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Bisley grips...


RHL

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I've read quite a few accounts of the Bisley revolvers fitting larger hands better because they offer a longer handle. I definitely see that as being true for as far as getting your fingers ALL on the grip and none under the bottom, like a plow handle.

My paws aren't huge, I'd call them average. I have a couple of Uberti Cattlemen, both a Bisley and plow style grip, one thing I notice is that the Uberti Bisley grip brings everything in tighter with the lower hammer and steeper drop of the handle. This keeps running through my head as I think about shooters with larger hands being squeezed into this position.

 

Maybe other Bisley guns aren't as tight in the ergos (Vaqueros etc...) and the Uberti fits me perfectly but it got me wondering about shooters with bigger paws.

 

Anyone else find this to be the case?

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I wear a 15 EEE. Is that a big enough paw?

 

 

Sure that isn't the size for a canoe? ;)

 

RHL = Rosado Hombre Lobo (my gal calls me her pinky werewolf) hence my usage of the paws. lol

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I've read quite a few accounts of the Bisley revolvers fitting larger hands better because they offer a longer handle. I definitely see that as being true for as far as getting your fingers ALL on the grip and none under the bottom, like a plow handle.

My paws aren't huge, I'd call them average. I have a couple of Uberti Cattlemen, both a Bisley and plow style grip, one thing I notice is that the Uberti Bisley grip brings everything in tighter with the lower hammer and steeper drop of the handle. This keeps running through my head as I think about shooters with larger hands being squeezed into this position.

 

Maybe other Bisley guns aren't as tight in the ergos (Vaqueros etc...) and the Uberti fits me perfectly but it got me wondering about shooters with bigger paws.

 

Anyone else find this to be the case?

The Ruger Bisley frame is quite different in shape than that of a Colt Bisley or Uberti Bisley.

I owned a pair of Beretta Stampede Bisleys (uberti's with transfer bars) at one time and also have owned Ruger Bisleys. I agree with you in the way that the Uberti style nestles the revolver into the hand. I have average hands and found it comfortable. I have a friend that I shoot with who is tall and has large hands. The Ruger Bisleys work very well for him.

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Thanks for the information Buck.

 

Without many cowboy guns under the glass here in Northern Ca. it is hard to know if there is a physical difference between the same types of six-guns.

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Guest Copper Mart

Interesting discussion. I'm sorta in the market for a pair of Bisleys after handling an original ($2800) at a gun show a couple of weeks ago. I tried a Ruger, but didn't like the way it felt. Just wrong somehow. My local smith has a Uberti which he let me fondle for a minute or two. It felt very nice. My hands are not large or small. I'm hoping that a vendor at WR will have a pair that I can fiddle with and maybe take home with me.

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CM, don'tcha wish that the dealers could keep a few different but similar guns and snap caps on hand to cycle a few rounds through before a shooter makes a decision? lol

 

I've heard claim that the Bisley puts more of the recoil pressure directly into the palm of your hand instead of twisting like the plow hand grips. All i know is that the cattleman feels great and shoots very well. I'm not really fast, but I certainly like the Bisley in my arsenal. I'd love to handle a Bisley Vaquero sometime.

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I've heard claim that the Bisley puts more of the recoil pressure directly into the palm of your hand instead of twisting like the plow hand grips.

 

RHL, This is very true at least for me and my Ruger Bisley Vaquero's. I have large hands and I have plenty of room on the grip. It is very comfortable and the recoil does indeed push straight back into my palm making for an easy shooting piece. Smithy.

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To me the Ruger Bisley grip is the most comfortable for my hand size.With large calibers, I have much better control.

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One of these days I'm going to have to get my hands on a Ruger Bisley. Its funny but after getting my Uberti Bisley, whenever I thumb through the new Ruger catalog I ignore all of the other guns and go right for the Bisley. I like the stainless and white grip combo. Its SEXY!

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Having owned both types at different points I can honestly say that I can appreciate each in their own way. I wish that Beretta could have left the internal lock work of their Stampedes to strictly 1873 type and not have attempted to re-invent the wheel. I feel the Beretta's have a better faux case color finish to them than the Uberti's do. When I first got them and pulled them out of the box, I went "wow" and admired how much they looked externally to an original Colt. When they died internally about 500 rounds later, the "wow" turned to "whoa". I replaced them with Rugers.

