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New Vaquero birds head grip question

This is a discussion on New Vaquero birds head grip question within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Iíve been searching and am now very confused. Iím looming at building a matched set of Blue New Vaqueros with 5 inch barrels. . I ...


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Old February 9th, 2020, 06:32 PM   #1
 
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New Vaquero birds head grip question

Iíve been searching and am now very confused. Iím looming at building a matched set of Blue New Vaqueros with 5 inch barrels. . I would like birds head grip frames on them. Is there a good place to buy the grip frames? Do the ones that midway sell actually?

I donít mind having to fit them. Iíve built lots of 1911s. Just want to make sure I order the right parts the first time. Pretty excited about a new project that is not a 1911 for once.

Nate



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Old February 10th, 2020, 05:10 AM   #2
 
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This is a stainless Midway frame on a Wrangler, all I did to it was break all the tactile edges and beadblast it. After a post by Waveform and a very close inspection I could see where some would fit the frame better, but for the Wrangler it was just perfect.
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Old February 10th, 2020, 05:10 AM   #3
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Captain the frames that Midway sells are OEM Ruger frames. You'll want the carbon steel ones if you want to stay with an all blued final product. They are sold "in the white" and require fitting, smoothing and polishing prior to bluing. After you finish with the fitting you can blue just the grip frames and hope the bluing matches the rest of the gun (probably won't) or have the entire gun re-blued so it all matches. Your call.

The only other way around I can think of is to keep your eye out for a couple of take-off grip frames that are already finished. They come along every now and again on sites like GunBroker, eBay, etc. The fit may not be perfect but odds are will be OK and the factory bluing may be a decent match.

Re-bluing the entire gun is a way to get a better finish although at a significant cost. Ford's, Reeder, Turnbull, Taylor, Clements, etc. all do superior bluing that will put the factory bluing to shame. Some of those even offer case color hardened finishes for the main frame if you like that look. Then add some custom grip panels and you'll have a real looker.
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Old February 10th, 2020, 06:42 AM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
Captain the frames that Midway sells are OEM Ruger frames. You'll want the carbon steel ones if you want to stay with an all blued final product. They are sold "in the white" and require fitting, smoothing and polishing prior to bluing. After you finish with the fitting you can blue just the grip frames and hope the bluing matches the rest of the gun (probably won't) or have the entire gun re-blued so it all matches. Your call.

The only other way around I can think of is to keep your eye out for a couple of take-off grip frames that are already finished. They come along every but odds are will be OK and the factory bluing may be a decent match.

Re-bluing the entire gun is a way to get a better finish although at a significant cost. Ford's, Reeder, Turnbull, Taylor, Clements, etc. all do superior bluing that will put the factory bluing to shame. Some of those even offer case color hardened finishes for the main frame if you like that look. Then add some custom grip panels and you'll have a real looker.
yeah I guess what was confusing me was that they donít state wether it will fit a new model vaquero or if they are old model only. I like fords work. They did a colt trooper of mine a while back.

I just bought a nitro blue vat and salts. Working on learning how to blue smaller parts. Hope to move on to rust bluing here soon. Thanks. Iíll try one of the midway frames.
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Old February 10th, 2020, 10:59 AM   #5
 
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I like the way Vincent58's turned out .
If you are anal and OCD about getting the different steels blue colors to be a perfect match, and you can bet money they will not match , then his way takes care of that problem.
I approve of the two tone Wrangler or Blackhawk look with Ivory grips !
Gary
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Old February 10th, 2020, 11:17 AM   #6
 
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I like the way Vincent58's turned out .
If you are anal and OCD about getting the different steels blue colors to be a perfect match, and you can bet money they will not match , then his way takes care of that problem.
I approve of the two tone Wrangler or Blackhawk look with Ivory grips !
Gary
I am anal about it. I figure I will prob just re blue the whole gun. I want a better quality blue anyway than the stock Ruger blue. Fordís has some awesome options. Might end up in there hands.
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Old February 10th, 2020, 12:20 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VincentG58 View Post
This is a stainless Midway frame on a Wrangler, all I did to it was break all the tactile edges and beadblast it. After a post by Waveform and a very close inspection I could see where some would fit the frame better, but for the Wrangler it was just perfect.
Great looking grips very nice job.
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Old February 11th, 2020, 07:18 PM   #8
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There's really no diffference between a grip frames when it comes to how they fasten to the main frame. All Ruger grip frames will bolt up the same - same fastener locations. A birdshead grip is the same whether it was mounted to a Single Six, a Vaquero or a New Vaquero. They mount up fine to a Blackhawk frame for that matter and I've put a birdshead grip frame on an old model Single Six and on an old model Blackhawk. Same goes for XR3, XR3-Red and Bisley (put a birdshead on a Bisley too). Ruger adopted a bolt-up pattern for single action grip frames that has stayed since day one. Where people get tripped up more often is getting the right grip panels if they don't know what frame they have.

Ford's Master Blue is drop dead gorgeous. I've had Ford's do several guns and the end results have always been spectacular. Get a couple of carbon steel frames from midway, fit them up (or have a gunsmith do it) and send the guns off to Ford's. Don't forget some nice new grip panels and be sure to share some pics when you're done. Sounds like a nice project.

Last edited by Waveform; February 11th, 2020 at 07:33 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2020, 08:19 PM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Waveform View Post
There's really no diffference between a grip frames when it comes to how they fasten to the main frame. All Ruger grip frames will bolt up the same - same fastener locations. A birdshead grip is the same whether it was mounted to a Single Six, a Vaquero or a New Vaquero. They mount up fine to a Blackhawk frame for that matter and I've put a birdshead grip frame on an old model Single Six and on an old model Blackhawk. Same goes for XR3, XR3-Red and Bisley (put a birdshead on a Bisley too). Ruger adopted a bolt-up pattern for single action grip frames that has stayed since day one. Where people get tripped up more often is getting the right grip panels if they don't know what frame they have.

Ford's Master Blue is drop dead gorgeous. I've had Ford's do several guns and the end results have always been spectacular. Get a couple of carbon steel frames from midway, fit them up (or have a gunsmith do it) and send the guns off to Ford's. Don't forget some nice new grip panels and be sure to share some pics when you're done. Sounds like a nice project.

Hit the nail on the head with Fords. On the way back home from out of town today I hit up two shops. Bought two more new vaqueros in blue. 😬. I have been reading about Elmer Keithís guns. Now Iím hooked on those too. 🙄. What was to be 1 is now 3. But then when does one ever by just one gun. New plan is two birds heads and 1 Keith. Since I love building more than I do shooting anymore I should be set for the next year or so.
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