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Clear Plastic grips

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by FIVETWOSEVEN, Nov 22, 2010.


    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    I'm looking for clear plastic grips for my Hi Power so I will be able to see how many rounds left (after some work on the mags) and would like to know where or how I would be able to get a pair of grips.
  2. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Well-Known Member

    I've been looking for a set for my officer frame 1911 for months now. Good luck, let me know if you find some.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    Any idea on how hard it would be to mold your own?
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    All I have ever seen were cut, filed, and ground out of solid stock; sand smooth and polish clear.
    The WW II souvenir pinup grips were commonly made from the Lucite cockpit canopy material of shot down airplanes.

    Be careful searching, I ran into one of those fake virus scanners.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    Saw a little something on molding clear plastic, might be something to keep in mind. Anyone know of a gunsmith that does this kind of gunsmithing?
  6. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    .125 and .250 clear acrylic is usually available at your local glass shop. The size you need for grips would be basically scraps.

    Any tools designed for wood will work with acrylic. Cut and file down to the final shape, and then sand the surface with ever-finer sandpaper until you have a smooth surface, and then fire-polish with a propane torch. This takes some practice, make sure and get extra pieces to practice on! Or just buff with red rouge, but you need a smooth surface before you start polishing.

    A tip for drilling acrylic; use a dull bit. A sharp bit will pull the material into it. A dull one will polish as it drills.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    FWIW, the usual cartridge counter grips (the idea dates back almost to the first auto pistols) have a slot, 1/4" wide or so, cut down the (usually) left grip with clear plastic set into it. This looks better than a whole clear grip and works as well. Or learn to count shots.

  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    That would be the best way to do it.

    All you need to do it is to mill a slot in the stock grips with a 1/8" countersunk groove in the back surface for a clear inlay.

    You could use 1/8" acrilic, Plexiglas, or even Lexan if you want them to be bullet-proof.

    See this about that:

  10. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Well-Known Member

    Glue on Naked Babe pictures under the Clear Lucite Stocks, for that WWII homage mystique...

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    Contacted Collin and no go with him and couldn't find a way to contact sarge.

    Anyone know of any more grip makers?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  12. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Well-Known Member


    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    I asked and he said he only has 1911 grips. It looks as though I'm just gonna make a pair myself. What would be the best material to make a pair and where can I get it?
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Clear Acrylic, Plexiglas, or Lexan from an art & sign or glass repair shop.

    But be forewarned, it will be very hard to get a quality clear buffed finish on them without some experience shaping, sanding, and polishing clear plastic. And some power equipment to do it with.

    Another possibility might be to cast them with clear Polyester casting resin from the hobby shop. That presents it's own set of problems in that the female mold would have to be perfectly polished for the grips to be clear & shiny when you pop them out.

    Here is a real good link on using clear casting resin.

    I'm still thinking you should mill slots in the backs of regular wood or composite grips and epoxy 1/8 clear plastic sheet in them like the old cartridge counter 9mm ASP grips.

    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  15. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Plexiglass is a brand name for clear acrylic. Make sure you get the real stuff. The cheaper "plexiglass" sold in some lumber yards as glass replacement has a percentage of styrene in it. The stuff is impossible to work with.

    Most large cities will have a plastics supply company. The one in Denver is named Plasticrafts. Some of them will sell their scraps by the pound. A knifemaker friend of mine used to use the scraps for his patterns. Plastics supply companies may sell you part of a sheet, but most would rather sell the whole 4'x8' sheet.
  16. Adam123

    Adam123 Well-Known Member

    Clear plastic grips are like so hot right now.

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    How thick should the starting plastic be?
  18. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

    There is a difference between acrylic and Lexan .
    I believe Lexan is more scratch resistant and stronger.

    I have cut both and it takes some patience. The edges can be sanded with fine sandpaper until smooth.
    You could also try buffing with a Dremel. Put masking tape on any surface before cutting so the tool doesn't scratch the surface.

    I'm trying to remember the gun used by James Bond years age.
    It was a real gun made with clear grips. That gun had a slot in the magazine so the rounds showed clearly. (No pun intended)
    Now I'll have to find it.

    Update: The Asp, based on the S&W model 39 was a real gun.
    I don't see where it was in the Bond movies, but John Gardner used it in the book series (after Ian Flemming.) Starting in 1984's Role of Honor.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

    FIVETWOSEVEN Well-Known Member

    I have a Laser engraver to cut the grips, so that shouldn't be an issue.
  20. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    If you have an engraver, do you have a clear cast set up (trophy type store??)
    you could create a mold and simply cast them.

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