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Thread: Thin grips on revolvers

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Thin grips on revolvers

    Anyone have strong preferences for grip thickness on revolvers? I recently bought some Altamont grips for a Model 29. They are absolutely beautiful, but awfully thin. They're thinner than even K-frame service grips. They seem too thin for such a large gun.

    Way back 30+ years ago when I bought my first Model 29 , it came with some beautiful, smooth rosewood grips that I love. I bought some Pachmayr grips for it, and hated them. They were too thin and uncomfortable to me. Honestly I've never given Pachmayr grips a second look since then. I know a lot of people love them, so it must just be a personal taste thing.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by fatelk; 02-22-2021 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have large hands with short fingers. XL gloves have almost 1/2" empty space at the ends of the fingers. I need thin grips. i have thin Arhends(SP?)grips on a S&W Model 19, and everyone who has handled it liked the thinner grips better than either style S&W grips.
    Darn! When I looked at his website, I learned his wife's cancer bankrupted him. I missed the last day of his business by a day.
    Last edited by Norske; 02-26-2021 at 02:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thick or thin, doesn't make much difference to me. Except for CC, then I opt for thin.

    Winelover

  4. #4
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    Everybody is different. As an instructor,, I tell my students; "Get a gun to fit YOUR HANDS!" The grips are often interchangeable,, so try different grips to fit you. Thick for some, thin for others. No "One size fits all."

  5. #5
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    I am completely the obverse, I want a thick, palm-filling, grip, especially with hard kicking magnums. Thin grips hurt my palm.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by rintinglen View Post
    I am completely the obverse, I want a thick, palm-filling, grip, especially with hard kicking magnums. Thin grips hurt my palm.
    Exactly! As beautiful as these Altamont grips are, I think I'll make use of their generous return policy and get something else instead. I don't mind thinner grips on smaller guns, but on a big N-frame I want a grip that fills the hand.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    Anyone have strong preferences for grip thickness on revolvers? I recently bought some Altamont grips for a Model 29. They are absolutely beautiful, but awfully thin. They're thinner than even K-frame service grips. They seem too thin for such a large gun.

    Way back 30+ years ago when I bought my first Model 29 , it came with some beautiful, smooth rosewood grips that I love. I bought some Pachmayr grips for it, and hated them. They were too thin and uncomfortable to me. Honestly I've never given Pachmayr grips a second look since then. I know a lot of people love them, so it must just be a personal taste thing.

    Any thoughts?
    You rejected Pachmayr because of one pair of grips 30+ years ago? You need to get out more.

    My favorite grips for my 66 are Pachmayr grips, probably about 30+ years old. The grips are somewhat big for me; but are easy to grip, comfortable, and reduce felt recoil greatly!



    Very comfortable to shoot, even with my most powerful 357 magnum loads.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    You rejected Pachmayr because of one pair of grips 30+ years ago?
    No, not necessarily so. I've used plenty of Pachmayr recoil pads over the years. I just didn't like the thin grips on my Model 29, and most of their revolver grips that I've seen since then have been similar in shape. That, and I just have this thought that plastic/rubber grips look cheap. Since I don't like the shape or the look, I've never been remotely tempted to try another set. Clearly it's just a taste thing, because they wouldn't be so popular if most people didn't like them.

    Aesthetics are important to me, too. I have a strong preference for nice wood grips on handguns, and wood stocks on long guns too, for that matter. I see plastic/synthetics as purely utilitarian. They're very practical and durable, and I use them when that practicality is important, but otherwise they just don't do anything for me.

    Like they say- There's no accounting for taste!

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    I've got a pair of "Sacramento" grips on Dan Wessons. I love the way they feel in my hand, wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. They are very thin (side to side) and if I shoot a hot mag. load I feel it in the web!

    On another Dan Wesson (.44) I've got the "combat" grips. Very large. I get that instant feeling of grabbing a carved/shaped piece of 4X4, but they fit the hand very well and spread out the recoil nicely.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatelk View Post
    Anyone have strong preferences for grip thickness on revolvers? I recently bought some Altamont grips for a Model 29. They are absolutely beautiful, but awfully thin. They're thinner than even K-frame service grips. They seem too thin for such a large gun.
    I lean the other way. Apparently I have shorter than average fingers and the slim grips fit my hand better.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Grips are a very individual thing. What works for one person has no bearing on what works for another.

    I have noticed some overall trends over the the years.
    The Pachmayr "Gripper" is fairly universal. It will not work for everyone but it works for a great many.
    The factory grip on the Ruger SP101 was a very universal grip. I saw a few people swap out their factory SP101 grips for aftermarket grips, only to put the factory grip back on.
    Unless the person has small hands, I've seen very few people that could get along with the factory Magna grips on S&W J , K & L frames.
    A Tyler T-grip adaptor makes a huge difference.

    In the end - it needs to work for YOU and no one else.

  12. #12
    Boolit Badger Ziptar's Avatar
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    I've huge hands and have tried the Pachmayr Gripper and Presentations on Blackhawks, Redhawks, and S&W N Frames. They always felt too fat, went back to the targets on the Smith. Came across a an old set of Uncle Mike's rubber grips for the Redhawk and they fit perfect. The Uncle Mike's look allot smaller and thinner than the Pachmayrs but they sure fill my big ol' meaty paws. The rubber isn't as hard as the Pachmayr also, they soak up recoil a little better. Uncle Mike's got out of the grip business at least a decade ago so you'd have to hunt around for some to try them out.
    This style to be exact. Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm working on a pair for every revolver and pick them up when I come across them. I think they might have been the factory grips on some Smiths and Rugers in the 80's and / or 90's. Just a suspicion, never confirmed it. They were also sold under the Butler Creek brand.

