D&L Sports Performance Revolver Grips (Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com.)
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My recently purchased Smith & Wesson Model 610 10mm is an okay revolver out of the box. When I replaced the factory sights with the vastly superior D&L Sports fixed combat sights, it got a whole lot better.

It’s now an entirely different — and far better — revolver entirely, and much of that is owed to the new D&L Sports Performance Revolver Grips. 

After I saw the quality of Dave Lauck’s sights, it was an easy decision to have him tackle the rest of the revolver. That work included an action job, a bit of timing adjustment, smoothing out the cylinders to fix the extraction issues, re-crowning the barrel, pinning the front sight, media blasting the whole thing a matte grey, and installing a new set of Performance Revolver Grips.

All of the work was exceptionally well done and worth every penny I spent. I will very happily send my future revolver business to Mr. Lauck. It’s all good, but it’s those grips that have made the biggest difference in both handling and appearance.

There are a lot of grips on the market, but none that I can find that are quite like this. They make the S&W double action revolver point differently, and for me, much better.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

Like most folks, when I put a single hand or double crush grip on one of these guns and drive it forward, I’m having to tilt my wrist down, out of the knuckles-to-wrist-bones locked position, otherwise the sights are pointing above the target. This puts my trigger finger out of alignment, increases felt recoil, and slows my time-to-target for follow-up shots.

That was the primary problem Dave Lauck set out to fix with his Performance Revolver Grips, and he’s done just that.

Now, my 610 points much more naturally to the target and my firing hand wrist is in the correct position to obtain and maintain a solid hold on the gun. Movement of the front sight throughout the trigger press is noticeably reduced, as is the revolver’s movement during recoil.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

I’m convinced that grip geometry and grip fit mean more for a double action revolver than any single action or semi-auto pistol, especially in heavier recoiling guns. Your trigger finger has a lot of movement and all while pulling some weight. Combine this with the fact that you don’t really want a double action revolver to “roll in the hand” as a single action does and you’ll see why getting the grip right is critical to keeping the sights on target during the trigger pull, as well as managing recoil to get them back on target as fast as possible.

Enter Lauck’s grip.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

Note the wide beavertail at the top. That allows the shooter to get the highest grip possible in order to reduce muzzle flip. The same goes with the bottom hand stop. The heavier the recoil — or the faster you want to shoot — the more value you’ll see in this design.

D&L Sports makes each grip in G10. Each grip comes smooth, but not slick. If you choose, they can be checkered or otherwise textured for a more aggressive grip surface.

Image courtesy http://www.dlsports.com

G10 is pretty darn ideal as a grip material. It’s strong enough that any breakage or wear is extremely unlikely for generations, and yet it can be contoured to fit any hand.

When it comes to revolver handling, grip fit means far more than grip material. Those over-sized soft rubber grips so many firearms are sold with are known for reducing felt recoil. They do this somewhat because the material is cushioning the recoil, but moreso because it squishes and fills the hand.

The downside is that these grips flex during recoil, potentially diminishing accuracy as well as increasing muzzle rise and the amount the gun moves in the hand.

A properly fit grip in any sturdy material fixes this problem. Following the instructions on the DLS web page, they will contour the grip to your particular hand. If you’re particularly concerned with concealment, DLS can further reduce the size of the bottom stop, or reduce the thickness or overall size of the grips.

When I was first looking at these grips, I was concerned they would be too large to allow for OWB concealed carry, one of the requirements for my particular firearm. That bottom stop looked to me like it would print horribly under an untucked button-down shirt or jacket.

Mr. Lauck assured me that would not be the case, and he was absolutely right. Although hiding an N-frame is never easy, these grips print no more than the original factory rubber grips from Smith & Wesson.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The photos of the grips, those on the DLS website as well as my own, tend to make the grips look thicker than they are. In fact, the midsection measures only 1.080″ thick on the K and L frame, and only 1.150″ thick for this N frame. That’s just a bit thinner than a common 1911 grip. That said, if you have particularly large hands, additional material can be left on the grips to accommodate your big paws.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The grips themselves are a clamshell design with two internal locator pins and triple outer cross bolts to insure a tight and secure fit on the revolver, and each grip includes a built-in lanyard anchor.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

As with his sights, Mr. Lauck is grossly under pricing these grips. The DLS website advertises them at $155. That’s so low for custom fit G10 grips as to be kinda weird. When I asked Lauck about the low pricing on his sights, he told me he had to “keep them low enough for duty officers to afford them.” Nobody tell him.

