I went to DVC last night to try out my new Magpul 1911 grip panels. They were easy to install, and a perfect fit to my Norinco 1911A1 Police. My Norc has an ambidextrous safety which it is supposed to be compatible with, and there was no interference whatsoever after they were installed. The panels are a thin design, and will work just fine with the standard 1911 grip screw bushing.
They’re made of a carbon-reinforced polymer (plastic) and they have a sort of cross-frame underside which is supposed to provide more strength and rigidity. It’s not rubberized like the Hogue grips, so if you’re looking for a sticky grip panel, this is not it.
The surface is textured with a pattern of tiny mag pulls, just like their Railed Forward Grip (for some reason, I can’t remember the grip pattern on the MOE Grip, and I’m away from my AR at the moment). It provided a firm tactile surface that prevented slippage with dry bare hands, I’m sure they’d be just as fine if you were wearing gloves.
There is a massive thumb groove in-line with the mag release. It provided good access to the mag release with little effort to reach it, and it had a sort of secondary function for the way I personally grip. The thumb groove on the left panel also provided a reference point and almost a slot for my left hand thumb pad to seat.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the grip panels. They appear to have been designed with input from shooters, with the purpose of pure functionality. The only artistic touch is the little mag pulls, but in the end, even they serve a purpose and it seems to work. And last, but not least, as with many Magpul components, they are inexpensive. I’m sure they won’t be ever body’s cup of tea, whether it’s because of the design, the feel, the material (plastic versus wood), or even the brand (some people love the brand, some hate it), but at $20-25, depending on the retailer, you really can’t go wrong. I’d say give them a try, and if you don’t like them you’re not losing a whole lot of money and you can probably flip them and get most of your money back.