What is the differnce between Standard Thickness and Slim Thickness 1911 Grips?
Our Standard Thickness grips run about 0.26" thick at the center of the grip. Our Slim Thickness grips run about 0.165" thick at the center of the grip. Thickness of magwell grips can vary slightly from these thicknesses as we match the height of the magwell.
We use the convention of listing grips as Standard or Slim based on the above thicknesses for all the 1911 style grips we sell. Nearly all Para C6 guns and most Springfield EMP guns come from the factory with Slim grips but we build grips in either thickness for these guns.
How do I tell if I have Standard or Slim Grips on my 1911?
An easy indicator of grip thickness is to compare the height of the grips to the height of the plunger tube between the slide release and thumb safety on the left side of the gun. The standard height of the plunger tube is 0.16" tall. So if the grips are about the same height as the tube, you have slim grips. If the grips are taller than the tube by more than 1/16", then the grips are Standard Thickness.
Can I use my factory grip screws?
In most cases the answer will be yes. But there are exceptions. Following are several of the most common screw fit answers.
Most 1911s - 1911s from Kimber, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Les Baer, STI, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Nighthwak Custom, Springfield Armory, Colt, Rock Island Armory, Metro Arms, Citadel, and nearly all other custom 1911s with standard thickness grips can use the factory screws. Some models from these manufacturers will have slim grips and may need to have new bushings and screws to go to Standard Thickness Grips. Alternately, Slim Thickness Grips can be installed by changing to our Slim Grip Screws and Bushings.
Taurus PT-1911 Grips - Taurus uses a larger diameter grip screw. We build all Taurus grips to use the factory screws which have a larger diameter head than a standard 1911 grip screw. We can build them with standard counterbores for 1911 screws on request. Slim Grips can be installed on the Taurus with a change to our Slim Grip Screws and Bushings.
Norinco - You can use the factory screws on Standard Thickness Grips but the threads on the bushings are not standard 1911 so you CANNOT install Slim Grip Screw Bushings.
GSG, Colt, Walther 1911- .22 - Our Standard Thickness 1911 Grips fit the imported .22 LR 1911s with the factory grip screw. These guns have a non-standard thread on the bushings so you CANNOT install Slim 1911 Grip Bushings on the gun for use with Slim Grips. Also note that these guns need a special Ambidextrous Safety Cut as the retention lever sits lower on the gun and is slightly thicker. Include a note when you check out and we can include this modified Ambi Cut.
Colt New Agent - The Colt New Agent has Slim Grips from the factory but uses a screw with a larger head. The screw needs to be replaced to use our Slim Grips on this gun.
How do I determine the frame size for my 1911?
The easiest way to determine the size of your 1911 frame is to measure the center to center distant of the grip screws.
- If the center to center distance is approximately 3 1/16" you have a Government Model or Full Size 1911.
- If the center to center distance is approximately 2 5/8" you have a Compact or Officers Model Size 1911.
- If you have a Para Ordnance and the center to center distance is approximately 2 3/8" you have a C6 Size 1911.
What are Ambidextrous Safeties and what modifications may be needed?
A 1911 with Ambidextrous safeties (often called just Ambi Safety) is a gun that has thumb safety levers on both sides of the frame. Ambidextrous safeties have become very popular on 1911s. With the growth in popularity, and the many manufacturers of 1911s, there are getting to be more and more variations in the safety levers and retention methods. We now have two optional modification cuts to handle the most common conditions.
Standard Ambi Cut The first option is the Standard Ambi Cut. This Ambi Safety Cut is a small recess cut into the back of the right side grip panel near the top at the back of the grip (right and middle pictures below.) It's purpose is to allow the grip panel to cover and retain a thin retaining lever on the right side safety lever (left picture below.) This thin lever sits down against the frame and the recess cut provides a slot for the lever. Without the grip retaining this lever, the right side safety can actually be pulled and removed from the gun. So the right grip panel is being used to hold the safety lever on the gun. On our standard cut the depth is shallow to work with the machined safety levers used by most manufacturers. On the Taurus 1911 grips we build, this cut is much deeper to work with the thicker lever on the Taurus guns.
Low Safety Cut The second option is a cut that we do on the top rear portion of the right side grip panel to account for a low mounted right side safety lever. Armscor with their Rock Island Armory guns and other models need this cut to keep the safety lever from hitting the top of the grip panel when it is disengaged. This cut can also help on some Kimber models that have lower safety levers. Generally, if the bottom of the safety lever when disengaged is more than 0.170" below the bottom of the slide, we recommend adding this cut.
Do I need an Ambi Cut?
If your gun has ambidextrous safety levers and the right side safety lever has a retaining lever that sits against the frame you need the Ambi Cut.
