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Dressing up a Peacemaker

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dudemeister, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    Dressing up a Peacemaker - Man With No Name Style

    I've always been a fan of the Man with no name trilogy, so I decided to dress up one of my SAA with the (in)famous rattlesnake medallions Clint Eastwood had on his guns.

    I've been looking at some of the already made grips or some of the silver medallions available, but frankly, I can't see spending $160+ and/or sending the gun in for fitting.

    So, after looking around, I found a guy on eBay who makes and sells these medallions for a very reasonable price. His a remade of pewter, rather than silver, but that's just fine for me. He has 2 types, one large set designed to fit across the entire grip of an SAA, another one a bit smaller, and more upright, designed for a 1911.

    After looking at some of the already available versions, and measuring the size of my EMF New Dakota's grips, I decided to go with the somewhat smaller 1911 version, because I didn't quite like the larger version covering nearly the whole surface of the grip. The price shipped was $23, so it was also cheaper than than the SAA version which go for $41.

    The medallions arrived in about 3 days from Colorado. Included were some instruction on how to fit them, which I will be doing in the next few days. For now, here are a few pics of the medallions.


    Once I begin the work I will take a few "in-progress" shots and post them.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2011
  2. towboat_er

    towboat_er Well-Known Member

    Good luck. Will look great.
  3. Jaymo

    Jaymo Well-Known Member

    Sweet. Got a link the his ebay store?
  4. Magno

    Magno Well-Known Member

    That is going to look so good. What type of pistol are you using?
  5. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    Sweet. Got a link the his ebay store?

    Here is the link for the larger, SAA version (there are about the same size as the one on the Cimarron version):

    Next is the link for the 1911 version I bought:

    That is going to look so good. What type of pistol are you using?

    The gun is an EMF New Dakota Model, made by ASM (Armi San Marco). The grips are slightly smaller than a Colt SAA, so if you try to install grips made for Colt or Uberti, you need to do a lot of fitting. This is also another reason why I went for the smaller medallions.
  6. pbearperry

    pbearperry Well-Known Member

    If they feel as good as they look,I would say you made the right choice.
  7. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    rattlesnake grips continued...

    I couldn't resist messing around with this so I started already. :)

    First I drilled some pilot holes in order to test proper fit. Then, when I had it just where I wanted it, I used an ultrafine tip marker to outline the medallion.


    Next, I will use a sharp Xacto knife to cut the outline, and then I will begin scooping about 1/16" worth of material inside the line. The ideal depth would give me a completely flush feel. I will probably be using a combination of wood carving and engraving tools, and maybe a Dremel with small engraving bits for the small details.
  8. Magno

    Magno Well-Known Member

    Great idea to mount them flush in the handle. That's what I would do. Is that how Clint's were mounted per chance, or were his raised?

    I always love to see people personalize their firearms. I wish folks would do it more often. I just finished painting a war motto on my shotgun receiver, myself.
  9. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    Is that how Clint's were mounted per chance, or were his raised?

    Well, you asked, and I did my best to find out. I dug out a copy of "A Fistful of Dollars", and found a great shot showing the rattlesnake medallions, as well as being able to tell what kind of gun that was.

    While I can't really tell if it's a real Colt or not, I can tell it has a 5.5" barrel and the caliber appears to be .38spl. It aslo has the newer spring loaded cylinder pin retainer. I wonder if that would be correct for that time period. Also of notice is that almost every other gun in the movie had brass backstraps, except for Clint's who supposedly had brought his own gun to the set.

    As for the medallions, they are indeed raised above the grips, as it clearly can be seen in the frame below. Never the less, mine will be inset as previously mentioned.

  10. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    It wasn't a Colt, but I can't recall which one it was. And it was .357
  11. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    More updates...

    Here are a few more progress shots.

    The carving was all done by hand using an Xacto knife. At this stage, I can't even feel my right index finger from the pressure I put on the knife. And my left hand is cramped from holding the grips while carving.

    So for now I'll leave it alone. I think I'll probably need to use a rubber mallet to make the medallion edges conform to the grips compound shape. But even now it's looking pretty good.

    Click to enlarge


    More updates to come.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  12. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    Here are the grips provisionally mounted on the frame, to get an idea of how it looks.

    Click to enlarge

    I tried to shape the metal to follow the grip contours as much as I could, and I think it's pretty good. It's not completely inset in the wood, but the amount it protrudes is very small, and does not add to the thickness of the grip at all. When you grip it tight, you can barely feel the medallion in your hand, which I like.

    Next up will be to stain the inside of the carved areas, polish it, then epoxy the medallion in it. Then do the same for the other side.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  13. rdrancher

    rdrancher Well-Known Member

    Very nice!
  14. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    Great work, looks real good!

    Clint Eastwood acquired the Colt (real Colt) 5 1/2" 45 caliber pistol with the silver snakes inset in the grips, in the second episode of "Rawhide" and kept it, along with the final gunbelt and holster he used in "Rawhide", an Andy Anderson "Walk and Draw" rig, after filming wrapped.

    He used the gun and rig in the first 2 Movies "A Fist Full of Dollars" and "For A Few Dollars More", and in the final film "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", he switched to an 1851 Navy with a .38 caliber metallic cartridge conversion, with the "snake grips" installed.
  15. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    If the frame from Fistful of Dollars is any idication, that gun is definitely not a .45. There were a few other scenes as well showing him load the gun, and the cartridges looked too small to be .45 cal.

    I read the bit about the gun originating on episode 11 of Rawhide, but didn't see any indication as to the caliber of that gun.

    So until I get more definitive info, the image above seals it for as far as the caliber being something like a .357 or .38, rather than .45.
  16. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    It was the second episode of Rawhide, "Incident At Alabaster Plain", after a gunfighter named "Mastic" is killed, Eastwood's character is given his gun, the "snake" Colt.

    It was .45 caliber, so it could use 5-in-1 blanks, and the caliber was listed on the original receipt for the Andy Anderson rig which reads "CBS-Rawhide, Clint Eastwood, Walk & Draw Western, single right rough-out .45 5 1/2" Full Loops"

    If you can find a back issue of "Guns of the Old West" Spring 2010, it has an extensive article on the gun and Cimarron's replica.
  17. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Well-Known Member

    I don't dispute that for moment, I'm more incline to believe that the gun used in Fistful of Dollars is NOT the same gun. By simply looking at the snapshot above, what caliber would you say that gun is?

    Later today, I'll go through For a Few Dollars More and see if I can capture a good shot of his gun. It'll be interesting to see if it's the same gun.
  18. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    It's a.45. That Eastwood used the same gun from Rawhide in the first 2 "dollars" movies, is well documented.


    "Eastwood was instrumental in creating the Man with No Name's distinctive visual style. He bought the black jeans from a sport shop on Hollywood Boulevard, the hat came from a Santa Monica wardrobe firm and the trademark black cigars came from a Beverly Hills store. He also brought props from Rawhide including a a Cobra-handled Colt, a gunbelt, and spurs." (Aim For The Heart:The Films Of Clint Eastwood by Howard Hughes)

    Still shot of the gun on Mastic's hip, before he's killed and it's given to Rowdy Yates.
  19. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Wow, really nice looking grips. You did a great job so far. I'm betting the finished product will be top shelf!
  20. BCCL

    BCCL Well-Known Member

    Seriously slick work, no way I'd have the patience to do that relief work with an Xacto!!

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