Thursday, November 24, 2016

Chris Kyle & The Punisher Symbol: the Myth, the Legend & their Influence on Pop Culture

The Punisher was originally a Marvel Comics character created by writer Gerry Conway. Initially, the Punisher was meant to be a villain, an antagonist to Spiderman …but not a typical villain. Instead, the Punisher is a vigilante, relentless in killing bad guys, putting him at odds with the morally upright Spiderman. The Punisher’s secret identity is Frank Castle, a Marine Corps veteran with Special Forces training whose family has been killed by mobsters after witnessing a mafia execution in New York’s Central Park.

Originally created in the 1970s, the Punisher has gained popularity among military personnel, evidenced by the distinctive four-fanged skull artwork generated within the military. Most notably, former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, known through his autobiography, "American Sniper", and movie adaptation, utilized the Punisher symbol. He also became known as "The Legend" among the general infantry and Marines he was tasked to protect. Kyle’s Navy SEAL unit called themselves “the punishers” and marked their gear as well as Iraqi buildings with the symbol. In an excerpt from Kyle’s autobiography, he states, “we spray-painted it on our Hummers and body armor, and our helmets and all our guns. We spray-painted it on every building or wall we could, we wanted people to know, we’re here and we want to f**k with you.” There have been connections made between Chris Kyle and the Punisher, as both are portrayed as men who pursued the course they believe is right and do not deviate from it. However, Kyle was never portrayed as a ruthless killer unlike the original Punisher. 

The movie has garnered a lot of attention within the American public, and with it the symbol of the Punisher. The popularity of the iconic symbol among Chris Kyle and other military personnel have altered the myth that the character was meant to convey in its inception. Kyle bridged the gap between myth and reality. The character of Frank Castle as the Punisher was not meant to be a good guy, he was a violent man with seemingly no morality. Through the popular adoption of the Punisher symbol among military personnel, the Punisher has become the good guy, the guy who rights wrongs and doesn’t second-guess himself.

While the Punisher has been a popular character since the 1980s, he has never been regarded as an admirable role model until Chris Kyle’s ode to the Punisher in his autobiography. Today, you can buy American Sniper tee-shirts and other products with the symbol of the Punisher on them. Outside of the "American Sniper" franchise the Punisher has made a revival in popularity which can be directly attributed to the movie. In April, 2016, Netflix announced they would be releasing a Marvel Punisher’s series. There are also multiple articles regarding how Iraqi anti-ISIS fighters have adopted the symbol of the Punisher as their own.

The Punisher began as a second tier Marvel anti-hero. However, through the depiction of the Punisher in Chris Kyle’s autobiography, "American Sniper", the role of the Punisher has become that of a full-fledged hero.

Did I mention that we do have 1911 punisher grips available on our website? :) Check them out.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Our Top 6 Bestselling 1911 Grips of All Time

So, you wanted to update the looks of your 1911 but found out that there were so many grip designs out there, right? Well, let's narrow them down for you, shall we. Here are our top-selling grips of all time on Amazon.

The 1911 Gator Grips

The Gator Grips design started out as real gator leather grips in our early years. They were a bit expensive but there was a big demand for a more affordable version of the grip design. So, we remade them in ultra-strong polymer! These can stand a beating & are durable enough for everyday carry. They are available in different colors (made to order) like grey, OD, coyote & even pink!

The 1911 Silver Dragon Grips

This grip design has garnered a lot of positive feedback on our amazon store. The design is inspired by Asian tattoo art found throughout the centuries made famous by the likes of Bruce Lee. This particular set is for a compact 1911. Make sure that it's for the right model 1911 when you order.

The 1911 Black Punisher on Ivory Grips

This design is one of the our crowd favorites featuring the logo made famous by the American sniper & war hero, Chris Kyle, who was a member of SEAL Team 3. He became known as "The Legend" among the general infantry and Marines he was tasked to protect. Again, this particular set is for a compact 1911. Make sure that it's for the right model 1911 when you order.

The 1911 OD Punisher Grips

A variation of the punisher grips, this design has attracted such a following in the military. Inspired by "the Legend" and of course the fictional vigilante of the comics, this symbol has transformed into an icon of our fighting men & women in the front lines.

The Classic Black & White 1911 Punisher Grips

Our classic punisher grips with the gritty finish has gotten over a hundred reviews on amazon, mostly 5 stars. It is one of our bestselling products and most famous among 1911 aficionados. The symbol is an icon of the fight against terror, this is a must-have for 1911 grip collectors.

The 1911 Dragon Scale Grips

Our infamous Dragon Scale Grips is our top selling design with over a hundred reviews on amazon. The design has been copied so many times, but no one can duplicate it's unique design & features. The DS grips come in multiple colors, like grey, OD, coyote, pink, zombie green & our famous blood red set. They are now available for the Sig P238 as well. Look for them on amazon!

We give discounts to our men & women in public service. If you are an active or retired soldier, police/LE or firefighter/EMT... or even a public school teacher, just send us a message after you made your order. This is our way of thanking you for your service!

Our Other Top Picks...

