Grip or Stocks

posted on May 6, 2013
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Before automatic pistols had one piece receivers of best-quality, industrial grade polymer, they came with two pieces of (usually) wood fastened to the sides of the butt. Revolvers go even farther back in the chronology and did the same thing. Wood shapes easily and can even be user-customized. However, what is the correct name for these wood, bone, horn, ivory or whatever plates. For most of my shooting life, I have called them “grips” and I believe the majority of the firearms world does the same.

But years ago, Steve Herrett started a business in building these items and in doing so, steadfastly referred to them as “stocks.” Which term is correct? I frankly do not know, but I believe they are most commonly called grips, and I can point to many other places in industry literature that use that term. However, I freely concede that Herrett has a point. I recently looked at some of the original drawings for the 1911 and they are in fact stocks. I suspect, but cannot prove, that the term stocks was used earlier, but grips eased its way in during recent decades. What is correct? You can call them grips or stocks, or both. Take your pick.


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