View Full Version : Product Review: Mad Dog Labs The GunGrip

March 8, 2001, 04:14 PM
On Monday, March 5th, I received The GunGrip from Mad Dog Labs for my 1911 Govt. After reading the different reviews and claims from TFL and Tactical Forums, I was very curious about these grips. So, I set forth to test their claims.

The GunGrip is made out of proprietary composite material used for the handle of the MadDog knives Navy SEAL A.T.A.K. knife. The bushings are made from stainless steel. In addition, there’s a relief cut for the mag release. Unlike many wood grips, the diameter of the bushings is perfect for the ease of installing and removing the grips.

My first impressions of the grips were not very kind. The grips looked to be very plain Jane for price ($80). I figured, hell, for $80, I could’ve had a nice set of Spegel presentation grade exotic wood grips. In addition, they were a bit thicker and heavier then standard wood grips. Moreover, the grips felt very slick in my hand.

Initially, I installed them on my Les Baer just to get a feel for the grips. After holding the gun in my hands, it felt a bit awkward due to the extra thickness (not much but noticeable). After careful inspection, the thought “tough as nails” went through my mind. The grips seemed to be nearly indestructible.

Since MD Labs claim that The GunGrips are “Highly resistant/impermeable to commonly encountered chemicals and liquids- Diesel fuel, gasoline, and other petroleum based products, insect repellent, bore solvents and gun cleaning chemicals” I had to test this out myself. So, I soaked them in Sweets 7.62 then Shooters Choice for 36+ hours. Doing this to an expensive set of wood grips is a death wish and a major sin to the wood Gods.

Once I removed the grips from the cleaning solutions, I soaked them in warm water soapy water for an hour. Afterwards, I sprayed some Simple Green and Windex then wiped the grips down. The cleaning solution did absolutely no damage to the composite material. Simple Green and/or Windex cleaned the grips quite easily. They dried very fast because MDL’s claim about the grips being waterproof is true.

One note, after removal from the cleaning solutions, the grips were discolored (drab gray). However, a couple small dabs of oil brought them back to life.

One might ask, "Why on earth would you soak them in gun cleaning solution?" Well the answer is actually quite simple, sometimes I’m done with a range session but do not want to completely clean the gun because I would be heading back to the range shortly. Yet, I’d like to wipe off the crude that’s on the frame and slide. Before, I always made sure I took the wood grips off prior to the wipe down. However, with MDL’s grips, that extra step is not necessary.

I range tested the grips a wee bit different then normal. Normally, I’d sandbag the gun then shoot some groups offhand. However, I was testing the durability and feel of the grips, not the gun’s accuracy. Therefore, I did a bunch of draws from my holster and firing. Afterwards, I coated the grips with Mobil 1 to see if they would get slicker. On the contrary, I did not experience any additional slippage! My grip on the gun was actually much firmer once they were “wet”.

Next, I installed the grips on my beat up Springfield for some “torture” tests. The Springfield was (YIKES) dropped on the pavement at the range several times. Since these grips are ideal for a working gun (the Springfield looks like that!), I did not care if they were to possibly be nicked or scraped. Upon close inspection after the drops, no damage was done to the grips. Well, I concluded that anything short of purposely cutting the grips with a sharp edge, they’re damn near indestructible.

The relief cut for the mag release is a very nice feature. In addition to being a great idea, its very ergonomic to use!

In conclusion, I’m very old fashion when it comes to metal and wood. Too often, the hype of “space age” material does not excite me. Most of the time, they just feel like plastic in my hands. Functional yes, eye and hand please? No. However, these grips are outstanding for a working gun. Depending on your tastes, they are not as pretty as Cocobolo or Rosewood if you prefer the reddish tints or lighter grain colors. However, for the “tactical” look, they definitely fit the bill. If you have very small hands, the bit of extra thickness from Mad Dog’s grips may be an annoyance. In addition, if you are weight sensitive, the extra weight may bother you. However, I look at it this way, I’m already carrying over 44 oz on my hip, what’s another ounce?

Everything Mad Dog Lab claims about the grip is true. These grips are damn near indestructible and impermeable to various cleaning solutions. If you appreciate a good working gun, these grips are the ideal companion for your 1911. They’re not cheap by any means. $80 for matte bead blast finish and $100 for the presentation grade hand polished, high gloss finish. However, quality is definitely something that’s not cheap. If you’re interested in getting a set, you can get more info on ordering here:

Maybe next time, I’ll try to set them on fire :)

I do not work nor am associated with Mad Dog Labs in any way. Hell, this was the first item I ever received from them. I’ve always heard that MD made some very nice knives and kydex holsters but never pulled the trigger to purchase either.

http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1418286&a=11975813&p=43124640&Sequence=0&res=high http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1418286&a=11975813&p=43124645&Sequence=0&res=high

March 8, 2001, 09:01 PM
On a purely technical note, the GunGrips are actually NO THICKER than Ordnance pattern grips produced to spec.
Both are .250-.255" thick. The big difference is in the more hand filling radius on the GunGrips edges. This brings more of the hand surface into contact with the grip and the weapon. Easier to control, less slippage, and faster back on target with easier indexing. :D

They are heavier than wood grips by a factor of about 3X due to the high density of the material. This high material density also gives them a compressive yield strength of about 79,000 PSI, so they outdo the strongest wood by a factor of about 8000. They outdo Aluminum by about 4X, and they are nonreactive in chemicals that make Aluminum go off like a Fizzy at a fire hydrant.

