Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Stone Grip! ...No Not Really

I picked up another old grip someone didn't need for my Dan Wesson Model 14. I love my walnut grip I had reshaped for it, but I wanted something I didn't have to worry about messing up and I wanted to try something different.

At first glance the old grip looked similar to my other grip before reshaping and refinishing. The only difference that I could tell at first was that it looked to be painted and not varnished like the other grip. I started sanding it down past the painted finished and low and behold it's not walnut under that paint, but some kind of plastic. These grips must have been formed using a mold that was filled with plastic reinforced with wood. *edit - I was informed that this material was marketed by Dan Wesson by the name of Powerwood, it's both light & tough. These plastic grips actually worked out great for what I had in mind for it since now I really didn't have to worry about messing up a nice piece of wood. One strange thing with this plastic is that it is fairly porous, so you can see that in a couple spots on the pictures. I used my walnut grips as a kind of template and carved these into a similar shape. This time I decided to make them even smaller. One thing I don't care for about the walnut grips is that they are fairly slick. I had considered trying to stipple them, but I was afraid to mess up. This time around I wanted a more textured grip so I didn't worry about sanding them smooth. Compared to the walnut this plastic is a lot easier to carve so things went pretty fast. I carved it down past where the screw become recessed so I simply countersunk the hole and painted a screw black that would fit it flush.

On a previous project I used a textured paint on a Tyler T-grip to give it more traction with my fingers so I thought this would be a good chance to try it on full grips. I didn't think the color I had (Aged Iron) would look good with the worn bluing on my DW so I picked out a dark brown (Autumn Brown) to use. Before applying it I sealed the plastic with a black lacquer to help it stick a bit better. In the end, I ended up with a nice texture that won't slide around in my hand and should hold up well.

Here are pictures.

My hands are large enough to utilize the pinky rest while my wife prefers to grip it like in the lower picture where her pinky sits above it.

All in all, very happy with how this project worked out. If they hold up fine at the range, I'll probably keep these grips on the gun most of the time.

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