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Discussion Starter #1
Since Dane has let the cat, (or is it Dog
) out of the bag, some information about myself.

I work in R&D at MD Labs in Arizona, building guns, knives, holster and other cool tactical stuff. I am very passionate about 1911s for the real world.

We have a new product called GunGrips, they are 1911 pistol stock panels like no other. Here's some information for those interested:

GunGrips™ are made from the same MD Labs proprietary glass/epoxy composite used for handles of the famous Mad Dog Navy SEAL A.T.A.K. knives.

Gun Grips™ offer the following advantages over grips made from conventional low tech materials like stag, ivory, wood, micarta, rubber, and polyester gelcoated carbon fiber.

Waterproof

Highly resistant/impermeable to commonly encountered chemicals and liquids- Diesel fuel, gasoline, and other petroleum based products, insect repellent, bore solvents and other gun cleaning chemicals

Will not support combustion

Will not support bacterial or fungal growth
Impervious to sweat and salt water

Enhanced hand filling ergonomics without extra thickness

Contoured thumb relief for magazine release button

79,000psi compressive yield strength- provides dramatically increased user safety in the event of overpressure ammunition

Extreme shock resistance with high strength and durability

Will not shrink, crack, split, or shatter
303 stainless steel locating bushings

Readily sterilized by wiping with a household bleach solution

High performance under extreme temperatures, withstands boiling water easily

Unaffected by extreme cold

Excellent tactile characteristics in hot and cold weather, wet or dry

Low coefficient of thermal conductivity

High UV resistance and color stability

We believe these are the finest grips available anywhere at any price.

Gun Grips™ are currently available for Colt Government, Commander and 1911 clones.

Available finishes:
Matte bead blast finish as on the Mad Dog SEAL A.T.A.K. knife.
Presentation grade hand polished, high gloss finish

check out our site http://www.tacticalforums.com
Look in the MD Labs Forum there for more info.
 
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Strider,

Congratulations on bringing your new stocks to market. I know this has been a larger task than most would imagine.

I was one of several other MD customers, that has asked for this product. Infact, it was nearly two years ago, that I recall first discussing my interest on the old knife forum. I have always thought the MD proprietary composite material would be ideal for 1911 stocks.

To be perfectly frank, I am disappointed in the design direction, away from the traditional ordnance pattern. I was quite surprised you made the decision to market this non-traditional profile. IMO, people are going to either love them or hate them. The premium price tag (which I am not disputing the merit of) will likely deter many fence sitters, and all but the most rabbid of MD loyalists.

While I am sure they are going to derigueur for many CTT members, I think you may be missing your marketing potential here, by creating what is sure to be perceived as a niche product.

I realize you probably spent a great deal of time making your *better mousetrap*, but it is not something I am interested in. I would have likely bought several pairs of these stocks, had they been finished to more traditional dimensions.

While you obviously have your reasons for differing from the norm, I thought you might like to hear why this MD fan is not placing his order. To me, the biggest shortcoming, is the fact they will index differently in your hand. I have way too much trigger time on G.I. stocked 1911s, to have any interest in relearning, what is already deeply ingrained in muscle memory. I want all my 1911s to have this same feel.

I also have two small quibbles about the aesthetics. First, I do not like the way the leading edge comes up just a bit short of the corner of the front strap. It is very same thing I find unsightly with the Carbon Creation carbon fiber stocks. Second, I am not particularly enamored with the high contrast stainless bushings. I would prefer it, if the bushing were not visible at all. To my eye, they are visually distracting.

Lastly, FWIW, I was truly surprised that someone as liguistically precise, as Kevin has demonstrated himself to be, would ever consent to calling his stocks *grips*.

I am not trying to offended either you here, but rather, I thought you would prefer honest feedback, to false praise. I hope you will both accept my comments, in the spirit they are offered.

DD
 

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But Strider, the real question is, "Are they purty?"


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Eagles may soar, but weasles don't get sucked into jet engines...
 

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Will you consider doing a set in white? Or howabout "old Ivory" You know how it gets that slight yellowish tint to it?

Let me know I could use 2 sets in white.
 

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Strider... Personally, I like the concept, but also have similar concerns to DD. I'd prefer something closer to what I have been shooting for more than 25 years.

