It does seem like polymer-frame pistols have taken over the self-defense market, with Glock, Smith & Wesson, SIG Sauer and others offering utilitarian variants for concealed carry. However, there’s still a stronghold of DA/SA handguns out there, joined most recently by the Springfield Armory XD-E, and many of these have replaceable grips. While polymer panels are prevalent, there’s a number of upgrades available that are quite easy to make.
We’ve covered Altamont Company previously, with a lovely stock for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown, and the company has a number of gorgeous replacement grip options for a wide variety of handguns. Obviously, Smith & Wesson revolvers, 1911-style pistols and DA/SA offerings from Beretta, SIG Sauer and others are covered, but Altamont offers more than just the big names. Take a look—you might be surprised to find a fit for your not-quite-everyday handgun.
While the wood stocks certainly dress up your pistol, make no mistake: these are quite useable grips. Checkering, snakeskin, basketweave and other pattern options help to anchor your pistol in the hand, while boot-grip-style offerings can help reduce your handgun’s footprint for ease-of-carry. Best of all, prices are surprisingly affordable, especially for the high level of craftsmanship apparent in each grip. MSRPs start in the upper- $20s and rarely stray much higher than mid- $80s (although, of course, depending on the grip and complexity your mileage may vary).
Whether you’re looking for a purely aesthetic upgrade, you’ve got an odd-duck pistol with a missing grip panel or maybe the standard plastic stocks don’t offer the degree of purchase you need, the stocks from Altamont Company are a great choice. If you’re upgrading for aesthetic reasons, Altamont also offers mounting screw upgrades and other assorted parts for the 1911. If you’re a fan of the 1911, or just beautiful things in general, be certain to check out the company’s American Patriot engraved 1911, too!