I love a good sixgun. Always have. I presently
own several, and have owned many others. Every one of them that
I have ever bought, borrowed, or traded for came with a good,
serviceable set of grips on it. Some wore grips made of gorgeous
walnut, some wore grips made of some other type of wood, and
others came with either synthetic rubber or plastic grips, but
each and every sixgun that I have ever used had something to
hold on to while firing the thing. However, more likely
than not, I have always wanted to change the grips on my
revolvers. Sometimes the reason was to get a better hold on the
weapon, but more often it was to dress the gun up a bit.
Sometimes, the new grips improved both the handling and
aesthetics of the sidearm.
I like highly figured wood to dress up a
handgun, but my favorite choice is always some type of antler or
horn material, whether it be Sambar stag, buffalo horn, mammoth
tusk, or more recently, American elk antler. It has become one
of my favorite grip materials. Elk antler has a few things going
for it that I really like. First of all, it is found in America.
I like homegrown stuff, being a prideful American by birth. It
just seems natural to me to put an American antler on an
American handgun. I also like the lighter colors usually found
on the elk antler as compared to the darker colors on Sambar.
Nothing at all wrong with Sambar stag. It is excellent grip
material, strong and beautiful, and I want to clarify that I
dearly love a good set of Sambar stag grips, but they are
getting harder to find, and I like a little variety in my
handguns, grips included.
I sometimes hear it stated that elk antler is
not durable enough for handgun grips. That is false. These
things were made for fighting between a couple of 800 pound
animals, and they do just fine for handgun grips. They must be
properly cut, fit, and crafted, as any good natural material
must be, but if properly done, they are as durable as any
material, and more so than most. American elk antler looks
good on most any handgun; blued, nickel, case-hardened, or
stainless. No matter the finish, the richness of the colors
looks great to me on any sidearm. I have yet to figure a way to
mount a set on a Glock, but on most any other handgun,
American elk is a good choice. I also love the feel of a good
set of elk grips. They are smooth, but not slick, and the bark
area adds both character and texture to offer a secure hold in
I recently received from Patrick Grashorn
a set of American elk grip panels to fit one of my
all-time favorite sixguns; the Smith & Wesson Model
The Model 63 is an all-stainless J-frame chambered for the .22
Long Rifle cartridge, and the earlier ones had a square butt, as
do both of my Sixty-threes. The compact little Kit Guns are
ideal trail guns, and I carry one often while in the woods. When
not carrying a Model 63, I sometimes carry the identical sixgun
chambered for the .22 magnum cartridge; the Model 651.
When packing a centerfire rifle, I want a rimfire handgun.
It adds a lot to the versatility of the armament. I never was
one for wanting to carry a rifle and handgun chambered for the
Anyway, the stainless Kit Gun looks great with
the American elk grips. The cream color of the smooth part, with
the light brown color of the bark looks perfect to me on a
stainless sixgun, lending a bit of character to the weapon. I
like the look much better than even ivory on a stainless gun.
While Patrick did not have my Model 63 to precisely fit the
grips, the fit was near perfect. As can be seen in the pictures,
the Grashorn elk grips fit much better than do the factory
walnut grips on my other Model 63.
Grashorn Gunworks is a family owned operation,
with Patrick and his wife Rose making custom grips from
elk and moose antler to fit most any single action Ruger
revolver, S&W double action revolvers in all frame sizes,
both square and round butt, Magna or service style, and Colt I,
E, and D short grip frame guns. Colt
Single Action Army revolvers and replicas require the
gun for fitting, as they do tend to vary somewhat. Grashorn’s
makes the grips to the customer’s specifications, from a slick
ivory look to almost full-bark coverage, and anything in
between. Before ever seeing any of Grashorn’s work, I had
heard good things from many of their customers. They sell a
quality product at a very fair price. I like mine about
one-third to half bark, and the ones pictured here are just the
way I like them. Enough bark to add color and give a secure
hold, but not so much as to be too rough. Grashorn’s
also makes gun carts for Cowboy Action Shooters. Check out their
website for more details and ordering information at: www.grashornsgunworks.com.
If you have questions about a specific gun that
you would like to dress up with a set of beautiful and practical
grips, email Patrick at: firstname.lastname@example.org.