A Guide to DIY Grip Installation on Rock Island Armory 1911s


The 1911 pistol has earned a special place in the hearts of firearms enthusiasts worldwide. With its timeless design and proven reliability, it’s no wonder the 1911 has remained a favorite for over a century. A significant part of the 1911’s appeal is its customizability, and one popular upgrade is the installation of new grips. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing 1911 Sweetheart Grips on your Rock Island Armory 1911, adding a personal touch to your firearm.

Why Upgrade Your 1911 Grips?

Grips are not merely a cosmetic accessory for your 1911; they are crucial in enhancing your shooting experience. Replacing the factory grips with custom options like 1911 Sweetheart Grips can improve your pistol’s ergonomics, handling, and aesthetics. These grips provide better control, reduce recoil, and add a unique and personal touch to your firearm.

Tools and Materials

Before you start, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  1. Rock Island Armory 1911
  2. 1911 Sweetheart Grips
  3. A screwdriver or Allen wrench (size depends on your grips)
  4. A small rag or cloth
  5. Loctite (optional but recommended)

The Installation Process

Follow these steps to install your new 1911 Sweetheart Grips:

  • Clear and Field Strip Your 1911

Always prioritize safety. Ensure your firearm is unloaded and perform a field strip to separate the slide, barrel, and frame. This will give you easier access to the grip screws.

  • Remove the Old Grips

Use your screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove the existing grip panels. Carefully unscrew each grip screw, and make sure to retain these screws for the new grips.

  • Clean the Frame

With the old grips removed, take a moment to clean the frame of your 1911. Use a small rag or cloth to remove any dirt or residue.

  • Apply Loctite (Optional)

To enhance the longevity of your new grips, you can apply a small amount of Loctite to the threads of the grip screws. This will help prevent them from coming loose during firing.

  • Install the 1911 Sweetheart Grips

Now comes the exciting part. Carefully align the holes in your new 1911 Sweetheart Grips with the screw holes on the frame. Gently press the grips into place, making sure they fit snugly.

  • Screw the Grips In

Using the same screwdriver or Allen wrenches you used earlier, reattach the grip screws. Tighten them evenly and make sure not to over-tighten, as this may damage the grips. Check the alignment as you go along to ensure the grips are secure.

  • Reassemble Your 1911

Once your new grips are firmly in place, it’s time to reassemble your 1911. Put the slide, barrel, and frame back together, ensuring everything lines up correctly. Ensure your firearm is in working order before use.

Important NOTE

Installing 1911 Sweetheart Grips on your Rock Island Armory 1911 is a simple and rewarding DIY project. Not only will you personalize your firearm, but you’ll also experience improved control and comfort during shooting sessions. The process is relatively straightforward, and it can be accomplished in no time with the right tools.

Remember to exercise caution, ensure your firearm is unloaded and safe, and consider using Loctite for added grip security. The upgrade will not only make your 1911 stand out, but it may also enhance your overall shooting experience.

Customizing your Rock Island Armory 1911 with 1911 Sweetheart Grips is a worthwhile investment that will give your firearm a unique and personalized feel while maintaining the classic aesthetics that make the 1911 an icon in the world of handguns. So, get ready to make your Rock Island Armory 1911 truly yours, one grip at a time!