No More Cocobolo Grips


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Nathan Detroit
August 10, 2013, 11:53 AM
One of the custom grip manufacturers just sent out a note to retailers that he will no longer be offering Cocobolo grips. Cocobolo has been placed on the threatened/endangered species list. If you want them now is the time to get them. Once the supply dries up there will be no more for the foreseeable future - our lifetimes. You can expect that this will be the case for all grip manufacturers.

If you go to Kim Ahrends website you will see the notice.

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texagun
August 10, 2013, 01:05 PM
That's a shame. Cocobolo is my favorite wood for grips. This is the only reference I can find on Ahrend's website regarding Cocobolo grips:

"Cocobolo
A true Rosewood. Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colors, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Colors are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age. Note: The world supply of Cocobolo is being stripped by the Chinese and it is getting very difficult to come by. It appears that CITES is going to place it on the restricted list. We have a commitment for Cocobolo in 2013 but it’s verbal and can change at a moments notice. Feel free to email and check availability or include a second choice with your order."

Is there another notice that I may have missed?

Old Fuff
August 10, 2013, 02:00 PM
So far as I'm concerned that should be enough notice. While it's not absolutely positive I would call it a "strong hint" about the direction things were going, and the need to move quickly while there was still opportunity. :uhoh:

texagun
August 10, 2013, 06:46 PM
Yep, looks like cocobolo wood was put on the CITES list on 6/12/13 in the Appendix II category.

"Appendix II This appendix contains species that are at risk in the wild, but not necessarily threatened with extinction. Species in this appendix are closely regulated, but are typically not as restricted as Appendix I."

There will likely be serious restrictions put on it's export and use resulting in much higher prices. If you're interested in cocobolo grips, it would probably be a good idea to get them soon, while you can.

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/restricted-and-endangered-wood-species/

Coltdriver
August 10, 2013, 07:27 PM
Don't know if you are familiar with the administration shutting down Gibson (the legendary guitar maker) because they found illegal ebony in the Gibson stockpile.

Coco bolo is a spectacular wood. I had some blanks I bought. I have coco bolo grips on my Colt Officers.

It does not surprise me to hear the government is getting involved in shutting down access to this wood.

It has, by the way, some very interesting properties if you try to shape a blank. The sawdust from it will irritate the heck out of your skin and you can have a serious reaction if you inhale the dust.

Double_J
August 10, 2013, 07:37 PM
Coco is a beautiful wood when it is finished, but a royal pain to work with as stated above. I have a knife-maker friend who used a bunch of it for a run of knives. He had to quit using it due to the irritation he would get after working with it, lots of hives and a nasty cough even though he used a dust mask and gloves. The handles he did make looked phenomenal when paired up with a full mirror polish blade. I wish he would get his shop set back up so that I can get a knife made for me, and maybe I can convince him to use some of his remaining coco bolo to make the scales. :)

aka108
August 10, 2013, 07:41 PM
I'm too traditional. I love walnut on a fiream. The exotics never appealed to me nor did ivory, real or immitation.

SharpsDressedMan
August 10, 2013, 07:53 PM
I had an absolutely stunning set of cocobolo grips for a 1911. Then they aged and darkened, and I could barely make out the grain pattern. If you sanded them again, the bright colors would come out again, but you can't keep doing that. Not sure I would spend the money for them again.

Cocked & Locked
August 10, 2013, 07:57 PM
cocobolo :(

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259764/402180623.jpg

Catpop
August 11, 2013, 02:44 PM
Government getting involved------- Well they have to find something for the gozillion excess employees on the payroll to do. It seems a better task would be to concentrate on why the US can no longer be competitive in the world market, but then again if they found the true reason for that, it would mean they no longer have a job!

buck460XVR
August 11, 2013, 03:44 PM
Government getting involved------- Well they have to find something for the gozillion excess employees on the payroll to do. It seems a better task would be to concentrate on why the US can no longer be competitive in the world market, but then again if they found the true reason for that, it would mean they no longer have a job!


