Advice Fitting Faux Ivory Grips


January 25, 2013, 06:30 PM
I received these urethane faux ivory grips from the Grip Maker - they are very nice looking and I am excited to fit them to my Pietta 1861.

I removed the wooden grips and placed each half of the grips on the grip frame and see that I will have to do some fitting with files and sand paper, as expected. This does not present a problem as I am pretty good at this sort of project - but have not done anything on gun grips.

These grips are allegedly "oversized" to accomodate for fitting (i can see i have to file off the Pietta tail these seem to have). I specifically requested grips for a 1861 -- but looking at them, there will definitely be some gaps - chiefly because the upper front part of the grips that abuts the frame at the recoil shield area will need to be filed down a bit so that the grip fits snugly against both the widened top of the grip frame that has the screw holes and the gun frame facing the recoil shield.

So, long story short - whereas ideally the grips would fit perfectly along the grip frame with no part of the backstap sticking out, it appears that if i sand off a bit of the fore-part of the grips then the back strap will stick out a bit along the back - and also along the bottom part of the butt.

Alternately I could just leave a bit of a gap toward where the fore part of the grip abuts the frame/recoil shield area and the rest will fit ok.

I know these self-fitted grips never fit exactly and add "character" - but i am just wondering if it is better to leave a gap at the front where grip abuts the gun frame or leave part of the backstrap exposed along the back and under part of the butt?

Or is there some way to add a bit of material to fill the gap at the front? Perhaps mix some epoxy with urethane powder shavings and add a bit of material?

Thanks for your advice

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Steel Horse Rider
January 25, 2013, 07:47 PM
I don't have an opinion or an answer for your question because I have never fitted grips to a pistol, but as a suggestion, have you called or e-mailed the manufacturer for their suggestions? I would think they would know how they were designed to fit and you could work from what you have to there. They might even say "oops" and send you grips that fit better.

DoubleDeuce 1
January 26, 2013, 01:58 AM
I agree with contacting the manufacturer. You might not want to be staring at a gap behind the frame, or having the backstrap sticking out.:cool:

January 26, 2013, 12:02 PM
Poor fitting grips look like--- Well poor fitting grips, not a positive in my book. Go along with what the others have said.See if you can get something that fits better. My self I'm looking for mother of pearl to pimp out a LeMat pistol.

January 26, 2013, 03:02 PM
Thanks for the advice - I made cardstock templates and was trying to see if there was any way to make it work with out a gap a the front or the backstrap exposed at the back - no dice. I talked to Larry and I am going to send both the pistol and grips to him for fitting.

4v50 Gary
January 26, 2013, 03:19 PM
Inletting black. Get it. Apply it to the grips where the grip meets metal. where the black comes off, lightly relieve it.

January 26, 2013, 05:53 PM
File the back strap down to match the grips.

January 26, 2013, 11:16 PM
Gary - that inletting black could be useful - i looked it up an see how that could be useful - i will get it for fitting grips to my '51s when i get them.

Chawbaccer - I considered that but i have the blued steel backstrap and would rather not have to redo the finish on it - unless i just made it in the white - but i am doing some research on that before i do something i later regret.

January 27, 2013, 02:47 PM
If the grips are acrylic, you can buy some liquid and powder cold-cure acrylic and roughen the grips, grease the frame, and apply the mixed acrylic to the grips and attach to the gun. After setting, remove the grips, trim and polish.

January 28, 2013, 11:34 AM
Gripmaker's are intended to be fitted by the customer. You should be able to find a happy medium where you have a bit of grip extending over the metal all the way around. When you have the grips to the point where they can be installed and fitted, cover the metal with masking tape and sand away. I've done a couple of sets of them and I have yet to scratch the metal.

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