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Wood grip comfort and heavy recoil?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by eldon519, Apr 6, 2012.

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  1. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    I just wanted to double-check my assumptions with more experienced shooters to make sure I'm not missing out without wasting money.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a wood grip does not have any significant recoil-absorbing or taming properties in and of itself other than by sometimes being over-sized and spreading the recoil out in the hand?

    The reason I ask is that I have been looking around for a good grip for my Ruger Redhawk to take the bite out of .45 Colt +P loads, and I have read some reviews about the oversize wood Hogue grips making the guns more comfortable to shoot. I have tried Pachmayr Presentation Grips which are very large and hand-filling with the plus of a covered backstrap, and they help with the recoil, but are still not very comfortable for many rounds (comparison being to my Bisley). I was thinking of trying out the Pachmayr Decelerator, but am I making a mistake by overlooking the over-sized wood grips?

    My main source of discomfort is the impact from the DA hump around the web of the hand. I've held (but not shot) a rubber Hogue monogrip, but it did not seem very comfortable and was rather narrow if memory serves.
     
  2. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    I went from the stock grips on a Super Blackhawk in .44Mag to some self made oversize grips originally to obtain a fatter gripping area around the upper "neck" so I could get a better hold on it and eliminate the dreaded "dragoon guard bite" to my fingers. But the bigger support area along the back strap also reduced the percieved recoil and deformation in my hands enough that the gun has gon from being a "two cylinders and I'm done" to a "four cylinders and keep going" sort of deal when shooting full house .44Mags. Having a bigger contact area really does aid on how deeply the gun deforms our hands during the recoil. And the lesser deformation seems to result in a lot less discomfort.

    So yes, if you can find some nice fat wood grips I think you'll find that they do nicely. For my own part I'm coming around to where I feel that a greater contact area is more important than any slight rubbery effect you'll see in the Hogue rubber grips. For my money the chief advantage of the rubber is that they still are grippy when wet.
     
  3. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    If you like the shape of Hogue grips, and they make this particular model for the Redhawk, try to find some of the Hogue "Tamer" grips that have the gel/sorbothane insert at the top. This is the grip they put on the 454 Casull Alaskan, and some of the other SRHs. If most of the discomfort you are having is at the web of the hand between the first thumb joint and the first index finger joint, this will be the best solution.

    That, or get a 4-port Magnaport job. That will decrease the muzzle flip and put most of the recoil straight back into the palm of your hand. I have this on my 454 SRH, and I don't have any trouble with the web of my hand. Now the palm of my hand, that feels like getting hit with a ball peen hammer....
     
  4. bikemutt
    • Contributing Member

    bikemutt Member

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    I have a Ruger Redhawk chambered in .41 magnum. It came with the original grips and was wearing the Hogue monogrip. That Hogue was terrible for me, could not get a hold of the gun right with either hand. And the recoil was justly bad.

    I ended up with the Pachmayer Decelereator grips and am very satisfied. Sometimes I'll even add a Limbsaver full size boot over the Pachmayer but only if the gun will be on a rest.
     
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I think that analysis is probably correct, but there are a couple additional factors that ought to be taken into consideration.

    There's a difference between recoil and perceived recoil. If the recoil is spread out over time, it's likely to be perceived as lesser than the same raw quantity of recoil in foot-pounds delivered over a shorter duration. The recoil of a .44 magnum is going to feel more powerful if you're accustomed to shooting .22s and .38s than if you're accustomed to shooting .460s and .500s. Here's a third example: I prefer the additional muzzle flip resulting from ported barrels, but some people perceive that as additional rather than reduced recoil.

    Your grip makes an enormous difference. It's a rare new shooter who doesn't grip a gun lightly or tentatively at first, which definitely adversely affects accuracy, and seems, at least, to increase perceived recoil. I have my students grip the gun so hard it starts to shake, then back off a bit. That invariably helps their accuracy, and usually makes the gun seem to "kick" less. Does it actually recoil less? No, but increasing the shooter's sense of control of it almost always seems to help within a few shots, and so does switching between rim fire and center fire cartridges.

    I'm sure noise can be a factor, which is why I like to make sure newbies are wearing both plugs and muffs, (and recommend that approach to everyone.) I'm sure the weight of the gun is a factor: too little weight transmits more energy back to the shooter, whereas too much weight tires the shooter sooner. It wouldn't surprise me to learn darker indoor ranges encourage people to perceive greater recoil than outdoor ranges by daylight. Lots of people swear by the rolling effect of a single action revolver's grip frame shape; other people prefer the hump at the top of a double action revolver's grip frame shape. I swear by wooden stocks, the larger, the better, and ideally with a thumb rest; other people swear by rubber.

    Try ’em all, and keep trying them over and over until you're sure. See what works best for you.
     
