At a Glance: The 8 Best Grip Upgrades For Your 1911
Comparison of The 8 Best Grip Upgrades For Your 1911
Our Top Pick
|Magpul MOE 1911 TSP grip panels
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Our Top Pick
|Hogue 1911 wraparound rubber grips with finger grooves
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Our Top Pick
|Guuun 1911 Ambi Safety Cut Big Scoop Grips With Sunburst Texture
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The single biggest upgrade you can do to a pistol is to enhance your grip on the weapon. The grip is such a vital part of your 1911 because it’s the crucial connection point between your hands and your gun. The customizability of 1911 pistols means you can change your grip to better suit your taste, reflect your personality, and improve your aiming and firing. Moreover, unlike some other 1911 upgrades, the grip is easy to switch over. With the popularity of 1911 personalization increasing, there are many aftermarket 1911 grips on the market. This makes it hard to find the best 1911 grips out there.
In this article, we’ll explain the different types of grips you’ll likely come across and what to look for to find the best quality aftermarket grip for your 1911 Pistol.
Our pick of the 8 best 1911 grips on the market
We’re here to assist you with upgrading your 1911 pistol and choosing the highest quality parts. We’ve scoured the market to find the best 1911 grips available. We’ve then tested and reviewed each one to help you confidently choose one that is both good value and high quality. You’ll also find the pros and cons of each product. This will help you understand which grip will best fit your hand and improve your pistol’s performance the most.
Magpul MOE 1911 TSP grip panels
The Magpul MOE 1911 TSP grip panels are constructed with a heavy-duty reinforced polymer and feature a unique diamond-shaped cross-section and aggressive TSP texture (Trapezoidal Surface Projections). This gives a positive anti-slip control that will prevent your gun from twisting and falling out of your hand.
The aggressive texture used on these grip panels gives better control of your 1911 in all environments. They are compatible with ambidextrous safeties and designed to fit full-size 1911s with standard grip screw bushings. This grip is available in 3 color choices – black, grey, and dark earth.
I was impressed by the feel of these grip panels. They feel rigid and firm but lightweight. There is a thumb cut out for the magazine release that will work very well if your thumb reaches it.
The downside is the polymer and is not the most high-quality grips on the market. If they were made from rubber or coated with some type of grip texture, the quality would be a lot better.
Despite that, these grip panels give a comfortable hold and fantastic grip. They fit well, are cut for an Ambi safety, and very affordable.
- Aggressive TSP texture for positive control
- Diamond-shaped cross-section to prevent slipping
- Compatible with ambidextrous safeties
- Thumb cut out makes it easy to operate magazine release
- The quality of the material is not the highest
- Not comfortable for pro-long shooting
Hogue 1911 wraparound rubber grips with finger grooves
The Hogue 1911 wraparound rubber grips are designed to give shooters added protection and a more efficient grip by incorporating finger grooves. These grips by Hogue maintain the perfect balance between style and functionality.
They are constructed using soft, durable rubber and a lightweight synthetic skeleton. The rigid, synthetic insert is bonded to the exterior rubber grip to keep the grip parts firmly together. The material is solvent and oil-resistant to prevent deterioration even after many years of use.
Hogue chose to use a cobblestone (stippled) surface on this grip instead of the traditional checkering style found on most grips. The cobblestone texture gives a unique, modern feel as well as excellent grip control in any condition.
The grips’ construction makes them long-lasting, and the design makes them versatile, fitting .45, 9mm, .22, .38, and 10mm 1911 pistols. They are not the easiest to install and may require a bit of time and patience, but the improvement you will see in your grip makes it completely worth it. Their comfortable and secure hold makes them easily one of the best 1911 grips on the market.
- Gives a super comfy yet extremely secure hold
- High-quality rubber giving durability and longevity
- Finger grooves for added protection and efficiency
- Unique cobblestone texture
- Might be a little difficult to fit
Guuun 1911 Ambi Safety Cut Big Scoop Grips With Sunburst Texture
These 1911 big scoop decorative grips by Guuun feature a cool sunburst texture that not only looks good but provides a secure grip in all conditions, including if your hands are wet or you’re wearing gloves.
