OM Blackhawk grip frame options

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zipdog

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
19
This subject has probably been addressed countless times, but I hope someone can condense it for me. I have a 1970 vintage OM .357 Blackhawk that was recently converted to .44 spl by Alan Harton. What are my grip frame options, should I decide to change?

Thanks...
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Just about anything you can dream of can be "made to happen". It's not much of a chore to adapt the New Model style of grip frame to your OM .357.

Here's a little Pictorial Essay I made that shows the procedure.

Click Here

flatgate
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,167
And it really, really works!!

Plus, as an unexpected benefit, the resulting slight change in the geometry results in a somewhat lighter trigger pull. Bonus!

:)
 

zipdog

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
19
thanks, guys, that's real nice, but what about stock frames, such as the steel Old Army, etc. that will fit without modification?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,167
The steel Old Army, Super Blackhawk, and the brass "dragoon" grip frames MAY fit your gun, but they require fitting when originally installed. If you buy a new one (good luck) it will need to be fit and finished. If you buy a used one, it will have already been fit to a gun before and may not fit your gun without some work.

:)
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Were it me, I'd seriously consider Power Custom's Colt SAA-style two piece steel grip frame. It will take a trip back to Harton for proper fitting and refinishing but the result will be without peer. I find the XR3/SAA grip profile to be mucho superior to the XR3-RED.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,167
Craig brings up a point.

The old original XR3 aluminum grip frame is a possibility here. It is possible to get one re-anodized to essentially original appearance, and allow you to use original-issue "hard rubber" or walnut grip panels with the classic "blackbird" medallions.

:)
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Expect to spend $75-$150 for an original XR3 grip frame. I got three last year to retrofit my post-`62 Old Models. While I've never used the stuff on a grip frame, Brownells Aluma-Hyde II has been great on my 10/22. It could also be polished bright or bead blasted bare. That would definitely be a good option and one you could explore without the expense of a gunsmith.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,167
Careful shopping can get one for less, although the condition may or may not suit you. If you're willing to re-finish one, they are available.

I bought one right here last week for considerably less than $75.

Has the Aluma-Hyde proven to be resistant to gun oil and powder solvents? I have this grip frame . . .

;)
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Don't know. The rifle in question was a "tactical" build rather handily "encased" in a Tapco stock and although it has several thousand rounds through it since refinishing I have yet to clean it. It has, however, proven to be very resistant to dings and scratches, still looks great. Moreso than expected. The heavily handled parts show no signs of wear to the finish. As usual, careful prep work will pay off in spades.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Back to the OP's question.

As CraigC mentioned, the aftermarket industry has produced Ruger compatible grip frames for years.

Here's a brass XR3-RED on a OM Single-Six.
44617215.jpg


This pair of shooters sport the same grip frame as pictured above...
112875649.jpg


Here's a S.G. marked brass Super Blackhawk style that's configured in the New Model style (easily adapted to OM, though.)
322641732.jpg


Back in the late '60's/early '70's Ruger sold brass Super Blackhawk grip frames, too.
162714765.jpg


A company in California made brass Ruger Grip Frames back in the late '80's.

There was an outfit in the Carolina's, I think, making Brass Bird's Head grip frames and then, of course, there's Ron Power's style....

ColtSABackStrap1_med.jpg


flatgate
 

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