Here at VZ Grips we primarily use G10 laminates in the manufacturing of our grips. We do use other laminates such as Mircarta, Carbon Fiber, and Stabalized wood. So what’s the difference? Well lets run through the characteristics of the two we use most, G10 and Micarta.
G-10 (jEE tEn) Is a high-pressure fiberglass laminate created by stacking multiple glass cloth layers. Kind of like a boat hull. This is done by soaking the glass in epoxy resin. Then by heat and pressure, it is compressed into the shape you are looking for; primarily sheets and rods. As with most fiberglass, this stacking provides amazing strength and durability. G-10 displays amazing properties and offers a lifetime of use without maintenance. The insulating properties, strength, fire and electrical insulation and moisture resistances makes this a perfect material for the manufacturing of grips in the firearms industry. G-10 will not rust or oxidize. It won’t become brittle or soften over time. This means it is basically maintenance free. Unlike other materials such as bone, wood or horn or some metals used by other grip makers, G-10 will stand up to the test of time. Since G10 is a great insulator it lends itself to be an excellent heat barrier between your hands and a hot pistol or rifle. Our Rail Panels are a great accessory for your AR and full auto rifles.
Micarta is a trade name that was given to thermoset laminates back in the 1890’s by Westinghouse. Phenolic is another name used to describe this hard, dense material. Phenolic sheets are made by applying heat and pressure to layers of Paper, Cotton (linen or canvas) impregnated with phenolic resin. Similar to the G10 and Carbon Fiber laminates as they are all resin based laminates, the Mircarta uses a more organic cloth base material and a phenolic resin. Micarta is not as strong as G10, but it still is very strong. It has been called "The Steel of the Plastic Industry".
Both materials are excellent for the manufacturing of gun grips. We choose to use G-10 more often for the ease of finishing to get to the end product. Micarta comes off the CNC machines pretty "furry" due to its cotton or linen base which takes more time to finish out, but boy do they look amazing.