Why flat bottom grips on single actions?

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Bisley Bud

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
20
I have been looking at the grips on Cary's web page. I notice many of them are flat bottom style. Is there a comfort advantage to be had or is it just for looks?
 

41 mag fan

Single-Sixer
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Dec 6, 2005
Messages
306
Location
omaha NE
A lot of people like the flat bottom to the grip because it fills the hand better then the tapered grip. Steve
 

gak

Buckeye
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Oct 13, 2007
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Aridzona
My understanding is that you can "have it your way" with most grip makers. I much prefer the traditional chamfer which better accommodates pinky-under gripping for a lot of folk. With my smallish hands I can go three fingers up also with such a design, depending on the load, mode and mood of the moment,...so I like the flexibility--it works both ways for me. Given that it works for me functionally, I like the beveled look better anyway. To each their own.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
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Aug 20, 2006
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soda springs, idaho
I sell at least 20 to 1 flatbottom stocks over the tapered stocks. Putting the little finger underneath seems to be very uncomfortable for most. It puts a little bit of strain on your ring finger doing it that way & also, for me at least puts a little added tension on the thumb.
Just hold your hand up without a gun in it in the normal position, now move the little finger where it would be underneath, you'll feel the tension added. All of us that make stocks will get them to you any way you choose.

Dick
 

pvtschultz

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Messages
553
Location
West Allis, WI, USA
I'll agree with sixshot. I've now made 351 pairs of grips and only one of them had a beveled bottom. I do get asked from time to time but the order never seems to go through. My hands are large (wide) enough to confortably tuck my little finger under the grip frame but I've since switched my personal Blackhawk to the Super Blackhawk dragoon grip frame which has plenty room for all three fingers to grip. With lighter "cowboy" loads, you can wrap your hand up higher on the XR3-RED grip frame to fit all three fingers. I did this for timed shooting events and you end up with more of a push down your arm instead of a muzzle flip recoil. You'll tear the webbing up of your thumb doing this with steam rollers though...
 

Bisley Bud

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
20
Thank you for your input. I do have small hands. Size 9 glove. I can comfortably get all four fingers on the grip of the factory issue bevel bottom style. So for me then it may be a matter of preference.
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
I've always been a 'pinkie under' shooter...like 40 yrs of doing it that way. I've also made half a dozen grips for my Ruger Flat Tops to replace the cheese graters that came as standard. All have been slant grips except one pair that I am experimenting with.

Consistency of grip is a very big contributor to shooting groups. I've always found that mine drift vertically as a rule when I get sloppy with my grip. I concentrate on that aspect...a firm consistent grip, and that 'pinkie under' helps me position my hand in the same place, shot to shot. It does just that, but can hurt with heavy recoil or a grip with sharp edges, as the gun rotates in recoil.

With the full, flat bottomed grips, I find it harder to get the same placement shot to shot. Now that's me...and my hands... and 40 yrs of doing it that way. CaryC, the Pvt and most of the professional grip makers will tell you that the bulk of their business is Flat Bottomed. That says a lot...must be significant...as the guy who goes out and customizes his hand guns is generally not a 50 rds per year shooter. In a word, the experienced guys are buying Flat Bottomed grips! As I said before...my experimenting continues...

One last thought and its applicable to both types of grips. When using two hands, I've found that the weak hand, without conscious effort will exert add'l pressure to the grip...and that leads to unexplained group shifts. It's something I focus on, and it's a part of any pistol instruction I pass on to new or inexperienced shooters.

