Ruger OM Flattop with Stag Grips

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BorderGuard

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Today at a gun show, I purchased a Ruger Flattop Blackhawk with stag grips. I know the factory stag grips add some value to the revolver but I also know that there are no markings or anything to discern whether or not they are actually factory. I'm hoping some of you can take a look at the below pictures and give an opinion on the authenticity of the stag grips. Serial number is in the 6600's. Any information you can provide is appreciated and let me know if you need more pictures.
Ruger Flattop 1.jpg
Ruger Flattop 2.jpg
Ruger Flattop 3.jpg
Ruger Flattop 6.jpg
Ruger Grip Panels 1.jpg
Ruger Grip Panels Back 1.jpg
Ruger Grip Panels Back 2.jpg
Ruger Flattop 7.jpg
 

contender

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In my limited education on factory stags,, these are not real 1950's-1960's era stags. The backside,, where the medallions are supposed to be staked,, they aren't. And the cuts for them,, look a little "off" in my opinion.
The front side of the medallions appear to be too nice & sharp. Kinda like the newer medallions.
And lastly, the screw insert pieces,, may be the wrong type.

I CAN BE WRONG!
 

hittman

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A factory letter would likely be required to convince most folks.
I can’t recall any thread here over the years where folks were in agreement that a pair of stags actually were factory issue.

May have happened ….. but these unicorns are elusive! :ROFLMAO:
 

BorderGuard

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Thanks for the responses. This is my 2nd go around with the Ruger Stag grips, In 2014 I facilitated the transfer of a friend of mine who was receiving a Flattop from his former sister-in-law. His brother had purchased it new in 1956, and was killed in n auto accident in the 60's. His former wife thought the brother should have his revolver and lo and behold, when I posted on this same forum about the stag grips on that one, his revolver turned out to be one of the rare Ross Variations:


I found out at that time, that authenticating whether or not they were shipped from the factory with the stag grips was near impossible, because even if the grips were ordered at the time of purchase, they were not installed on the revolver at the factory, but they were shipped in the box along with the revolver wearing the black plastic factory grips. In the case of my friend, he had both sets of grips for his revolver so there's a good chance his came from the factory. By the time I posted my question back then, he had already picked up the revolver so I didn't have the chance to take the grips off and get pictures of the back side. I will get in touch with him and do a comparison with mine.

Contender believes these grips are not factory and I absolutely respect his opinion and will not argue with that because what I know about these grips is pretty much stated above and he has way more experience than me. I did find a thread from 2011 that explained the different medallions. This is what was stated:

Its a long list, but here goes.
1. Red Eagle, two piece medallion - 1949-1950.
2. Red Eagle, thin one piece medallion - 1950 - March 1952.
3. Black Eagle, thin medallion - March 1952-about 1953.
4. Black Eagle, thick medallion (pre-1966 style..skinny feathers), brushed surface, 1953 to 1954 or so.
5. Same, with chromed surface. 1954 to mid 1966.
6. Black Eagle, thick feathers - 1966 to 1971.
7. Black eagle, neckfeathrs - 1966-1967.
8. Silver Eagle, highly polished (also called squashed chickens) 1971 to about early 1975.
9. Silver Eagle, poorly plated (or not plated at all) 1975 to 1976.
10. Silver Eagle, nicely plated (or maybe its the raw material used that makes it look good?).
11. Silver Eagle, SR, red background (First used with Ruger's 50th Anniversary .22 pistol in 1999. Then after 1999 all of Ruger's .22 pistols were assembled with red background medallions).
12. Silver Eagle, R, black background. New in 2010.
13. Silver Eagle, SR, red background. New in 2010.
14. Current black eagle...used on special Ruger SA models today, and very close to the 1966-1971 type Black Eagle medallion. First used with the 50th Anniversary .357 Blackhawk in 2005.


So, it appears that my grips do have the correct medallions with the polished chrome and black skinny feather eagle used from 1954 to 1966, right? If that is correct, it still gives me hope, but I will definitely get in touch with my buddy and compare the backside of our grips.

Here's a few pics I took of his revolver in 2014:


Bill's Ruger 1.jpg
Bill's Ruger 5.jpg
Bill's Ruger 3.jpg
 
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I have to disagree, I like them when they are off, and NOT "Perfectly' measured and "faked staked", to make them LOOK like what some feel they should be....the hole bottom looks flat, NOT angled ( drilled with a drill bit)
so many variations..........NIce gun !!!;):cool:
 

hittman

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I’ve seen folks talk about not only WHICH medallions but also WHERE they’re located ( too far front, back, up or down ) and HOW they’re attached.

I have NO clue but as a DOUBLE action guy it’s sure fun to watch and learn of all the possibilities and opinions. (y)
 

contender

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Medallion style is always a good discussion. But one of the things that make me believe they aren't factory,, is the lack of staking marks on the backside.
And look at the set from the Ross gun. Notice the center of the medallions is missing paint. This was due to them flaking over time, because of the staking causing the paint to become weak there.
Heck, medallions & especially their placement has caused a LOT of collectors to have lively discussions over the years.
And the brass hardware, one side is a bit "proud" of the stag. Not a common thing. I checked my (2) pair of stag grips to see how they were done. Neither set has the brass poking out like the one panel shown.

