Pro-Team Product's 45 Grip Frame for the Sterling and WGP Sniper Pump-Guns
© Ravi Chopra, 1996
I used to think of 45-style and other aftermarket grip-frames as being something of a waste of money. After all, a decent set of grips on the stock frame was comfortable enough and much less expensive than a whole new frame (and new grips to add to that as well!). My opinion changed when I switched from using a 68AUTOMAG to the Micromag to allow me to use my Autococker barrels on my 'Mag. The Micro is only available with a 45-style frame. My experiences with the Micromag and my likes regarding the 45 frame on it are well documented in "Inside the Micromag II" (APG, May 1996).
Since then, Pro-Team has released a series of 45 grip frames for a variety of paintguns, and in a variety of styles, most noticeably their double-finger trigger frames with appropriately sized trigger-guards. Among these new offerings is a new 45 frame designed to fit both the Sterling and WGP Sniper pump-guns. This 45 frame is the same basic frame that Pro-Team uses for the 68AUTOMAG and Autococker, but with holes for the pumpgun components. All aftermarket 45 grips will now just as easily fit this frame as any of Pro-Team's other frames. Style-conscious players will be happy to know that the can be anodized in any color or splash pattern to match the rest of your gear.
Mounting the new 45 frame was largely trouble-free for both the Sterling and Sniper, but there are a few things you should be aware of. First, the frame does NOT come with a trigger, sear, retention pins, or sear-return spring. All of those components will have to be transferred from the stock frame. I found the parts fit Pro-Team's 45 frame nicely, though the trigger retention was a bit loose and tended to work itself out to one side or the other with repeat pulls of the trigger. Smearing a small amount of blue Loc-Tite on the pin before inserting it kept it locked solidly in place with no further problems. One other small concern involved the Sterling's quick-strip screws. While all Sterlings come with rear quick-strip screws, only some models included a thumb-screw at the front of the frame. While the rear screw does not pose any problem, the frame is not cut back to allow the use of a front quick-strip screw. If you own a Sterling with a front thumb-screw, you will have to visit your local hardware store to find a regular screw to use in its stead.
In use, I found the 45 frame on the Sterling to have all the same advantages as on popular semi-automatics. The angle of the frame feels more comfortable and encourages better aim by bringing the barrel into alignment with the direction in which your hand naturally points.
The 45 frame for the Sterling and Sniper is a very nice piece. It is well constructed, fits the 'gun properly out of the box, and to my hand is considerably more comfortable than the stock frame. In addition, it gives these two popular pump-guns an even more unique appearance to add to the style/intimidation factor. Is it worth the $65 to add this frame to what are already reasonably expensive pumps? Frankly, I think so. People who shoot pumps have much more of a tendency to actually aim at what they are trying to hit. The more natural angle of the 45 frame should be of advantage to them in that arena.
With the increasing technology of the semi-auto, and the recent introduction of the full-auto to the paintball arena, the life of the pumpgun player has become even more difficult. Pro-Team's 45 frame for the Sterling and WGP Sniper allows the hard-core pumpgun player to improve the looks and performance of his marker without forsaking his "pump it yourself!" principles.
All material at this site is © Ravi Chopra, 1999