It was never my intention to make "Pretty/Fancy" grips rather than purely functional and totally bombproof, battle ready Tactical GunGrips.
If you want the strongest, most usable grips on the market, these MD Labs GunGrips are for you.

Mad Dog


March 8, 2001, 09:43 PM
It was never my intention to make "Pretty/Fancy" grips rather than purely functional and totally bombproof, battle

You won't get any arguments from me! I tried my hardest to hurt em with no luck.

Scott Evans
March 9, 2001, 08:52 AM
To me function produces a beauty all its own. The no non-sense, all business look is much more attractive to me then most of the exotic stuff. An excellent upgrade IMO from all that I have heard so far.

Mad Dog; are these to be a regular item or is it a limited offering? Also, any plans for other models?

March 9, 2001, 12:14 PM
GunGrips are indeed a regular offering, we have sold out the first two production runs and are frantically trying to keep up with demand.
It seems that the more people see them on their friend's guns, the more of them we sell.
We have them going out to the FBI, SEALs, custom gun makers, and customers from here to South Africa.
The fact that all GunGrips carry a lifetime warranty doesn't hurt sales a bit.

The next offerings will be Officers ACP sized grips, and later perhaps some "thin grips" for the petite sized hands out there or ordnance pattern grips for staunch traditionalists. Don't hold your breath waiting for those thin grips though...
We will have to wait a bit for the machines to cool down before we can retool!

Matt VDW
March 10, 2001, 09:27 AM
Well, I concluded that anything short of purposely cutting the grips with a sharp edge, they’re damn near indestructible.

What about the compressed load of Bullseye behind a 230 grain bullet test? ;)

OK, so maybe that's not something you'd ever do on purpose, but it would be interesting to see what would happen.

March 10, 2001, 10:23 AM

Matt VDW
March 12, 2001, 09:58 AM
Nice pic, Sgoeing.

What I had in mind, though, wasn't how well the stock panel would withstand a direct hit, but how well it would contain the gas released when an over-charged handload ruptures in the chamber. I've read that this type of "kaBoom!" in a 1911-style pistol will splinter wooden stocks and injure (slightly) the shooter's hand.

March 12, 2001, 10:17 AM
Thats what I thought you probably meant but, I figured the pic would fit rather nicely.

March 12, 2001, 11:32 AM
If anyone would like to volunteer a beater 1911 for the test, I would be happy to conduct it. I will provide the grips and the KABOOM.


Daniel Watters
March 12, 2001, 10:48 PM
No offense, but the gas from a case failure has to vent somewhere. If the stock panels don't give, the gas will vent elsewhere, like the gaps around the timing rail of the slide. (Hope you are wearing your safety glasses.)

March 13, 2001, 12:18 PM
The gas is most likely to vent downwards, through the magazine channel and magazine. Some will travel down the rails, but the majority of it leaves through the biggest holes available.
The GunGrips will not shatter, but the screws/frame bushings holding them on may shear out depending on the force of the KB. This could cause the grips to separate from the weapon, but there would be no dangerous fragmentation as found in lesser grips.

Daniel Watters
March 13, 2001, 01:46 PM
MadDog: I'm not talking about the slide/frame rails. The timing rail is the bottom portion of the slide which rides over the disconnector and the magazine. There are gaps on both sides of the timing rail, and to a lesser extent, under the rail. The side gaps are even larger on Commanders, Officers ACP, non-.45 models, and Series 80 pistols.

When I had a case failure in my Delta Elite, I was definitely hit in the face with a spray of gas, unburned powder, and small brass fragments. The hardwood stocks didn't crack or dislodge, but there are burn marks which line up with the mag's counting holes. The removable baseplate on the Colt/Metalform mag was dislodged, but remained attached to the mag tube.

March 18, 2001, 10:58 PM
I always said someone should make some nice 1911 grips out of G10... glad to see it's being done well.


August 4, 2002, 01:27 PM
None of those pictures work anymore... could someone post a current link?


Zak Smith
August 8, 2002, 07:03 PM
Is it possible to get a pair of these for a CZ-75B or CZ-97 ?