Pearce Grips & .45 frame for the Spyder
© Ravi Chopra, 1999
Pearce is a company that makes rubber wrap-around grips for .45-style frames. I was sent a set of Pearce grips with accompanying .45 frame block for the Spyder semi-automatic paintgun. They really should be considered individually (as will become apparent), but since they came together in the same package, they have to be reviewed as a set.
The grips themselves combine the features of wrap-around, finger-groove grips (like Hogues popular grips) with separate side-panels similar to those that come stock on many .45 frames. The wrap-around part consists of finger-grooves in front for your lower three fingers. This is continuous with very thin sheets that continue out to cover the sides of the .45 frame. The separate side-panels fit over the thin sheets. They are textured for better grip, and are available in a variety of colors (black, red, blue, and green). Due to this layering arrangement, these grips end up being a bit wider than other .45 grips currently available. The grips were as comfortable as other grips on the market and offered superior grip due to the heavy texturing of the side panels. These grips are available separate from the .45 frame mentioned below and are compatible with most .45 frames for most paintguns currently on the market.
The .45 frame for the Spyder is a replacement grip block that fits onto the stock trigger-frame and replaces the old Lonestar M16-style block. The .45 block was easy to install and fit perfectly. Whoever designed this block must have had enormous hands because this block is huge, both in length and circumference. In fact, I found the least uncomfortable position for my hand was with two fingers in the top groove, my pinky in the second groove, and leaving the bottom-groove empty.
The bottom of the block has both the offset screw holes for the stock bottom-line ASA, as well as the standard in-line holes used by every other paintball manufacturer on the face of the Earth. Because of this, you can mount just about any bottom-line arrangement you like to this grip block. Unfortunately, it may not be all that comfortable. Rather than being level and parallel to the gun body, the bottom of the grip block angles up in back such that any normal bottom-line mount, rather than sticking straight back, will point up over your shoulder. A wedge or angled-down bottom-line will be essential for comfortable bottom-line use.
In short, the grips are just fine, but the block has some funny design elements that make it difficult for me to recommend to anyone but those with hands so big that no other grip feels comfortable.
Design rating 
The wrap-around portion of the grips is a soft rubber of similar consistency to that found in Hogue grips. The colored side-panels are a slightly harder rubber. Though the thin sheets of the wrap-around are VERY thin, when installed they really should not be any more vulnerable to tearing than any other rubber grips.
The .45 block is a tough composite material. Though many people feel plastic and other composites to be weak, cheap materials, I do not feel it is an issue in this case. This block has very thick and beefy construction and should have good long-term reliability. The screw holes for both the bottom-line and grip mounts have brass inserts better than plastic, but not as good as stainless steel.
Construction rating 
As I mentioned above, the textured side-panels offer superb grip, even in wet and slippery conditions. The grips themselves are very comfortable as well. Though many people (myself included) prefer the shooting angle of the .45 frame over the original M16-style Lonestar grips, the enormous size of the .45 block with the thicker-than-standard grips made finding a comfortable grasp difficult.
Performance rating [2.5]
The price of the side panels is $14.50, the rubber wrap-around finger-grooves are $11, and the .45 block is $25. As such, these prices are about average.
Price/Warranty rating [2.5]
I like the grips. Theyre comfortable and offer superior grip. They also allow the fashion conscious to try different colors by purchasing different color side-panels. On the other hand, I cant recommend the .45 block that came with them. Its too big for most hands and has a strange, angled-up bottom-line mount.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999