CITES is an international organization of approximately 200 countries and has nuttin' to do with the U.S. Government.:rolleyes: They do not only regulate wood species, roughly 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade.

Catpop
August 11, 2013, 10:19 PM
Thanks for enlightenment Buck, Catpop

SharpsDressedMan
August 11, 2013, 10:21 PM
I'm pretty stupid. Besides gun grips, what would someone use cocobolo for? Are we really using THAT much for gun grips? Is there another heavy-use industry that HAS to use cocobolo? It is not used for musical instruments, or high end cabinets, etc, to my knowledge.......

Mooseman
August 11, 2013, 11:46 PM
Here's some things it's used for, next paragraph is taken from the link below it.

Because it is hard, beautiful, and very stable, cocobolo has been important to many industries and fine arts. Kitchen knives with cocobolo handles can be immersed in water for short periods without distortion of the grips and do not require chemical treatment. Cocobolo wood has also been used for jewelry boxes, inlay and veneer, the handles of high quality hair brushes, and the manufacture of bowling balls. Cocobolo is favored for canes and pool cues because it resists warping and impact damage. Cocobolo resists checking and is resonant when struck, making it a preferred material for marimbas and xylophones.

Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_5103335_cocobolo-wood.html#ixzz2bie4Xm9U

astra600
August 12, 2013, 12:35 AM
Cocked & Locked, where did you get that holster? It's fantastic.

rondog
August 12, 2013, 01:11 AM
That's a shame. Seems like most of Esmeraldas' grips are cocobolo.

sixgunner455
August 12, 2013, 12:35 PM
cocobolo is used for anything you would use a decorative wood for, including guitars, pens, carvings, etc.

Cocked & Locked
August 13, 2013, 11:25 AM
Cocked & Locked, where did you get that holster? It's fantastic.

Thanks! That holster is about like the Cocobolo grips discussed in this thread...endangered species that is now extinct.

It was made by Tom Dyer in Kingman AZ...Saquaro Gunleather. One click on his website http://www.saguarogunleather.com/ shows the status of RETIRED.

Tom specialized in custom handgun holsters and custom horse tack. Great work at a good (but not cheap) price.

In addition to the one pictured with the Python I also have two other holsters he made for me.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/398335686.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6486421/398335687.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740101.jpg
http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6259637/406740100.jpg

Speedo66
August 13, 2013, 03:10 PM
I remember having a coco bolo nightstick when I first got on the job in 1969.

Very hard wood, very dense and heavy.

BCRider
August 13, 2013, 03:15 PM
Hmmmm.... I've got about 7 or 8 board feet of smaller pieces saved away. Guess I'll be reserving it for special things from now on.

PJSprog
August 13, 2013, 03:32 PM
I've had a pair of cocobolo nunchaku since the mid-eighties. It's a very hard, dense wood. Would be a shame to see it become unavailable.

The Gibson fiasco mentioned earlier was a process issue, not materials. They imported the ebony fretboard wood from India, where it was partially worked (rough shaped) before shipment. This was a violation of Indian law, which prohibits products from being completed outside of their country (outsourcing work, essentially). The company never violated any US laws, but DOJ shut them down anyway by confiscating any and all "questionable" material. As far as I know, they never adequately resolved the matter and never got the wood back.

TEAM101
August 13, 2013, 03:43 PM
I spoke to Ahrend grips this afternoon. No more cocobolo imports.

riddleofsteel
August 13, 2013, 11:14 PM
http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af123/riddleofsteel/100_2095.jpg (http://s1000.photobucket.com/user/riddleofsteel/media/100_2095.jpg.html)

http://i1000.photobucket.com/albums/af123/riddleofsteel/100_2099.jpg (http://s1000.photobucket.com/user/riddleofsteel/media/100_2099.jpg.html)

better take care of mine, like Sambar stag it is one of my favorites that is no longer readily available.

