A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Almost" Ivory for an N Frame

On February 2, 2006 I placed an order to Boone Trading for a set of N frame magna grips with S&W medallions. I had long read that if a man wanted the best in simulated ivory, these were the folks to call. Not only did the price whip everyone else, the quality was reputed to be unsurpassed by anything short of ivory itself. Boone Trading specializes in bonded ivory grips. These grips that can be carved or scrimshawed and will acquire an patina, like ivory, with age.

On February 10, I received a package in the mail. I quickly opened it to find a set of magna grips. They were very nice, much nicer than any other simulated ivory I have held. They actually felt like ivory. Unfortunately, they were K frame grips without medallions. I was not a happy recipient. I placed a call to Boone, with the faint hope they would tell me to simply keep the wrong order and send me out the right ones as well. No such luck. I joked about grip stretchers with the gentleman on the phone, but in the end, I agreed to mail the wrong grips back, while he credited me the shipping costs and sent out the right set that same day. Unfortunately, I had to venture out into a downpour to hold up my end of the bargain.

On February 13, the proper grips arrived. I was very excited as I prepared to install them on my Model 27. I had found a Pachmayr grip adapter to give the entire assembly that retro cool flavor. My first hint of trouble was no grip screw. Not to worry, I'll just use the old grip screw. Wrong. It was the wrong diameter. I dug through my box of spare grips to locate a screw that would fit. I had none. I decided to try the grips on the revolver anyway, and maybe take a few photos before I ordered a screw from Brownell's.

The fit between the locator pin in the bottom of the grip frame and the upper arch of the N frame was extremely precise. That measurement could not have been better. Unfortunately the grips were approximately 1/32 of an inch to small all the way around. The upper arch of the grips did not extend to the back of the revolver. Thus, it was impossible to fit the grips correctly. It was a disappointing reality. I am not a professional grip fitter, but I am able to fit single action army grips with no gaps and a smooth transition between the grip and grip frame. I know a good fit when I see it, and the Boone grips fit snugly, but were to small.

I did not want to contact Boone Trading again. I was about to toss the grips into my spares box for later trading when I wondered....... Would the pin and arch fit on a K frame? I removed the left grip from a Model 10-5, and pressed on the simulated ivory grip. Surprise! The N frame grips fit just as snugly on a K frame. The tops of the magnas fit properly on the K frame. The grips were approximately 1/16 to large about the perimeter of the grip frame, except the very bottom. I can work with this. I will put these away for a precise installation on a worthy K frame in the future.

The Model 27 received it's old oiled walnut stocks again.

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Blogger VileBill said...

Gorgeous! I've wondered about the patina and "aging" with the Tru-Ivory -type grips.
By the way, I read your comment to me about my shotgun purchase (I write this here 'cause your e-mail is not listed) and will reconsider. I read your shotgun post when you first posted, but it bore rereading. Like all that I've read from you, it's top-rank "nuts & bolts."

11:48 PM  

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