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Ivory Grips

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Blain, Oct 20, 2003.

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  1. Blain

    Blain member

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    Where can one get these and how much would they cost to buy/have made?
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    To protect elephants embargos have been placed on ivory, and as a consequence only a small amount of it can be legally imported. This being the case “real ivory†grips are very expensive. To be more precise I’d have to know what gun you had in mind. A number of companies make grips out of various plastics, some of them of which consist of an epoxy base with ivory dust.

    The following link will take you to two well-known companies that offer both kinds.

    Ajax Custom Grips, Inc. www.ajaxgrips.com

    Eagle GRIPS, Inc. www.eaglegrips.com
     
  3. Blain

    Blain member

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    Elephants? FORGET about the elephants, man!
     
  4. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'm not sure where you'd go for real elephant ivory stocks—grips are made of plastic or rubber—but you might also want to look into woolly mammoth ivory. I've seen some on knives. It makes elephant ivory look like plastic.
     
  5. Blain

    Blain member

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    LOL, where is the wooly ivory found at?
     
  6. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    Mostly in Siberia - Roy Fishpaw has some; he can make grips out of any natural suitable material, including ivory, if you can stand the cost. His work is perfect; you have to ship your gun to him for a perfect fit. Oh yeah, there's a one year waiting list.
     
  7. CWL

    CWL Member

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    I think that your best luck will be contacting existing gripmakers for ivory slabs as they are keyed-in to the few suppliers left around.
    You might also want to try knife-making suppliers on the web.

    It will be pricey for either ivory or fossilized ivory though. My last check for 1911 grips were over $300/pr.
     
  8. Hal

    Hal Member

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    pmbiker Member

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  10. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    I have a set of grips for my Model 28 from Boone Trading Company.

    Inexpensive, at $28, and they look NICE!

    They probably will require a little fitting to your gun.

    Unfortunately, I didn't fit mine correctly and ended up breaking a small piece out of the grip where it was riding on the frame. Sigh...
     
  11. Johnny Guest

    Johnny Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    Once upon a time - - -

    - - I set out to do me up a "Parade Rig." Had a matched pair of Colt National Match (pre- Gold Cup) pistols. Ordered a pair of flower carved holsters with matching two belt set and double mag pouch, from Oliver Ball in Fort Worth. Picked up wide and narrow silver-and-gold four piece buckle sets in Matamoros. The crowning glory was the ivory stocks - - Two matched pair from the elephant tooth, made for me by a fellow in Houston. I don't want to think what the whole rig cost me. I DO recall that the stocks were $150. (For both pair.) Of course all this took place in 1973--74.

    Well, I was a bit sheepish about wearing the entire rig. Only did it once, in fact. Ended up selling the holster rig but kept everything else. Both pistols are in the safe. One pair of the ivories was scrimshawed and are the primary stocks for my weddings-and-funerals pistol. The other pair went into a drawer until a couple of weeks ago, when I put 'em on my daily carry Commander. Wearing it now, and it looks pretty good . . . .
    ;)

    Best,
    Johnny
     
  12. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Member

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    There's a guy that goes to local gunshows around here, last name is Self. Business is called Self Made Grips. Does excellent work with Ivory. IIRC he made some Ivory grips for my dad's 1903. Cost about $300. Does excellent work and also uses wood for those not wanting to spend the price of the gun to get nice grips. Haven't seen him last 2 shows, though. Don't know if he's on the web. I think he'll do minor gun repair/fitting on certain models too.

    Ivory grips look nice on some guns, but the Ivory is far too expensive for my taste.
     
  13. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    For what it's worth, Giraffe leg bone, properly dyed, looks a lot like mammoth ivory. Cow bone, properly dyed and polished, looks almost like ivory. The pieces I've seen on knives looked better than ivory to me.

    There's also the teeth of various animals as a substitute for ivory (walrus tusk works, IIRC).

    Chris
     
  14. Keith

    Keith Member

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    Walrus tusks ARE ivory, no different than elephant tusks. I've got walrus ivory grips on both my Kimbers. Ivory is just teeth, period. A few critters (elephants, walrus, narwhal, mammoth, etc) have teeth big enough for grips and items like that.

