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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:21 pm 
Hunter
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Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: Davisburg, MI. USA
I'm sure I'm not the only one disappointed in the grip panel fit coming from Ruger lately.

Last year, or whenever it was, when AZ Arms had the SS 45 Colts available I got one. The fit of the grip panels was/is horrible. Sharp edges of the frame bit me in multiple places. I called Ruger and they sent me a different pair and said if these didn't fit to send the gun back and they would fit a pair. Well they sent some of the cheapest looking panels they could. It seems all the SS guns come with gorgeous (to me) red (rosewood?) grips. I got a this pair of tan plain jane looking things that didn't fit any better. I really didn't want to go through the hassle of shipping the gun, plus I feared I would end up with something much like they sent, so I let it ride.

Fast forward to today. I picked up a 10mm. Why? Who knows? Who cares? It's mine now. :mrgreen: I checked the grips, and they fit pretty good, not like 30 years ago, but far and away better than last year. Then the idea hit me to swap them since they had the same coloring. I popped both sets off and made sure to keep them separate. The first thing I notice was the 3 digit engraved code inside them was the same. My heart sank a little, but I continued on. First set fit good, not great, but the frame didn't bite anymore. On to the second gun. Popped them on and VIOLA! Both guns fit good not, not great, but roughly equal in steel showing but no steel biting me. And definitely no 1/8" edge of stainless showing anymore!

Am I happy? Pretty much, the guns are both very shootable now with no sharp edges sticking out, but I am still a little disappointed at what Ruger is shipping on new guns.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:06 am 
Hunter

Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 1:01 am
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Location: Daegu, Korea
Ruger employees individually shape/sand/grind each grip frame, so no two are identical. I have seen examples that should come with protective covers for the edges, there is so much exposed steel and the corners are so sharp. In this day when CNC machinery can cut a part to within .0005", Ruger still does it by hand. Granted, they're not $5K custom revolvers. Still, I am confident that they could be significantly better.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:08 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 pm
Posts: 7564
Location: People's Republik of Kalifornia
Stainless guns are no problem; just trim and polish the grip frame to match the grips. But the blue steel or alloy grip frames are a loss. I usually find and buy Ruger's older solid walnut grips for those or custom grips.

And replace alloy grip frames with steel or SS:

Image

.44 Spl Vaquero with FlatTop Blackhawk hammer (large base and narrow shank) on 3 ¾” Sheriff Model. Also has Colt ejector, Belt Mtn Colt-style base pin. Ugly web behind trigger radiused. Replacement Ivory grips and lock elimination so any flat backed grips can be used:

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:22 am 
Hunter
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Location: Davisburg, MI. USA
Enigma wrote:
Ruger employees individually shape/sand/grind each grip frame, so no two are identical. I have seen examples that should come with protective covers for the edges, there is so much exposed steel and the corners are so sharp. In this day when CNC machinery can cut a part to within .0005", Ruger still does it by hand. Granted, they're not $5K custom revolvers. Still, I am confident that they could be significantly better.



In my mind that's the rub. It's obvious they've gone CNC on the grip panels, so why are they always undersize? Tweak the program and make them a tad bigger. Not oversize, not even on size, but at least in the ballpark.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:23 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:51 pm
Posts: 202
Location: FL
I’m learning the aftermarket grip makers tend to be extremely busy because Ruger’s stock grips not only fit poorly but are also too thin if you have larger hands. I don’t mean hands like on an NBA basketball player, either. Also, I bought some Nill grips for my Redhawk and they didn’t fit right. I took them to my local gunsmith that works on lots of Ruger revolvers and he said many of Ruger’s RedHawks were made with warped grip frames and that’s why my perfectly-made Nill grips didn’t fit the gun. These guns cost way too much here in the 21st century with modern technology to not offer the customer a better quality grip. Imagine if every $1000 Ruger revolver came with grips that fit like a set of custom grips and even had two sizes, a set for women and a set for the typical 6’ tall man.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:27 am 
Ruger Guru

Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 19151
Location: Ohio , U.S.A.
Over the years I finally figured that Ruger did this on purpoose on their stainless grip frame guns,,,,the would back in the days of the Vaqueros you had metal showing all the way around, yes more noticeable on the stainless guns but by the same token going back to the old days I recall Winchester and most of their guns the wood was "proud" stuck out a bit from any metal area ( tang, receiver, ,etc)...BUT the wood could easily be chipped and bore the brunt of abuse,,,soooooo fast forward and maybe the old man (Ruger) let the stainless stick out a bit ,so it took the brunt of abuse ,less chipping of the wood grips....food for thought,,,,,,we have always seen this on most all the stainless Ruger revolvers...aside from the fact , the grips are subcontracted and maybe they are making the grips too small????
No I would NEVER send the gun back to have the grips "fitted" hey years ago Colt charged $65 to "fit" their grips to the frame of the SA revolvers,,this is back in the 60-70s........... I find it tough to even send a grip frame to a custom grip maker. also........cannot seem to win 8) :roll: :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:31 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 1445
Location: NYS
Over the years I would mix and match as mentioned above and also found that I could "get close" and then "position" the best fit by using Acra-Glas or J-B Weld (you have to drill small holes in the back of the grips to get the epoxy to mechanically bond to the grips). This method worked out well on some Bisleys. Also, several years ago, I contacted Eagle Grips and they told me that I could order oversize grips from them. Sanding down to size, and polishing polymer grips is rather easy (even for a lesser skilled technician such as myself).