barnbwt
August 14, 2013, 12:08 AM
It's probably my fault; cocobolo is one of my favorite woods to carve (it's horribly allergenic if worked with dust-generating machines --an absolute dream to use with chisels, rasps, and scrapers since the tight, oily grain cuts very predictably). Heck, the stock I'm making for my Remington 700 is about half cocobolo (3lbs, at least :evil:). As with all banics, I'm sure there's a mad rush to claim every last parcel of the stuff going on (I'll go see if I can still find some tomorrow, in fact :D)

I also have my doubts this will change things all that much for us in the US. Here in the States, the cocobolo has been coming in from plantations for years (at least as far my research has been able to indicate). "Wild" cocobolo has been scarce for a long time, so the farms sprung up to meet the demand ("sprung" is probably too fast a descriptor for these trees ;) ) for smaller-diameter needs like grips and inlay wood. The big logs come from old trees, and that's where the price increases will be seen. Avoid solid cocobolo coffee tables (and gun stocks :D). Even then, current stocks of board and curing timber will be around for years (they take years to dry) at increasing prices

Also interesting will be whether than try to ban all cocobolo, since it's a very widespread species in south America. The northern strain in Mexico is much more orange, and less dense than we think of, while the stuff right at the equator is jet black, and extremely dense. I find it hard to believe the tree is under equal threat in all the different countries its found, and therefore deserving of embargo (which won't really accomplish anything besides allowing us to feel morally superior while the timber outfits hook up with China)

PS-IIRC, there was some evidence of political motivations behind the Gibson raid, as a very big to-do was made over what was really a clerical error, that ended up sullying Gibson's good name (seeing how most people think they used illegally harvested timber to this day)

TCB

astra600
August 14, 2013, 12:38 AM
C&L, you have the grips, guns and holsters That just great. Thanks for sharing.

19-3Ben
August 14, 2013, 01:41 AM
Meh. There are so many great woods that do not have allergy issues associated, it doesn't really bother me even slightly. I've never had the desire for cocobolo, as I do tend ot have allergies and would likely be one of those who breaks out after having the grip of the gun against my body for too long during CCW.

I'll just stick with maple, walnut, rosewood, and other woods as I have always done.

The gun world existed long before anybody had heard of cocobolo, and it will exist long after we stop using it. Somehow, I think everyone is gonna survive this crisis.

Dr.Rob
August 14, 2013, 05:32 AM
Cocobolo is my favorite, thanks for the heads up. Might have to get a set for my BHP before I can't. CDNN has them in stock.

http://www.cdnninvestments.com/brhicobochgr.html

jimbo555
August 14, 2013, 09:06 AM
C&L. Your photos prove that handguns can be an art form not just tools. Just beautiful!!

Torian
August 14, 2013, 10:35 AM
Wow...glad I got my Ahrends cocobolo grips when I did!

http://oi43.tinypic.com/6zyfwl.jpg

Cocked & Locked
August 14, 2013, 10:54 AM
Cocobolo is my favorite, thanks for the heads up. Might have to get a set for my BHP before I can't.

Some good looking Hi-Power ones on Ebay today...8 or 9 sets.


C&L. Your photos prove that handguns can be an art form not just tools. Just beautiful!!

Thanks...you make me blush. :o

Dr.Rob
August 14, 2013, 06:23 PM
Hogue has them for the SF-VI/Magnum carry. I have to wait til next month to order but I think my Magnum carry might get an upgrade.

http://www.hoguestore.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=24_333_341&products_id=2712

Jaymo
August 14, 2013, 06:49 PM
I'm actually not a fan of cocobolo.
I like maple, cherry, myrtle, mahogany, holly, walnut, etc.

barnbwt
August 14, 2013, 08:37 PM
Quick comparison:
Torian has what is likely a "high latitude" cocobolo for his stocks, as can be seen by the highly contrasting orange/black grain lines, often seen in Guatamalan wood. The attached photo of the freshly-rasped grip of my project stock is of this variety (this is Mexican and particularly orange. the cheek/forearm is a wood called Jatoba). While Cocked & Locked has what I have seen from equatorial cocobolo; extremely dark red that is (once oxidized) almost indistinguishable from the black veins. The latter tends to be denser and less prone to splitting/tearing of grain when carving (neither really has this tendency, though). The other attached photo is of a drawing board I made a while back (fyi, use way more ventilation than you think you need when applying lacquer ;) )

