Grip Fitting Instructions for Colts and Colt Clones

STOP & READ

This is version 1.0 Instructions for fitting 1 or 2 piece grips. Since this is the first time we have taken our craft of fitting grips and attempted to put it into writing there may be things that we may have missed. Feel free to email us recommendations at fitting@truivory.com for our next release 2.0 .

These instructions are basic and intended for those who have made/fitted handgun grips before not for first timers. If you have any questions please call us before you commit to an action at (425) 397-3595 .

Fitting pistol grips is not rocket science but it does take skill, experience, patience and the correct tools for the job. We strongly urge you to have someone else do the fitting and mounting the screw set or center block (if you are making 1 piece style grips), if you are at all unsure of your ability to do so.

We can even fit them for you. We will charge a nominal fee of $20 plus $9 return ground shipping and insurance.
DO NOT send us grips for fitting without calling for instructions first!

REMEMBER, grips not fitted by us are sold as is without warranty.

 

Tools Needed:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Supplies Needed:

~ A carving tool such as a dremel, straight die grinder etc. fitted with a 120 grit or higher drum sander.
~ 1/8ď - 3/16Ē steel ball shaped cutter for your dremel.
~ Drill press. A small to medium table top size is best.
~ Some type of rigid material for the drill press table like Corian or Plexi.
~ An electric hand drill.
~ Access to a disc sander or proficiency with a hand file.
~ Polishing wheel with a loose stitch muslin wheel
~ A variety of drill bits designed for drilling metal. One is supplied and properly dressed for the grips screw pilot hole.
~ A medium sized quick clamp with rubber padded grips.


~ Silicone oil or WD40
~ Very thick super glue. (2 piece grips)
~ Very thin super glue and a little acetone
~ Toothpicks
~ Q tips
~ JB Weld or JB Quick Weld (1 piece grips)
~ Rubber bands.
~ Silicon Carbide wet/dry sand paper in 220, 320, 400, 600 and 800 grits
 

General Fitting Information for 1 and 2 piece

Step One:
Unpack your grip panels. You will notice that we have already polished them.
This polish will be completely sanded off by the time you are done fitting and
ready to polish. We did this so you will be able to see what they should look
like when you are done.

Step Two:
Make certain that the firearm is UNLOADED!
Remove the existing grips from your pistol. Replace the back strap if your
originalgrips are 1 piece type. Make sure all grip frame screws are tight.

Take one grip panel and place it on the grip frame to check initial fit. Donít worry
it probably wonít fit exactly at this point you just want to get an idea of what you
will need to alter.

Behind the trigger and below the hammer is the area of the grip called the shoulder.
It looks like a 90 degree angle but it is usually not so. The edge of this area also
looks like a 90 degree angle but is usually 1-3 degrees or 86- 89 degrees depending
on your perspective.

The shoulder needs to be adjusted to fit the gun leaving enough material all the
way around the frame. This may require completely changing the angle for the
Colt clones. Note: Not knowing the angle of your particular gun (if you received
the Colt Clone oversized grips) we left quite a bit of extra material around the
grip to accommodate as many frame styles as possible.

Fit the shoulder using your disc sander. A paper grit of 220 or higher is recommended.

Step Three:
First you will need to remove the grip panel alignment pin in the frame if your
gun has one. Then using a quick grip clamp with rubber pads clamp one panel
to the frame. Double check that the shoulder is still properly fitted.

If you are making 1 piece grips skip ahead to step five. Continue with step 4 if
you are making 2 piece grips.

Step Four:
It is now time to mark the alignment pin hole. You will need a corded or cordless
drill and a drill bit. Find a drill bit that fits but still turns in the alignment pin hole.
Since you will only be doing the marking operation 2 times you can use the
drill bit as normal. If you are concerned about marring the inside of the
alignment pin hole on your grip frame you can do what we do. We take the
dull end and on a grinder make a small pencil point on it. Then we put a
small chisel point on the end. If you do this just mount the drill bit in the
drill backwards.

With your grip panel clamped put the drill bit in the alignment pin hole and
slowly drill just enough to mark it. Un-clamp the panel and repeat on the other side.

Re-insert your alignment pin making certain it is centered in the frame.
Using a dremel and a 1/8ď - 3/16Ē steel ball shaped cutter make a hole where
you marked the back of the grip panel. Only go as deep as you need.
Constantly check the depth by putting your grip panel on. Once you have
the correct depth make certain that the shoulder still fits properly.
Donít worry about it being a bit loose. Taking care of that is next.

