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Thread: Proper fit grips...too much to ask?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    LUCKYDAWG13's Avatar
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    I have a set of there grips on a Ruger SBH they look and fit great
    They replaced the 2 set's of Eagle grips that cracked on it
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    Bisley are bad. The fix is to send the frame out to a pro or take s stab at whittling them yourself. The real trick is not making them look ho-made.


  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    In todays world, sadly,, mass manufacturing has taken over our beloved firearm industry.
    Blame ourselves for the high demand, and blame the stockholders for wanting constant profit. Result, mass production, with generic built parts.
    All of the big named manufacturers here in the USA outsource several parts to other companies who specialize in that kind of stuff.
    S&W, Ruger, Springfield, etc all get parts made elsewhere.
    They give the other companies a set of specifications for a part, (say grips,) and receive thousands of them all made on CNC machines to those specs.
    Then when a frame is built, and polished,, along with minor dimensional differences in castings or forgings,, you get a poor fit of the grips.
    Big names employee parts assemblers,, worried about meeting production.

    They no longer employee knowledgeable gunsmith types who TAKE TIME TO PROPERLY FIT a part! They can't afford those skills,, if they want to remain competitive AND keep US,, the CONSUMER happy with reasonable prices.
    It's called "business" with mass production.

    I'll pick on Ruger. When Bill was alive,, quality was a good component of their production. BUT,, we as consumers complained, often & loudly,,, on how a gun could be introduced,, and it would take 1, 2 or even 3 years before any numbers of guns were produced for US the CONSUMER could find one. It was a common occurrence,, but we had better quality firearms,, made by folks who were gun people,, & not just parts assemblers. After Bill passed, and Bill Jr. no longer was involved in the company,, bean counters,, as well as mass manufacturer type people were brought in,, to "fix" this problem.
    Stockholders want profits.
    Consumers want a product NOW!
    Expenses needed to be kept low to be competitive with other companies.
    Results?

    Mass production with the quality of the finished product not as acceptable as it was under Bill.

    On the PLUS side, with new technology,, a LOT of the mass production is quite good with the newer machines,,, keeping closer tolerances.
    But as this thread, and the often discussed complaint of grips is heard,, it comes down to the simple fact that it's not one single thing you can easily fix. It's a combination of many things that have resulted in what is "normal" now.

    We consumers all seem to want hand fitted, custom quality, for the cheapest price. No matter who makes it, or whatever.

    Want proof?
    Look up the BATF's records, on the numbers manufactured each year. All firearm manufacturers are required to report the numbers of firearms produced & sold each year. Look up S&W, Look up Ruger, etc. Hundreds of thousands.
    Then, look up Freedom Arms.
    The numbers will shock you. (If I recall correctly,, less than 1000 for an entire year.)
    A Freedom Arms is expensive,,, but is the top quality we all WISH for. Tight tolerance, custom fitted,, and darn near perfect. But you have to PAY for that.

    And let's look from another angle.
    Many of us here are more "serious" gun enthusiasts. We are the minority. The majority in this day & age want "black, plastic & tactical." They want it to be "modern, & look cool in the movies." And many are NOT serious gun people,, who appreciate FINE firearms. Let's face it,, todays society has a "disposable" attitude. And to have a plastic type of firearm is the normal thought process. And when you are molding a plastic grip frame,, you are also molding the grips,, and as such,, no extra parts, no extra expense, and you can build it cheaper with closer tolerances.

    So, to sum it up, I too long for the better quality hand crafted handguns of yesteryear. But the facts of life are that things have changed,, and everybody is to blame. We as consumers, the companies driven by profit, and the changes in attitudes by the younger generations.

