SBH grip frame problem

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Joined
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Not too long ago I purchased from the Classified subforum what was described as an Old Model Super Blackhawk steel gripframe. It arrived promptly, and was/is a beautiful item, deep SBH bluing and no wear at all. Really nice one, I was pleased.

When I attempted to swap it onto one of my OM Blackhawks, I ran into a problem. The angle between the portion of the grip frame that bolts to the vertical rear portion of the gun's frame and the portion that bolts to the bottom of the gun's frame does not match the angle between those surfaces on the gun's frame. In other words, if I screw the upper rear portion down firmly onto the mating surface of the gun on either side of the hammer, there's no way I can tighten up the screws and pull the bottom portion of the grip frame including the trigger guard up into solid contact with the mating surface of the gun. Simply will not do. Same happens if I first secure the bottom portion of the grip frame, I then cannot pull the upper rear portion of the grip frame onto its mating surface on the gun. Doesn't matter how I try to start the attachment procedure; it just cannot be done. Tried it on a different Blackhawk with the same results.

I realize that the angle between those two surfaces is not an exact ninety degrees. Ruger designed the original Single-Six gun frame and the matching grip frame that became the XR3 and XR3RED grip frames way back at the beginning. Drawings of the original frame in one of Dougan's books show the included angle between the rear vertical surface of the gun's frame and the adjacent bottom surface to be eight degrees less than ninety degrees, or eighty-two degrees. As close as I can measure, the corresponding angle on the grip frame I have is closer to an actual ninety degrees, and this is what the attempts to secure the grip frame onto a gun would seem to confirm.

I'm stumped. I have another similar OMSBH grip frame that is not quite as nice as the one in question, and it is now bolted onto the gun with no problem. I'd like to use the nicer one, but there's just no way It's gonna fit. What have I fallen into here? :unsure:
 

gnappi

Blackhawk
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It sounds like you're pretty hip to the BH, and perhaps the seller will take it back?
 

G2

Hunter
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UT/AZ
What is the fit when just held on by hand? Before I install the hammer & trigger I just put it on and look at the side to side and the 5 screw holes to see if I need to adjust or if a particular screw might cause a situation. Also checking the lugs and making sure the just slide in.

If the hammer & trigger are installed sometimes they cad effect alignment.

Just thinking out loud…🧐
 
Joined
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Can't recall which member I bought this one from. I've bought more than one before with no problem.

With hammer and trigger removed, the situation is even more obvious. If I had approached it by first removing them, I'd have immediately seen the problem, but I've done this so many times before it didn't even occur to me to anticipate this mess. Usually, the only difficulty is managing to have the mainspring strut, hand spring/plunger, trigger and associated return spring/plunger all properly positioned. 😜

Sorry, but i can't do pictures.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
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Oregon
Whole lot of guessing on my part here, but could someone have modified the grip frame? Maybe trying to fit it to another gun that has a 90 degree interface? I've swapped a lot of Ruger grip frames around and I've never ran into an issue with the angle.
 
Joined
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I share your long experience with the Ruger grip frames, Randy. Never seen this before.

This one shows no sign of modification. I'm beginning to suspect (duh) that it's not a Ruger grip frame. o_O
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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I've never run into this problem with Ruger parts or heard of it either. It's difficult for me to believe the frame came from Ruger that way. So I agree with Randyzzz that only leaves one answer, something happened to the grip frame. Maybe it was tightened onto another brand gun which slightly bent the grip frame to match the angle of that non-Ruger gun. Never under estimate the power of threaded screws.

If you don't see any evidence that the grip frame angle was changed by filing which would be obvious if the bluing is messed up, then it must have been bent.

So the grip frame is junk. Can't sell it in good conscience except heavily discounted. Therefore you've got nothing or little to lose if you try to fix it.

Personally I'd be tempted to try. To move it 8 degrees isn't that much. And the screws are a built in jig. I'd oil the threads of the screws and under the cap well. But don't let the oil fill the screw holes in the frame, it won't compress! Then with all parts removed from the main frame, oil the mating frame surfaces and start all five screws evenly tight. Tighten each screw one turn and rotate to each screw. If the screws just won't tighten anymore and there's no progress, quit before snapping off a screw.
 
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Hondo44

Hawkeye
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I share your long experience with the Ruger grip frames, Randy. Never seen this before.

This one shows no sign of modification. I'm beginning to suspect (duh) that it's not a Ruger grip frame. o_O
Are there any letters or numbers cast into the grip frame? If you find any, compare them to what you find on your other SBH grip frame.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Well I just checked my Ruger grip frame chart and this is what I found:

SBH = Old model and New model steel dragoon grip frame, sq back trigger guard (1/4" longer than standard grip frames) no casting #

SBH = Early old model 'long frame' 5/32" longer than the later regular SBH dragoon frame marked with C (only ~300 made)
 
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Randy, as mentioned above I can't do pics.

Hondo, no markings at all. It looks real good, just doesn't fit. The angle in the grip frame isn't too "closed" it's too "open" . . . greater than the angle on the frame. You just can't get all four surfaces to touch at once, at all.

I suspect a "forgery".
 
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contender

Ruger Guru
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An aftermarket g/f is a very likely answer.

I bought an birdshead g/f several years ago,, thinking it was a factory Ruger one. It just went into my "spare parts" for whatever. Well a good friend needed a g/f and I sold him mine. Then he discovered it wasn't a Ruger one, and would not be what he wanted.
I had "egg on my face" for not knowing. Of course I fully refunded him and all,,, but now,, I have a g/f that is NOT what I thought it was.

