Wednesday, September 22, 2010


For those of you that own the old FEG P9R (or Interarms R9 or Mauser P90), you might find this post of some use regarding replacement grips (and magazines) for the P9R.

This post is especially intended for those of you looking for some Pachmayr type grip for your P9R. Guess what? There ain't one I can find of any manufacture. I'll write more about that later, but to cut to the chase, I ended up using a rubber slip on grip, the Hogue Handall. Much coaxing and pulling was required, but after about 20 minutes it was positioned to my liking.

So the rubber slip on grip is the thing that makes the gun much more friendly to hold. It's a wide grip, holding 14 nine mm cartridges, so it was a big stretch to get the Handall onto the gun, but it does fit well.

Like when I put a slip-on rubber handgrip on my Glock Model 21, it made a thick gripped gun much more tolerable to handle, even though it was adding a wee bit of width all the way round the gun. So as with the Glock, the P9R is much more "grippy" and nice to hold. The stock walnut grips are nicely made and checkered, but are WAYYYY thick on an already thick gun frame.

I have seen some aftermarket privately made wooden grips for the P9R on various gun auction sites for very reasonable prices but I don't know if they are as thick, thicker or thinner than the stock grips, nor do I know how well made they are. But I may be ordering a pair of the ebony ones I have seen, or contacting the maker and seeing if he can make a pair of grips with some sort of rubber inlay.

My P9R was a hand me down, and looks as if someone removed the blueing from the slide, leaving about 5% of the blueing still on the slide in spots, particularly in the cracks of the slide cocking ridges. The slide is sort of a "natural" finish, for lack of a better word. Like a bare metal, but coated with some sort of clear finish. The frame is blue, and with exception of part of the mysteriously black plated backstrap insert, is in about 95%, showing average wear for a
20 + year old gun.

It resembles a Browning Hi Power, but the grip part of the frame itself is far larger as are the wood grips themselves. Thus, although the grip screw hole is in the same place on each gun, the Browning Hi Power grip is substantially smaller than the P9R, and will leave many areas uncovered. It is said by learned minds both on the internets and in various handgun articles I've stumbled across that the action of the P9R closely resembles that of the venerable S&W Model 59.

I have not been able to locate any Model 59 grips to see if they would fit, but based upon eyeballing it in pictures, I don't think they would fit.

The closest fit to the P9R in a Pachmayr was for the CZ-75, but there are a couple of hinks.

First, the magazines won't go in or out of the gun wiht the CZ-75 grips, as altered, are on the gun. I shaved a portion of the upper part of the back of the inside grip panel and it fit the gun perfectly. There is a very slight inset of rubber running down the length of the middle of the grip, which is in turn backed by a thin aluminum? metal? plate.

I was able to make the grips fit well EXTERNALLY (before discovering the magazine problem) with some shaving here and there with an hobby razor knife. But at the underside of the beavertail of the frame, on both sides there is a sharp cover of part of the backstrap. Meaning that with a hastily made grip or slippage in the hand, a very good cut could result on either or both sides of the web between the thumb and first finger.

I THINK there is a way to solve this, involving cutting a very thin piece of metal with rounded smooth edges to fit, which would cover this "sharp area" under the backstrap/beavertail area. This small piece of metal could be inserted in a groove cut into the side of the grip, and secured to the grip via glue.

The other problem, being the depth of the inset rubber portion, is best not solved from trying to uniforming shave the rubber surface (trust me on this) but using a Dremel Moto Tool grinder or some such wheel. I've got to raid mine in the garage this weekend, tucked away in one of several possible toolboxes. I have several grinders that would no doubt remove enough rubber to let the mags function.

So the grips for the CZ-75 hold the best potential for ultimately having some kind of nice rubber grips for the FEG P9R. The Pachmayrs I found and used were two single panel grips. I don't think any of the wraparound grips will work, as the P9R is so thick, but I did not try any wrap around grips, nor did I try any other brands of rubber grips new or old. I did go to a gun shop that had a varied selection of grips going back 30 years for lots of guns, and the Browning Hi Power grips don't come close to working, with the same areas uncovered that plague the CZ-75 grips.

For those who want some better grip surface but who not wanting to do any work on grips, I'd suggest checking out the grips on the gun auction sites to see if they are thinner than the stock grips, then going with a rubber slip on grip on top of some thinner grips.

I found a piece of metal just the right thickness that might work with the Pachmayr CZ-75 grips to cover the sharp piece left exposed on the P9R withe the Pachmayr grips in place, and the edges are already smooth and rounded. There might be enough metal in that one piece to do both sides of the grip.

Likewise, I'll be doing some grinding on the grip interior to see if I can make the mags work with the Pachmayr grips on it. I'll update this post if any of thise other stuff works out.

Otherwise, the Hogue Handall and similar products remain the best option for adding some traction and comfort to a wood gripped P9R.

1 comment:

  1. I have been looking around for some grips to fit my P9r and thankfully I found your article. I am heading down to Crossroads on Saturday and I was going to pick up some Hogue HP grips. Well now I know better. I have also considered the Ebony grips, but wasn't sure of the quality. I have also considered asking some carpenters I know if they could shave the stock grips down. Thanks Fishing Musician.