Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Notices

S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-30-2009, 05:07 PM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Andy Griffith Andy Griffith is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Out for the duration
Posts: 4,872
Likes: 62
Liked 517 Times in 261 Posts
Default

I have acquired several pairs of these over the years, and always took them off the firearms I've obtained them with and thrown them in a box.
All these grips are post-war, correct?

I believe they are bakelite, or similar material.

Does anyone have a vintage Franzite brochure I could get a copy of?
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-30-2009, 05:07 PM
Andy Griffith's Avatar
Andy Griffith Andy Griffith is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Out for the duration
Posts: 4,872
Likes: 62
Liked 517 Times in 261 Posts
Default

I have acquired several pairs of these over the years, and always took them off the firearms I've obtained them with and thrown them in a box.
All these grips are post-war, correct?

I believe they are bakelite, or similar material.

Does anyone have a vintage Franzite brochure I could get a copy of?
__________________
Lost it all in a boat accident
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-30-2009, 05:15 PM
pace40's Avatar
pace40 pace40 is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: PA.
Posts: 1,850
Likes: 9
Liked 1,281 Times in 260 Posts
Default

Check on ebay.
__________________
Pace
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-31-2009, 12:29 AM
lonewolf lonewolf is offline
Absent Comrade
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 114
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The 1961 31 page Franzite catalog I have is a very informative booklet on the frame size changes on Colts and S&Ws etc.

Sports Inc., out of Chicago, was the name of the firm that made/sold "Franzite Grips".

The Shooter's Bibles from the 50's and 60's have part of the catalog usually reproduced, as Stoeger sold them.

"Non Magna" style,(prewar) were available for a number of S&W models, and I have accumulated some over the years to use as "shooting grips" to spare the valuable "wood" grips on some of my "vintage S&Ws".

Bud
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-31-2009, 06:42 AM
Texas Star Texas Star is offline
US Veteran
Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 19,759
Likes: 23,080
Liked 14,821 Times in 6,937 Posts
Default

Unless my memory is faulty, Franzite grips sometimes warped. Not sure how common this was.

T-Star
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #6  
Old 04-05-2009, 06:47 PM
tommy F tommy F is offline
Member
Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 687
Likes: 1,323
Liked 105 Times in 59 Posts
Default

I have 2 sets of imitation stags. Both were adquired on old model hand ejectors, a Triple lock and earky 3844 HD.
__________________
Tommy
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-12-2010, 11:17 PM
rlee1976 rlee1976 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

Does anyone know when Franzite went out of business?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-13-2010, 03:39 PM
Bat Guano Bat Guano is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 3,266
Likes: 1,227
Liked 2,514 Times in 1,040 Posts
Default

I caught the last 2/3rds of Bullit on TCM last night so watched it. I noticed that one of the patrolmen in the hospital sequence had a set of what I think were large target style Franzites on a 6" revolver. White simulated ivory, no less. They really stood out against the dark uniform like a beacon.

I guess they served a purpose but I always thought they defined the word ugly.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-13-2010, 04:46 PM
rhmc24 rhmc24 is offline
Absent Comrade
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ardmore, OK
Posts: 794
Likes: 783
Liked 2,414 Times in 360 Posts
Default

Franzite grips date from the 1930s. My aunt gave me a decrepit Colt .22 revolver with broken up grips. I got new Franzite "pearl" grips with medallion for it, $1.75 as I recall. Local pool hall operator dabbled in guns and was seller of Franzite grips, somewhat in vogue at the time when 'plastic' had not been discovered.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-13-2010, 05:30 PM
jimmyj's Avatar
jimmyj jimmyj is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DUNNELLON, FLORIDA USA
Posts: 9,665
Likes: 1,402
Liked 11,706 Times in 3,283 Posts
Default

Franzite Grips were still popular in 1950-1970 era
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-09-2011, 12:45 AM
aryfrosty's Avatar
aryfrosty aryfrosty is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 34
Likes: 6
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default Blast from the past...

