I have owned several 1911s over the years. At one point, I was shooting and carrying them exclusively (until I got tired of the maintenance as my yearly round count increased). Eventually I sold them all and moved into Glocks – a soulless gun that I have never loved like a 1911 but that I appreciate for its workman like performance. Last year, I decided that I needed at least one 1911 in the collection for old time’s sake and to stay proficient. It also seemed like a good reason to try Magpul’s affordable 1911 grips.
I like my handguns to have fairly aggressive texture. Texture can help make up for injury diminished grip strength, aids recoil control, and helps deal with sweat/mud/blood/gun oil. I chose the MOE 1911 Grip Panels with Magpul’s TSP texture. The TSP texture is excellent. It’s pointed trapezoidal (TSP stands for Trapezoidal Surface Projections) texture elements are as aggressive a texture as you will find on a factory produced item. The TSP texture, along with the somewhat angular cross section (more of a triangular cross section than a typical half circle) of these grips does a great job of locking the 1911 in your hand.
Polymer, while a little low-rent in perception, is actually a great material for grip panels versus something like wood or G-10/micarta. Durable polymer allows for aggressive texture at a low cost, light weight, and without being as grabby to your covering garment as something like G-10. Magpul’s polymer always seems to hold up well and, while the grips aren’t quite as sharp as they were a year ago, they are still very aggressive. 1911s are heavy to begin with so saving a little weight in the grip is a welcome feature, as is the low price.
The overall design of these grips is excellent, especially the deeply dished out magazine release relief that is molded into the grip. There is no texture in this area so your thumb isn’t abraded as you move it to the mag release. It is deeply dished out from the back of the grip all the way to the front which should allow a wide variety of hand sizes to more easily access the magazine release without shifting their grip much.
I don’t typically like to talk about looks but on a classically handsome gun like the 1911, it is bound to come up. These grips look great on the right gun… to me, at least. They are going to look a little strange on a classic, blued Gold Cup but they look right at home on a modern, “tactical” 1911. I mostly don’t care how they look since they offer the function that I want at very affordable price.
I already own a pair of excellent micarta grips but, if I didn’t, I would have a hard time justifying the price of them over these Magpul grips. These are truly functional grips and a very affordable price. Put your fancy wood grips in the safe for special occasions and pick up a set of these.
Check out the Magpul MOE 1911 Grip Panels, TSP.