1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very torn on the subject of Front Strap treatment, and I noticed a lot of shooters on the Colt forum don't have it or do have it? What's your personal argument for that?

On one side of the argument, it is very functional and I see it's benefits as I compare my 1911's with checkering to a Colt without one. If you ever have sweaty hands or during recoil, there is slight grip adjustment required after a few shots if the checkering isn't there (read: my experience at least). Especially if you aren't wearing gloves.

On the other side, I think it takes away the looks of the gun, especially a Colt. The straight slide serrations (S70, S80, SCG etc), and simple roll marks make it difficult to justify those prickly looking things from an aesthetic standpoint on the front strap.

So what's your story? I don't 'collect' 1911s, and I do carry them and use them for training applications of self defense. That's why I am leaning towards getting this Front Strap treatment (high cut + checkering) done to all of my 1911s that don't have them. However, it takes away from the look of the gun - so I am trying to justify not getting them and see if there is a work around to not getting it done, yet having the gun equally functional.

How many of you don't suffer from slight grip changes without checkering (especially during double taps, controlled pairs, IDPA scenarios etc.). I wouldn't consider my grip weak by any means or 'improper' (thumb resting on thumb safety, off hand wrist locked, thumbs forward, a more relaxed strong hand, a more tight grip with off hand). Am I missing something here? I notice a huge difference with and without.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
74,047 Posts
My carry Colt has simple Gold Cup-style serrations. Checkering on steel is too hard on my fingers.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,713 Posts
Skateboard tape.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,730 Posts
I happen to think checkering is good looking as well as functional. I would not do it to all my 1911s though. It can be rough on clothing. I find that if I have plenty of texture on the grips, changing the metal is not really necessary. That did not seem to prevent me from doing it to several. There is also the cost of refinish to consider. I would just do one and use it for a time and see what you think. I did it to more and it was probably over the top.

I had some fairly sharp serrations done on a CC. They are much sharper than the serrations from the factory on my gunsite. That is something to consider as well as the grip tape.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
74,047 Posts
BTW here's the front strap on my Colt. In my opinion it's just the right amount of extra traction, and it looks great too without turning the entire front strap into one big cheese grater. Of course as with anything in life opinions will vary.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
I don't have checkering on any of my Colts because they are all carry guns. I know that some folks are of the opinion that those are the very guns that should have checkering. However I shoot and train with my carry guns a fair bit. Since I find the checkering to be hard on my hands if I am not wearing gloves, I prefer the guns I am going to be shooting under street conditions to be comfortable enough for me to enjoy training with them.

I have aggressive checkering on my Kimber and STI, but those are range guns and I am wearing gloves and moving/sweating a lot through courses. I think the serrations or some other pattern like Ed Brown uses can be a better way to go. That would seem to give the best of both worlds and avoid the drawbacks of smooth front straps or aggressive serrations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,395 Posts
I like the 30lpi checkering, anything harder is IMO uncomfortable. I'm really wanting to try a serrated front strap though
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,564 Posts
I think there's a simple explanation as to why most Colts have a smooth front strap.

1. Millions of Colt 1911's were made before 1911 manufacturers began to offer custom options such as checkered front straps.

2. Other than the Wiley Clapp versions, Colt doesn't make a gun with front strap checkering, and while you could order it from the custom shop....who knows how long it would take for a special order Colt to show up on your door.

3. Colt front straps are often too thin to be checkered. A source of irritation to some, something to rejoice in according to others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
I have had both. None on Colts though. Perhaps it is just my abrasiveness, but I believe that checkering was just some kind of concoction invented by pistolsmiths to make their work stand out amongst their peers back in the day and, unfortunately, it has not completely died yet!

luckily I read this and can help you :)

There is no reason to do that to your pistols, unless you have money to spend AND you want to feel cool inside. The 1911 design lasted decades without it for a reason...like, it wasn't really needed. Spend the money it will cost you for the checkering on ammo instead and then practice. Because, in the long run, that will be more valuable to you.

Ask yourself a question: how many gunfights have you actually been involved in where sweaty palms and a smooth front grip made you miss your target so far off that it resulted in your demise? Exactly...........ZERO...!!!

What could cause your demise, is not enough vigilant practice to the point where automatic reaction to a situation without thought happens...With, or withOUT checkered grip straps!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
My 1911s have 30 LPI front and back straps with 5 LPI VZ. Grips. My plastic guns have skate tape and/or aggressive stippling.

I work with my hands and like a rough grip texture, it helps keep the gun firmly planted in my hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
I really like the 25lpi checkering on my new Colt. Skateboard tape doesn't quite cut it for me anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,945 Posts
Hand-cut checkering by Jim Hoag. Looks good and works well in bullseye service pistol.


Colt Custom Shop serrations on a Gold Cup Trophy. Looks OK without being too aggressive on the paw. Not expensive, either.


Stippling and tape on an M9. Works in the bullseye mode, but somewhat ugly. Not a problem, though, since the pistol belongs to the Army.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
The arched mainspring housing was invented/adopted to address the problem of keeping a secure grip during rapid fire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,227 Posts
I am fine with nothing. I do like the grooves. Shot GCNMs for too many years. Have a new WC Commander and it is O.K. also. Don't need that much traction, but it is O.K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
My 2 custom shop guns i had gold cup style serrations done. I have also picked up a few non gold cups over the years with factory serrations. I think full checkering looks too busy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,452 Posts
With, without, I have both and am fine with both. I carried a Colt without, full time, for years, rain, snow, sweat, etc. I undertand the benefit of front strap treatments, and like some of them. As chuntaro mentioned, I think grip texture makes quite a difference, especially when the front strap is left smooth. But, I can't say that front strap treatment, or lack of, ever made any difference in any situation I was ever involved in...

FWIW, I did a couple of classes at Gunsite years ago. Many students with 1911s, many wih front strap treatments of one kind or another. The checkering, serrations, stippling, etc, probably felt great at the gun shop, or a for a session at the local range. But, lots of bleeding, taped, bandaged fingers after the first two, three days on the range. I remember being glad at the time that my Hi Power, used for one class, and Colt in the next, had smooth front straps...ymmv
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,730 Posts
I think what the OP should now have the ability to focus on is that the opinion of others does vary across the entire spectrum. Even those that like checkering have a preference in the LPI number. Pistols interface differently with different folks. Two people can pick up the same gun and feel different about it. Two people can shoot the gun all day and have a different opinion from when they started. If I could return to a time when I had never used checkering, I would have a hard time knowing based on the variety of answers here, how it would work out for me.
 
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
Top