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Getting a (Better) Grip with VZ Grips

VZ Grips, named after its founder, John VanZyck, is a company that got its start making 1911 grip panels out of Micarta.

Actually, a brand name for several varieties of composites of fabrics impregnated with thermosetting plastic, Micarta (and its close cousin G10) make for fantastic pistol grips due to grippiness, ease of manufacture, and the ability to be machined with a variety of textures.

It also helps that varying the material of the fabrics and the color of the impregnating resin can produce attractive patterns and swirls of color when the grip panels are machined to their final contours and textures.

In addition to serving as an OEM supplier for an increasingly large roster of manufacturers and custom houses, including Wilson Combat and Langdon Tactical, VZ’s catalog expands with new products pretty much annually.

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Last year they offered a line of new non-metallic G10 concealment fixed-blade knives. This year that line is enhanced with the addition of leather concealment sheaths for the knives.


While they’d offered grips for the Smith & Wesson J-frame revolver in the past, they were the “boot grip” style. To maximize concealability, “boot grip” style grips do not wrap around the backstrap of the frame, nor do they extend below the bottom of the frame, leaving the shooter’s little finger dangling in space.

Due to the challenges that style of grips can present to the large-pawed individual, this year VZ expands their J-frame offerings with a set that can cater to those shooters. The new variant not only wraps around the backstrap of the gun, slightly lengthening trigger reach, but also wraps under the bottom of the frame, giving at least a partial shelf for the shooter’s pinkie finger to rest.


Another field VZ is expanding into is replacement scales for knives. In addition to its existing lineup of replacement scales for Strider and VZ knives, for 2019 there are a variety of replacement scales for the Zero Tolerance ZT 350 series now in the catalog.


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