Old Model 357 #7163 Grip question

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glennont

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
9
I purchased a 3 screw 357 s#7163, but the old model grips do not fit it. New model grips do! I purchased two sets of hard plastic grips for the OM, and they fit my other OM revolvers but not this one! Is it different purposely? Is it an different grip frame, Vaquero?
 

BlackEagle

Blackhawk
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
882
The grips for that gun would be different than most Old Models. The gripframes changed to the xr3-red awhile after your gun was made.
 

americal

Hunter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,174
Look at the grip frame on the inside left side--- I believe & see if it is stamped XR3 as it should be--later o.m. had XR3-RED stamped on it--- so grips will not fit that early Flattop gun even if om grips :!: the two sizes can be confusing A bunch of Questions need ans. on your gun--- someone may have changed your grip frame---- but sounds like you need to try a set of the black rubber grips with the blackhawk emblem :) may the big guys help out :!: you will get it figured out--- just hold on.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,777
Welcome to the Forum........sounds like an "XR-3 RED" frame has been installed, this would account for the new model grips fitting and the OMs not..........can never tell just "who (whom) may have changed it, maybe a lot of reasons......................can always seek an 'original' XR-3 and put it back to 'stock'...OR buy another one, with a NICE grip frame and the rest of the gun is so-so, and swap them out.....your call
 

glennont

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
9
You guys are right, the grip frame was changed out. The stamping is XRN-3 and it has the swoop in the grip, too bad.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,171
You have an XRN-3 grip frame on a three-screw Blackhawk??

Interesting. That's the New Model grip frame that happens to be shaped like the original XR3-RED frame. Ruger did not do us any favors with the new numbers.

So are we absolutely sure this is a "three screw" gun? What exactly does it say on the left side of the main frame just below the cylinder? Is 7163 the entire serial number?

Is the trigger return spring within a little plunger right behind the trigger, or is it a two-legged affair that comes thru into the upper area of the grip frame behind and below the hammer?

A picture would sure help.

:) :) :)
 

americal

Hunter
Joined
Feb 19, 2009
Messages
2,174
glennont--you have a good Ruger :) if condition is pretty good you can put WTB in classifieds---- want to buy XR3 grip frame if you want to :) put it back to org. your call :) but Flattops are fine guns worth fixing back just my taste --But you have a hard to fine gun--be :D
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,171
That's what it would be if it's a .357 Blackhawk with that serial number, likely made in late 1956.

If it is correct as numbered, the XRN-3 grip frame would fit the gun, but some provision would have had to be added to fit the trigger return spring . . . like one of Flatgate's "adapter blocks".

Awaiting further info from glennot.

:)
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,777
pictures, pictures....close up preferred.....yikes, a "new, new model" grip frame on a 357 flatop, "old model"...(or is it an anniversary gun??)
the suspense is awesome................oh well, back to the basketball game, Butler just beat Mich.ST.............now gotta see if W.Va. can pull it off.......

stay tuned for more of... "As the cylinder turns, another day of our lives on the Ruger Forum...."
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,672
The last type of grip frame for the Ruger Old Army was adaptable to the NM type with trigger return spring. Just smart engineering on Ruger's part. I guess I don't remember any of those being in aluminum though. Thought the change came about when Ruger went to steel on the OA grip frame.
Chet15
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Chet15, I'm confused by your statement. Huh?

Back to the OP's question;

Early Old Army revolvers have aluminum XR3-RED grip frames that are identical to the frames used on the Old Models from late '62 until the advent of the New Model's in '73. Skinny trigger slots were the norm.

When Ruger decided to change the Old Army to a steel grip frame the design was modified to include a wide trigger.

A casting mark will usually be evident that will offer a clue to the grip frame's metallurgical pedigree. "A" for carbon steel, "K" for stainless steel and, IIRC, no mark for aluminum. (I'm too lazy to run downstairs to the dungeon and look.)

Now, the gun in question, being a '50's produced .357 Flattop would have been shipped with the aluminum XR-3 unless it was one of those "odd balls" that got shipped late, after the change over to XR3-RED, however, the appearance of the "N" letter in the grip frame certainly labels it as a New Model part. It's quite easy to make an adaptor to carry the OM trigger spring and plunger assembly within the trigger slot of the New Model grip frame. One quick clue as to the presence of the adaptor would be the angle of the trigger spring and plunger. FACTORY work is done via an angled hole so the drill bit does not contact the trigger guard. The Adaptor has it's spring and plunger hole drilled prior to installation so the hole is "straight".

We need some images of this thread's grip frame..... :D

flatgate
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,672
When the Old Army got its steel grip frame, the first one we got had a grip frame that was adaptable to either OM (the Old Army) or NM. Ruger just added the spot on the upper inside web to attach the NM trigger return spring. Maybe they didn't make the last of them that way???
Point is....Ruger made so few Old Armys that I think they at least wanted to make the change so that the OM (Old Army) and NM grip frame were adaptable with each other.....why cast two different components when you could cast one component that would work for both?
All Ruger had to do was either drill the trigger return/plunger hole for the OA, or the small coil spring hole in the upper inside web of the grip frame for the NM.
Will be taking pics again shortly, so I'll get a pic.
If somebody takes the grips off their newer production Old Army, you should see the "extra" metal that was put on that inner webbing to make them adaptable for either/or (OM/NM).
Chet15
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,171
Sure would like some good pictures.

I'm visualizing an Old Model XR3-RED-sorta-like grip frame with the addition of the New Model spring pivot/anchor holes added. The question would be "why" since the grip frame couldn't be used on a New Model because there wouldn't be room for a New Model trigger.

Or are you saying the grip frames were just cast with a place to drill these holes when required? That could work for a New Model application, but in addition the area above/behind the trigger area (where the Old Model trigger return spring/plunger hole is) would have to be machined away to make room for the New Model trigger.

Now, if they made the grip frame just like a New Model but also supplied an Old Model trigger spring/plunger adapter . . .

;)
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,672
Ale-8(1)":1ewupzzt said:
Sure would like some good pictures.
The question would be "why" since the grip frame couldn't be used on a New Model because there wouldn't be room for a New Model trigger.

This is a simple milling operation. There is no trigger slot when they are cast.
I'll have to get it dug out and get some pics.
Chet15
 

glennont

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
9
I will get a photos up as soon as my wife gets home. The S# is 7163. The only other stampings on the grip frame are a A on the left inside and a T inside a circular depression on the right. It was returned to the factory for the transfer bar. The trigger itself seems a little thicker and wider than my OM 44 mag. S#17053. The information on the left side below the cylinder says 'RUGER .357 CAL. BLACKHAWK the Ruger logo and the reg. mark. The plunger is right behind the trigger and drilled at an angle. It is a Flat Top. Unfortunately it was also re-blued at the factory and only the gate remains Plum in color.

You guys are great. I own 7 Ruger SA's and this is the first time I've ever had a need for information. Wow, I'm so impressed with the community here.
 

BlackEagle

Blackhawk
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
882
glennont, when you say the trigger is a bit different, do you mean it looks like the one in this picture? I have been trying to figure out what trigger this is.

standard.jpg
 

glennont

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Messages
9
jfmcco, I held the revolver up at the same angle and it looks quite similar. Generally larger than the OM 44, the NM SBH, and has no gusset shape above it like the rest of my SA's.
 

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