I am addicted to older Colt guns. I have 1911s, Commanders, A beautiful Python and an old style Trooper .357. Today I went to the toy store and found a circa 1966 Colt Detective Special with white, junky Franzite grips on it. They haven't warped but they look to have shrunk. They don't meet the frame cutout right. Soon as I got home I went online and ordered new/old grips for it and a Don Hume holster. The HKS Tool and Die second six speedloaders for a S&W M-10 work on the revolver. The gun is gorgeous. The finish is at least 99%. Looks like it sat in some old folk's sock drawer for the last 40 years. I, in the words of the late, great Mantan Moreland..."has done died and gone to heaven!" My wife and I went to our favorite Chinese restaurant for dinner and the Colt DS went along. We are in the silly season and it doesn't pay to leave the "dog" at home...( The one who "barks in your hand and bites way across the room" ). I have PMC "magnum" .38spl 66 gr tubular copper rounds in the little Colt.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-09-2011, 02:22 AM
lebomm lebomm is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,953
Likes: 38
Liked 809 Times in 486 Posts
Default

After "throwing them in a box", your next move should be to throw them in the trash. It's been my experience that Franzites have a nearly universal tendency to shrink, warp, and occasionally discolor. They never struck me as especially high quality in the first place, so I wouldn't even bother with 'em. JMHO

Larry
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:02 AM
Green Frog Green Frog is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Central VA
Posts: 5,819
Likes: 749
Liked 4,915 Times in 2,338 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Unless my memory is faulty, Franzite grips sometimes warped. Not sure how common this was.

T-Star
T-*

That's kinda like saying, "Scrolls found at the Dead Sea are sometimes old." Those grips warped, cracked, shrunk, and about anything else bad one could imagine. I used to collect early High Standard auto pistols, and several of my acquisitions had suffered a Franzite transplant. That was always cause to lower the valuation of the piece significantly.

They, along with Fitz Grips that came along a little later, provided a way to keep your hand off the grip frame when shooting, but that's about the best that can be said about them. I still see the grips at shows from time to time, but usually in somebody's junk box, almost never on a gun.

JMHO, but about the only relatively cheap mass produced aftermarket grips (this excludes higher end stuff like Herrett, Hogue, et al) that I find acceptable out of the box are those from Jay Scott, and even they are starting to get more costy!

Froggie
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-02-2019, 05:23 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is online now
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 26,472
Likes: 23
Liked 18,570 Times in 9,770 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lebomm View Post
After "throwing them in a box", your next move should be to throw them in the trash. It's been my experience that Franzites have a nearly universal tendency to shrink, warp, and occasionally discolor. They never struck me as especially high quality in the first place, so I wouldn't even bother with 'em. JMHO

Larry
Throwing out something for which there is a market? There are those who believe they are reflective of the period in which they were most popular, the 1950s and 1960s and value them for that reason. I have sold perhaps a half-dozen pairs of Franzites on eBay over the years and got some pretty fair amounts for them.

Franzite grips are absolutely not Bakelite, which is a thermoset phenol-formaldehyde plastic, meaning that it cannot melt after the chemical polymerization reaction has occurred. They are instead made of some type of thermoplastic copolymer, probably polystyrene based, as they will melt and soften. I have straightened out warped Franzite grips by simply holding them over a hot electric cookstove element to soften them slightly and bending them straight again. Very simple to do.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-02-2019 at 05:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #15  
Old 03-02-2019, 11:44 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is online now
US Veteran
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: The SW Va Blue Ridge
Posts: 13,746
Likes: 49,083
Liked 15,759 Times in 5,714 Posts
Default

When I bought a M27 back in 1976, with the intention of making a .44 Special out of it, the Smith came with a pair of pinkish swirled Franzites. The interesting thing was that they were a pretty fair copy of Coke targets, down to the molded-in diamonds and the Coke palm swell.
__________________
John 3:16
WAR EAGLE!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #16  
Old 03-03-2019, 09:47 AM
JSR III's Avatar
JSR III JSR III is offline
SWCA Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Massachusetts USA
Posts: 8,712
Likes: 3,219
Liked 7,593 Times in 3,029 Posts
Default

Like many things in the firearms world, even Franzite stocks have a following. Throwing them out should not be a consideration. People collect everything and I would bet that if offered for sale, someone would buy them. I have several pairs and would never consider throwing them away.
__________________
James Redfield
LM #497
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-04-2019, 02:11 PM
aryfrosty's Avatar
aryfrosty aryfrosty is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 34
Likes: 6
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Smile Franzites