In small doses, like when hand-sanding or rasping, Cocobolo does not bother me, and I actually find the "cinnamon" smell it has rather pleasing. I've always been surprised it isn't marketed as an aromatic wood or oil, since a ton of it could easily be harvested for ladies' candles and whatnot from a single plank :D

The few times I have used powertools on it, was using a router, and I found it machines almost like plastic; the grain so tight and swirly that there basically is no grain. The oily stuff also self lubricates cutters pretty well, unless you get them hot enough. However, I had the worst itching and flu symptoms for several days afterward --through skin/eye exposure, since I was wearing a mask!

A few fun facts about this wood to know(since I'm sure more than a few reading this will rush out and get some to play with before its gone):
-Cocobolo, and other dalbergia genus woods cannot be glued or finished easily. Their oils will keep polyurethane compounds from ever curing. To glue it, something like Gorilla glue (as in the joints of the drawing board) or Titebond III (as in the laminated gun stock) must be used. To finish, lacquer/shellac or other non-curing (evaporating solvent) coatings must be used, since the oils impede urethanes (big bummer for gunstocks that you want to keep totally protected)
-If left unfinished, cocobolo is plenty tough enough to take abuse, and will maintain a burnished shine. However, as it oxidizes, the red hues darken into browns, and the lustrous "tiger eye" effect seen in freshly cut wood hazes over. UV and oxygen are the causes of this; lacquer will stop the latter, but not much can be done to stop UV exposure if the item is to be used outdoors :(. The aged color isn't ugly or anything, it just isn't near as vibrant as what you start with (my gunstock fades to a very dark brown that looks totally different very quickly, so I have to decide to scrape/burnish the thing all at once for lacquer, or let it sit for a few months to get an even patina, or let it go dark by leaving it unfinished)
-Cocobolo is denser than water, so it's that much easier to lose your BBQ guns in a boating accident :D
-Cocobolo is an excellent tonewood; marimba keys are (were) made from it frequently --even more desirable than rosewood or mahogany. The 4ftx10"x.75" plank the stock was built up from resonated long at a loud 30Hz or so--it was like a dang subwoofer if you smacked it hard, and difficult to hang on to :D

"I like maple, cherry, myrtle, mahogany, holly, walnut, etc."
Though it's not really what these fancy stocks are meant for, cocobolo is probably better at a beat-down than maple and walnut put together :D. I finally got around to carving on walnut a while back, and I must say it is a dream to work with too, and far faster to shape. I wish Holly came from bigger trees, so I could make some "easy" winter camo for my rifles :cool:

Anyone in the DFW area been by Wood World or a Rockler to see if they still have any in stock (I'm sure it's already gone :()?

Torian
August 14, 2013, 08:51 PM
Quick comparison:
Torian has what is likely a "high latitude" cocobolo for his stocks, as can be seen by the highly contrasting orange/black grain lines, often seen in Guatamalan wood. The attached photo of the freshly-rasped grip of my project stock is of this variety (this is Mexican and particularly orange. the cheek/forearm is a wood called Jatoba). While Cocked & Locked has what I have seen from equatorial cocobolo; extremely dark red that is (once oxidized) almost indistinguishable from the black veins. The latter tends to be denser and less prone to splitting/tearing of grain when carving (neither really has this tendency, though). The other attached photo is of a drawing board I made a while back (fyi, use way more ventilation than you think you need when applying lacquer ;) )

In small doses, like when hand-sanding or rasping, Cocobolo does not bother me, and I actually find the "cinnamon" smell it has rather pleasing. I've always been surprised it isn't marketed as an aromatic wood or oil, since a ton of it could easily be harvested for ladies' candles and whatnot from a single plank :D

The few times I have used powertools on it, was using a router, and I found it machines almost like plastic; the grain so tight and swirly that there basically is no grain. The oily stuff also self lubricates cutters pretty well, unless you get them hot enough. However, I had the worst itching and flu symptoms for several days afterward --through skin/eye exposure, since I was wearing a mask!

