Chig’s Grips GP100 Grip Panels

One of my favorite things about RevolverGuy is the sense of community we have here. I’m proud of the fact that we’ve created a place where revolver enthusiasts can gather to share their interests and ideas, and enjoy some great fellowship.

I’ve enjoyed sharing some of my revolver knowledge with the audience, but it certainly hasn’t been a one-way street. I’ve learned as much as I’ve shared about revolvers, courtesy of our highly-experienced readers, who have helped me graduate to a higher level of understanding about these great guns and their history.

I owe the inspiration for this article to one of our fellow RevolverGuys (and contributors), Greyson, who brought this company and their products to my attention. In a comment to another post, Greyson mentioned his fondness for Chig’s Grips, and since it was a name I didn’t recognize, I went in search of them right away. After just a few minutes of browsing the website, I knew I’d have to place an order!

Ruger specialist

Chig’s Grips specializes in making custom grip panels and grips from a wide variety of beautiful woods. While owner Chad Robinett’s work is largely focused on grip panels for Ruger SP101 and GP100 revolvers, and grips for Ruger single action revolvers, he also does beautiful work on custom grip panels for 1911 automatics.

Chad uses many different types of wood for his grips and grip panels, to include Ironwood Burl, Macassar Ebony, Black Walnut, Bocote, Box Elder Burl, Turkish Walnut, Claro Walnut, Maple Burl, Oak, Fiddleback Maple, Cherry, Poplar, and many others. Customers can select from a constantly-changing inventory of completed grips on the website, or choose a blank of wood from Chad’s collection, which he will carefully craft into a beautiful set of grips.

This is the first of two pairs of Black Walnut grip panels for the GP100 that Mike purchased.

At the customer’s request, Chad can add a Ruger emblem to the grips, and can put a satin finish on them, in lieu of the standard, glossy finish.

Customizing my GP100

When I purchased my GP100, it came with a rubber Hogue Monogrip installed.  This is a fine and practical grip, but I have always preferred the look and feel of the larger, OEM rubber grip with wood inserts.  These grips put rubber in all the right places, to cushion the hand from recoil and improve your control of the gun, but still add a touch of class with the wood panel inserts. I appreciate the lack of finger grooves, and like the fact that they comfortably fill my large hand.

These factory Rosewood grip panels were always attractive and functional, but Mike really appreciated the deep colors and beautiful patterns offered in the custom wood grips from Chig’s. Note how even the OEM grip panels are not an exact fit to the rubber grip.

So, when the gun came home from the store, one of the first tasks was to remove the Hogues and replace them with the original style grips. The wood inserts on my grips are made from Rosewood, and I have always found them very attractive, but after just a few minutes on the Chig’s Grips website, they suddenly looked very plain! I knew I’d have to replace my grip panels with some new ones from Chig’s.

Since I was looking around the holidays, the ready-to-ship inventory was limited, but I found several sets of Black Walnut inserts for the GP100 that really caught my eye. I waffled back and forth about which set to purchase, because each had its own personality, with beautiful figure and color, which is one of the main selling points of these custom grips, after all.

The Lord paints a unique canvas in every tree, so no two sets of Chig’s custom grips are alike. Both of these sets are handmade from Black Walnut, but each has its own personality.

I finally decided that I’d purchase both sets I was looking at, because they were very affordable (at $30 per set) and I could give the extra set to a dear friend who not only has a GP100, but also an allergy to Rosewood.  The Black Walnut inserts would not only look great on his gun, but would allow him to shoot it again without wearing a glove!

Installation

I received the grips from Chad very quickly, just days after placing my order online. In my excitement and rush to place my order, I overlooked his very generous offer of free shipping for Veterans, but his rates were reasonable anyhow and I didn’t mind supporting this craftsman’s work.

Installing the grip panels on my GP100 was super easy, and they fit very nicely in the hollows of the factory rubber grip. The grip panels are properly relieved for the centering pin that runs through the grip peg on the GP100, and fit exceptionally well on the gun. Chad provides a screw for securing the grips that fits very nicely.

That’s an excellent fit, right there!

If you look very closely, you’ll note some minor deviations in the fit between the wood inserts and the rubber grip in the photos, but the factory inserts were like this too, in places. There are a few spots where the rubber grip stands a little proud of the surface of the wood inserts, but there’s no gaps between wood and rubber, and I can’t feel any of these areas when I’m gripping the firearm. The small variances simply don’t detract from the feel or cosmetics of the gun, and they don’t bother me in the least. Honestly, I think it would be impossible to get a 100% match between the wood panels and the rubber grip, because the grips have a lot of variation by virtue of the soft and pliable material, and production tolerances.

Another excellent fit!

I tried both sets of Chad’s grip panels on my GP100, and I was really impressed with how they fit, and how they looked.  The solid wood panels were smooth, glossy and quite attractive. Chad notes on his website that he fills the grain on the wood to provide a smooth finish, and I was really pleased with his efforts. My only concern with these grips was trying to decide which set I would keep for myself, and which set I would send to my buddy!

Future business

After getting a chance to see Chad’s work in person, I’m excited to contemplate the possibilities for outfitting my single action Ruger revolvers with more of his beautiful grips. I know they’ll add great beauty to these wonderful and cherished sixguns.

