Polymer Pistols - Comfortable Grips?


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Jaywalker
March 18, 2013, 09:46 AM
I put a high value on comfortable grips of semi-autos, and my two favorite are my Browning Hi-Power and my Kahr K-9. Both of these are steel, and I'm thinking about buying a plastic pistol when the current crush settles down, but I haven't looked at them much and could use some suggestions.

Those of you with experience with several poly pistols, how do you rate the grip comfort (for medium-sized hands) of the pistols you've looked at? (As an example, I respect the Glock for its design, but I'd never buy one - the grip doesn't feel right to me.)

For the few I've handled, my list looks like this:

1. Smith M&P Full-Sized
2. Walther P99 Full-Sized
3. Walther P99 Compact
4. Smith M&P Compact (Didn't care for the extended magazine feel)
5. Glock - every model I've tried

Your list and suggestions?

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The_Armed_Therapist
March 18, 2013, 12:44 PM
Walthers are great for comfort, at least the ones that I've tried. The M&Ps also have more of a rubber grip which is nice for comfort; but for me, even the smallest of the three grips is a little big.

Have you tried Gen 4 Glock grips? Gens 1-3 aren't particularly comfortable, but Gen 4s are an improvement.

mesinge2
March 18, 2013, 12:52 PM
My list for poly guns:

1. S&W's M&P Series
2. Ruger SR Series
3. SA's XD Series
4. SA's XDm Series (I find the grip texture more aggressive than the standard XD line)
5. CZ's Poly Line
6. Walther's Poly Line
7. Glock gen4 and Short frame
8. Glock - other models

mljdeckard
March 18, 2013, 12:54 PM
For Glocks and the Springfield XD I have, I find a slip-on Hogue grip does a lot to inprove comfort and control.

Billy Shears
March 18, 2013, 01:08 PM
The Steyr has about the most comfortable grips of any of the polymer pistols I've shot. Although I haven't fired it yet, I've handled the new Ruger SR45, and it has a very comfortable grip. Ruger managed to make it not appreciably bigger than the 9mm/.40S&W version. The Caracal is supposed to have a very comfortable grip for small-handed shooters, but the first problem is even finding one. The second problem is two safety recalls, one for a drop-safety problem, and the other for one recorded instance of catastrophic slide failure that resulted in a serious injury to the shooter when the broken rear portion of the slide catapulted back into the shooter's face. I would cross the Caracal off my list until those problems are resolved.

mesinge2
March 18, 2013, 01:16 PM
For Glocks and the Springfield XD I have, I find a slip-on Hogue grip does a lot to inprove comfort and control.
I may have to try that because I do want a G20 but the 'feel' always turns me off.

PO2Hammer
March 18, 2013, 03:47 PM
I like the XD grip, similar to the BHP in shape.
Also curious about the Walther PPQ and the Beretta PX4.
If I had more money I would be looking at the HK P30 or HK45.

Living in a cold climate I've learned that polymer grips are nice in the winter, as long as they don't get slippery.

blackrussian
March 18, 2013, 04:05 PM
Steyr M A1 series
Caracal
CZ SP01 Phantom
S&W M&P

Coop45
March 18, 2013, 04:09 PM
I have a Kahr P45 that feels good.

Jaywalker
March 18, 2013, 05:21 PM
Coop, I'm considering a Kahr P-series, but don't much care for the grip. It doesn't rule it out, but I'd sure like to hear about the things I haven't tried.

mesinge2, thanks - nice list.

PO2Hammer, I hadn't considered the XD grip as being similar to the BHP. I'll try it. Problems with Springfield models in the past have led me away from the XD, but I expect they work okay.

Billy and others, I'll look for a Steyr.

Therapist, nope, never looked at the Gen 4. I'll look at them.

blackrussian, I'd like to like the CZ, but while I can make my fingers stronger, I can't make them longer, so they're no-go for me.

Anything else?

TechTarred
March 18, 2013, 05:59 PM
I handled quite a few of the above mentioned pistols while shopping for mine. Most comfortable grip, for me, was one I didn't see mentioned - Sig SP2022.

Sent from my LG-E970 using Tapatalk 2

blackrussian
March 18, 2013, 06:39 PM
Where in TX are you, btw?

Autolycus
March 18, 2013, 06:41 PM
I shoot Glocks right now. The more you use the gun, the more comfortable you will get. As far as comfortable guns go, my list would look similar to yours. I would suggest checking out the HK P2000, HK P30, and the HK45. They are very nice and comfortable guns as well.