A few fun facts about this wood to know(since I'm sure more than a few reading this will rush out and get some to play with before its gone):
-Cocobolo, and other dalbergia genus woods cannot be glued or finished easily. Their oils will keep polyurethane compounds from ever curing. To glue it, something like Gorilla glue (as in the joints of the drawing board) or Titebond III (as in the laminated gun stock) must be used. To finish, lacquer/shellac or other non-curing (evaporating solvent) coatings must be used, since the oils impede urethanes (big bummer for gunstocks that you want to keep totally protected)
-If left unfinished, cocobolo is plenty tough enough to take abuse, and will maintain a burnished shine. However, as it oxidizes, the red hues darken into browns, and the lustrous "tiger eye" effect seen in freshly cut wood hazes over. UV and oxygen are the causes of this; lacquer will stop the latter, but not much can be done to stop UV exposure if the item is to be used outdoors :(. The aged color isn't ugly or anything, it just isn't near as vibrant as what you start with (my gunstock fades to a very dark brown that looks totally different very quickly, so I have to decide to scrape/burnish the thing all at once for lacquer, or let it sit for a few months to get an even patina, or let it go dark by leaving it unfinished)
-Cocobolo is denser than water, so it's that much easier to lose your BBQ guns in a boating accident :D
-Cocobolo is an excellent tonewood; marimba keys are (were) made from it frequently --even more desirable than rosewood or mahogany. The 4ftx10"x.75" plank the stock was built up from resonated long at a loud 30Hz or so--it was like a dang subwoofer if you smacked it hard, and difficult to hang on to :D

"I like maple, cherry, myrtle, mahogany, holly, walnut, etc."
Though it's not really what these fancy stocks are meant for, cocobolo is probably better at a beat-down than maple and walnut put together :D. I finally got around to carving on walnut a while back, and I must say it is a dream to work with too, and far faster to shape. I wish Holly came from bigger trees, so I could make some "easy" winter camo for my rifles :cool:

Anyone in the DFW area been by Wood World or a Rockler to see if they still have any in stock (I'm sure it's already gone :()?
Great post, thanks for sharing.

Dr.Rob
August 15, 2013, 05:59 PM
Hogue has informed me that while they will attempt to fill my order these particular grips are on BACK ORDER and it might take 30-45 days. (fingers crossed)

BHP grips en route. "Fancy" BHP not yet ordered ;)

Trad Archer
August 15, 2013, 06:24 PM
Cocobolo is also used in longbows and recurves. It's a heavy dense wood used in the risers and veers are sometimes used under glass. Truely a beautiful wood and a favorite among bowyers and traditional archers.

Dr.Rob
August 17, 2013, 08:31 PM
Makes a boring pistol into a bbq gun ;)

(Well, almost.)

Hate to admit it.. after I mounted these... I am so used to my rubber Hogue monogrip that they feel strange. Still really happy with the color and grain and skinny profile and subtle thumbrests. Anyone ever razor cut the finger grooves off a monogrip ala Pachmeyer?

Cocked & Locked
August 17, 2013, 08:33 PM
didn't bore me...looks great

tubeshooter
August 17, 2013, 10:22 PM
Kind of wondering what the Browning Buckmark Hunter grips will be made of now, and also if the old grips will command a premium (over time; don't expect any overnight changes).

barnbwt
August 17, 2013, 11:13 PM
Well, it looks like the rumors are true; the Cocobolo is gone :(

I swung by a local Rockler and a large supplier called Wood World today (DFW area) and it was slim pickings for Coco at both. There was one small turning blank, and a couple depressingly straight grained and pale orange (Guatamalan, probably) short cabinetry planks left at Rockler. Wood World was worse; last year they had a 4ft wide rack with hundreds of board feet planks as tall as 5ft and as thick as 2", and now, there were two (straight grained, pale orange) planks 3" wide, .5" thick, and 3ft long :(. What little remaining thick stock they had was apparently cut down to make turning blanks about a foot long or pen blanks. 8" Bowl blanks were about 90$ :eek:

