Thursday, February 17, 2011

RePosts from the Road - Girl Scout Gunsmithing

Changing out grips isn't real gunsmithing, but it's still something one should try their hand at. Real gunsmithing can be challenging and technically demanding. The gunsmiths I've met are a combination of mechanic, metalworker, mathematician, artisan, ballistic expert and chemist. The gunsmith trade is one that through time has been respected and supported in most Western civilizations. The skills of the gunsmith were necessary for the very survival of early colonies, towns, and cities. Skilled men, providing the services to protect and defend; providing the services to keep peace among the town's people.

In this case, this is the equivalent of some kitchen cosmetic work, the modification required the mighty skill of working a screwdriver. Lets see..... righty tighty, lefty loosey.... yup, I can deal with that. If there was a Girl Scout Badge in this, I could have nailed it.

I love wheel guns, and have owned a couple, as do friends of mine. This one here, is a Taurus snub nose .38 , model 85. It's about fifteen years old, and can count in its history thousands of rounds and thousands of miles of CCW carry as well, always being a personal weapon.

It might be that you just want a different grip, or it might be after years of careful use, you notice a small crack. . The wood is still beautiful, but eventually the grips are going to loosen and perhaps to the point one might come off. That is not an option. So, in this case it was a Hogue Monogrip replacement unit.

I'll be the first to admit. I can do a lot of technical things but as far as guns, I'm not the most experienced with doing more than field stripping, cleaning, bluing and occasionally putting on a scope. The last time I tried to put something together of a non forensic nature involving small pieces, it was that lighted, animated reindeer thing for the lawn for Christmas. After going through the directions, which were written in Sri Lakin, I wrote the manufacturer asking that they consider including with the "all parts included! reindeer kit" (1) directions in English (2) tiny elf-sized metric tools and (3) a gun capable of taking out a reindeer.

I needn't have worried about this little project. Al Gore could have removed these grips. Simply pull the one screw out of the panels and pull them away from the frame, being careful not to lose the locating pin that resides in a frame hole at the bottom of the frame.

The Hogue Monogrip installs with a neat little widget that's included with the grip. Slipped over the frame with the locating pin through it, it provided a good place for the single screw that holds the Hogue Monogrip on the pistol.

With the widget installed as per instructions (wow. . in ENGLISH) it was simply a matter of sliding the Monogrip into place and installing the single mounting screw. That simple. Total time for the job, start to finish, less than ten minutes.

The result is a positive and good feeling pistol grip. Soft enough to really stick to the hand, while being firm enough to provide lots of control. Yes it's rubber, but it's not tacky or spongy. Recoil absorption should be good. The texture of the grip, a sort of "cobblestone feel" as the manufacturer calls it, should be a good medium between a smooth grip and a checkered one.

Not bad for a few minutes at the workbench. Leaving time for other garage projects after supper. Anyone got any duct tape?