The Taurus Model 85 that I butc… uh, customized in my quest for the smallest pocket .38 I could manage has been sporting a rather distinctive grip these last few years.
The old grip is similar to the Ergo grip, but with the gun’s shortened frame it is significantly smaller and flatter. It works shockingly well, and anchors the gun nicely in your hand even against the ravages of +P ammunition. Everyone that has (dubiously) tried it has been astounded at how controllable the gun is with this grip. But…
…it never feels secure in the hand. Also when drawing from a pocket it pretty much always comes out right, but you can’t tell that it’s right until the gun is out. OK, this is nit-picking; it works, and better than it has any right to. Complaining about the feel seems petty.
Nonetheless it niggled at the back of my mind. I’ve made and tested a lot of grips since doing these, and gradually came to the conclusion that I could do better. Since my lovely and helpful wife upgraded the laptop that runs the CNC machine I use for inletting grips to Windows 11 my CNC controller software no longer works. It also hasn’t been updated for Windows 11. I had to do these the old-fashioned way, inletting them with a milling bit in the drill press and with the wood mounted in a milling vice.
This was an excellent reminder of why I bought the CNC router and learned to make programs for it.
I used a piece of rather pedestrian Walnut and once fitted to the abbreviated Taurus frame began shaping them, first on the belt-grinder and then with sanding drums on the Dremel. I didn’t sand the results above 600-grit or attempt more than a functional finish on them; these are more proof-of-concept than show-off grips.
They are a little thicker than the old grips, and importantly the work just as well and feel more secure in the hand. Despite their appearance these are a two-finger grip.
Further when you grab this grip it’s instantly apparent that you’ve gotten it right. Indeed, it’s difficult to grab it wrong. It’s going to take more shooting and some drills to prove it fully, but it seems like it accomplished what I wanted- a more secure feeling grip without increasing the footprint. Seems like a win.
Stay safe and take care.
Michael Tinker Pearce, 20 March 2022