Make Wood Pistol Grips

Make a wooden grip for your pistol.

Customizing your pistol grips requires time and patience to do well, but the work brings rewards. You’ll end up with a gun that fits in your hand, sits comfortably in your grip, and reacts better to your actions. This will improve your ability to hit your target. In addition, you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece that identifies the gun with the owner and might turn into an heirloom to be passed through the family.


1. Set your existing grips on the blocks of wood and trace their outlines directly on the wood with a pencil. Trimming the wood comes later, so don’t worry about making an exact duplicate–better a little too big than too small. Insert the end of the nail punch into the screw holes and scratch indicators for the next step.

2. Unscrew the fasteners and set them aside. Insert a bit into the drill that roughly matches the size of the brass fittings that encase the screw or screws holding together the gun, and drill the holes. Switch the bit for the countersinking bit, so that screws will be flat with or below the surface.

3. Put on goggles before turning on the jigsaw, which you’ll use to cut out the patterns on the wood. Follow the lines closely and work slowly and carefully around the corners. As you finish each one, fit it tightly against the grip frame of the pistol to see where it needs tweaking. File out notches to compensate for the gusset’s bumps (this is why the grip doesn’t fit, yet). Repeat for the other side.

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4. Reinsert the screws and check again for overlaps. If you find them, take the grip apart, and shave off the excess wood with the jigsaw. Sand down any rough edges. Repeat this until everything fits right when it’s screwed tightly together.

5. Take the grips off the pistol one more time to finish or treat the wood.