    So,, many casual gun owners, who only want a gun to shoot & aren't as concerned by looks, will buy & never complain about poor fitting grips. But us serious folks are lamenting the passing of a tradition.
    If looks (and often the feel,) of grips is a concern,,, buy a set of custom fit grips,, and enjoy a better looking gun, as well as one that often fits YOUR hands better. It's a small price to pay to add a custom feature YOU like.
    The alternative it to buy a handgun like a Freedom Arms. I never hear complaints about them. But serious gun folks STILL do some custom work on those as well.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I have had the worst fit on ss rugers. It seems the grips are always small. Maybe the ss grip frames run a little bigger, or they are harder to polish, so they don’t get ground down like the blued versions.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    Every pair of Altamont grips I've ever bought I shipped back for a refund.......poor fit, not as advertised, etc! When I'm in the market for new grips/stocks I look elsewhere.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'll bet your typing fingers were tired after that post Contender. All good points. I'll admit I consider buying a RBH as a beginning with no expectations of it being good enough out of the box. The last 2 I bought were worked on before they ever got shot. It's just the way I am. The one thing I haven't done to any of them is make grips. I wish I had the patience.

    I have less FA's than many folks do, but there is a shelf in my safe that holds more than a few. I always enjoy the grip to frame fit on them. I know each grip was fitted to that revolver and mine are as perfect as my eye call tell. Yes, I had to pay for that fit and don't regret it at all. But that expense wasn't just about the grips.

    I believe the OP was talking (typing?) about S&W grips but suspect it was a generalization. Yep, it's an expensive hobby if you're a perfectionist. Now, what was Huntington's number again....

  7. #27
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Contender: Altamont to my knowledge makes many of the factory grips for S&W these days. Their product was better years ago. I have tried 4 different Altamonts in the last couple years and none fit well. I'm not sure why I keep falling for their tricks. You bring up many salient truths, but there are two things that puzzle me. 1) why do cheap rubber grips always seem to fit everything perfectly. I've bout about 10 or more Hogue, Pacymayr, and Uncle Mikes rubber grips over the years. All fit perfectly. Then I get the wood version and it never fits as well. They are both made on machines by mass processes and not hand fitted. What gives? 2) Are people just lazy or cockeyed these days? So many new firearms have bonehead assembly errors. Sights WAY off. My new Marlin had big nasty scratches around some of the screws (out of the box). Nasty burs everwhere. Bunch of metal filings in the trigger mechanism.

    Hogues do fit better. Whatever pattern they are working off is better, or those guys down in Mexico just do a better job.

    VZ grips do fit very nicely, however, they have the absolutely worst design on N-frames at least. Absolutely destroys my hand. Makes the Skeeter load feel like the Keith and the Keith feel like magnum. Ugly too.

    Maybe I should just wait 2 years for Craig Spegel. Those do seem like fine grips.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 05-23-2020 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    curiousshooter,, good points to consider.

    When Lett was making Ruger grips,, the fit was much better. Now,, the makers (I think Ruger is using 2 different suppliers,) are working off frame dimensions, that are not quite the same as they used to be. Add in the mass production issues,, and Ruger, S&W, & others,, well, wood is an issue for them.
    Rubber or synthetic FLEXIBLE grips. What we do not see,, is the fact that they appear to fit better,, all while the material "gives" more and fits better because of the flexible material. I have many pairs of various brands of rubber grips,, and I can easily find small dimensional differences,, in all of them. Yet,, when installed, you are either stretching them or compressing them with the screw etc. That is why, IN MY HUMBLE OPINION we feel they fit better. I've got a pair of Pachmyers for a S&W M-19 that wobble on the frame,, until I placed a paper shim, and tightened the grip screw. I have a few pairs of Pachmyers on a couple of T/C frames,, that there is a gap in each set.

    Sadly, Altamont appears to be suffering from the same things as all mass manufacturers.

    And yes,, if you re-read my post,, guns are built by parts assemblers,, NOT gun folks, or even gunsmiths. They must meet production, and do not care as much about the minor details we real gun people look at. If it fits, and functions,, they pass it on down the line.

    How do I know this?

    I have had the pleasure of a few different tours of factories, (6 different factories so far,). I not only looked at the way things were made,, I looked at the people doing the work. Some,, do have pride & a desire to build top quality. Others,, are just hourly workers worrying about meeting production. At FA,, each worker was taking TIME to do their job. Quality was a requirement. Time costs money, and a FA is at the top of the game. I truly enjoyed my tours of the FA plant.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    The thing is what changed? Guns where the very first goods EVER to be mass produced, way back in the 1840s. Why does it seem to be only the last couple decades or so that the quality is slipping? And why does it only seem to be slipping in certain places (USA, Italy). The Miroku made Brownings are as good as they have every been, at least the ones I've seen.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Post WWII was a special time in America, with incredible increases in manufacturing. It wasn't too long after that, things started slipping. I don't think 70's-80's guns were nearly as great as people make them out to be, and I don't thing brand new guns are as bad.

