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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 10:23 pm 
Hawkeye
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LSCG wrote:
Question for Hondo44 or anyone else, what size grip frame comes on the newer flattop Blackhawk 44spl's?

I've heard a few people say it's the new XR3 like what's on the new Vaqueros but I thought that just the 50th anniversary flattops had them.


All the new flattops have the new steel XR3 as do the New Vaqueros.

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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:11 am 
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caryc wrote:
LSCG wrote:
Question for Hondo44 or anyone else, what size grip frame comes on the newer flattop Blackhawk 44spl's?

I've heard a few people say it's the new XR3 like what's on the new Vaqueros but I thought that just the 50th anniversary flattops had them.


All the new flattops have the new steel XR3 as do the New Vaqueros.



thanks Cary, that's really good to know! I need the new XR3 grip frame for work and would rather have a flattop over a Vaquero right now.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:00 pm 
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I seached the web and this thread but it's still not clear to me.

- Is my Lipseys Flattop 357/9mm model 5245 gripframe the same as the New Vaquero gripframe?

- Lipseys says my 5245's grip frame is XR-3 and the New Vaquero model 5109 gripframe is "pre-1962 XR-3" are those the same?

Thanks, I'm totally confused. I don't want to send out my gripframe, at this time I want to buy something cheap.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:05 pm 
Hawkeye
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P89DC wrote:
I seached the web and this thread but it's still not clear to me.

- Is my Lipseys Flattop 357/9mm model 5245 gripframe the same as the New Vaquero gripframe?

- Lipseys says my 5245's grip frame is XR-3 and the New Vaquero model 5109 gripframe is "pre-1962 XR-3" are those the same?

Thanks, I'm totally confused. I don't want to send out my gripframe, at this time I want to buy something cheap.


All the newly produced flattops have the new steel version of the old XR3 grip frame.

It's the same as the "New Vaquero" grip frame that came out in 2005.

Take a look at the drawings below. Draw yourself a 3 inch square and see how one of your grip panels fits in it. you can also tell the XR3 from the XR3-RED profile because the XR3 has the straight back strap where the XR3-RED profile back straps flair out at the bottom.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:14 pm 
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Thanks, Cary! I know about the square but there's so much over-lapping nomenclature I wanted to be sure. With your explaination the listing are clear now. Except what's with XR3 blued vs stainless?

I think I'll buy the Eagle grips, they're not finished and require final fitting.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:35 pm 
Hawkeye

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All New model XR3 'size' grip frames are either blued steel or stainless steel and they are the same size, and they have different casting numbers on them. When speaking of new models, XR3 only references their size as the same as the old model #XR3. All old model XR3 grip frames are aluminum alloy and their actual casting # is XR3.

Ruger grip frame by model application and casting numbers:

All GRIP FRAME IDENTIFICATION NUMBERS (Founder’s Marks) CAST INTO GRIP FRAMES (N/A to Bearcat)
Note: for convenience, NM frames in the two most common sizes are often referred to as XR3 'SIZE' or XR3-RED 'SIZE' but they have their own Casting numbers.

BLUE STEEL and ALLOY NM:
Small steel (OM #XR3 size) 1/8” closer to trigger guard than XR3-RED size, (cut for indexing pawl system, no extensions into main frame & only 7/16” thick) = A (in a square), no other marking observed; w & w/o lock. New Vaq w/o lock has a 512 prefix serial #
Large steel (OM #XR3-RED size): Early = A (in a square) XR-3 (that's XR dash 3), Late = A & T in separate 1/8” circles
Large alloy (OM #XR3-RED size) w/o lock: Early = NXR3-RED, Late = XRN-3RED. With lock = XR & L
Short steel 'Vaquerito’ .32s = A (in a square) XR-3. If ordered as a separate part = 302 A (in a square) 3/16” shorter in length than the XR3 and XR3-RED sizes
SBH = No marking on Dragoon frames (1/4” longer than standard grip). Large round guard steel frames supplied on all barrel lengths less than 7 ½” (Old Model #XR3-RED size) = same as Large steel above marking
Birdshead** = # in circle, MR00307, A in circle

