I recently purchased some VZ grips for my "new" SW 642. "New" as in a replacement for the 642 that I sent back to SW because of a broken trigger pivot pin.
After I received the 642 I stoned the internals and replaced the springs with a Wolff 8 pound main spring and an 11 pound rebound spring. I typically swap out the stock rubber grips with Ahrend’s finger grooved boot grips, a product with which I have been very pleased. See the attached photo of the 640 Pro, which has a set of Ahrend’s tung oiled grips attached.
But after I stumbled upon the VZ grips website I thought I'd give these grips a try. I order the smooth black cheery grips from amazon (Amazon.com: VZ Grips J-Frame-320-Black Cherry: Sports & Outdoors
They have a very slight texture, not smooth, but not aggressive. Definitely enough that there is no slippery feeling or a sensation of a lack of purchase when you are holding the gun. They are made of G10 polymer, and they definitely have a synthetic feel. If you are a purist and like only wood furniture, then you can stop reading now. On the other hand, if you are a utilitarian but don’t like the feel of rubber grips, read on.
The grips weigh a couple of ounces, and do add to the weight of the gun. Initially they felt pretty good. The have a palm swell that is more pronounced than the Ahrend’s.
So off to the range I went to try out the grips and the new springs. I shot 75 rounds of standard pressure .38 specials. The gun performed flawlessly. Sadly, however, the grips did not. After five rounds I noticed a “biting” sensation in my pinky and ring finger on my trigger hand. After 15 rounds my little finger and half of my ring finger started to go numb! It almost felt as though I had a problem with my cubital tunnel.
I then saw what the problem was. Where the grips meet on the bottom finger groove, where your ring finger purchases the grip, there was a very pronounced, almost sharp, angle formed. Also, on the bottom surfaces of the grips, the edges were squared along a sharp edge.
I took a break and fired some rounds from my 640, and then returned to the 642. I tried adjusting my grip in various ways but to no avail. Even with tame .38 standard pressure cartridges the VZ grips were biting into my hand.
When I returned home I decided that I would try to sand down the edges along the bottom and along the ring finger groove. I used 150 grit sandpaper to remove the hard edges and round the surfaces, and then smoothed them up with 400 grit. The resulting surfaces are shown in the close up below.
The grip feels much better after the sanding, but I have not shot the gun since I modified the grips. I’m hoping that will take care of the problem, especially since I can’t return them after my bubba mod. I’ll head to the range next week to find out, and I’ll report back.
If these are more comfortable after the sanding, I’ll keep them on the gun. If, however, they are still biting into my hand, then I’ll probably just pick up another pair of Ahrends.
If you are thinking about purchasing these grips, you may want to consider that you may have to do some sanding to prevent the grips from tearing into your ring finger and pinky.
I'll update next week after round 2.