What Makes S.O.I. Gear Different

Details make the difference when you are making the best firearm grips. Details like machining, materials and design. These subjects are discussed below:


With modern CNC machines it is relatively easy to machine firearm grips. Put a large sheet of material on a vacuum table, index the machine and cut the grips. Cut a notch into the corner of each grip for the main spring housing pin. When the program is complete, remove the all finished grips from the vacuum table. There is no machining on the back of the grip.

At S.O.I. each grip is made from an individual coupon of material. The coupons are loaded into the CNC mill fixture, the backside is machined flat, the weight saving recess is milled and the counterbore for the main spring housing pin is drilled. At this point the grip is turned over and the top is shaped and the pattern milled. The scales then go through a deburring process, finishing and coloring if required. Every grip is fit checked on a frame to ensure the fit is correct.

3 Axis vs 5 Axis

When using a 3 axis machine to mill the patterns on the surfaces of the grip, the end mill must do some of the machining with the side of the tool. This results in some of the pattern not looking correct or symmetrical. One method frequently used to hide 3 axis problems is to have a border around the checkering or patterning.

A 5 axis machine keeps the surface being cut perpendicular to the end mill. The grip coupon is continually moved to be machined at the correct place and angle. The result is symmetrical and even pattern that looks and feels great.


One of the most important points of materials is specificity. Saying something is made from aluminum or titanium without naming the alloy is like saying something is made from “wood”. It is important to specify the alloys used so that you can decide if you are getting a good value.

One popular grip material is G10. The name G10 is a specific composite, but there are no standards for how G10 is made. It is composed of epoxy resin and glass matt bonded together under high pressure and heat. All the G10 used at S.O.I. is from a U.S. manufacturer who has been making excellent G10 for decades. G10 is not a miracle material. It will scratch and may get ding marks when dropped. Not all G10 grips are made from high quality material. G10 from China is notorious for having lots of epoxy resin and a small amount glass mat. Epoxy is cheap and glass mat is expensive. The G10 from China has little strength, so it cracks and/or is brittle. When you see G10 grips for $20, you can be assured they are made from poor quality material.

Aluminum alloy 7075 is used in S.O.I. aluminum grips. This alloy is significantly harder and slower to machine than 6061, but it is best aluminum alloy available for grips. All our aluminum grips are hard anodized Class II or Class III. Hard anodizing help resist damage to the surface.

Multiple titanium alloys are used depending on the type of grip. CP titanium is used in TextureTech™ because it forges well. The patterned grips use 6AL4V titanium. This alloy is much harder to machine than CP, but it is tougher and makes a better grip.

The copper used in TextureTech is pure copper. The Timascus® and TextureTech is from Alpha Knife Supply.


All the coding for S.O.I. is done by Jon Walker. He developed the unique patterns, the tools and dies used in machining and forging and the processes to make all this fun stuff.


Anything you buy from S.O.I. is made to best of our ability. We use the best materials, machines and designs in everything we do. Our items may cost more, but the quality is worth the extra money.