Author Topic: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability  (Read 35 times)

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Online Graybeard

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Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« on: February 14, 2021, 11:21:55 AM »
https://gundigest.com/handguns/hunting-guns/large-bore-revolver-grips-enhancing-comfort-and-controllability?

By Max Prasac -February 2, 2021


Custom grips, while somewhat expensive, go a long way toward making even the most raucous loads “pleasant.” The grips on the stainless steel revolvers above are by Rowen Custom Grips, while the set on the blued Bisley are by JRH Advanced Gunsmithing. All were made specifically for the author’s shooting hand.
Revolver grips, it isn't the most scintillating topic. But some consideration in this area goes a long way in taming a large-bore beast.
The grip your heavy-kicking revolver is equipped with matters. Whether it’s a double- or single-action, the handle you hang onto will make your revolver pleasant to shoot—and thereby controllable … or not.

Grip shape determines how the revolver will recoil. Double-actions tend to recoil straight back into the hand. The recoil dynamic of double-action revolvers differs significantly from that of single-actions. The single-actions have a propensity for flipping the muzzle upward.

There are distinctly different types of single-action revolver grips, but as a basic design and type (they’re all variations on the same theme), let’s refer to them as “plow handles.” These grip designs tend to point very naturally but, by design, they’ll pivot upward in your hand. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this grip type; however, when recoil climbs, they become increasingly more difficult to control.

Ruger addressed this “shortcoming” with its interpretation of the Bisley grip frame that was made famous by Colt. It’s a more vertical profile, and frankly, it recoils much more like a double-action, in that it goes back more than a plow handle design. People love them or hate them, but the general consensus is that the Ruger Bisley is a better choice for control and quick follow-up shots under heavy recoil.

However, it can be better when not equipped with narrow, one-size-fits-all factory grips. The chief complaint about the Ruger Bisley is that the middle knuckle of the shooting hand makes painful contact with the trigger guard.

Freedom Arms revolvers are equipped with a grip frame the author finds very recoil-friendly, even with factory grips. In essence, it’s a cross between a plow handle and a Ruger Bisley.



Magnum Research’s BFR single-action revolvers come equipped with a plow handle-style grip. While a rubber grip of the company’s own design is available, it doesn’t work well for the author’s hands. However, Magnum Research recently added its own iteration of the Bisley grip that sort of resembles a banana in profile. That said, the Magnum Research Bisley is, hands down, the best grip for big recoil. It substantially improves control and comfort.

Custom Revolver Grips

There’s a way to make your favorite grip frame a whole lot better: Add aftermarket or custom grips. The key is the fit to your hand. There are many aftermarket grip manufacturers that should be explored because they might have a good product for you.

Hogue makes a particularly good “Tamer” grip for the Ruger Super Redhawk. The better option (for single-actions) is a custom set of grips made for your hand dimensions. Yes, they can be costly, but the final product will be vastly superior than anything mass-produced. When the grip is right, your shooting experience will be greatly improved.

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.


Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises
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I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 01:37:54 AM »
back when John linebaugh was building me guns and before dustin linebaugh was building them himself dustin did grips. Mostly he made slight alterations to factory bisley grips and did some customs too. His little tweaks to factory grips changed them like night and day. Hard to explain it unless you held both in your hands. But LOTS of us thought it was well worth the hundred or so bucks he charged when unleashing a full power 475 or 500. John made those grips standard equipment on the linebaugh 475 and 500 max's guns. Another master of the bisley was Scott Kolar. He did them with some of the most exotic stuff on the planet and all his grips were hand fitted to your frame. Some dont like the bisley grips. Ill say this. If your talking 44 mags and even heavy 45 colts i can deal with a plow handle. Only one i had that was sketchy was a clements built aluminum framed 4 inch vaquero that had metal removed everywhere to lighten it. That 45 colt with HEAVY 45 colt loads was a handfull. I actually had the first bisley 4 inch gun john built it was a stainless 500. I picked it up at a linebaugh seminar because he had just finished it. That gun was THE talk of the weekend. He took orders for many more before the weekend. It had ivory linen micartas that dustin did and jim taylors wife scrimshawed. Its pictured in one of John taffins books. BIG BORE REVOLVERS. The next year i went out and kelly brost the then owner of cast performance bullets had a 4 inch plow handle 500! If you knew kelly youd know he was a character. Hed show up with grips and guns with naked women on them and showed up one year with a 458 lott tc encore!!! Well i shot 5 rounds out of his gun and didnt think it was to ungodly right up until i put my loads that i shot in mine in it. It would about tear your hand off and youd best have ahold of it or the hammer would be in your forehead. Bisley grips made a VAST differnce in those guns. Enough so that id laugh at you if you asked me to shoot another 475 or 500 with full power loads without them. Even in the 44 mag and 45 with heavy loads anyone that tells you a plow handle is as easy to shoot is smoking crack or had his noggin hit to many times by hammers.
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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 01:41:11 AM »
my two 500s. Stainless one is the one i was talking about the blued oct 4 inch dustin built.
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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 01:42:57 AM »
4 5/8s 500 i won at the linebaugh seminar the same year i picked up that stainless gun so i came home with two. had a 5.5 inch 500 and 475 john built too but honestly all my linebaughs are gone now.
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Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 01:47:20 AM »
this is that wicked little 45 colt. Weight no more then a steel single six.
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Re: Large-Bore Revolver Grips: Enhancing Comfort And Controllability
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2021, 09:05:21 AM »
this is that wicked little 45 colt. Weight no more then a steel single six.
             That is some nice pistolas Lloyd.