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Bisley vs plow handle

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Chad F., Mar 27, 2020 at 12:50 AM.

  1. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    I don’t know how many big bore revolver fan are here. But, I’m curious. I know most folks that shoot the big stuff, have a preference of shooting the Bisley grip. But, I can’t be the old nut out here, that doesn’t mind shooting a plow handle. What’s your opinion? I know the guys that prefer the Bisley, say that they’re better for follow up shots. But, I’ve never seemed to have a problem with getting back on target quickly and efficiently. What makes you choose the grip you shoot?
     
  2. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I am very much a "Bisley" guy. I have shot plenty of "plow handles" but I do not like the way that they tend to squirt down in my grip while I am shooting them. I have tried the pinky under the grip, different holds, all kinds of things, but was never satisfied. The Bisley grip just seems more stable in my hand while shooting it. I think part of it may be that it is much more similar to how a grip on an automatic feels. While square butt K frames are not as bad, they tend to squirt down in my hand when shooting them as well.
     
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  3. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I really enjoy the plowhandle grip, but do find that at a certain recoil level they start to get away from me. That is when I turn toward the Bisley.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 12:36 PM
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  4. Targa

    Targa Member

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    I really don’t know honestly, I have two Ruger SBH’s, one in .44mag (plow handle) the other in .454 Casull (Bisley) so it’s not quite apples to apples even with my hot .44mag loads.
    I like the Bisley grips for most of the reasons that we have all heard, I don’t need to rehash those. As for the plow handle grips, I hated the standard wood ones that came with the SBH, looked great but to small for my hands and my middle finger knuckle took a wicked beating from the trigger guard. I replaced the grips with Pachmayr grips that were bigger and protected my knuckle from the trigger guard and it turned those plow handle grips into a wonderful shooter. I would not hesitate for a second to back a heavy hitter like .454 Casull with a plow handle grip frame as long as the actual grips were comfortable.
     
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  5. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I suggest that's because you shoot low-to-mid power ammo. The plowhandle is great for ye olde 45 Colt level recoil, and it's rolls nicely.

    My favorite 45 Colt load is a 300gr cast bullet, loaded to take all the available cylinder length, on a ~100% case fill charge of H110. In a Bisley, the recoil and blast makes full-house .357 magnum seem very soft by comparison.

    In a plow-handle, I don't think you'd shoot it twice.
     
  6. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    I have a 475 Linebaugh, which has the Bisley grip. And just purchased a 500 JRH around a month ago which has the plow handle. Maybe it’s just me, and there’s no doubt I usually have a different way of looking at things. But, I kind of like the plow handle more. It does have a rubber grip right now. And changing it to wood, may change my mind like it changed yours. But, so far, I do enjoy it. The more I think about this. I almost wonder if my grip preference is because my first big bore was a super Redhawk in 454 Casull.
     
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  7. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    Right now I’m playing with a 500 JRH with a plow handle. I’ve probably mentioned this before. But I realize I’m probably a little different then most, as I like the little roll in my hand. In my mind, I think it absorbs some of the recoil. I’ve shot my 475 Linebaugh quite a bit, which carries the Bisley grip. And don’t really have a problem this one either. But, if you were to give me a choice, I’d probably pick up the plow handle.
     
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  8. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    Right now I’m playing around with a 500 JRH, shooting 440 gr., cast. I’m actually using H110 also, which is not my favorite powder. Primarily because it’s a little dirtier, then the powders I’m use to using in my other big bore revolvers.
     
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  9. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    What I’ve noticed with my grip, is I have a natural tendency to grip low anyways. This probably stems from shooting an encore pistol years ago, and being bit by the trigger guard. I know I’ve mentioned it before, and am not trying to sound like a broken record. But, I like the roll that the plow handle has in my hand. It probably does little to reduce the felt recoil. But, in my mind, it is doing just that.
     
  10. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Do you mean a real Bisley Colt grip frame or the Ruger thing, which is more like an oversize Keith No 5?
     
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  11. shootstraight57

    shootstraight57 Member

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    I love the Bisley als in .45 ACP only because I can't find any fully powered .45 Long Colt. The only loads I see are cowboy loads and they are not what I want. I find the Bisley grip substantial in my hand especially for follow up shots.
     
  12. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Ruger’s Bisley - we’re talking much higher recoil levels than any associated with the Colt.
    I can’t imagine shooting that grip design with heavy recoil.

    Now, there is recoil and there is recoil. While the Bisley isn’t perfect with stock grips, it does offer a level of control not found with other grip frame types. I suspect those who find the plow handle adequate aren’t shooting loads that are very warm, but I may be wrong.

    I got my first BFR in .500 JRH somewhere around 2010 and it came with Micarta grips. To say the Buffalo Bore 425 grain loads were brutal would be a gross understatement. The rubber replacement grips (Pachmyer) do a good job at rectifying the situation. That said, the new Magnum Research iteration of the Bisley is worlds better in my opinion even than Ruger’s version.
     
