How to Make Custom Fit Pistol Grips

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A pistol is a mass-produced item that can be owned by someone in any part of the world. You can make a custom pistol grip that will not only be more suitable for holding than the one the weapon came with, but will also speak to your individuality and personality. You will need a few hardware supplies from a hardware store and an old rifle stock butt that can be bought from a hobby shop or gun store. Some expertise in working with power tools is also necessary, but you don’t have to be an expert gunsmith in order to make a custom pistol grip.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Rifle butt stock
  • Pencil
  • 5-by-7-inch, 1/4th-inch thick cardboard
  • Cellophane tape
  • Band saw
  • Disc sander
  • Utility knife
  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • Flat-edged filing tool
  • Heavy model paint brush
  • Wood screws
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 600 grade sandpaper
  • Gun vice
  • Soft cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • Linseed oil
  • Black gun paint

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Unscrew the screws in the pistol grip with the Phillips screwdriver. Pull the pistol grip off of the back of the pistol with your fingers.

  2. 2

    Put a sheet of newspaper on a table. Place the cardboard on the newspaper.

  3. 3

    Line up the edge of the back of the pistol with one side of the cardboard. Draw an outline around the outside of the two pistol grip rods coming out of the back end of the pistol. Cut out the cardboard outline with the utility knife.

  4. 4

    Place the rifle butt stock on the newspaper with the longer end facing left. Place the cardboard cutout on the lower left corner of the rifle butt stock. Tape the cardboard onto the rifle butt stock with strips of cellophane tape.

  5. 5

    Cut through the cardboard outline on the rifle butt stock using a band saw. Remove the cardboard. Dispose of the cardboard in the trash.

  6. 6

    Sand the sides of the cut-out piece of the rifle butt stock with the disc sander.

  7. 7

    Place the cut-out piece of the rifle butt stock against the back end of the pistol with the lower pistol rod underneath the cut-out piece of the rifle butt stock and the upper pistol rod on top of the cut-out piece of the rifle butt stock.

  8. 8

    Trace around the upper pistol rod with the pencil. Cut along the horizontal lines of the upper pistol rod with the blade of a utility knife. Remove two inches of wood from within the tracing with the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver.

  9. 9

    Smooth out the inside of the tracing that has been cut out with the flat-edged filing tool.

  10. 10

    Repeat the process on the other side of the pistol.

  11. 11

    Pick up the gun using your right hand (reverse this for “lefties”). Trace around where your second, third and fourth finger touch the the side of the pistol grip with the pencil.

  12. 12

    Remove an inch deep of wood from within the tracings with the tip of the flat-edged screwdriver. Smooth out the inside of the tracings with the flat-edged filing tool.

  13. 13

    Brush off the two pistol rods with a heavy model paint brush.

  14. 14

    Attach wood screws through the wood block and into the pistol rods on both sides of the pistol using the Phillips screwdriver.

  15. 15

    Shape the grip with the tip of the flat-edged filing tool to remove any burrs from the wood. Sand the grip with the sandpaper.

  16. 16

    Place the gun vice on the newspaper. Place the soft cloth around the barrel. Place the barrel of the pistol into the gun vice. Close the gun vice.

  17. 17

    Place painters tape over the metal parts of the gun to protect them from the painting that will be done to the pistol grip.

  18. 18

    Pour linseed oil into a plastic tub. Dip the model paint brush into the linseed oil. Paint the pistol grip with the linseed oil. Let the oil set for a day.

  19. 19

    Open the bottle of black gun paint. Using a fresh model paint brush, paint the bottom of the pistol grip with the black gun paint. Let the paint dry for a day.

  20. 20

    Open the bottle of wood stain. Dip another model paint brush into the bottle of wood stain. Paint the pistol grip with the wood stain. Let the wood stain dry for a day. Open the gun vice. Remove the pistol from the gun vice.

Tips and warnings

  • Always verify that a pistol is unloaded and free of any ammunition before doing any work on it.

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