Got two packages today, one big box (like I could fit a couple pistols in it) from Brownells with the relatively tiny mainspring housing; and a padded envelope just big enough to contain some VZ Grips 1911 grip panels, a baggy of 4 o-rings, and some pieces of grip tape. (Bet you can guess who charges more for shipping too!)
So as previously mentioned, I went with the "Tiger Stripe" Operator's II panels. They're a little darker and a tiny redder than they look on the site, but not badly so.
I also picked up a pack of the grip-tape for the front strap, since $7 isn't much, and is sure a lot cheaper than sending off the gun to get checkered. Quality on the grips is excellent, and they're incredibly grippy.
The mainspring housing fit perfectly, had the flat plastic one off and the spring swapped and new steel housing on in less than 10 minutes (I think I wandered around looking for a clamp to be a third hand to hold a punch to compress the spring longer than the time to actually perform the swap...) The effect is amazing really, the gun fills my hand much better and points even more natural because of that. Plus did I mention the new one's steel? I mean my usual carry gun has a frame made of plastic, but it just never felt right on the ol' 45.
Grips went on like 1911 grips have forever. I ordered a set of the o-rings to give the screws a little more grab on the slicker G10 material, so they stick out a little more than they did on the old rubber scales, but not enough to feel noticeable.
On to the pictures.
Overall view of the gun-
It really feels like a whole new gun now. Slightly more heft with that extra steel on back, and overall much much more secure in my hands. These grips have a lot of bite, and that little extra texture on the formerly smooth front strap is a welcome addition. I'm sure it'll be a fantastic change on the range too, the front combining with the cuts on the rear of the new grips should keep it well under control during recoil.
Better view of the left grip-
First off I gotta say this is one of the best looking pictures I've taken in a long time... at least in my opinion. Turned out great.
As for the grips, you can see how the front half are dimpled kind of like a golf ball. This makes that half have a really solid grip, much like the huge checkering on the front of Dan's HK. I know I complained about them there, but I don't mind the aggressive texture here. I think due to the grip I use it doesn't bite my hands as much. We'll find out if I feel that way after shooting it a bit though.
The back half has grooves cut at a 45 degree angle that directly opposes the rotational force from firing. There's also a mag release cut out on the left panel. So far it's possibly my favorite feature. All around they're some fantastic grips if you like super grippy grips. (Did I mention they're really grippy?) Hopefully I can get it out to the range (gotta restock the .45acp too... on the last box...) soon and see how it handles.
Oh yeah, the mainspring housing-
Steel, arched, checkered. Fit on my Kimber frame perfectly with no work at all. Fills that void in the back of my hand and helps get it up high in the beavertail. No complaints.