MK111 22/45 Ruger target pistol grip made with Shapelock product
I recently created a new grip for my Ruger MK111 22/45 pistol using a new product called Shapelock. My Ruger 22/45 was made a few years ago and the grips are part of the frame and are not removable. I could not find any good target grips for my 22/45 so I decided to create my own.
Shapelock sells a bag of plastic moldable beads about the size of BBs which can be heated in various ways until the beads become soft and pliable. Not knowing how much of the Shapelock beads were needed, I ordered a 500 gram bag for $24 plus shipping – total $32.
I will list the steps for creating your own grip using the Shapelock product. This is not an endorsement for the product. This is just a very satisfied user who badly needed a better grip for my Ruger target pistol.
1. I measured the circumference and length of my desired grip which measured 6 ½ inches around by 4 inches long.
2. I took a piece of old Formica counter top and measured out an area 6 ½” x 4”. I marked off the area with a magic marker.
3. I poured out Shapelock beads into this 6 ½ x 4 area – one bead deep covering the area so that the beads were touching each other.
4. I used a Black & Decker heat gun to heat up the beads from a distance of 3-4 inches above the beads for about 2-3 minutes until the beads began changing from white to transparent. I stopped when half the beads were almost transparent.
5. I took an old circular hand mirror (6 inch in diameter) and used it to press the beads so that I had a flat plastic sheet approximately 1/8 “ thick.
6. Then, I used a wooden tongue depressor to lift the plastic sheet off of the piece of formica. I wrapped the sheet around my current pistol grip and worked it with my finger to fit it tightly and uniformly. During this process I had to heat it several times with the heat gun for 10 seconds each time to keep the plastic pliable enough to work it.
7. Next I poured out some more beads (2” x 2”) to form the thumb rest for the grip. I heated the beads for about 45 seconds. I applied 10 seconds of heat to the top left side of the grip and applied the new piece and formed it into a rough thumb rest. While it was still warm I pressed my thumb against the plastic to help form the thumb rest above my thumb. I heated it again to even it out and make sure it was up against my thumb. I let it cool for an hour before doing anything else.
8. I identified area that needed more material. I then poured out more beads in a 2” x 2” area, heated them up and then pulled off pieces to fix any low spots needing more material. You can actually heat the material and work it just like play dough. It can be leveled out using a pencil as a roller.
9. Next, I used some flat black acrylic paint to paint the grip. It took the paint very readily and seemed to penetrate the Shapelock material.
I even came back later and heated the painted grip to even out some rough spots. This did not affect the paint.
You can use this link to see my photos during the project. I did this grip over two days.
Photos can be accessed from the link below. Snapfish: Share:Registration
Contact me with any questions at my e-mail address below email@example.com
I live in Southern NH and belong to the NFGA (Nashua Fish & Game Assoc) where I am a certified Range Safety Officer and belong to te Bullseye League.