HOLLYWOOD GRIPS

   It took almost six years to get the silverwork on this page researched and made. Endless hours of phone calls, emails and travel to exhibtions were the main source for the images I worked from. Hundreds of hours went into carving waxes, casting prototypes and inlaying them in grips to study all the details and proportions. At the bottom of this page I discuss the Man-With-No-Name rattlesnakes and how I came to make this exqusit copy that is the closest to the real ones ever made. 

 

                                                 

 

          Paladin 1

"Have Gun Will Travel"  Paladin grip. 1957-1963 Richard Boone.

    Yes, we all know Paladin's gun did not have knights in the grips, but it sure should have. This TV Series grip never existed. The knight appears on Paladin’s holster and not on his grips. I created this piece because of customer demand. It is one of those things that should have been, but never was………….until now. It took three months, after researching original imagery from the series, to carve the waxes and go through three prototypes before ending up with this final design. I make the one-piece grips from specially selected African Ebony.      The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the Ebony. I make the knights by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished knights are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. 1 ½ hours to inlay each knight. This is why the inlays are so precise. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 10 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips. 

One-piece Ebony grips with Sterling silver knights inlaid on both sides - $545.00

 

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Bandolero2 “BANDOLERO!” Horseshoe grip. 1968 - Dean Martin, Jimmy Stewart and Raquel Welch.

    In the early part of the film Jimmy Stewart is standing on the gallows impersonating the Hangman. He opens his jacket to show Dean Martin the firearm in the beltline of his pants. Here we see the right side of a 5 ½” Colt SAA with one piece Brazilian Rosewood grips inlaid with a silver horseshoe on the right side only. The grips in the film appear to have a small bevel at the bottom. I preserved every detail when creating the horseshoe. Nine holes, square and flat, slightly pinched together at the top, with the opening towards the hammer and sized correctly. Jimmy Stewart uses this same revolver with the horseshoe grip in the movie "The Rare Breed" with Maureen O'Hara, 1966. This is a period correct lost wax casting in Sterling silver. However, you can have the horseshoe in gold, silver or gold alloy. Additionally, you can have it on both sides if you want. Stewart's grips were made from Brazillian Rosewood. Brazilian Rosewood is listed in CITES Appendix I and is no longer available legally. I make the grips from select Bolivian Rosewood which is the same species grown in a different place. The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the Rosewood. I make the horseshoes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. When they sit perfectly flat across the convex shape, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling Silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished horseshoe is then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. It takes about 1 hour per horseshoe. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 9 hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips. 

One-piece Bolivian Rosewood grips with a Sterling silver horseshoe inlaid on one side - $325.00 

 

 Bandolero

 Jimmy Stewart on the gallows showing Dean Martin the revolver.

 

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GBUR

 "Fist Full of Dollars"  Man With No Name grip. 1964 Clint Eastwood, Gian Volonte. 

    This grip can be seen in the movie multiple times. The one-piece grip is made from walnut and a Sterling silver rattlesnake is inlaid on each side. The revolver is a 5 1/2" Colt in 45LC. For the one-piece grips I use specially selected, hard to find, American Walnut with a distinctive reddish hue. The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the walnut. I make the snakes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. There are no pins on the back at this point. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling Silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished snakes are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. I solder the pins on the back after the inlay work is done. It takes about 1 ½ hours to cut the inlay for each snake. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 11 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips.

The same revolver and grips are used in the film "For a Few Dollars More."

One-piece Walnut grips with "Authentic" Sterling silver rattlesnakes inlaid on both sides - $650.00. 

One-piece Walnut grips with Sterling silver "Standard" rattlesnakes (see bottom of page) inlaid on both sides - $545.00

 

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Eastwood Snake51

 “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”  Man With No Name grip. 1966 Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach.

    This grip can be seen in the movie multiple times. The one-piece grip is made from walnut and a Sterling silver rattlesnake is inlaid on each side. The firearm is a 7 ½”, 1851 Navy Conversion. For the one-piece grips I use specially selected, hard to find, American Walnut with a distinctive reddish hue. The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the walnut. I make the snakes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. There are no pins on the back at this point. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling Silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished snakes are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. I solder the pins on the back after the inlay work is done. It takes about 1 ½ hours to cut the inlay for each snake. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 11 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips.

One-piece Walnut grips with "Authentic" Sterling silver rattlesnakes inlaid on both sides - $650.00. 

