The greatest fighting pistol of all time—the Colt 1911—originally came with simple, checkered walnut grip panels. But because of the simple, flat-on-the-back shape of the pistol’s grip, it’s easy to personalize with custom grips. Pistoleros have been dressing up their guns since, well, about 1911 with grip panels ranging from simply functional to beautiful, to radical, to risqué. Modern 1911 shooters have plenty of options, too. Here’s a look at some of the coolest 1911 pistol grips available today.
Spalted wood is wood that’s been color disfigured by a fungus. Oak is typically not a popular grip material, but you cannot ignore the beauty of these rare, spalted oak stocks from Challis Grips. Prices start at $350. Wait time runs around three months.
Wood remains the classic 1911 grip material, and these uniquely checkered, finely figured wood grips with a melted chocolate look are among the finest offered by Altamont. Surprisingly, most Altamont grips sell for less than $100.
Fresh from a hole in the ground in darkest Siberia, these grips were sliced from the tusk of a wooly mammoth that was about 17,000 years old. They’re nearly as rare as a virgin riding a unicorn, and so you’ll pay dearly for them. They cost $800, and the accented gem screws are an extra $55.
If you want to go old school without spending a fortune, check out these simulated stag horn grips from N.C. Ordnance Inc. for only $50.
These aluminum grips from AlumaGrip are not very expensive, but they’re highly customizable. You can choose the color, checkering pattern, checkering depth, and even get custom engraving. You can order on-line and most options are $100 or less.
Grips with the famous Gunsite Academy Raven logo should be earned by graduating a firearms training course at the site, but they’re actually much easier to get. You can pick them up at the Gunsite Pro-Shop or order on-line. Herrett Stocks makes these cocobolo wood raven grips for Gunsite. $32.95.
Damascus steel has become popular on high-end 1911s, but those guns can cost as much as a new ATV. Get some of that coolness for a lot less with Damascus grips. They’ll vary a great deal in look, and you’ll have to search to find a metalsmith skilled enough to make them. These match about perfectly with the WWII nose-art style Bombshell Pin Up holster from Savoy Leather.
Semper Fi! These classy looking USMC grips on imitation ivory are available from N.C. Ordnance Inc.—and there are options for most other U.S. Military branches, too. $75.
These aluminum “We The People” grips from Wicked Grips are made with a proprietary anodizing process. You’d need a grinding wheel or sanding belt to mar the finish. Wicked Grips can even put your photo on panels. $93.50. The gemmed stock screws cost extra.
Tacti-cool for sure. This grip from Recover Tactical transforms a stock 1911 into a handgun with an accessory rail. The grip installs in just minutes and will allow you to rail mount a light or laser. It is available in black, grey, tan, olive, and even pink. $39.95.
Laser grips are usually not fancy, but these Crimson Trace Master Series walnut grips are an exception. They not only provide a high-end look, but they have an integrated laser sighting system. $399.