    Also picked up a used set of Eagle Grips Classic Checkered Grips for the Ruger Redhawk at a gun show year before last. They are just as nice and could almost pass as S&W Targets. I think I gave $60 for them, now that I've had them, I may pay the full boat new price for another set. Nice grips for big hands.

  13. #13
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    I wish your Mod. 29 Altamont grips were K frame instead--we'd work out a swap! I've got several Altamont grips on Mod. 10s and 15s and they all feel a little different. I've always favored thinner grips on most revolvers. The Pachmayr Presentation grips were always too fat for my liking, but I really like their Professional Gripper model. I've got a couple of pairs, but black rubber just isn't pretty even if it feels good. On 1911s (which I know we weren't talking about) I've purchased several of the thin rosewood models and they feel much different (for me, better) than grips of standard thickness. If you're a bit of a woodworker you can always break out a wood rasp and some sandpaper and remodel the fat grips into slim ones, but it's hard to go the other way! I bought a 629 from a buddy once, and the gun had been heavily oiled and stored away in the green felt lined case for years. The felt came off the lining and adhered itself to the metal with a tenacity that took a couple of weeks of work to remove, and the grips were totaled. Since I had no grips, and Altamont wasn't around at the time, I purchased a hugely oversized set of thumb rest grips from Sile and worked them down to something that was right for me. Making or modifying your own is always an option.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Since the case had to be relined and the grips weren't original I redid the case with blue felt instead of the original green.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's an N frame 625 Mtn. Gun with some hi-bred Pachmayr grips, part wood, part rubber, and they feel good. You might look into them if they're still in production.

    DG

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Another thought for those that are hard to fit. You might consider Harrett gun stocks. Send in a tracing of your hand and they will make a stock just for you. I have been very happy with their products.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    My model 29 "Mountain Gun" has slender wood grips that are thinner than I like, but they look so nice that I think I'll keep them. They're not bad, really.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What started me on grips was the purchase last year of an old 1937 Brazilian contract S&W .45. It was cheap because it had Pachmayr N-frame grips on it. The gun shop gunsmith seemed to think it was some kind of abomination with those grips on it, and sold it for a price I couldn't pass up. The Pachmayrs weren't bad for shooting, but I went ahead and made some more appropriate grips for it. Most of you all probably remember my earlier thread. They turned out pretty good, but I thought it might be nice to get a set of nice-looking and more comfortable Magna grips for it. They were very nice looking, but as thin as they were I don't think they would have been more comfortable to shoot. Besides, my home-made grips are really growing on me.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've made grips before, but it takes so long that I always say I'll never do that again. I tend to be a little bit perfectionist, and it takes me a long time.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    I too generally prefer thinner grips on my revolvers and use Bearpaw Grips which have a thicker area in the web area and thin sides below that.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Grip size would be a individual choice. I have small hands with long fingers. I would like to see some K and N frame target type grips that were thin. In other words about the same as stock S&W Magna grips with T-grip filler. The J frames I put S&W Targets on and are fine. For pistols it depends on frame width to dictate grip thickness.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    The opposite end of the spectrum, for me, is the large frame Glock. I had a Model 20 10mm for a short time, and it was just too big to shoot comfortably. It felt like gripping a 2x4.

    It does seem that, for revolvers at least, the trend in recent decades has been for thinner grips, so I think it's pretty apparent that my preferences are in the minority.

    I wonder how much our preferences are dependent on simply what we've gotten used to.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    I had the same Altamont grips, and I hated them. I like my grips larger than most. All of my favorite grips fully enclose the grip frame. For heavy recoil, hunting, slow target shooting, etc. I can't beat the Harrett Jordan trooper. It is an outstanding grip design, and made to fit you. I'm not as impressed in its performance for more rapid fire. I seem to struggle slightly to bring the sights back on target as fast as I can some grips, but keep in mind I'm talking strong 41 and 44 magnum rounds. I have not tried this grip with a lower recoiling round.

    The best overall grip that I am aware of, and its priced well, is the Pachmayer Presentation. It is hard to fault the grip. It fits well enough, it performs well, and the rubber sticks in your hand, making follow up shots easy. I suppose my only issues with it are being that it is rubber. This means it doesn't look as good, and more importantly, you need to place your hand perfectly during a draw for good purchase. A smooth wood grip like the Jordan Trooper finds its spot in the palm, even if you miss a little on the draw. Maybe a checkered Jordan Trooper would be a good compromise between the two?

    I can also shoot well with what would usually be called Roper grips, depending on the design. I really like the grips Ruger put on their GP100 for the various 5" barrel and blued Lipsey special models. I wish they had a longer trigger reach, but I'm sure it fits most people that way. I

    Long story short: I like my grips more wide and rounded. The longer the trigger reach, the better. Just like cars, I've never found a seat that goes too far back. I do not like thin and flat grips at all.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    I have Altamont grips on my Ruger Bisley .357. The original owner had some faux ivory one that I couldn't live with. The Altamont replacements look great, but are a bit thin for my taste. The factory grips on my Ruger .44 spec. Bisley are just about right.

    I wish someone made unfinished oversized grips so the owner could shape them to their liking.

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