#7 - 1911 Stealth Punisher Grips
#8 - 1911 Red Dragon Grips
#9 - 1911 Infidel Grips
#10 - 1911 Black Dragon Grips

Find them on our website today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

1911 Grip Sizes & Options: What you should know before buying... (an UPDATE)

(Note from the author: I wrote this article 7 years ago and decided that I needed to update it a bit.)

Replacing the stock grips on your favorite 1911 is one of the fastest & most affordable ways to upgrade the look & feel of your firearm. This can be done for as cheap as 2 or 3 boxes of ammo. There are so many choices of grips in the market today... exotic hardwoods with old-school checkering, wicked flames or skull designs... high-strength polymers with wild inlays & medallions... there are grips made of the latest high-tech materials like aluminum alloys, G-10 & micarta... and goin' nature-trippin', there are rattlesnake, alligator, stingray & other types of skins & hides that are now available... and don't forget ivory (legal), antlers & bone... whew! So many grips... So little time...

A lot of 1911 owners have multiple number of grips to suit their different moods. Some like the subdued look on their everyday carry, but on special occasions, they bust out their most outrageous, flashy grips. I have this regular customer from Hamburg, Germany who only has 2 or 3 1911s but has something like 20+ grips!

But before you start your own collection of grips, you must first determine your grip size and options for better fit. In this posting, I will attempt to briefly summarize what you will need to know before you purchase your dream set that you were drooling over these past few days (or weeks)...

Before we begin, here is a summary of the basic information that you will need:
1. Grip Size: Full-sized frame (includes the Combat Commander), Officer's Model, or
2. Options: Standard (no additional cuts), Ambi-cuts, Taurus-cuts, cuts for Extended slide stop &/or Extended safety lock?
1. Grip Size.
Size does matter! There are 3 basic grip sizes for the commercially available 1911. All of these are determined by the frame size of your handgun (and not the barrel length or slide size as some people think).
Grips for the Full-Size Frame: Government/Combat Commander/Pro Carry. This is the frame size of your original government issue-sized pistol with barrel lengths of 5" or more. Most of the ones in the market fall under this category. If your 1911 is not a "compact" gun, chances are, your handgun has a full-sized frame. The "combat commander" was first introduced by Colt as a compact variant of the "government" design. Like it's big brother, it's frame is actually full-sized too. The only major difference is that the barrel size (& slide) is shorter at 4.25". To quickly check if your firearm has a full-sized frame, the distance between the grip holes should be slightly MORE than 3" from center to center.
Grips for the Compact: Officers Model/Defender/Ultra Carry. After the introduction of the "commander", there was still a need for even smaller models for concealed carry. So Colt introduced a 3.50" barrel variant called the "officer's model". To make this gun work, they modified the frame. Grips for this model are slightly smaller & would not fit the full-sized 1911s. The Colt Defender & the Kimber Ultra Carry's grips are similar to this model. To quickly check if your compact firearm is similar to an officer's model, the distance between the grip holes are slightly LESS than 3" from center to center.

Others. Of course, everybody wants an even smaller gun, right? So they did it again. The Sub-Compact was introduced as a backup to the backup gun... The frame is now even more smaller, and so are the grips. Other variants of the 1911 like the classic Llama, the double-stacked Para Ordinance Hi-caps, the itsy-bitsy SIG P238 (Is this still a 1911?), and my all-time favorite, the hard-hitting .50 cal Grizzly LAR have very different 1911 frame configurations. Of course, these
variants have different types of grips as well. Take note that aftermarket grips for these are hard to find, so don't be discouraged. I do have grips for the P238, but in VERY limited quantity.
2. Options.
This section deals with the optional cuts needed on the grips for proper fit.
Standard/No Cuts. Yup, no cuts needed. The firearm does NOT have the following: ambi-safety, extended slide stop, or extended safety lock.
Ambi-cuts. The grips will need special cuts for the Ambidextrous Safety. They involve the trimming of the top of the right panel & I notch just behind the top screw.
Special Cuts for the Extended Safety Lock, &/or Extended Slide Stop. Check if your 1911 has these aftermarket parts. The grips may need to be trimmed down for these as well.

Special Taurus-cuts. The Taurus PT1911 is a special one because all the extended options mentioned above are found as standard on this gun. This & the fact that it's affordable make it quite popular to a lot of first-time 1911 owners.

Beveled or Magwell/Square Bottom? Finally, does your firearm have a magwell? Then you need flat or square bottoms. The standard grips have beveled bottoms.
The Bobtail. These guns popularized by Dan Wesson are pretty cool & functional. The bobtail gives the handgun a smaller footprint when carried with a cant & minimizes contact with the body while in the holster, so they say. Obviously, the grips of bobtails need to be trimmed. They actually have the same dimensions except for the diagonal (or round) cut at the bottom corner.
So you want new grips to spice up your 1911 handgun, huh? Take note of the grip size & the options and you will have a smooth & easy time with your friendly neighborhood grip maker!!!

We are now available on amazon.
Back to 1911 Custom Killer Grips.