Friday, December 28, 2012

1911 VZ Grips Review

1911 VZ Grips Review

1911s are the guys version of playing barbies. We take a perfectly normal 1911 and then we start swapping out and upgrading parts. I had actually spent the better part of a night swapping between various sets of VZ Grips on my Ruger SR1911 and Springfield Range Officer when my wife asked if I enjoyed playing gun barbies... sadly yes at least if that means with guns.

So far my Ruger SR1911 and Springfield Range Officer 1911s have been a blast to shoot, however even more fun to customize.  The Smith & Alexander Mag Funnel replaced my stock back strap on my SR1911, but I moved it over to my Range Officer to make sure I liked it before picking up another.  The S&A magwell funnel greatly improved reload speeds and dressed up the 1911, however although an easy upgrade, a magwell funnel can be a bit intimidating.  

Grips on the other hand are an easy custom touch for any 1911 owner that can give it a huge grip, comfort, and look improvement all with just removing and replacing four screws. When it comes to mild to wild 1911 grips, no other company offers the variety of 1911 grips like VZ Grips and the kicker is that they are some of the most reasonably priced grips on the market.

VZ Grips was founded in 2003 with the goal to produce the finest and most precise laminate grips available for the 1911 anywhere.  The precision is accomplished by complete CNC machining of their single and multi-color G10 or Micarta laminates. 

Currently the company has seventeen 1911 grip styles with four different base/butt profiles, two additional mag release indents as well as three different grip widths from standard to slim, and numerous materials; literally thousands of combinations to create your own custom 1911.  One of the most popular questions is why the name VZ? The founder’s name is John VanZyck, so you can understand where the VZ Grips name originated from. Just know that the company is commited to the finest production 1911 grips and I certainly saw that in the grips from 

my order.

I ordered a set of slim Black Frag Grips, Operator II in Predator Green, and Black and Grey Aliens from VZ Grips with the intent of playing around to figure out which one I liked best on my 1911s. Sadly, I will also probably swap them around more than you would think. Each grip fit perfectly, was gap free and dramatically increased the grip and comfort over the standard stock grips on the Ruger and Springfield.  I do not have large monkey paws so the slim grips made both my 1911s worlds more comfortable for me and greatly improved handling.

All the grips I selected were slim profile however the Frag grips were considerably slimmer than any of the others and seemed to find a home on my SR1911.  The VZ Grips Operator II and Aliens definitely have a much more aggressive biting texture and locked onto my hand.. perfect for a competition focused 1911 like the the Springfield Range Officer.

VZ Grips has a near limitless number of solid and layered colored micarta and G10 to choose from.  As you can see the solid colored black Frag grips take on VZ’s grip design, but the layered colors on the Aliens and Operator II show the color variation like you would see on any laminated stock.  It is an incredible look.

Comparing standard width
grips to VZ Slim Grips

The VZ Grips 1911 Aliens were originally designed for the Precision Weapons Section of the U.S. Marine Corps. These grips provide a lot of grip with just the right amount of bite.

The Frag grips are a collaboration between Ned Christiansen of Michiguns and VZ Grips.  This pineapple grenade pattern offers a classic look and positive grip and happens to match up to Ned’s custom 1911 frontstrap treatment.

The Operators are actually one of VZ Grips most popular styles so VZ expanded the line with the Operator II with thumbs reliefs for the magazine. As noted on VZ Grips site, I did need to knock down some of the grip bite with an emery board, however they still have plenty of bite.

VZ Grips also has a full line of bushings and simple to intricate grip screws to complete your very own look.  Don’t forget that if you are installing sllim grips that you will also need short grips screws and short grips screw bushings as well otherwise your grips may not mount correctly.  I picked up their DPL and SLEX and a couple sets of VZ’s universal bushings to make the build simple and add the extra custom touch.

The wife may say I am playing barbies with my 1911s, however it was a blast to see the transformation from stock to a custom looking 1911 just with a grip and grip screw swap.  For those with hands smaller than your average ape, a set of slim grips greatly improves handling and comfort.  VZ Grips adds the custom touch and improves shootability all while looking un-freaking-believable cool all for well under $100.  Indeed one of the best upgrades I have made to my 1911s.

Slim Black Frag Grips - $65
Slim Operator II in Predator Green - $65
Slim Black and Grey Aliens - $65
1911 Universal Bushing and Hex Screw Kit - $16.00
1911 Slex Screws - $12
1911 DPL Stainless Screws - $19


Shop the complete selection of grips now at 

VZ Grips

Springfield Armory

1 comment:

JOSH55 said...

Very informative article. I'm on my way to the 1911 world, wich results to be a very interesting one, limitless possibilities of customization. VZ Grips is definitely the first upgrade I choose. The mag well from your article seems to be a very low profile and a comfortable too.