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:12 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 4:54 pm
Posts: 3495
Location: Butte, MT
Quote:
I contacted Eagle Grips and they told me that I could order oversize grips from them.
That works. I did that with one of my Rugers and it worked out well (Bearpaw Grips) . Also sent in a grip frame for a perfect fit (that's really what one should do) . Most of my Bearpaw grips fit well enough.... but to get it right -- you must send in the frame ... or get oversize grips to sand down with elbow grease. Factory grip panels are just 'place holders' before you get 'nice' custom grips on your favorites :) .

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:56 pm 
Hawkeye
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:48 pm
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Location: Webster, MD.
Ruger sent me three sets for one of my Bearcats. The original set was so bad you could honestly read the newspaper through the gap. After the third set I just realized that if I was going to have a pair actually fit I would need to go to an outside source or carve my own.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 7:52 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:04 am
Posts: 45
Location: Rural New Mexico
My only newer Rugers are two birdsheads. Never even shot them with the original grips. Made new panels right off to get a better fit. Horrible....

Both of those were oversized however, not the opposite. I guess I could have trimmed them, but why bother for ugly production crap? Too thin, boring material...


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 10:52 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:40 pm
Posts: 8620
Location: Dallas, TX
I also got one of those stainless 45 Colts from AZ Arms. You are so right about the horrid factory grips. I replaced them with a set of Grashorn’s Elk antler grips. If I remember correctly, I sent the grip frame and they fitted a pair which are wonderful.

Now however, after a few custom grips like that, the question is, what to do with the factory grips? I’ve considered selling them, but I don’t want to hurt any possible future resale values.

And yes, the newer laminated grips are really boring material.

About two years ago, I bought a new model 357 convertible. It came from the factory with the white poly grips. They fit 100% absolutely perfect...as good as any custom grip maker could do. So Ruger can make nice fitting grips.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 10:00 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 pm
Posts: 7564
Location: People's Republik of Kalifornia
Kevin wrote:

And yes, the newer laminated grips are really boring material.

About two years ago, I bought a new model 357 convertible. It came from the factory with the white poly grips. They fit 100% absolutely perfect...as good as any custom grip maker could do. So Ruger can make nice fitting grips.


Ruger doesn't make grips any longer, not for a long time. They use Altamont grips.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 12:33 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 20558
Location: Kentucky
I'm pretty sure Ruger never actually manufactured any grip panels themselves in-house. All the reference works I have seen reveal the manufacturers that Ruger sub-contracted to make the grip panels for the single-action guns (as well as the .22 auto pistols). Various outfits provided the "hard rubber" early panels and wood varieties as well as the ivory and stag panels, and the medallions were made by yet other vendors. And of course there have been many after-market grip panels made in various materials by other vendors as well over the years.

As has been noted, some of the panels fit the grip frames better than others, and various sources had better final finishes than others.

For many years member CaryC made outstanding, spectacular grips for the Ruger single-actions from various beautiful wood slabs, and he offered the service of fitting his panels to your grip frame for perfection in fit. He went so far as to provide custom-made screws that perfectly fit the overall thickness of his panels when assembled on the grip frame. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 2:19 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:04 am
Posts: 45
Location: Rural New Mexico
Even if they do and always have farmed out grip making, the recent results I've seen are no credit to whoever made them. The panels on my two BH models were not as good as what you find on a Rough Rider.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:09 pm 
Hawkeye

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 20558
Location: Kentucky
Well, in the end it's up to Ruger to decide what quality control they decide to employ. When you "farm out" parts you need to have a firm understanding with your vendor of exactly what you expect from them and will accept for a given price. Anybody with any experience in manufacturing knows this.

So long as folks continue to willingly buy Ruger products with quite visible fittment problems on grip panels Ruger really has no incentive to tighten up the requirements with their vendors. This assumes that Ruger's grip frames are all exactly alike and are made to the same specs they gave the grip panel vendors, as well.

Bottom line, it's Ruger's responsibility to produce stuff folks will willingly purchase at a given price point. Sad thig is, most of the Old Model stuff had better grip panel fit than some of the current crop.

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