English Hardwood Grips for Your AR-15? Why Not?

While AR-15s are light, reliable, customizable and mighty handy, they’re more than a little, well, utilitarian in their aesthetic. Not that that’s a bad thing. Most of the time. But some of us love the look and feel of hardwood. Which is why companies like Black Wood USA now offers English walnut grips you can mount on an Indian Creed Designs grip frame.

Too jarring a juxtaposition? Like lipstick on a ballistic pig? Or just what the doctor ordered? We say to each his (or her) own. Here’s their press release . . .

Black Wood USA Releases Wood Grips for the AR-15

The company continues to develop new products that bring the tradition of wood to the AR platform

SEATTLE ? March 19, 2018 ? Black Wood USA, a company pioneering wood components for the AR-15 platform, today announced the release of new English Walnut grips that bring classic look and feel of wood to America?s most popular rifle.

The company, which started a little more than one year ago, has made significant strides in its short history. ?We?ve spent the past year designing, prototyping, and gathering feedback from our customers,? said CEO William Mengon, ?these grips are the first of a suite of products we?ve developed through that process.?

The grips are made possible through a partnership between Black Wood USA and Indian Creek Designs (ICD). ICD has been producing an aluminum grip frame that allows the user to add 1911 grip panels to their AR-15 for some time. However, regular 1911 grip panels must be modified to allow the AR-15 safety selector switch to function properly. Black Wood USA?s grip panels capitalize on the proven ergonomics of the 1911-style frame while allowing the rifle to function as designed. ?ICD has developed a solid platform,? commented Mengon, ?partnering with them was a natural choice.?

Each grip starts as a solid block of English Walnut, which is CNC machined into a right and left grip panel. The panels are then hand-sanded to ensure fit and sealed to bring out the natural beauty of the wood grain and to increase durability.

The grips are available on the company?s website with smooth or grooved panels and start at $100.00.

For more information visit: https://www.blackwoodusa.com/collections/wood-ar-15-grips

About Black Wood USA:

BlackWoodUSA.com is owned and operated by U.S. Army Veterans who wanted to share their wood AR-15 components with the world. Each piece of their wood furniture is hand-finished to highlight the natural grain of the wood and all their products are 100% made in the U.S.A.

comments

  1. avatar Splic3r says:

    That is a significant number of question marks for a product reveal..

  2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    Why not?

    Reason #1) Price
    Reason #2) I don’t know wood, but it doesn’t even look very good to me
    Reason #3) Would it last as long as polymer/plastic?

    1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      Wood will definitely last longer than plastic. My LC Smith is from 1937 and the wood looks great. It is rather rare to see any plastic from the same era in good condition.

      1. avatar Frank in VA says:

        Counterpoint: Wood hasn’t changed much. I would guess plastic has improved significantly since 1937.

        1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

          Haha. And the $80+ you save with the purchase of plastic today can be invested so that one day you can afford whatever alien technology/plastic the future holds.

  3. avatar hillbillyjew says:

    Huh. Maybe if someone wanted to match their 1911? I wouldn’t. G10 grips are in that price range, aren’t they? Still too heavy for me.

    1. avatar strych9 says:

      When you say that they’re too heavy are you referring to the 1911 grips or the AR grips?

      1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

        I meant wood and g10 would probably feel too heavy on an AR. They’re not heavy materials on their own, but after you factor in the frame that screws into, they’re about 4 oz heavier than my preferred MFT grip.

        1. avatar Ryan says:

          4 oz! Holy crap! I might die!

          Guessing this article was directed toward people who like a little class with their toys. I’m sure leather seats in a sports car are just as useless/decorative.

        2. avatar hillbillyjew says:

          Ha. Four ounces extra and you might die. What a hoot. I’m such a weakling. You got me.

          Four extra ounces in four places on your rifle is an extra pound. I love to take my family and friends shooting. Handing them a heavy rifle they can’t shoot without bench resting works against my goal of keeping everyone interested and having fun.

