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Clear Plastic grips

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by FIVETWOSEVEN, Nov 22, 2010.

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  1. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I'm looking for clear plastic grips for my Hi Power so I will be able to see how many rounds left (after some work on the mags) and would like to know where or how I would be able to get a pair of grips.
     
  2. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    I've been looking for a set for my officer frame 1911 for months now. Good luck, let me know if you find some.
     
  3. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Any idea on how hard it would be to mold your own?
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    All I have ever seen were cut, filed, and ground out of solid stock; sand smooth and polish clear.
    The WW II souvenir pinup grips were commonly made from the Lucite cockpit canopy material of shot down airplanes.

    Be careful searching, I ran into one of those fake virus scanners.
     
  5. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Saw a little something on molding clear plastic, might be something to keep in mind. Anyone know of a gunsmith that does this kind of gunsmithing?
     
  6. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    .125 and .250 clear acrylic is usually available at your local glass shop. The size you need for grips would be basically scraps.

    Any tools designed for wood will work with acrylic. Cut and file down to the final shape, and then sand the surface with ever-finer sandpaper until you have a smooth surface, and then fire-polish with a propane torch. This takes some practice, make sure and get extra pieces to practice on! Or just buff with red rouge, but you need a smooth surface before you start polishing.

    A tip for drilling acrylic; use a dull bit. A sharp bit will pull the material into it. A dull one will polish as it drills.
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    FWIW, the usual cartridge counter grips (the idea dates back almost to the first auto pistols) have a slot, 1/4" wide or so, cut down the (usually) left grip with clear plastic set into it. This looks better than a whole clear grip and works as well. Or learn to count shots.

    Jim
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That would be the best way to do it.

    All you need to do it is to mill a slot in the stock grips with a 1/8" countersunk groove in the back surface for a clear inlay.

    You could use 1/8" acrilic, Plexiglas, or even Lexan if you want them to be bullet-proof.

    See this about that:
    http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg147-e.htm

    rc
     
  10. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Glue on Naked Babe pictures under the Clear Lucite Stocks, for that WWII homage mystique...
     
  11. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Contacted Collin and no go with him and couldn't find a way to contact sarge.

    Anyone know of any more grip makers?
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  12. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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  13. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I asked and he said he only has 1911 grips. It looks as though I'm just gonna make a pair myself. What would be the best material to make a pair and where can I get it?
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Clear Acrylic, Plexiglas, or Lexan from an art & sign or glass repair shop.

    But be forewarned, it will be very hard to get a quality clear buffed finish on them without some experience shaping, sanding, and polishing clear plastic. And some power equipment to do it with.

    Another possibility might be to cast them with clear Polyester casting resin from the hobby shop. That presents it's own set of problems in that the female mold would have to be perfectly polished for the grips to be clear & shiny when you pop them out.

    Here is a real good link on using clear casting resin.
    http://users.lmi.net/~drewid/resin_faq.html

    Myself?
    I'm still thinking you should mill slots in the backs of regular wood or composite grips and epoxy 1/8 clear plastic sheet in them like the old cartridge counter 9mm ASP grips.
    http://www.asp9mm.com/

    rc
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  15. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    Plexiglass is a brand name for clear acrylic. Make sure you get the real stuff. The cheaper "plexiglass" sold in some lumber yards as glass replacement has a percentage of styrene in it. The stuff is impossible to work with.

    Most large cities will have a plastics supply company. The one in Denver is named Plasticrafts. Some of them will sell their scraps by the pound. A knifemaker friend of mine used to use the scraps for his patterns. Plastics supply companies may sell you part of a sheet, but most would rather sell the whole 4'x8' sheet.
     
  16. Adam123

    Adam123 Member

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    Clear plastic grips are like so hot right now.
     
  17. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    How thick should the starting plastic be?
     
  18. Guns and more

    Guns and more member

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    There is a difference between acrylic and Lexan .
    I believe Lexan is more scratch resistant and stronger.

    I have cut both and it takes some patience. The edges can be sanded with fine sandpaper until smooth.
    You could also try buffing with a Dremel. Put masking tape on any surface before cutting so the tool doesn't scratch the surface.

    I'm trying to remember the gun used by James Bond years age.
    It was a real gun made with clear grips. That gun had a slot in the magazine so the rounds showed clearly. (No pun intended)
    Now I'll have to find it.

    Update: The Asp, based on the S&W model 39 was a real gun.
    I don't see where it was in the Bond movies, but John Gardner used it in the book series (after Ian Flemming.) Starting in 1984's Role of Honor.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  19. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I have a Laser engraver to cut the grips, so that shouldn't be an issue.
     
  20. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    If you have an engraver, do you have a clear cast set up (trophy type store??)
    you could create a mold and simply cast them.
     
  21. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    No I don't, we just buy that stuff and assemble and engrave them.
     
  22. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    A cold cast set up isn't that hard to do, just you have to figure out where to find it,
    if you have the laser engravers can you cut 3d or just outline?
     
  23. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    We just can do outlines. I'm thinking about making a outline, then just filing into the curve that I want.
     
  24. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    Lexan is good stuff. Extra hard and wont yellow with age. I would try a sheet of 1/4" thick stuff. Cut it out overly large, like a quarter inch all around excess. Then use a heat gun to make it concave so the inside is hollowed out. maybe experiment with coating your gun with something and heating the lexan up soft and trying to press it onto the gun for a good fit. I'd be worried about it sticking to the gun so maybe a wax coating or something. Then finish it up by sanding and polishing and then drilling whatever holes you need.

    Gosh I might do this for my own gun.
     
  25. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Do note that you will want to find an acrylic polishing kit.
    Any "machining" you do to clear plastic or clear acrylic makes it less opaque.
    Hard to get emery paper much beyond 1200 grit, and you'll need to get to the 1800-2200-2800 liquid grits to get a properly optical-clear finish.

    Remember that all you will be able to see is the side of the magazine, you want lots of light getting "in" to be able to see the witness holes/slots in that mag. All, while your hand is still part-way wrapped around it.

    (Still surprised eBay lets anything that "dangerous" be sold so openly; maybe it's listed under "adult" products ,semi-sarcasm>)
     
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