I would love to own a pair of USFA Bisleys but can't afford the price they want for them.

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All I shoot are .45 Rugers with Bisley grips. My hands aren't huge, but I like the feel and I especially like how they point. For me, the difference in grip angle means I don't need to rotate my wrist down as much to bring the sights into alignment. They just point more naturally for me. When I'm shooting at SASS targets I tend to shoot high and even higher with plowshare grips.

 

I like the direction of recoil as well, more straight back. Makes getting back on target a might quicker.

 

Hand size is not the only reason to use Bisley grips. Two little ladies with very small hands that I usta shoot with both shot Bisleys. However, the grips were thinned and shaped to make them easier for small hands to grip.

 

Doc McGee

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Although I shoot the lowly .38 short colt. I have also made the switch to the Bisley gripframe. (read that old model ruger). Much, much easier to hold that sight picture at speed. But, what I have found even better, is fitting the grip panels to my hand. The outside (palm) panel needs to fill that void in my palm, and the inside (fingers) panel needs to be thinner for that final wrap of the fingers. Pistol shooting 101: The grip is everything.

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I recently switched to Berreta/Uberti Stampede Bisleys and simultaneously changed my style from two-handed Cowboy to Duelist. The Bisley grip is designed for one handed shooting and I like the feel and the way they "point" one handed.

BB

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I was told that the Ruger Bisley is made to closely imitate the #5 grip frame and grips as designed by Elmer Keith.

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I was told that the Ruger Bisley is made to closely imitate the #5 grip frame and grips as designed by Elmer Keith.

 

 

Howdy

 

I dunno where you heard that Noz, you may be quoting me. I have always suspected that the Rutger Bisley grip is partially based on Kieth's #5 pistol, but I have no authoritative data. It is just a guess on my part.

 

I believe the Ruger version of the Bisley grip does not have much in common with the original Colt Bisley grip. Colt developed the Bisley grip around 1894 for the National Target Matches that took place at the Bisley range outside of London England. The grip was meant as a target grip, it was intended to fill the hand better for target shooting. The Colt Bisley grip curves forward much more sharply than the Ruger version. It is also not as massive as the Ruger version. Here are a couple of photos of Colt Bisley revolvers, one with fixed sights, the other is the target version. Colt stopped making the Bisley Colt around 1915.

 

 

Colt Bisley

 

Colt Bisley target

 

The Bisley revolvers produced by Uberti and USFA are faithful reproductions of the Colt Bisley grip.

 

The interesting thing about the original Colt Bisley grip is when held the way we normally shoot a pistol today, with the elbow straight, a Colt Bisley will tend to point down at the ground. I believe this is because target pistol shooting has changed over the years. I have seen photos of 19th Century target shooters, and many of them hold the pistol with the elbow slightly bent. When held this way, a Colt Bisley, (or a Uberti or USFA copy) will naturally point forward. I believe that is why Colt developed the Bisley grip shape, specifically for target shooting the way it was done in the late 1800s, with a slightly bent elbow.

 

 

For comparison, here is a photo of the Ruger version of the Bisley. Notice how the grip does not curve forward at all in front.

 

Ruger Bisley

 

 

 

And for further comparison, here is Elmer Keith's famous #5 custom revolver.

 

Keith #5

 

For what it's worth, I do not care for the Ruger version of the Bisley grip. When I first started shooting Black Powder I was told that the heavier recoil of full house Black Powder loads would be easier to control with the Ruger Bisley grip. So I bought a stainless 'original model' Vaquero with the Bisley grip in 45 Colt. I only used it for one match. Simply did not care for it. I much prefer the standard plow handle grip. I ALWAYS curl my pinky under the grip. I find that with heavy Black Powder loads, the plow handle grip rolls in my hand, allowing the muzzle to rise, until my pinky stops it from rolling. This rolling action slows the impact of recoil and makes it much gentler. The other thing that the plow handle grip allows is a way to prevent getting your middle finger knuckle whacked by the trigger guard in recoil. Curling the pinky under the grip allows holding the revolver a little bit lower. This in turn opens up about 1/4" of space between the rear of the trigger guard and the knuckle of the middle finger. Attempting to cram one's entire hand onto a plow handle grip is a prescription for a sore knuckle, and flinching. Opening up 1/4" of space by curling the pinky under the grip is a good cure for that.

