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My search for the perfect K frame grips

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by The Wiry Irishman, Feb 16, 2011.

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  1. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    I got my first K-frame a few months ago, and it came with the stock rubber S&W grips that I really don't like. My hands slip too much on rubber when they get sweaty. The title is a little decieving, I know what the perfect grips for me are, Nill Master Series like I have on my 629, I just don't have the 200 bucks for them right now.

    [​IMG]

    I decided instead to try and make my own. I've made several (dozen) sets of 1911 grips, but they're just flat panels with a curve on one side, its hardly challenging. Revolver grips are a much different animal. My first attempt came out looking OK, but the grip angle was pretty much perpendicular to the bore axis, they were too wide around the bottom, and there were some serious issues with how they were fit to the frame:

    [​IMG]

    I tried again a few weeks ago, and although I got the grip angle and diameter perfect, I made them too high, so your middle finger get jammed up uncomfortably against the trigger guard. I don't have pics of those right now, but they did look pretty, made of high polish amboyna burl.

    Finally last week I had another go, taking the lessons I learned from the first two sets, and I think I finally got it this time.

    First, I cut the recesses into a leopardwood board with a little dremel router thing. I made patterns for them out of paper.

    [​IMG]

    Then I cut out the blanks and drilled the screw holes, doing final fitting to the frame in the process. This is what I like to refer to as the "Glock Stage"

    [​IMG]

    Then I roughed out the grip portion with a steel cutter in the Dremel:

    [​IMG]

    Next I roughed in the pommel and did some fine fitting to the frame:

    [​IMG]

    Next I did some final contouring with the sanding wheel in the Dremel. At this point its ready for finish sanding:

    [​IMG]

    I sanded them progressively down to 1500 grit.

    [​IMG]

    Then I added some stippling and teak oil, and I'm very happy with the final product. The grip angle is just right, the size is perfect, and the support hand pinky groove is perfectly placed. Theres a few very minor cosmetic issues, but those aren't a big deal. I can't wait to try them out in steel challenge this spring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also, I carved my initials in the pommel so they're readable when the gun is holstered. Yeah, I'm a nerd.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Very nice. I have made a few sets of simple Colt style SA grips. Your set looks great, a lot of thought put in to it.
     
  3. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    That is something I am perfectly capable of doing, I really like what you have done! Perhaps this will give me incentive to make my own. I have a regular router and a small router (DCU) and I have a Dremel with the flexible shaft extension and all the attachments.

    I think I might try this!

    Again, VERY NICELY DONE!:)
     
  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Well, done, Wiry! Very impressive. Let us know how they work for you in the spring.

    Love the gun, too. ;)
     
  5. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    impressive !
    grips aside, some pretty exotic customizing on that gun
    just curious, what's the back story on all that ?
    did you buy it already accessorized, or DIY... competition gun ?
     
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Very nicely done indeed! I also enjoyed the step-by-step photos along with your narrative. Please keep us updated as to how well they perform for you.
     
  7. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    very cool. I envy capable people. :D
     
  8. Slugo

    Slugo member

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    WOW!!! Excellent work indeed...
     
  9. MIL-DOT

    MIL-DOT member

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    Show off !!!!! :D

    BTW, I kinda liked those square grips in pic #4, can I get a set of those ? ;)
     
  10. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Nice job! Purdue engineer?
     
  11. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Member

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    Thanks everybody!

    I bought it used from a local gun store with all the work already done for a price I couldn't pass up. I met the original owner in the same shop a few weeks later. The bull barrel, ball detent lockup, charge hole chamfering, trigger stop, action job, barrel weight, and backstrap stippling were all done by Clark Custom. The sight rib was done by Wichita Arms. I'm not sure who did the hard chrome finish, whether that was Clark or some third party. Its not an uncommon set of modications, this is how most PPC revolvers are set up. I prefer heavy guns and I'm a sucker for anything unique, so a four pound K-frame was right up my alley. Its a fantastic shooter, as well.

    Not quite. I'm a few months away from my Masters in Computer Graphics Technology. (CAD stuff, not artsy movie/video game stuff) I got my BS in the same thing. I'm actually sitting in the CAD research lab working (well, taking a break) while I type this.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  12. Jeb21

    Jeb21 Member

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    Very very nice!
     
  13. dallascj

    dallascj Member

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    Thanks for the excellent how-to post. I have been thinking seriously about making my own grips for 3 square butt Taurus revolvers that I have, and had some questions about how to start. Your write up explained all the issues I was struggling with. Thanks for sharing!
     
  14. Jenrick

    Jenrick Member

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    Wow those look great. I'm also impressed you did this all with a dremel. I have to fire mine up this weekend and see what I come up with.

    -Jenrick
     
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