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Grips for Colt Police Positive.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Jim PHL, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Well-Known Member

    I can't believe I did that! I've heard that original grips in good shape are hard to find. Mine were almost 100%. I had them off while cleaning and knocked them off the shelf, chipping one of them pretty good. (One small and one VERY small piece broke off, never found the VERY small one :mad: )
    Anyway, glued the bigger piece back and it's ok but I'm thinking I'd like to replace them anyway. I have an Uncle Mike's boot on my M37 and I'd like to get the same ones or something very similar for the PPS. Before I give it a try does anyone know if the same ones will fit? (If so, I've got a pair of Uncle Mike's 'Combat Style' for "J" that I'll put on temporarily.)

    Any other suggestions are appreciated. I'm cleaning this old girl up as best I can while I'm trying to talk the wife into going and shooting it with me.

    I should add a question to help my search: grips made for Colt's "____" will also fit your PPS. (Colt D? Colt DS-SVI, others??)
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    This depends entirely on what era of Police Positive you have.

    Guns made before the early 1960's have a full, square steel butt.

    All Colt "D" framed revolvers made after the early 1960's have a short, stubby grip covered by the wood or rubber grips.

    If you have a older model with the full grip frame, you're pretty well out of luck on finding new-made grips to fit.
    The last companies that made grips for the old models went out of business years ago, and current companies like Hogue and Pachmayr make grips only for the new, short frame guns.

    For older grips, Gun Parts sell SOME original types, and replicas of the old 1920's hard rubber grips.

    Ebay often has originals up for auction.

    If you have a later model with the short butt, any grip made for any "D" frame revolver will fit.
    These include the:
    Detective Special.
    Police Positive Special.
    SF-VI/DS-II/Magnum Carry.

    Here's a photo of a new style short butt Colt "D" frame compared to an older long butt frame. NOTE that the long butt model IS an old Detective Special, the PPS's butt was the same length, only cut square on the bottom.

  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    Sorry about your bad luck. I have repaired old hard-rubber Colt grips using a black dye and gel glass bedding compound available from Brownells (www.brownells.com). You can literally fill missing voids and chips and then sand the area to shape after the compound cures.

    There are companies that make replacement grips that look like the original's but are made of modern black plastic. These aren't so brittle. If you will post a partial serial number (1542xx for example) I can date your revolver and determine what kind of grips should be on it. Be aware that the replacement grips usually do not come with the screw and bushings.

    Also check with Paul "FITZ" Johnson, who is a moderator on The High Road. He has (or had) some excellent modern-style wood grips along the lines of what you described for full-frame Colt Police Positive's. Be sure to tell him what you have - square butt or rounded corners.
  4. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

    I have older model grips made at Police requests

    Back before WW2 officers issued the older Colt pistols called them knuckle busters while practicing in shooting extra courses to improve their monthly shooting pay so they asked my Uncle Barney to make them a better grip and here they are that have been sold for officers both police and military for many decades.

    It was great when the shooters learned that the short grip frame cut off to save metal during WW2 would fit inside of the older full size Fitz Pistol grip and shooting accuracy greatly improved.

    PM me for pictures for some in walnut or Cherrywood.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2005
  5. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    The .38 Police Positive was introduced in 1905 and the .32 version in 1907. Over the years the width and shape of the frame and grips were slightly changed. If Jim PHL should order a pair of your stocks have him make a tracing of one of the original grips so you will have a template to check your stocks against for fit.

    I think you are about the last source of grips for some of these old Colts, except for the antique style replacements. These are fine to look at, or to restore an old gun, but your's are far better for anyone who wants to shoot the gun very much.
  6. Paul "Fitz" Jones

    Paul "Fitz" Jones Moderator - Emeritus

    Old Colt Police Pistol Grips

    Old Fuff.
    I always ask for a grip tracing as it saves return postage if a grip does not fit. I have a lifetime supply of them when I was given the company in the early 70's. The gift added a worldwide customer base for my Progressive Reloader and Saeco tools from sporting goods stores and gun shops all over the world and helped make my business a success until the factory burnt in and a lot of other things happened in 1979 to have me decide to retire.

    I also learned that Smith Pistol Frames changed slightly also from the bottom alignment pin moving up slightly so I ask customers to keyhole my grip hole and my 1970's grip frame was slightly curved at the bottom rear which has since been been made more square so a bit of my wood needs trimming out.

    Ruger .22 Auto MK1 had grip screws positions reverse from one side to the other and other modifications were needed as accessories were added to the pistol. So nothing stays the same do they.

    They are building a much larger Gun shop and indoor shooting range in my town and I feel like I would like to volunteer for the socialization with the customers from standing behind the counter like you did gaining your experience but my wife wants to RV while we can so my fun is here on the net now socializing with really informative folks like you.

