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Colt SAA Grips

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by warrennadeau, Dec 3, 2012.

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  1. warrennadeau

    warrennadeau Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    I am trying to make single piece colt SAA grips. I have made the 2 outer panels of walnut but I have no idea what the insert inside the frame is supposed to look like. Is there a plan or design that holds the grips in place when the backstrap is screwed on?
    Also how can I best remove the pin that held the original black grips in place? It seems very tight and I don't want to tap it with a hammer.
    Any help you could offer would be appreciated.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Tapping it with a hammer, then with a pin punch, while the frame is supported on a bench block with a hole in it is the only way you will get it out.

    I have no plans for the center of a one-peice grip center block.

    But all it has to do is be the same width as the grip frame, and leave room inside for the mainspring to miss it while cocked and uncocked.

    Should be pretty easy to trace one out on a sheet of paper to make a pattern.

  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Here's as link to Collins Craft's kits.
    This shows the general shape of the filler.
    He uses pins and glue to hold the parts together, but you can get a good bond by roughening the grips and filler to give the epoxy better adhesion.


    Here's Tombstone grips kit showing their filler.


    What I did was to use a drill to drill lots of very shallow holes in the grips and the filler. I'd turn the drill so the shallow holes would be slightly undercut.
    These undercut holes would give the epoxy "locks" to insure a firm bond.
  4. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    It is actually not hard. In the old days, those grips were made from a block of walnut, but today, as you have seen, they are usually made using a separate filler. The trick is to make the filler first, make sure it fits OK, then add the side pieces, which need to be oversize so they can be fitted (not all back and front straps are created equal). When you get close, use masking tape to protect the metal while you do the final sanding. And don't forget the top part has to be fitted to the wide part of the backstrap.

    Also, make sure you don't glue/epoxy the grips to the back or front strap. :banghead:

    Just FWIW, one outfit charges $300 for fitting solid wood grips to an SAA (and that doesn't include shipping the gun).

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