But you are correct in how rare it is to get the factory to have the records of a gun being SHIPPED with a set of stags or ivory. A factory letter wouldn't likely show that. There wasn't a separate model designation at that time to signify such differences.

And back to the medallions. In the last several years,, Ruger has re-introduced the "old style" black eagle medallions on several models. It's POSSIBLE that someone used these to make a set of grips.

If I were to be purchasing those grips,, I'd NOT give a premium over normal stags. As they like to say; "Buy the gun, not the story!"

Again, just my humble opinion & I can always make a mistake.
 

contender

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Dan posted as I was typing.
He's correct in how the hole is on the backside. A mill was used instead of a drill bit. As it was done originally.
I seem to recall either a discussion or reading somewhere that Ruger had a special mill bit that drilled the 2 stage hole in one operation.
 

BorderGuard

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You mention the holes being "off". I was told by an uninvolved individual that with the earlier stag grips, the medallions were not real standard because they were done by hand, not machine. Does anyone know if that was the case?
 
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BorderGuard

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Dan posted as I was typing.
He's correct in how the hole is on the backside. A mill was used instead of a drill bit. As it was done originally.
I seem to recall either a discussion or reading somewhere that Ruger had a special mill bit that drilled the 2 stage hole in one operation.
So you feel the holes were correctly done? And what is meant by the holes being "staked"?
 
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yes, that was the case all too often and another was at times when they were staked , if done TOO hard. they broke or chipped , one reason so many "pairs" back then were 'mismatched'.....too bad we KNOW of so many back in the day who "faked" stags and ivories over time there are more out there than the factory EVER had done..........another problem for the grip makers I and I knew some of them) was when there was TOO much 'bark' or too think, they had to cut, slope downward from the middle to the front edge so as to allow for the medallion to sit "flush"...........AND all to often when TOO Much bark, hurt the shooters hands, they sanded( Polished them down, removing lots of the 'bark')...bottom line is one can tell "newer" stags as the material ,so called 'Sanbar' stag the diet of the deer was not the same as in the old days, and the newer grips are whiter, brighter, LESS "dark" an d mostly came from overseas ( asia) from what we were told by the owner of Ajax grip company ( first time around) changed hands , and now out of business...........
I was furtunate over the years of doing RUgers to have handled, seen and looked as well as measured dozens and dozens at any ONE time) maybe Gary ( Jussbad) only guy I know of who has had ,seen MORE !!!!
the other three are dead and gone now.........
wish I had a nickel for every pair of grips, stags and ivory, that I have measured off of Rugers, displayed guns at all the Ruger theme shows over the years across the country, since the late 1970s....look at the books and any and all pictures you ever come across, easy to figure out KNOWING the medallion is exactly 1/2 inch......do the math...........:cool::rolleyes:;)
 
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BorderGuard

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Dan posted as I was typing.
He's correct in how the hole is on the backside. A mill was used instead of a drill bit. As it was done originally.
I seem to recall either a discussion or reading somewhere that Ruger had a special mill bit that drilled the 2 stage hole in one operation.
I'm getting confused, which is actually quite common. Are you saying that the factory holes should be flat on the inside, or rounded?
 
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no the hole that is drilled for the medallions was originally using a polited (sic) or step drill, much like a Forstner bit, the bottom of the step is FLAT not a taper like if done with a simple drill bit that has an angle, comes to a point........so when the stem of the medallion is staked, it does NOT push it down and into the angle, letting the medallion come out a bit, much like if the 1/2 inch hole ( pocket) for the medallion itself, was NOT drilled deep enough again, sticking put ( raised slightly)....most of the "fakes" aftermarket stags that had medallions put in them , would be sloppy holes, , not staked, some even just glued in place, and YES< the placement almost too "exact" and over time there has been a difference in the set back (down and in) for the medallions.
Yes, the plastic ones were "exact" as they were "molded" with the holes in place.....and yes a simple jig would have been used by the grip companies for "speed" and ease.....;)
 

weaselmeatgravy

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It's a nice package for sure. But I don't think the grips are factory either.

The butt does not appear as angled or beveled like the factory grips.

And the medallion staking looks incorrect. The factory staking left a cross pattern on the stud, which I don't see here.

The gun at 66xx has the possibility of being a scarce transition. I can see the base pin and ejector rod button are not Type 1, but I think the front sight is, although the pics don't show it very well. So that is something to investigate. The guns should letter as 1956 but the trigger looks incorrect for the serial number, although those triggers started not long after in 1957, so a letter could shed some light on the parts changes if it shipped late.
 

jyo

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Love real stag grips on a single-action Ruger or Colt---used to buy such grips for $45 way back when... Ruger's with FACTORY stag grips are another thing altogether---endless arguing over ir\f they are "real" or not...
I'm just a regular guy who loves stag grips on guns and knives...!
 

BorderGuard

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If the type 1 sight is the squiggly lines, this sight does have them.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get the chance to compare the grips with my friends stag grips.I will post pics of the two sets of grips side by side.

If these are not factory grips, any guess on value of the grips? I don't think I got hurt too bad on price, but I think I definitely paid on the higher end at $1200.
 
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