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Old August 11, 2019, 08:43 AM   #1
wild cat mccane
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Join Date: May 22, 2011
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2 686 questions: best wood grip shape/color? (4") & case harden issue?

Hey all,

Might anyone have comments, opinions, or pics of their favor for wood grips on a 686 4"?

I just picked up another (plus) with the rubber non Hogue grips. I like these, but will go with wood....just can't decide.

I *think* I am particular to the traditional target shape (checkered, no finger grooves, flat base).

Any beautiful picks? Recommendations?

Additionally, the case harden stain/color on my July 2019 build is only partially on the trigger and hammer. Perhaps 1/3 coverage, the rest is just silver. I realize these are MIM parts now, but shouldn't these parts be 100% colored?

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Old August 11, 2019, 12:08 PM   #2
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You can't go wrong with the classics, I believe that Cocobolo wood looks magnificent next to stainless steel or nickel metals. The red variety looks best, there are several shades that you can find, ranging from very dark coffee to a high red content, but it all has some red to it.

From McBeath hardwoods


Cocobolo heartwood contains oil, which lends a strong, unmistakable floral odor even to well seasoned wood and occasionally stains the hands with prolonged exposure. The high natural oil content of the wood makes it difficult to achieve a strong glue joint, as in applying veneers or guitar fingerboards, and can inhibit the curing of some varnishes, particularly oil-based finishes. Acetone may be used to remove surface oils before gluing.[1] The oil can induce allergic reactions if inhaled or exposed to unprotected skin and eyes. This is due to the presence of allergenic chemicals such as S-4'-hydroxy-4-methoxy dalbergione, R-4-methoxy dalbergione, and other quinones and phenols.[2] A dust collection system, coupled with the use of personal protective equipment such as respirators, is highly recommended when machining this wood Because it stands up well to repeated handling and exposure to water, a common use is for gun grips and knife handles, and duck calls. It is very hard, fine textured, and dense, yet easily machined. The abundance of natural oils, however, causes the wood to clog abrasives and fine-toothed saw blades, like other hard, dense tropical woods. Besides its use on guns and knives, cocobolo is favored for fine inlay work on custom, high-end cue sticks, police batons, pens, brush backs, bowls, pipes, jewelry boxes, desktops and other expensive specialty items.
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Old August 11, 2019, 12:59 PM   #3
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I have to add that this wood is as hard as rocks. It's been forever since I handled it and I can't put my hands on a piece right now.

It's a hardwood with no difference between the rings and the porosity is nearly zip. The pressure test (dink/dent test) puts cocobolo way above rock maple (you can say 'wow' now) and nearly identical to Arizona Desert Ironwood. Scratch and gouge resistance is amazing.

You can make other choices, and I'm listing this from top to bottom in approximate order of strength.

The ebonies range from black to brown.
cocobolo, which you have seen.
purpleheart is of course purple, but turns brown in a few decades.
Persimmon is used in golf clubs. It's variable in color, it's porous, and mostly not a great idea for these uses.
various rosewoods.
Padauk starts out bloody red and ages to look like a scab.
Wenge is the color of dark chocolate. Not a 'nice looking' wood. When finished it is hard and attractive.

Going down from there you find oak, maples, cherry, other locally grown hardwoods such as even osage orange. You can find many resin stabilized woods as well.
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Old August 12, 2019, 08:53 AM   #4
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I had a 686 that I bought a Hogue wood monogrip. They were beautiful, and fit my hand very well, but that exposed backstrap just beat my hand to death under recoil. I bought a set of Pachy Grippers to shoot it with, and put the woodys back on when it got back from the range.


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