Doing one panel at a time spray some silicone oil or WD40 on the
grip frame around the alignment pin. If the alignment pin is hollow
shove a toothpick in each side and trim flat with a razor. Be sure
it gets oiled too. With a paper towel dab off the excess oil.

Clean out the hole you made in your grip panel.

Mix up a small amount of JB Quick weld or some other fast setting industrial
epoxy. With a toothpick dab some of this into the hole making sure to get it
really wet inside. Scrape off the excess with the other end of the toothpick.

Carefully place your grip panel on the frame. Using several rubber bands, up
and down the frame, tightly secure the panel and check that it is still properly
fitted up in the shoulder. After the proper amount of set time remove, clean
with knife and do the other side. You have just made a custom alignment pin hole.

Step Five:
Place one grip panel on the frame and clamp with the quick clamp. Make
sure the shoulder is still properly lined up. Turn the gun over and mark along
the grip frame on the grip with a thin pencil. Do all areas at the shoulder
as well. Remove the clamp and do the other panel.

Step Six:
If you have access to a spindle sander then this will work very well for
removing the material down to the pencil line. If not you will have to use
a sanding drum on a dremel or die grinder. Go slowly and carefully.
REMEMBER: You CANíT put material back on the grip!

Step Seven:
Re-contour the edge with your dremel or die grinder working back into
a smooth contour.

Step Eight:
If you are making a 1 piece grip skip to step nine.

Put the old grip from your gun face up on its matching Tru Ivory grip.
Line up the shoulder. Cut the end off a Q tip and use the paper part.
Put some magic marker on the end of the cut Q tip and mark your
screw hole using the old grip on top as the guide.

Using the supplied grip screw pilot bit carefully drill through the grip.
Make sure the grip panel is on a solid surface on your drill press like
Corian or something similar. Slowly, with little pressure drill through
the grip. The flat side needs to be down. When it feels like the bit wants
to come through the other side slow down even more. Too much pressure
will cause it to chip out on the back.

Now to drill the other side. Since the holes have to be in perfect alignment
you can drill the other one the same way. Here is what we do. Take the grip
you just drilled and place it on the gun. Now put 4 layers of masking tape
on the outside of the other grip where the screw hole will be. This helps
to keep it from chipping out as this hole will be drilled from the flat side.

Put this panel on the gun too and secure with a couple of rubber bands.
Make sure the shoulder is aligned.

Swing the drill press table out of the way. Holding your gun level with the
bench and the drilled grip side up slowly raise the gun up to the bit. Allow
it to pass through the hole keeping it level with the table. Slowly raise the
gun and this will drill an aligned hole in the other grip.
GO SLOWLY

Step Nine:
Use your sand paper using 220 grit and carefully shape sand the grips.
Donít sand the edge that fits into the shoulder of the gun. That will change
 the way it fits the shoulder.

Step Ten:
Final fitting of the grip is just a mater of patience and time. Put the grip on
the gun, feel around the edge where it over hangs and use your 220 paper
to slowly take the excess off. Go SLOW. Re-check, re-sand, re-check,
re-check, re-check, re-check...get the idea, go slow and re-check until
the fit is the way you want.

Once both panels are fitted, sand with the 320 then the 400 grit papers.

Since the Tru Ivory is a hand-made material it can contain very small air
bubbles. These, if present, will show up as little white specs on your grips.
That would be a small air bubble that has been sanded through and holds
fine Tru Ivory dust. Leave the dust in. We are going to re-constitute it with
a 50-50 mixture of very, very thin super glue and acetone. Mix this in a
plain white, un-coated paper cup. Now use a Q tip and dab a bit onto
each little spec. If your Q tip begins to get hard, and it will pretty quick,
 get a new one. Seal all specs before proceeding.

Step Eleven:
Sand your grips with 600 grit paper and be sure to remove any excess
sealant from the top. Once this is done finish up with the 800 grip paper.

Step Twelve:
You will now polish your grips. Using a bench mounted polishing wheel
and a loose stitched muslin wheel and the polishing rouge we included
carefully polish your grips. Use light pressure and keep the grip moving.
If you are not familiar with the risks involved in using a polishing wheel
please ask someone who does have the experience to do it. If the grip
gets caught by the edge of the spinning wheel it will probably fly out of
your hand and may break when it hits what ever it is going to hit when
it goes flying.

Step Thirteen:
If you are making a 1 piece grip skip to step 14.

