.414 Martin Razorback (w / RDW grip frame)

Help Support Ruger Forum:

Lee Martin

Dec 18, 2002
Arlington, Virginia
Here's a Ruger conversion I just finished, complete with a Ronnie Wells grip frame. But first, a little history on the cartridge. Back in 1994, Starline released .414 SuperMag brass. I bought some and trimmed a case back to 1.40". We were going to build cylinders until I got cold feet over brass availability. If Starline stopped making .414, I'd be stuck. And I wasn't sure the .414 SuperMag would ever be a high production deal. Turns out I was right. Instead, we built our .401 Bobcat on .220 Swift hulls. But I never forgot about our wildcat. Eventually dad converted a Ruger to the round and I named it the .414 Martin Razorback. I also spent the last 30 years amassing .414 brass.

In 2021 I made another Razorback out of 17-4 stainless. The plan was to install an RDW XR3-RED +300. Then I spoke to Ronnie and he suggested I try something new. I had told him how much I like the +300 and the Dealer. They were both favorites. Ronnie said we should combine the two and call it the Martin XRH (the "H" stands for hybrid). The inner profile is the XR3-RED +300, while the back edge is the Dealer. In doing so, he made two other changes:

1) The trigger guard is enlarged
2) The transition from the top of the backstrap to the frame humps is radiused

The result is a grip frame that proportionally fits the NM Blackhawk. You have more surface area to grasp and it looks right. In fact, now the XR3-RED seems too small on a Blackhawk; at least to my eyes. The back edge profile is something I've wanted for the longest time. Never been a big fan of the Bisley. They do a wonderful job of controlling recoil. However, they feel too upright in my hand. The XR3-RED is too curved and can roll a lot on hard kickers. The Dealer's back profile splits the difference and fits me perfectly. Moreover, Ronnie installed a Martin XRH on a .475 Linebaugh and said it tames recoil just like a Bisley (maybe he'll share his impressions in this thread).

Details surrounding the gun:

• Caliber - .414 Martin Razorback
• Barrel – 1:14” twist Shilen cut to 6.0”
• Rear Sight – Bowen Target
• Front Sight- homemade post
• Grip frame – Martin XRH by Ronnie Wells
• Grips – stabilized tiger maple supplied by Ronnie. This photo does a poor job of showing how much striping they have
• Hammer – Super Blackhawk
• Basepin – Belt Mountain #5
• Trigger job – worked to 2.5 lbs



Left to right: 240 gr Martin LFN, an empty .41 Magnum, the .414 Martin Razorback w/240 gr LFN


On the performance front, the Razorback gives me 150 - 200 fps over the .41 Magnum across all bullet weights. I haven't got a chance to shoot this one yet. It'll see 100 yards soon enough though.


Apr 11, 2004
Your posts are always so interesting and informative. Great description of the work, thought process and results. Greatly admire yalls craftsmanship and creativity. Very admirable indeed. Maybe even a bit jealous ha-ha. Have read through your pinned posting on building a pistol several times. Post more when you can,



Dec 17, 2000
Lee, according to Starline, they still have 414 brass listed. However, it's temporary unavailable, backordered.

414 brass.JPG

Latest posts