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New shoes for my 4" .357

1574 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Colt38
New shoes for my 4\" .357

I bought this 1954 4" ".357" model several years ago. Finish is at least 95%, but the only thing wrong with it was someone had replaced the target stocks with Pachmeyers. This has bugged me since I've owned it, and I have been searching for an original set of fully checkered targets (that I could afford) for it ever since. I know it had target stocks because it has the target hammer, and above the Pacs, there was a small line in the side plate where the wood stocks once were. Also, the side plate screw that is covered by the grips is of the flat-headed type. Yesterday, I found this set of smooth targets in the grip drawer of a local dealer. I am pretty certain that they are of proper vintage for a 1954 gun because there is no cartridge ejection relief cut in the top. My question is, have you guys ever heard of Colt smooth targets during this time period? I had never seen a pair until yesterday until yesterday. Am I correct about the vintage? I paid $38 for them, which I thought was a good deal. Here's a pic, it appears my search is over!
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Re: New shoes for my 4\" .357

I'm about 99% sure those are Colt factory First Type Target grips with the checkering sanded off.

First, note the position of the Silver medallions.
The medallions are placed just slightly higher and farther forward on First Type grips, and I've never seen a non-Colt copy position them there.

Second, note the slightly rounded edges. This is a classic sign of a sand job.

Here's a pair of original un-sanded First Type grips.
Note the position of the medallion:

Here's a pair of Second Type.
Note how the medallion is moved down and back slightly.
Every Colt grip of this type and later, and all copies I've seen position the medallion here:

What you could do is have someone re-checker the grips with the original type checkering to restore them to original form.
This would be a lot cheaper than trying to find and afford a set of original First Types.

However one note about this: Don't be surprised if you remove the finish and find the wood is NOT walnut, but some softer yellow-white wood.

On the First Type Target grips for the cheaper guns, like the Trooper, Colt sometimes used this odd wood and put a very dark, almost black-brown stain on them with a dull oil-type finish.
Colt also sometimes used it on the Second Type grips for the Troopers, but with a more natural walnut color and a thin satin finish.

Whatever this wood is, it has a yellow-white color, is softer than American Walnut, and tends to get "fuzzy" when sanding or checkering.
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