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  13. Targa

    Targa Member

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    Thats good to know Max. If I can get my wife drunk enough I am going to spring my desire to purchase a 7.5” BFR .500 Linebaugh with Bisley grips...:D
     
  14. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    As a matter of interest (or not) many years ago I set up Ruger .44 Magnum and .45 Colt revolvers, a 4 5/8" barrel and a 7 1/2" barrel each, with Bisley grip frames, Blackhawk grip frames, and Super Blackhawk grip frames. I used light weight bullets pushed to high velocities (over 1700 f.p.s.) and heavy weight (350 gr. .45 bullets) to high velocities (ca. 1300 + f.p.s.) and factory level velocities.

    The results, for me at least, for the heavy hard kickin' stuff, was that I preferred the Dragoon style grip frame, while the Blackhawk grip was the most natural pointing for rapid second shots with moderate loads. Admittedly, I had o .475 or .480s at the time, nor were they available. And now they are beyond my capability due to my age and circumstances.

    These were my findings applicable to my shooting regimen only.

    Bob Wright
     
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  15. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    May the force be with you.
    Or do what I do, buy it and when you come home with it tell her you found it in a dumpster. She'll think you're fibbing but it'll inject humor to the situation. Sleep on the couch a week, bring her some flowers and it'll be fine. Never ask for permission , just get good at asking for forgiveness.
    I too am eyeing a BFR (in 500 jrh), came very close to plunking down the $ last week. I got something I already have brass , bullets , dies and lots of ammo for already though. Sometimes I can be logical in my firearms purchases, just not typically.
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have a 7.5" SBH in 44 magnum with a plow handle grip.

    My FiL has a 7.5 SBH in 44 magnum with Bisley grips.

    We each prefer our own. He doesn't like to put his pinky under the grip. I grew up putting my pinky under the grip of my Single Six. I think that's a big part of our preferences.

    Like Chad, I like for SA revolvers to roll with the recoil a little bit.

    Usually we shoot 44 specials, but when we shoot stout 44 magnums, our preferences stay the same.

    Personally, I don't care for the Bisley grips at all. They don't look right or feel right to me. It's probably because I'm so used to the plow handles.

    (Yeah, it's a three screw. The trigger is so smooth it would make you cry.)
     
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  17. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    But what are you shooting for loads?
     
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  18. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I knew a fellow who had a custom five shot .45 Colt, back when that was the cutting edge for handgun hunters. We all were using the Bisley grip frame for that sort of thing, and he hated them. Ordered the gun with the standard Ruger plowhandle and was happy. I still have a scar from where the hammer spur bit me, but he never had any troubles with it. Different strokes...
     
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  19. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    I ca
    Hey Max, We’ve talked before a few times on different forums. I may have read a certain book, more than a few times. Lol!!
    I can’t agree with you more, Pachmyer grips definitely make a world of difference. I’ve actually considered putting them on my 475. But that Freedomarms is just too darn pretty. I’m actually going out to chronograph my 500 JRH today. I was kind of suspecting that I was probably a little different, preferring anything but a Bisley grip when it comes to the bigger revolvers. I guess I was right. I can understand most guys choices, but it’s always felt more comfortable to allow the gun to roll more in my hand. I’ve always gripped my revolvers lower than probably most shooters. But, I think everyone has to find what works for them, and go with it. I do appreciate any input you ever offer. By your publishing’s, I definitely know, that you know what you’re talking about.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 1:00 PM
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  20. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Every hand and every shooter is different. For me, the Super Blackhawk with custom grips is fine with .44Mag loads. Even the Buffalo Bore 340gr +P+ load. However, if it's any more lively than that, I have to have a Bisley and it has to have custom grips.
     
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  21. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Extreme case, but this is my old D-Max in .50 Alaskan. It was barely shootable with the Bisley grip, but would have been un-shootable with a plow handle as they have a tendency to twist up in your hand. I clocked myself one time with it, but I suspect it would have happened with every trigger pull with a plow handle. I've gone to extremes to test the veracity of my theories...

    CHAPT4-41.jpg
     
  22. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    Thank you!! I feel a little better, that I’m not the only one. Like I mentioned earlier, I think my low hold on the grip started when I was playing with encores years ago. It could have started my preference choice. Especially after being bit by those darn trigger guards. Something you’ll never forget.
     
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  23. Chad F.

    Chad F. Member

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    I believe I seen a picture of the aftermath of that one. I’ve often said, I’d like to shoot a .50 Alaskan once. Probably once would be enough, to get the urge out of my system too!!
     
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  24. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    Rather be hit by the trigger guard than the front sight! LOL!
     
  25. MaxP

    MaxP Member

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    The reason the Pachmyer is so effective on the plow handle is that it creates a more vertical, "Bisley-esque" profile.

    IMAG0407.jpg

    IMAG0404.jpg
     
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