    Contact Boone Trading for information on ivory grips. You never know what they'll have in - right now they have Narwhal advertised on their web site! They'll make whetever you want and at reasonable cost. Standard 1911, 1911 compacts, Ruger revolvers, etc, start at $150. They only advertise elephant ivory, but if you ask for mammoth, Narwhal, Walrus, etc, they'll make them of that ivory - the cost may vary depending on availability.
    And they'll make grips for other less popular guns, though you'll have to send them a set of grips as a model and the cost will be higher.

    They are good folks, if something is wrong they'll make good on it.

    Keith
     
  15. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I guess I meant a substitute for "traditional" ivory since to most people ivory=elephant.

    Chris
     
  16. Keith

    Keith Member

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    "Traditional" ivory here is walrus!

    Keith
     
  17. Cactus

    Cactus Member

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    Weddings and funeral pistols. :cool: Ya' gotta LOVE Texas!:D
     
  18. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Po' boy Ivory

    I was very keen on getting a basic-grade set of 1911 grips from Boone Trading ($150 or so), then I bought a Sistema...

    Decided that it didn't make sense to put $150 grips on a $275 pistol, so I bought a set of bone grips from Spresser Knife Works. He usuall "jigs" them to look staglike, but made me a plain set for $50 or so.

    They look great, feel great, and have held up fine for a few hundred rounds. Time will tell. One had a very minor (not through) crack, and he offered to replace that one if the flaw should damage the grip.

    I've been meaning to put up photos of my grips for months now, hope to do so before too long.

    Re: walrus, etc: does walrus, narwhal, etc. cost more or less than elephant? I believe Boone also had good deals on oosik (fosilized walrus penis), for those seeking the truly conversation-starting (or stopping).
     
  19. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "A few critters (elephants, walrus, narwhal, mammoth, etc) have teeth big enough for grips and items like that."

    Hmmmmm...

    I've got two coworkers who must be one of the aforementioned critters...

    Biggest damned teeth I've ever seen...

    Time to pick a fight and knock out a tooth or two!
     
  20. BigG

    BigG Member

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    OK, you've piqued my interest. I have a really nice blued Colt 45 Auto that would show off with some ivory stocks, but first a few questions, if you please.

    I looked at the Boone Trading site, and noticed they have good prices on the real ivory grips. But there are three price/quality levels related to "grain." The pics are not good enough to see grain, if there is any. What exactly is grain in regard to ivory? Are there multicolored streaks in the structure of it or is the surface left rough like driftwood or perhaps stag? Also, I noticed there was no checkering on the ivory available. Is the material too soft or weak to stand up the the checkering?

    The faux ivory grips - how do the checkered ones look? Again, the pics are a little small for these old eyes. :uhoh:

    I know, a lot of questions, but you did pique my interest!
     
  21. Keith

    Keith Member

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    "Grain" refers to whether you are buying the expensive outer enamel part of the tooth or the cheaper inner (dentin?) part of the tooth.
    The enamel is flawless white while the inner part of the tooth has a faint "grain". Both parts are equally hard and durable and will take checkering, etc.

    The only difference is that if you are going to have the pieces scrimshawed you'll want the grainless enamel portion.

    If you are not planning to have them scrimshawed, just get the cheaper "grained" ivory since (to me) it looks more interesting. Over the years the ivory will yellow from absorbing oils from your hands. The grains will become more apparent and the whole grip will take on that "old ivory" patina.

    Keith
     
  22. 0007

    0007 Member

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    elephant ivory

    I passed on buying a couple of old tusks when I was in Saudi. They were about three inches at the base and aound 2 feet long. I could have bought the pair for ~$2500. Couldn't think of any real use for them other then hanging on the wall to piss off the enviro-wackos...:neener:

    Almost forgot - my daughter has a 1st model Colt Det. Sp. 100% engraved with ivory grips and the wife has a 1903 Colt .32 with ivory grips. Both done a very long time ago.
     
  23. Keith

    Keith Member

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    You can buy walrus tusks bigger than that and for less money. The natives take hundreds of them every year and plenty of big tusks just get found on the beaches in Western Alaska.
    You can probably google up a set or two if you wanted them.
    There are some weird laws surrounding sea mammal parts, but you can still buy and sell this stuff. A big walrus tusk looks just like an elephant tusk and the ivory is identical - at least it would take an expert with a microscope to tell it apart.

    Keith
     
  24. Firefighter

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  25. Firefighter

    Firefighter Member

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