HKGuns
March 18, 2013, 07:28 PM
This one is the most comfortable grip you will find on a pistol and by a very wide margin. I own and have shot lots of different pistols and if you find a grip more versatile and comfortable it will be news to quite a few.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v36/p238532374-5.jpg

If you can't afford the P30 you should look here next.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v27/p903675488-5.jpg

Kiln
March 18, 2013, 07:33 PM
The S&W M&P line has very comfortable grips. Same with the XDM. Both are excellent firearms.

I still prefer the CZ75B and my Canik C100 but polymer guns are a lot of fun too.

Jaywalker
March 18, 2013, 08:23 PM
blackrussian - San Antonio area.

I've never had a polymer firearm, so I figured it was time to move into the age of the lightbulb and try one...

KTXdm9
March 18, 2013, 08:31 PM
blackrussian - San Antonio area.

I've never had a polymer firearm, so I figured it was time to move into the age of the lightbulb and try one...
Variety is the spice of life :)

I would second Kiln's suggestions. I have a Pachmayr grip glove on my XDm and I love it.

matrem
March 18, 2013, 08:52 PM
As for grip texture/comfort:

1. Gen 3 G 19 with "sandpaper" texture. Not good for owb ccw IME though.
2. XD, M&P, HK USP. No real favorite between those.

Don't have extensive experience with any other poly pistols, so have to stop rating there.

FWIW, My best "feel" in grips, isn't usually the one I shoot best with.

usp9
March 18, 2013, 11:42 PM
The HK P30 is some Area 51 alien technology... it's that good.

I enjoy the Kahr TP9 but with a grip sleeve added.

g_one
March 18, 2013, 11:51 PM
I'm not sure what Glocks you've tried, but I'll throw my two cents in -
I have relatively big hands (not huge, but bigger than average), and I've found that on the smaller-framed glocks (the 9mm/.40 frames) my hand fits perfectly - I wish every gun I owned felt that good. However, the .45/10mm frame just doesn't feel right. It's not that it's too big (the Desert Eagle is comfortable for me with the right two-handed grip) it's just... not quite right.

On the other hand, every Walther I've ever put in my hands felt GREAT. The only thing I don't like about most Walthers is the trigger guard mag release. Nothing wrong with it - just a personal preference.

rswartsell
March 19, 2013, 12:02 AM
Well, IMHO you have put your finger direcly upon the weak spot of all tupperwear wonder nines. The HP is indeed a hi-cap 9mm (the first I believe) but as noted a steel construction handgun and has little in common with the ergos and grip feel of modern polymer high capacity pistols. What will be "best" in this category will be highly subjective with the Glock being something of an "acid test" or separating factor.

Grip angle, width of grip, texture, relation to sights (bore axis) all have significant impact on this consideration to me. BTW I find it a "make or break" consideration in selection. None of them will duplicate (or even remind you much) of a Browning HP. They are a category unto themselves at least in this regard.

So you start from scratch. I finally landed on the Springfield XD and thats no guarantee you will. I found that I am not a Glock guy and that I probably would have preferred a lower bore axis than I have. I have resolved that this ain't no HP (or 1911) and as the dinosaurs failed to do, endeavored to adapt. Get as much trigger time as you can with the entire spectrum and be ready to be surprised with your conclusions. My best advice.

P.S. add the Sig, HK and CZ, make no premature conclusions.

Fishbed77
March 19, 2013, 12:08 AM
1. Smith M&P Full-Sized
2. Walther P99 Full-Sized
3. Walther P99 Compact
4. Smith M&P Compact (Didn't care for the extended magazine feel)
5. Glock - every model I've tried

I would put them in this order:

1: Walther P99 Full-Sized. There is no more ergonomic polymer service pistol grip on the planet. The Walther PPQ is a close second. The HK P30 is a distant third.

2: Smith M&P Full-Sized. Feels great in the hand, but the "cheapish" feel of the polymer used lets it down compared to the pistols I've noted above.

3: Walther P99 Compact. A great feeling subcompact.

4: Smith M&P Compact. Again, a great-feeling pistol, but not up to the level of the Walthers.

5: Glock. Doesn't even compare. There are any number of poly pistols the OP didn't mention (Ruger SR9, FN's various pistols, CZ's various pistols) that have better ergonomics.

Jaywalker
March 19, 2013, 12:19 AM
True - I only mentioned the ones I've tried. I'm looking for suggestions (in priority list form) for those I haven't yet tried.

chris in va
March 19, 2013, 03:00 AM
I'll be honest, none of the plastic guns do anything for me. The Walther is certainly ergonomic but my CZ P01 with aluminum frame is right with it IMO and is just about as light. You have the added bonus of switching grip panels if you so choose and the bore axis is considerably lower.

bannockburn
March 19, 2013, 07:02 AM
1) Steyr M9
2) Walther P99 Compact
3) Ruger SR9c
4) H&K P30
5) S&W M&P Compact

45_auto
March 19, 2013, 08:08 AM
1) Glock - most people instinctively point naturally with it
2) S&W M&P - not too far behind Glock
3) Walther - trying to catch up
4) HK - not even in the ballpark yet

guyfromohio
March 19, 2013, 08:26 AM
I've never shot the M&P series.


