Friday, April 01, 2016


Grips are important on a handgun, as any gunner will tell you.  Especially on a gun that's used hard and fast.  When you're snatching and shooting, you don't have time to worry about your grip.  Either you have it, or you don't, and the fit and feel of the grip is much more important than what they look like.

Of course, if they look good, that's a plus, but it's not critical as the fit of the grip.  Earlier this month, I bought Milady a backup to her competition revolver.  She shoots a Traditions Liberty Edition as her primary competition revolver, and I bought her one of the Rawhide series as a backup.  They're exactly the same gun.  The Liberty is dressed up, the Rawhide is more utilitarian.  However, Milady really likes the grips on her Liberty.  Indeed, she bought the revolver because it fit her hand.

Liberty revolver on top, Rawhide on bottom, they're both made by Pietta and marketed by Traditions.

They both use one-piece grips, just like the old Colts, but for some reason, the grips on the Rawhide simply didn't fit her hand.  It didn't feel right coming out of the holster, and  she asked me if the Ruger grips might fit the Rawhide.    I had a spare pair of Ruger redwood grips laying around.

The New Vaquero uses what Ruger calls the XR3-Red grip frame.  It's different from the old Blackhawk and the old Vaquero frames.   Frankly, I was curious to know if a new, modern grip panel for an XR3-Red frame would fit on the Pietta frame.

So, this afternoon, I got out my screwdrivers and took the Pietta apart, removed the one-piece grip and installed the Ruger redwoods.

It's not a perfect fit, but it certainly fits.  More importantly, Milady with her small hands likes it a lot.  She says that the redwoods mimic the feel of the Liberty.  It feels good in her hand, and the rosewood certainly looks good on the Rawhide.  The grip frame stands a little proud of the grips, but it falls within the rules of the CFDA, it fits her hand just fine, and she likes it.  Both the way it fits and the way it looks, suits her to a T.

With our wax-bullet load, recoil isn't an issue.  If recoil were an issue, this narrow grip might hurt, but this revolver will never fire a full-house .45 Colt load.  Not in Milady's lifetime.

In the final analysis, she likes it, which is all I need to know.  But, I've learned that the grips that fit a Ruger XR3-Red grip frame will also fit a Pietta grip frame.  She plans to shoot it Saturday at our club practice shoot and see how it does on the line, but I suspect I've lost my spare set of Ruger rosewoods.  Oh, well, they sell them at Midway and Brownells.

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