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Let's talk grips...

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Post by Dehumanizer 1/31/2021, 6:08 am

Currently I shoot a stock Buckmark with a sig Romeo 5 red dot. I also own a sw22 victory and ruger 22 45 mark III.

Thinking of making some custom precision pistol grips for my sw22. I am handy with wood. (Built my own pool table) has anyone else out there done this?

Great thing is even if it doesn't look great no one could tell. Smile

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Post by Ed Hall 1/31/2021, 8:11 am

Dehumanizer wrote:Currently I shoot a stock Buckmark with a sig Romeo 5 red dot. I also own a sw22 victory and ruger 22 45 mark III.

Thinking of making some custom precision pistol grips for my sw22. I am handy with wood. (Built my own pool table) has anyone else out there done this?

Great thing is even if it doesn't look great no one could tell. Smile
Yes and Yes!  When I was a teenager, I built a pool table.  It wasn't slate and the bumpers were a little harder than normal, but it was reasonably flat and served me well.  As to the grips, I carved out what some called a "2x4" for my S&W Model 46. They are quite rough and can be seen in this previous message:

https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t9560-6-pardini-1st-rf-target-target-w-horton-grips#81766

As you see, I wasn't concerned about looks and I'm not a wood-worker.

You may like to look over Nygord's Notes on Grip Modification.  You can find his articles at this page:

Nygord's Notes

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Post by LenV 1/31/2021, 10:18 am

I see a pattern here. I also made a pool table when I was much younger. It also wasn't very good. But it worked. I have made several grips but only from necessity. Given a choice it works better to modify a different pair that has most of the work done for you. As a pair of examples. On my 952-2 I currently have a set of Herrett Nationals made for a 1911. Previously it was a pair of Herret Target Automatics made for a Model 52. There is a lot of wood to work with on a pair of those. Just examples of what you have to do if no one makes grips that fit. For your pistols there are grips out there that will probably work for you.
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Post by radjag 1/31/2021, 10:39 am

I have gone through this process fairly recently.

I initially thought that starting with a very soft, easy to carve, wood (modelling Balsa) might be a good starting point - it definitely was! I shaped the internal frame dimensions on 1/4" Balsa board and then glued those together. Shaped the exterior grip surfaces with an X-Acto and files, etc. Easy! Very good way to develop skills and also figure out just what the grip needs to look like.

But I happen to have just repeated the process with tropical hardwood. I have again followed the route of gluing up strips of planed hardwood (laminating) which can easily be shaped (before gluing) to make a very close fit to the frame. A small bandsaw is very useful, but the most important tool has been an Oscillating Spindle Sander. With different diameter spindles you can get into almost every grip exterior nook and cranny and, as long as you take very small bites, you can home in on a very snug grip. Excellent!

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Post by Dehumanizer 1/31/2021, 10:58 am

Awesome pointers. I am thinking the balsa route also. I have ebony, Cocobolo, walnut, olive burl and some other hardwoods. But don't want to rip into a $20 block of zebra wood without playing first.

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Post by Dehumanizer 1/31/2021, 4:17 pm

I just bought some modeling clay. It was the cheapest and easiest way to come up with some designs to get some measurements for the final product. I have a thunder hammer coming for the sw22 and when I pull the grip for that install I will trace the frame and reproduce with wood.

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Post by john bickar 1/31/2021, 11:21 pm

For bullseye (NRA/CMP) pistol, I recommend reading what Brian Zins has to say about grips first.

This is coming from a guy who has fired a few rounds from pistols with slab grips, and has fired a few from pistols with ergonomic grips.
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Post by Jon Eulette 2/1/2021, 12:13 am

I worked in a high end custom cabinet shop when I was in college. I carved claw feet (claws holding a ball) into the pool table legs of a table being made for an Angels pitcher.
Anyhow I think majority of shooters make huge errors in their grip choices. Too thick or euro grip that isn’t even close to fitting correctly. Slabs are your friend on the 1911.
John Bickar can advise us all on proper grips/gripping, or expertly kill us with sarcasm. Mood thing lol.
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Post by radjag 2/1/2021, 1:42 am

I guess that JB is referring to this chapter in the Bullseye Encyclopedia:-
https://www.bullseyepistol.com/zins.htm

