A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, June 23, 2008


I'm trying to decide on which grips to keep on my parkerized Springfield GI45. Several years ago I swapped a few parts to more closely approximate a WWII vintage M1911A1. I decided on walnut double diamonds back then, and i like the look of them on the pistol.

I have an extra set or two of genuine USGI issue plastic grips from WWII that would make the inexpensive approximation of a GI gun a bit more authentic. I don't like the feel or the appearance quite as much though.

I'm not one to play Barbie doll dress up with my pistols, I usually chose a set of grips and stick with them, but this one has me in a quandry. The more I look at the real deal, the more I like them. Whadaya think?

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Blogger Peripatetic Engineer said...

The Walnut DDs.

6:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your first choice is the best--Go for the diamond grips.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous PawPaw said...

Dunnunt matter what I think. It's your pistol.

For many years I believed (and still do to some degree) that pistol manufacturers shipped their wares with the cheapest grips they could find, so that they were shipping a complete firearm. Not a sinle one of my sidearms wear the grips that came with it in the box.

So, the question becomes, which do you like best?

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Blackwing1 said...

The double-diamonds look awfully pretty, but if you're going for the "retro/original" look, I'd have to say the plastic grips look a little more like an old war-horse would deserve.

Of course, since it's a Springfield repro, you might want to stay with what feels better in your hand.

How's that for dithering?

8:06 AM  
Blogger daddymax said...

I like the original USGI plastic grips if you are going to go with the flap holster. With modern leather I might choose the double diamond walnut. It is kind of a belt and shoes thing for me.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Reno Sepulveda said...

I like the double diamond pattern and real wood. Plus from the photo, it looks like the walnut grips support the plunger tube a little better than the GI grips.

Just my two cents though.

8:12 AM  
Blogger HokiePundit said...

If I had to choose from scratch, I'd go with the double diamonds. However, you're trying to make a rough replica of a WWII 1911 and have even swapped out some parts. Why stop when you're very nearly there, especially on one of the most noticeable parts?

8:38 AM  
Blogger Freddyboomboom said...

Opinion: Since the goal is to make it look authentic, go with the real deal grips.

I, too, like the look of the double diamond grips better than the real deal grips. But save them for one that they look good on, that you're not wanting the authentic look for.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Always Lurking said...

Your first choice was best. This is not a USGI 1911 that you are restoring. If that were the case than the plastic would be the way to go. But, the walnut looks 100% better!

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To me, having never owned a 1911 (though my wife has a Colt), the first set of grips look out of place on the gun.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I sure can't decide between the two- looks like it's time for another 1911!

10:27 AM  
Anonymous tjm said...

That really is a tough one, the plastic ones do look good but I am a double diamond fan. But the plastic ones give it a much more authentic look. I like wood but my vote is for the plastic. Unless you get wood ones that look like the plastic (without diamonds) like I got for my dad's old 1911.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

The problem with the walnut panels is that they look too new. I'd take some fine steel wool or some Scotchbrite and lightly sand them down lightly, so they look as if they've been used a bit.

11:04 AM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

The solution here is simple. Put the original GI stocks on the pistol, and enjoy the simple elegance of the basic pistol. Then go out and buy another one with ugly stocks and put the spare set on it. :)

11:15 AM  
Blogger Weer'd Beard said...

I personally prefer the looks of carry-style 1911s over their military forefathers.

As for grips, I generally find the double-diamond pattern is my personally favorite.

11:16 AM  
Blogger nature223 said...

the top set is ALOT nicer to look at,I love the double diamonds.
the actual issue set below it...much more appropriate though and period correct if your looking for a "ww2 ish" looking slabsides

12:57 PM  
Blogger Reese said...

I can appreciate wanting the pistol to look authentic but the walnut double diamonds just look too good.

1:36 PM  
Blogger JJR said...

That is a quandary indeed. The first are a nice choice, and prettier, but real is real.
Good luck w/ that.

I have to say the authentic GI is growing on me, too.

I have a nice Rock Island Armory M1911A that I picked up a few years back for about half what a new parkerized Springfield M1911A would've set me back. It has basic plain wood grips; It's close enough for me. The only thing I would change on it is the magazine. My current mag has an extended rubber ridge thing on the bottom of it, doesn't look G.I. at all. Still, I like it.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Kilgor said...


You need to carry that gun some. There's no wear on it!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the plastics look more appropriate

5:36 PM  
Blogger be603 said...

Double D. Tasteful but not ostentious. Respectful of the underlying character of the piece A nice bit of dress up for a classic design w/out going all "bling."

10:12 PM  
Blogger Will said...

USGI. Just looks right.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a compromise. One of each! :)

11:38 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Walnut double diamonds. They look better. They feel better.

Even if I had an all original USGI 1911A1, I would put 1911 style double diamonds on it and pack the plastic grips away somewhere safe.
It's easy enough to put the GI grips back on should you ever decide to sell (only to buy a different 1911 of course).

that is pretty much waht I did to my Sistema, the original plastic grip panels and magazine are packed away safely, and the gun wears walnut grips and I use GI milsurp mags

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

When I was around 7 or 8 years old, my dad picked up a 1943 Colt 1911A1 from a local junk shop for $100 and brought it home and gave it to me (probably to justify the purchase to my mom more so than anything else). The pistol was bone stock, but the first thing he did was order a set of double diamond walnut grips from the pages of Shotgun News to give it a better look. The pistol still wears those grips to this day, and they now look original to it with the wear and oil from 25 years of use. I still have the original GI plastics put away, but nothing else looks right on these guns but the classic walnut double diamonds. I do have a mint, probably unfired Remington Rand that came our way several years later still shod with GI plastic, but it's not a working gun like the Colt which was my constant companion from then till my late teenage years when I discovered Smith & Wesson revolvers (but that's another story). Nice looking 45 you have there - leave the wood.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have smooth cherry grips on mine.

12:15 PM  
Blogger Trusty Trocar said...

I carry my RemUMC 1911 in a Crossbreed holster.

My friend bought me a pair of walnut DDs for my birthday, but they tore my side all to hell so I put the old Ithica bakelite stocks back on.

Purely comfortable now!

Even shooting, I prefer the bakelite stocks. I have soft girly hands and the walnut tears my hands up like sharkskin.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For parkerized, I prefer the military grips.

For non-park'd blue guns with a bit of wear, double diamond rosewood.

1:48 PM  

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