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Grip Frame Change

This is a discussion on Grip Frame Change within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I hope this is right area for this question. I have a large frame Vaquero in 44mag. The standard grip frame is just too small ...


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Old May 3rd, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1
 
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Grip Frame Change

I hope this is right area for this question.

I have a large frame Vaquero in 44mag. The standard grip frame is just too small to shoot 44mag comfortably, so I want to convert it to a dragoon grip frame like my SBH. Just how much work is it to fit a new grip frame? I'm looking for details, as I've never fit one before. Or would I be better off looking for a used take off?



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Old May 3rd, 2012, 04:53 PM   #2
 
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I believe you can actually just swap them out without issue, but buying the whole package can cost between $140-200 depending on what you decide to get. Good luck. The XR3 grip frame isn't bad, just mess around with the way you hold the gun and things will work out better. It's a different style handle, so adjusting your hand gripping technique will help you out. I thought I had the same issue, but changed the way I gripped the handle and it made everything better.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 05:55 PM   #3
 
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Well, I feel like an idiot now! I asked the same question on here 3 years ago.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 06:53 PM   #4
 
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frame swap thoughts

remember that the grip frame is a hand finished item except the area where the main frame and the grip frame physically touch which is a machined fit ...so a used grip frame if you can find one will in fact "bolt" right up....but...what this means is the fitter at the factory ultimatly determins the final thickness of the final fit of the GF to MF on the outside edges....so a used GF on the SIDES when mated to your main frame may have overhang or have an undercut all along the seam where the two join ...also be aware that factory new grip frames are oversized to allow a gunsmith to "fit" the grip frame tho the main frame ...if you do decide to search for used grip frame I suggest you look for a SBH "squareback" grip frame [reason being many OA's shipped with the grip frame you currently have] ...or in case you were not aware of it the "Hunter" models use the same grip panel [so same size] as the SBH squarebacks but have a round trigger guard ....and of course another option would be to consider a conversion to a Bisley configuration but here the price goes up because it just will not work well with out also adding the Bisley hammer and trigger [never buy hammer n trigger as seporate items but as "factory matched"] and last option ...Buy a good used 7.5" SBH and have a rig ready made to shoot the "full house" ammo and use your other one for when you are in the mood for the 44 target loads. Who ...when clearly thinking ...could not plainly see that man is not intended to survive with just one "44" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Luck
Bear
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Old May 4th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #5
 
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Broken Bear,
Thanks for the response. I think the extra work of a new dragoon frame would be the best way to go, even though its more work. I do own a 7.5" SBH. I can go through 300 to 400 rounds of full house in an afternoon no problem, but the smaller frame is good for about 10 rounds before is gets annoying. I also prefer to look of the dragoon frame over the smaller round trigger guard frame as well. Looks like I have some work and learning ahead of me.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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It ain't that hard

I've converted a BUNCH of VAQUEROS to either a DRAGOON or a HUNTER grip frame...a couple to BISLEYS also. I think the XR3 red grip frame stinks on anything bigger than a 22! Since you have a SUPER BLACKHAWK, you might also want to switch to that hammer also....I have several guns going to the pistolsmith for grip frame fitting and trigger jobs in that configuration.

A used grip frame is a gamble, but can often be a good fit. Not perfect, but usually pretty good. Once in awhile...PERFECT. If you want a DRAGOON, do some looking...you can get a blued grip frame for $75 or less if you watch gunbroker, etc pretty regularly...got a couple for $50. Stainless goes a bit higher and not so easy to find. I also traded/sold various XR3-red grip frames off the afore mentioned VAQUEROS here or on the other ruger forum to recoup some of the cost.

IF you have a stainless gun or like the two tone look, you can also consider the HUNTER grip frame...which in combination with the SUPER BLACK HAWK hammer is as comfortable as a BISLEY for me. I have several of the coveted 7.5 inch 44 magnum VAQUEROS in stainless steel with HUNTERS and elk stag grips.

If you can read the instruction manual and have some basic tools, a grip frame is a piece of cake. (Switching hammers and triggers is a PITA!) The worst thing is getting the bolt lock plunger and spring in place while putting the trigger guard back on...and keeping the trigger return spring in place at the same time. I do the job on a bed or cleaned off kitchen table or in a large box...small parts can develop wings
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Old May 5th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #7
 
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I have put bisley grip frames on several sas I like the bisley and xr3 red but not the xr3 grip frame. If you put the bisley gripframe on you will also need the bisley ahmmer.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #8
 
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If you can locate one with a birds head grip, give that a try.

I had a Brownell Birds Head fitted to my BH, and it's the best in hand of anything I've used, and the wider cross section distributes recoil much better.
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Old May 5th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kp94ss View Post
... I want to convert it to a dragoon grip frame like my SBH. Just how much work is it to fit a new grip frame?...
You might consider a set of extended grips from 41Magnum who advertises on this forum.

Jack
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