How to shop for stag grips
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
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
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
donít actually think thatís true, and can provide a compelling
but long and somewhat technical explanation. In any event itís
These dayís Sambar grips with true eye appeal are not
obtainable at ďreasonableĒ prices.
cut rock hard panels from Elk and do so in such a way that
satisfies that eye for a truly western looking
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
work is labor intensive to the point that itís rare to work
ahead for the production of inventory.