Smith & Wesson’s SW22 Victory is a great .22 pistol. Robert gave it a four-star review, withholding that coveted fifth star due to the SW22’s slippery grip. With removable grip panels, however, that slick handle isn’t a permanent feature. As with almost all things gun, you can expect the aftermarket to step in. Cue the hiveGrip from TANDEMKROSS.
Clearly named for its honeycomb texture, the hiveGrip is a one-piece wraparound unit made of grippy, comfortable rubber. Two factory grip screws are used to secure the hiveGrip on each side.
It wraps around the front, adding more grippiness to the previously slippery front strap. The hiveGrip also adds finger grooves where none were before.
That’s a somewhat surprising choice as the market has generally moved away from finger grooves. No matter where they’re placed, they simply don’t work for all shooters. Hand sizes and finger sizes vary, but the grooves’ spacing doesn’t.
That said, the size and spacing of the grooves on the hiveGrip worked great for me. They were comfortable and provided excellent purchase.
Over to the back side, and the factory backstrap is left as-is. This means all of the additional gription hasn’t increased the gun’s length of pull, something that will be appreciated by those with small hands.
The width of the grip hasn’t changed much since the hiveGrip replaces the factory side panels — in fact, they’re slightly slimmer in some spots — though with the addition of the rubber frontstrap the front-to-rear size of the grip has increased a bit.
For me, a guy who wears men’s size L gloves, this was a good thing. The factory grip is pretty svelte and this small amount of increased diameter feels better in my hands.
Thanks to the massive amount of sticky grip offered by the 3-sided hiveGrip, I no longer felt a need to change the backstrap anyway. The SW22 could now fire .357 Mag and it wouldn’t budge a millimeter in my hands.
That’s the factory grip above. While it appears to have some solid texture going on, its too shallow and the plastic is too hard, and the end result is a too-slippery surface. The frontstrap is worse, as the checkering is effectively non-existent. A sore spot for an otherwise very good gun, indeed.
TK’s hiveGrip resolves all gripes. Even the smooth parts of it are tacky, grippy, comfortable rubber. I think it looks good, too.
As long as the finger grooves work reasonably well with the size of the shooter’s fingers, the hiveGrip is a marked upgrade on the SW22 and well worth the $39.99 cost of admission.
Specifications: TANDEMKROSS hiveGrip for the SW22 Victory
• Aggressively textured rubber for improved grip in any shooting condition
• Patented impact and vibration dampening material
• Ergonomic finger grooves for better control – ideal for speed and accuracy
Ratings (out of five stars):
Fit * * * *
Nearly perfect. There’s a teeny little gap on the rear edge of my hiveGrip’s left side. Total non-issue, but I suppose it precludes a five-star rating here.
Comfort * * * * *
The hiveGrip feels absolutely awesome for my hands. From the texture to the ergos to the feel of the rubber material itself, it’s great.
Performance * * * * *
Overall * * * *
I can’t help but assume that, for some people, the finger grooves won’t jive with their natural finger placement. The hiveGrip would likely work just as well with a groove-less frontstrap sporting more of the honeycomb pattern, yet would fit all shooters. For me, though, the grooves fit properly and the hiveGrip is an awesome upgrade over factory.
Worth noting: TTAG’s SW22 Victory loaner is also sporting nearly all of the TANDEMKROSS “SW22 Victory Everything Kit.” Another gear review to cover those items is forthcoming.