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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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I bought this 3.75" .45ACP Ruger birds head Vaquero a while back. I really like the gun but I haven't been a huge fan of the birds head grip, it's not great but it's okay so I've lived with it.
Well, thanks to a bunch of issues with the Ruger/TALO Carryhawk I recently purchased and a post I saw on another forum where a guy had replaced the steel birds head grip frame on his Carryhawk with a standard aluminum one, I purchased an aluminum "plow handle" style grip frame and buffalo horn grips intending to put them on my Carryhawk like he did with his. That gun's situation took a completely different turn yesterday and now the Carryhawk is going back to Ruger and they're sending me a new Ruger 57 to replace it(!!!) so I decided to swap the aluminum grip frame onto the Vaquero.

There's a number of different Ruger models and grip frames and they're kind of confusing but after a lot of reading and some Dremel work I was able to fit new grip frame to the gun. Apparently, they're all individually fit at the factory so it's seldom that a swap is a perfect fit but it turned out pretty good, definitely serviceable, especially sine this gun mostly gets carried around the farm. The new grip set up fits my hand much better than the birds head plus the aluminum grip frame took almost 6oz off the gun, shifting the weight forward which helps to balance the shorter barrel, and it rides better in the holster since it's not as butt heavy. I ran a couple of cylinder fulls through it and it points well and shoots just fine. Looks better, too, I think.:)

Before-



After-

 

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That came out great! I now want to do the same to mine. Where did you get the grip frame?
 
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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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That came out great! I now want to do the same to mine. Where did you get the grip frame?
Bought it off ebay. It's an XRN-3RED aluminum grip frame. You can see in the pics that there is two little tits sticking out where it fits up against the back of the frame. I had to grind those down flat in order for it to bolt up. If you buy one try and get one with the pins it place so you don't have to mess with them. The one I bought came with the trigger return spring still in place so all I had to do after grinding those little tits down was swap the hammer strut and spring. Easy peasy.:D
 

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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Now is that a Ruger part? What single action was that made for?
Will it fit my New model Super Blk hawk?
I want a 4 5/8" bbl with round trigger guard like the Old model.
That's the number that is stamped on it, I don't know if that is the actual part number or not but it is the number everyone refers to them by. If you Google Ruger blackhawk grip frames there's a ton of info out there. I'm told that all new model grip frames will fit all new model guns though some amount of fitting may be needed.

ETA: This is the first time I've done anything like this and I don't know much more than what I've posted so unless you have the exact same gun and want to do the exact same thing my experience may not apply at all.
 

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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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The after pics. look a lot better, I never liked those bird head grips.
 
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The after pics. look a lot better, I never liked those bird head grips.
I Agree 100 percent. Never been a fan of those type of grips or the Bisley grips. I am sure they feel great and shoot great but aesthetically I just am not a fan. Great job on the grip conversion. Looks fantastic


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I wouldn't go so far as to say that Ruger grip frames are 'individually fit' at the factory. Especially the aluminum grip frames. They are 'assembled' at the factory. There is some sanding/grinding that takes place on the carbon and stainless steel grip frames. The steel grip frames are shaped individually, hence the grips don't fit any two the same. Actually, the grips don't FIT any steel grip frame! If you look at five Blackhawks or Vaqueros with steel grip frames, you will note varying amounts of metal that is 'proud' of the wood. You will also notice that some grip frames are nicely contoured at the front and rear of the grip frame, and some are quite sharp. In this day of CNC machinery that can hold tolerances of .0001", Ruger still does this by hand!
 
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