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No More Cocobolo Grips

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Nathan Detroit, Aug 10, 2013.

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  1. Nathan Detroit

    Nathan Detroit Member

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    One of the custom grip manufacturers just sent out a note to retailers that he will no longer be offering Cocobolo grips. Cocobolo has been placed on the threatened/endangered species list. If you want them now is the time to get them. Once the supply dries up there will be no more for the foreseeable future - our lifetimes. You can expect that this will be the case for all grip manufacturers.

    If you go to Kim Ahrends website you will see the notice.
     
  2. texagun

    texagun Member

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    That's a shame. Cocobolo is my favorite wood for grips. This is the only reference I can find on Ahrend's website regarding Cocobolo grips:

    "Cocobolo
    A true Rosewood. Cocobolo can be seen in a kaleidoscope of different colors, ranging from yellow, orange, red, and shades of brown with streaks of black or purple. Colors are lighter when freshly sanded/cut, and darken with age. Note: The world supply of Cocobolo is being stripped by the Chinese and it is getting very difficult to come by. It appears that CITES is going to place it on the restricted list. We have a commitment for Cocobolo in 2013 but it’s verbal and can change at a moments notice. Feel free to email and check availability or include a second choice with your order."


    Is there another notice that I may have missed?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    So far as I'm concerned that should be enough notice. While it's not absolutely positive I would call it a "strong hint" about the direction things were going, and the need to move quickly while there was still opportunity. :uhoh:
     
  4. texagun

    texagun Member

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    Yep, looks like cocobolo wood was put on the CITES list on 6/12/13 in the Appendix II category.

    "Appendix II – This appendix contains species that are at risk in the wild, but not necessarily threatened with extinction. Species in this appendix are closely regulated, but are typically not as restricted as Appendix I."

    There will likely be serious restrictions put on it's export and use resulting in much higher prices. If you're interested in cocobolo grips, it would probably be a good idea to get them soon, while you can.

    http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/restricted-and-endangered-wood-species/
     
  5. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    Don't know if you are familiar with the administration shutting down Gibson (the legendary guitar maker) because they found illegal ebony in the Gibson stockpile.

    Coco bolo is a spectacular wood. I had some blanks I bought. I have coco bolo grips on my Colt Officers.

    It does not surprise me to hear the government is getting involved in shutting down access to this wood.

    It has, by the way, some very interesting properties if you try to shape a blank. The sawdust from it will irritate the heck out of your skin and you can have a serious reaction if you inhale the dust.
     
  6. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    Coco is a beautiful wood when it is finished, but a royal pain to work with as stated above. I have a knife-maker friend who used a bunch of it for a run of knives. He had to quit using it due to the irritation he would get after working with it, lots of hives and a nasty cough even though he used a dust mask and gloves. The handles he did make looked phenomenal when paired up with a full mirror polish blade. I wish he would get his shop set back up so that I can get a knife made for me, and maybe I can convince him to use some of his remaining coco bolo to make the scales. :)
     
  7. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I'm too traditional. I love walnut on a fiream. The exotics never appealed to me nor did ivory, real or immitation.
     
  8. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I had an absolutely stunning set of cocobolo grips for a 1911. Then they aged and darkened, and I could barely make out the grain pattern. If you sanded them again, the bright colors would come out again, but you can't keep doing that. Not sure I would spend the money for them again.
     
  9. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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  10. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Government getting involved------- Well they have to find something for the gozillion excess employees on the payroll to do. It seems a better task would be to concentrate on why the US can no longer be competitive in the world market, but then again if they found the true reason for that, it would mean they no longer have a job!
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    CITES is an international organization of approximately 200 countries and has nuttin' to do with the U.S. Government.:rolleyes: They do not only regulate wood species, roughly 5,000 species of animals and 29,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade.
     
  12. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Thanks for enlightenment Buck, Catpop
     
  13. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I'm pretty stupid. Besides gun grips, what would someone use cocobolo for? Are we really using THAT much for gun grips? Is there another heavy-use industry that HAS to use cocobolo? It is not used for musical instruments, or high end cabinets, etc, to my knowledge.......
     
  14. Mooseman

    Mooseman Member

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    Here's some things it's used for, next paragraph is taken from the link below it.

