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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  USFA CSS (Moderator: Capt. John Fitzgerald)  |  Topic: Stag Grips? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Capt. John Fitzgerald
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« on: October 11, 2018, 06:08:27 pm »


One of my favorite USFA's is a 5 & 1/2", .45 caliber, nickel plated SAA. Kind of odd, because when comparing the 4 & 3/4, 5 & 1/2 and 7 & 1/2 barrel lengths, I find the 5 & 1/2 the least attractive of the three.  Don't know why, I just do.  So why did I buy it?  Simple!  I didn't have one. Grin I also wanted a SAA that best represented the guns used by our "heroes" in all of those "B" westerns from the 40's & 50's and most of them seemed to carry the 5 & 1/2" models.  
One childhood hero of mine, back in the 50's, was Roy Rogers.  He was often seen on his TV show carrying a 5 & 1/2" SAA with stag grips. So... I set about making for myself a "Roy Rogers Gun."  Sent the grip frame off to www.elenhunting.com and purchased a set of their "presentation grade" stag grips.  Absolutely beautiful and probably the best money I have ever spent on a pair of grips (see a picture on page 6 of our picture pages)!  
But here is the question...
Recently read somewhere that stag grips were unheard of in the 19th century.  Wasn't until after 1900 that stag became popular as a grip material.  Can anyone here refute that?  No one in the 1880's saw it's potential?      
 
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 08:27:47 pm »

I asked this same question on coltforum.com a few months ago and the general consensus was that stag grips didn't come into fashion until the 20th Century. Cattlebrand engraving also is another iconic look that didn't become popular until the 20th Century.
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Reverend P. Babcock Chase
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 08:41:01 pm »

Howdy Lonesome,

The typical stag grips that we all know and love were made of Sambar stag antler. I believe that the animal is from India or somewhere over in that neck of the woods. While I'm sure there was trade back and forth from there in the 1800's, I'm not sure that the antlers were common trade items that early (a guess on my part).

On another note, I also believe that many of the "stag" grips seen on Hollywood six-guns weren't even real stag. I think they were plastic repros. The name "Staglite" comes to mind. A company named: Jay Scott was very big in the grip business back in the day and made fake stag grips for all sorts of handguns.

Maybe some else who is even older than I am may have a more complete memory of such things.

That's the best I can do.

Reverend Chase
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St. George
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2018, 09:09:53 am »

The material and company name was 'Franzite'.

It was used on countless single actions of the movie industry because it was cheap, the old hard rubber grips were cracked and broken, and it was far less expensive than factory replacements.

Painted wood was also a substitute for non-Colt handguns.

Everyone's western hero - John Wayne - used a pair made from 'Catlinite'.

Sambar stag grips came in the 1920s - no doubt with influence from the oaters on the Silver Screen.

Scouts Out!

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2018, 12:56:14 pm »

I do know something of the Props guns & grip materials and am in agreement with St. George.

Stag grips were popular in the 1920's on Double Action & Semi Auto  ...Tv oater's and silver screen saw their rise in te SAA.
The 1950's saw wide use at Stembridge Gun rentals in Hollywood.

Prior to 1910 , Wood , Hard rubber & Ivory .... and  some high end Tiffany cast grips
I believe Bakelite started around 1910 and common by the mid teens.

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Reverend P. Babcock Chase
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2018, 07:24:45 pm »

Howdy again,

Not to move this off center, but was gutta percha used for grips? And what the heck is it?

Reverend Chase
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Abilene
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2018, 08:01:58 pm »

hard rubber = gutta percha  Smiley

Dentists still use it to plug the root during root canals.
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St. George
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2018, 10:23:27 pm »

All those black grips seen on 19th Century handguns?

That's gutta percha/hard rubber - when new, or 'freshened' has a distinct odor - plastic doesn't.

Scouts Out!
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hanover67
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2018, 06:44:10 pm »

I like stag grips. I have some Franzite grips I bought when Numrich had a sale on them years ago and I've wondered just what animal's horns they mimic.  I do have one gun with Elk Horn grips, but its not a USFA but a Uberti/Cimarron Bisley .44 Special.

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Skeeter Lewis
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 02:57:39 pm »

I believe gutta percha is resin from a plant.
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Buck Stinson
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 01:44:19 pm »

Gutta Percha comes from a plant that grows primarily in Malaysia.  It is actually a hard rubber product that had many uses back in the 1850 to 1920 period.  Most of the companies that made handguns in the day, used this material for grips.  It was also used for butt plates and grip caps on rifles and shotguns.   You'll know if it's real gutta percha and not plastic, when you get it wet.  It has a very strange odor and will turn a dark, almost olive drab color. 
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 03:07:18 pm »

I like stag too. My Colt Detective Special, New Service and Thunder Ranch .45 acp Smith.


* CE21312D-04CF-4853-8BC8-D2095A0D2F1D.jpeg (100.93 KB, 640x960 - viewed 11 times.)

* 136ECC93-598B-43C8-83C3-5EF07B916A2D.jpeg (99.91 KB, 640x960 - viewed 11 times.)

* 49C06C81-F22E-4648-9D17-2405E83FED07.jpeg (151.58 KB, 640x960 - viewed 12 times.)
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King Medallion
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 03:24:51 pm »

Nothing really to contribute other that a few Stags of mine. Most are Elk, but a few are Sambar.


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markg44
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 03:49:59 pm »

That is one really nice collection of stag grips, WOW  !
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dusty texian
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 04:17:56 pm »

Nothing really to contribute other that a few Stags of mine. Most are Elk, but a few are Sambar.



         My Goodness what a collection .,,,DT
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