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Old 03-13-2011, 01:05 AM
lkWinnipesaukee lkWinnipesaukee is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Real elephant and mammoth ivory grips...

I can't find much information about ivory grips here and was wondering if anyone has them on their 1911s. I've been browsing and and am quite floored by what I found.

Please share your knowledge about them. One specific question is will elephant ivory grips actually appreciate with time? Not that I'd ever sell them but rather pass them on to my kids.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:53 AM
Chuck Would Chuck Would is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Dedham, MA
Posts: 97
I have Ivory on my Colt Defender. I bought it preowned but unfired. That lasted until I got to the range - about 30 minutes. I assume that they were factory Ivory.

I also have Ivory on two different pair of Colt Single Actions that I use for CAS shoots.

What "floors" you? The price?

I have had nothing but good luck and experience with ivory grips. I'd say that Ivory is the best grip material, bar none.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:31 AM
pmclaine pmclaine is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,145
Nutmeg made a set of grips for a Combat Commander that is my CC gun. I've shot biweekly, 50 rds per session, with them for the last year without structural issues.

I got the antique Colt medallions installed on my grips. They did pop out after a few firings but I used a small amount of Loc-tite brand two part epoxy and have had no issues since. I really like these grips.

Regards appreciation you will get more return on investment in terms of family heirloom than you will monetarily. The patina of Ivory improves with age. Whover inherits your grips will appreciate the history of them more so than that speculators have wildly increased their cash value. Ivory is a closely controlled commodity with almost none being imported legally and most trade using pre ban stocks. This will have some affect on value but it would not be a good idea to invest in Ivory ala the stock or Gold market.

There are those that do not like the material at all on their firearms and consider it "pimping". Obviously they are not aware that G.S. Patton Jr officially defined Ivory as an ass kickers classic and relegated mother of pearl to the pimp category.

Last edited by pmclaine; 03-13-2011 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:12 AM
Flamz Flamz is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: NE Pa
Posts: 427
Check Charles Spresser out. He made me a set of ivory bobtail grips for my 9x23 Commander. Excellent work, VERY resonable, quick delivery. I carry and shoot the 9x23 alot, no problems with the grips.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:17 AM
grainfed grainfed is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Republic of Texas
Posts: 1,538
I also have some Nutmeg ivory grips with the medallion. If you really want to hurt the bank account, go to and check out the mammoth grips. There are usually 3 to 4 pages of photos of them for sale. .......
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:46 AM
ClarkEMyers ClarkEMyers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,734
I'm happy with mine - don't expect any appreciation Micarta, G10 etc easier care.

I'm happy with mine - I don't expect any appreciation. At least compared to a true investment - on the other hand in these inflationary times I'd say buy now for anything folks really want.

I have a set on what was for many years my #1 carry gun but only the one with mostly wood (some Spegal, Ahrends and such) on others. I have no particular desire to put ivory on other handguns. I'm mildly in agreement with Mas Ayoob that I'd hate to have nothing but cocobollo and a companion who was sensitive to the oils so there is a practical case for ivory fwiw. Fossil may be pretty but I think more stone than the warmth of ivory.

I suppose a nice one piece carved eagle and snake on a Single Action Army might appreciate over time. I wouldn't bet on ivory appreciating and who knows the legal rules and supply may change one of these days. Be fun to have a nice buscadero rig with ivory on a single action but I'm not going there.

Micarta, G10 etc are easier care.

I do use o-rings and a little mineral oil / Renaissance Wax from time to time.

There are some lovely pictures of really nice blued engraved with ivory grips 1911 pistols posted here and there on this board.

Last edited by ClarkEMyers; 03-13-2011 at 10:52 AM. Reason: After thoughts
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Old 03-13-2011, 11:40 AM
Slish Slish is offline
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Granger, IN, USA
Age: 63
Posts: 382
Standard grip panels on both my 1911s are ivory.
SA Mil-Spec was the first set I bought. Got them from for around $175. They had a couple minor flaws but are worth the money I paid. I loved them enough that I ended up ordering a set of ivory for my Kimber Compact CDP from a seller in Indiana. $250 from them, but they are flawless with just a little patina to them.
Honor, Loyalty, Duty.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:00 PM
lkWinnipesaukee lkWinnipesaukee is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Thanks for the replies.

To clarify I was floored by the look and texture of ivory grips, the fact that ivory is still somewhat available ( I didn't previously know much about the stuff), and the relatively low price for a set. And they're elephant tusks. Pretty cool.

How do they hold up to daily carry? I assume they're very durable, but how prone to cracking are they?
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:07 PM
Sarge43 Sarge43 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 5,612
I've had Ivory on a couple of my pistols for quite a while now and they are solid. I notice to inclination towards cracking at all, in fact they're very tough. I do apply mineral oil once every six months, but that's about it for maintenance. Ivory can look how you want it to look - new or old - depending on your maintenance and desires. If you want them to stay white/cream for a long time, do the basics, like remove them prior to pistol cleaning, clean them after use etc. If you want them to look old, pay them no mind.
Good luck with your decision!
Addicted to making grips that fit the frame
COTEP Apostle and Missionary
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:23 PM
ClarkEMyers ClarkEMyers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,734
I'd maintain the grips and use something else for experimenting with loads,

Originally Posted by lkWinnipesaukee View Post
I assume they're very durable, but how prone to cracking are they?
As noted my experience has been that well maintained cracking is unlikely. There are several suggested routines floating around but most everybody agrees that some maintenance is appropriate - see this and other boards for handgun grip panels and A.G. Russell and the other knife people have their various suggested routines. Other folks will use tea and such to quickly achieve an aged appearance.

I use O-rings; others use the sections of aquarium tubing some say the O-ring squishes and pushes outwards to split more and the aquarium tubing doesn't push out but only down.

I have no doubt that without maintenance cracking might (or might not) be an issue depending on times and places.

Ivory and stag are natural materials. I had a chess board that lasted 25 years and then cracked promptly when cycled from single digit to high humidity and back repeatedly in a short time. I've seen tropical and high altitude sun do funny things again I have no idea what might happen. There are certainly many fine ivory grip panels floating around that have lasted a good long time - IIRC there are even long guns with full stocks of ivory from the 19th century in high end and museum collections.

I don't know about very durable but good enough - I'd use something else if I planned to load range scrap to high pressures or for high round count exercises or games. I might decide that if I thought a lanyard was a good idea maybe G10 or Micarta would go well with gloves.

Still if the dress includes coat and tie then the grip panels in ivory are nice.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:39 PM
JSandi JSandi is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Appalachia
Posts: 720
I just ordered a custom set of elephant ivory grips from Jim @ nutmeg sports last week.

We spoke on the phone and he took down my specifications and said no problem, lead time is 3 days, should have them shortly after that.

They will be worn on my Les Baer TRS, my current CCW gun.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:48 AM
NTex45 NTex45 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9
I just got a set of mammoth ivory grips from Dan Chinnock. I found him to be a gracious gentleman with loads of integrity. His grips come with a COA and a lifetime guarantee. Some makers do not do that and suggest you remove the grips when you go to the range-- which is lame.

This is what I am talking about- Colt Gunsite CCO

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Old 03-14-2011, 02:51 PM
mike benedict mike benedict is offline
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: jasper ga
Posts: 976
good looking mammoth ivory grips

Mike Benedict
Talon Tactical Holsters
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