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DIY Revolver Grips: Slip on Rubber Pistol Grips

DIY Revolver Grips: Slip on Rubber Pistol Grips

Posted by Monte Long on Apr 18th 2024

A couple of weeks ago, several of the team sat down to discuss the new Lipsey’s Ultimate Carry J-frames and look at the progression of the S&W 642 from its introduction up to the new UC variant. One of the guns we had out to look at was the 442 Ultimate Carry that I’ve got for writing a review on. The team did note that the grips on my example were a bit…different.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that, while the new VZ High Horn grips on the Ultimate Carry guns are nice for distributing recoil across your hand, they’re a bit slick for my preference. The team behind the UC J-frames decided that smooth grips would be considerably more pleasant to carry than a set that was aggressively checkered – especially for folks that, like me, will end up carrying IWB or AIWB with no undershirt between you and the gun. Checkering can be abrasive.

While the smooth grips make a lot of sense, the tendency of the gun to slip around a bit is definitely not ideal. So, what do you do in that situation? You could, of course, change out the grips, but the VZ High Horn grips and their ability to distribute recoil are the second feature on the UC J-frames that really sold me on the gun (sights being the primary, of course). Some motivated and skilled owners might try checkering them. If you’ve got the tools and the skills, rock on! I’ve tried to checker pistol grips in the past and the results were ugly with a capital “UG”.

I decided to go back to an old trick that I learned years ago. After a search through my apartment failed to turn up what I was looking for, a quick trip to Wal-Mart and I had just the ticket – a bicycle innertube.

A couple of cuts with a set of trauma shears, a little bit of stretching (and cussing), and voila! I had a little extra traction on the gun that makes it stick to the hand quite a bit better. Not only that, but I’ve got enough left over to last for a while. Unless I forget where I put it…

It’s not a new trick. I’ve been using innertube to improve grips for nearly as long as I’ve been shooting. I can’t remember if I picked up from one of my friends with military service or one of my cop buddies, but I picked up from one of them. It’s cheap, easy, and easily removed if necessary. Typically, I keep an innertube and a set of shears in the range box when I’m teaching, just in case there’s a student that needs a bit more traction on the gun.

Are there other options? Sure. You can always buy a different set of grips. Depending on the gun, stippling or checkering might be a good option. The nice thing about the innertube, though, is it’s inexpensive (a single innertube will set you back about $6.00 these days), works on pretty much any gun, and a single innertube is likely to get misplaced well before you use it all.

Innertube also works great for cable management on rifles with lights and remote switches. True, several companies make panels for picatinny rails, MLOK slots, or KeyMod slots that have cable management that work great. Innertube is, again, less expensive and can be cut to the length that works for your application.

Anyway, just a quick tip that might give you a hand at getting a better grip. If you’ve got something that you need a bit more traction on, give this one a try!