I’m not someone who likes to bling up my guns. First of all, I don’t have shootin’ irons that are really bling-worthy. For me, guns are tools. As long as they shoot when they’re s’posed to, I’m good. But when the Strike Industries people asked us to give their 1911 stocks a try, I figured it might be interesting to see if something other than a standard set of cocobolos could make an appreciable difference. And guess what . . .
They did. I know, right? Warning: I don’t have what anyone would call a glamorous 1911. So it might be fair to say that just about anything would spruce up my gun. While Foghorn’s pride and joy is a sleek Wilson Combat beauty that costs about as much as a mortgage payment, mine is a pedestrian Rock Island Armory unit that runs about as much as a car payment.
Not that I’m complaining. My RIA has never failed to fire or choked on cheap ammo in the two years since she took up residence in my safe. And the only thing I’ve ever done to her was replace the plain-Jane, sorta slick walnut grips she was wearing when I took her out of the box. I presented her with a pair of double diamond checkered jobs. Pro tip: you can never go wrong giving your baby diamonds.
Anyway, they’re kinda classic looking and they work well — meaning my hand doesn’t slip when the thing goes bang. So they do what grips are supposed to do and that’s all I want out of them.
One slight problem, though; I have small hands. Small, as in my tiny homunculus thumb doesn’t reach the mag release without shifting my grip. Thanks for your sympathy, but it’s one of many crosses I must bear. Conveniently, though, Strike offers slim grips among a number of other options. I figured a more svelte set of stocks might make my Browning-designed classic fit me a little better.
So I got the PX-18 Slim Diamond Cutter polymer grips in a matte grey finish.
I wasn’t sure how the hybrid cut design would work out, but after a couple of hundred rounds, I can report that they’re the bee’s frickin’ knees. As you can see, the diamond part of the bifurcated design is different on each side of the grip. It seems the PX-18s are designed for righties with the diamonds on the back of the right side of the gun (as it’s pointed away from you) and the front of the left side.
But don’t fret if you’re doomed to walk through life as a southpaw. When I held and shot the gun with my left hand the grip still felt fine, though not quite as nice as with my right.
The other nice feature of the PX-18s is the thumb cut-out behind the mag release. I still can’t reach the button due to my freakishly short opposable thumb, but I get a lot closer than I used to. And now I can get to the button with less grip adjustment than I can with the standard grips screwed on.
Oh, and about those screws . . . I use the screw set that originally came with the gun. They work great for regular, normal-guy-hand-sized shooters. But with slim grips like the PX-18s, they protrude a little higher over the top of the stocks. For me, it’s no biggie. I don’t notice them at all when shooting. But if your OCD meds are running perilously low or you have more sensitive hands than I do, you may want to get a set of screws with a slimmer profile. Just a thought.
So do I like ’em? I do. Even after thinking there’s no reason to swap out the classic wood models I’d always used ’til now. They feel better and they look good, too.
Thickness: 0.25″ (0.635cm)
Water Absorption: 0.3%
Molded Shrinkage: 0.7%-1.25%
Heat Resistance: (2hr/’C): 200’C
Impact Strength: 3.0-3.5 Kgf-cm/cm2
Flexible Strength: 9.5 Kgf/mm2
Tensile Strength: 5.6 Kgf/mm2
Compressive Strength: 22.0 Kgf/mm2
Ratings (out of five stars):
Looks: * * * *
You may think they’re too seksi for your shirt. You may think they make you look like a real life goatee’d HSLD operator. While I still prefer the classic good looks of the double diamonds, I think these actually look fairly cool and are a nice compliment to the color of the gunmetal.
Design * * * *
Love the thumb cut-out and, for a righty, they’re just about perfect. And they’re still not bad if you’re forced to shoot with that other hand, too.
Grippitude: * * * *
They’re tacky. And I mean that in a good way. OK, they’re not sticky, so maybe that’s not the best adjective. Whatever, with the diamond cuts and matte finish, you’ll get a positive, firm grip with that slim profile that’s so right for small-handed shooters.
Overall: * * * * 1/2
I like ’em. They’re reasonably priced, I dig the way they look and feel and, ultimately, what else is there, really?