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Gear Review: Hogue Laser-Enhanced grips for S&W J-Frame revolvers

Monday, February 13, 2017 9:59
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(Before It's News)

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Hogue Laser-Enhanced (LE) grips, Smith and Wesson J-frame Airweight revolver, box and outer sleeve of packaging. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Who better to compete with top laser-aiming names like Crimson Trace and LaserMax than a company who has been making quality aftermarket grips and stocks for almost 50 years?  Hogue recently debuted a full lineup of laser grips for handguns and pistols. Guns.com finds out how they stack up.

Hogue’s Laser Enhanced (LE) Grips

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A natural grip activates the laser. Laser extends far beyond practical shooting distance. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Hogue’s latest lineup of laser enhanced (LE) grips come in three variants.  First is the 1911-style which fits Government, Commander, and most 1911 clones.  Next, the S&W J-Frame grips fit over 20 models.  Lastly, the S&W K/L frame laser grips fit almost 25 models.  Hogue’s Class 3R red laser is integrated into the upper right side of the grip frame and is activated by a natural hold on the pressure switch located on the front of the grips.  Adjustments to windage and elevation are made on the exterior with a tiny, included Allen wrench.  Necessary CR-2032 batteries are also included.

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Larger, easier to control Hogue grips next to SW factory grips. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Best of all, Hogue’s LE grips are designed, engineered, and handmade in America.  There’s a three year warranty from the original date of retail purchase.  With MSRP’s of $189.95 – $199.95 for both the revolver and 1911 style grips, Hogue is either on par or lower-priced than comparable companies.  Five colors are available with black, pink, purple, OD green, and flat dark earth.

Hits

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Red dot clearly visible during daylight conditions. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Our test grips came for the S&W J-frame revolver in standard, unassuming black.  Hogue grips, like other laser grips, are true to their claim of improving accuracy and speed in defensive and competitive situations.  We were able to quickly acquire and engage targets, especially in low light situations that make standard open sights difficult to acquire.  Windage and elevation adjustments are quick and easy with the external Allen screws, though it came pretty close to zero right out of the box. The laser is powerful enough to be visible at and beyond the capable ranges of the gun, even in daylight conditions, though it excels indoors.  Best of all, installing the Hogue grips did not affect the guns fit in my EDC S&W leather holster.

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Detail of pressure switch and stippling. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

The LE grips install quickly and easily, requiring no gunsmithing or fitting of any kind.  Simply unscrew and pop off your originals and replace them with the Hogue’s snug-fitting rubber.  Speaking of rubber, Hogue’s overmolded monogrips offer increased purchase and control of the firearm when compared to the majority of factory grips.  On our S&W Airweight, the Hogues provided an additional finger grip in length and more cushioned, controllable hold over the factory handles. Furthermore, the laser grips held up to extended firing time with both standard .38 Special and also .38 Spl +P rounds, and maintained zero.

Minor quirks

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Detail of laser head on Hogue grips. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

One of the only issues we’ve come across while fielding this product is that changing the battery requires removing the grips, though this is not an uncommon design choice.  Given the extensive battery life and, thus, the rarity of ever actually having to the remove the grips, makes this a very minor complaint.  Our only other knock is that the laser grips, as of our review session, are only offered in red. Green lasers have exploded in popularity lately. and we’re interested to see how Hogue expands their lasergrip offerings in the future.

About Hogue

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Detail of lower grip. Note the meaty, rubber points of contact. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

Since it’s inception in 1968, Hogue Inc. has been a proud family company, manufacturing everything from handgun grips, long gun stocks, AR components, specialty knives, gear and accessories.  The company is carried on to this day by sons and grandsons of founder Guy Hogue.  The company’s physical address is Paso Robles, California, though they ship from Henderson, Nevada.  Within the last year, the company also debuted a much expanded line of specialty knives, an outdoorsperson’s tomahawk, ergonomic 15-degree AR pistol grips cut from G10, AR keymod rail covers, and a lineup of short-barreled rifle cases.

Conclusion

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Hogue grips mounted on S&W with packaging. MSRP is $189.95 to $199.95. (Photo: Kristin Alberts)

After spending six months with the Hogue Laser-Enhanced grips on a S&W revolver, I’m sold.  The price is right, quality is high, and the grips are overall a great improvement to a snappy, small-framed revolver.  While there’s no substitute for trigger time with iron sights, Hogue’s LE grips can increase accuracy and confidence in tough defensive situations.

The post Gear Review: Hogue Laser-Enhanced grips for S&W J-Frame revolvers appeared first on Guns.com.



Source: http://www.guns.com/review/gear-review-hogue-laser-enhanced-grips-for-sw-j-frame-revolvers/

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