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Author Topic: Dance Wannabe #2  (Read 71 times)

Offline Marshal Will

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Dance Wannabe #2
« on: September 08, 2020, 06:54:45 AM »
With the new brass grip frame assemby I got from Fingers (thumbs up there, Ken), I decided it was time to get started on Dance Wannabe #2. I didn't like the very large grip size on the new 2020 vintage Pietta 1851 in .44 (the gun that never was, but I needed a second one to match up to wannabe #1). Side note: for those of you who find the Army grip more to your liking, you might want to try the new Pietta Navy shape. It's taller than an original Colt by 1/4" which I think would make it as long as an Army grip. It's also longer front to rear by 1/4" than the older Pietta grip shape and wider in the wood considerably.


In addition, the new-to-me frame assy is old enough to be free of that ugly shoulder stock notch in the bottom so it's more historically correct for this type of project.

I had to cut the trigger off to fit in the older style triggerguard which is much more historically accurate looking,too. The new one is way too big to look correct and lopsided, too. Then I put the trigger guard on the pistol to start fitting the backstrap. At least that was the plan but Pietta has changed the angle they drilled the screws into the frame. The screws held the front of the trigger guard way off the frame.


I thought if I carefully elongated the holes at the front below the very thin shoulder the screw makes purchase on, and also the rear side above that shoulder, it would allow the grip frame to fit flush. If that worked, it would pull the whole assembly back slightly and I would need to draw file the back of the sides to again be flush with the rear of the frame. Also the front screw would be off slightly and that hole would need to be adjusted. I attached the trigger guard with just the front screw so I could look into the rear holes to see just how much I'd need to file the holes and if it would be feasable. That screw didn't even fit into the hole due to the angle the front screw goes into the frame, too.


I decided it was going to be more trouble than it was worth to get all that to work and still have a shoulder for the screws to purchase securely onto. Instead, I fitted the old style backstrap to the 2020 trigger guard. That involved a whole lot of bending in several different places plus bending the whole frame to the side and twisting it. I wonder if the Pietta workers have to do that kind of work to get these things together.

Once the hole in the lower strap lined up properly with the trigger guard piece, I adjusted the heel of the backstrap to remove some of the kick out Pietta puts in them (I had needed to do this to the older pistol, too). The lower strap now protrudes a bit ahead of the front of the trigger guard frame. I will still have to take that down flush but will do that when I make grips for it. I may also take a slight bit off the upper part of the trigger guard to get closer to the shape of an original 1851 but I have to take some measurements to insure the whole grip won't be too narrow in that area. Also when I mill (grind, file, sand) off the recoil shields, I will fit and polish the upper part of the backstrap to match the frame. I tried the hammer to make sure it still traveled without binding so that's good to go. I will also have to do something about that wierd trigger guard shape. Just what, I haven't decided yet. Probably it will mean cutting a section out of the front of the trigger guard and squaring it off some Here is how it is at this time.


Thanks, Ken. The new (old) grip frame assembly makes this project much easier. I was looking at some much harder work than this to get the thing to fit my hand. The project will take some time to complete due to time available after a couple weeks (impending hip surgery will delay things for a while but I'll get things done as I can). Be patient, pards.

edit: In the first paragraph I clalrified that the new Pietta was compared to an original Colt SAA grip shape in height. Sorry for any confusion, there.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2020, 10:22:57 PM by Marshal Will »

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Dance Wannabe #2
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 08:04:01 AM »
Looking great! Can't wait for the follow up threads!
"You gonna pull those pistols, or whistle Dixie?"

Offline Marshal Will

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Re: Dance Wannabe #2
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 08:32:13 AM »
Thanks, Capt. I've been looking forward to doing this one.

Offline ShotgunDave

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Re: Dance Wannabe #2
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2020, 09:44:40 AM »
You've done a bang up job on that one Marshal. I've never seen one drilled slanted like that.
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Offline Marshal Will

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Re: Dance Wannabe #2
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2020, 11:03:13 AM »
Thanks, Dave. I'd guess the early ones were drilled perpendicular to the bottom of the frame and at some point they changed to drilling them parallel to the rear of the frame. Or at least that's what it looks like without actually measuring the angle of the holes.