I hate finger groove grips

Smith & Wesson and Ruger both ship most of their revolvers with this grip, or a grip very similar to it:


What I don’t get is why they keep doing that, because this grip sucks. It doesn’t fit the majority of shooters, it looks kind of dopey, and if it doesn’t fit your hand it’s going to push your hand lower on the grip than you’d really want. So why? Was there a conference the 70s where a bunch of dudes with hands even bigger than mine were all “ALL REVOS SHOULD HAVE THESE TERRIBLOR GRIPS ON THEM” or are they on guns because gun owners think they want them?

Because I know it’s not a cost issue. You know how I know it’s not a cost issue? These stocks are made by Hogue, and Hogue also makes this:


That’s a Hogue rubber grip on my 929, and it doesn’t have finger grooves. It’s nice and grippy, it’s large enough to hold on to, and most importantly it doesn’t have those stupid finger grooves on it. It costs about the same at retail as the finger groove grips, so it would be easy to ship wheelguns with these instead of the finger grooves. Hell, I’d be willing to pay a little more at retail for guns that shipped with both – just throw the good grips in the box and let shooters pick which one they’d rather have on their guns.

Maybe I’m out to lunch on this one, but is there anyone out there who genuinely prefers to have the finger grooves on their gun? I have to admit that I do have one gun with finger grooves that I like, it’s a Security Six set up for bullseye/Bianchi Cup with wood stocks that I shaped to fit my hand. So that’s one thing. But out of the box, these rubber finger groove grips just seem terrible. If you like them and think I’m crazy, let me know, because I’d love to see a convincing case for grooves instead the vastly superior in every way rubber stocks without the finger grooves.


  1. One viewpoint does not constitute best. Jerry Miculek prefers smooth grips out of wood. Personally, I have put finger groove grips on a couple different handguns; an RIA 1911 and an S&W 629 w/3″ barrel. I also have Hogue rubber sans finger grooves on a few guns, either way is just fine, but finger grooves keep my hand in position better, especially on the more powerful weapons. Like everything in life, what works best for one, is not necessarily the best for all.

  2. I also hear that about Glocks from many folks. I love the finger grooves on both the revolver and full size Glocks.

    I don’t have munchkin hands though, so maybe smaller folks fell differently.

    1. That’s the damndest thing, I wear a large glove; I’ve got decent sized hands. Glock finger grooves don’t bother me, but those Hogue grips do.

  3. What is hand size? You can have large, med, small; but palm size could be meatier, shorter, wider, the fingers could be short, meaty, long or thin. There are a multitude of variables at play here and a wide variety of combinations possible. I wear medium glove size, but I like my gloves to fit like a second skin, for most applications (driving, shooting and hiking). When I use a glove size template, I am medium for palm and large for most fingers except the little ones, thumbs are in-between the two sizes.

  4. For me I love finger groves on my wheelgun grips. The Hogue nylon grips were my go to grips for decades until I needed a softer grip because of my forearms issues, then I went with the Pachmayr Grippers. To each his own and that’s one of the great aspects of wheelguns, the plethora of grips available for them. Although since wheelguns are out of vogue there isn’t as much a selection as in decades past.

    1. I don’t find the Pachy grips nearly as offensive as the Hogue ones. I think the finger grooves on the Pachmayr are a lot subtler, and thus easier to adapt to.

  5. I have frozen and sanded more Hogue finger groove grips than I can count (well, three or four anyway). I do sometimes find the grooves interact with my grip to force my fingers higher, which is good, if not comfortable.

  6. I agree. I took the same Hogue grips off my GP100 and put the classic rubber with wood inserts on it. The finger groves forced my hand down lower than I wanted on the grip.

  7. I can see that. I did like the palm swells of the Hogue’s better. The Pachy’s are more slab sided. It’s funny even though Extra Large gloves are tight on me until the forearm issues I liked the smaller Hogues better than the larger Pachy Grippers any day.

    1. I really think the best solution on the manufacturer end would be to throw a set of both the grooved and grooveless Hogues in the box. Let the end user decide!

  8. Caleb, one more vote for your idea. I know everyone has their opinion, however most are swayed by the idea that “they come from the manufacturer like this, so it must be good”. I personally don’t like the “looks” on my Ruger SP101 357mag 2.25in. revolver, so I installed the Hogue Wood Grooveless Coco Bolo stock and love it-no screw through the middle, enhanced look for the revolver, and “fits” my hand much better especially when drawing. Thanks for the post, presented well.

  9. I really like Hogue grips, and they are my favorite revolver grip, but I hate the finger grooves. Have been grinding them off for years. They look like crap afterwards, but oh well.

  10. Few people realize the existence of seal 6.5 in the 7 biblical seals broken to signal the apocalypse: when Ruger did away with their *excellent* stock grip (I was especially fond of the compact round butt version on my GPNY) and started selling GP100s with that finger grooved POS instead. Or maybe that’s the 6.5th sign of American society jumping the shark; I forget. Either way, the change was an abomination. Horrible, just horrible. Kids, shield your eyes.

  11. Personally, my preferred grip on anything is a crimson trace, but the Hogue monogrips fit okay on my 686p and 325. On the other hand, I can’t stand the finger groove grips I see on a lot of people’s 1911s.

  12. I’m with Caleb on this one. Not a fan of finger grooves on any handgun. I’ve replace the stocks on all my revolvers with smooth grips if they came with grooved ones. I’d vote for Smith and Ruger to both go back to smooth grips and let the aftermarket supple grooved grips if the shooter wants them.

  13. Caleb has a good point. Lots of new bottom feeders come with interchangeable back straps to accommodate different sized hands and preferences. Why not two grips if what they are giving us are the inexpensive, ugly black things. Personally, I don’t like any of the rubber grips. My first purchase after getting a revolver is to order new wood grips. I do come down on the side of finger groves for most uses, but that is personal style. I can see why some would choose otherwise. That’s why they make both.

  14. I’ve been dealing with crappy finger grooved grips for years. I literally just ordered a set of Hogue Lamo Camo grips with no finger grooves for my beloved S&W model 19. My hands are too small for any grooved grips.

  15. I normally hate finger groove grips, but I’m the one in a million that the GP100 grips fit. I love them. I’ve got both size Hogue finger groove rubber for my 625 and neither of them fit.

    And the stock 625 wood grips feel like trying to hold onto a bar of wet soap to me.

  16. I’d be totally down for a conference in the Teens where a bunch of dudes and babes were all “Get finger grooves off our guns”. Maybe that’s the internet, and it’s happening right here and now.

    I do not understand why firearm and grip manufacturers are so interested in a feature guaranteed to strongly reduce the number of customers able to grip the guns with their maximum efficiency while simultaneously proving only minor benefits to those few whose hands actually fit the grip.

    Thanks for another great article that is clear, concise, and entertaining! 🙂

    1. NPB; Agreed. Finger grove grips never fit me. My 29 & 686 have grooveless rubber grips. I stopped using my Glock because the grooves don’t fit. A friend has several Gen 1 Glocks. I never had a problem with them.

  17. Caleb, you did a 90 second review of the 929, what about the 986 pro series?

  18. Agree Caleb. They never fit properly. At least revolver grips can be changed, The finger groves on my Gen 3 Glock NEVER really fit.

  19. I hate finger grooves, i like to put my fingers where they naturally want to go, not where a gun forces them. And theres no goldilocks zone, its too big or small.

  20. Some finger-groove grips seem to work, others don’t. On the whole, I’d rather not have grooves.

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