Archangel Manufacturing offers a number of aftermarket stocks and accessories for rifles, and now the company is offering grip panels for the 1911, including these lightweight aluminum panels, which come with an integral magazine well to speed up reloads. If you don’t want the magazine well, more traditional aluminum grips are available.
These striking grips feature deep grooves for aesthetics and traction as well as Altamont’s Spanish Diamond checkering, where small diamonds are each topped with even smaller diamonds to enhance your grip from any direction to tame recoil. The grips also sport a silver horse inset for striking looks.
This established maker of aftermarket 1911 magazines also offers several accessories for the 1911, including grips in two thicknesses: regular and Slim Carry grips. Made of rosewood, they are cut and finished to provide a solid, classic-style, double-diamond surface while being 40-percent thinner to accommodate shooters with shorter fingers or smaller hands.
Using the smallest green laser diode available, the LG-401G emits a powerful green beam yet still provides over two hours of run time on four #2016 batteries. The LG-401G utilizes Crimson Trace’s Instinctive Activation technology: When the pistol is held in a normal firing grip, the laser sight is activated. A master on/off switch also allows the shooter to completely power down the unit for range training without the laser.
Kirinite is an Eagle Grips-exclusive material that provides a solid grip without the need for checkering or other abrasive surfaces because “the more Kirinite is polished, the more it grabs and bonds to the hand.” These particular Kirinite grip panels are green pearl in color, and they’re hand-polished after being CNC machined. They are available with or without the ambidextrous safety cut, and for frames with and without mag wells.
Ed Brown uses its own grip panels and other high-end aftermarket panels on the company’s custom 1911s, and it offers many of those panels as upgrade options by themselves. The company’s classic-looking Double Diamond Laminate panels are actually made from G10 laminate—not wood—for their added durability. Ed Brown also offers other G10 options, including many slim models.
Constructed of soft rubber over a rigid polymer base, these grips are designed to offer a tacky, high-traction surface for your hand to grip your 1911. The deep grooves help enhance your grip and defeat moisture and other slippery liquids. The Warrior Grips are available in black and Flat Dark Earth.
These replacement grips come with an integrated magazine well that fits perfectly beneath your Government-sized 1911’s grip frame. Install the black polymer panels, which feature the classic stippling and double-diamond design, and the mag well is automatically aligned.
Hogue is known for producing some of the highest-quality grips for rifles and pistols, including hardwood and aluminum 1911 grips. But the company’s OverMolded Rubber Grips are its most well known because they remain as durable and useful as ever. The finger grooves give you a repeatable hold every time, and the rubber surface, with its pebbled texture, promotes a comfortable and extremely strong grasp.
Kimber offers 1911 grips made from Micarta, wood laminate, aluminum, even dyed giraffe bone. The sizes run the gamut of 1911 configurations. Particularly striking are Kimber’s black and silver “Smooth Stipple/Scallop” grips, which feature a somewhat unique approach to surface texture: the combination of smooth sections with “smooth stippling” sections, where the wood laminate is stippled and scalloped in a fine way to present good traction without being abrasive during long range sessions.
Magpul offers these very straightforward grips in matte black, Flat Dark Earth, foliage green, stealth gray, OD green and bright pink. A generous relief is formed in the left grip so you can manipulate the magazine release more easily with your shooting hand, and the grips feature a diamond-shaped cross-section to prevent twisting in your hand.
To go with its high-end custom pistols, Nighthawk has developed a full line of custom grips that incorporate cocobolo hardwood, aluminum and G10 materials to fit the full range of 1911 frames. The designs reflect a range of styles—some with thumb scoops for reaching the mag release more easily, others with various textures. The Cocobolo Finger Groove Pin Point grips have checkering that corresponds to your fingers and smooth surfaces elsewhere.
Pachmayr—a leader in handgun grips, recoil reduction, and gunsmithing—introduces its line of Renegade Wood Laminate pistol grips, the ultimate in style and function. The wood laminate panels are highly polished and checkered and available in two colors, rosewood and charcoal silvertone. Both provide classic good looks, and perfectly accent stainless steel or blued frames. The precision CNC cut checkering patterns provide a secure grip while maintaining the grip’s attractive appearance. Available to fit 1911s, Ruger Mk III and 22/45, Beretta 92, CZ 75 and Sig 238 and 938.
Pearce Grips makes soft rubber grips for a range of defensive handguns, along with extended magazine baseplates that effectively lengthen the grip on subcompacts. Most intriguingly, the company offers rubber Finger Groove Inserts for 1911 shooters who want to add anti-slip finger grooves to their gun without altering their existing grips in any way. What look like grip panels actually mount underneath your existing grip panels, securing those finger grooves right where you want them.
Raasco’s grips are made from traditional and exotic hardwoods as well as phenolic laminate (high-strength composite). These diverse materials allow for designs that offer a range of grip textures and aesthetics, including graphics like the Pinstripe series developed in tandem with Hatford Pinstriping & Lettering. Their grips can be cut for ambidextrous safeties at your request. The company also has a line of slim grip panels as well.
This radical grip reflects a complete re-envisioning of the role of aftermarket grips: It provides an accessory rail for 1911s that ship with a “slick” dust cover in the classic style. By completely replacing the existing grips, this option minimizes thickness while adding a combat-style triggerguard surface, aggressive texturing on the frontstrap and a durable accessory rail.
Sig Sauer’s high-end 1911 pistols come dressed in the company’s wood grips, which are also available for other full-sized 1911s. These rosewood grips fit both full-sized and Commander models, and they feature smooth wood where your thumb transits to operate the safety as well as diamond checkering with a large diamond design for the actual grip surface.
These aggressively machined grips are dramatic and rather unique: The holes go all the way through to the magazine well. The lower edges are beveled to aid concealability, and the grips are available with or without the ambidextrous safety cut. Valkyrie Dynamics’ grips are CNC-machined from a billet 6061-T6 aluminum and other radical options are available.
VZ Grips for the 1911 come in a huge variety of colors and materials, from traditional double-diamond designs in wood to these carbon-fiber grips in blue, white, orange and more. Many are available with a thumb scoop for enhanced handling.
Wilson Combat’s distinctive “Starburst” pattern radiates from the rear of these grip panels with ever-widening lands and grooves that very comfortably and securely interact with the palm of your shooting hand. The micro-textured surface features tiny indentations that help the grips perform despite moisture, oil and other fluids, and the matte black color works well aesthetically with just about any gun finish.
The grip panels on your 1911 pistol provide that crucial connection point between your hands and your firearm. The right panels fit your hand, fit your gun, fit your environmental needs and fit your lifestyle. Maybe they will even include an accessory, like a magazine well or laser. The choice is yours—and the market is full of some excellent choices.
Here is a collection of best bets from some of the top aftermarket grip makers in the industry. While we tried to cover every price point, make sure you dig a little deeper into each of these companies to find an amazing range of price and options to perfectly suit your needs.
The Crimson Trace LG-479 Laserguard is a red laser designed to fit underneath the...
by Jorge Amselle / May 9, 2016