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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thanks to Ronald12, I got a very interesting set of Coltwood grips recently. Ron put me in contact with the seller, so without him it wouldn't have happened. Thanks Ron :D

Here's a set of early swirled Coltwood grips. Notice the thick reinforcing rib pattern and the sleeved slotted screw within a screw attaching hardware.






Here's a set of late Coltwood grips. This set is usually on my 1953 Detective Special. Note the thinner and different rib pattern and late screw and domed escutcheon hardware.





This is the set Ron connected me with. Notice that the although these Coltwoods are the older swirled pattern plastic formula, the reinforcing rib pattern is that of the later matte brown Coltwoods. These grips also came with the later type of screw with the domed escutcheon nut. (courtesy of D. Muir)











Keep in mind that later Coltwood grips were a matte uniform dark brown with no shine to the grips. The reason there is a bit of shine on my later Coltwood grips is that they are fairly worn. The swirled brown and colored transitional Coltwoods as shown on the 1953 DS have plenty of surface gloss, yet they were made in the later matte Coltwood grip mold, have the thinner 2nd pattern reinforcing ribs and the later domed escutcheon nut instead of the two sleeved slot head screws that the early Coltwoods had.









In a very nice Bucheimer crossdraw holster that Skysoldier was so kind as to give me - thanks, Cliff:D



Some examples of typical late matte brown Coltwood grips on my guns


1953 DS with original matte Coltwood grips


1952 DS in 32 Colt N.P. with matte Coltwood grips





The 1953 DS 2nd pattern Coltwoods again





1953 DS and 1952 Cobra with matte brown Coltwood original grips







IMHO, this set constitutes "transitional" Coltwood grips. They are the older, earlier swirled and glossy plastic formula, but they were obviously cast in new moulds made for the matte brown 2nd pattern Coltwood grips, and they used the later Coltwood grips screw hardware.
I think these grips would only be found originally on some early 1950 guns, and not on many, at that. They are not period correct for my 1953 DS but for the time being I am enjoying using them on this gun. Eventually, I will probably put the correct set of matte brown Coltwoods back on the gun.

Any and all opinions are requested. Thanks for reading and looking.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Not all "plastic" stocks are Coltwood from Colt. Many were made by Fitz, for example. :cool:
I think you mean Franzite? Please educate me on Fitz grips. * OK, I remember Fitzs grips now :D
Also, I've never seen a replacement set that used the specific Coltwood screw hardware of either pattern. Every set in these pictures has authentic Colt screw hardware.
It's academic in this case. I doubt Colt manufactured the Coltwood grips in Hartford or West Hartford themselves, and all the examples shown in these pictures are authentic Coltwood grips.
 

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That was a terrific, and quite informative photo essay, Malysh.

I find it interesting that most, but not all of your Coltwood stocks seem to have shrunk. The left panel of the top-posted revolver seems to fit really well. All of the other panels look like they have shrunk fairly significantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I have several more sets on early 50s Colts and all of them have some shrinkage.
It's usually most noticeable around the grip frames and not much around the rounded tops. I find a gap around the tops to be a big bummer when you can see clear through the gun's frame. I am used to them not fitting perfectly and I guess I have grown to love and accept it.:rolleyes:

Actually, the gun and Coltwood grips in the top two pictures is the seller's gun with the Coltwoods on it. It's a pre war D.S. with a bobbed hammer and an over polished reblue job that took off the rampant pony:bang_wall:

Thanks for your kind words :D
 

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Mike
You are welcome. The least I could do for all the free info you have provided me!
I sure could use that Right side grip in the first pic. It would replace my repaired one. Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mike
You are welcome. The least I could do for all the free info you have provided me!
I sure could use that Right side grip in the first pic. It would replace my repaired one. Ron
Ron, that set is probably still for sale. The price wasn't bad. I'd grab them if they are still around.
 

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It's academic in this case. I doubt Colt manufactured the Coltwood grips in Hartford or West Hartford themselves, and all the examples shown in these pictures are authentic Coltwood grips.
Mike,

We had a thread somewhere about this before, but Colt actually did make the grips in Hartford through the plastics division of the company. It is my belief that the Coltwood grips were an "in house" cost saving measure while the company struggled after WWll. When the company was sold in 1955, the plastics division was sold separately, hence the end of Coltwood grips.The plastics company is still in business today: Colt's Plastics : About Us : Colt's Plastics is a manufacturer of high quality jars, caps, discs, shakers and spatulas.

I find your analysis of the styles of grips quite compelling. I have serveral of the different styles of Coltwood grips but never thought to attach chronological time to any particular style. On of these days I'll look through some of mine and test your theory. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mike,

We had a thread somewhere about this before, but Colt actually did make the grips in Hartford through the plastics division of the company. It is my belief that the Coltwood grips were an "in house" cost saving measure while the company struggled after WWll. When the company was sold in 1955, the plastics division was sold separately, hence the end of Coltwood grips.The plastics company is still in business today: Colt's Plastics : About Us : Colt's Plastics is a manufacturer of high quality jars, caps, discs, shakers and spatulas.

