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Smooth grips on 1911 or similar?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ArmedBear, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    I just bought an old Star B (9mm Spanish military pistol -- design is a simplified copy of a 1911).

    The gun is in great condition but I think the original checkered wood grips were soaked in oil for years. They're probably headed for a Ziploc bag in the "parts-is-parts" collection.

    While the grip frame is almost identical to a 1911, it has slightly different exact dimensions. Therefore, only a few replacement grips are available.

    Some of the nicest seem to be smooth walnut.

    Anyone shoot a 1911 or other straight-and-skinny-grip pistol with smooth grips? How do you like smooth vs. checkered?
     
  2. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Member

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    Unless there is sharp checkering on the front strap, I would not recommend smooth grips.
     
  3. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    I have smooth wood grips on my Kimber Ultra Carry. Both my wife and I find them to be comfortable. I've shot probably around 1,500 rounds with the smooth grips. Very nice for CCW. By the way, I do have a piece of skateboard tape on the front strap.
     
  4. middy

    middy Member

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    I've found that a checkered (or skateboard taped) frontstrap is more important than the texture of the grips on a 1911 type pistol.
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I've also used smooth wooden grips on 1911's before with good results.
    Right now I don't have a set on any of my 1911's, as I've returned to
    original factory grips on all my firearms~!:uhoh: :D
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Skateboard tape?

    Are you sure you don't mean that rubbery textured stuff? Real skateboard tape is something like 200 grit sandpaper with adhesive on the back. Does nasty stuff to your hands if you're not careful, and destroys scissors quite handily.

    Anyway, the front strap is smooth; the curved old-style backstrap is textured, though.

    It's a 9mm standard-pressure gun, though, and all steel. Should be less recoil than a 1911.

    Possible new grips vs. original military type:
     

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  7. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    Yup, skateboard tape. Or the stair tape found at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Guess my hands (and my wife's) aren't as delicate as yours! :D An Exacto knife, cutting from the backside, works really well for shaping.
     
  8. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    This might sound silly, but I have a smooth grip on the left hand side of my Kimber (I'm right handed). It has the checkered grips from the factory on the right side, but I like the smooth side up against my back when I carry IWB.

    I've also got a colt 1991 with smooth grips (both sides). I haven't had any problems holding onto it.
     
  9. LHB1

    LHB1 Member

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    I change grips on my three 1911 pistols almost weekly, sometimes using checkered grips and sometimes smooth grips. Both styles work great for me but all of my 1911's do have checkered front straps and checkered mainspring housings. The checkered grips give slightly better grasp and the smooth grips (Cocobolo and Desert Ironwood) are nicer looking. Guess I just like both and thus use both. YMMV

    Good shooting and be safe.
    LB

    ps: Wilson Combat sells a very inexpensive checkered front strap overlay which clamps under the grips if your gun's front strap is smooth. Haven't tried it so don't know how well it does or does not work.
     
  10. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    Well imo, I love the way smooth grips look and feel, but for shooting, I'd stick with something that is checkered/stippled. A checkered fronstrap or skateboard tape definitely helps.

    But the last 2 1911 grips were both smooth grips. They looked awesome, but I need some more grip.

    Smooth ivory looks great, but checkered ivory looks amazing :D

    YMMV.
     
  11. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I have smooth grips on all my 45 and carry pistols. I can't stand rubber and never seen a problem with smooth. My Commander came with smooth Walnut in 1972.
     
  12. 5string_dean

    5string_dean Member

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    Smooth grips are fine... textured front & rear straps are more important. When I bought a used 1911 recently it had that textured rubber tape stuff that did the "grip" thing admirably, but left a bit to be desired in the aesthetics department. So I stippled the front strap... take a good center punch, put the gun in a vise, take a hammer and tap away for about an hour (take care to keep punch/hammer perpendicular to surface), then re-blue (don't need this step if stainless). Looks awesome! and gives a better grip than the tape stuff.
     
  13. mete

    mete Member

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    I agree to checker the front and back straps is the most important [that's how you're supposed to grip the gun ! ] Besides I didn't want to mess up beautiful rosewood grips with checkering !!
     
  14. carebear

    carebear Member

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    All my grips are checkered but they don't help my hold, as was said the traction is all front and back.

    They are wood and aren't "sticky" at all. Never thought about it before but smoother grip panels may help getting a clean, consistent grip. Nothing to snag on your palm til it's fully seated, then clamp fore and back strap and do the draw. :scrutiny:
     
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