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View Full Version : Colt Grips to finish or not


chasgrips45
May 26, 2012, 01:31 PM
So I buy a NOS set of Colt Python grips for my old Colt 357. Damn things cost $125!
i figured That was it for cost! Bought them a a guy in Sparta ,Tennessee. A question,did all the Colt grips come unfinished? These are. These look like Walnut? I asked the seller & he mentioned not to varnish them. He suggested some gunstock oil . Another question, As I look around I notice that many of the Colt grips I see are in fact,sealed with something? I could use some suggestions as to how to handle these nice old grips.

Dfariswheel
May 26, 2012, 09:42 PM
Which type?

The First Type fully checkered target grips had a dull oil finish.


The Second Type had a semi-gloss varnish type finish.
All later Colt Target grips had a semi-gloss surface finish.

The First Type fully checkered Colt Target grip. Dull oil finish:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/dfariswheel/PythonFirstType.jpg

Second Type Colt Target grip. A semi-gloss surface finish:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/dfariswheel/SecondType.jpg

Third Type Target grip. Semi-gloss.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/dfariswheel/ThirdType-1.jpg

Colt Target grips were American Walnut.
The actual Colt finish was a reddish stain mixed with a semi-gloss finish.
The closest I've found to factory is Minwax Polyshades Olde Maple.
Usually three coats will match a factory finish.

chasgrips45
May 27, 2012, 07:41 AM
Thanks Dfariswheel ,I see you are a source of great info. I`ve got the first type grips. I still want to put some type of semi gloss finish on them. It`s got to be able to stand up to gun cleaner such as Hoppes . Varnish aint going to hack it . I wonder what type of semi gloss sealant would work.

Dfariswheel
May 27, 2012, 07:12 PM
Semi-Gloss clear polyurethane is pretty durable and seems to be proof against Hoppe's.
You can also use semi-gloss brushing lacquer. Lowe's hardware usually sell it, but it's in cans that are much larger then the little cans of Minwax clear poly that you can buy at Walmart.

If you only paid $125 for a set of genuine Colt First Type Target grips you stole them.
These days those grips START at $250 and go UP.

What I recommend is to use paint thinner to thin the clear poly fairly thin for the first coat. This allows good penetration. Also brush a light coat on the checkering. Allow to dry until really dry before applying more coats.
For following coats, just thin about 3% to improve brushing.
Apply one of these 3% thinned coats to the checkering, but don't apply more or the checkering will fill up.

PetahW
May 27, 2012, 07:13 PM
I buy a NOS set of Colt Python grips for my old Colt 357. Damn things cost $125!

I still want to put some type of semi gloss finish on them. It`s got to be able to stand up to gun cleaner such as Hoppes . Varnish aint going to hack it . I wonder what type of semi gloss sealant would work.


Exactly how to change a set of $125 grips into a $40 set.

The grips are removeable for when cleaning the revolver......................... ;)


.

Dfariswheel
May 27, 2012, 07:22 PM
Going on the basis that the customer just wants an answer, I usually don't bring this matter up, but PetahW is exactly right.

These grips are worth at least $250 and by altering them in any way, you just took a major loss in value.
The fact is, that today the grips you just bought are worth over twice what your Colt 357 probably cost when new.

Buy a good gunsmith's Magna-Tip screwdriver bit that fits the grip screw from Brownell's and remove the grips when cleaning.
This will also allow inspection of the frame and prevent rust starting under the grips.

chasgrips45
May 28, 2012, 06:34 AM
There`s probably no way these grips are genuine. As I wrote ,they were on EBAY being sold by a gent from Tennessee. He mentioned they were NOS grips that were 30 years old . Also, when I put them on,being duty grips, they were way too small for my hand. So I`ll see whether or not I can return them. Live & learn. Also there`s no way I can afford to pay $250 for a set of originals. Besides ,I just discovered that the barrel is starting to come loose! No way am I going to try & tighten it! It`s only off a few degrees . You know I really like this old Colt ,but I`m getting in deeper!