The 1911 handgun is the gold standard, in my opinion. The sleek and sexy look of the gun is just pure old school cool, and there are enough big name manufacturers of the firearm to keep the cost of getting your very own model pretty reasonable. But for those who bought a standard “mil spec” 1911 and want to tack on some accessories, the lack of rail space and the distinctly un-tacticality of the gun can be a problem. Enter the Recover grip for 1911 handguns . . .
The concept behind the Recover grips is simple: by replacing the grip panels with custom side pieces, you can use the existing screws to keep everything in place and not have to change anything on the gun itself. It’s a simple, non-destructive modification that allows you to quickly and easily strip the grips off if you decide you don’t like them. Which is entirely possible.
In addition to the screws in the grips, the Recover grip use the triggerguard as an additional anchor point to keep everything right where it should be. Two cross-bolt screws with nuts on the other side add some rigidity to the apparatus and keep the two sections from separating under stress. It makes for a fairly solid product, but the front section of the grip — the part that actually matters — is still cantilevered out in front of the anchor points. As a result, the weight of whatever you attach to that rail section will constantly be stressing the Recover every time the gun fires and may lead to the front section eventually snapping off. Time will tell.
I wasn’t able to make it snap during my testing, but I only put about 100 rounds through the gun. The reason: sucky ergonomics.
Let’s start with the obvious fit and finish issues. The grips look good at first blush, but when you look closer there is all kinds of excess material that could have been removed at the factory with about ten seconds of running a Dremmel around the edges. The most obvious of this excess material is on the inside of the trigger guard, where it has a tendency to cut into your trigger finger when firing if you don’t trim it off.
As a quick aside, it’s entirely possible to remove this material by hand as an end user and therefore eliminate the problem. However, here at TTAG we review guns and gear in the condition in which they arrive from the factory. In this case, the condition in which the item arrived can best be described as “unfinished” — in need of some finishing touches and a quick QC check.
Speaking of the rail section, the addition of the rail and the larger triggerguard section means that the gun will no longer fit into 99% of 1911 holsters out there. There are a couple that Recover has tested and confirms will fit, but for the most part your existing 1911 holsters will be rendered useless when you tack this onto your gun.
Moving to the rear of the grips, another issue presents itself. The grip on a 1911 is already sometimes too much for people with smaller hands. Adding slimmer grip panels is the typical solution to the problem. The Recover grips are not only as large as standard 1911 grips width-wise, but they also add a bit of material to the front of the grip (to stabilize the grips during recoil apparently). That makes them even longer than normal. Given that, people with smaller hands will probably want to steer clear, since the Recover-equipped grip seemed a touch large even for my huge paws.
The Recover grips are an interesting solution to a real problem, but honestly I don’t see the value. The grips cost $50, and that doesn’t include the light or laser or whatever you want to slap on the rail section. For comparison, a set of Crimson Trace laser grip panels for the 1911 handgun will run you about $299, all while still allowing you to fit your gun in its existing holster. If you want a flashlight too, that’s cool — Crimson Trace’s 1911 white light attaches directly to the triggerguard and works with their laser grips, all for $199. If the other alternatives weren’t available, I might be able to see how this would be a benefit to shooters, but given the other products on the market I think I’ll throw this in the “mall ninja” box along with the No Stock Needed.
Recover Rail Grip for 1911 Handguns
Colors: Black, green, FDE or camo (extra)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Ease of Installation * * * *
Just as easy as installing standard 1911 grips, except you need to also install two cross bolts.
Build Quality * *
Eh. Rough edges all over the place, excess material not removed from obvious locations. It just looks like they did a half-assed job.
Functionality * * *
It works, but unless you really want a rail section under your standard 1911 (like for a UM3 pistol sight) there are other products that can get you the same results for lights and lasers.
Overall * * *
For the stated purpose the thing works. It adds a rail section to your existing 1911 handgun. But all I keep thinking is, “why?”