One-piece Walnut grips with "Standard" Sterling silver rattlesnakes (see bottom of page) inlaid on both sides - $545.00 

 

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 Rawhide1

“Rawhide” Rattlesnake Grip.  1959 - 1965  Clint Eastwood, Paul Brinegar, Steve Raines.

    Season 1 episode 2, “Incident at Alabaster Plane”. This is when the famous rattlesnake first appeared. The bad guy is killed by being knocked off the bell tower. Rowdy, (Clint Eastwood) procures his firearm, a 5 ½” Colt SAA wearing one-piece Ebony grips with a silver rattlesnake inlaid on each side. In the final scene as he is riding off, he describes the grips to his buddy. “Solid silver inlaid in Ebony. Must have cost a lot of money”. He uses this Colt with the rattlesnake grips for the remainder of the series. This is the set of grips I saw and photographed when they were on display at Planet Hollywood in Los Angeles, 2005-2006, broken corner and all. This is the exact same snake used in his movies. I make the one-piece grips from specially selected, dark black, West African Ebony. The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the Ebony. I make the snakes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling Silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished snakes are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. I solder the pins on the back after the inlay work is done. It takes about 1 ½ hours to cut the inlay for each snake. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 11 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips. 

One-piece Ebony grips with "Authentic" Sterling silver rattlesnakes inlaid on both sides - $650.00. 

One-piece Ebony grips with "Standard" Sterling silver rattlesnakes (see bottom of page) inlaid on both sides - $545.00

 

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WWW "The Wild Wid West" Robert Conrad, Ross Martin. September 17, 1965 to April 4, 1969. 
    The revolver is a 5 1/2 Colt SAA nickel plated in 45LC. The series followed Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon as they solved crimes, protected the President and foiled the plans of megalomaniacal villains to take over part or all of the United States. I make the one-piece grips from specially selected, dark black, West African Ebony. The grips are not stained or dyed. They are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the Ebony. I make the snakes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them using 100% new Sterling Silver. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished snakes are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. I solder the pins on the back after the inlay work is done. It takes about 1 ½ hours to cut the inlay for each snake. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 11 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips. 

One-piece Ebony grips with "Authentic" Sterling silver rattlesnakes inlaid on both sides - $650.00. 

One-piece Ebony grips with "Standard" Sterling silver rattlesnakes (see bottom of page) inlaid on both sides - $545.00

 

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18k Hand of God"3:10 to Yuma"  Hand of God grip. Russell Crow 2007.

    The original grip is seen in the second making of the film “3:10 To Yuma”. It first appears in the beginning of the film, during the stage coach robbery. The revolver is a 4 3/4 US Firearms in 45LC. Working from detailed close-up photos of the movie gun, this reproduction took four months, more than ninety hours and seven prototypes to create. This crucifix is extremely close to the original. For the one-piece grips I use specially selected, African Ebony, not plastic or walnut. The grips are not stained or dyed. The "Standard" crucifix is made from a proprietary blend of alloys that I developed. It resembles 18K gold in color and depth. However, you can have the crucifixes in any metal you desire. The one pictured above is 18k solid gold. The grips are finished with five applications of hand rubbed oil, over three days, that produces a semi-gloss sheen to the Ebony. The inlay sits on a slight angle, just like the movie gun. No one else has this detail correct. I make the crucifixes by heating and forming my waxes over the completed grips. When they sit perfectly flat across all contours, I investment cast them in your choice of metal. After four hours of filing, tumbling, sanding and polishing, the finished crucifixes are then inlaid into the grips without the use of power tools. I use custom made miniature chisels and do it all by hand. This is why the inlays are so precise. About 1 hour to inlay each crucifix. Not including the 12 hours for the investment to cure and the 6 hours in the burnout kiln, it takes 9 hours of hands on work over three days to complete these grips. Simply put, no other reproduction can hold a candle to this one. Nine U.S. Firearms revolvers, 4 ¾, 45LC were make for the film. An additional one was made for Russell Crow. This one did not appear in the film and has 24k gold crucifixes on it. Of the nine firearms made for the film, five were made to fire cartridges and four were non-firing versions made for scenes where their use was dictated by safety protocol.

One-piece Ebony grips with the Standard or Sterling silver crucifixes inlaid on both sides - $450.00

The price of crucifixes made in 10k, 14k, 18k or 24k gold with depend on the market price of gold at the time of purchase.

 

HG2

   These are the "Hand of God" prototypes. Each of these was hand carved in wax and then cast using the lost wax process. I then inlaid them in an ebony grip and studied the original to make the most intricate changes.

