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This is a discussion on NMV Grip Frame within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Are the grip frames for the original "large" Vaquero and the New Model Vaquero the same size and therefore interchangeable?...

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Old April 18th, 2017, 07:27 AM   #1
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NMV Grip Frame

Are the grip frames for the original "large" Vaquero and the New Model Vaquero the same size and therefore interchangeable?

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Old April 18th, 2017, 08:02 AM   #2
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no th eold model is the xr3 red of the new model blackhawk the new vaquero ahs the grip style of the xr3 more colt feeling which to many is wonderful but to me very uncomfortable, the new vaquero has the grip of the older flat top ruger.
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Old April 18th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #3
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They are interchangeable to a point. The new XR-3 grip frame can be fitted to large frame Blackhawks and older Vaqueros. The XR-3RED can be fitted to the mid-frame Vaqueros and Flat Top Blackhawks, but does require a little modifying. The new Vaquero and Flat Tops lack the mortise in the back of the frame for those extending lugs.

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Old April 18th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #4
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As poste above they are interchangeable with two simple caveats.


In general: all Ruger SA grip frames including SBH Dragoon, Blackhawk, Single Six, Old Army, Bisley and Birdshead (excluding Bearcats of course) will interchange from the standpoint of the screw pattern from Single Six to Super BH, Old Model to New Model, and even NM to OM.
All the screws (but excluding Bisley grip), springs and pins can be transferred over from existing GF. Including those with internal locks, but not the lock itself and a standard spring seat is needed.

1. Grip Frame Projections shown here pointing to the right just above the two rear trigger guard screws and both sides of where the hammer would be. To fit grip frames with projections to guns w/o the cut out in the cyl frame, just saw or grind off the projections, they are not needed on steel grip frames:

Photo by G2.

2. Reverse Indexing Pawl System: All the NM FT Blackhawks and NEW Vaqs have this system which allows the cyl to roll backwards enough and stop for the chambers to align to the loading gate trough without the hammer on half cock (which can’t be done on standard new models).

Grip frames from models w/o this system need a divot cut above the trigger guard for the free spin cyl pawl.

Ruger free spin pawl on the right:

Divot for free spin pawl on NM Flat Tops and New Vaqueros with the reverse indexing pawl system shown on the left:

Cutting the divot: To locate this notch, take a measurement from the location on your original GF. Or mark that area on the replacement GF with a magic marker, assemble the GF to the gun, then cock the hammer a few times. This will leave a ‘witness’ mark in the marker ink, so you simply make the "divot" there. Be cautious not to let the cut extend to the outside edge of the grip frame or it will show when assembled, and don’t cut notch too deep!

Use a thin cut-off blade in a Dremel tool. With grip frame in a vice, and your old grip frame nearby for reference, hold the Dremel with two hands for control. And replicate the divot in the new grip frame. It’s easier to clamp the Dremel tool in the vice at an angle and hold the grip frame instead.

Last edited by Hondo44; April 18th, 2017 at 03:44 PM.
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