This is the second set of Black Walnut grip panels that Mike purchased. These will probably stay on the gun!

The last year has been a real kick in the teeth for a lot of small businesses across America, so it felt really good to support a small business being run by a true craftsman. If you give Chig’s Grips a try, I know you’ll appreciate not only Chad’s great work, but his excellent customer service.

So, if you’re a Ruger revolver fan, or even a 1911-guy (don’t worry, we love them too!), make sure to check out the Chig’s Grips website and explore the beautiful options for personalizing your guns. As Chad notes, “no two sets will ever be identical,” so if you want to make your gun stand out from the crowd, this is a great way to do it. Make sure you tell them that Greyson and RevolverGuy sent you!

Author: Mike

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Mike Wood is a bonafide revolver nut, a handgun, shotgun, and patrol rifle-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. He also wrote the "Tactical Analysis" column at Police1.com for 8 years.

26 thoughts on “Chig’s Grips GP100 Grip Panels”

      1. Excellant.

        When my GP100 comes back from Ruger, hopefully right, I will order the grip set.

        I believe the GP100 looks and handles right with the old style grip.

    1. Chad sells those as well. Just scroll down to the bottom of the appropriate (GP100 or SP101) page. Right now, he doesn’t show the compact GP100 grip, and I don’t remember if he has listed it before. That may be a supply issue or he might just carry the full size.

  1. Nice panels, but I sure wish manufacturers would stop using slot head fasteners
    and go with more attractive and better heads like hex or torx.

    1. Better? Probably. More attractive? No way. I’m a slot man, and anything other than a slot makes me cringe. Just buy proper parallel ground screw drivers.

    2. I can understand that, but I like that straight slot grip screws mean I can fully disassemble my SP101 using only the Swiss Army knife that I carry everyday. That’s not something I need frequently, but I still like having the option.

    3. Kimber did exactly this on the K6 series. It makes maintenance much better.

      thought they did a Torx for 3 of the fasteners and an allen for the yoke retaining. I’d prefer having the same type through out.

      Perhaps going forward the other manufactures will take notice.

  2. Nice grips Mike!

    You can get both the full size and the compact sized directly from Altamont as well.

    My 3” GP 100 .44 came with those Hogues as well. Everywhere I read, folk sang the praises of the compact sized standard Ruger grips with the inserts. I ordered a pair up and installed. That big N frame sized cylinder on the .44 makes the whole gun a bit unbalanced and a bit “top heavy” with the smaller grips. So…back to the Hogues. I might order the larger grip & panels as I too think they are much better looking than the Hogues.

    Jim

    1. Yes, more attractive to my eye, and they also feel better in my hand. The Hogue design is really great for some folks, but it’s not my personal favorite.

  3. Thank you Mike for another excellent article that really hits at the secret ( IMHO) to shooting revolvers well. A comfortable, well fitting grip makes all the difference for myself and lots of other round gunners.

    It is even more a bonus to find one that fits great and looks good.

  4. I’m glad you liked them, Mike. I really enjoy mine, and have found Chad to be very helpful and accommodating (he sold me a couple unfinished sets at a reduced price, so I could modify them). Great stuff all around.

  5. Thank you Mike for highlighting these panels. They look really good! Nice that they fit better than the factory panels and the price is very reasonable. It’s great to see craftsman providing items to add class where they can!

  6. Both of my GP100 wear the original type grips, but now I think it’s time to spruce them up.

    Greyson – thanks for bringing this company to Mike’s attention, and I’m with you on keeping the slotted grip panel screw.

    Mike, definitely thank you for sharing.

  7. Mike,
    I’ve enjoyed reading your articles as I am an “old copper” from the days of using revolvers in our work. I recently had Chad make a set of grips for my Ruger NM Blackhawk bisley and he did a remarkable job. The fit and finish was very good and he did accomodate my request of making them a bit larger in circumference than the originals.

    1. Thanks for letting us know about that, Carl. I’m not surprised that Chad did such a nice job, but it’s always nice to get another customer’s opinion as part of the mix. Very helpful.

      We’re glad to have you here at RG and happy to hear from you. Thank you for your LE service!

  8. I’m glad he can also add the Ruger medallions to his grips – Chigs seems to be one of the only outfits doing that with GP100 grips, and his work looks sharp to say the least. There don’t seem to be too many businesses turning out GP100 grips at all, especially when compared to the selection for guns with traditional grip frames though.

    Of course I’m still crossing my fingers for a custom shop return of the Service/Security Six someday, but I digress. 🙂

    1. Ruger had a thing on their website a few weeks ago teasing a new gun. It turned out to be the LCP-MAX, but I was really hopeful it would be a Six Series-sized revolver. I’m guessing that they will do something based on a enlarged LCR (maybe a LSR – Light Service Revolver) if they ever do it, but I’m with you in hoping it is just the return of the Six Series.

      1. I think it’s reasonable to expect a six-shot SP101 from Ruger before long, but a medium-frame “Six” seems unlikely anytime soon, no matter how enthusiastic I am about the idea.

  9. Nice panels! I put the Ruger compact version of these grips on a 3” GP100 and ordered a set of stag panels from Sack Peterson. You can find him online. He does beautiful work and practices first class customer service. The stag panel insets contrast nicely with the black rubber.

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