View Full Version : Does anybody make QUALITY hard rubber grips?

Sir William
December 10, 2004, 02:20 AM
OK. I am looking for proper sized, not full of holes, flashed, warped and/or melted looking hard rubber grips. I have several vintage revolvers and a couple of Colt semi-autos that need new grips. What I find from my usual sources are not as good as the broken grips I have. I need some Webley large 455 grips too. Would Eagle grips make a pair in faux ivory? (polymer resin)

December 10, 2004, 08:05 PM
For good quality rubber grips try Hogue.
Their grips are better quality AND better "feel" than any one else's.

Sir William
December 11, 2004, 02:10 AM
You misunderstood me. I am searching for gutta percha type grips. These were used on pistols in the early days. They look like black plastic.

December 11, 2004, 12:12 PM
That's going to be tougher.
Most of these are modern plastics, and these are probably all made by one, or at most two companies.

Quality seems to be OK, but nothing special.

Gun Parts Corporation sells the most models of them, some smaller companies sell selected models, but again, I think they are all actually made by the same company.

What I'd suggest is contacting Doug Turnbull.
Turnbull is likely the world's premier firearms restorer.

I'd bet he can direct you to a maker of high-quality grips, since his specialty is restoring antique guns to factory-new condition and he'd almost HAVE to have a source of correct gutta percha replacement grips.


December 11, 2004, 01:43 PM
I don't want to do it, but I'll tell you to check over at fleBay, lots of times the grips you are looking for are not recognized for what they are and sell cheap. I'm up to a couple dozen sets of grips from there and could have spent a small fortune getting them elsewhere.

FORGET IT if you want Colt or S&W factory grips, they have gone insane in the last couple years. Start hitting garage sales if you want mainstream Colt or S&W grips at reasonable prices.

James K
December 11, 2004, 08:50 PM
I have bought grips from Gun Parts Corp. for around a dozen guns to replace hard rubber grips. The new ones are plastic, of course, but all that I have used were excellent copies and just about indistinguishable from the original. In fact, I have some guns with the original grip on one side and the repro on the other, and there is no difference I can see between them.

AFAIK, no one makes or sells new gutta percha grips; for one thing, the natural product is not even harvested any more and if it were no one would use it since modern plastic is so much better. Some people wonder why gutta percha was used at all, but when those grips were new they were fairly pliable and tough; the substance hardens and becomes brittle with age.

I will add one more note. I have put modern J frame wood grips on some old .38 breaktop S&W revolvers. Incredible as it is, the critical distance from the inner curve of the frame to the grip pin did not change in nearly 70 years, even though about 1/4 inch was added to the bottom of the grip. A fine match is possible just by trimming the J frame grips to match the breaktop frame. They don't look original, of course, but they look great.


Sir William
December 11, 2004, 09:47 PM
LOL You too? I have done just that Jim. I have even made and glued in a wood spacer for pocket carry of an old S&W breaktop 38. A friend still pocket carries a S&W breaktop 38. I have been using Dixie Gun Works for most of my vintage parts. The hard rubber repro grips that I have gotten lately are just not a good fit or finish. I will check Numrich. There are several H&Rs with broken or missing grips. I have been putting S&W wooden Heritage Series grips on round butt K frames.

December 17, 2004, 09:05 AM
Do a search for North Carolina Ordnance

Sir William
December 17, 2004, 10:17 PM
NC Ordnance!? I thought they were run out of business. Deceptive advertising, defective merchandise and those POJ brass frames for CAS that they were selling. I have heard and seen too many horror stories about NC Ordnance. Thanks but, no thanks. Bad juju.

James K
December 21, 2004, 02:18 PM
Just for general info. The reason it is hard to get grips that exactly fit the old guns is that the gun makers fitted grips that were a little oversize and then polished the grip frame down along with the grips. The grips were then removed, numbered to the gun, and replaced after the gun was blued/plated. Much as grip makers have tried, they cannot get that kind of perfect fit.