I find your analysis of the styles of grips quite compelling. I have serveral of the different styles of Coltwood grips but never thought to attach chronological time to any particular style. On of these days I'll look through some of mine and test your theory. :cool:
Richard, you are right, I forgot that thread! It makes my theory more compelling I think. I have examined enough sets of Coltwoods (which I can't say about all things Colt) to make an "educated" guess that all my Coltwoods are original. I can spot reproductions from the modern era companies easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Bumping up this old thread with the hope I'll get some additional observations from some members.
If you care to respond please don't hesitate to shoot down my theory if you don't agree!

Since I posted this in August I have examined this swirled set and my other sets a few more times, using magnifiction. It's still my opinion the first set I've pictured are from the Colt factory. The moulded Rampant Colt is identical to those of known Coltwood grips and the vestigital plastic mold sprues on the backs are completely identical to those of known Coltwood grip sets I have.
My conclusion is that after Colt decided to go with a different plastic compound and a change in the mold for the redesign of the back side reinforcing ribs, Colt had some leftover old plastic compound and merely use it up.
I also have never seen a set of Vintage grips, Franzites or Fitz's that used the identical screws and domed eschutcheons that Colt used on their own production Coltwoods.

BTW: It's 8 months since I put this set of plastic grips on the '53 DS and I kept them on it :rolleyes:
I really like the way they look. I did put the original Coltwoods back on for a few days but I missed the more brightly colored heavily swirled ones. I guess if I can be convinced these grips are aftermarket I will remove them and put the originals on for good.
 

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Grips catch havoc on the forum and believe me I know from experience. And of course Mike, awesome post as always.
 

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I have no doubt that the "swirled" examples are real Colt products.
I've seen them presented on otherwise pristine weapons from the late 1940's ...... here and elsewhere, over many years.

Any Colt scholar would agree I think, that Colt was flailing around for quite a while during that period, looking for the right formula of plastic to make their basic stocks.

The fiasco of the incredible shrinking Government Model plastic stocks points to their inability to get it right, more often than not.

three other observations about these,
1) they are incredibly brittle (I broke a set with only minor rough handling)
2) they weren't used for very long (you wont see them used past 1951, not sure when they first appeared)
3) the molds they used for Official Police stocks were of the same pattern as those used for making the Colt Commando grips during WW2

hth ~
 

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Here is my '54 Cobra Dual Tone with "swirled" grips. It doesn't appeared to have been fired often or holstered at all.
It came with the original box and paperwork,so I doubt that the grips were swopped out.
The grips have the original Colt 'double slotted sex bolt'. My Cobra 6 d.jpg
 

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"Double slotted sex bolt?" I know I do not know much about "new" Colts, but that term proves it. I cannot find it on any parts list. I am trying to imagine what part that might be - and "double-slotted" as well! Please picture this part with such an interesting name.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Here is my '54 Cobra Dual Tone with "swirled" grips. It doesn't appeared to have been fired often or holstered at all.
It came with the original box and paperwork,so I doubt that the grips were swopped out.
The grips have the original Colt 'double slotted sex bolt'. View attachment 41851
Just ignore the Judge for this particular post. He's being pedantic and humorous where you are just trying to be humorous. I am sure we all got your point anyway. In the parts lists, no matter what we want to call the stock hardware it will be called "screw" and "screw" only. But the Judge is a great help around here, I respect him, and love him as a friend :) The internet without video is not a great medium for conveying humor ;)

As far as your gun goes, there's only two possibilites I see with those Coltwoods.
One - an assembler got to the bottom of a parts bin of Coltwoods, and there was an old style set in there and the assembler grabbed what was available. Who cared in 1954 as long as the Coltwoods in the bin weren't already cracked or broken? Use up those old parts!
Two - a previous owner or a dealer replaced the original set of 2nd pattern matte dark brown Coltwoods because they were missing or they were on the gun but broken and put a 1st pattern set on the 1954 gun. The Coltwoods and screw hardware on your gun predate the mfg. era by about 3 years.

I think the first scenario is the most likely, but we will never know.
 

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"Double slotted sex bolt?" I know I do not know much about "new" Colts, but that term proves it. I cannot find it on any parts list. I am trying to imagine what part that might be - and "double-slotted" as well! Please picture this part with such an interesting name.
If you Google 'sex bolt' you can see how they are joined. They are also called 'binder bolts'.
Some have a single Phillips head,some are ribbed to press in ,and some have a slot on both the right and left screw head.
The OD of the female half determines the size of the bolt. steel-barrel-bolt-screw.jpg
 

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I have this pair..and always wondered if they are colt or after market. They have the double screw head on them.



 
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