Another New Vaquero with a Super Hunter grip frame…2 tone!

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Joined
Oct 20, 2022
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846
Location
Oregon
I performed this modification last year with my stainless .45 New Vaquero- and I liked it so much I decided my blued .357 needed the same treatment. I was a bit hesitant as the .357 was the tightest, smoothest, most perfectly timed out-of-the-box Ruger I have ever purchased. Oh well, time to test my skills.

I decided to use the Stainless Super Hunter grip frame again with the lower front corner straightened off. I also decided to use the Power Custom free spin pawl. I've read about how hard it is to get it right- well, it's easy compared to trying to recreate the gripframe notch for Ruger's poorly (IMHO) designed free spin pawl. Power Custom's pawl does not interface with the grip frame at all, so once it's installed there's nothing further to do. I also installed a Super Blackhawk hammer. Some filing on the pawl, stoning on the lower tooth, polishing of surfaces- and I've got a great trigger pull with timing that is spot on perfect.

Fitting the grip frame was typical, once I got a good one. The first one from Midway didn't fit right, then one direct from Ruger fit worse- finally a couple conversations with one of the Techs at Ruger and a few weeks later he found one for me that would fit. (Long story, but he dug through the parts bin and tried a bunch of gripframes on a New Vaquero frame until he found one that would fit properly. He even offered to fit it for me, but I declined. )

Lots of time was spent on the polishing wheel to get everything nice and shiny.

Grip panels are Desert Ironwood Burl from Chigs. I had them shipped unfinished and after I recontoured the front edge to my modified grip frame I decided to finish them with Danish Oil but no poly finish coat. 3 coats, soaked in then rubbed off, dried for a month and then hand polished. They feel great and are really tactile in my hand. We will see how they hold up.

I added polished stainless kibbles and bits and here she is- I think she's a beauty.

IMG_8764.jpeg

With her big sister .45-
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Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
530
Location
FL
I was going to have the same work done, i.e., have the Super Blackhawk Hunter frame fitted to a smaller cylinder frame 357Mag. From your post, I gather these are not designed to be mated, correct? (The assumption is that the Hunter grip frame is made for the full-sized cylinder frame.) BTW, thanks for sharing your experience and posting the pics.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
846
Location
Oregon
So, hopefully a short answer to questions above. The Super Hunter grip frame will fit both large and mid frame New Models. It will also fit Old Models, including Single Sixes, but you have to fabricate a trigger return spring adapter or use a trigger from RWGripframes. Heres a pic of an OM Single Six with the Super grip frame.

IMG_8419.jpeg




I originally purchased a frame from Midway and did the grip mod before trying it on the gun. Big mistake because the grip frame was mis-machined.
IMG_8621.jpeg

Midway would not take it back because of the mod I did, so I called Ruger. They had me send the gripframe in with an explanation and then sent out a replacement gripframe. But the replacement frame was just as offset at the front. (See above pic). I requested to speak with a technician who understood the issue but stated that they match the gripframe with the mainframe on a belt sander so it didn't matter. He offered to fit mine for me but I didn't like the idea of the belt sander and rebluing. At that point he advised me to return the frame he had sent to Midway for a refund ( it was unmodified so they accepted and gave me the money back.) He then told me he would hand select a gripframe off the line that would fit properly. He ended up sending me the gripframe along with 2 sets of screws at no charge. Amazing customer service! So- does Ruger sell them? I can't answer that but I'm guessing they will.

So- very important- if you do end up ordering one be sure and test fit it first and check the fitment in the area pictured. I have purchased 2 of these frames prior with no issues- but this current run of frames seems to be off.

Well, that wasn't short after all…
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
530
Location
FL
I'm very surprised that Ruger was even remotely helpful because they are notorious for maintaining the factory original configuration for all their guns regardless of the modification. If I had one with, for example, a different hammer and was sent in for different, unrelated service, it would be returned with 100% of the custom work undone and back to factory original condition. So I'm surprised you were able to engage them with this level of support. I could never do that.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,671
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
When it comes to grip frames for the Ruger SA line,, ALL of them,, the 5 screw holes are always the same. So you can mount any Ruger made grip frame to any Ruger SA out there. In fact,, due to this,, RW Grip Frames has a business selling grip frames just for the folks who want a different style of shape,, yet his equipment is set up for this screw pattern.

As for the mis-alignment,, that was a Ruger issue,, and obviously a mistake. I'm sure the gentleman he spoke with figured this out & it created a change in whatever was necessary to correct the mis-alignment.

Custom work,,, Ruger has to look at liability issues. So when it comes to non-factory modifications or parts,, they have to protect the company by returning the gun to it's original configuration.

As for buying grip frames from Ruger,, a simple check in their parts can answer that question.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
846
Location
Oregon
I'm very surprised that Ruger was even remotely helpful because they are notorious for maintaining the factory original configuration for all their guns regardless of the modification. If I had one with, for example, a different hammer and was sent in for different, unrelated service, it would be returned with 100% of the custom work undone and back to factory original condition. So I'm surprised you were able to engage them with this level of support. I could never do that.
I was actually quite surprised when the Tech offered that service. He sounded like that is something that they do on a somewhat regular basis- even referring to a pile of "take off's" that he has from when customers have a different grip frame installed.

As far as repairs go- Contender explained it perfectly.
When it comes to grip frames for the Ruger SA line,, ALL of them,, the 5 screw holes are always the same. So you can mount any Ruger made grip frame to any Ruger SA out there. In fact,, due to this,, RW Grip Frames has a business selling grip frames just for the folks who want a different style of shape,, yet his equipment is set up for this screw pattern.
Contender, you stated what I was trying to convey in a much more concise and understandable manner re: grip frame swapping. Sometimes I get too wordy…😉
 
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