Hello Michael:

I would like to extend the grip on my 438 J-frame.  The Pachmayr Gripper and the Pachmayr Gripper Decelerator would both do that.

Do you have a preference (or other suggestions)?

Steve G.


Dear Steve:

I hope this note finds you well.

A great question

Here are my thoughts – They’re free so they’re worth what you’re paying for.

I confirmed with the Pachmayr web page and there are four options for the J-frame in rubber.

The Gripper, The Decelerator Gripper, The Compac, and the Compac Professional

Pachmayr Gripper stock

Pachmayr Gripper stock

Both the Gripper and the Decelerator Gripper have finger groves which can slow down a fast draw (See Bill Jordan’s book for more) and weaken a firm grip by open the shooter’s grasp slightly more so than will stocks without finger groves.

Pachmayr Gripper Decelerator stock

Pachmayr Gripper Decelerator stock

The Decelerator Gripper has a covered back-strap which offers better recoil reduction. Subsequently it is a little larger and when fitted on a J-frame it tends to fit a man’s hand size better than the basic Gripper.

Pachmayr Compact Professional

Pachmayr Compact Professional

The Compac and the Compac Professional are divided along the same lines. The Compac Professional has an exposed back-strap and the Compact has a covered back-strap.

Regarding the Gripper vs. the Decelerator Gripper – each offers a substantial amount of rubber so either might also fulfill your need for a longer or larger set of stocks.

Pachmayr Compac stock

Pachmayr Compac stock

Several under cover police detectives I respect choose the Compac for their J-frame Smith and Wessons and D-frame Colts over the other Pachmayr options.

The Compac features enough material to give a man’s hand enough purchase on the stocks/handgun and it has no finger groves to slow the grasp or weaken the grip.

There is enough material to aid in weapon retention when fitted on a home defense J-frame and yet does not have too much material to prevent it from becoming a working set of stocks for a concealed carry gun.

If I were advising a friend I would be advocating for the Compac over the Compac Professional, the Gripper or the Decelerator Gripper. On an appendix carried snub, it could be a winning combination.

There would always remain the issue of rubber compromising some concealment by binding or clinging to the cover garments.

Also, only Uncle Mike’s licensed copy of Spegel’s Boot Grip has a properly relieved cut-out for speedloader but working with either Bianchi’s Speed Strips or TUFF’s Quick Strips could negate some of that problem.

I hope this helps

Let me know what you finally go with and how it works out.


Michael de Bethencourt