    I also think Browning was better made in Belgium. I'm none too impressed with the new A5.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    FWIW, I've gotten several different - all excellent-fitting with fine workmanship - N-frame grips from Eagle Grips.

    The only caveat is that today their prices are about 2X what I paid only 5 years ago.

    If you click on the various style of N-Frame grips, each style will step to another page with several variations.

    https://www.eaglegrips.com/159-n-frame-square-butt
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Measure the frames of a half-dozen Ruger Black hawks. Given that they have been making them for over half a century, with umpty-dozen different assembliers, it will not surprise that they vary in size. I just wish that grip makers would make their product a wee bit out sized, so we could sand them to fit.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    I have two "Kubota" tractors. One made in 1977 and one in 2001. The '01 is mickey mouse junk compared to the '77. Both are about the same size and horsepower so we are comparing apples to apples basically despite one being a loader (01) and one being just a straight tractor (77). After 40+ years it was finally time to clean the radiator on the '77 recently. About 80% of the fins were plugged with bits of debris and whatnot. So I took it off and brought to a radiator shop (and increasingly rare place). The old brass radiator came back to me a day later like new for $35 dollars. Cleaned inside and out, pressure tested. The 40 year old cap is still fine. Everything fine. The 2001 tractor is on its 3rd aluminum radiator. They don't repair them. They just replace them.

    The dashboard on the old tractor is made of glass and heavy chromed or painted steel. The only gauge is still readable...the tach/hour meter. The 2001 tractor has a plastic dash board that is cracked in several places and held together with zip ties and epoxy. The plastic gauges are more abundant but I can barely read any of them as they long clouded over.

    The 2001 as a power steering system which always leaks a little because the seals aren't good. The old tractor has non-powered steering and hasn't received anything but a couple of flushes and fills of 90W oil in 40 years. Original seals still good.

    The 77 tractors' zerks are all still working. They are chromed brass I think. The new tractor has pot metal zerks or steel or something and half of them had to be replaced already.

    The floor board bends when I stand on it in the new tractor. It's thin stamped sheet steel. The old tractor is heavy welded grid-iron.

    The rubber pedals of the new tractor have long excused themselves from the party. They old grid iron pedals and the 77 tractor are fine.

    The old 77 engine runs clean and has more torque (despite nearly the same rated HP). Uses less fuel due to it's high compression. The new tractor has all sorts of BS emissions stuff that fails and it still runs dirtier and uses more fuel.

    Every fastener on the 77 tractor can undone with a 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, and 25 mm combo wrench and a medium phillips screwdriver. You could probably get away with two adjustable wrenches and a phillips in a pinch. The 01 tractor is a mis-mash of a constellation of fasteners...you need a full mechanics set with plenty of large wrenches to work on it, you need line-wrenches in metric and english, you need a torx. I realize a lot of that is due to the loader but still!

    The old tractor uses 3 filters and (fuel, engine oil, and transmission oil) and uses 4 fluids...diesel, disel engine oil, hydralic oil, and 90w gear oil. The new tractor uses 8 filters (I don't remember) and the same four fluids except the hydraulic oil must be expensive Kubota UDT. The filters on the old tractor are made of metal...half the of the new tractors are cheap plastic things but cost 2x more.

    The old tractor's 40 year old glow plugs are fine. All three were replaced on the 2001.

    The old tractor was made in Osaka and designed on paper with pencils and no computers by ruthlessly quality-focused Japanese men educated in competitive, knowledge-focused schools following teachings of W. E. Deming.

    The new tractor was made globally and designed on computers by engineers who never got their fingers dirty in their lives and guided by the the teachings of Harvard business school (make as much money possible for the shareholders).
    Last edited by curioushooter; Yesterday at 12:26 PM.

  14. #34
    Good post curious, it’s a global manufacturing thing not an American manufacturing thing. It’s called built in obsolescence. You don’t want to make a product that’s so good that it lasts forever. You want it to wear out so you can sell another but not too soon so as to piss off the customer.

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