Colt SAA grip question?


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Brasso
September 6, 2007, 11:03 PM
All the Colt SAA's come with black plastic grips. I hope this doesn't sound stupid or make me look dumb, but...

I was under the impression that rubber and plastic didn't exist back in the 1870's when these guns were first introduced.

Does anyone have a knowledge about this?

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Jim Watson
September 6, 2007, 11:42 PM
SAA was introduced in 1973 with wood grip but hard rubber grips, known then as gutta-percha, were shown in the 1884 catalog. Maybe available sooner, but that is what I could come up with quickly.
Colt made all sorts of products out of gutta percha, most with Colt logos for advertising. Kind of brittle without the grip straps for reinforcement, they didn't hold up well and are less common now than old guns with hard rubber grips.

Father Knows Best
September 7, 2007, 01:25 AM
Gutta percha, a type of rubber, was in widespread industrial use by the 1840s. It was used for everything from insulating telegraph wires to making golf balls (the gutta percha core ball revolutionalized the game).

Charles Goodyear discovered the process for vulcanizing rubber in 1839, though it was some years before it saw widespread use.

Plastics did indeed come later. Although the first plastics were invented in the 19th century, it wasn't until the development of bakelite in 1909 that plastics found commercial use.

dfariswheel
September 7, 2007, 01:41 AM
The point is, the modern Colt SAA has tough plastic grips that simulate original Gutta Percha rubber grips.

Real hard rubber grips tend to shrink, get brittle, crack, and turn a silvery or brown color with age and use.
The modern plastics are tougher and cheaper.

Old Fuff
September 7, 2007, 08:42 AM
Many makers other then Colt also used Gutta Percha (aka "hard rubber") stocks. Smith & Wesson was one of them. They started in the mid-19th century, and continued on one model as late as 1940.

Brasso
September 11, 2007, 07:24 PM
Well, what do you know. I learned something new today.

Thanks.

Old Fuff
September 11, 2007, 07:27 PM
Ya' know, you can learn a lot of things around here... :cool:

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