STAINLESS NM:
Small, (XR3 size) 1/8” shorter horizontally behind the trigger guard (cut for indexing pawl system, no extensions into main frame & only 7/16” thick = K (in circle); w & w/o lock
Large (OM #XR3-RED size): Earliest = KXR-3*, Next = KXR-3 with a separate N, Late = K (in circle) XRN-3, most current = no markings
Short 'Vaquerito’ .32s = KXR-3* 3/16” shorter in length than the XR3 and XR3-RED sizes
SBH Hunter = KHRN 3 (Dragoon length but with a round trigger guard)
SBH = No marking on Dragoon frames (1/4” longer than standard grip). Large round guard steel frames supplied on all barrel lengths less than 7 ½” (Old Model #XR3-RED size) = same as Large above marking
Birdshead** = # K in circle, MR00307

BLUE STEEL and ALLOY OM:

Small alloy = XR3, original style to 1962, 1/8” closer to trigger guard than large size
Large alloy = XR3-RED, (part # SS3), new style in 1962 to 1972, also used on Pre 1985 Old Army alloy w/narrow trig slot, and on Hawkeye alloy w/wide trigger slot
SBH = steel dragoon, sq back trigger guard (1/4” longer than standard grip) no marking; Early ‘long frame’ 5/32” longer than later dragoon marked with C (only 300 made)
Old Army steel (OM XR3-RED size) = XRN-3 beginning 1985 with wide trigger slot and is the only OM GF in carbon steel other than the SBH.

STAINLESS OM
Old Army only: Large (OM XR3-RED size) = KXR-3*

*Note: same # KXR-3 used on two different frames: earliest NM SS XR3-RED size and OM SS Old Army XR3-RED size, because based on how they are machined, they can be used for either application.
**Birdsheads supplied on New Vaqueros cut for free spin pawl system and have no extensions into main frame, but are interchangeable to all models.

BRASS FRAMES OM only:
Marked “MR-3DB.” = Super Blackhawk Brass “Dragoon” style with square back trigger guard. Same dimensions as 1959 Super Blackhawk. Initially for Super Blackhawks only, then shipped on various Blackhawks, majority in 1972.

“A way to check to see if a Super Blackhawk left the factory with a brass grip frame or a steel grip frame if you are convinced the gun has the original factory blue finish. Guns made with a steel grip frame had the frame attached to the gun and match polished to the sides of the cylinder frame before going into the bluing tanks. So when the grip frame is off, there will be large swaths of "white" metal on the underside of the frame and grip frame. If the gun was originally made with a brass grip frame, then the underside of the cylinder frame will be blue.” Chet15

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Last edited by Hondo44 on Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:50 pm 
Hawkeye
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P89DC wrote:
Thanks, Cary! I know about the square but there's so much over-lapping nomenclature I wanted to be sure. With your explaination the listing are clear now. Except what's with XR3 blued vs stainless?

I think I'll buy the Eagle grips, they're not finished and require final fitting.


I've been making grips for around 12 years now and I've never asked a customer what is marked on their grip frame. Ruger just puts that crap there to confuse people. On your question above in RED, the difference is that one is stainless and one is blued. Both are steel.

Ruger came out with the first XR3 plow handle style grip frame on their Single Six in 1953. It was an aluminum frame and was used until 1963 when the redesigned it into the larger XR3-RED grip frame.

The XR3-RED profile grip is still used today on the Blackhawk and Single Six. In 2005 when Ruger came out with the "New Vaquero", they brought back the smaller XR3 grip frame only they made it in carbon steel and stainless steel this time. There is also one other major difference. The made it 7/16" in width to try and emulate the Colt grip frames. All Ruger's other plow handle grip frames are still 1/2" in width. As far as I know Ruger has used the new XR3 grip frames on all the flattops it produces.