It happens.
 
Joined
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Randy, as mentioned above I can't do pics.

Hondo, no markings at all. It looks real good, just doesn't fit. The angle in the grip frame isn't too "closed" it's too "open" . . . greater than the angle on the frame. You just can't get all four surfaces to touch at once, at all.

I suspect a "forgery".
Ahhh…I did read that but slipped my mind.

I too have had recent grip frame issues- a Super Hunter purchased from Midway…modified for a custom grip before I realized that the one side was cut too close. Midway wouldn't accept a return as it had been modified. They suggested calling Ruger. Ruger had me send it in and sent out another- just like it. I called and spoke with customer er service, finally asked for a technician. After asking him to grab a Hunter gripframe and mock it up on a New Vaquero, he saw the issue. Had me send the one I had back to Midway for a full refund- and then he hand picked a grip frame off the line that fit, had it rough polished and then included 2 sets of stainless screws- all for free! I got it today and it fits great. I can't say enough good things about Ruger customer service.

Anyways, I've rambled on enough and none of it helps you out anyways. But if you end up ordering a stainless Super Hunter grip frame, check it carefully.
IMG_8621.jpeg
 
Joined
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..its not a "forgery" just a frame off another ,near ,alike .of the Ruger, see this ALL the time in boxes of "gun parts" of "stuff at the shows or someone brings one up to me to look at ,see and I can tell them no thanks its NOT a "Ruger"...you can send me a picture off your phone to my email ............:unsure:;)
 
Joined
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Location
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Ahhh…I did read that but slipped my mind.

I too have had recent grip frame issues- a Super Hunter purchased from Midway…modified for a custom grip before I realized that the one side was cut too close. Midway wouldn't accept a return as it had been modified. They suggested calling Ruger. Ruger had me send it in and sent out another- just like it. I called and spoke with customer er service, finally asked for a technician. After asking him to grab a Hunter gripframe and mock it up on a New Vaquero, he saw the issue. Had me send the one I had back to Midway for a full refund- and then he hand picked a grip frame off the line that fit, had it rough polished and then included 2 sets of stainless screws- all for free! I got it today and it fits great. I can't say enough good things about Ruger customer service.

Anyways, I've rambled on enough and none of it helps you out anyways. But if you end up ordering a stainless Super Hunter grip frame, check it carefully. View attachment 39893
I've always had great service from Ruger but this looks like a QC problem. Somebody wasn't checking his parts and it slipped by QC. Either that or someone was 'sniffing' in the scrap bin.
 

TINCANBANDIT is back

Single-Sixer
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I can't imagine it being aftermarket and being that far off.
I have installed a brass grip frame from an Italian copy of a Colt and everything lined up (except for the forward hole on the front of the grip frame).
Great Western Arms is a copy of the Colt and Colt grip frames fit them, so probably not that.....maybe for a Beretta or Taurus Single Action??

Sure would be nice to see some pictures. Could you email or text pictures to one of us?
 
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rugerguy and I just thrashed this thing to death by 'phone. The simple answer is . . . it don't fit. :rolleyes: Why? Who knows? Perhaps it's a "second" that somehow got out of the factory. No real way to "fix" it that's worth attempting.

Live and learn . . . sometines you eat the bear . . . etc. 😜
 
Joined
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Messages
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I've always had great service from Ruger but this looks like a QC problem. Somebody wasn't checking his parts and it slipped by QC. Either that or someone was 'sniffing' in the scrap bin.
Initially the technician didn't see any problem- he said they just bolt them up and run them on a belt sander until they are matched. I replied that the serial number would be gone by the time they took that much off…he offered to fit the frame to my Vaquero but I obviously declined- the thought of a lopsided main frame was unacceptable. It was then that he grabbed a part out of the bin and realized the gravity of the problem. He tried to find me a pre-fit takeoff. Evidentially there's people who have Ruger swap the Hunter for an XR3-RED. No take offs were in the bin so he told me to be patient and he'd find something. A week later he calls to let me know he found this one and was having it cleaned up for me. A few days later- here it is!

Ale-8(1) I'm sorry I hi-jacked your thread. ☹️I will say that if you already have a frame that fits but is ratty, maybe polish it up and have it blued, or Cerakoted? Or leave it polished, I like the 2tone look myself.

If you don't mind spending the $$$, RW Gripframes can make a Super Gripframe in just about any configuration. Or any other frame style that you can imagine. They only do aluminum ($300) or brass ($350) but the fit is spot on. He can supply rough fit grip panels too, and fit the whole shebang to your gun for $150 last I checked. I've done several of his frames and have a couple more on order- they are amazing. He also makes awesome rear sight blades and has a line of hammers and triggers coming out.
 
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Joined
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No problem, Randy. ;)

The grip frame I have on there now isn't "ratty" it's just an older one with the usual fading in the bluing, no abuse or damage.

Before I tried the "problem child" I had a New Model SBH grip frame on there, using the little adapter for the trigger return spring/plunger. Worked fine. I may very well just go back to it, or the original-equipment XR3-RED grip frame. It's in fine shape. This whole thing was just an episode of playng with grip options, not a necessity for either appearance or function.

The hassle is just a reminder that you may not always get what you expect when you buy "pieces parts". 😜
 
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