Grip Force Adapters: More Grip for your Glock
Major Pandemic 05.04.15
Back a few months ago, Mrs. Pandemic and I were qualifying for our state’s concealed carry licenses. During the range qualification, one of the police officers/instructors commented on the nice tight groups we were shooting and then asked if we had been having any slide bite issues with our Glocks. This was more of a rhetorical question as the top of my wife’s thumb knuckle had caught the slide about five minutes earlier and was now bleeding–although dripping blood, she was still shooting.
I personally do not, nor have I ever had, any slide bite problems due to my small but stumpy thick hands. Mrs. Pandemic with her long thin elegant fingers has of course had an issue with Glock slide bite. The officer offered up his Glock 19 to try out in hopes his attached Grip Force adapters with extended beavertail would be more comfortable for her. After only three rounds, she ordered me to pick up a couple for her Glocks. Yes that was plural, a Glock 17 and Glock 19 to be exact. She will not be one of those chicks standing in a “safe zone” with a rape whistle.
The Glock is one of the finest, most well designed personal defense pistols made, and with two Glock 17s and 19s plus a custom Glock 17 by Salient Arms in the house, we love our Glocks. Like any firearm, there are a few points that experts and novices alike agree could be improved on the Glocks. The biggest requests surround the all purpose fit of the Glock grip, which in most cases fits no one great, but everyone acceptably well. Glock did take a step forward in improving comfort with the Gen 4 model’s interchangeable grips and more aggressive grip texturing, but for some shooters, the slide bite problem remained, and this is where the Glock Grip Force Adapter comes in and solves major fitment issues for long fingered, monkey pawed hands that are prone to slide bite.
Fit, Finish, Features, and Functions
Grip Force was created with the input of some of the top firearm industry experts simply to improve the Glock grip for those whose hands and shooting preference do not fit the stock Glock grip.
The Grip Force Adapter is available in a Gen123 version and a Gen 4 version. Gen123 and Gen123SC versions will fit all generation 1, 2, and 3 Glocks, but Grip Force also recommends it with the Medium and Large backstraps for the Gen 4 Pistols. For those with Gen 4 pistols who do not have a backstrap attached, the Gen4 adapter is used. If in doubt, they have a chart to figure out which backstrap you need based on what Gen 4 backstrap you are using.
From a fit and finish perspective, the Grip Force adapters are made from a similar material to the Glock lower receiver and is attached via the Glock’s plastic grip pin. Each of the adapters I ordered matched perfectly to the finish of my pistol and were of the same quality as my Glock grip and my Gen 4 factory grip adapters. Grip Force also offers tan adapters as well that will perfectly match your factory tan Glock or just add a nice accent to your black Glock.
Grip Force includes four plastic grip pins and your choice of two adapters for your $26.95; a Gen 123 and Gen123SC adapter kit for generation 1, 2, or 3 owners or a combo Gen123SC; and Gen4 adapter kit for generation 4 owners.
The original GripForce Gen123 adapters have a bit longer backstrap and a ribbed beavertail. The Gen123SC adapters have a shorter backstrap length and no ribbing on the beavertail. Between the two versions included in the kit, they provide owners basically a medium and large fitment option based on personal preference. Luckily I ordered a couple Grip Force adapter packs to play around with because, my wife decided she liked the extended original Gen123 version on her Glock 19, but on her Gen 4 Glock 17, she prefers the Gen4 adapter.
The adapters are simple to install: push out the factory grip pin, slip on the Grip Force adapter, and replace the factory pin with one of the extended pins included with the adapters. At this point there is some trimming involved to remove the excess of the oversized length of the grip pin.
Included with my shipment was a emery nail file, which was the perfect tool for the task of smoothing out the pins flush with the adapters on both the Glocks. Grip Force did the best they could, but as we know, even within each generation Glock grip specs were always changing. The result is that Grip Force designed around the lowest common denominator with enough material on the adapters to be able to customize the adapter to grip fit.
Of the four disparately produced Glocks I test fit various adapters to, all fit pretty well. If you choose, the adapter can be fit tighter to the grip either with the included emery board or via dremel.
My intent has been to do a little more customizing and blending of the adapters, but my wife has had no issues with the fit or problems and typically does not want me to start “customizing” things as I tend to get a little out of hand. The grips can be smoothed and contoured into your grip, and I do know people who have also permanently epoxied them in place before having a custom grip stippling done to the grip. Doing so delivers a Glock that you would never know had any add-on attached.
Advantages of the GripForce
The primary advantages of the grip are more control, change of the grip angle from a Luger grip feel to a 1911 grip feel for better target indexing, and slide bite protection.
The Glock grip is modeled after a more aggressive natural hand angle compared to the classic S&W pistols or 1911s. For about half of the shooters, this deeper angle is both uncomfortable and unnatural, and the result is that their instinctive natural point of aim for the pistol is high. Grip Force acknowledges that every hand is a bit different and where some find the Glock perfectly ergonomic to shoot, others prefer and shoot better with a more typical, less severe 1911-type grip angle.
By adding a beavertail grip and increasing the backstrap depth at the top of the grip, the grip angle morphs into something that feels much more like a 1911 style grip and at the same time improves weapon control for some shooters.
I would like to give a couple impressions on the Grip Force adapter. First Mrs. Pandemic loves, loves, loves them and in her words “finally makes the Glock feel and point right in her hands.” She is faster on target, is able to shoot faster and more controllably, and her groups are tighter. I am sure it is simply that the protection the beavertail provides along with improved ergonomics gives her the confidence and handling to simply run the gun harder.
On the other hand, I am a very long time revolver shooter and thus find handguns with Luger style grips point more naturally for me. Part of that may be my stumpy hands, but with the Grip Force adapter on my Glock, I was always aligning low on the target and the backstrap increase was actually less comfortable for me.
I passed on a set of the Grip Force adapters to my 6’ 4” big handed co-editor. My Co-editor has a Glock 21 that continues to give him a little slide bite. He also felt the adapter greatly improved ergonomics for him and again delivered more comfort; faster, more controlled shooting; and an increase in accuracy. His words are that the Grip Force adapter is a permanent upgrade on his Glock.
Personally, I prefer the more angled Luger style grip, but the Glock grip is not a one-size-fits-all design. My Glocks only needed custom stippling for me to feel happy with the fit, but others I know swear by the Grip Force adapters and use phrases like “transformational ergonomics” to describe their experiences.
The moral of this story is that if you are having problems with the Glock slide taking a chunk out of your hand, a less than comfortable grip, or the pistol naturally coming onto the target high, $30 and simple and easy installation is well worth the price to greatly enhance your comfort, firearm control, and potentially accuracy.
- Various Adapters available
- Set of two adapters $26.99
- Patent Pending Design