And/or this Zins video:-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXWoJ2arPuI

When I googled for this (I forgot that I already had it in my library!) the following text appeared - written by Forum regular Rich Tullo - I hope that he does not mind me copying his writing here:-

The grip is really important. My friend Brian Zins (12 times National Bullseye Pistol Champion and Top Shot Contestant) made this video below and he is running a clinic locally in February 2018. I will discuss the physical grip of the gun and I leave it Brian to discuss his grip technique in the video. The "Zins" Grip is basically a technique that has been around but perfected by Brian Zins. Russian Target Shooters in the 1960's used a version of the grip for rapid fire. It's also similar to a Cowboy fast Draw Palm grip. The grip technique works for some and if you are having trouble gripping the gun in the traditional way -why not give it a try? Brian best explains the grip technique for sure but before you watch the video new shooters often ask what grips for my gun I should use? My answer is you have to try them and see what works for you. Brian will probably tell you to shot slabs! So take Brian's opinion into serious consideration. In a recent survey, something like +70% of Master level shooters used slab grips for Center Fire and 45acp guns.
View Video

Grips for your gun. As a Precision Target shooter, there are generally three types of grips for your gun: Slab grips, Ergo Grips, and Target Grips. Which is better? Unfortunately, there is no 100% right answer but something like 14/15 of the last NRA national Champions shot the Center Fire and 45 acp matches with slab grips. Specifically, either Harrett's Checkered Slabs or Shark Skin Slaps are popular with Master level shooters. Both grip sets are thin and have an aggressive texture. The benefits of slabs are cost and trigger control. Brian Zins in the video discusses how he executes his grip which works for me. However, other National champions use a more traditional grip. Ultimately, you may need to try a grip technique or grip for your pistol for about 1 to 6 months to determine what grip or grip for your gun is optimal.

Ergo grips are an evolution of the target grip. The Ergo grip has a thumb rest, palm swell, a palm shelf, and channels which can be customized to fit your hand. The idea of the ergo grip is it forces the hand into the same "Grip Position" every time. Sounds good right? Ergo Grips are expensive and for people with short fingers, the ergo grip may diminish trigger control. My personal experience is with Ergos pre-existing nerve damage in my arm was irritated by ergo grips and others have experienced tendonitis with these grips. However, with a heavy gun or a Euro Style Sport Pistol ergo grips can help a lot in the timed and rapid fire stages. The companies making Ergo grips are Fung in CA, Precision Target Grips, Vitarbo as well as Rink and Nil in Germany. These grips cost between $100, and $275 new and can be bought for $80 to $200 used. After spending between $100 to $275 for a set of custom grips it is highly probable you will need to adjust the grip to change your point of aim. You do this wrong you will destroy your $275 grip. Russel in our club uses ergo grips and he shoots Master scores. So try them if you think they will help and you can afford to make the investment.

Target grips are simpler than Ergo grips as they do not have the level of contouring. Typically, they will have a thumb rest, a gradual palm swell and maybe a shelf. Nil, Harrett's and Volquartsen and others make target grips out of various materials. I used to customize my Harrett's National Match grips to fit my hand. The benefit of the target grips is the shelf and thumb rest. If you shoot iron sights like my Dad (who was an NRA master in the 1970's before red dots) target grips can help a lot with establishing a great sight picture, and make the pistol or revolver point better.

In conclusion, these are the three types of grips for your gun and National Champions have won with grips that cost $20 and $280 today. Please enjoy the video it is a great resource.

Kind regards,
Rich Tullo

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Post by Psween 2/1/2021, 11:39 am

I say go for it. Grips are a bit of a blend between sculpture and cabinetry, but pretty easy compared to most gunsmithing, especially for autos. I pretty much only shoot grips I have carved anymore, both for fit and appearance. I personally like cherry for color, cost, and ease of working, but have also done cocobola and walnut.Let's talk grips... 20200922
Let's talk grips... 20200923

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Post by Dehumanizer 2/1/2021, 4:35 pm

I have dropped the ebony idea... It is easily 5x the weight of the cocobolo. I think I will attempt it as the sw22 is my spare. Other than the 10 bucks I spent for the clay (and time) it really wont cost me a thing

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Post by john bickar 2/1/2021, 8:15 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:John Bickar can advise us all on proper grips/gripping, or expertly kill us with sarcasm. Mood thing lol.

