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This is a subject I've long been interested in, probably because I always thought The Duke's revolver looked so good. But, I rarely ever saw any Catalin grip stocks in person. Until the other day at a local gun show.

There was this one old boy who had two pairs. Both with finger grooves for a righty. One set was thicker, more fully cut like for a bigger hand. On the inside panel of one was a sticker with a name. It had a Texas address and the name was German of some kind that started with an S. I take it that was either the builder or the seller. The sticker was very old and clearly said "Catalin". I was told the grips were originally yellow-yellow but faded to a darker yellow shade and almost translucent looking. I wanted them very badly, but it was $200 a pair which I thought too much. Besides, they didn't look just quite right in size and I didn't have my 3rd Generation handy to try them on. I suspect that the Catalin may shrink with age. That of course would be a show stopper.

Then I continued circulating around and guess what. I found this guy who had a BIG collection of Catalins for all sorts of old Colts including the pocket semis. He even had a pair of one piece for the SAA. He also had a 1911 with a 1917 build date that had been neatly re-finished for $1,200, though that's a horse of a different color.

Anyway, his Catalins were $100 a pair.

What think you guys on that, as far as deals go and as far as if it's a good idea period??

Btw, a part of me is wondering if these really are better for an old worn SAA than a still factory new and bright looking 3rd Gen.
 

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Re; the Catalin grips,several years ago Al Frisch bought a large inventory of movie rental equiptment from Stembridge rental co. in Calif,handguns,rifles & holsters.He brought several boxes of the handguns over to my house [my shop was behind the house] for me to check out to see what needed to be done to repair them,one of them was one of the colts that John Wayne had used & had the Catalin finger groove grips on them,they had shrunk some,another was one of the 7 1/2" colts that Richard Boone used in the Paladin series,it was in real bad condition,he had the gun that Gail Davis used in the Annie Oakley series,& the derringer that John Wayne & Lee Marvin had used in 2 different westerns,the Rodd Redwing holster that Glenn Ford used in the "fastest gun alive",62 of the rifles the mexican soldiers used in John Wayne's Alamo movie,the holster Elvis used in the western he made,& much more that I can't remember.A little known trivia fact,Archie Stout was the cameraman that shot most of the early John Wayne movies & is credited w/preserving JW's old colt from the early days,evidently he used a lot of colts over the years as well as the old Great Westerns,that company went out of business around 1962.
 

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Great story Jim, thank you for sharing. It must have been a real thrill for you to handle those historic movie firearms!

If you have any pictures you can post I'm sure we'd all enjoy them. :D

Paladin was one of my favorite shows as a youngster, BTW. Very well written. Boone did some awesome acting.
 

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Wild Will-This has nothing to do w/the Catalin grips but it's a side note to my posting,it was definently an honor to have been able to handle these guns,here's another thrill I got,for those of u that are old enough to remember Johnny Mack Brown,about 2 yrs ago I re-built 1 of the 2 guns that he carried thru out his long movie career for his daughter,it was an engraved 1st gen blk pwdr colt,the engraving was worn down from all the use he had done w/it & after I finished it she gave it to her son.Then about the same time I re-built 1 of the 2 Great Westerns that Clint Walker used thru the Cheyenne series,while it was here I was able to strap on the holster & belt he used & do a little spinning w/it & I did film it.
 

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Wild Will-This has nothing to do w/the Catalin grips but it's a side note to my posting,it was definently an honor to have been able to handle these guns,here's another thrill I got,for those of u that are old enough to remember Johnny Mack Brown,about 2 yrs ago I re-built 1 of the 2 guns that he carried thru out his long movie career for his daughter,it was an engraved 1st gen blk pwdr colt,the engraving was worn down from all the use he had done w/it & after I finished it she gave it to her son.Then about the same time I re-built 1 of the 2 Great Westerns that Clint Walker used thru the Cheyenne series,while it was here I was able to strap on the holster & belt he used & do a little spinning w/it & I did film it.
Sounds like you are a truly an artist. :D

There are so many iconic western films and tv shows that are firmly entrenched in American culture. Have you ever considered writing a book?

Thanks for sharing your experiences here.
 
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