That said:

CZ P07 Duty is wonderful!
Gen 4 G19 is 2nd
XDm comfortable 3rd
XD comfortable 4th
Gen 3 Glocks distant 5th

callenlee
March 19, 2013, 08:57 AM
I second the opinion on the cz p01. I know you have asked about poly but the cz is pretty light. I went shooting with friends a while back. I brought the cz, they brought glocks. I thought the cz weighed about the same if not maybe a shade less (i don't know the exact weights so it could have just been me). I have to say that the ergos and trigger on the cz felt far better than the glocks. I don't think familiarity played much of a role as it was only the second time I've fired the cz and was the first time I shot a glock.

HKGuns
March 19, 2013, 10:00 AM
1) Glock - most people instinctively point naturally with it
2) S&W M&P - not too far behind Glock
3) Walther - trying to catch up
4) HK - not even in the ballpark yet

Say what? Are you trying to lose all credibility?

Fishbed77
March 19, 2013, 11:02 AM
1) Glock - most people instinctively point naturally with it
2) S&W M&P - not too far behind Glock
3) Walther - trying to catch up
4) HK - not even in the ballpark yet

Walther trying to catch up? HAHAHA - Glock fanboi-ism at its best.

Walther pioneered the concept of a finely-tuned and ergonomic polymer grip design with the first-gen P99 way back in the mid-90s, largely as a reaction to how crudely-implemented ergonomics were with the first Glocks. Replaceable backstraps on a service pistol made their first appearance on the P99.

The P99 predated by many years the M&P pistols and the HK P30 (which was content to basically clone the grip design of the P99). Even Glock tried to half-heartedly copy Walther by adding (somewhat poorly-implemented) replaceable backstraps to their Gen 4 pistols.


.

Jaywalker
March 19, 2013, 11:34 AM
Hmm. I'd say that anyone who thinks the Glock's grip is comfortable has hands of a different shape than mine. I don't doubt a lot of folks think this, but it isn't for me.

As for the CZ - I like it very much and have considered a CZ-75B Compact, once they're available again. Unless I misunderstand something, though, the CZ hammer-drop models have a trigger reach similar to those of the CZ-75 in DA mode - that is, much too long for my fingers. As I mentioned to blackrussian earlier, I can make my fingers stronger, but I can't make them longer.

Where I'm headed on this venture is poly striker-fired with a comfortable grip, not necessarily a natural pointer (My Browning tends to point a little low for me and I'm okay with that.) If I don't like it I can always sell it.

rvanpelt
March 19, 2013, 12:09 PM
I have added rubber sleeves to most of my handguns to eliminate sore hands, improve accuracy, and to reduce slickness. Glock 36 gen 2 Hogue sleeve, Glock 26 gen 3 ordinary thin bicycle inner tube, Kahr CW9 puncture proof (thick) bicycle inner tube and Smith and Wesson 40 VE Sigma Uncle Mike sleeve. My Ruger SR 22 came with 2 rubber sleeves. Hope this helps. :)
Rod van Pelt

Billy Shears
March 19, 2013, 01:27 PM
I'm not a big fan of the rubber sleeves. I guess they work for some people, and if you're one of those, more power to you, but my department issues Glocks, and a number of officers use those sleeves, and I see them all the time on officers' guns, shifted slightly out of position, so that the finger grooves aren't where they're supposed to be. When they get shifted out of position like that, and given the Glock already has molded in finger grooves, which compounds this problem, I don't see how you can have a proper grip if you have to draw suddenly to meet threat.

PO2Hammer
March 19, 2013, 02:53 PM
Dammit HKGuns, I was ready to settle on the XD9 as my next poly pistol, and now you have me drooling over the P30.
I've owned several USP's in the past and was always happy them, except for the ergonomics. I suppose the P30 fixes all of that.

gym
March 19, 2013, 03:02 PM
After several hundred over 40+ years, I have settled on 1911 with the "handler" grips that "sarge" makes, from elite grips. And Glock M&P, and XD. The M&P and Glock are extremelly comfortable for me to shoot. I also put Talon grips on my Poly guns.The new guns offer various types of palm swells, and can be adjusted for carry or range use. I just picked up an M&P and love the grip. I got rid of the shield type guns, "single stack", other than the XDS, as they were concealable, but I couldn't stand the thin grip, I have large hands and they are just not for me.

