The grips for the 1851, 1861 and Model P are technically interchangeable but they need fitting to be correct.
Any two piece grip available for one can be fitted to one of the others. Ditto for one piece grips.
Because of the fitting requirement, I generally either make my own grips or reifnish what is supplied. For a high gloss finish I use either Spar Varnish or shellac and follow either with a good coat of paste wax. For lees sheen I use either of the mentioned finishes and go over them with steel wool or sandpaper before the wax.
See your other posting on this topic.
August 2, 2009, 10:18 AM
The handle shape on Pietta cap & ball Colt-style revolvers is different enough so that other stocks made for Colt or Uberti guns generally don't fit well. The only good solution I know is to get some wood (or other material) and start from scratch.
It should be noted that both Italian makers still follow the old system of finish sanding the stocks while they are on the gun, and then numbering them so that the right stocks will get back on the correct gun during final assembly. If you want a perfect fit when going to alternative grips you'll have to fit them the same way.
August 2, 2009, 10:26 AM
Great, thanks for the info.
I did not know that, Straw Hat. Thats great to know.
August 2, 2009, 03:01 PM
Straw Hat's comment is true, but in the Pietta brand particularly, the SAA gripframe is different in profile. The Pietta SAA backstrap and triggerguard will most likely fit the 51, 61 and Pietta 62 Pocket Navy, and the SAA frame will have a more authentic shape, but the wood will not interchange between the Pietta made SAA and the caplocks, judging by their profile.
I don't understand why Pietta shaped the 51/61 gripframes the way they are, as they are not like a Colt, there is too much bell and too much sweep to the rear at the heel. Uberti's gripframes are more authentic on the cap guns, and look the same as on the Cattleman SAA.
August 3, 2009, 01:54 AM
I have issue with the Pietta 1851's grip, the shape makes the gun want to point too far upward in my hand. Will a colt-style grip strap fit on this pistol?
August 3, 2009, 04:06 AM
I haven't tried it, as I have no Pietta Colts, but if the screw holes line up, a Pietta SAA gripframe could be fitted. I doubt that Uberti gripframes will match the screw locations, as I have seen remarks to that fact in these forums.
August 3, 2009, 08:54 AM
Is your backstrap made of iron or brass? Either way, they can be reshaped to give a more Coltlike appearance and feel. The iron will require refinishing if done.
August 3, 2009, 09:31 AM
The bottom of the Pietta grip flares out more than a Colt grip. If you have a 1 inch belt sander that would be an easy fix. There is plenty of brass in the grip frame and you only need to take about an 1/8 inch off.
August 3, 2009, 11:19 AM
Straw- its brass.
Mad.- Hm. could work... i might try that.
August 3, 2009, 10:50 PM
I agree with Madcratebuilder about modifying the profile, but I prefer hand tools. Much harder to remove to much metal using a file. Also, handle as many "Colt" revolvers as you can until you find one that feels right in your hand and use that as a guide. I always thought the backstrap of Pietta guns were too straight and introduced an inward curve.
August 5, 2009, 03:21 PM
You can adapt easily a Pietta SAA grip on it by changing the backstrap (from VTI for instance) and keeping the triggerguard but "curving" it slightly backwards. Of course some wood must be adapted.
This is a 1851 cal 44 Pietta with a iron SAA backstrap and homemade grips :