Hopefully, as you get up to speed with these, and the Officers pattern, you might consider another version that is closer to the original Ordanance pattern. That could well make the difference for some of us "Old Dogs" who aren't into 'change'


Also, moving this to Accessories...
 

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Non Traditional....

This comment has served to identify both myself and my product designs for lo these many years. However, I have always adhered to old world traditions of craftsmanship, accuracy, and performance.


Some of you, like Desert Dog, have evinced concerns that I have not conformed to the long established ordnance pattern for these new 1911 GunGrips. Duh.
Why should I bother to do exactly what everyone else has been doing for the last ninety years?
If all of the gunsmiths and shooters trod the same tired paths, what would we have to show for advancements in the craft?
There is one simple reason for the advent of the GunGrip design:
GunGrips are a vast improvement on the previous pattern.
They offer a better ergonomic for adult male sized hands. They index better and spread recoil forces over a larger area of the hand, allowing greater rapidity and control in follow up shots. Those that have tried them invariably prefer them to ordnance pattern stocks. The way the gun indexes in the hand is not changed so much as the way the gripping forces are distributed more evenly around the weapon.
This reduces shooter fatigue, and improves accuracy.
Additional benefits include the superb strength and chemical resistance of GunGrips material, their tight tolerances and very flat mating surfaces, and of course the usual MD Labs/Mad Dog Knives no BS guarantee of quality.

Concerns about the aesthetics of the SS bushing:
Personally, I find it attractive, but not for purely visual reasons.
The SS Bushing improves the strength, durability, and precision of the indexing in the fit of the GunGrips to the weapon. We are making GunGrips for COMBAT guns, not for coffee table guns.

Concerns about "I do not like the way the leading edge comes up just a bit short of the corner of the front strap".
In designing GunGrips, I had to take fit on half a dozen different frame variants into account.
GunGrips are actually a bit wider than the ordnance pattern stocks, so they actually come closer than ordnance pattern stocks would to the edge of the frame. Note that the photos are shown on a Kimber, which has a different radius on the frame than a Colt (smaller radius) or Springfield (much wider radius).

Concerns about my calling them "GunGrips":
Yes, I know that technically, they are referred to as "stocks".
I suggest that you look up the word "grip" in the dictionary. It nicely describes what these GunGrips accomplish on the weapon and for the shooter. Particularly the portions of the definition including such pearls as:
"That part of an object designed or adapted for grasping in the hand", also "Control, domination, mastery", and "Mental or intellectual grasp, understanding".
These are a new, nontraditional product, and the "GunGrips" name intentionally reflects this.
We are also coming out with some (GASP!!) wildly nontraditional composite stocks for rifles and shotguns. We will be calling them (big surprise here, drum roll please) GunStocks.

Before condemning a product that you haven't even tried, put your prejudices aside and try a set on your weapon or that of a fellow shooter, listen to the feedback on the Forums from shooters that actually have them.
If you are a serious combat shooter, I believe that you will be as pleased with them as I am. If on the other hand, you are the sort of "shooter" that spends more time fussing over his finishes than at the range or his loading bench, then you will probably want to look elsewhere for traditionally pretty stocks made of traditionally inferior materials for your pistol.

Don't miss out... EVOLVE!




[This message has been edited by Mad Dog (edited 02-06-2001).]
 

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Mad Dog,
Glad to see you here. The only problem I see is you seem to have a little trouble just saying what you mean. Come on! Get it off your chest.


The grips/stocks are interesting and I would like to try them. I will give them a go when I upgrade my old 70 series Colt.

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The man who can keep his head and deliver accurate return fire while lead is flying through the air around him will most often prevail.
 

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Originally posted by Mad Dog:
<<They offer a better ergonomic for adult male sized hands. >>
And how did you define an adult male size hand?

I have to kinda agree here with DD. The reason some of us might be interested in your "grips" is for precisely the reasons you quoted. Materials, strength, etc...but I for one have adult male size hands (because I am an adult male, ergo...) and prefer more of the standard size ordinance pattern grips...so just something for you to think about in the future.

Anyway, good luck with your venture! I hope you do well with them...
 
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All quotes (except where noted) originally posted by Mad Dog:

Some of you, like Desert Dog, have evinced concerns that I have not conformed to the long established ordnance pattern for these new 1911 GunGrips. Duh.
Why should I bother to do exactly what everyone else has been doing for the last ninety years?
No, I didn't "evince" a thing. I was simply expressing my opinion, in hopes that you might have a passing interest in knowing what your (potential) customers might want.

