VZ Grips Beretta 92/96 Size Review
This is copied and edited from a thread I posted on 1911Addicts.com so please forgive any grammatical weirdness as I repost something originally written several months ago.
Not much is publicized about grip size when it comes to Beretta grips. Wilson claims they have the thinnest but do they and does it really make a difference?
I’m going to use 3 points of measurement on the right grip. 1) .25 inch above the top grip screw. This is directly inline with the top part of my grip under my 1st finger knuckle. 2) .50 inch below top grip screw. This is where my second finger 1st knuckle rests with my finger wrapping under the trigger guard. 3) .50 inch above bottom grip screw. Still an interior part of the grip and I wanted a 3rd area to measure.
We’ll start with the grips that most Brig Tac owner’s probably have installed right now, the standard Wilson grips made by VZ.
Now let’s move on to the standard thickness VZ ‘Golf Ball’.
To round out the standard grips this is the factory/Hogue wraparound grip.
Drum-roll please. *In big booming circus ringleader voice* “And now, what you’ve all been waiting for Wilson Ultra-Thin grips.” These are made by VZ and Wilson claims to be the thinnest on the market, but I like actual specs not just claims, especially for what they cost.
Here, as Mr Harvey would say, is the rest of the story. I’ve tried my best to capture their profile using my cellphone camera. This is what gives them their such dedicated following and reduces the circumference without having to change the grip bushings.
At the same time this was going on there was another issue being worked out with WC’s Trigger Bar that overlapped into the grip world. These are posts from that thread.
I just detail stripped, cleaned and lubed my 92G Brig Tac.
I reassembled the pistol using the WC trigger bar but without the grips and tested the trigger. It was a wonderful 3# 7oz. I decided to throw the grips on and I was done for the afternoon. I installed the Wilson Ultra-Thin grips and dry fired it a couple of times, but it suddenly felt heavy. I grabbed the trigger gauge and it was now 4# 3oz. It turns out the grips are rubbing on the trigger bar thereby adding weight. The tighter the grips the more the weight increases.
Trigger bar showing the rub spot-
Hiding behind the grips-
Notice the bottom area of the trigger bar cutout where it curves upward. That is where it rubs.
I finally got around to modifying the grips. I had been running it with the right side grip screws just on tight enough to not fall out while firing and I would generously lube where the trigger bar rubbed the grips. Today I broke out the sandpaper and grabbed the set that had the most pronounced rub marks.
Here is post-sanding, the grips on the left are stock and the right has been sanded.
Even with the lube and loose grip screws sanding them down made a big difference in the trigger feel. I encourage any Beretta owners using VZ, or Wilson branded VZs, to check their right side grips for rub marks. Tight grips that rub can cause well over a pound increase to your trigger and affect the smoothness of the pull.
After learning all this I sent the description and pictures to both Wilson Combat and VZ.
WilsonCombatRep’s post in the original thread: “We have taken a look at the dimensions of the grips and they are in spec compared to Beretta’s factory dimensions. The main difference is that G-10 has more friction than polymer and you will sometimes feel the rub where you may not feel it with factory plastic. Polishing the channel with fine grit paper will help. We can’t really hog out the grips too much since the grips support the trigger bar and help retain it in the frame.”
VZ’s response to my email: “We have done great research with Bill Wilson and Beretta on the B92 to make a grip that works for that platform. The original plastic grips that come on the gun have a relief for the trigger bar and will also over time show wear on the trigger bar. We have designed our grips to have tolerances that work with this trigger bar. With our grips there will be wear on the lower portion of the trigger bar. If you sand this area inside the grip you may have issues with the trigger bar functioning properly.”
If I encounter any issues due to the sanding of my grips I’ll update but so far it’s been 300 trouble-free rounds.