Aside from the unique and practical design, the construction is just as impressive. Precision machined using strong, durable, and non-slippery G10 fiberglass, the grips are cut with a slightly beveled bottom and are made to fit Ambi safeties. Furthermore, there is a 3 1/16″ spacing between screws for precise size control.
The design will fit most full-size government and commander size 1911 pistols. These grips by Guuun are the best 1911 grips for shooters who want to show off their style through their handgun, as there are 10 color choices to choose from.
What I like the most about these grip panels is the phenolic grade G10 material used. This high-pressure fiberglass laminate doesn’t shrink or swell in high or low temperatures, is lightweight, and is super strong, so it’s difficult to break.
The panels fit perfectly and look fantastic. The groove for the thumb is in the perfect position for an ergonomic grip too. For the low price, these are a fantastic 1911 upgrade to make.
- Constructed with high-quality G10 material
- Stylish design with 10 color options
- Sunburst texture for a relaxed look and firm grip
- Durable and non-slippery
- Not designed for ambidextrous safeties
Recover Tactical CC3H 1911 grip and rail system
This unique 1911 grip and rail system from Recover Tactical boasts a quick and easy installation, taking less than 3 minutes with no permanent modifications required.
This system gives 1911 shooters the simplest way to add a rail to their gun and upgrade the grip simultaneously. The full-length Picatinny rail gives improved stability, and the grooved grip provides a secure hold. It will fit most standard-sized 1911s but not the compact models.
This durable system uses high-grade reinforced Polymer to update the look of your 1911 without causing any damage to your gun. What’s more, it does not add any thickness or weight to the weapon.
The grip feels light without feeling flimsy or weak and is much more durable than stock 1911 grips. The cutouts for the magazine release, slide stop, and safety are all perfectly placed, and it appears to be ambidextrous-safety-friendly too.
I was pleasantly surprised at how fast and easy the installation was, plus it comes with all Allen wrenches and screws needed. Moreover, the rail is extremely sturdy, making it easy to install attachments. Overall, it’s fantastic value for money and a clever way to install a new rail while upgrading the grip.
- Unique rail and grip system
- Easy and quick to install with no modifications needed
- Lightweight and durable construction
- Grooved grip gives a secure and firm hold
- Brilliant value for money
Cool Hand 1911 wood grip with checker diamond cut
The Cool Hand 1911 wood grips give a super cool appearance and highly functional performance. They are CNC machined from rosewood with an aggressive, checker diamond cut for a firm grip and precise fitting.
The grips fit all full-size 1911 pistols, and the right panel’s cut to fit Ambi safeties. The two center holes are 3 1/16″ apart with a thickness of 1/4″ for precise size control. You can choose either brown or black panels, and there is an option for an engraved US logo too.
The machining of these grip panels results in a perfect fit. One thing to note is you may have to sand them down a little bit first to remove any rough or scratchy sensation. Once sanded, they are very grippy yet comfy. Also, regular shooting and carrying will naturally smooth out the panels anyway.
They give a cool, vintage appearance, which makes them one of the best 1911 grips for shooters who want to maintain that classic 1911 pistol look and improve the hold and feel of their pistol. They instantly look great but may take a little time to feel great too.
- Gives your 1911 a cool, vintage look
- Precision machined to fit all full-size 1911s
- Cut to fit ambi safeties
- The final result is a grippy but comfy hold
- They look more expensive than they are
- They may feel a bit rough at first, might require some sanding down
Altamont Crocback 1911 wood grips with ambi safety
These Altamont Crocback 1911 grips are made in the USA from high-quality wood. The ‘never slip’ checkering design of these grips looks and feels great and most importantly, gives you a smooth and secure draw every time.
The grips are cut by Altamont’s high-speed CNC machines to fit most standard size 1911 models and include ambi safety cuts too. They are available in rosewood, walnut, or silver-black, plus there’s an option for rosewood with a gold medallion placed in the center.
I found these grips to be comfortable, tough, and durable. The fit was great as they dropped right in. The finish was good with all the detailed cuts done well. That being said, as with all wood grips, they may require some sanding down.
Considering the price and the quality of the construction and finish, these are fantastic value for money grip panels. These are undoubtedly some of the best 1911 grips for improving the look and feel of your pistol.
