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Get a Grip: 5 Styles of 1911 Grips and What They Bring to the Table

Posted by Team Armscor on Mar 25, 2016


Your grip says a lot about you. It tells an onlooker what you prize in a pistol, whether it's shootability, decoration or resilience. But when it comes to picking out your go-to pistol grip, it can be a combination of a lot of factors that dictate your buying decision.

Here are some of the most common grips you'll likely have to choose from and what makes each the ideal fit for a given shooter.


Wood 1911 Grips

If the original military spec look is what you're after, wood grips with traditional double-diamond pattern, is just the ticket. They often come in a thinner fit, perfect for shooters with small- to medium-sized hands and are more easily customized with etching than other grip styles. A hand-finished grip in this style can have a great, traditional look while offering the grip and function a competition shooter or law-enforcement-style carrier prizes.

The key benefits:

  • Professional quality
  • Old-school look and feel
  • LE performance


Rubber 1911 Grips

Rubber grips are tops for the shooter seeking durability and functionality. The benefit of a rubber grip is long-lasting quality and ease of use when it comes to maintaining a strong hold. They're highly resistant to slippage, a factor that plays hugely during instances of inclement weather and moisture. While they don't always come with the aesthetic bells and whistles of a more ornate grip, they're solid pieces of equipment for a frequent shooter. And they're resistant to natural oils and shooter wear, so it's a good choice for the daily range user who shoots more than once in a while.

The key benefits:

  • Durable construction
  • High grippability
  • Budget-conscious


G10 1911 Tactical Grips

Tactical grips offer strength, texture and relatively low prices that shooters might prize in an accessory. A strategically placed texturing element can improve grip, and economically placed non-textured areas can ensure comfort. It's the type of grip that works best for users looking for a concealed carry or everyday carry function.

The key benefits:

  • Thoughtful texturing
  • Powerful grip
  • Reduced price

Decorative 1911 Grips

Sometimes it's more about the look - decorative grips are less about being tactical and more about unique materials and designs, such as pearls and aluminum. Decorative grips bring personality to a firearm. They can be prized amongst many types of gunowners, as long as style and look is No. 1 versus function and feel.

The key benefits:

  • Unique look
  • Collectible styles
  • Showpiece status
Photo courtesy of

Simulated Ivory 1911 Grips

Simulated ivory grips are sort of the original, iconic grip for a blued gun. The benefit of a simulated ivory grip is strength and durability. They can be pricey, but there are ways to achieve the classic ivory look without spending an arm and a leg. Plus they tend to be resistant to warping and wear, so it's an ideal fit for a dedicated gun-owner who hangs onto the same piece for a long period of time.

The key benefits:

  • Resilient materials
  • Classic look and feel
  • Smooth grip finish

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Special thanks:
This post was made possible in part thanks to the expertise of Sean Nolan of, Ed Strange of and Russ Duty of


Topics: 1911