MkII Grip ideas? (Ebony? Buffalo? Purpleheart? Add silver inlay?)


September 21, 2006, 02:03 AM
So, having decided that the Ruger MkII is my favorite gun of all time, I've decided to spruce it up a bit. Since I'm very pleased with it, I'm loathe to change anything mechanical (though I would like to replace the plastic trigger with metal for durability reasons, any recommendation on which replacement trigger?).

The grips seem the easiest thing to change, especially as I hate the cheesy plastic grips.

I had almost decided to go with American Elk, and wrote Antler Crafts of Oregon for an estimate. Unfortunately, the owner/maker suffered a stroke several months back, and his wife is only selling his current stock for the time being. God grant he recover for his family's sake.

Thought about Spresser, whose work I like and have on my Sistema 1911, but he doesn't have Bone blanks large enough, and I'm not keen to spring for Giraffe or Ivory.

So I thought that the darker materials would look really spiff: Ebony, Buffalo Horn, or Purpleheart.

Does Ebony add too much weight? Does Buffalo break easily, or look too plastic? Purpleheart would be really cool, as I've almost never seen purpleheart grips, but have owned musical instruments where it's used for accent work. Definitely distinctive.

The gripmaker Esmerelda works in purpleheart and does MkII, but her gear runs about $99 a pop. Any other suggestions, or is her reputation for quality well-deserved? She's at, I've seen her work in some gun rags.

One further question: does anyone know who does silver inlay for grips? I know that one neopagan THR member has the pagan star done in silver in his SP101 grips. I'd like to have the Southern Cross constellation done in silver on my grips, since I served with the 1st Marine Division. Thanks much for any leads on such. I have a luthier buddy (musical instrument builder) who has a laser engraver to put images onto wood, but I'd rather they be precious and shiny.

Thanks for any help in obtaining grips worthy of my most-cool Ruger MkII (stainless, 5.5", semi-taper, adjustable sights). Take care, -MV

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Josh Aston
September 21, 2006, 02:12 AM
For the inlays you might want to try wicked grips ( I had a set of esmerelda's in french walnut for my HiPower, the finish was outstanding. Unfortunately the fit wasn't, to be fair though, none of the HiPower grips I've seen fit the cast frames correctly.

September 21, 2006, 02:24 AM
@ Josh: man... I'm speechless! And I thought that I was spoiling my MkII, but evidently a few people out there have a heck of a grip budget.

Anyone who hasn't seen Wicked Grips before, check out their Gallery. 3-D engraved figures, silver filligree, insanely gorgeous wood, etc. These are some of the few 1911 grips I've seen where the $300 pricetag seems totally reasonable.

If no other brilliant ideas come up, I may write to see how horrendous a bite it'd be to get MkII grips with just the minimal silverwork needed to get the Southern Cross.


September 21, 2006, 03:53 AM
Geez......more for grips than Id' spend on the gun.

I was gonna say, the absolute best grip (although the ugliest) I've felt on any 22 ruger was a guy took some memory foam and compressed it behing a light mesh and thin thin strips of grip tape. It melted to your hand and was impossible to let go of.

I'm a big fan of simple and functional, I saw get a nice set of Micarta. It will play well with the spaciness of the Ruger.

September 21, 2006, 04:42 AM
Jim Clark set some nat'l records with the Ruger 22 semi-auto. Part of the 'trigger job' that he did on the Rugers was to replace the (then) aluminum trigger with steel and replace the pins with ones that were slightly oversize. He did the trigger job on my MK1. No doubt they can perform similar enhancements on the current crop of Rugers as well.

Jim died several years ago. Now his son, Jim Jr., and his daughter Kay are running the shop. You might try their website, Clark Custom Guns for your trigger replacement and perhaps a trigger job. The Clarks have expanded to areas other than Bullseye competition. Kay is married to revolver speed guy Jerry Michulek (sp). They build custom 10-22s as well as AR, and smoothbore stuff in addition to their 1911 and revolver work.

At any rate, for anything 'Ruger' you might want to look closely at Clark Custom Guns.

Steve Herrett made competition grip panels for the Ruger semi-auto. His company is still going strong, but, like the Clarks, the company is now run by his desendents. One model of the Herrett grip panels changed the feel of the grip slightly to feel a bit more like that of a 1911. Not as much 'bling' as Esmerelda's for sure, but more of an ergonomic edge for the Bulls-Eye competitior. Some folks liked 'em, some didn't. Take a look at Herretts web site and see if there is anything there that you might fancy. They make other Ruger panels as well.


September 21, 2006, 01:21 PM
makes custom saddles and nuts for guitars. He uses elephant and walrus ivory as well as bone. Maybe he has some chunks large enough for your purposes:

This is legal ivory. He's a good guy to deal with.

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