Eagle Secret Service Grips for S&W RB K-Frame Revolvers
In years past, S&W K-Frame revolvers were extremely popular sellers and commonly seen in the world of the gun. As this is written, S&W still produces the K-Frame but only in .38 Special; NIB S&W K-Frame .357’s are no more, though they can still be found on the used market.
That a particular handgun is popular usually indicates that it is in many hands and since no two hands are exactly the same, it is but a matter of time until different stocks become available for it, and there are untold thousands of them are still used today. (I believe that the J’s now hold top billing as S&W’s best-selling line of revolvers.)
Though there are several aftermarket stock-makers for S&W handguns, this article will focus on the Secret Service model from Eagle Grips, Inc.
As their name implies, these stocks are created with concealed carry in mind and can be had in either smooth or checkered finishes. Mine are of checkered rosewood.
This S&W Model 64-2 is one that is constantly on “house duty”. It has been modified with a factory bobbed hammer and is capable of only double-action firing, much like the “NY-1” versions of these and other S&W revolvers. The checkered factory magna stocks used to come standard on these revolvers. I find them easily useable but some folks consider them too small or not satisfactorily filling the gap behind the trigger guard. Different styles of handgun stocks offer variations that some find to be improvements over the decades old S&W grips. What is the “best” stock for you? I cannot say because what “feels right” for you may or may not be the same for me. This area of concern is almost completely subjective with no universal “right” or “wrong”.
Shown is the same revolver with Eagle’s checkered rosewood “Secret Service” stocks on it. Does it offer any real world improvements over the original S&W stocks?
Here you can see the Secret Service stocks from the front and rear. I find these finger groove grips to be comfortable but some people do not. I do not believe that the Secret Service grips are available in anything else. They do not cover the back strap nor extend below the frame. This means that they add no extra bulk to conceal as might target-style stocks. There are no sharp edges to chip or “print” beneath a covering garment.
Here is a side-view of the round butt Secret Service stocks. As can be seen, they are relieved to with speedloaders such as the HKS shown. (Note: These grips do not work with Safariland speedloaders. A very knowledgeable acquaintance advised me that none of his Eagle Secret Service grips would work with Safariland speedloaders. Remembering that I had exactly one of these and that it was for a K-Frame .38/.357, I tried it and he was right. One would have to sand down the upper left grip panel if determined to use Safariland speedloaders.)
So what do they do that the factory stocks or less-costly rubber ones won’t? Maybe they are just more comfortable…or not; that will depend entirely upon the individual user. Some may find that they offer more control in rapid-fire, a consideration for a self-protection revolver. Yet others may opine that they are better looking. In my own case, using an electric timer showed no improvement in times when using the Eagle vs. the S&W grips; group size and shooting times remained about the same. Neither did the revolver point better for me at speed. It did not reduce felt-recoil for me, either; so what’s the point? Why spend the money?
In my case, these stocks make it tougher to wrest this snub from my hand. In my own non-scientific “tests”, I found it easier to twist and force the gun from one hand with the other when using the original magna stocks. I cannot precisely state how much harder it was to accomplish this with the Secret Service stocks. I can only say that for me, it definitely was.
But, is this really important or worthy of consideration?
Most self-defense scenarios occur at very short distances, i.e.; arm’s length. It seems a reasonable assumption that if our handgun is spotted by a felon attempting to do us harm, he will vigorously seek to relieve us of it. He will do everything in his power to force it from our hand and into his. (The last time I checked, and that was years ago, roughly 30% of police officers shot were shot had been so with their own service guns which had been lost to their attacker(s) in a struggle. When I was an officer, I had an attempt or two to remove mine from me at close-contact distances when struggling with suspects. (It can happen and I do recommend weapon-retention training, but that is a different subject.)
Anything that offers me greater ability to maintain possession of my defense gun in a struggle is worthwhile, I believe. I don’t believe that any of us relish the idea of being popped with our own sidearm!
The Secret Service grip dimensions make them easy to use on a concealed carry revolver but their somewhat reduced widths does slightly enhance the “sharp” recoil characteristics of hotter loads, those more commonly associated with self-defense use. They may not slow one down as has been verified by a timer, but the more narrow Secret Service grip, especially at the top rear is just not as comfortable to me as S&W’s magna grips in firing. The Eagle grips shown in this article measure 0.98” wide at the top when on the Model 64 compared to 1.04” for the S&W magna. They are 1.13” thick across the middle while the S&W magna measures 1.24” at the same point. In .38 Special +P, this is not a major issue, but it might very well be worth considering if your revolver is a .357 Magnum, particularly with full-power loads. That said, for the limited number of shots in an adrenalin-charged life-or-death deadly force encounter, this discomfort will not matter in the least. All I am trying to convey is that (at least for me) there are more comfortable stocks for extended target work with harder-recoiling ammunition.
Where my .38 Special Model 64 loaded with +P ammunition can be fired without discomfort using the narrow Secret Service stocks, the same might not necessarily be true if using a harder-kicking revolver such as this .357 Magnum 2 ½” Model 19.
If your “carry gun” happens to be an L-Frame such as this Model 686 CS-1, K-Frame RB grips fit it and this includes Eagle’s Secret Service model. With this slightly larger frame comes a little extra weight which would also reduce felt-recoil if using the same ammunition in it and a K-Frame. (The trade-off is that the L-Frame is larger and harder to conceal.)
In the end, are Eagle’s Secret Service stocks worth the tariff? In my opinion, they are. Being wood, there is no tendency to “grab” covering garments as some report and for me at least, they make it tougher to force the gun from my grip. Their dimensions lend themselves to concealed carry and they fit the revolvers I’ve tried them on satisfactorily. In short, I have no complaints with these stocks. (I have read on some gun forums that some folks have not been so fortunate and had to send their Eagle grips back to the company for replacements due to improper fit. I have no doubt that a “lemon” can slip out of any company, but I have not personally witnessed this with any of the Eagle grips I own.)
Eagle offers its Secret Service stocks for square butt revolvers, too, as well as for J, K, L and N-Frames.
Will Eagle’s Secret Service grips work for you? I don’t know, but I hope that this article might have helped you make a decision, yea or nay, if you happen to be in the market for aftermarket revolver grips. For those interested, Eagle’s site is at www.eaglegrips.com and will show their entire line of stocks, pricing and options.
PS: I am in no way affiliated with this company and receive no benefits or pay from them.