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Who else thinks interchangeable back-straps are stupid?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by StrikeFire83, Mar 29, 2011.

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  1. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I think interchangeable backstraps are an amusing marketing scheme. I own exactly one gun that has them (two of the three sit in the box, it wears "medium" because it came that way), a Walther P99. I think they are highly overrated, as I have slightly larger than average hands, and seem to adapt to just about any grip I grab, be it a J-frame with stock small grips, or the big Hogue grips of a S&W 500, and every auto and revolver in between. If I can, so can most other people. Sure some are at oppopsite ends of the spectrum, but we have WAY too many shooters that think they NEED such things, and that makes them handicapped with a hangup if they feel that way and don't have a "perfect fit". If only one size of a grip fit my hands, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to shoot and enjoy all the different size guns that do NOT have change-out backstraps.
     
  2. redactor

    redactor Member

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    Until they start issuing interchangeable hands with pistols, interchangeable backstraps will have to do. I have average sized hands, but stubby fingers. That isn't going to change any time soon. There are some pistols I can't shoot. The regular Springfield XD is one I can barely work with. It I could find some way to set the trigger back 1/4 of an inch, there would be no problem. I haven't tried an XDm because of sunk costs, but it at least has the possibility of better fit.
     
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Over the years I have come to prefer the flat mainspring housing on M1911 style pistols. It seems to fit my smaller hand better and more comfortably than the raised version. It was also a feature that I found to my liking when I purchased a Ruger SR9c last year. Simple enough modification to do and feels good in my hand. So I would have to say that interchangeable back straps work well for me; having choices and options are good.
     
  4. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah. I think that's the point. You don't have to figure out how to use all three. :neener:
     
  5. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Sam, I feel a little stupid here. What do you mean? I just started using the one that was on it, and like every other gun, I've just adapted to whatever the grip is. I think I would have done the same with any of the "inserts"; they just don't seem that different to me. Maybe the thick one would make my P99 feel like a Glock or Beretta. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  6. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    The arched mainspring housing on a 1911 is a totally different thing. Nothing like adjustable backstraps. The arched mainspring housing was intended to alter the barrel angle relative to your wrist and keep people accustomed to revolvers from shooting low.

    A backstrap on a new glock does not alter the way the gun points.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I only meant that, in practice, once you settle into one you like, the other two (or however many) are put away or discarded. So, obviously, they just "sit in the box." If you like it just fine with the one that came on it, you don't need the others.

    Though why you'd spend hundreds of dollars on a handgun and not at least attempt to see which set-up felt most comfortable to you, I probably don't understand.

    Mostly, though, the comment was a very minor spot of humor -- something that tickled my funny bone. That's all.
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I can't agree with this, universally. When I switched backstraps on my xDM, it was specifically to alter my natural point of aim with that pistol. (Yes, I tried all three, and eventually settled on the big one -- which I'd liked least on first feel.) The xDM's swappable backstraps are nearly identical to the differences achieved with various 1911 MSHs.

    It seems the Glock version is a bit different from the xDMs it that it covers/alters the entire rear of the grip. Maybe it really doesn't affect the bore angle. Can't say as I haven't held one. But the M&P, xDM, and Beretta PX4 at least certainly do so.
     
  9. HD Fboy

    HD Fboy Member

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    As a guy with big, fat hands I want to weigh in here.

    I like big guns. My G21 is the most accurate gun I own. The FNP45 Tactical fits my hands like a dream. But, I have a Kimber Raptor II and can't hit squat with it.

    For years I have been searching for a compact autoloader that I could get lead on paper with. 3 months ago I purchased a M&P 40c. I shot it with the medium and large backstraps and cut my group size in half with the large. I am more accurate with the 40c than the Kimber. Now I have a compact gun I can carry with confidence. For a long time, I have advised friends to find a gun that fits your hands before you pick a caliber. An accurate 9mm is better than a 45ACP that is off the paper.

