On my long journey through revolver shooting, I have been in search of a perfect revolver grip for most of my career, and I think I might have finally found one. Well, maybe not “perfect” but definitely the right solution for my needs. I’m talking about VZ Grips and their S&W and Ruger GP100 grips.
What’s wrong with factory grips?
To start off, let’s talk about why we’d replace the factory grips to begin with. In the case of S&W, most of their factory grips are too small and have finger grooves. The lack of size makes it hard to get enough surface contact area on the grip to really control recoil during high-speed shooting; and the finger grooves force my fingers into positions they don’t want to be in.
Ruger’s GP100 grips have most of the same problems. Even guns that have pretty decent grips like the Match Champion series, the grips still don’t have enough surface contact area for my taste. I want to get as much of my hand-meat on the grip as possible to keep the gun as flat as possible during firing. Plus, even the excellent Match Champion grips don’t have enough traction built into them; sure Jerry Miculek likes a smooth grip, so he can adjust his grip on the fly, but he also has forearms made of steel cables. I like a little grippier surface.
The S&W Round to Square Conversion Grip
For all my L and N-frame revolvers, I go with VZ’s R2S, or Round to Square conversion grip. This grip significantly increases the amount of grippable surface, and can be had with little, moderate, or aggressive texture. Despite the increased size, the RS2 grip is still concealable, and in fact was the grip on my primary carry gun for the latter half of 2020. I used guns equipped with the R2S grip to fire over 1700 rounds of 38 Special +P and 357 Magnum and found the grip to be fantastic. The large surface contact means plenty of traction for recoil control, and gives me more than enough space to adopt a thumbs forward grip to drive the gun faster during transitions.
The Ruger GP100 Grip
On the GP100, there’s only one option from VZ Grips, but it’s a great one. You can get it smooth or pretty well textured, and I went with the texture. A couple of notes: this grip is shorter than the wood grips that come with the Match Champion, but longer than the Compact GP100 grip. I keep the factory Compact grips on my two 3-inch barreled GP100 carry guns, but all of the 4 inch and match guns get the VZ Grip GP100 grip. Despite being shorter than the wood Match Champion grips, the VZ Grip for the GP100 has more gripping area just like the S&Ws do, which means better recoil control.
If you’re looking for a grip to replace the factory options from S&W and Ruger, and your primary goal is to get a grip that helps you shoot the gun faster, take a look at VZ Grips revolver grips. They’re pricey, around a hundred dollars, but if “shooting faster” and “controlling recoil better” are important to you, they’re worth it.