Editor’s Note: The following is a post by Mark Kakkuri, a nationally published freelance writer who covers guns and gear, 2nd Amendment issues and the outdoors. His writing and photography have appeared in many firearms-related publications, including the USCCA’s Concealed Carry Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @markkakkuri.
Read Mark’s previous articles in this “Top Five” series:
- Top Five Ways to Secure Your Gun at the Office
- Top Five Reasons to Carry a Backup Gun
- Top Five Backup Guns
- Top Five Security Measures to Take While Traveling Unarmed
- Top Five Revolver Myths
I’ve been on a bit of a revolver kick lately, and this week I can’t get away from the topic. In fact, my main concealed carry gun (for now) is a Ruger LCR with five .38 Special +P rounds on board and six additional rounds in a Bianchi Speed Strip. But other revolvers might get called up for review duty as well, including an Airweight S&W J-frame or an UltraLite Taurus. Revolvers have their pros and cons, of course, but in the pro column are the unique aftermarket accessories available for changing up the grips or stocks. Here are my top five types of revolver grips.
1. DeSantis Clip Grip
I don’t condone carrying a revolver (or any gun, for that matter) in any manner that doesn’t fully cover the trigger. So, this DeSantis Clip Grip makes for a bit of a conundrum. With a plastic clip pointing forward from one side of the grip, this enables the user to tuck the revolver inside a waistband — the clip catching the top of the belt — and just go. So, the trigger is sort of covered because it is tucked inside a waistband, but not really.
Anyway, I’ll admit I’ve used one and — safety issues aside — it is a very handy means of concealed carry. Easy in, easy out, and relatively secure as long as your belt is pulled decently tight. So, how does it make the top five? Because with a wide enough belt, it is possible to carry it in a manner that adequately covers the trigger the same way a holster would.
Visit the DeSaints website to learn more.
2. HySkore Grip Light
Here’s a grip replacement that provides an over-molded plastic and rubber grip system with an integrated flashlight operated by a front-strap-mounted on/off switch. Grip the gun and a nice flood of light fills up the area in front of you, allowing you to see your target.
When the grip is installed, the integrated flashlight ends up to the upper right rear of the cylinder, close to the gun so you can still holster it but out of the way of the gun’s sights. The light is a CREE LED diode (100 lumens) and is powered by an on-board battery. There’s a separate on/off switch under the grip for when the gun is not in use. But when the switch is turned on, simply grasping the gun will depress the activation switch, turning on the light.
The HySkore Grip Light adds length to the gun’s grip, which might reduce concealability. But it certainly improves your ability to see your target. If you have a revolver for a house or car gun, this might be a great addition.
Visit the Hyskore website to learn more.
3. Crimson Trace Lasergrips
Lasers are fast becoming a ubiquitous handgun accessory, allowing a user to put a red or green laser beam directly on the point of aim simply by grasping the gun.
Crimson Trace, a major handgun laser manufacturer, makes its Lasergrips for dozens of handgun makes and models, including revolvers. Similar to the operation of the HySkore Grip Light, a Crimson Trace Lasergrip turns on via a front-strap-mounted switch that’s depressed when you grasp the gun. The laser beam emits from the right side of the grip panel, just above the area where a user’s right hand contacts the gun. As such, you have to be careful not to raise your right finger too high when you rest it on the side of the gun lest you block the beam.
A little practice eliminates this problem and the laser’s strengths become immediately clear, especially in incidents where you have to draw and shoot very quickly, often without acquiring a normal sight picture. But the laser shows where the gun is aimed as you’re holding it. It’s a great system and, like all gun functionality, requires practice in order to master.
Visit the Crimson Trace website to learn more.
4. Hogue Hardwood Grip
Sometimes a grip change on a revolver is almost entirely aesthetic. Hogue Hardwood Grips, for example, offer decent purchase and certainly allow clothing to drape easily over them. So there’s some functionality. But they look absolutely fantastic. So if you’re into dressing up your revolver, this is one way to do it.
Some grips might offer finger grooves, which increase purchase, too, but generally, hardwood grips are known for looking good (and, unfortunately, allowing recoil to be transferred directly into the web of your hand.) So, if you’re shooting .38 Special and greater calibers, don’t plan on shooting too many of them with your hardwoods installed.
Visit the Hogue website to learn more!
5. Hogue Tamer Grip
At the beginning, I mentioned the Ruger LCR I’m currently carrying, and part of the reason I enjoy carrying the LCR so much is because it ships with the Hogue Tamer grip.
This rubber grip has a terrific textured surface, finger grooves and a softened pad right where the gun contacts the web of my hand. It’s a fantastic combination of features that, along with the other grips mentioned here, will get you thinking about carrying a revolver for self-defense.
Visit the Hogue website to learn more!
Honorable Mention: Uncle Mike’s Boot Grip
For those times when you want a simple, small and easy-to-hold grip, the Uncle Mike’s Boot Grip is hard to beat. It installs easily and offers the simplicity of rubber to provide purchase for the two fingers that will actually wrap around it. Despite the rubber, it doesn’t hang up on concealing garments. But it is easy to grip and draw whether from an IWB holster or pocket or ankle holster. Because it is a short grip, it’s more suited for pocket or ankle carry. This is a grip you’ll use on a regular basis and one which you won’t fret about scratching because it’s just rubber.
Editor’s Note: We don’t know what happened to Uncle Mike or his company, but original Uncle Mike’s grips can be found on eBay.
Now, a brief poll on a few of these:
- What’s your preferred revolver grip system?
- About that Clip Grip: Yea or nay?
- Light or laser?
- Do you like to dress up your revolver with a hardwood grip?
Shop for your new revolver on GunsAmerica.
Discover how you can join more than 200,000 responsibly armed Americans who already rely on the USCCA to protect their families, futures and freedoms: USCCA.com/gunsamerica.
I don’t know what my favorite revolver grip system or brand is, but I can tell you what fits my hand perfectly – the rubberized grips which came installed from the factory on my Rock Island Armory M200.
I always find it hard to understand why so many shooters hurt their hands shooting. Do they push pencils all day or what? Hands get hardened when you use them. Never had an issue but then I shoot a 357 and nothing bigger.
I bought my Crimson Trace grips for my Taurus Mod. 85 two days after I took it to the range for the first time. I just couldn’t shoot a 2 inch barrel as accurately as I wanted to. After much tuning I got it right on and my hits are great. I wouldn’t be without one on a short barreled gun. Granted it will accentuate just how much you really shake, so don’t be surprised, just practice with it and you’ll see great improvement in your shooting skills.
Yup, I am adding hardwood grips to my 637 S&W for an entirely aesthetic reason. Cannot wait for them to arrive…I ordered S&W replacement grips, after reading this, if they don’t work out, I will order the next ones from Hogue.
I have carried a hip grip on my smith for years. I saw that DeSantis now made a hip clip. I bought one and found the clip is too short and did not secure the gun in the waistband. I had the gun fall out twice and put the desalts back in the box and returned to the Hip Grip.
The clip grip always seemed like a great idea to me. One day I came across a set in the local range store at a bargain price and bought them immediately. Also installed them immediately on my Charter .44 Bulldog. Three shots later I was wondering why there was blood dripping from my hand. I still have them. In a box, not on the gun. Probably ok for .38’s but I don’t think I’d put them on a magnum.
I made a set of grips for my Ruger Single Six out of Brazilian Cherry. So much better than the plastic that came on it.