As for the "why bother" question; it is clear (to me), that ninety years has shown few (if any) actual advances have been made in the design of 1911 stocks. Time seems to have shown the basic ordnance pattern to be a classic design. However, there have been many significant advances in materials during that time period -- like your proprietary composite material.

It is my opinion, and that of several others here (Rosco Benson comes to mind), that the primary control of the 1911 pistol is derived from the interface of the hand(s) with the front strap, mainspring housing and grip safety. Or, as Rosco so eloquently noted, "the stocks are just along for the ride".

There is one simple reason for the advent of the GunGrip design:
GunGrips are a vast improvement on the previous pattern.
They offer a better ergonomic for adult male sized hands.
Since the majority of all 1911 shooters are adult males, I am not sure what your (hand size) comment is intimating. Although my hands require an XL glove size, the standard size 1911 stocks seem to work just fine for my purposes. Most 1911 shooters with average size hands, seem to find the ordnance pattern fits them nicely too. For those that have such elfen sized mits, that they have trouble properly reaching the controls, the market has provided for them, in the form of slim style stocks.

I have tried thicker stocks, and have found them to change the superb natural ergonomics and pointing characteristics that JMB designed in -- for the worse. For me, the squarer the cross section of the 1911 becomes, the more pronounced this degredation becomes.

The SS Bushing improves the strength, durability, and precision of the indexing in the fit of the GunGrips to the
weapon. We are making GunGrips for COMBAT guns, not for coffee table guns.
While I am sure some of your GunGrips will see actual "COMBAT" use, I would hazzard to guess, most will not. The reason for my initial interest in your stocks, was for hard use guns. For that purpose, I think your proprietary composite material is a natural.

For a "coffe table gun", your stocks would not likely be my first consideration. Exotic woods, or ivory, would seem better suited to that purpose. Although, I can't ever recall using a 1911 to decorate my living room with...


GunGrips are actually a bit wider than the ordnance pattern stocks, so they actually come closer than ordnance pattern stocks would to the edge of the frame.
Thank you for clarifying that point -- it was not clear from the posted photo.

Yes, I know that technically, they are referred to as "stocks".
I suggest that you look up the word "grip" in the dictionary. It nicely describes what these GunGrips accomplish on the weapon and for the shooter. Particularly the portions of the definition including such pearls as: "That part of an object designed or adapted for grasping in the hand", also "Control, domination, mastery", and "Mental or intellectual grasp, understanding".
Nice try Kevin.
Since you choose to selectively edit a dictionary cite, please permit me to quote the rest:

grip : to seize firmly
1 a : a strong or tenacious grasp
b : strength in gripping
c : a mode of clasping the hand by which members of a secret order (CTT?
) recognize or greet one another (2) : arrangement of the hands in grapsing

Perhaps a better authority (than Merriam-Webster) for such definitions, would be author and noted firearms instructor Chuck Taylor. The following quote is from Chuck's book The Complete Book of Combat Handgunning:

GRIP: The method of placing the hands upon the piece, not the wooden or plastic portion of a pistol butt.

STOCK The wooden or plastic portion of a small arm intended to be held by the hands and to support the recoil. Hangun stocks are usually two-piece, thus the plural.

Before condemning a product that you haven't even tried, put your prejudices aside and try a set on your weapon or that of a fellow shooter, listen to the feedback on the Forums from shooters that actually have them.
I am not condemning your product Kevin. I just don't need to spend $80 or $100 to figure out your stocks are not going to index the same as every other 1911 I have shot over the last quarter of a century. You have already told me as much. Besides that, it is a little late in the game, for me to change my muscle memory now -- as I have already adapted and EVOLVED.


You seem to have missed my entire point here. If you weren't so set on re-inventing the wheel, perhaps you would discover there is a significant group of 1911 shooters interested in your proprietary composite material, that aren't necessarily interested in unlearning years of muscle memory. Why not just offer both styles, and see where the demand is?

While it is certainly your business to loose, it is a shame that you haven't (yet) entertained the idea of producing your stocks, with the single most accepted pattern of any handgun stocks ever produced. This (of coure) comes as no great surprise to me. As anyone that has bothered to observe your lifes journey will have likely noted, you have always choosen to take the road less traveled.

