Because we sell customized magazines for the Rock Island A2 HC pistols – their staggered magazine pistols based on the Para design that hold 14-17 rounds depending on caliber – I am often asked if I make grip panels – the slabs that go on each side of the magazine housing. The short answer is no – I don’t make them. The next question is usually – do you know anyone who does and again, I’d answer no.
Well, if I get asked something enough eventually my curiosity perks up so I started digging. There are a couple of key things you need to know:
- The Rock Island A2 HC pistols have very wide magazine wells so they use relative thin proprietary grip plates that are not compatible with regular 1911 pistols.
- The bushings that are normally replaceable in a 1911 part of the A2 HC frame and can not be easily relaced. I don’t know for sure but I think they did this to keep the thickness down
- They use unique screws – the screws are #10-32. Overall length is 0.205″ and the threaded shaft is about 0.145″. Advanced Tactical (the online retail business unit of Armscor) sells replacement screws and sometimes they pop up elsewhere. The key point is that they are not standard 1911 grip panel screws.
So who sells grip panels? Option 1: Stoner CNC
I found three vendors and ordered in panels for testing. I’m doing this first post on the first box I opened – no super secret selection crtieria. This first set came from Stoner CNC.
Matt Stoner is the owner of Stoner CNC located in Archbold, Ohio, and makes grip panels from G10 composite for just a ton of pistols – 1911, Kimber, Ruger, Springfield Armory, Beretta, RIA and more. I ran into one small snag – I couldn’t find any recent reviews, his Facebook page was last updated in 2019 and nobody answered emails from his website while I was searching. I kept digging and what I found out is that he also sells on eBay and on Amazon so I went ahead and ordered two sets of panels from eBay [Click here for the listing] and they arrived six days later — by the way, he also did reply to the email just before they arrived I think. My guess is that he’s like a lot of small businesses (including mine) – stretched thin trying to keep all the balls in the air – manufacturing, emails, Facebook, etc.
As of my writing this, he doesn’t have them listed on eBay or Amazon but does have the panels that you need on his website. He only offers one series of plates that he calls “Slash & Burn” under the 1911 doublestack listing on the main page. From there you can pick the color and specify what model frame the panels will go on. The RIA Short is for pistols with the factory mag well flare (the big bell bottom on the A2 HC pistols) installed and the Long model is if you have removed / don’t have the flare.
Installation is very straight forward – unscrew the pair of screws and put on the new panel. I did not need to sand anything to fit. You’ll notice the holes are a little on the large side so you can move the panels a hair if you need to. If you must trim them to fit, look very carefully at the bottom at it may be hitting the flare and just need a bit of material removed. Again , mine went right on.
They are well made, affordable and give you different color options. There is a little bit more of a positive feeling meaning I can feel the ridges and get more of a grip whereas the original RIA plates seem a tad smoother.
Bottom line, if you want something other than black then Stoner has you covered. If I had it to do over, I would have gotten another color for the second set other than black.
Would I recommend them – yes and I hope this helps you out.
Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.
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