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How to shop for stag grips

I think even non-gun people know stag grips in their mindís eye.  Yet they are very much a niche product and hard to shop for.  Hereís the important points.

What they are: handgun grips made of antler.

What kind of antler: Elk, Red Deer, or Sambar.

What should they cost:  Market rates for artisan made Elk single action grips have been in the $155 - $225 range.  If you are being quoted a price higher than that, make certain the quote is for Red Deer or Sambar.   Sambar in particular is exotic / imported and commands a higher price.  Thatís fine.  But there is a danger of the seller blurring the distinction if you are being asked to pay say $275 for elk grips.

Is there a difference?:  Sambar was the stag material of choice for many decades.  Among the advanced connoisseurs I think most will still say Sambar is superior because itís a denser, harder antler.

I donít actually think thatís true, and can provide a compelling but long and somewhat technical explanation.  In any event itís irrelevant now.  These dayís Sambar grips with true eye appeal are not obtainable at ďreasonableĒ prices.

I cut rock hard panels from Elk and do so in such a way that satisfies that eye for a truly western looking grip.

Why doesnít anyone have anything in stock?:   Thereís very few mass market grip retailers left, and stag grips canít be mass produced.  They have to be hand cut, fit and finished by an artisan.

Handmaking custom grips is closely aligned and similar to the gunsmithing business.  Thereís a consistent clientele for commissioned work among relatively few providers.  The work is labor intensive to the point that itís rare to work ahead for the production of inventory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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