- The ‘never slip’ checkering design gives a solid hold
- High-quality precision machining and detailed finish
- Will immensely improve the look of your 1911
- Cut for ambi safeties
- Made in the USA
- May require some sanding down to smooth out
Pearce Grips 1911 rubber grip with finger groove insert
These 1911 rubber grips by Pearce Grips feature strong, reinforced finger grooves with rubber insides to provide increased comfort and handling. The finger grooves wrap around both sides connecting both rubber side grips.
This is more of a grip insert, meaning they were designed to go under any type of side panel grips. This is possible as the sides of the grips are only 1mm thick, so the width of your pistol grip is not affected. This allows them to fit under any full size 1911 side panel grip.
What I like about the finger grooves is how firm the rubber is. They don’t bend like some other spongy grip inserts. Moreover, the groove placement is perfect for those with large hands. The only negative I found was that they do require some cutting to fit the grips’ shape, which can leave a rough finish.
Overall, they serve as a low-cost addition to your current wood grip panels. The rubber finger grooves will improve the ergonomics of your gun as well as the feel of your grip, giving you a much more snug hold of your 1911.
- Finger grooves provide a comfortable, snug hold
- Firm rubber that doesn’t bend
- Thin material to fit under all types of grips
- A low-cost way to improve the ergonomics of your gun
- May require cutting to fit your grips
Premium Gun Grips 1911 acrylic pearl grips
These elegant acrylic bright white pearl grips by Premium Gun Grips are comfortable, durable, tough & safe presentation grade 1911 grips that will fit most full size 1911’s. Made in North Carolina, USA, they feature a CNC cut and highly polished finish.
Not only do these grip panels look great and feature fine detailing, but they are extremely tough and sturdy too. They also fit perfectly on my 1911 with no modifications needed, but other models may require sanding down.
While they are not the best tactile grips out there, they are perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing grips on the list that look a lot more expensive than they are! Even if they are not the most suitable for competition shooting, they are the perfect choice for shooters looking to jazz up their 1911 or add a bit of style to their firearm.
- Gives a comfortable, durable, and sturdy hold
- High-polish finish
- Made in the USA
- Easy to fit on most full-size 1911s
- A stylish and elegant upgrade
- Not the best for tactile or competition shooting
Why the 1911 is so cool
The 1911 pistol is one of the most popular handguns among the US military, special forces, and civilians. There are many reasons for its popularity. Let’s go over some of the aspects that make the 1911 so cool.
- Ergonomics – The 1911 has superb ergonomics that make the pistol dreamy to shoot. Pointability and accuracy rate high in this handgun thanks to its innovative design that places all the controls exactly where they need to be for the best performance.
- Power – The 1911 is favored by the military and police forces because it’s one of the most powerful pistols to shoot. Chambered in its .45 ACP round, or newer 9mm caliber, it can create some of the deadliest wounds of any other handgun round.
- Comfort – The design and build of the pistol make it super comfy to hold. Its all-metal construction makes the gun feel strong and durable but still lightweight enough for conceal carry, and the crisp trigger feels smooth but not snappy.
- Customization – It’s one of the most easily customizable pistols on the market and 1911 users love to upgrade their gun with the best scopes, rails, sights, grips, and other accessories available.
- Versatility – This is a gun for everyone. It will serve just as well in competition shooting as it will for self-defense purposes. Its versatility comes down to the vast array of combinations of frames, slides, triggers, barrels, and more. This allows you to modify the gun to any application, whether that’s target shooting or duty carry.
Read more about choosing the best 1911 pistol for your budget here.
How to choose the best grip
The biggest factor to consider when choosing an aftermarket grip is the fit. It should fit in your hand perfectly, not too small nor too big. The fit will determine the performance you get from your pistol.
Different shooters require different levels of firmness. Therefore, if possible, test out different grips to see how comfortable they feel. All the best 1911 grips should take most of the impact from the shot. For this, your hand should align close to the bore-line.
Fully understanding the different types of grips and materials available will also help you find the best 1911 grip. In the sections below, we will explain these.
Types of grip
There are surprisingly many different types of 1911 grips on the market. Here is a breakdown of the common styles you’ll come across on the best 1911 grips.
Wood grips look both traditional and professional as they feature the classic diamond pattern. Wood grips are usually a bit thinner than other styles, making them a good fit for shooters who have small- to medium-sized hands. Wood is also the best material for engraving, so it’s a good option if you want to personalize your handgun.