    Unless you have very average hands, FIT MATTERS.
     
  10. Bentonville

    Bentonville Member

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    Interchangeable back straps AND side panels

    are actually one of the best attributes about modern pistols, especially the HK P30. I have always had trouble fitting a handgun to my smallish hands. Not so with the P30. It's amazing how a custom fit can help a pistol point more naturally and place the center of the pistol in the web of the hand.
     
  11. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    The first to introduce the inter-changeable backstraps on a polymer gun was the Walther P99 when it was introduced. On the P99, at least there was nothing flimsy about them.

    The introduction of the backstraps was not intended to appeal to female shooters especially. It was intended to allow any shooter of a polymer framed gun the option of an inexpensive custom fit of the grip of the gun to an individuals hand.

    For decades wheelgunners and shooters of any steel framed guns have had the option of custom made grip panels and in the case of the 1911 the option to change the MSH to fit your grip and hand. The grips could be made thinner or thicker. You can swap target grips for combat grips, etc. With the 1911 and some others you can alter the length of the trigger to fit your hand better for the purpose you intend to use the gun for.

    The interchangeable back straps on poly guns has been an attempt to answer one of the main objections to poly guns which is that they have "one size don't fit all grips". Either you lived with an ill fitting gun and adapted to it or you could send it to Robar and for a few hundred bucks have the gun adapted to fit you.

    The idea has been a successful one. Since Walther started it many more have followed.

    tipoc
     
  12. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    The backstraps on my M&Ps are all Mensa members..........so no, I don't think they're stupid. :D

    Really? The question is/was are "interchangeable back-straps stupid".
    Why would they be stupid? The can work for folks with small , medium and large hands. Doesn't seem stupid to me.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Because shooters tend to be a conservative (... let's be honest, a reactionary) lot. If it wasn't this way when we were coming up, it shouldn't be this way now. If we learned to deal with the rigid way things were when we were fresh, young, and adaptable, the new generation should have to overcome the same hurdles we ... more or less ... overcame.

    There are guns that are iconic, classic, beautiful, and which were the most effective solution anyone had come up with when they were introduced -- and often for many decades thereafter. Those guns set the standard for 'perfection,' as the shooters in the teaching/telling generation understand it. A 1911, a S&W or Colt revolver, a Winchester M70, an M1 Garand (maybe now an M14), or a solid wood & iron pump shotgun -- if those don't work just perfectly for you, you need to "get right with God" until they do.

    And each subsequent sub-generation looks at all new technology the same way.
    Why do I need a plastic gun? If you were shooting in the '80s you must remember the outcry of disapproval. (It still echos here occasionally.)
    What kind of an idiot would carry a gun without a safety lever? (Well, on a handgun, anyway. No idiot would WANT a safety on a lever rifle!)
    Who needs an optical sight on a military rifle? Whats the matter? You can hit bullseyes on the qualifying range all day with a good set of irons!
    Why would I want an "intermediate" cartridge in my military rifle? I ain't shooting poodles!
    What does an honest man need with more than six or seven rounds in a handgun anyway?

    And ... aren't interchangeable backstraps stupid? ;)

    I'm sure our great, great, grandchildren will be deriding the newest high-wattage plasma rifles as stupid 'cause the old reliable man-portable rail guns they carried in basic were just fine! :D
     
  14. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    Most new ideas don't work as good as the old ideas. Very rarely does a new idea come along that really is clearly superior than the old ideas. This is why older experienced people are slow to accept new ideas...they've lived long enough to see many many new ideas flop. They've figured out that rejecting new ideas will prove fruitful more often than not.
     
  15. fastbolt

    fastbolt Member

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    Replaceable grip inserts and backstraps are "stupid" the same way that adjustable seats and tilt/telescoping steering wheels are "stupid" in vehicles. If someone can get into a car and not need to adjust the seat or steering wheel, good for them ... but that's not the case with everyone who gets in every vehicle.