I found one (1) 12" blank that had some figure and wasn't ridiculously priced, and picked it up even though it's orange and not red/brown. The store owners said that the Cocobolo shipments (to them at least) are gone for the foreseeable future. Seeing how this store has 12ft Purpleheart planks 3" thick at times, I image they are a fairly big player in the area.

I suppose the only thing left for us to do is make a list of decent alternatives for what Cocobolo offers; strength, beauty, density, finish, and durability

I nominate Bocote and Katalox, two super-dark faux-rosewoods that have similar tactile properties to Cocobolo, if not as contrasting a grain figure. Both are plenty durable, though I don't believe as oily (so not as rot/water resistant). I've worked with Katalox, and it hand carves as easily (i.e. as slowly) as Cocobolo and resists splitting just as well.

I feel worst for the high-end luthiers and instrument-makers; what are mere material properties to us grip-makers are the difference between an acceptable instrument and a masterpiece of resonance for them. Most of the other tonewoods have been removed from use, as well (ebony, mahogany, real rosewood) leaving them with ever fewer options for their work.

TCB

PabloJ
August 18, 2013, 01:52 AM
One of the custom grip manufacturers just sent out a note to retailers that he will no longer be offering Cocobolo grips. Cocobolo has been placed on the threatened/endangered species list. If you want them now is the time to get them. Once the supply dries up there will be no more for the foreseeable future - our lifetimes. You can expect that this will be the case for all grip manufacturers.

If you go to Kim Ahrends website you will see the notice.
Thank you for letting me know. I will make sure not to order anything made from this wood.

hemiram
August 18, 2013, 04:29 AM
I had a custom grip for one of my Dan Wesson 15-2's made of Cocobolo, they were really different looking and I really liked them, but I had all kinds of skin issues from it. I didn't know what was happening, but I had a holster that had a little place I used to stick my thumb in, and the top of my thumb below my fingernail looked like it was rotting off from touching the grip. Someone finally told me that Cocobolo irritated a lot of people, and I switched to a walnut grip and my thumb healed up in a few days. I sold the grip for about twice what I paid for it, so it wasn't a disaster.

barnbwt
August 18, 2013, 11:53 AM
Cocobolo is definitely allergenic enough that I wouldn't want it in direct contact all day. Especially if sweat was involved, which would leach out even more oil from the wood. I think the problem arises from its closed grain and oily nature, which leads manufacturers to believe they don't need to finish it with anything. Yes, it will survive without a finish just fine, but its oils should really be sealed behind some lacquer or varnish if it's in human contact (it'll also stain the heck out of your clothes and holster if it gets very sweaty). I've been told that even if you aren't allergic to it (me; knock on wood), if you allow it to irritate you for prolonged periods, you will develop a severe reaction to it :eek:

I found a coat of cyanoacrylate (super glue) makes a nice finish, and if acetone is used to suck out the oils from the wood's surface right before application, it will soak in just enough to get a good grip and seal nicely (it won't stick as well to wood that is left oily). It's also waterproof and alcohol proof, unlike lacquer. Acetone and mineral spirits will still do it in, though (but makes removal and reapplication easy ;) )

"I will make sure not to order anything made from this wood."
For the record, the wood we get comes from managed farms (it's more profitable that way than "slash-and-burn*") so we're not the problem. It's China and the rest of the newly rich world that has no bones dealing with the lowest bidder for lumber, and doesn't abide by the import bans anyway. As with all bans, it doesn't really fix anything, and only harms those who comply and are trying to do the most good anyway. As with Siamese teak, cocobolo will probably become "imminently extinct" and the subject of Captain Planet circles, only to be widely available on the market a decade later for a little more money ;)

*slash and burn is done to open terrain for farmland and infrastructure. The land will be cleared regardless, and the sale of timber is done as a way to make cash from waste products generated--it would simply be burned otherwise.

