Product Tests : GunGrips.Net Black Perlite Grips

The opening of M1911.ORG Forums Site gave me the opportunity to get to know several more companies in the business, one of them being GunGrips.Net, a company specializing in the production and marketing of grips for the M-1911 pistol. They also specialize in Laser Etching images on AlumaGrips (and I assume on anything else) and are a major AlumaGrips distributor. Their own grips are made of ivory polymer, a material which has the looks and feel of the original ivory, but without the death toll on the elephants population, that real ivory is associated with.

The grips can be ordered either smooth or checkered (checkering is done by laser etching), and you can have a wide selection of predefined images etched on your grips, or you can ask the company to etch your own image or initials, for a very reasonable cost.

The owner of GunGrips.Net, Conrad Berry, is a very friendly guy, who offered to send me one of their grips for evaluation. I had seen ivory polymer grips in the past, and indeed this material is very interesting for grips production. What caught my attention though, was a very nice grips set I saw in their web site, which had the looks of black perlite, with a dragon etched on them, in gold ink. Conrad agreed that this is a very interesting combination, and he promptly send me a set.

The grips I got, were really beautiful. The material consists of a solid grey-ish/black-ish background, with various silver-ish watermarks. What is really nice, is that those watermarks are not on the surface of the material, but they appear as if covered by a glass coat, of various thickness, which of course is not a coat, but the material itself. This gives a very nice sense of depth to the grips. If the merories of my university years are correct, that's what the real perlite looked like. Like a mozaik of grey colors. Quite interesting. I am not sure if the pictures below can do it justice, but it sure looks very nice.

And of course, the gold dragon tops it off, with a very nice, Chinese figure, which makes those grips so unique. The dragon is not painted on the surface of the grip panels, it is engraved there (or as I said before, laser etched) and the ink color is very vivid, creating a nice contrast with the dark grey/black background of the panels.

The picture at left shows a close-up of the dragon figure, in order to give you an idea of the real thing. Admitedly, the images are not hand-engraved (in which case the grips would cost a fortune), but I do not see that as a disadvantage, as the laser can cut much more precise (and uniform) patterns, so the quality remains the same, from one set to the next. include a card with their grips, which warns the user that the images etched on the panels may be destroyed by chemicals (such a gun cleaning products). So their advise is to use a dry soft cloth, in case your grips need to be cleaned, while you are warned to remove the grips from your pistol, when using chemicals to clean it.

I tried the grips on a 1911, and the fit (as expected) was excellent. No misaligned holes or anything, just fit like a glove. The grips are of the standard width (in contrast with the slim grips which are becoming popular lately), which suits me fine, and their smooth surface allows your hand to easily slip up to the proper griping area, giving a good purchase of the pistol.

Overall impression is that this is an excellent set of grips for a beauty queen. If the day arrives when my 1911s would be hang on the wall, this is the set of grips one of them will have on. Using them on a daily carry? I guess not, I do not like so fancy designs on a tool (and my carrying pistol is a tool).

Thanks for these fine grips Conrad, sincerely appreciated.

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