Wood AR 15 Build Grip: Executive Ordnance
As we began researching for this project, we realized that in direct contrast to the numerous options for rails, there are relatively few options for AR-15 grips. We think this is because: 1. Grips are not used to mount a variety of your favorite attachments, 2. The standard M4/M16 grips are pretty good, and 3. Grips have much less of an impact on the overall appearance of the rifle. After buying an AR-15 many shooters do purchase aftermarket grips, but the decision they usually face is: which color of Magpul to buy? Not which style or manufacturer.
As with the build in general, we wanted the grips to be distinct. We wanted to find high quality aftermarket grip frames upon which we could build wood grip panels.
Stealth Grip Panels up close
All of our searching revealed two grip frames that we believed would fit the bill: Pearce’s AR 15 Grip, which is basically a 1911 pistol grip made for an AR, and Executive Ordnance’s (EO) Grip.
We chose EO’s grips for a number of reasons. First, they have a much higher quality of finish. As mentioned in the Introduction a key consideration for this build is appearance and we found EO’s to look much better. Second, we liked how EO’s panels fit within the aluminum frame. Our wood panels will be better supported in these grips and will have an overall better feel in hand. Third, the EO grips have detachable finger grooves. This meant that we could make them out of wood as well and really liked that level of detail/customization. Finally, the Pearce grips appear to be made out of plastic and we wanted the extra durability of the aluminum EO frame.
Seamless transition from the back of the grip panel to frame
The Professional Sportsman frames are one of six EO grip frames machined from 7075 Aluminum and then MIL-A-8625 Anodized. Available with these frames are five different grip panel options that come in a variety of colors. For this project we chose the Black Stealth grip panels. While we intend to replace the Stealth grip panels with wood, we wanted to see and feel the unique contour of the Stealth panels.
Manufacturer: Executive Ordnance
Price: $112.00 (MSRP)
Material: 7075-T6 Aluminum
Weight: 3.8oz (with lightest grip panels)
Removable front panel finger grooves
Why not make our 100% wood grips? We thought about it and decided not to because of concerns over the durability of such grips as well as our ability to make them at a high level of quality. Some companies have 100% wood AR-15 grips available for purchase but we like the extra strength and look of EO’s grip with wood panels. Also, the intent of this build was to put blood, sweat and tears into making a truly unique rifle, not just buy some wood parts and attach them.
Stealth Panels removed, time to shape and mount the wood
Like a number of the components of this build, these grips were sponsored by their manufacturer, Executive Ordnance (EO). Thank you EO! Their grips do not appear to be super well known in the AR-15 community but we are impressed with the quality of the grip frame and panels we have received. We will only be able to give a full opinion on these grips after the rifle is assembled and fired but the first impressions are very good.
Checkout www.BlackWoodUSA.com to see the final wood products.