 

Now if I was to come across an affordable real Colt Bisley, I would probably buy it in a heartbeat.

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Howdy

 

I dunno where you heard that Noz, you may be quoting me. I have always suspected that the Rutger Bisley grip is partially based on Kieth's #5 pistol, but I have no authoritative data. It is just a guess on my part.

 

I believe the Ruger version of the Bisley grip does not have much in common with the original Colt Bisley grip. Colt developed the Bisley grip around 1894 for the National Target Matches that took place at the Bisley range outside of London England. The grip was meant as a target grip, it was intended to fill the hand better for target shooting. The Colt Bisley grip curves forward much more sharply than the Ruger version. It is also not as massive as the Ruger version. Here are a couple of photos of Colt Bisley revolvers, one with fixed sights, the other is the target version. Colt stopped making the Bisley Colt around 1915.

 

 

Colt Bisley

 

Colt Bisley target

 

The Bisley revolvers produced by Uberti and USFA are faithful reproductions of the Colt Bisley grip.

 

The interesting thing about the original Colt Bisley grip is when held the way we normally shoot a pistol today, with the elbow straight, a Colt Bisley will tend to point down at the ground. I believe this is because target pistol shooting has changed over the years. I have seen photos of 19th Century target shooters, and many of them hold the pistol with the elbow slightly bent. When held this way, a Colt Bisley, (or a Uberti or USFA copy) will naturally point forward. I believe that is why Colt developed the Bisley grip shape, specifically for target shooting the way it was done in the late 1800s, with a slightly bent elbow.

 

 

For comparison, here is a photo of the Ruger version of the Bisley. Notice how the grip does not curve forward at all in front.

 

Ruger Bisley

 

 

 

And for further comparison, here is Elmer Keith's famous #5 custom revolver.

 

Keith #5

 

For what it's worth, I do not care for the Ruger version of the Bisley grip. When I first started shooting Black Powder I was told that the heavier recoil of full house Black Powder loads would be easier to control with the Ruger Bisley grip. So I bought a stainless 'original model' Vaquero with the Bisley grip in 45 Colt. I only used it for one match. Simply did not care for it. I much prefer the standard plow handle grip. I ALWAYS curl my pinky under the grip. I find that with heavy Black Powder loads, the plow handle grip rolls in my hand, allowing the muzzle to rise, until my pinky stops it from rolling. This rolling action slows the impact of recoil and makes it much gentler. The other thing that the plow handle grip allows is a way to prevent getting your middle finger knuckle whacked by the trigger guard in recoil. Curling the pinky under the grip allows holding the revolver a little bit lower. This in turn opens up about 1/4" of space between the rear of the trigger guard and the knuckle of the middle finger. Attempting to cram one's entire hand onto a plow handle grip is a prescription for a sore knuckle, and flinching. Opening up 1/4" of space by curling the pinky under the grip is a good cure for that.

 

Now if I was to come across an affordable real Colt Bisley, I would probably buy it in a heartbeat.

 

I got interested in the Bisleys by reading. I have several of the older books on handguns, several by Elmer Keith. I bought and installed Bisley hammers, triggers and grips on a pair of Blackhawks in 41 mag. I liked them well enough that I kept them on the guns until I started shooting cowboy. I felt like they were cumbersome when trying to be quick with the guns. I've since sold them. If I ever feel the need to spend some money on another Quality handgun , then it would be a nice single action with the Keith #5 grips.

The only Bisley I own now is a Ruger Super Black Hawk Hunter Bisley in 41 mag. The grips on it have been modified by Gary Reeder into his version of Gunfighter grips and are a delight to shoot. Gary makes several versions of 41 mag wildcats that are very intriguing. One I would like to try is his 41/454.

 

On further reflection, I believe I got the Ruger Bisley/Keith #5 relationship from one of John Taffin's books

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On further reflection, I believe I got the Ruger Bisley/Keith #5 relationship from one of John Taffin's books

 

Well, I'm gonna take that as a huge compliment that I'm thinking along the same lines as John Taffin.

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