Below is a pic of my two handed grip...easy to increase pressure as the left hand fingers grip tighter or my knees squeeze tighter, especially with the Magnums. It's also my load development position. Sandbags don't work for me...and this one is a dead ringer for my deer stand position. A "cupped" weak hand position might minimize the add'l gripping tendency and its group shifting effect.
PC030579.jpg


Just some thoughs, and hope I haven't hi-jacked this thread...no intent there...Rodfac
 

gak

Buckeye
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Oct 13, 2007
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Aridzona
Hey Carl, just to be different and to keep you from getting bored, you'll soon be getting an order from me for your second set of beveled grips--holly in this case :) I'm actually surprised at that ratio. I wonder how many just don't think about/don't spec one way or the other; then when they get them they work well enough that the issue doesn't come up. I've got four regular shooting buddies. Three of the four have (ordered) the bevel on "custom" or at least aftermarket grips--the other didn't think/care one way or another. The subject has come up. I usually don't ask another man the size of his hands or glove - ha - but they all must be undersized gents like me in that department,... but none have struck me as being particularly so. Like me, though, I am oversize otherwise :) so you usually wouldn't guess.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
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Dixie
Folks just like what they like.
Aside from a stinkin' Uberti (of all things), I know of exactly no company or grip manufacturer that can/will copy the original Colt SAA wooden grip profile. Not even when you ask them to. And apparently, Colt can no longer do it either.
About the closest I've come was striking a deal with one of our forum members to try and copy the old XR3 Ruger profile. And try he did. But I still had to fidgit with them to fit and when they finaly did, the alignment holes had to filled/relocated and screw holes no longer lined up.

I'm not a wood worker but good grief, how hard can this be?

DGW
 

J Miller

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 30, 2000
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977
Location
Not in IL anymore ... :)
The flat bottomed grips have been around for ever. They are nothing new.
As others have said it's a personal thing. I've never had a set on a gun, but I have a set that needs a gun and when that happens I'll know.

Watch some of John Waynes old movies and you'll see quite a variety of grip shapes, many of them flat bottomed.
Then go to the Hondo picture thread scroll down and look at the Fort Apache pic. Compare John Wayne's hands to Henry Fonda's, Wayne's hands are huge.
He could make use of the extra wood at the bottom of the grip.

Personally I can't see how a flat bottomed set of grips would help me, but as I said I've not had a set to play with.

Joe
 

J Miller

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 30, 2000
Messages
977
Location
Not in IL anymore ... :)
DGW,

You've seen the pics of my OM BH with the XR3 grip frame and Cary Chapman's American Holley grips I'm sure. Well it took him two tries to get them right.
I sent the first set back because they were too flat on the sides, no curve and didn't quite fit the grip frame right.
I ended up sending him the grip frame with a set of factory walnut grips to get what I have now.
So maybe it's not as easy as we'd think. I know I'm lousy with wood.

And you're right, the grips on my Uberti Cattleman are really nice. Significantly smaller than Rugers XR3-RED and much more comfortable to shoot with.

Joe
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
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5,197
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West Tennessee
I'm pickier than most and after much, much trial and error here's what works for me. I use the pinky-under hold for all plowhandles be it Colt SAA or replica, Ruger XR3, XR3-RED and prefer a beveled bottom on those. I keep all four fingers on my Colt and Ruger Bisleys and Colt 1860's and prefer flat bottoms on those.

For my purposes, most factory grips are atrocious, especially Rugers. I also like for my grips to be a little thicker at top than factory grips with very little taper towards the bottom and nicely rounded. The thin grips that most seem to prefer simply do not work for me.
 

Colonel Daddy

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 5, 2005
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1,473
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Piney Woods of Northwest Florida
As has been pointed out, over and over........It depends.
Hand size, what's comfortable, what hold is most repeatable(which I think is the most important factor in handgun accuracy), how long you've been shooting and how your hands have changed over the years. It's always pinky under for me, even on the Dragoon grip frame. But I don't shoot Hotrod .44's or .454's either!
Pinky under is the most comfortable, repeatable for ME.
Won a set of Elk Stag grips on auction several years ago and they were flat bottom. Finished them to fit my grip frame but the flat bottoms had to go, thus I beveled them!
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,565
Location
Butte, MT
I really like the following style for me. These are Bear Paw Grips. The flat bottom just feels great with my small short fingered hands.


BH_backstrapBearPaw.jpg


compared to these

BH_backstrapOriginal.jpg


Side view...

My45sGripsSandedandFitted.jpg
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
Messages
691
Location
Kentucky
Great photos Boxhead...I'd like to build a pr on that general contour...what size hands do you have.. L or M when you buy work gloves? Rodfac
 
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