Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ultra thin grips for my Tokarev

Have you ever wanted thinner grips on your Tokarev? I didn't at first, Toks are pretty thin to begin with. Then I read about how someone will carry his Tok without the grips on to minimize it's width and I though "that can't be the smartest idea". Then I modified some wrap-around grips which improve the grip angle to add a beaver tail for comfort. They help tremendously with pointing and now don't bite back, but are pretty bulky overall rivaling most double stack grips. I can see the attraction to thin.

My Norinco 213's a 9mm with the mag spacer in the grip (not the mag) so carrying it without grips would quickly cause the spacer to fall out, not to mention I can't stand the standard grip angle. So after some brain storming and a little inspiration from glocktails I came up with a way to make the thinnest grips I could think of without any permanent modification or without too much work all while improving the standard grip angle. Check it out!
The answer is kydex. I've been playing around with it for several months and I've found it's very easy to work with. I started out first trying to determine how much I wanted to change the grip angle. I did that by overlaying a picture of the Tok on top of a picture of a Sig (which always fit me well) to see how much to add on the back end of the grip. Then I took the current grips off the Tok and played around with paper mockups. Here's a download of the template I used (in pdf). Once I got a mockup that looked right I traced it out on a sheet of the thinnest kydex I could find (not sure of the exact measurement). Because it's so thin it makes it that much easier to cut it out. I don't own a band saw so I had to use scissors and a couple sharp knives to carve out the hard parts. The next part was to do the final fitting to the gun (very small sharp knives help with this part the most). There were a few places I made adjustments to that aren't on the template. Once cut, then I used a heat gun to fold it into place and fit snugly on the gun. Then I took some sandpaper and smoothed out all the edges. I was surprised at how it almost snapped into place, but it did slide around a bit. That's where using a Hogue Hand-All Jr. comes into play. I had one laying around that had been trimmed a bit to fit a different gun. In my attempts to get it on I tore it and had to do a bit more trimming than I originally wanted, but in the end I like it all the same. One day I may pick up an unmolested Hand-All Jr. to replace it, but for now it works well keeping the kydex in place and telling my hand where all my fingers should go.

It feels great in the hand now. I think I got the angle just about perfect. Even my wife thinks it grips better now than with the thicker grips. The reason I didn't add a tail to it is because I think the only reason I was getting nipped with the wider grips is because the width plus the adjusted grip angle pushed the web of my hand up. I'm pretty sure that because these are so thin my hand won't intrude into the hammer area. For a concealed carry gun these are perhaps the best grips that I can think of for a Tokarev.


Joe Carpenter said...

Where'd the kydex come from?

Eric said...

I ordered the kydex a while ago from I think. It's great stuff to work with.

Bob said...

Nice write up on your new grips! I tried downloading the template, but it wasn't available. Any chance you can upload it again?

Bob said...

Tried making grips with skateboard grip tape...the grip was great, but the grips themselves need backing - your kydex w/ houge jr should work great...can you re-upload your template?


Bluemarine said...

I'd like a pair of my own. Can you make me a set? Figure out the cost. I'll check back for your post.