Monday, March 11, 2013

Glock Grip Force Adapters Review

Glock Grip Force Adapters Review

Back a few months ago, Mrs Pandemic and I were qualifying for our state’s concealed carry licenses. During the range qualification, one of the police officers/instructors commented on the nice tight groups we were shooting and then asked if we had been having any slide bite issues with our Glocks.  This was more of a rhetorical question as the top of my wife’s thumb knuckle had caught the slide about five minutes earlier and was now bleeding... although dripping blood, she was still shooting.  I personally do not, nor have I ever had the issue due to my small but stumpy thick hands. Mrs Pandemic with her long thin elegant fingers has of course had an issue with Glock slide bite. The officer offered up his Glock 19 to try out in hopes his attached Grip Force adapters with extended beavertail would be more comfortable for her. After only three rounds she ordered me to pick up a couple for her Glocks... yes that was plural, a Glock 17 and Glock 19 to be exact. She will not be one of those chicks standing in a “safe zone” with a rape whistle.

Grip Force installed on Gen 2 Glock 19
The Glock is arguably one of the finest, if not “the” most well designed personal defense pistols made and with two Glock 17s and 19s plus a custom Glock 17 by Salient Arms in the house we love our Glocks. Like any firearm there are a few points which experts and novices alike agree could be improved on the Glocks. 

The biggest requests surround the all purpose fit of the Glock grip which in most cases fits no one great, but every acceptably well. Glock did take a step forward in improving comfort with the Gen 4 model’s interchangeable grips and more aggressive grip texturing, however for some shooters, the most problematic slide bite problem remained and this is where the Glock Grip Force Adapter comes in and solves major fitment issues for long fingered, monkey pawed hands that are prone to slide bite.

Grip Force installed on Gen 3 Glock 17
Grip Force was created with the input of some of the top firearm industry experts simply to improve the Glock grip for those whose hands and shooting preference does not fit the stock Glock grip.  The Grip Force Adapter is available in a Gen123 version and a Gen 4 version.  Gen123 and Gen123SC versions will fit all generation 1, 2, & 3 Glocks, but Grip Force also recommends it when the Medium and Large back-straps for the Gen 4 Pistols. 

For those with Gen 4 pistols who do not have a back-strap attached, the Gen4 adapter is used. If in doubt, they have a chart to figure out which back-strap you need based on what Gen 4 back-strap you are using.

From a fit and finish perspective, the Grip Force adapters are made from a similar material to the Glock lower receiver and is attached via the Glock’s plastic grip pin. Each of the adapters I ordered matched perfectly to the finish of my pistol and were of the same quality as my Glock grip and my Gen 4 factory grip adapters. Grip Force also offer tan adapters as well which will perfectly match your factory tan Glock or just add a nice accent to your black Glock.

Grip Force installed on bottom

Grip Force includes four plastic grip pins and your choice of two adapters for your $26.95; a Gen 123 and Gen123SC adapter kit for generation 1, 2, or 3 owners or a combo Gen123SC and Gen4 adapter kit for generation 4 owners. 

Grip Force installed on Gen 3 Glock 17
The original GripForce Gen123 adapter have a bit longer back strap and a ribbed beaver-tail. The Gen123SC adapters have a shorter back-strap length and no ribbing on the beaver-tail. Between the two versions included in the kit, they provide owners basically a medium and large fitment option based on personal preference.  Luckily I ordered a couple various Grip Force adapter packs to play around with because, my wife decided she liked the extended original Gen123 version on her Glock 19, but on her Gen 4 Glock 17, she prefers the Gen4 adapter.

The adapters are simply to install; push out the factory grip pin, slip on the Grip Force adapter and replace the factory pin with one of the extended pins included with the adapters. At this point there is some trimming involved to remove the excess of the over-sized length of the grip pin. Included with my shipment was a emery nail file which was the perfect tool for the task of smoothing out the pins flush with the adapters on both the Glocks. Grip Force did the best they could however as we know, even within each generation, Glock grip specs were always changing. The result is that Grip Force designed around the lowest common denominator with enough material on the adapters to be able to customize the adapter to grip fit. Of the four disparately produced Glocks I test fit various adapters to, all fit pretty well. If you choose, the adapter can be fit tighter to the grip either with the included emery board or via dremel. 

My intent has been to do a little more customizing and blending of the adapters, however my wife has had no issues with the fit or problems and typically does not want me to start “customizing” things as I tend to get a little out of hand. 

Grip Force installed on Gen 4 Glock17
The grips can be smoothed and contoured into your grip and I do know people who have also permanently epoxied them in place before having a custom grip stippling done to the grip. Doing so delivers a Glock which you would never know had any add-on attached.


The primary advantages of the grip are more control, change of the grip angle from a Luger grip feel to a 1911 grip feel for better target indexing, and to offer slide bite protection to the shooter. The Glock grip is modeled after more aggressive natural hand angle compared to the classic S&W pistols or 1911s. 

For about half of the shooters this deeper angle is both uncomfortable and unnatural and the result is that their instinctive natural point of aim for the pistol is high. Grip Force acknowledges that every hand is a bit different and where some find the Glock perfectly ergonomic to shoot, others prefer and shoot better with a more typical less severe 1911 type grip angle.

By adding a beaver-tail grip and increasing the backstrap depth at the top of the grip, the grip angle morphs into something that feels much more like a 1911 style grip and at the same time improving weapon control for some shooters.

I would like to give a couple  impressions on the Grip Force adapter. First Mrs Pandemic loves, loves, loves them and in her words “finally makes the Glock feel and point right in her hands”. She is faster on target, is able to shoot faster and more controllable, and her groups are tighter. I am sure it is simply that the protection the beaver tail provides along with improved ergonomics gives her the confidence and handling to simply run the gun harder.  

On the other hand, I am a very long time revolver shooter and thus find handguns with Luger style grips point more naturally for me. Part of that may be my stumpy hands, however with the Grip Force adapter on my Glock, I was always aligning low on the target and the back-strap increase was actually less comfortable for me.

I passed on a set of the Grip Force adapters to my 6’ 4” big handed co-editor..  My Co-editor has a Glock 21 which continues to deliver him a little slide bit.  He also felt the adapter greatly improved ergonomics for him and again delivered more comfort, faster more controlled shooting, and an increase in accuracy. His words are that the Grip Force adapter is a permanent upgrade on his Glock. 

Personally, I prefer the more angled Luger style grip, however the Glock grip is not a one size fits all design. My Glocks only needed custom stippling for me to feel happy with the fit, however for others I know swear by the Grip Force adapters and use phrases like “transformational ergonomics” to describe their experiences. The moral of this story is that if you are having problems with the slide taking a chunk out of your hand, a less than comfortable grip, or the pistol naturally coming onto the target high, $30 and simple and easy installation is well worth the price to greatly enhance your comfort, firearm control, and potentially accuracy.

Various Adapters available
Set of two adapters $26.99
Patent Pending Design

Grip Force Adapters

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The grip force adapters are totally awesome. I do have issues with the ridges on them, because after shooting 1,000 or so rnds, they will abrade your hand. I found this out after shooting with Mike Pannone for a weekend, where my had was completely like hamburger.

That being said, I still have them on all my Glocks, because they're awesome.