View Full Version : Smooth or checkered grips on revolvers

05-02-2012, 10:16 AM
I'm about finalizing my decision for wood grips on my 627 and now I'm debating if I should get checkered grips. I've always used smooth ones on my revolvers (semis are a different story) and its served me right. IF anything, it seems like most checkering on revolver grips seem ornamental since the backstrap really does most the gripping (for me at least). Not that it'll be an issue with mine since I'm only shooting 38 and 357, but I've heard of people thinking checkering is even detrimental in 44mag and bigger due to the recoil causing the checkering to chew up the hand without really helping with grip. What are your takes on it?

05-02-2012, 10:28 AM
Checkered (aka presentation) grips look great. They don't necessarily feel great when shooting, depending on load/volume shooting.

05-02-2012, 11:31 AM
Just to clarify so there's no confusions...

I probably shouldn't have universally understated the affects of checkering on a revolver grip. What I was getting at, the checkering seems to affect revolver grips less than semis. I should have been more concise with my comparison because I'm really looking for something like this:

Now, I've seen other revolver grips that had the checkering throughout and they definitely look like they'd make a difference.. but in a set of target grips like the ones I posted, the checkering seems to have far less of an impact.

05-02-2012, 11:39 AM
If shooting a single-action revolver with heavy magnum type loads, then go smooth since that works best with the SAA style grip.
If shooting a DA revolver, I prefer to have the grips feature a checkered panel/section to ensure a better grip with the heavy recoil.

Maybe go to a local range and see if they have any revolvers with smooth and checkered grips and see which you prefer in actual use?

In reality, a replacement set of grips really is not that much $'s overall, so even if you choose 'wrong', it wouldn't cost much to correct to align with your preference.

P.S. As a side note, I still have the original checkered wood grips on my S&W 686.
And, I replaced the black plastic checkered grips on my New Model Ruger Vaquero with rosewood checkered grips that have a smaller section of checkering and a larger section of smooth wood...

05-02-2012, 11:44 AM
I've got smooth grips on my revolvers. I like the way they feel in my hand, and I think they look better. When I look at your photos I think the smooth look best by a long shot.

05-02-2012, 12:13 PM
My preferences are:

Checkered grips for 38 and below.

Smooth grips on 357, 10mm and low pressure big bores

Rubber (Pachmayr, Hogue etc) on 41 Mag and up.

05-02-2012, 1:23 PM
I know Jerry Miculek says he goes with smooth grips because it allows him to adjust his grip at various stages of shooting.

05-02-2012, 2:57 PM
I use checkered on everything; .38, .357, 44, .45acp, 45colt. I like the feel and I like the extra attention to detail aesthetically.