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Old February 24, 2013, 04:38 PM   #1
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Shortening revolver grip frame?

Guys, I have a pre-1966 Colt Cobra that is very worn and will make a great pocket revolver but for the long grip frame (Colt shortened the Cobra and DS grips after 1966).

I want to know if it is feasible to shorten the grip frame and fill the resulting gap given that it is aluminium?

Being a Colt guy myself I realise how some people will really frown upon the suggestion of cutting this fine old revolver but this particular gun has seen a good (hard) life and I live in a country where it will have limited collectors value in either form.

However, with a shorter butt, a Tyler T Grip and some stag grips it is sure to be returned to daily carry. In the second photo below the white card behind the grip frame shows the approximate place where the shorter grip panels will end.

Any suggestions or advice?
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:04 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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Sure it's feasible. The cut part will have no finish, unless you refinish the entire frame.
You could leave it a little longer and cut it to a bird's head configuration, too.
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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Hi Bill, thanks for your reply.

My concern is that the cut will pass through the hollow circle of the original grip area and leave a large gap at the base of the shortened version.
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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As to advice, measure twice, cut once comes to mind.

Since pretty isn't part of your objective, and since you have that nice round hole, I would probably get a piece of steel cut to fill it, then degrease both and use an industrial metal bonding epoxy to glue the filler into place. If you want to limit weight, you could bore it and cut it off the upper third and just glue the rest into the lower half of the hole. The idea, though, is to have steel continuous where you will cut and file to final shape. If you use a softer material, the filing will not tend to cut or uniformly enough to get a tight result easily.
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:41 PM   #5
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OK---I've got a couple of Colt's, but I'm not familiar with the
Cobra. So a dumb question---where is the serial number located?
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Old February 24, 2013, 05:45 PM   #6
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I would suggest cutting it 1/4" shorter than your mark, then inletting the grip panels to enclose the bottom of gripframe, so that the alteration will be invisible w/o removing the grips - pretty much what Colt did with the later DS.

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Old February 24, 2013, 06:18 PM   #7
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Think you might need to also drill a new grip locating pin on the rear of the shortened frame to keep the grips from moving under recoil.

No biggie to do, but I would. There is recoil with the alloy frame.

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Old February 24, 2013, 06:45 PM   #8
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I am not all that familiar with Colts, but where is the serial number?
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:24 PM   #9
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After about 1907 Colt stamped the serial number in three places.
On the frame where the cylinder crane seats just below the barrel.
On the crane opposite the frame number.
Inside the side plate.
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Old February 25, 2013, 01:42 AM   #10
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As DFariswheel has pointed out, serial number will not be an issues as with S&W since it is stamped elsewhere.

I've ordered a pair of Patrick Grashorn's stag grips and he made them to fit flush with the grip frame on one of my Colt Agents so that the gun is as small as possible for pocket carry, while steel being manageable when shot.

I like the advice of inletting slightly and using a steel replacement - thanks very much.
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