Tactical grips are durable and affordable. 1911 tactical grips also give a firm but comfortable hold with both textured and non-textured areas. The non-textured areas provide comfort, while the textured areas give you a more secure grip.
Rubber grips are extremely high quality, giving you the best performance and durability. The rubber texture helps you hold your firearm firmly as it’s a slip-resistant material. This makes rubber grips the best choice for shooting in wet conditions too. Rubber grips are a popular style choice amongst regular shooters because of their durable construction, low price, and sturdy hold.
For the most unique and aesthetically pleasing look, decorative grips will be the best 1911 grips for you. You will find decorative grips in many novel designs and materials. This is not the style for shooters wanting that traditional, classic pistol look, but for those who want to express their personality through their firearm. Some of the decorative 1911 grips on the market will transform your pistol into a showpiece.
Wood is the traditional material used on 1911 grips, but today you can find wood grips in various styles. Some have a smooth, highly polished finish while others have a scalloped textured design.
- As well as looking good, wood 1911 grips give good grip quality too.
- The downside to wood grip is that they can discolor or chip over time, so they are not the most durable or long-lasting material choice.
Plastic grips have been a popular option for 1911s for a long time. Plastic grips are the best material to opt for if you’re on a budget as it is the cheapest material. Luckily, the quality of plastic grips has improved over time too, so you do not have to sacrifice quality over price
- Many plastic grips feature aggressive checkering or texturing to give a more solid and sturdy hold.
- In general, plastic 1911 grips are more durable than wood ones, and they are resistant to water and fluids too.
- Even so, with regular and aggressive use, there is a chance that they can chip or break.
Rubber is perhaps the most favored material for 1911 grips because of its grippy texture. A pebbled texture is the most common design on rubber grips.
- Some rubber grips combine rubber finger grooves for a truly rock-solid hold.
- Rubber grips will generally be thicker than other materials, but not so much that it affects the pistol’s concealability.
- Moreover, rubber works well in all temperatures and conditions.
What I like the most about aluminum grips is how strong yet lightweight they are. They also are the most customizable, so they allow you to express your style and personality much more than other materials.
- Aluminum grips can be designed using many color options and graphics.
- Aluminum is the smoothest material that makes it the easiest to conceal under clothing.
- The downside to aluminum grips is that they are most prone to slippage and do not perform well in wet conditions or when wearing gloves.
G10 is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate that is extremely durable. It’s a good choice of material for grip panels as it doesn’t shrink or swell in high or low temperatures. It’s lightweight yet super strong and very difficult to break.
Other great 1911 upgrades to consider
So now you’ve upgraded your grip, what other parts of your pistol should you change? Here are the most common 1911 enhancements we see shooters make.
- Safety – When upgrading your grip, you should also upgrade your safety. The beavertail type is the most popular. This upgrade will give you a higher and tighter grip without any slide or hammer bite.
- Trigger – Upgrading your trigger can improve your trigger pull significantly. It is also one of the cheapest 1911 upgrades to make.
- Barrel – Many 1911 shooters choose to upgrade their barrels for greater accuracy. High-quality match-grade barrels have tighter clearances that give a more consistent spin and flatter trajectory.
- Sights – While they are not the easiest to install, sights come in many different types to suit whichever purpose you desire. You can enhance your 1911 with fiber optics, night sights, adjustable target sights, low-profile combat sights, and more.
- Magazine catch – If you struggle to reach the magazine release, you can easily swap the magazine catch for an extended version.
Summary – Which grips are the best 1911 grips on the market?
Whether you’re looking to express your personality, glam up your gun, or improve the economics and performance of your 1911, our list has got you covered.
That being said, if I had to choose just one, I would go for the Hogue 1911 wraparound rubber grips with finger grooves. These grip panels give the most secure grip yet still feel comfortable to hold as the rubber is soft yet durable. The cobblestone texture and finger grooves increase the efficiency further and are built to last for years to come.
For those who love the vintage style, the Altamont Crocback 1911 wood grips are made from the highest quality wood and are constructed to give a smooth and secure draw while maintaining the traditional 1911 look.
Whichever grips you go for, all the products on this list are high-quality grip panels that will enhance your gun’s performance. We hope this article serves you well in finding the best 1911 grips for you and your treasured firearm.