Best of luck, with the marketing of both your GunGrips and GunStocks products.


DD


[This message has been edited by Desert Dog (edited 02-07-2001).]
 

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Are we still talking about Grips ?

I don't think Mr. MadDog is trying to re-invent the wheel . He is just trying to make a great thing more personable . Everybody has their idea of what will help .
Hey , I have an idea . We leave the grips off , so you can look at your mag for a round count .....
I think they look good and are worth a try . And besides , my 1911 will match my knife . We all know how important that is ...


P.S. No charge for the "omit the grip idea".

[This message has been edited by SuperDave (edited 02-07-2001).]
 

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Desert Dog,
Chuck's book was written before the advent of GunGrips, hence your confusion over appropriate terminology...
As far as you, and evidently Rosco's opinion on how the weapon is indexed, and the whole "along for the ride and the view" thing, all I can say is that he has clearly not had the GunGrips experience. As I stated previously, GunGrips redistribute the gripping forces, and allow more of the hand to come into contact with the weapon. The grips...er.. stocks... are no longer simply along for the ride. they actually improve control of the weapon. (This is a good thing)

Great idea, SuperDave!
Steve and I both agree that we need to come out with a product that will enable this marvelous idea to come to fruition.
Tentatively, we are calling it "The Emperor's New grip...er... Stocks".
I have sent a complimentary set to Desert Dog for evaluation.





[This message has been edited by Mad Dog (edited 02-07-2001).]
 

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I am excited for these grips to come out
. Having ACTUALLY used them while they were fully attached to a 1911(Kimber), I was very impressed.

I would consider my hands very small for an adult male's hands, especially when referring to the length of my fingers
. To properly give you an idea of how small, here are some examples: my fingers are barely longer than a guitar fretboard, I usually find it hard to firmly grasp most double stack magazined guns, and I have to readjust my grip on every 1911 I have used(excluding the above mentioned Kimber) to release the magazines.

When I have used the GunGrips on a 1911 I not only can attain a faster and more solid grasp of the gun naturally, I can also release the magazines without releasing or readjusting my entire grip. I find they actually help me retain my grip while I am holding the gun which is normally very hard for me to keep from slipping off the gun. If I can't get a solid grip on the gun I am firing everything else is useless. In my opinion, these GunGrips are far superior to any Wood, Carbon Fiber, and Ivory handles I have ever tried. This is the reason I will have GunGrips. I hope this can help with any specualtion about the size of the grips, or stocks if you will, being to small.

I think what Mad Dog (Note: I am not his translater, just sharing my perspective)meant when he said "Male Adult Sized" hands was not the hands of children and women, whom historically have smaller hands. I don't think he meant they are made for Andre the Giant, Manute Bol(famous 7'7" basketball player), and those of that size
.



[This message has been edited by Brian (edited 02-07-2001).]
 
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Great idea, SuperDave!
Steve and I both agree that we need to come out with a product that will enable this marvelous idea to come to fruition.
Tentatively, we are calling it "The Emperor's New grip...er... Stocks".
I have sent a complimentary set to Desert Dog for evaluation.


-Mad Dog
MD, I received the package this morning -- postage due.

Since you are now collaborating with Dane, I took the liberty of forwarding them on to him this afternoon. My suggestion was to market them as GhostGrips, and posssibly include them in a lightweight version of Dane's (now) famous Grey Ghost pistol.


I also had another inspiration. For COMBAT guns, you could make a longer version with serrations along one edge, that could be used for digging trenches and various other field expedient uses. I thought you could call them StampStocks.
However, warrantying them may prove to be *problematic*.


Brian,

Welcome to the forum. Glad to see MD can still summon the troops.


I wasn't really that confused about the hand size inference -- just a little bit of the usual macho warrior chest thumping rah-rah posturing. Some guys just feel the need to stay in character, more than the rest of us.


DD
 

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Actually, SuperDave's suggestion isn't so silly. I recall, from the late 70's or early 80's, an outfit called UPOP which marketed a deep-cover rig consisting of a pair of underwear briefs with a holster pouch arranged so as to carry a pistol in the "SOB"/cavalry draw position, beneath a tucked shirt. The pistol they chose for this application was a 1911 with the stocks and stock screw bushings removed.

