Do you need to “Get a Grip” ?
Carved gunstocks and carved pistol grips look great, there is a functional reason that grips and forearms are carved on guns. It is so you can….. get a grip.
The importance of getting a good grip on your firearm has been around almost as long as firearms themselves. There are many ways that gripping surfaces have been on put on firearms. The most common gunstock grip is wood checkering. There are many levels of quality when it comes to checkering. Quality hand checkering is a classic look for a firearm. This is something you don’t find on standard rifles and shotguns from the major manufacturers anymore because of the cost involved. Heck, it’s getting hard to find wood stocks on guns now, much less good checkering.
The first thing I saw to replace hand checkering was Pressed Checkering. The stock was pressed with a mold of something that looked like checkering under high pressure to make a dent in the stock. It looked cheap – It was cheap. Some rifle models even came out with a pressed basketweave. It didn’t look much like basketweave and it was smooth – very little grip. Many manufacturers have now moved on to Laser checkering. It works better the pressed checkering but is still lower quality than hand checkered guns from a true craftsman.
But there are the other custom options……..Options that can be added to your rifle , shotgun, or pistol anytime. These options are hand carved stocks and grips. Your carving choices are totally up to your likes and dislikes and can include, but are not limited to, basketweave, fishscale, stippling, feathers, leaves, birds & animals, etc.
Basketweave – This is a great grip carving that can be put over the top on pressed checkering to really improve the looks of your gun. There are many variation of size and style that can be added. It can also be used over press basketweave patterns to add real quality. The basketweave carving on the left is on the Maple Burl stock of a 300 Weatherby Magnum rifle. This type of carving goes very well with accent carving such as leaves. Definitely a style that adds a positive grip.
Fishscale – This has a classic look and can also be carved over the pressed checkering. The style looks great in conjunction with leaf accent carvings. This style also works well with animal and bird accent carvings such as the Pheasant carvings on the stock to the right. The carving is on a Ithaca 16 gauge side by side shotgun. This is a classic carving style as well as great grip design.
Leaves – They work anywhere in stock carvings, usually as an accent. The work well by themselves on a smooth wood pistol grip for a much better “grip”. I did an entire gunstock with leaves completely covering both sides of the .22 rifle. With leaf carvings, there are number of options. As many options as there are different shaped leaves. Oak, Maple, and Aspen leaves are just a few choices.
Feathers – These can look great in certain situations. I have done these several times on pistol grips and also have worked them into shotgun grips and forearms. Classic lever action rifles could also be candidates for feathers carving designs. The Turkey feathers carved on the forend at the right were done complete with a simulated Ivory inlay at the feather tips. This is more of a subtle carving style. The carving of a feather does not have any real high and low relief points. It is a somewhat smooth carving.
Birds & Animals – Here you are only limited by your imagination. Birds and animals can work well with other types of carvings on your grip areas. How about a squirrel on a tree limb on the grip of a 22 rifle. Maybe Pheasants or Quail or your best Gundog carved on your favorite shotgun. Possibly a Bull Elk carving for your favorite elk rifle.
Getting a grip can be as simple or a elaborate as you want. As I mentioned before, let your imagination take you away when you work on a design. Make your rifle, shotgun, or pistol truely your own. Go ahead, you’ll be glad you “Got a Grip.”
Thanks for stoppin’ by…..