In the 1911 world, there is no shortage of upgrades and custom modifications that can be performed to your favorite rig. Since purchasing my stainless Kimber Classic some two years ago, the pistol has somehow remained factory stock, minus the Wolff recoil spring I installed. When Chris Lynch, owner and founder of AlumaGrips, sent me a pair of his company's aluminum 1911 grips for review, I was excited to replace the rubber stock grips on my Kimber and give the unique new grips a try.
AlumaGrips are manufactured by C.J. Precision, an Arizona-based machine shop that specializes in CNC milling work. The grips are machined from T-6 aluminum and are available in a number of color and style combinations. I opted for the black anodized standard checkered grips for my stainless Kimber.
The package arrived in short order, well packaged and protected. Upon first inspection, I was amazed at the quality of the machining work. The grips' lines are smooth and exact, with very minimal machining marks throughout. The checkering was meticulously crafted, providing just enough 'bite' without being too uncomfortable to my hands. I installed the grips on my Kimber with ease, the screw holes aligning perfectly with the frame. The flat black anodizing was attractive and even - contrasting nicely with the Kimber's stainless frame.
I was kindly invited to the Wildcat Valley Range near Lafayette, Indiana for an extended shooting session with the new grips. The weather was perfect for a serious review of handgun grips, although not so kind to the shooters themselves. The temperature was in the mid-90's with humidity about the same. Before I could get my first magazine loaded, my hands were sweaty and hot. I shot about 150 rounds in the scorching heat, the Kimber sometimes too hot to handle. The AlumaGrips performed very well throughout the shooting session. The grips had an excellent feel to them, filling my hands well and retaining the ergonomic properties of the 1911 design. One of my initial concerns about metallic grips was its gripping properties, particularly on a day when my hands were consistently sweaty. Thanks to the well-cut checking, the grips provided a good, solid grip despite the conditions at the range. In fact, the grips provided as much, if not more, grip than the rubber stock grips that shipped with my Kimber.
At the end of the day, tired and sunburned, I was very impressed with the AlumaGrips. The grips have remained on my Kimber since the shooting session and I have no intentions of going back to the stock grips. The grips have a unique, high-quality appearance and they feel great. If you would like more information about AlumaGrips or to purchase a set, visit the company website at www.alumagrips.com.
Highs: Extremely well machined; Beautiful, even finish; Excellent checkering and gripping properties
Lows: A bit heavy; Retains temperature
Overall: Unique set of grips that are practical and look great