New Vaquero Stocks

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sjs

Single-Sixer
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Dec 22, 2016
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In another recent post I mentioned I was going to buy a stainless New Vaquero. I was having trouble locating one for sale so I punted and found a blued, 4.5" 357.

I am very happy with it, and very surprised at how nice the action and trigger are out of the box. I may get another one in stainless or I may not, this is my first Vaquero of any kind and the balance and feel are just outstanding.

My particular revolver came with black plastic stocks. I had planned on getting some nice wood stocks but this look is growing on me. I believe the original Colt SAA had black hard rubber stocks and I would like to get some like that for my Vaquero. My searches on the web have proved fruitless. It is probably not something a lot of people would want, and unlike wood I would guess they would be hard to make.

Does anybody sell hard rubber stocks for the New Vaquero?
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Apr 3, 2009
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Not that I'm aware of and I've searched for a lot of grips.

I presume you'd want them checkered like Colt's as well. There's lots of custom makers and checkered ebony look pretty close to or better than the look you seek.
 

sjs

Single-Sixer
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Dec 22, 2016
Messages
178
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Great idea Hondo44. I had not thought of ebony. I'm going to look into that.
 
Joined
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NC Ordinance was making various 'replica' grips for all makes and models, no, not really "hard rubber" that was a thing of the past ,called "gutta percha" Ruger called his "hard rubber" but was really "plasticized" , he once told us "plastic grips are for cap guns, we put hard rubber ones on our guns" 8) :roll: :wink:

closest they came was with the early RST's the grips were "butaprene" a form of rubber.... :wink:
 

gak

Buckeye
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Oct 13, 2007
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Someone feel free to correct me but, I have looked far and wide over the years and there is nobody doing the "hard rubber" (checkered polymer) Colt-type grips for the Ruger New Vaquero (midframe). There is one (*intage) that does it for the large frame (xr3 red), and they're just okay-- and that's being charitable. They don't have that nice smooth area around the screw that both the Colt and Ruger do, basically just an unfinished hole, and my two grips'--one a large/old Vaquero, the other for a Single Six--escutcheon/ screws pulled through without much provocation after just modest use. I've been told that may be because I over torqued the screws, but nevertheless (and it sure didn't take much if that was the case)... My two pairs were also or a bit porous in the quality area. (They also weren't $100+, but still...).   I mention this as a caution in case they have finally come up with a set for the mid-frame New Vaquero as well.

One trick on the stock checkered ones is to spend a good 5-10 minutes over a waste basket with 00/000 steel wool. I found it was easier to do (manipulate) with the grips actually on the gun, and carefully mask off the metal as well as the already smooth plastic parts on the grip. My aim was not to take a lot off, but enough to take some of the edge away, effectively knock the very top off of those sharp points (the Ruger checkering is more aggressive than the Colt).  I like the result, and the bonus was that it took the new plasticky sheen off so now they're a step closer to the hard rubber look, and to a degree feel. They still look brand new, not a lot different from a couple feet away but up close just like they should have from the start. Don't get me wrong, they're still as hard as a rock, but there is a certain quality to them, let's say a feeling of higher quality to the texture of the material. That may be subtle, but it's there. Some wanting to "antique" further go to the extent of actual sandpaper, depending on if you really want to take a lot of material off fast. The wool will get you there eventually as well, more elbow grease but allows you to monitor/nuance progress a bit better I think. Of course none of the above makes the grips any more hand fillling--if that is an issue with the ultra slim Rugers – as it is with a lot of folks.

The next option, and addressing that "hand filling" question, is to actually fit a pair of genuine 3rd gen Colt Eagle checkered grips, which I eventually did on one gun, an early 357 NV. If I can find a pic of mine completed, I'll post it. As Ruger intended back in the 1950s, the Xr3 profile-shape and size ("footprint" as you lay it on its side) are virtually identical between the two, with the primary difference being where they put the locating pin hole. So, I actually got a set of already modified Colt grips (haven't seen the vendor (on *bay) again but he may still be out there) and they work great. Basically they just relocated the locating pin hole and voila! (If you're handy, and take your time, you likely can duplicate that, just as that vendor did). One of my grip panels ends up being a little off - a little metal proud I forget, on the bottom chamfered area, but that does not appear to be the fault of the vendor or the Ruger gripframe (the originals fit fine) but very likely the individual vagaries of Colt grips from the factory, one just 1/32nd off of the other one. It's very possible another grip panel would fit just fine. In any event, I've decided it's good enough for me - you don't really encounter it on a regular basis. The big difference is how it fills your hands that much better. Like the OP, and I sense I'm in the minority, but I kind of like the original Ruger checkered plastics for that old timey Colt / hard rubber look, but even for my small hands they're a bit slim. I have often wondered why Ruger felt the need to reinvent the wheel, when they had the perfect grip right there in the form of the Colt. I'm sure--just as I say it--I'll hear from some that differ, but in my experience you  very seldom hear somebody that says they don't like the feel of the Colt. May or may not be an issue to you; a lot of people like the smaller (end view) profile of the Ruger anyway.

Lastly, there are a number of makers of checkered buffalo horn grips, which at first glance can (roughly) emulate the Colt look, but usually are pretty glossy and have a very hard shell feeling, and I have not had a pair to experiment doing the wool thing to see if that tones down at least the appearance. In any event, they have a completely different feel which may or may not appeal.

LATER EDIT: If you like the above (actual) Colt grip idea, but prefer the 2nd Gen/late (~1890+) 1st Gen eagle-less look, you might try one of a couple vendors out there that are selling Repro 2nd gen Colt grips. To me actual 2nd gen Colt grips in good shape are a bit pricey to mess around with. I can't personally vouche for this (repro) approach, just like I can't promise that any particular set of Colt grips will acceptably fit, but it is an idea. Note that, the "3rd Gen" Colt eagle grips actually started in the late 2nd Gen, and fairly closely emulate the look of the original Colt hard rubber / gutta-percha eagle grips from the 1880s. But, when people say 2nd Gen they usually are referring to the eagle-less ("no-eagle") checkered plastic that were stock from 1956 to the early 1970s.


Sent from my Sprint Tablet.
 

gak

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 13, 2007
Messages
1,549
Location
Aridzona
See above description
(Sorry, couldn't flip these upright)

20200704_101555.jpg


Other grip is a Colt Pachmayr I experimented with--not as good results
20200720_081210_1.jpg
 

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