Rating (out of five stars):

Overall * * * * *
The D&L Sports Performance Revolver Grips are well beyond a cosmetic improvement for Smith & Wesson double action guns. Dave Lauck has managed to solve a problem revolver shooters have been working on or working with for a long time. They look great and improve in-hand accuracy as well as recoil management. These are the new quintessential grips for any “combat magnum” or S&W Mountain Gun.

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  1. When I bought my Mountain Gun it came from S&W with Houge square butt grips on it. I found it curious that Smith put square butt grips on a round butt revolver. Anyway, my principal complaint was the they were too soft. I tossed them immediately and bolted on a set of Pachmayer Professionals. These D&L grips are interesting, but unusual in appearance. I’d have to hold them before I bought them. I spend a little time on the water so everything has a lanyard. I like that. What I’m really interested in are those sights.

    • Get on Mr. Lauck’s website and order those sights ASAP. They just plain work.
      I installed a set on a new to me 586-8. Hadn’t shot a revolver since May of 2021. The sights make getting a great sight picture child’s play. The fiber optic front just falls into the U-notch all by itself. A better shot than me was ringing steel at 50 yards with it, double action.
      4 inch 6 round groups rapid fire double action at 10 yards were commonplace, almost boring.

      Personally, I went with Badger Custom Grips. I like em well enough to have them on multiple revolvers.

  2. You should not have had to smooth the extraction. Is this an indication of quality control issues at S&W?

  3. Now that is one handsome revolver. I flipped back a few articles to look at the older photos, and in my who-cares-what-I-think opinion, this is much more appealing. And the grip is kinda funky looking, but I can see the utility of the shape. Very interesting. This is the kind of stuff that makes our country the greatest place on the planet, even though our dear leaders are attempting to steer it into the woodchipper.

  4. Not many wheel gun shooters left. And those that are left aren’t getting any younger. Not that I don’t love a good revolver…

  5. “The downside is that these grips flex during recoil, potentially diminishing accuracy as well as increasing muzzle rise and the amount the gun moves in the hand.”

    At my age, I don’t consider that to be a detriment, especially with a hard, pipe-hitting full-house 10mm round being fired with no semi-auto recoil spring to take out some of the bite…

    • Geoff PR,

      See my comment below: excellent fitting hard grips somehow make recoil a non-factor, even in the Magnums.

    • Oh, for crying out loud: how does a simple one-sentence reply–without any profanity, vulgarity, or reference to any political group–go to the moderation queue?

  6. A while back I bought a used full-size .44 Magnum revolver with 6-inch barrel and beautiful aftermarket wood grips. By happenstance those aftermarket wood grips fit my hand better than any other firearm I have ever handled and it makes a giant difference reducing perceived recoil.

    Granted, the full-size (54 ounces) and ported barrel obviously reduce perceived recoil a lot. Nevertheless, shooting true Magnum loads still generates a lot of recoil. And yet, thanks to those outstanding-fitting wood grips, the recoil is–dare I say pleasant?

    And I recently shot a small-frame revolver with small (although full-length) rigid grips chambered in .38 Special which weighs about 24 ounces. Those grips also fit my hand exceptionally well and that was also delightful to shoot.

    Revolver Pro-tip: find and install rigid grips which fit your hand well. You will NOT regret it.

      • Steve:
        That’s my opinion. Most of my revolvers now have Hogues, but they’re the rigid nylon kind (with the exception of one recent purchase of cocobolo ‘cuz it’s pretty). I despise those sticky soft rubber things.

  7. one of the best fitting grips on a revolver were on the bottom of the market ria 200—hard rubber(plastic), that seemed made for me. liked them some much i retro fitting a new set onto a .45 acp pittbull, which greatly improving shooting, only righty–left handed shooting was slightly worse–based on that, the .357 lcr received some fat bottom grips, which also fit/feel better–i guess the slim grips are for concealment(?)–what o i know–for me it’s something like 50-50 to hit theside of the barn, from the inside

  8. Jon –

    I noticed in your earlier gun review, the gun was chrome (or nickel-plated)?

    Is that matt finish a bead-blast? It looks real good…

  9. The grips look horrid. Bolted together like a Chinese electronic device.

    Gun finish looks good.
    Doesn’t say much for S&W fitting if you had to rebuild the gun to even function.

    Nothing like spending a bundle of cash for a new gun & then spend another bundle to get it to run.

    10mm is nice but this is far out of reach for most buyers. Exactly what our admin wants. No guns for the average guy.

  10. Make a better grip, with those similar features for both the Ruger Blackhawks AND the Ruger Bisely Blackhawk revolvers…. and I’ll buy a few of them!

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