Ruger OM Flattop with Stag Grips

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900ss0_0

Bearcat
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As many stated, nice stag grips look great on the old flattops and have a nice feel. All my flattops have at least two sets of grips, one original set and one being a nice antique stag set. None are factory stag sets and none were cheap.
Factory stags are great too, if you can find them. Some of factory stag grips will even have the factory price written on back in the $20 range if memory serves me. Many of the factory stag were from the early 60’s, not sure they were offered in the 50s, and were purchased separately by an owner regardless of the age of their flattop.
As for value, with the exception of very rare models and serious collectibles, it’s what you felt it was worth at the time you bought it. I often, so called ‘over paid’, because I simply liked it. In time, most decent guns go up in value due to inflation and or scarcity.
You have a piece, enjoy its beauty and have fun!
 

weaselmeatgravy

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Factory stags were $8.50 and ivory were $16.50. They were only ever offered for XR3 frame revolvers, which were only sold into 1962. But I think the stag and ivory may have been discontinued even before 1962. Maybe 1958 or 1959. They were not made by Ruger but for Ruger through several suppliers and there was a lot of breakage and inconsistency, so it was more trouble than WBR needed.

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900ss0_0

Bearcat
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No wonder I couldn’t recall, I was only a year old.
Thanks for the old Ruger pricing sheet!
 

chet15

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IMO having worked in a couple firearms mfg'rs , doing several hundred of anything you build a drill jig..especially when they are going to be attached to a part (GripFrame) that has little variance.
(Welder, Machinist, Fabricator, 46yrs)
Exactly!!
Whether Ruger's stag and ivory medallions holes were drilled by the factory or whether they were drilled by any of the three or four grip manufactures has been a point of mystery for decades.
I have my own opinion and I think most folks know that opinion... but doesn't matter much when every pair of stag and ivory that somebody has purchased for their collection had the blessings of another collector before they bought them.
The biggest problem with drilling holes in ivory for example is that those holes have to be precise because when you stake a medallion at the back you run the risk of busting an expensive pair of ivory. This is probably why Ruger never fooled with mother of pearl to a commercial extent, because those were even more susceptible to breakage than ivory. The goal of setting a medallion would be to have a flush surface on top, flush with the top of the medallion, which to me means the grips have to be a certain thickness for one. Drill a hole from the top and another from the bottom at the same time, you need perfection with that because too thick at the stem area, you bust the grip when staking the medallion, too thin and you have potential for the medallion rotating, or the top of the medallion being above the surface of the grip, or the stem making contact with the grip frame below.
Next.... again, whether the manufacturer of the stag and ivory or Ruger themselves actually "free handed" the drilling of the medallion holes is pretty silly if you ask me. A precision manufacturer such as Ruger freehanding anything on a lathe or milling machine??? In a professional machine shop setting? My opinion... NO WAY!
So then lets say ruger had the vendor of the stag and ivory cut the holes for the medallions and insert those as well. Would they free hand the medallions on a product before they are able to send sellable product to Ruger?
I had somebody tell me once that Ruger had all kinds of profit in their stag and ivory and could afford to lose a few pair here and there. That was absolutely "NOT" the case! Ruger purchased their ivory sets for $8.10 to $8.25 a set with distributor cost being $9 a set (a profit of .75 to .90 cents). Stag were purchased from vendors for $4.25 a set and the jobber price was $5 a set, a profit of .75 cents a set. I have zero idea why anybody would be foolish enough to free hand medallion holes on stag and ivory when doing so would probably break the bank. What does anybody think WBR's mindset would be on that matter?
I do know, and have verified, that the very first six pair of ivory grip panels Ruger purchased from a vendor was from J. L. Galef, for six pair of ivory. The invoice for these six pair states something to the effect "with medallions installed". Those six pair of ivory are absolute perfection from a manufacturing sense... and from pics look identical in every way. These six pair were assembled to the six "letter" prototype Single Sixes A through F because the grip molding machinery wasn't yet ready for Ruger's checkered hard rubber panels.
I have also verified from an individual that none of the other invoices from the other stag and ivory vendors say anything else about medallions, installed or boo. How can that be interpreted? I don't know. But for what its worth.... its all "TABOO" to discuss everybody's opinion about what factory stag and ivory should look like anyway.
Chet15
 
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900ss0_0

Bearcat
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The answer would have been simple enough for Ruger at the time. Have them made by others but don’t install the Ruger medallions on the ivory or stag grips. Identify them as Ruger on the back of the grips. The guns already had the Ruger logo. Just a beautiful set of unadulterated natural grips to enhance your flattop.
 

chet15

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The answer would have been simple enough for Ruger at the time. Have them made by others but don’t install the Ruger medallions on the ivory or stag grips. Identify them as Ruger on the back of the grips. The guns already had the Ruger logo. Just a beautiful set of unadulterated natural grips to enhance your flattop.
In my opinion, If WBR would have found it cheaper for the grip vendor to install the medallions he would have had them do that. If WBR would have found it cheaper for the medallion holes to be installed at the Ruger factory and then installed, he would have done that. WBR definitely counted his pennies when it came to production costs.
Chet15
 
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