If your grip frame is 7/16" in width it is most definitely the new XR3. I hope this clears it up for you.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:29 pm 
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It's clear now, Cary, thanks! Some of the gripmakers make a distinction between stainless and blue XR3 gripframes but after learning from you I expect they have the different gripframes muddled up.

Hondo, thanks for trying to edjucate me but that post has my eyes rolling back. The non-custom grip market is mostly clueless about the mid-sized flattop's relationship to the New Vaquero, all I needed to know is the New Vaquero gripframe is the same as the new flattop.

Let the shopping commence!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 4:49 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 pm
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Some of the grip makers make a distinction between stainless and blue steel XRE grip frames not because they're muddled up, but because although they are the same grip frame, in actuality the stainless grip frames do tend to run slightly larger in outline. In my experience, and apparently theirs, it's a factory hand finishing issue rather than a design difference. So if the maker does distinguish, order accordingly.

You're very welcome. My posts are usually written for all readers in general, especially in this particular thread so those who want all the detail and a full understanding will have it. And/or save for future reference if they may have additional confusion. I can't think of a thread subject more prolific than Ruger's confusing grip frames.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:05 pm 
Hawkeye

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caryc wrote:
I've been making grips for around 12 years now and I've never asked a customer what is marked on their grip frame. Ruger just puts that crap there to confuse people.

There is also one other major difference. The made it 7/16" in width to try and emulate the Colt grip frames. All Ruger's other plow handle grip frames are still 1/2" in width.

As far as I know Ruger has used the new XR3 grip frames on all the flattops it produces.



Actually the founders marks are for employees rather than customers. It's a way to tell the difference between SS and carbon steel before bluing and the different applications for assembly. Ruger uses part numbers for their customers.

Colt grip frames are 1/2" in width. The 7/16" width is in response to cowboy shooter market demand for thinner 'handles' so both the grip frames and the grips were made thinner for that market.

You're correct in addition to the New Vaqueros, the XR3 size grip frames are supplied on all new model Flat Top Blackhawks, on both the mid size and large size main frames.

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Last edited by Hondo44 on Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:07 pm 
Hawkeye
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P89DC wrote:
It's clear now, Cary, thanks! Some of the gripmakers make a distinction between stainless and blue XR3 gripframes but after learning from you I expect they have the different gripframes muddled up.

Hondo, thanks for trying to edjucate me but that post has my eyes rolling back. The non-custom grip market is mostly clueless about the mid-sized flattop's relationship to the New Vaquero, all I needed to know is the New Vaquero gripframe is the same as the new flattop.

Let the shopping commence!


Hondo does indeed have a lot of knowledge on the Ruger grip frames. One can never have too much info on them.

There is a very big difference in size on Ruger's carbon steel and stainless steel Bisley grip frames. The stainless ones are larger around the top of the grip. In my years of grip making I would not even make a pair of Bisley grips unless the customer sent me his grip frame for fitting.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:24 pm 
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caryc wrote:
Bill's article is indeed a very good technical info resource. But unfortunately too many people try to interpret those ridiculous frame marking just because they want to buy a new pair of grips.

It's not really that complicated. In the 50+ years that Ruger has been in business, they have used basically three sizes of grip frames on their single actions. I'm talking basically plow handle style grips here. There have been a few oddities along the way but not that many were produced and if you have one of those, you should find it in Bill's reference article.

But, to get to the basics, if you want to buy a new set of grips, you can find out what you need by referring to the drawing below. Just draw yourself a three inch square and place one of your stock grips in it. It will fit like one of the drawings below. I don't pay any attention to those frame markings.

Image


Thank you, sir! Your explanations and drawings were a huge help in locating the correct replecement grips for my BH Flattop 45 Colt/45 ACP.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:09 pm 
Hawkeye
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All the new flattops so far have had the new steel XR3 grip frame. That first new steel XR3 first appeared in 2005 on the "New Vaquero".

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