    In the LE equipment world the concern over disparate impact issues is serious enough that being able to adjust a service weapon to fit a range of users is a good thing.

    Suit yourself ... and replaceable grip inserts and backstraps allow more pistol shooters to do just that ...
     
  16. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Really? Do you think so? I don't know whether I agree or not.

    On the one hand, there are always teething problems with new technology. Scopes that have poor clarity and fog often, for example. But it seems when we get the bugs worked out, an awful lot of new technology does get adopted widely.

    I mean, heck, even polymer cased ammo seems to be just about ready for prime-time, finally. Who would have thought that would work out?

    It would be interesting to do a serious study of the firearms industry and try to identify all the legitimate "new innovations" made in the last 150 years. And then take that list and divide it into successes and failures to see what the ratio really is.

    It does seem self-evident that by the time a new technology innovation has become widespread enough that "most" of the firearms community has heard of it, it will probably be a success (though maybe more of a commercial success than an actual performance improvement, but that's a subject for a deeper conversation probably). So it makes me wonder what the ratio might be between failed innovations we never hear of, vs. innovations that make it to market and then founder, vs. innovations that work and are widely adopted.

    Sheesh, makes me want to be a grad student with such a cool research project! :D
     
  17. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    I wasn't talking about firearms exclusively.

    But if you want to go that route...revolvers still have the best grips around, and superior accuracy. Single stack mags are still more ergonomic than double stacks. Wood grips are still the most practical material for grips and easiest to alter for DIYers. Carbon steel is still the easiest material to work with, alter, and customize, and repair. Forged is still better than cast or MIM.
     
  18. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow. A lot of that is entirely personal preference, or viewed from a standpoint that favors only one quality of the material.

    In fact, a great many of those points would be hotly contested by even the enthusiasts here.

    Anyone who's customized a stainless gun will argue that they didn't have to try to match or strip and replace a blued finish, for example.

    Wood grips aren't as easy to alter as polymer grips -- would be the point of those who've done their own stippling of a Glock frame with a soldering iron. No refinishing, no checkering!

    A Ruger fan won't agree that he'd be better with a forged frame.

    Revolvers have the best grips? Which revolvers? SAAs? N-frames? J-frames? Who's grips? The factory skinnys or a nice set of aftermarket Ahrends? Or a set of rubber grips? And are those better than a CZ or, heck 1911? Again, the enthusiast who favors something other than your choice will disagree entirely.

    MIM seems to be another technology that's just about all bug-free by now and it makes guns more cost-effective.

    So if we were to do this study we'd have to carefully define what's a failure and what's a success. Is it cost-effectiveness? Is it pure accuracy? Is it ergonomics? Is it speed of target acquisition & engagement? Is it compact size? Is it merely what most people are buying? I think that last one is the big indicator. When 10 years after the introduction of a new technology, at least 20-30% of shooters own/use at least one gun that incorporates that aspect, it must reasonably be considered a success.
     
  19. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    Fudds will be fudds.

    No real shooter needs more than 40 watts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011
  20. StrikeFire83

    StrikeFire83 Member

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  21. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    Sam says what I think .... but writes it so much less inflammatory.
     
  22. 5-SHOTS

    5-SHOTS Member

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    Some polymer pistols has interchangeable backstraps because you can't change the grips like you can do on traditional pistols...So I can't see where is the problem.And I know of a 100 years old pistol where you can change both,go figure!
     
  23. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    I could type out pages and pages refuting every single thing you just said. But I won't. I'll just give ya the cliffs notes version

    Carbon steel is better
    Wood grips are better
    always has and always will
    so there :)
     
  24. One-Time

    One-Time Member

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    its to aid in LE sales, since now no matter how short, small, female or other previously disqualifying reason you have to find guns they can shoot, so thats why, otherwise they sure for discrimination even if their hands are child sized and they dont stand 5' tall
     
  25. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    If they give meaningful adjustment choices or options and stay secure under rough handling or shooting, why not? What does it hurt?
     
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