  7. El Guero

    El Guero Member

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    With my GP100, I have the old-style rubber grips and then the new-style Hogue wood grips with the finger grooves. I really don't find a recoil difference between then. I feel like the wood grips fill out my hands a little better, and I don't really find them any harsher when shooting magnum rounds.
     
  8. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    I have tried a number of different grips for my 5 1/2" 44mag Redhawk. Shooting top end 44mag loads (320gr @ 1350 fps) put a serious thump in the web of my hand after a few rounds. I tried Hogues and Pachs but was never really happy with them. Ultimately I tried a set of Nills Griffe grips and was immediately in love.

    I can now easily tolerate shooting my RH for a full range session with my top end loads without a problem.

    [​IMG]
    (* This picture is not my gun but is a much better pic than I currently have)

    They can be had from this ebay dealer:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400104935916&ssPageName=STRK
     
  9. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    Double post
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  10. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    Redline,

    Can you tell what it is about the Nills Griffe grip? Is there more wood/bulk around the frame hump to spread the impact? Is it a large grip in comparison to the Pachmayrs?

    I have heard good things about them before on the Redhawk, but they are a bit pricey. If I knew they would work I would go for them, but you don't see many around to try. I've also contemplated Herrett's grips since they supposedly will design them to fit your hand.
     
  11. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    I bought a set of badger grips for my 6.5" S&W500. I find them much better than the rubber grips the gun came with, which I thought were going to peel the skin from my hands. I also found the rubber grips didn't position my hand repeatably which the badgers seem to do a pretty good job of.
     
  12. bluethunder1962

    bluethunder1962 Member

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    I have a S&W ultra light 44mag. It came with wood and rubber grips. The thiird rd I shot with it with the wood grips ripped a big blister at the end of my thumb. But I do love the look of the wood.
     
  13. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    All my DA shooting revolvers wear rubber grips. I can tolerate wood for .22s and target .38s, but that's it. I've never found a set of wood grips that are as comfortable as Pachmayr's Gripper Grips.
     
  14. bsms

    bsms Member

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    It is a bit more complex than just how much area the recoil is spread over. The shape of the grip, as compared to your hand, can help you hold the gun firmly, so the hump of the DA doesn't slam into your hand. If the shape is wrong, even squeezing will not give you a firm grip.

    Also, if the grip puts your hand too low, then the gun can slide and slam into the web.

    I shoot most guns one-handed, but need to use two hands with my Model 29. My right hand needs to be fairly high, and my left cups near the base. Push with my right, pull with my left...seemed to help on my last outing.

    Some folks don't seem to be bothered by 44 mag recoil. I do fine with a 7.5" SuperBlackhawk, but find DA guns harder on my hand. The are designed to put all the recoil into your hand, rather than allow the gun to rotate up and let gravity help out.
     
  15. -eaux-

    -eaux- Member

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    good assessment by Standing Wolf.
    Personally, I've had wonderful results with Hogue monogrips. Liked how well they tamed the "snappy" recoil of my Blackhawk .357 so much that I ordered a set for the SuperBlackhawk .44mag without a second thought. Despite the fact that I'd already found the SBH's long, slow, rolling "perceived" recoil to be much more tolerable than the brisk snap/slap of the BH.
    YMMV
     
  16. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    Grip/stock selection is every bit a personal preference thing as picking the gun itself. I think everyone would agree thought that grip shape (fitment to your hand) is probably the key factor, regardless of it's material. With proper fitting grips, I really can't tell much difference between a wood grip and a rubber one. The tie breaker is looks; so most of my revolvers where wood.

    That's been an issue for me as well. Some people like soft rubber grips. I don't for this reason.
     
  17. 98Redline

    98Redline Member

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    I think it is a combination of things that make the grips a good fit for me. The extra width across the back of the grip certainly helps distribute the recoil and the stippling on the sides aids in getting a better grip on the gun so it does not want to shift under recoil. Other than that all I can say is I really like the way they feel.

    Don't get me wrong, new grips are not going to make shooting a full box on full snort loads feel like nothing. After 50 heavy loads my hand is certainly fatigued, but I don't seem to have any "hot spots" on my hand where each shot feels worse than the previous.

    On thing I will say about the Nills grips, they are subperbly made. The seam where the two halves fit together is nearly imperceptible not to mention completely invisible on the front by the stipling. The fit is pretty tight on the frame and I needed to do just a bit of fitting (light sanding with a dremel) to get them to clear the frame in one spot, but I assume that they are made this way to ensure they fit tight on a guns. IMHO they are well worth the money and if you decide you don't like them, I don't think you would have any problem unloading them.
     
  18. RaceM

    RaceM Member

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    Back in the day I put a set of zebra wood grips on my blackhawk. Took a lot of fit & file to get 'em contoured to fit my hand right, but worth it. No need to use the sights, just point & shoot, all day long with full house loads.
     
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