TCB

Dr.Rob
August 18, 2013, 04:07 PM
I had never heard of such reactions to cocobolo. I wear a ring with a cocobolo insert daily.

Fishslayer
August 20, 2013, 01:06 AM
Might be lipstick on a pig but I ordered a set of the Hogue cocobolos today for my Ruger KP90... ;)

Cocked & Locked
August 20, 2013, 01:09 AM
Every Ruger semi I have seen with wood grips looks great...bet your will also!:)

Fishslayer
August 20, 2013, 08:22 PM
Hogue has informed me that while they will attempt to fill my order these particular grips are on BACK ORDER and it might take 30-45 days. (fingers crossed)


YIKES! I ordered mine from Midway & were listed backordered till 8/19. On the phone the guy said they were actually overdue.

This AM I had an email that now they're backordered till November.:uhoh:

BCRider
August 23, 2013, 06:11 PM
Barnbwt, you've obviously done a lot more work with such exotics than I have as a hobbyist.

It's sad really that the countries that house such wood are so challenged in so many ways that they've let things get to where they are now in terms of availability of such wood. Of course the world is far more populated than it was 100 years ago and many more are able to afford to buy items made from such wood. Perhaps it's simply our modern affluence that has made these varieties become endangered.

I've only worked with my cocobolo on infrequent situations so I've yet to develop a sensitivity to it. But I'll certainly be taking more precautions in the future.

Dr Rob, if the wood is not in direct skin contact then you may not be subject to any issues. The other possibility is that over time your skin oils have leached out all the native oils in the wood that are going to come out and it wasn't YET enough to cause a longer term issue. And I'm sure there's some interesting options from the hotter areas of southeast Asia as well.


While for those of us that enjoy wood working the issue with cocobolo is sad it's not like it's the end of the world for handgun grips. There's some very nice red and red-brown woods from Hawaii and Australia.

Dr.Rob
August 24, 2013, 02:52 AM
I got my first set of cocobolos for a Ruger Mk2 when I was a teenager. Those grips have a few nick and dings over the years, but I've worn the bluing off the grip and not done much damage to the wood.

You can see there are some good sized mishaps, but the surface itself is still reflective. Cocobolo is hard wearing stuff.

I have been wearing my cocobolo ring for 2+ years. More than enough time to wear off any laquer/sealant etc. It has darkened to almost black, but no rash or reaction on me.

TennJed
August 24, 2013, 05:02 AM
Went ahead and ordered a pair for my Ruger MKIII. Thanks for the heads up

swmp9jrm
August 24, 2013, 10:19 AM
Thanks for the heads up - decided to order a cocobolo set for my PT-1911.

Fishslayer
September 7, 2013, 12:35 PM
Got an email from Midway. My Ruger's new coco shoes shipped yesterday! :D

Dr.Rob
September 16, 2013, 06:30 PM
Well lookie here!

They need a little hand fitting, but wow do they dress up my Magnum Carry, it's BBQ GUN worthy.

Also, slimmer slick grip means I get more of my hand around it.. we'll see how it feels under recoil.

But I am pleased!

texagun
September 16, 2013, 08:22 PM
I received the following email from Terri, "Gripseller" on Ebay, this morning related to Cocobolo grips:

"Cocobolo trees have just been added to the endangered species list. This means Cocobolo may no longer be imported to the US. I may get a few more sets in stock on my next order if Ahrends supply holds out.
I have just listed a lot of new Ahrends J, K/L and N frame grips. This includes a good bit of Cocobolo, Cordia and Moradillo, as well as a few woods that I have not carried previously. Check out the grips under the New Arrivals category and under Ahrends grips for Cocobolo that I already had in stock. I will be listing new 1911 grips tomorrow. They will be located under Ahrends 1911 categories."

I've bought a lot of grips from Terri and have always been well pleased with the merchandise and the service.

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