Do all 1911s with Ambidextrous Safety Levers need an Ambi Cut?
NO - Several manufacturers (Kimber and Rock Island Armory as examples) use alternate methods of retaining the right side safety lever and do not require the Ambi Safety Cut. These guns do not have the retaining lever on the right side safety. But if these guns have a low mounted safety lever they will need the low lever ambi cut.
What if I need both the Standard Ambi Cut and the Low Safety Lever Cut?
We offer an option for both the low and standard ambi cut.
What if I have a GSG, Colt and Walther 1911 - .22LR with ambidextrous safety?
These imported .22 LR caliber 1911s need a special ambi cut as the retention lever on the right side safety lever is mounted much lower on the gun and the lever is thicker than standard 1911s. Include a note in the comments when you check out and we can make this special cut on your grips.
Are there other modifications that may be needed for my 1911?
There are a lot of manufactures of parts for the 1911 and many of these parts don't allow for standard government model 1911 grips to be installed without modification. Extended slide release levers often require the top front of the left side grip panel to be lowered. Extended and low safety levers can also require the top of the grip panels to need to be lowered for the grips to fit. Our standard grips are designed to fit most production 1911s without modification. We design to fit Kimber, Colt, Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson and similar production models.
If you have any questions on fit for your gun, contact us by email or by phone and we'll help you determine what you need.
Which Magwell Profile do I need?
The Square Bottom Magwell grips are built with two different profiles to better match the typical shape of most of the magwells available. The Continuous Profile is a constant arc across the top of the grip panel from the front edge to the back edge. This style is similar to the profile of the Smith & Alexander, Springfield Armory, most Kimbers and numerous other magwell makers. The Flat Center Profile has arches that rise up to the top of the grip from both the front and back edge and then have a flat section about 1/2" wide in the center of the grip panel. This profile is similar to magwells by Ed Brown and some Kimbers. If you have a magwell built by a manufacturer other than listed, check your magwell to see if it is a constant arc or if the magwell has a flat spot in the center of the grip panel top.
TO DETERMINE WHICH MAGWELL PROFILE YOU NEED, LOOK AT YOUR MAGWELL. IF IT HAS A CONTINUOUS ARC FROM FRONT TO BACK IT'S "PROFILE A", IF IT HAS A FLAT SECTION ON THE TOP OF THE GRIP, IT'S "PROFILE B"
Wilson Combat builds three magwells, the Bullet Proof one piece, the Speed-Chute two piece and the flange mounted Magazine Well.
The new Bullet Proof one piece magwell is a wider magwell and the Magwell Profile A grip is the best fit.
The Wilson Combat Speed-Chute is a narrow flat sided magwell. For the Speed-Chute, order a beveled bottom grip for the best fit. A Magwell Profile B grip can be used but the grip extend above the magwell. Smith and Wesson also uses a magwell of this style on several guns. We do NOT cut or bevel grips to fit the Wilson Combat Speed-Chute magwell.
The Wilson Combat Magazine Well attaches to the gun with flanges that fit on the outside of the frame and hook over the lower screw bushing. These magwells are narrower and a beveled bottom grip is the best fit. For magwells that have the flanges on the outside of the frame, the grips need to be routed on the back side of the grip panel so they will sit flat on the frame. We can provide this cut as a custom service for $30. Order must be made by phone. We cannot add the cut to a website order.
Why is there a separate grip for the Tauirus PT-1911?
Taurus builds a Model 1911 but the Taurus gun has several differences that make a Taurus specific grip convenient. Our Taurus line of grips are modified from standard 1911 grips to account for the differences between the Taurus PT-1911 and standard 1911 grips. These grips are designed to be a direct replacement of the factory grips, using the factory screws. Here are the features that require changes to the grips:
- Larger Counter Bore to Match oversize Taurus Grip Screw
- Lowered Grip Edge to Clear Low Mounted Safety Lever
- Deeper Ambi Cut for Thicker Safety Retension Lever
- Wider Grip at Front Edge for Flat Taurus Frontstrap
Our Taurus PT-1911 line accounts for all of these differences and makes the grips a true fit to the gun.
We build Taurus PT-1911 grips in all of the materails we use for standard 1911 grips, including Exotic Hardwoods, Hardwood Laminate and Phenolics.
The grips are shaped in the traditional 1911 style with the top of the left side panel slightly covering the plunger tube and the bottoms of the grip panel beveled. These grips leave the mainspring housing pin exposed unless the covered pin option is selected.
These grips are built with a typical 1911 thickness that fully fits the hand without being overly thick. Grip thickness runs between .255" and .265" thick at the center of the grip. This thickness is slightly thicker than the plastic Taurus factory grips that run about .235" thick.