    I provide a pictures of what needs to be done thanks to my Roxio Photo Edititing program.

    I appreciate your experience and advice.
  7. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Not a chance.

    Colt factory stocks have always been hard to hang onto. I toss all mine in cardboard boxes in the ammunition closet and order stocks to fit my hand from the good folks at http://www.herrett-stocks.com
  8. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Well-Known Member

    If you want the damaged grips repaired find someone in your area who repairs antique furniture. Start with an antique furniture dealer and they will point you to some old guy who is their wizard at repairing old wood. He will know how to repair and refinish the damaged grips so that the damage will hardly show. No repair will be flawless but these guys are usually very good at restoration.
  9. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member


    You are likely right when it comes to wood grips, but the one's in question were molded out of a black, hard-rubber material between 1905 and around 1923. Repairing them is a whole different process.
  10. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Well-Known Member

    Old Fuff

    OOPS! How did I miss that? Yeah, the old wood guy probably wouldn't help.
  11. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Well-Known Member

    My PPS looks more like the one one the left in dfariswheel's photos but with more squared grip frame and completely open on the cylinder latch side. In a thread I started when I first got it, members placed its manufacture at around 1913 by using the serial#.
    Side of barrel has Police Positive 38 Special (One big "P" with "olice" over "ositive") Top of barrel has:
    PAT'D AUG 5 1884 JUNE 5 1900 JULY 4 1905
    frame inside the crane is marked 742xx with a capital "A" just below and right of the last digit.
  12. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    That's a 1913 Colt, AND that's going to be a real problem, in getting a set of grips.

    Colt's from that era had a different profile of the steel grip frame behind the trigger guard, and only grips with that shape will fit.

    About the only grips that are going to work are a set of the original hard rubber, or a set of modern replicas.

    The only other option is to try to modify something to fit.
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Yup, dfariswheel is right on as usual. However it appears that the revolver in question is a Police Positive SPECIAL, not a Police Positive. Hopefully so, because the P.P.S. went through fewer frame changes then the regular Police Positive. In any case if you order stocks be sure a tracing of the original one is included so that any questions about the fit can be determined early on.
  14. Cat91

    Cat91 Member

    "Fitz" grips on 1957 1st Issue Detective Spl. w/ PPS frame


    My carry piece.

    Miao, Cat
  15. jollygirl

    jollygirl New Member

    grip for colt 38 police positive

    Hello- I am new to the forum...perhaps you all can help me! I have a 4 inch police positive 38 1970 version with a short butt...I am wondering is there a bigger butt I can obtain- to match my own- that will feel better when I shoot...I am finding that I reposition a lot and I have a small hand... blast, I thought this might be the gun for me but it isnt working at present! Thank you.
  16. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    You have a lot more options with the "stubby" grips frame later models.

    You can buy rubber grips from Pachmayr in several styles.
    The Pachmayr "Compac" model was used by Colt as an after market option and as original equipment on the later Colt "D" frames. It's more or less the "standard" for Colt owners.
    The Pachmayr "Gripper" is a larger grip, but it's very contoured and shaped to fit your hand much better.
    Most gun shops will sell Pachmayr.


    A popular grip for Colt owners is also the Hogue Mono-Grip. This is available in rubber and in fancy figure woods.
    The wood versions can be had with or without finger grooves and with or without checkering.
    These too are shaped to fit the hand much better.


    For other types of grips, various companies sell wood, laminated wood, and synthetics for the Colt "D" frame in styles from minimal "boot grips" to larger types:

    The "Secret Service" is popular.


    Herrett's have you send them a tracing of your hand and they custom fit grips to fit you.

    For the price and easy availability, I'd recommend taking a look at the Pachmayr "Gripper". It seems to be about perfect for most shooters and the semi-soft rubber gives a very good non-slip grip.
  17. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    Colt made larger stocks for their Diamondback model, and these would work on your Police Positive Special (short butt). Others made aftermarket ones along the same lines out of various kinds of wood and other materials.

    Try this source to see a selection, but check the shipping cost before you buy. They normally supply dealers who buy in larger quantities.


    Also check www.gunbroker.com for Colt Diamondback stocks.
  18. Claymore1500

    Claymore1500 Well-Known Member


    I have one set in wood and one set in plastic/rubber, they are off of a 1950's colt police positive special, I will try to get you some pics via PM. If you want them they are yours I will discuss the details in the PM.

  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The Tyler T-grip adaptor was made special for you!


  20. Jim PHL

    Jim PHL Well-Known Member

    Claymore; Thanks for the offer here and on the PM, but jollygirl opened up an old thread to ask a new question. I no longer have the PPS I originally posted about.

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