    Because it is hard, beautiful, and very stable, cocobolo has been important to many industries and fine arts. Kitchen knives with cocobolo handles can be immersed in water for short periods without distortion of the grips and do not require chemical treatment. Cocobolo wood has also been used for jewelry boxes, inlay and veneer, the handles of high quality hair brushes, and the manufacture of bowling balls. Cocobolo is favored for canes and pool cues because it resists warping and impact damage. Cocobolo resists checking and is resonant when struck, making it a preferred material for marimbas and xylophones.

    Read more: http://www.ehow.com/about_5103335_cocobolo-wood.html#ixzz2bie4Xm9U
     
  15. astra600

    astra600 Member

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    Cocked & Locked, where did you get that holster? It's fantastic.
     
  16. rondog

    rondog Member

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    That's a shame. Seems like most of Esmeraldas' grips are cocobolo.
     
  17. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    cocobolo is used for anything you would use a decorative wood for, including guitars, pens, carvings, etc.
     
  18. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    Thanks! That holster is about like the Cocobolo grips discussed in this thread...endangered species that is now extinct.

    It was made by Tom Dyer in Kingman AZ...Saquaro Gunleather. One click on his website http://www.saguarogunleather.com/ shows the status of RETIRED.

    Tom specialized in custom handgun holsters and custom horse tack. Great work at a good (but not cheap) price.

    In addition to the one pictured with the Python I also have two other holsters he made for me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I remember having a coco bolo nightstick when I first got on the job in 1969.

    Very hard wood, very dense and heavy.
     
  20. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Hmmmm.... I've got about 7 or 8 board feet of smaller pieces saved away. Guess I'll be reserving it for special things from now on.
     
  21. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    I've had a pair of cocobolo nunchaku since the mid-eighties. It's a very hard, dense wood. Would be a shame to see it become unavailable.

    The Gibson fiasco mentioned earlier was a process issue, not materials. They imported the ebony fretboard wood from India, where it was partially worked (rough shaped) before shipment. This was a violation of Indian law, which prohibits products from being completed outside of their country (outsourcing work, essentially). The company never violated any US laws, but DOJ shut them down anyway by confiscating any and all "questionable" material. As far as I know, they never adequately resolved the matter and never got the wood back.
     
  22. TEAM101

    TEAM101 Member

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    I spoke to Ahrend grips this afternoon. No more cocobolo imports.
     
  23. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    better take care of mine, like Sambar stag it is one of my favorites that is no longer readily available.
     
  24. barnbwt

    barnbwt Member

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    It's probably my fault; cocobolo is one of my favorite woods to carve (it's horribly allergenic if worked with dust-generating machines --an absolute dream to use with chisels, rasps, and scrapers since the tight, oily grain cuts very predictably). Heck, the stock I'm making for my Remington 700 is about half cocobolo (3lbs, at least :evil:). As with all banics, I'm sure there's a mad rush to claim every last parcel of the stuff going on (I'll go see if I can still find some tomorrow, in fact :D)

    I also have my doubts this will change things all that much for us in the US. Here in the States, the cocobolo has been coming in from plantations for years (at least as far my research has been able to indicate). "Wild" cocobolo has been scarce for a long time, so the farms sprung up to meet the demand ("sprung" is probably too fast a descriptor for these trees ;) ) for smaller-diameter needs like grips and inlay wood. The big logs come from old trees, and that's where the price increases will be seen. Avoid solid cocobolo coffee tables (and gun stocks :D). Even then, current stocks of board and curing timber will be around for years (they take years to dry) at increasing prices

    Also interesting will be whether than try to ban all cocobolo, since it's a very widespread species in south America. The northern strain in Mexico is much more orange, and less dense than we think of, while the stuff right at the equator is jet black, and extremely dense. I find it hard to believe the tree is under equal threat in all the different countries its found, and therefore deserving of embargo (which won't really accomplish anything besides allowing us to feel morally superior while the timber outfits hook up with China)

    PS-IIRC, there was some evidence of political motivations behind the Gibson raid, as a very big to-do was made over what was really a clerical error, that ended up sullying Gibson's good name (seeing how most people think they used illegally harvested timber to this day)

    TCB
     
  25. astra600

    astra600 Member

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    C&L, you have the grips, guns and holsters That just great. Thanks for sharing.
     
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