RBid
March 19, 2013, 06:03 PM
1. Walther PPQ and HK P30
2. S&W M&P series
3. P99
4 and beyond: the rest

To my hand, those pistols leave the rest well behind, despite the fact that I appreciate the SR series grips, Gen 3 grips, etc. Even the FMK pistols have pretty good grips.

HKGuns
March 19, 2013, 06:26 PM
Dammit HKGuns, I was ready to settle on the XD9 as my next poly pistol, and now you have me drooling over the P30.

Sorry man, but glad to do it for you. I'm no HK fanboi [even though the name might suggest otherwise] but that pistol is just so darn comfortable and nice shooting its just plain silly.

Here, let me toss this one at you and see what it does to you! :)

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v28/p1470013714-5.jpg


Ok, that wasn't really fair....Here let me offset with something a bit more tame.....but also with a very comfy grip. :evil:

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v75/p1457988450-5.jpg

nelsonal
March 20, 2013, 08:24 PM
I found the Steyr M to be the most comfortable by a good margin. After that, I prefer the XD but it's close to CZ, HK, FN, M&P etc. I liked the Glock Gen 2 grips (never tried a Gen 1) but don't really care for the Gen3/4 texture. I'd love to see someone make a polymer gun with some method of interchangeable grips (my FNP at least allows a choice of back straps).

sigarms228
March 20, 2013, 10:46 PM
This is my favorite as far as grip though the P99 is it's equal. The HK P30 is also outstanding in grip comfort but the PPQ kills it in the trigger quality department.

http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv60/kk9zz/PPQ8.jpg

http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv60/kk9zz/PPQtarget121711a-1-1.jpg

bds
March 20, 2013, 10:47 PM
I tried but couldn't help point out the rounds loaded backwards in the magazines for post #14 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8817499#post8817499) and post #37 (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8819519#post8819519). Was that done to prevent an accidental discharge during the photo "shooting" session?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=181695&stc=1&d=1363830447

Jaywalker
March 20, 2013, 10:55 PM
Sigarms228, I've never hefted a Walther PPQ. Can you measure or describe the trigger reach, please?

sigarms228
March 20, 2013, 11:09 PM
Sigarms228, I've never hefted a Walther PPQ. Can you measure or describe the trigger reach, please?

Since you handled the P99 it would be almost identical. I have larger hands and I can use either the medium or large backstrap though I usually use the large and the reach to the trigger is perfect for me. The PPQ trigger also fires without going as far back as the P99 trigger which I find better for me (the PPQ)

Jaywalker
March 20, 2013, 11:49 PM
Similar to the single action trigger, the AS trigger, or the DA trigger?

Takem406
March 21, 2013, 12:03 AM
I love my Glocks! On my 23C I use Talon Rubber grips. On my 27 I use a Pacmyer sleeve to help with the recoil.
I'm not a 1911 or Sig owner so the grip angel is awesome. Also shooting international pistol for five years the low wrist position is nice!

In God and Glock we Trust

sigarms228
March 21, 2013, 12:14 AM
Similar to the single action trigger, the AS trigger, or the DA trigger?

Almost identical to the SA trigger pull in the P99 AS.

Jaywalker
March 21, 2013, 01:01 AM
That's very interesting - thanks.

rswartsell
March 27, 2013, 02:10 AM
Sunday I fired a Walther P99 in .40S&W (someone else's) for the first time. Have to say that the folks that rated the grip/ergos. highly are right. Beat the sox off my SA XD9.

JTQ
March 27, 2013, 09:19 AM
Another current thread reminded me, the most comfortable poly pistol I've handled is the Ruger P345. The grip is slim, with secure, but not overly aggressive stippling, it has a nicely arched back strap, and shallow grooves for the thumb and trigger finger of the shooting hand.

The S&W M&P and Ruger SR series are also nice as is the CZ SP01 Phantom.

BigG
March 27, 2013, 10:13 AM
Walther P99 9mm is comfy to me. Can't believe it holds 16 shots in the clip. ;)

460Kodiak
March 27, 2013, 11:08 AM
No one has mentioned FN. I think the FNX and FNS 9 and 40 both have great ergos, and fit in my hand perfectly. I own neither, bt I do have an FNP-45. It is also great, but it is a big gun. Not good for small or medium handed people. Check out the smaller FN's if your hands are small.

Great guns

I also despise GLOCKs. I can shoot one well, I just think they are hideous.

5-SHOTS
March 27, 2013, 01:27 PM
For me is:

1)HK P30;
2)Walther P99;
3)Beretta Px4;
4)EAA Witness P;
5)Glock 17;
6)Glock 19.


I also found very comfortable the S&W M&P9 and the Caracal F but I have too little experience to rank them.

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