Wilson Group Gripper


Patrick Gookin
August 6, 2012, 02:50 AM
Hey all, I've got an old 1911 that rattles like crazy when you shake it. If I remember correctly, there's .013" horizontal and .006" vertical play in the slide to frame fit. The barrel is very poorly fit and the barrel bushing isn't fitted (hand loose). I know a Wilson group gripper would be a band-aid, but would it work?

1911Tuner informed me that it would be best to swage the frame rails to tighten up the fit. However, it is my dad's pistol and it has a lot of sentimental value to him, so I don't want to alter the frame or slide in any way.

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August 6, 2012, 05:08 AM
Back in the 80s i picked up a shotout Balista Molina on the cheap. The barrel was so pitted the bullet needed a 4wheel drive just to reach the muzzle ,we won't even start on the slide rattle.
I dropped in a group gripper (no fitting needed) and my average group shrank by 3 to4 inches.
The lookup was so solid that my next two 1911s had them too.

August 6, 2012, 05:59 AM
The Group Gripper (sometimes called the Dwyer Group Gripper) helped make my father's old Colt Combat Commander into an accurate shooter. I combined it with a Wilson match-grade bushing and he now has a solid gun. Otherwise we were looking at a huge price for a rebarrel.

The one thing I will caution you on is that you sometimes have to do some fitting to get it to work right. I tried installing it on my new Rock Island Armory 1911 and it had issues where the slide would not fully go into battery. That gun wound up going back to the factory, though. It couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. They replaced it, and the new one shoots fine.

F-111 John
August 6, 2012, 06:56 AM
Remeber that the the sights are on the slide, so it is only the barrel to slide lockup that affects accuracy. If the barrel floats around, then the point of aim given by the slide mounted sights will not be true with the bore axis.

Slide to frame fit only affects functionality. (Unless of course the slide rattles around so much you can't hold a steady sight picture!)

August 6, 2012, 06:23 PM
That's not correct, F-111 John. If the whole assembly can move, it will introduce inaccuracy. If the slide can move slightly on the frame, it will shift when firing. A gun is only as good as its firing platform, and that forms part of that platform. It's less important than the slide lockup, but it certainly is part of the equation.

August 6, 2012, 10:09 PM
I run Group Grippers on full length guide rods on both my USPSA match guns. That plus a fitted bushing makes them shoot better than I can hold.

August 6, 2012, 11:10 PM
It would be best to weld up the rails which would go largely unnoticed insofar as appearance. A new EGW bushing could help the accuracy but a poorly fit barrel can damage the slide's lug shoulders and if it does your sentimental heirloom will reside in a shadowbox.

A lot goes in to making a 1911 right and while the Group Gripper may aid accuracy for the time being you might consider saving for the future. When my father's firearms someday become mine I have a few things in mind and the green light has already been given. They will be sympathetic rather than radical.

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