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View Poll Results: Which Grips for my Old S&W 44 Mag?
VZ grips - black cherry 3 13.04%
KN Replica Coke Bottle Grips 5 21.74%
Altmont N-Frame Grips Coke Bottle Target 9 39.13%
Eagle Grips N-Frame Grips 1 4.35%
Other? 7 30.43%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 11th, 2021, 07:56 AM #11
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Python, that's just the kind of post I was hoping for - someone with firsthand knowledge of the products in question.

The grips are original to the gun, and the gun is a 1956 first year production S&W 44 Mag, or Pre-29. They are pretty clearly "Cokes" too - they have that distinctive curve in the grip.

Part of what I'd like to do is to kind of get this gun back to the original look with a set of grips that isn't broken, and to keep these from breaking any further. Functionally this gun is fine - I had it out last weekend on a boy's weekend camping/shooting trip and it performed admirably with some moderately loaded 240 gr LRN loads with Unique. It's still a 44 Magnum, but I've shot that pistol with heavier loads than that. (On a side note, I got to a shoot a 500 S&W Magnum this weekend. Now THAT'S an experience!)

I'm not really concerned about whether or not the gun or grips are collectible - this old gun was my Dad's, and as a result, it will never be for sale. But, Dad was also never one for thinking along the lines of "I've got to keep this gun original!" I'm pretty sure there were times where he did blue touchups on this gun with good ol' Brownell's Oxpho Blue. I'm also pretty sure that he reshaped the contour of the thumb cutout on the left side to make it more comfortable. You can see where he tried to recut some of the checkering and kind of crossed the line right there by the center diamond.

This gun got used - it was probably his favorite gun for a good long while after he initially bought it, and I know he carried it as a duty pistol in our small town where the police officers carried what they wanted. For him it was the pistol flavor of the day, and this one was part of that.

Lots of food for thought. On the subject of the VZ grips, they make them smooth as well - I just like the idea of the outlined checkered pattern if I were to go that route, although I'd prefer to get something made of wood if I can.
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Old March 11th, 2021, 10:17 AM #12
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Python's post as starting point , with 2 changes plus observation .

I'd skip over the G-10 . If I was willing to move that far away from the original esthetic , I'd just go Pachmyer , either a Presentation variant , or the discontinued but still common Jordan's .


It's more of a 1982 vibe than 1950's , but the S&W Finger Groove Combat for N frame are excellent for shooting . Decent examples go for $$ among S&W Collectors , but you're looking at $ grips in some of your other options .

Herrets offers excellent grips , and many of their designs date back far enough to be Period Correct for the gun . A few years back when Late Shooting & Handloading Partner #1 ordered some made to measure Herrets , it was 2 yr wait .

And regardless of your replacement selection, by all means have the Originals professionally Restored . Instead of trying to correct botched re- checker attempt , request checkering removed . Non- Checkered was factory option , and it was Period Correct for owners who actually shot a lot to remove the checkering ( and thin down post Coke Bottle Target Grips ) .
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Old March 11th, 2021, 10:30 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by python View Post
If in fact you have a real set of "Cokes", find someone to rehab them...
^^^ This
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Old March 11th, 2021, 10:43 AM #14
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I bought a set of Pachmayr Jordans when they first came out. I liked the shape, but they were hollow hard plastic instead of rubber and there was too much flex when I squeezed the grip. I returned them.
I have never found finger groove grips that I would call comfortable.
I heard Herrett's closed. I guess I should call and see.
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Old March 11th, 2021, 11:11 AM #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggfoot44 View Post
Python's post as starting point , with 2 changes plus observation .

I'd skip over the G-10 . If I was willing to move that far away from the original esthetic , I'd just go Pachmyer , either a Presentation variant , or the discontinued but still common Jordan's .

It's more of a 1982 vibe than 1950's , but the S&W Finger Groove Combat for N frame are excellent for shooting . Decent examples go for $$ among S&W Collectors , but you're looking at $ grips in some of your other options .

Herrets offers excellent grips , and many of their designs date back far enough to be Period Correct for the gun . A few years back when Late Shooting & Handloading Partner #1 ordered some made to measure Herrets , it was 2 yr wait .

And regardless of your replacement selection, by all means have the Originals professionally Restored . Instead of trying to correct botched re- checker attempt , request checkering removed . Non- Checkered was factory option , and it was Period Correct for owners who actually shot a lot to remove the checkering ( and thin down post Coke Bottle Target Grips ) .
A 2 year wait on a set of grips is a non-starter for me. In this day and age, I don't care what the quality is - 2 years is too long to wait for anything IMO. I waited around 3 months for Dan Wesson to fill my order when I ordered a 2020 Valor through their LE/Military purchase program earlier this year - I felt that was reasonable considering we were in the middle of a Covid-19 shut-down. (Of course I waited even longer because I didn't realize that a 1911 wouldn't be on the MD Handgun Roster, so I had to petition to have it added.)

If I do have the originals restored, the only thing I'd ask for is to have the piece on the left grip replaced. I'm not going to sand off a checkering error my deceased father put on there.

I'd like to get something that has a decent fit though, and I definitely want something close to the original aesthetic, but I'm not going pay through the nose for a set of OG Coke Bottles - replicas will get me where I want to go.
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Old March 11th, 2021, 11:37 AM #16
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Doing a bit more digging on this today, it seems that if I really want the original aesthetic, and I want grips that are going to fit well, I'm going to wind up paying - there's no getting past it. From what I originally posted, the pair that keeps popping for me are the pair from Eagle Grips....but they're going to run $209 if I get them checkered with the S&W medallion. However, they look pretty much identical to the OG grips. That might be the way to go.
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Old March 12th, 2021, 11:23 AM #17
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To update this, I've been thinking about this old gun quite a bit. I've always wanted to have it re-blued. The pistol is IMO worthy of it, and is still functionally sound. This is going to wind up being a full restoration. Yes - I'm aware that refinishing that old gun will detract from the collector value. I don't really care about that - I think that it would be nice to have it restored to its original glory, and I've found a company endorsed by S&W who can get it close.

With all of that in mind, I'll be buying the best set of grips for it that I can, and as expensive as they will be, I think that Eagle Grips are probably the closest match to factory original that is available. Some of the other options are decent, but Eagle Grips, from what I've been able to Google-fu, has a great reputation for exact fit.

Thanks for the responses.
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Old March 12th, 2021, 04:23 PM #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickg View Post
To update this, I've been thinking about this old gun quite a bit. I've always wanted to have it re-blued. The pistol is IMO worthy of it, and is still functionally sound. This is going to wind up being a full restoration. Yes - I'm aware that refinishing that old gun will detract from the collector value. I don't really care about that - I think that it would be nice to have it restored to its original glory, and I've found a company endorsed by S&W who can get it close.

With all of that in mind, I'll be buying the best set of grips for it that I can, and as expensive as they will be, I think that Eagle Grips are probably the closest match to factory original that is available. Some of the other options are decent, but Eagle Grips, from what I've been able to Google-fu, has a great reputation for exact fit.

Thanks for the responses.
Just don't send it to S&W. A good friend of mine did that with his model 29 and it came back with a 6" barrel instead of the original 6 1/2". There was nothing wrong with the barrel! Someone must have wanted the original barrel and took it.
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Old March 12th, 2021, 05:54 PM #19
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For an N Frame - I like these Pachmayr grips
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Old March 12th, 2021, 06:12 PM #20
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I voted Other. I never shot any grips more comfortable on a S&W N-Frame than these Pachmayr Target grips, especially if you're shooting the hot stuff. They're not much to look at but they make it a lot more bearable.
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