Gun Digest

Handguns: Building Better Pistol Grips

With a simple keystroke, you can build a set of custom 1911 grips to your specifications with Alumagrips.

How to get your own set of sharp lookers:

Almost every 1911 I own is fitted with Crimson Trace Laser grips. This is partly because I consider them more of a necessity than an accessory — they can help you shoot faster and with more precision. However, I also have an affinity for custom, non-electronic grips. My oldest and fanciest 1911, which is now semi-retired, wears a set of mammoth ivory grips and comes out of the safe for special occasions, such as weddings and parties.

I recently discovered a unique option for custom grips. They’re available from Alumagrips, and you can custom design them through the company’s website ( by virtue of an interactive program. Production takes between 2 and 4 weeks to complete, and I was very pleased with the look and quality of the results.

When you get to the website, select the “Build a Grip” option. You’ll go through a nine-step process that helps you build grips to your specifications. You can choose between three colors, 13 checkering patterns, three checkering depths, two grip thicknesses, three grip sizes, two weights, three safety options, six magwell options and custom engraving. Throughout the process, a digitized image of a 1911 illustrates what the finished product will look like.

I thought it would be cool to have a custom set of grips with the logo from my Empty Cases website, so I ordered a thin set of lightweight grips in black for the Para-Commander I used to win the shoot-off during my first Gunsite 250 Pistol Course. I uploaded the artwork as directed by the website, and 2 weeks later the grips arrived, with thin stock screw bushings and new screws. They fit perfectly, and I was very impressed with the quality and detail of the engraving.

For serious shooting with a protection pistol, I prefer Crimson Trace laser grips. However, sometimes it’s OK to show off a little — and Alumagrips can help you do that with a distinct level of personalization. Cost? Somewhere between $50 and $100, depending on options selected.

For more information on Alumagrips, please visit:

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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