If I try really hard, I can do both at once Laughing
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Post by WesG 2/1/2021, 10:32 pm

Yeah, but when you ever tried really hard?

Of course, at least at pistol shooting, you don't need to.

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Post by john bickar 2/1/2021, 10:53 pm

WesG wrote:Yeah, but when you ever tried really hard?

Of course, at least at pistol shooting, you don't need to.

I do have to try hard at pistol shooting.

The sarcasm just comes easily, like it's my native language.

Which it is. I am from Ohio, after all. Wink
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Post by Centerline 2/2/2021, 12:54 am

I made some grips from walnut for my SW Victory 22.  I used them for a while and kept whittling them down over time whenever I felt an uncomfortable spot.  Applied some grip tape and they feel good.

For my 1911 style pistols, I created some similar contoured grips and found, much like other posters here, the stock slab grips are pretty good unmodified.  Even though they look about as ergonomic as bricks.  I just add some grip tape to the front strap if it's too smooth.  I do modify the left side to give my thumb a little shelf, because I like to have downward thumb pressure.  I'm still unconvinced what size it should be.

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Post by BE Mike 2/2/2021, 9:48 am

radjag wrote: Unfortunately, there is no 100% right answer but something like 14/15 of the last NRA national Champions shot the Center Fire and 45 acp matches with slab grips. Specifically, either Harrett's Checkered Slabs or Shark Skin Slaps are popular with Master level shooters. Both grip sets are thin and have an aggressive texture. The benefits of slabs are cost and trigger control. 

Kind regards,
Rich Tullo
My competitive days are long over, but in those long gone days, I was fortunate to observe and talk with some top shooters. Larry Carter mentioned to me how most of the top shooters just used slab grips. I started noticing it too and switched to slabs on the 1911 grip frames. I often followed the advice of top shooters, but found out that what works for them wasn't always good for me. I went from Hi Standards to the Hammerli 208s after the USAMU started using it. That was a huge "copy cat" win for me, as well as, the "Marine Load" passed on to me from Dave Salyer.
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Post by CR10X 2/2/2021, 10:01 am

I guess my take is whatever works for you.  

But I did find that for me, ortho grips only really feel like they fit perfectly sometimes, like at the start of the match.

Slab grips never really fit perfectly; but then again the feeling of the grip never really changes that much (and they are much cheaper). 

CR

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Post by weber1b 2/2/2021, 11:57 am

I started out with slabs, like everyone does. Due to my large hands, I moved to Rocco grips on my 45 and my 22 conversion. I liked them a lot and was happy with how they felt. After a few years of that I started playing around with a model 52 and as I only had the standard grips, I switched my 45's back to slabs  for "consistency" and lo and behold, found them to be much more to my liking and felt and still fell that they shoot better for me.

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Post by swkovacs62 2/10/2021, 12:22 pm

I recently handed down a Hi Standard Supermatic Trophy to my 16 year-old to compete in NRA Precision Pistol. (Feeling of pride in that moment probably appropriate for a separate post.) I'm left-handed and he's right-handed so I found myself in search of grips. There aren't many options and a few of the members at my club suggested I look at Precision Target Pistol Grips and the 3D-printer grips by Andrew Berryhill. My fist thoughts were, "No Way! I'm not attaching plastic to that fine pistol!" After reviewing the site and hearing about Andrew's work from a number of people who shot using his custom grips at Camp Perry, I decided to take a closer look. Andrew's web site has detailed instructional videos on how to measure the shooter's hand and submit an order for custom grips. I was skeptical but went ahead with the order. The grips arrived a short time later and we couldn't wait for my son to try them out. They fit perfectly.  His scores went up substantially. And the best part is, the grips are malleable so you can do just about anything you want with them if you wanted to. I've turned from a nay-sayer to a believer. I'd encourage anyone looking for custom grips to consider the ones at Precision Target Pistol GripsLet's talk grips... Model_10.  Stay safe and happy shooting!

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Post by Dehumanizer 2/11/2021, 7:14 am

Have Volquartsen showing up on Saturday. I got them for 126 new after some optics planet bucks and them being on sale. I plan on using them for both use and as a template for the ergo grips I will be building.

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