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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen I have been given wrong answers to this question and would like to get the right answer to my question. Over a year ago I purchased a Lipsey special Blackhawk 44 special with 5.5 inch barrel. This gun is the one with a steel frame and it appears to be about 1/4 inch shorter in height to my Ruger Blackhawk in 41 mag. with the aluminum frame.
I even contacted the Ruger customer service via email and the answer I got from them is that my Lipsey 44 special takes the "internal lock NVB grips".
I am use to seeing XR-3, XR-3Red as a description for different Ruger grips, never a description of NVB for after market grips. Does anyone out there know what grips this revolver takes that matches descriptions given by the various aftermarket grip makers.:rolleyes:
 

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There is not as much mystery about these grips as people think. In 2005 Ruger came out with their "New Vaquero". It was supposed to please the SASS people in that it was more like the size of the Colt SAA.

This gun had a copy of the XR3 grip frame that Ruger used when they started in 1953 up until 1962. When they reintroduced that XR3 grip frame they even made it .437" in width which made it even smaller than the original XR3 which was .500".

The locks in the New XR3 grip frames are .480" in width so they are actually wider than the grip frames. Any flat backed grips such as wood will need recesses in the backs of the grips to clear the locks.

When Ruger came out with the .357 50th Anniversary flat top, they put this new steel XR3 grip frame on it, same as the New Vaquero. Then they came out with the .44 mag flat top with the New XR3 grip frame on it. Now the latest is the .44 special flat top with the New XR3 grip frame on it.

See where I'm going with this? All the guns with the New XR3 grip frames on them are either Blackhawk Flat Tops or the New Vaquero.

So if you're buying after market grips, your best identity will be to buy something for the "New Vaquero". By now, every grip maker should know what that is.

If anyone is still not sure about what grip frame they have, just measure the width of it. If it is .437" then it is the New XR3.

Below is a drawing. It shows the three basic sizes of plow handle type grip frames Ruger has used for 60 years. You can always draw yourself a 3 inch square in place one of your grips in it for identification.

 

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This man has your answer.
Of course the grip frame is marked XR3. But he was asking what grips to order from an aftermarket grip maker.

There are two versions of the XR3 grip frame. The old XR3 and the New XR3.

That's why I just told him to order anything made to fit the New Vaquero. Aftermarket grip makers know what grip frame that is. He could also tell them the New XR3 but New Vaquero is the best way to get the correct grips. Anything made to fit the old XR3 will not fit his gun.

I thought I gave about everything there was to give in my explanation. You need more?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As for the comment about taking the grips off and the grip frame is marked for the correct grips is not true. I examine both sides of the grip frame and it is not marked for the grip size. The only mark is a etched in serial number that matches the factory serial number located above the grip frame below the cylinder on the right side.
 

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As for the comment about taking the grips off and the grip frame is marked for the correct grips is not true. I examine both sides of the grip frame and it is not marked for the grip size. The only mark is a etched in serial number that matches the factory serial number located above the grip frame below the cylinder on the right side.
I've tried to explain it as best I can. I've been making grips for between eight and ten years now I believe. In all that time I've had countless numbers of grip frames sent to me for fitting. I've seen just about every frame marking.

If you want to be really confused go by what is marked on Ruger grip frames. I'm convinced that they put them there just to confuse people.

There used to be the XR3-RED with the RED meaning redesigned. I don't know how long ago but they dropped the RED off the marking leaving it at XR3. It is still the XR3-RED grip panel size though.

There is no designation on the new XR3 grip frames but they are still the XR3 size.

I've given you the drawing above. As I said, it has all the plow handle grip sizes Ruger has used over 60 years. If you really want to know what size grips your gun has on it, draw yourself a three inch square and place one of your grips in it. See how it fits compared to the drawing. It's not rocket surgery or brain science.

If you don't believe me you can lay in bed and worry about it all night long.
 

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As caryc so well put... just look for New Vaquero grips and you'll be fine. caryc makes a fine line of grips as well as many others. Take your pick! For example Bear Paw Grips . Note the New Vaquero designation...
 

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As for the comment about taking the grips off and the grip frame is marked for the correct grips is not true. I examine both sides of the grip frame and it is not marked for the grip size. The only mark is a etched in serial number that matches the factory serial number located above the grip frame below the cylinder on the right side.
Listen to Mr. Chapman. He's giving you all the details. I have a Lipsey .44 Spl flattop & it takes the New Vaquero grips.
 
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