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I've been looking for non-medallion grips for an original Vaquero (1998). I thought I was looking for XR3-RED grips because it's an older model, large frame. I just read that because it's stainless, it's the KXR3. Are the dimensions the same? Will the grips from an XR3-RED fit the KXR3? WTH?
 

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The original Vaquero has the XR3-RED grip frame on it. The stainless ones are the same thing. The "K" only indicates that the material is stainless.

Regular Blackhawks, Vaqueros, and Single Sixes all take the same XR3-RED profile grips. Over 60+ years, Ruger has used only three basic sizes of plow handle size grips as indicated in the drawing below.

Don't fret over Rugers grip frame markings, they only put them there to drive people nuts. I'm a grip maker and I don't pay any attention to them.

 

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The post ain't suppost to be in different places!

I have two old Vaqueros in 45 colt. One is 5 1/2 inch and one is 7 inch barrel. I wanted stag horn grips for one of them and ordered an expensive set. When they came, the little knotch that fits over a stainless steel post on the frame would not line up. I was sure the company I bought it from had sent me a New Vaquero grip. So I sent it back and requested an 'old Vaquero' grips. When they arrived, it was the same problem. I refused to fill in and drill a hole in a $200. grip and screw it up! I was told by my gunsmith the post on the Vaqueros are never in the same place on each gun! So I have on the wooden grips that came with my Rugers........so I traded the Vaquero grips for red stag horn grips for my Colt 45 Auto! More than one way to skin a cat! Good luck finding a grip that fits your Vaquero.
 

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I would say that "never in the same place on each gun" is an exaggeration. Being a custom grip maker, I get lots of frames sent to me for fitting. But on occasion, I do run into one that is drilled a little off. My theory is that the employee coming in on Monday morning after a hard week end of partying is just not being careful enough.

Surely they use some kind of drill jig at Ruger to drill those holes. If the worker doesn't get the frame into the jig just right or he failed to brush out all the drill shavings from the previous frame, this could result in what you see in the pictures below.

You see two different frames. One drilled correctly and one drilled incorrectly. You see how the same plastic grip fits on each frame. Most of my customers send their frames to me for fitting when they order custom grips.






 

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I personally like the xr3 red far better than the xr3 or the colt though I like the bisley better than either.[/QUOTE]
Me as well.
 
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