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Adding the Tempest Grips and Magwell to my custom Ruger Mark IV 22/45 made a big difference in ergonomics and performance. And that’s a bold statement for a pistol that has very few Ruger parts left. The entire lower is pretty much all TandemKross. From the Kraken (now Cthulu) lower full of TandemKross parts, to the upper with more aftermarket parts inside and out, not much Ruger remains. With each upgrade, it’s become more accurate, reliable, and comfortable to shoot. The addition of these latest parts provides a better grip, and also speed reloads a bit.
Tempest Grips and Magwell for Ruger Mark IV 22/45
TandemKross offers the grips and magwell as a package, for a reason. They are designed to work together, and the magwell is not compatible with other grips. That may or may not be bad news for some of us. On the bright side, the grips are pretty awesome. They’re machined aluminum, with a surface that’s very grippy, without being overly aggressive. It appears to be a mix of shallow vertical grooves and deeper circular cuts. Plenty of traction, but not the kind that feels like it will sand your skin off. And they are neither too thick nor too thin, adding just the right amount of bulk for my large hands.
Like the grips, the magwell is also CNC-machined aluminum and finished in the same anodized black. It’s even got similar shallow vertical grooves, though they seem to be mostly aesthetic. They don’t add much traction, but none is really needed either. It hugs the grips and frame closely and flares out for an enhanced hold. TandemKross mentions that the Tempest Grips and Magwell work with all OEM Mark IV variants as well as their Kraken/Cthulu lowers. I’ve obviously installed them on the Kraken, but it’s nice to know that they would work on the factory polymer lower too.
One of the things I like most about TandemKross is that their products are almost always easy to install. If it isn’t super simple, they usually provide a really good video tutorial. In this case, the Tempest Grips and Magwell are no more difficult than swapping grips. Well, with two extra sets of screws. After making sure the pistol is unloaded. I simply removed the current grips and replaced them with the Tempest grips.
Once the grips were installed, it was time for the magwell. I did find that the tolerances were really close. Not overly tight, but very snug. So I just slid it on and carefully lined up the holes with the lower holes in the grips. Two more screws per side, and I was done. Note that no thread lock should be used, and they only need to be hand-tight. Please, no gorilla torque. There’s a reason they only require a tiny T10 Torx driver. After installation, I did a quick function check, starting with the safety. And then I was ready for the range.
After loading up a handful of magazines, I’d do a mag dump, and then see how quickly I could reload. Although I wasn’t expecting reloads to go as smoothly as say, a double-stack 9mm magazine into a fully contoured magwell, it was definitely faster. While the narrow magazine well will always be a limiting factor, I’ve now got some angled surfaces guiding the magazine into place. What really struck me though was how much better the pistol felt with the Tempest Grips and Magwell. My support hand felt right at home resting on the magwell.
The Tempest Grips and Magwell are not just about faster reloads. While that is part of the equation, they also provide much better ergonomics. The grips have that “just right” aggressive texture, and the magwell itself allows me to maintain a more consistent hold every time. With a couple of steel targets set a different distances, I can transition between them with more speed and accuracy. This has always been an accurate pistol, and as I work on building speed, I’m gaining more confidence in my ability to hit targets quickly.
Before I went to the range, I tried some reloads to see how the magwell worked. And I was disappointed that the magazine didn’t always seat properly. So I tried another magazine and had no issues. Then I tried all my other magazines (ten in total) and determined that just one magazine didn’t want to cooperate. Not sure why, but the rest of them worked flawlessly, so it’s not a fault with the magwell. And while it’s not a perfect funnel, it still guides the magazines in better than no magwell. Using the wider TandemKross Markpro extended magazine bumpers makes them easy to seat with my palm too.
I’d like to think that I was pretty fast before, so I compared my reloads to another Mark IV that I have. There’s a noticeable difference, and I don’t think it requires exceptional skill to be faster using the Tempest Grips and Magwell. My 22/45 may look more like a 2011 race gun now too, which I certainly don’t mind. Its profile mimics a centerfire pistol, yet it has no recoil. It’s built for pure fun, speed, and accuracy. And if we overlook the cost of the pistol itself, then it’s actually cheap fun when comparing rimfire to centerfire ammo. While the $250 price tag of the Tempest Grips and Magwell means they’re not for everyone, they’re certainly worth it if you’re looking for an edge. You can find them on the TandemKross website.
As always, I’d like to thank TandemKross for providing their Tempest Grips and Magwell for my testing and evaluation. What do you think of this setup? Feel free to leave your questions and comments below.