640). I sold the 105s because of the size issue for me.

So, IMHO, if you are seriously considering the 105s, I would definitely try them for fit before I buy if you don't have smallish hands.

Jim H.

July 25, 2010, 06:44 AM
My hands are somewhat small. I am comfortable with the original wooden grips to give an idea but then that is what I grew up shooting of my dads. I havent really thought of that. I recently sold a set for a Glock 26 because it added thickness and forced me to roll my hand to the trigger even more. Thank you for your in depth review this is awesome.

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