Cheese-grater Black Plastic Grip Mods?

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patrick_ford

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 13, 2006
Messages
66
Location
Raleigh, NC
So, I have a .44 Special Lipsey's Blackhawk and I love it. Well, I love everything except for the grips. Even mild .44 specials kick enough to abrade my hands with those rough checkered grips. I have some grips on order, but I do not know how long they will take to get to me and I WANT TO SHOOT!

Has anyone modified their black plastic grips to try to smooth them out? How did they turn out? Are they a complete loss when all is said and done for possible re-sale?

Thanks,

Patrick
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,741
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I too didn't care for shooting my 44 spl with the factory plastics. So I just made me some smooth wooden ones. Have patience on your replacement grips, and I'd leave the factory original alone. You may need to re-install them some day & sell it or swap it.
 

gak

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,549
Location
Aridzona
Yes, as I have reported in other similar threads, mask the metal (or remove the grips) and hit them with 000 steel wool--to start with. A few minutes of rigorous "sanding" - being careful not to overdo one area vs another unless actually wanted -- will take the harshness away by knocking off the sharp points and bring them down to more acceptable levels.

Other than removing the plasticky sheen, done right they still otherwise look new. To further insure this, I carefully mask the grip border/edge as well as it is already smooth. Hit the grips longer with the 000 or escalate matters with coarser (00) wool to smooth them further.

I wouldn't worry about resale IM0. You're either - I assume - going to like the results of the above approach or replace the panels anyway. The steel wool rub down also makes the grips less "plasticky" overall by seemingly revealing a more substantial character/make-up and, to me, resulting in a higher grade "black rubber" like look and feel.

A fair amount of "rubber" actually comes off with this approach--the volume again depending on how long and what gauge wool applied. I went from thinking the grips looked ok but felt "bad" even not shooting...to really liking them in look and feel. I'm talking New Vaquero, in my case, but it's the same whether the Lipseys, current BH, SS or NV.


Edit: note that the above approach of course does proportionately take down the oval logo as well, unless you overtly stay away from or very carefully mask that as well,...but why would you keep that area "high" and sheeny new while the rest of the grip now looks less so? Still very recognizably the Ruger symbol--unless you really get carried away--to me reducing that area is no great loss.

Judging from several threads and post responses deriding the "cheap plastic" grips on the Lipseys and therefore most of the new Rugers, some, maybe most, may say why all the bother with this exercise? Answer: some actually like (at least the general idea of) Colt-like "hard rubber" grips and/or the retro FT/BH look. Although some will still not like the grips regardless what you do to them, the above approach at least makes these specific grips what they should have been to begin with. They're now more "Colt like." Regardless of SAA generation, the checkered Colts were never as harsh as the Rugers (or USFAs for that matter, although they're still "better" than the Rugers).

The above is an hour's work max, stem to stern--from masking (even if off the gun..the smooth border area) to "sanding" to checking how you like - to more fine-tune sanding. If you want to take things to the next level, you can - judiciously - get out some fine grit, then a polisher/buffer to finish off..as a Colt smith did for me to great effect on a Cimarron/Uberti antiquing project to great "1st gen" effect using factory 3rd gen eagles. You'd never know...and they look and feel great. They're not down to the "melted/no checkering left" look, but nice 'n functionally worn. But that may be beyond this, if still wanting the Ruger to look/feel new to almost new. Still an option if you don't care 'bout that but the shooting part.
 

ElrodCod

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
105
Location
Rogersville, Tennessee
I'd take a small block of wood (no bigger than 1" square) & make a sanding block with some 320 grit paper to carefully knock the points off of the checkering.
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
I'd recommend replacing them with custom or homebuilt grips. With either, you can get grips that are substantially thicker, absorbing more recoil, giving you a more comfortable shooting revolver. I made this pair based on advice and tips from CaryC, the noted custom grip maker www.clccustomgrips.com/, in his response to my pictured efforts in another thread. Regards, Rodfac
CocaBoloon44Spl2.jpg
 

gak

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,549
Location
Aridzona
Rodfac":3i3pn52a said:
I'd recommend replacing them with custom or homebuilt grips. With either, you can get grips that are substantially thicker, absorbing more recoil, giving you a more comfortable shooting revolver. I made this pair based on advice and tips from CaryC, the noted custom grip maker www.clccustomgrips.com/, in his response to my pictured efforts in another thread. Regards, Rodfac
CocaBoloon44Spl2.jpg
Gorgeous!
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
thanks GAK and about 4 hours work, thanks to CaryC's kind offer of tips on how to do it. Rodfac
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
Location
Rhode Island
I'm sorta partial to the checkered Rosewood @ $50, myself.

84214-L.jpg


Even though I've made a set of smooth woodies (below) for my NV, I think I'm gonna order out a set.

DSCN0180.jpg
 

SFRanger7GP

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Messages
17
Location
Florida
I had the same complaint with my grips. I put some OM flat top grips I found in that box of goodies everyone has at home that is full of stuff "I might need someday". They fit close and will hold me over. On my 44 anniversery model (same type grips), a weight training glove with the padded palm gives me the effect I'm looking for until I get my new grips.
 

Big Bubba

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 26, 2006
Messages
112
Location
WV
I took a knife blade, held it straight vertical and drug it across the diamonds on the grips until I could see it had knocked off all the sharp points. Then took steel wool and rubbed the grips down. You can then take an old toothbrush and clean them up. I put a buffer/polishing wheel on my Dremel tool and gave them a good shine.

Took about 20 minutes and they feel so much better.

I plan on a good set of wood grips eventually.
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
A nice thin pair of shooting gloves or gardening gloves seem to work pretty good for me
 

Pal Val

Buckeye
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
1,547
Location
S.E. PA, USA
Checkered grips - wear gloves. Smooth grips - no gloves. Simple!

The first thing I do when I buy a gun is replace the grips. They come with a "one size fits nobody" grip. I have large hands and factory grips tend not to fill it right. The only ones I shoot with small grips are the carry guns.

The only use I have for sharp checkered plastic grips is for grating parmesan cheese when camping. For shooting, my choice is smooth wood.
 

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