N frame rubber grips - Hogue or Pachymar?


April 29, 2008, 08:17 AM
My N frame is beating up my hand! I want to replace the wood grips it came with and get a rubber recoil reducing one.

It looks like Midway has several choices, but few reviews. Which one makes shooting big bore more comfortable?

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April 29, 2008, 08:27 AM
Grip it tighter. It's a learned thing, but easy when you do it right.

My old M-29/6 in. doesn't hurt my hands nor my wife's even with full power 250 Gr. pills. It still carries those beautiful factory grips.

I'm a retired office worker. She was a 125# musician (a bit heavier today but the years to that to us!) when we started shooting it with WW factory ammo back in '67. Meaning that neither of us are brawny loggers impervious to pain, we just shoot it correctly and there is no problem, at least for the two of us!

April 29, 2008, 08:43 AM
Grips are a personnal preference. I like the hogue grips better, and find the pachymar grips too hard for my tastes. My buddy feels the exact opposite.

Either one should lessen the felt recoil.

April 29, 2008, 08:49 AM
The decelerators do a good job of absorbing recoil, for me. Even better, though, are the big-ole Pachmayr Presentation grips. They're big, but give a very solid grip spread over a bigger area of your hand than any other grip I've tried.

The hogues force me to grip lower on the revolver than I like--at least on guns up to N-frames.

April 29, 2008, 10:10 AM
IMO, it's entirely subjective and depends upon how it fits and feels in your hand.

All I can suggest is that you take your revolver to the shop or show with you (along with a properly sized screwdriver) and try both. At the very least that'd give you a good idea of how they actually suit your hand before you shell-out the coins for a set.

My hands are fairly large. My palms aren't particularly thick and my fingers are long. Neither of those two options works very well for me on my 625. Both are too thin and too short in the trigger reach to allow me my optimum 'natural' grip style for good DA shooting.

In case you find yourself in a similar boat I'd suggest giving Herrett's Stocks a look-see. They offer several models and styles of grips custom made to your personal hand pattern in a nice selection of optional woods, checkered or smooth and with or without finger grooves.

The prices are very reasonable, IMO, considering the superb workmanship and the benefits you get from having a grip that fits your hand perfectly.

April 29, 2008, 06:49 PM
Shrink - to really be helpful, we have to know the whole patient history. What specifically is the gun - model, barrel length, grip frame type, and type of wood grips on it? What loads are you shooting, and how are you holding (one hand, Weaver, Isocolese, etc.)? How big are your hands and are they thin, medium, or bear-paw meaty?

Sometimes rubber is the answer, sometimes not. But we're here to help you, or at least mislead you with trivial observations.

April 29, 2008, 09:52 PM
625JM (beautiful wood), and I was shooting 230 FMJ (no problem messing up an extractor with crummy leftover wolf!) My fingertips felt sort of numb and weird after 100 rounds. Luckily, the feeling came back (I was a little concerned for a day or so) I was shooting it two handed. I think my hands are medium size.

Standard S&W is the Hogue rubber, correct? I feel fine with those in a 686...

April 29, 2008, 09:59 PM
I wanted Pachmayer in the worst way for my Python, but all I could find was Hogue. And I like it just fine.

April 29, 2008, 11:34 PM
Shrink - yes, the Hogue monogrip is what the S&Ws have come with since the late 90s.

I have not been a fan of the JM grips for my own taste. I have read the strong suit of them is fast draw and hand placement, not comfort or long-term recoil control. But 100 rounds is a work out, for sure. In rubber, I find the Pachmayr "Gripper" to be the choice - it's firmer than the Hogue (better control) and not as squishy. It has the finger grooves, which I find allow more pressure distribution and surface area to both apply control and absorb recoil. In general, I know am a fan of wood - carefully selected. On N's, I use smooth finger-grooved wood combat grips with a round butt (like the JM). Wood DOES have elasticity to it, just not as much as rubber, of course. That helps it from "channeling" recoil as some rubber does, or does with stout rounds. I use wood on my 3" 44mag to good effect. I'd say try some "Grippers" or some wood ones, or both. S&W sells some aftermarket ones at a good price:


Other good makers to look at are Spegel, Ahrends, Altamont, Hogue (they have wood, too), or old factory combat grips from the 80s and 90s - though they are pricier as they are getting collectible (though worth it - they are nice grips).

Here's an old thread complaining and analyzing the JM grip, maybe it would help you:


April 30, 2008, 12:11 AM
Thanks. I did quite a bit of research before getting it (including that post) Hey, at least my grooved trigger is not so sharp (no blisters or blood gushing anywhere, so I guess the factory got some feedback and corrected themselves)

I may go for the hogues. At least it is easy to switch back and forth. It is just a range toy...

April 30, 2008, 01:13 AM
If you buy Hogue grips make sure you don't buy the one with the exposed backstrap. Since you are sensitive to recoil I think those will be unacceptable to you.

If you want comfortable wooden grips give Badger Grips (http://www.badgercustomgrips.com/smith_and_wesson_pistol_grips.php?page=1) a try. I bought a M640-1 J frame in .357 Magnum which came with a set of Rosewood Badger grips and was very surprised how comfortable they were to shoot, even with the heaviest .357 Magnum rounds. I went through over 100 rounds the first afternoon without a hint of pain in my hand. Since all their grips are of the same design I'm sure the N frame grips are equally good.

Mark F
April 30, 2008, 06:51 AM
I like the looks of wood, but I "prefer" the solid grip of Hogue Monogrips.

April 30, 2008, 11:10 AM
I have two K frames, Gripper on one, Hogue on the other. Both are good but the gripper absorbs more recoil.

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