          As for class with your toys, I’m certainly guilty of spending too much money on what I think is aesthetically pleasing. There are lots of weapons with wood I might deem classy. But the pictures above don’t do it for me. Sorry. A BAD Paratrooper? Classy. The grips above? Not so much.

          Leather seats and leather wrapped steering wheels, I’m all about. But since you’re peer pressuring me, I might have to step it up to seats made of carbon fiber wrapped in cheetah hide.

  4. avatar strych9 says:

    We constantly complain about people adding unnecessary stuff to their guns.

    This would seem to fall squarely into that category. But hey, it’s your money so you can do whatever you want.

  5. avatar DrDKW says:

    Let’s see some matching wood AR stocks and fore-ends.
    Maybe in a nice cherry or mahogany finish!

    DrDKW

    1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

      Battle arms development makes those. Pretty sexy.

      1. avatar Chris D says:

        These guys make matching stocks rail panels and foregrips. Look at their website. Battle arms stuff is faux wood, at least the stock is for sure.

        1. avatar hillbillyjew says:

          I didn’t notice their wood trigger guards. Those are interesting, I suppose. I’d be interested in the average weight of all their wooden options.

          But I wouldn’t say the Battle Arms is faux wood. The cheek rest is stainless, I believe. The pistol grip and handguard are French Walnut.

  6. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

    Lipstick. Meet pig.

  7. avatar AdamTA1 says:

    Some people like lipstick on a pig… just sayin…

    Don’t judge me!

  8. avatar MyName says:

    Ok, wood AR grips – I’m a fan, I’m pretty into wood – In fact, I make and sell custom woodwork. (Not grips, think “custom kitchen”) That said, these look pretty lousy. The margin varies all the way around, the edges aren’t parallel to the grip frame, the grooves are not appealing and the price tag is pretty optimistic. I have owned, and made, and sold 1911 grips that are much cleaner at a substantially lower price.

  9. avatar Isaac says:

    For the love of all that you hold good and holy can we please just stop trying to make things what they wer never intended to be!
    AR’s are supposed to be plastic and metal, Honda Civics are supposed to be econoboxes and Glocks are supposed to be utilitarian… just leave them be what they are great at people!

    That having been said fine it’s your gun and your money, but we’ll still laugh at you on the range.

  10. avatar Nanashi says:

    You forgot the best option: Make your own by hand. Compared to a stock or handguard, this is relatively easy with basic machine tools and skills if you can get a block of a good type of wood.

  11. avatar MLee says:

    While wood grips look very elegant and classy on some applications, applied to an AR doesn’t sound very appealing in my opinion. Yes yes I know, opinions are like a– holes, everyone’s got one.
    Wood furniture on some AKs looks great. The Rosewood grips on my P229 look hot, but for my AK, I chose Hogue OverMolded® While wood grips can look fantastic, those Hogue grips feel exceptionally nice in my hands.

  12. avatar Texican says:

    Turnbullrestoration.com used to make an AR 10 with a color case hardened steel receiver with all wood furniture. It was beautiful. You can find images online since I don’t think they are still manufacturing them.

    1. avatar MLee says:

      I found those images. Yes that is one beautiful rifle. That was be closet queen for sure.

  13. avatar No one of consequence says:

    The wood trigger guard bottom piece is a very nice touch, I must say.

    Other than that … well, if I were going to make a “Woodie” AR, I’d go for the solid wood pistol grip, stock and fore-end / barrel shroud.

  14. avatar GlenSA says:

    Maybe antis wouldn’t want to ban ar15s if they had wood furniture and looked more friendly

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Yeah, I think they would.

      Maybe not so in the past, but whatever the furniture, an AR built with a standard LPK can still accept bump fire stocks and standard capacity magazines.

  15. avatar Gunr says:

    I’ve done a bit of machining, and worked all my life with wood. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’d say that with cost of materials, time to manufacture considered, these guys are making a 90% profit.

    However, this gives me an idea. I’ll make a set of grips for my own AR, maybe out of goncalo alves. Judging from what they get for their grips, mine ought to increase the value of my AR to $150 or so………….or so.

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