 

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Lucky Ned2

 "True Grit"  Lucky Ned Pepper Grip.  2010 Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon.

    This grip appears in the second making of the film “True Grit”. We see the grips clearly after Mattie is taken hostage. “Lucky Ned” reloads his 1875 Remington while resting on a boulder at the top of a rise. The right side of the revolver is shown and the clover rests just above the grip screw. This clover is almost an "exact" copy of the original. I refined the shape just a touch for better balance. The movie gun had the inlay made out of white bone and the screw showing. The version pictured here has the screw hidden and a giraffe bone clover. You can have this grip on any single action revolver. I will also make it as a one-piece grip with the clover on one side or both, reversed of course. The grip is made from West African Ebony. I can also make the clover out of Sterling Silver.  After the clover is inlaid it is filed and sanded to be prefectly flush with the surface of the grip. I cut the inlays into the grips entirely by hand, without the use of power tools, using custom made miniature chisels. This inlay is a “Flush Inlay” and means it so perfectly finished with the grip you cannot feel it in the grip. The Flush Inlay and the making of the grips takes 10 ½ hours of hands on work over three days to complete.  

Two piece Blind Screw grips with the clover on one side. Sterling Silver or Bone - $375.00. Both sides add $175.00

 

 


 

Man-With-No-Name Rattlesnakes as pictured above.

         My quest for re-creating these snakes began when I saw one of Clint’s “Man With No Name” guns on display at the Autry Museum in Los Angeles in 2005. By the way Robert Conrad, in the TV series The Wild Wild West, used the very same snakes on his revolver. Every detail of this reproduction is accurate to a fault. Short face, large eye, long tongue (not forked) and scales down the belly. The shape of the mouth, top coil large and bottom coil small. The tail is in the classic “J” hook with round rattles. The diamond patterns on the body are even the exact number, curved in shape, and in the exact place on the body as the original. Special tools were made to replicate the dots inside the diamonds and place them in the same pattern. They are made from 100% new Sterling Silver. They are exact mirror images of eachother. I worked on casting and inlaying prototypes for two years starting in 2015. (After carving waxes you don’t know how they will look until you cast them and inlay them). I spent spent four months looking at the smallest details, comparing mine to to the originals (my photographs) and making minuet changes. Two years, four versions and eight master castings later, I guarantee these are the closest to the originals ever made.  

 

 What You Should Know About The Snakes Being Sold On The Internet

    You will see leather makers, Internet companies and even other grip makers claiming they are selling “exact” copies of the snakes that were on Clint Eastwood’s revolvers. Sorry, this is not true.  If you do your research, you can find a few images on the internet of Clint holding the guns. Yes they are a touch blurry, but you can clearly see how different his snakes are than the ones being sold on the Internet. The biggest difference being that Clint's snakes do not have forked tongues. 

    In 2012 I started my journey to find out who made the snakes you see below in the left photo below. The highest quality ones are currently sold by Cimarron F.A. These are the ones many companies have copied and are claiming they are "exact copies" of Clint's, again, this is not true. Know that if you do not buy these snakes directly from Cimarron they will be considerably smaller because of the way they were copied. They are also often not made of silver. If you want these snakes, buy them from Cimarron.

    After speaking with everyone in the industry that has contact with the snakes with the forked tongues, my search led me to Bill Falk. He designed the snake you see at far left with the short forked tongue. No one seems to know who made the one with the longer forked tongue that goes on the left grip panel. Bill was quite the character and one of his many hobbies was jewelry making. He did not make the snakes for Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2015.

    The snakes you see below in the right photo were sold by a company that offered movie prop reproductions and went out of business many years ago. I call this my "Standard" rattlesnake. These snakes match eachother because they were indeed made by the same person. The company claimed they were close to the originals and they are. I bought six of them in 1997 and made molds. After close examination of these snakes, comparing them to the photos I took at the Autry Museum and at Planet Hollywood, I saw just how close they were. They are much closer to the originals than the snakes you see on the left.

 

Cimarron snake   CSA snake

               Cimarron Snakes                                                                                  My "Standard" Snakes

 

    The snakes on the left don't match eachother because they were made by two different people at different times. Notice the tails, the head shape, the mouth and the tongues. I don't make or sell these snakes. The real Man-With-No-Name snakes do not have forked tongues and the bodies and heads look considerably different.

    The snakes on the right are my "Standard" rattlesnakes. These are the snakes I have been making since 1997. I will continue to offer this "Standard" version of the snakes inlaid in any wood for the same price as I always have, $195 for one and $360 for two. Add the grips you want them inlaid into to that.