Grip Gripes: The Pachmayr Presentation Grip

Pachmayr Presentation

As most of you regulars probably know, I grew up on the Marine Corps’ MEU(SOC) .45, a custom 1911A1 issued to a handful of Marines. In my day this gun came with a Pachmayr wrap-around grip that covered the front strap with a thin layer of checkered rubber. With this memory in mind, and memories of a good set of Pachmayr revolver stocks I once owned, I recently purchased a Pachmayr Presentation grip to replace the Hogue finger-grooves on my 686.

The Pachmayr Presentation

The Pachmayr Presentation is a simple, one-piece apparatus. I opened the package and immediately noticed the flashing was a little more pronounced that I would have preferred. But the checkering was sharp and everything else was in order, so I threw it on. Installing it requires opening up the front-strap area and slipping it over the grip frame. Next, you insert the provided screw through from right-to-left and tighten it up. So far, so good. I opened the grip up and slipped it on. Immediately I noticed it wasn’t a perfect fit, but assumed this was because the screw had not been tightened.

The Bad

So..I tightened the screw. And tightened. And tightened some more. Finding no definitive stopping point, I eventually stopped and figured, “that’s probably enough.” I pressed the gun out to full extension, looking forward to feeling a new grip in my hand. What I felt was a screw, sticking a good quarter of inch out of the left grip panel.

Pachmayr Presentation

Ok…not so good. Next, I took a peek at the front strap area. The two edges aren’t even close to meeting each other. Oh well, it’s just cosmetic, and obviously tightening the screw isn’t going to bring them together, so I decided to back the screw out a bit.

Immediately this annoyed me. I don’t like screws without a definitive stopping point, but maybe this was one I could live with. So I backed the screw out unti it was just flush with the grip. I pressed the gun out to full extension again. This time, the grip felt so wobbly on the gun it felt like my revolver was going to fall out.

Pachmayr Presentation

I think I know what happened here. My old Pachmayr grips were much more rigid than this, preventing the screw from pulling through. They also made the whole grips more stable in the hand. This has obviously gone away, probably as a cost-cutting measure.

The Bottom Line

Basically what I ended up with for my $25 was a grip that was either too loose and wobbly, or a grip that had a screw sticking out of the left side. Seriously, Pachmayr? I hate to bad-mouth a product, but the Pachmayr Presentation is little more junk riding on a well-known name and taking money out of shooters’ pockets. Unless something changes there is no way I would recommend spending money on this grip.

This is a real shame. The older Pachmayr grips were awesome. My used 686 came with one and I deeply lament losing it. I’ll probably look for an old set on Gunbroker, or try something else. In the meantime, I have another set of grips that I’ll review in a week or two. Stay tuned!

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Author: Justin

Justin Carroll is a former MARSOC Marine and veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Leaving service after eight years in the U.S. Marines, Justin continues his involvement with a variety of government agencies to this day. Justin began in late 2016 with an simple idea: provide an source of high-quality information for revolver enthusiasts.

18 thoughts on “Grip Gripes: The Pachmayr Presentation Grip”

  1. Ha,ha,ha! The same thing happened to me quite a while back. Glad to see that I’m not alone. The only thing more aggravating was trying to badger Eagle grips to properly relieve a set of “Sledge Hammer” grips to accept speed loaders.

  2. Don’t forget that if you screw some rubber stocks too tight, you risk binding the mainspring.

    In your case, I wonder if they didn’t provide the wrong grip screw or it wasn’t trimmed to length. Call up Lyman (Pachmayr) and see if they won’t send you a replacement. If worse comes to worst, mark where it protrudes and then cut down the excess length until it is flush.

  3. Justin, I too have had “issues” with Pachmayr grips. A few years back I attempted to put a pair on a S&W K frame. Previous I had done a “trigger job” on the gun and replaced the mainspring with a lighter one. The screw location on the Pachmayr hit the mainspring dead on. I contacted Pachmayr to see about such, and I was basically blown off as a bumbling idiot. Out of curiosity I installed the factory mainspring back into the gun and the screw still hit,,, not as bad as the lighter spring but there was interference.
    At that point I swore that I would never purchase another Pachmayr, nor would I recommend others to commend others to do such.

    1. Ron, did you shorten the strain screw that contacts the mainspring, by chance? That’s a popular remedy for folks to obtain a lighter trigger pull, but it can change the arc of the mainspring enough that the grip screw will now interfere with it.

      If you did shorten it, that could explain why even the factory one interfered with it, when you tested it.

  4. I also had the same problem with putting Presentation grips on my S&W Model 19. I ended up stripping the varnish off the original smooth target grips and refinishing with tung oil. Thanks for the great blog.

    1. Joe,

      Sometimes working with what you have is rewarding in and of itself. I really appreciate kind words – I’m glad you are enjoying it!


  5. Mike – FYI, Numrich has a metric ton or so of used Pachmayr Presentation grips. The *old* ones. They’re about $10 plus shipping. IMO, they’re the best-fitting grips Pahcmayr has made. I just got a small N frame grip from them about a month ago.

  6. Similar experience putting a Pachmayr grip on my Redhawk .44 mag . Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one. I had to back out the screw until I couldn’t feel it protruding on the other side, which didn’t exactly make it feel all that secure. There is no play or movement in the grip as I have it now, but still…

  7. It was mentioned above but i will expand on it. Pachmayr was bought up by Lyman several years ago. Since then the price went up and the quality has gone down on those I have seen since. The same happened to the company that made sidesadle with the same results. I have several old Pachmayr’s that fit and work right and will pass them on to my sons as something of value.
    R D

  8. roger that, old original presentation grip was awesome had it 3 different blackhawks. wore it out. ordered new one, huge disappointment. do not recommend the new presentation grip. sure do wish they would dig out the old specs and put back into production for what ever reason they have ruined what the ol man made famous

  9. A friend did some dumpster diving at his department’s academy and rescued a grocery bag load of S&W K, L, and Colt V frame Presentations and Grippers. Thanks goodness for small miracles. They were made right.

  10. I too have the grips but on my 36-1 38spcl works perfect. The fit and the feel is great. Maybe it’s just the larger frames that have a bad fit

  11. Just went thru all this on my 586 today, I’m so pissed off . Took it off and put the old ones back on .WHAT A RIP

    1. Jim,
      I’m real sorry to hear that. It truly is a bummer. I got really lucky and a reader send me an “old Pachamayr Presentation he rescued from his department’s dumpster. I wish they still made ’em like that!

  12. Huh. So it’s NOT just me. I picked up a Model 17 Smith this year that came with these Pachmayrs on it, and I, too, noticed that the screw went right through the grips and would stick out.

    I have a set of Hogue Monogrips waiting to replace the Pachmayrs. I’ll probably toss the Pachmayrs in the “misc stuff” bin in my shop with a $5 tag on them just to get them gone.

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