You now need to counter-bore the grip screw holes to put the grip screw
nuts in. You will NOT be drilling all the way through the grip. Use a 1/4ď
drill bit meant for metal. Test it in the test piece of Tru Ivory we sent. If
it does not drill clean get another bit until it can drill without chipping.

Now you are ready to counter sink the grip screw holes to accept the grip
screw nuts. Take one grip and counter sink it with the drill press just a little
bit. Now you have to size your grip screw nuts. These nuts are normally
force fit into an expandable material such as wood, but Tru Ivory doesnít
expand like wood and force fitting could cause them to crack. So
DO NOT FORCE THE GRIP SCREW NUTS!

Using a file carefully file off the ridges on the grip screw nut edges until
it just slips into the counter sink hole you started. Then do this to the
other grip screw nut.

Now put the threaded nut on the end of the grip screw, just a few turns
will do. Continue to slowly drill the counter sink hole. Stopping frequently
to check the depth using the grip screw nut on the end of the grip screw.
When it is just a hair below the surface you will know that it is deep
enough. Now counter sink the other panel the same way.

Put a little thick super glue out on a piece of foil. Using a toothpick pick
and a small amount of the glue, smear it along the inside of the counter
sink area of the grip hole. Put one nut in the hole.
MAKE SURE IT IS ORIENTED CORRECTLY! Do the same with the other grip.

If you have enough clearance with the mainspring you can super glue the
supplied plastic washers to the back of the grip over the hole. This will
give it a little greater strength.
Let the glue cure for at least 30 minutes before mounting your grips. Now
 thread the screw through and finger tighten. Mark the screw where it
needs to be cut to length. Remove, cut and file the end.

Now you are ready to have some Tru Ivory shooting fun!

Step Fourteen:
Those with cut and drilled center blocks (Colt original grips only) need
only check the fit and thickness.

Those who have the Colt Clone oversized will have a rectangular block
to make the center block. Different manufactures of different clones have
differently shaped back straps. This is why your block comes un-cut.

Take your center block and trace the back strap and frame bottom onto it
allowing enough room for the mainspring. Cut the block out. Check the fit
and make needed adjustments with a spindle sander, dremel, die grinder
or whatever you can use. Adjust it until it fits the contour of the inside
of the grip frame.

Drill 3 holes through the center block. Now using a bench type belt sander
or 50-80 grit paper on a flat surface, sand the block until it is of the correct
thickness for the frame. It should be a little thinner than the frame.

Now you are ready to begin gluing the panels to the center block. You
are going to need your J B Weld, several rubber bands, oil and a covered
table to work on.

Prep your grip frame by spraying it with oil. Keep the oil away from the
center block and the grip panels.

You are going to use JB Weld the regular formulae, unless you can work
really fast then you could try the JB Quick Weld.

Lay your gun out with the barrel facing to the left. You are going to glue
the right grip panel first. Lay it under the grip frame. Orient your center
block so that it is positioned to go in the frame on the grip panel. It is
very important to turn the block over so you get the JB Weld
on the correct side.

Mix up enough J B Weld to glue the one panel and to put the epoxy in
the center block holes you drilled. Fill the holes first, then spread evenly
a thin coat on the top of the center block. Now turn the block over, glue
side down and firmly press against the grip panel in the frame. Position
the block to the furthest lower and back position. Pick up the entire
assembly, holding the grip panel on with your fingers and securely
wrap the grip and frame, up and down its length, with several rubber
bands. Turn the gun over and check the alignment and fit of the grip,
then turn over again and re-check the center block, then the grip,
and so on. Once you are sure that both the grip and the center block
are where they should be, let the gun lie on its side until the epoxy sets.

Take the grip off the gun and re-spray with oil. Reinsert the grip and
block. Mix up some more epoxy and carefully spread enough on the
exposed side of the center block to assure contact with the other grip
panel. When you put the second panel on press firmly. Look for any
epoxy coming out and wipe off with a tissue. The gun is oiled so later
you can scrape off any excess with your finger nail or a plastic tool.
Secure it with your rubber bands and make sure the grip is properly aligned.

When the epoxy sets, but not fully cured, remove the rubber bands.
Take the backstrap off the gun and carefully remove the grips just to
make sure it is not bonding to the inside of the frame. Remove any
excess epoxy from the frame and re-assemble the gun with the grips.
Rubber band them again and let it lie untouched for the night.

Now you are ready to have some Tru Ivory shooting fun!










 

Voice: (425) 397-3595     Email: sales@truivory.com