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Smooth or checkered?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by plinkerneil, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. plinkerneil

    plinkerneil Oregon New Member

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    I'm contemplating getting a set of Hogue wood grips for a Smith & Wesson 3913. The question is, smooth or checkered? What are the pros and cons with each?

    Hogue grips for compact S&W single-stacks

    I'm likely to carry this piece, but the Hogue grips might be a bit fat. If so, the secondary purpose is punching paper.
     
  2. Yosemite Sam

    Yosemite Sam Willamette Valley, OR Member

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    Hogue wood grips do tend to be fat. I'm not familiar with that S&W model, but a set of Hogue woods on my single stack P220 makes it as fat as any double stack. Many people wouldn't like this, but I've got long fingers. OTOH, I have a set for a double stack P228 that basically make the gun unusable for anyone other than me, they're so thick.

    Checkering vs. non is pretty much a personal preference. Checkering will help you hold onto the gun if it gets slick with whatever, but if it's overly sharp it will tear up your hand on the target range. In my experience Hogue's is not particularly sharp, and you can always smooth down the points with a little light sanding.

    -- Sam
     
  3. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I have always found checkered grips to look very nice but I think the gripping factor is highly overrated. When you grip a gun the vast majority of the force from your grip (therefore the majority of the friction) goes directly against the backstrap and forestrap of the grip. Not the side of the grip panels. A textured fore and back strap will do much more for gripping than checkering on the grip panels.

    These days I tend to lean towards smooth grips for two reasons. They showcase the beauty of the wood better and they are more easily touched up if dinged or damaged.

    I had Hogue smooth grips on my S&W 659 and they looked great and functioned very well.

    SWm659.jpg
     
  4. plinkerneil

    plinkerneil Oregon New Member

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    Very nice, PP. That is the look I'm going for.

    Thanks for the comments, everybody, that's the kind of opinions I'm looking for.
     
  5. Will

    Will Everett Active Member

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    Smooth grips look sweet but checkered adds the intent of "grip". IMHO
     
  6. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    I think smooth grips look much better. You can also sand them down to fit your hand exactly. It is easier to refinsh a smooth grip.
     
  7. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    I have checkered cocobolo on my PPK/S and they actually grip too much - they hurt. The smooth grips are fine.

    Bob
     
  8. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    You think that hurt, I had finely checkered grips on my N frame and full house .44 mag loads would tear skin to the point of blood loss.:huh: Shouldn't be that bad on most auto's but it can still be uncomfortable if the checkering is sharp. So, I prefer smooth grips.
     
  9. PhysicsGuy

    PhysicsGuy Corvallis, OR Resident Science Nut

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    How about half checkered and half smooth? :D
     
  10. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    Would that be by side, or, on each grip?? If you had one smooth and one checkered, you could tell in the dark if you were going to shoot yourself! <grin>

    I looked at the Hogue site - they have lots of other patterns other than sharp pointed checkering - bricks, fishscale and others. I think that's the ideal compromise if someone wants something a little grippier without the sharp points.

    I asked them about sanding off the points a little and they said "good luck".

    Bob
     
  11. rodell

    rodell Newcastle, WA Active Member

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    Ouch, been there, not going to do that again.

    I gave up on wood for my "N" frames, rubber grips only now. I also moved to a softer grip material from Hogue, as opposed to Pachmayr. The P's tore up my finger under the trigger guard.

    Bob
     
  12. plinkerneil

    plinkerneil Oregon New Member

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    Heh. I was actually thinking of going the other way--getting smooth grips and Dremeling some checkering into it. Maybe I'll ask about the custom checkering options, though.