Later, Mark Moritz (Gunsite alum and instructor and probably the smartest guy since Jeff Cooper to write for the gun-zines) wrote up a "poor man's slimline job"...which consisted of a Fed Ord 1911 clone (chosen because it only had small holes under the stocks) sans stocks and bushings.

Later still, I had a lighweight Officers ACP built up that used very thin aluminum sheet stock, glued in place, as the stocks. This resulted in a gripframe being just about as narrow as using no stocks whatsoever, but covered the cutouts in the frame. Working extensively with this pistol verified what I intuitively suspected; that the autopistol is gripped primarily fore and aft and the stocks are of little consequence. Remember too, this was a lightweight OACP, with serious ammo. No competent pistol shot who has tried it has expressed any concern about it being tough to shoot.

Still later, we now have more traditional and attractive products which serve the same purpose...the AFS Slim-Tech stocks and McCormicks slim stocks (Craig Spegel also offered his "Hackathorn style" stocks, but as he didn't include the hardware, these were sort of a "custom" solution and not widely distributed).

Clearly, thin stocks work. They enhance concealability and have an agreeable "feel" for a wide range of hand sizes. "Feel" is very subjective, but I am convinced that it is easier to index a pistol for deflection if the handle is long (fore to aft) rectangle in cross-section, rather than being square or round.

Still, "feel" is subjective and some people may prefer a thicker stock panel. That's just fine. The MD Labs entry into this market provides those folks with another high-quality choice.

Rosco
 

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Rosco, et al:
there seems to be a growing misconception about the thickness of GunGrips.

They are NOT "thicker" than ordnance pattern stocks!
The maximum thickness is the same.
I have altered the radii for ergonomic reasons, and added a thumb relief to improve magazine catch accessability. They have SS bushings to improve placement and increase durability of the screw holes. They are slightly wider front to back for better frame coverage and hand filling.
Other than that, they are just like ordnance pattern stocks.
 

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I stand corrected. It's always hard to judge such things from photos. The "coffin-top" shaping for the MDL stocks caused me to perceive that they were thicker than GI.

My contention is that, on a 1911, the stocks are of little consequence so long as they are of GI thickness or less. One can make the stocks thicker and/or shaped differently so as to slightly change the feel of the "palm to starboard stock panel" interface, but one's palm really isn't contributing much to one's grip. Of course, we often go to considerable trouble and expense for slight gains in subjective area of feel. If one thinks it helps, then it probably does.

Given the toughness of the material from which they are constructed, they might be just the thing for those who tempt fate with ammo that is loaded "right on the peg" and then some.

Rosco
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's my take:
Although I am hardly the most objective participant in this situation, I am rather disappointed to see such a negative response from otherwise intelligent persons who ought to be more open minded. People who have never actually used the GunGrips in Pro Per.

No one need get bent out of shape because we have come out with grips/stocks/panels/frame hole covers/grasping devices which do not conform exactly to the traditional ordnance pattern.

With regards to the school of thought which maintains the gun index comes solely from the front and backstraps, and that the grips are just along for the ride- this is true for many typical hands with standard or slim pattern grip panels.

If one examines the actual grip to hand surface contact by gripping the weapon, pointing it at the ceiling and then looking at all of the daylight that shows between the stock panels and the hand, one will see that there is little contact with the hand in areas that are NORMALLY contacted with grips of tools that require great control in their application.

After much research and testing we designed a contour which better corresponds to the ergonomic of the human hand in relation to an appropriate and physically efficient weapon grip and presentation.

We are offering an alternative to conventional pattern grips for those so inclined. Our GunGrips offer many performance advantages over conventional ordnance pattern grips. We can prove it easily.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we realize not everyone has the same hands, preferences or shooting style. As far as we are concerned, go with what works for you.

We know what works for us.
 

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With all the talk about other uses for the parts DD, I had to wonder if the Yaqui family had somehow managed to come up with yet another item in the long history and tradition of the family name
 

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Thank you for the welcome Desert Dog. But to consider myself a "troop" among such great warriors is a flattery I am not worthy of. I only hope to listen and learn from the experience and wisdom of real warriors.
 

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High Performance? That kills me!! Me, I will wait for the Supercharged version to come out. Second generation is almost always better than the first generation.
 
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