Everyone has opinions and while Franzites were never a long-tern grip solution for gun owners they have always filled a niche and had a strong following. Generally people who scorn them are those recently crowned 'collectors' who are thrilled to pay $300+ for a set of Coke bottles that sold for $23 new in the 70s or 80s, or $150+ for a set of magnas that were neither more nor less than the "pull-off tires" of guns in that era. Tastes change. They aren't wonderful quality grips but in a cop's squadroom back then you often saw more Franzite than magna in the days when I began as a yearling cop. For that reason...to be 'period-correct' I kept them on an old snubbie I have.
If you don't like them, pull them and take them to a gun show and walk around with them in your hand and someone will always try to trade you out of them, and you might get something for them that you do want. If some nimrod walks up and curls his lip at your Franzites just tell him to "keep walking."
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-04-2019, 05:40 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is online now
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 26,472
Likes: 23
Liked 18,570 Times in 9,770 Posts
Default

Franzites do provide a portal to the past. Back in the late 1950s when I started to take shooting seriously, I found a large number of used guns with Franzite grips. I remember buying several pairs of new Franzites for several guns, most notably a Luger and a .45 M1911. Both of which had fairly shaggy original wood grips when I first bought them. I always liked the appearance of the Franzites on those two guns, but those on the Luger did not fit it very well, but good enough to use. At one time I had close to a dozen pairs of Franzite grips, off and on guns. I also remember seeing cops with Franzites on their guns. I would never dream of throwing a pair of Franzites away as someone earlier suggested. They take me back to when I was a youngster.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-05-2019, 04:58 PM
kthom kthom is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: West Texas
Posts: 2,438
Likes: 5,253
Liked 3,861 Times in 1,507 Posts
Default

My Victory model came to me from my FIL with a set of Franzite grips on it. It came to him the same way during the early 50's. That's the only grips I have ever seen on it, they don't look bad at all, and I too have seen them on many LEO's revolvers back in my early years as one myself. I'm talking during the 1960's here. Considering the banging around they took on working cop's revolvers, they held up pretty well for the most part, and they were affordable even for LEO's in those days.

I have bought a set of correct grips for the Victory just to have them, and I have replaced the lanyard on the butt which had been removed to make it period correct, and I still have and will have the Franzites as long as I have the Victory! BTW, the Victory also came to me with a Bauer holster probably bought sometime before the early '50's that is in very good condition. All in all, a pretty nice package to have as a gift from my FIL, who was a proud WWII vet and who passed at almost age 97 last September.
__________________
So long ... Ken
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-05-2019, 05:14 PM
runscott's Avatar
runscott runscott is offline
SWCA Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: PacNW
Posts: 564
Likes: 129
Liked 856 Times in 293 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
When I bought a M27 back in 1976, with the intention of making a .44 Special out of it, the Smith came with a pair of pinkish swirled Franzites. The interesting thing was that they were a pretty fair copy of Coke targets, down to the molded-in diamonds and the Coke palm swell.
The mold they used might have been cast from a pair of Coke grips.

You can make a silicon rubber mold of each side of a pair of Cokes, Ropers, etc., then cast with resin as many exact replicas as you want - pink swirled included (clear resin with a little pink dye, a little white dye and marble dust or pearl dye). That's probably what the Franzite people did. I've done this to create chess pieces and I'm considering doing it with some post-war diamond magnas, adding a little to the bottom so that they work for pre-war revolvers. I will probably also make some imitation mop or ivory service grips - all simple and does no damage to the original grips. The only real problem is the screws, but you can cast those as well.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #21  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:33 PM
Vulcan Bob's Avatar
Vulcan Bob Vulcan Bob is offline
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central pa
Posts: 5,324
Likes: 2,625
Liked 2,435 Times in 1,160 Posts
Default

There is one guy I am glad added a set of "target" Franzite grips. Found a beautiful 1954 "my birth year" K-38 with the Franzite's on it with the original box. In the box was the unused like new factory stocks. A win-win for me, left unsaid it went home with me.
__________________
Stay safe people!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:16 PM
mdf9183's Avatar
mdf9183 mdf9183 is offline
US Veteran
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 308
Likes: 128
Liked 349 Times in 127 Posts
Default

I bought a Ruger single six flatgate from 1956 that had a set of stag franzite grips. I don't know if they were original to the gun or not but I replaced them with a set of Ruger grips. I still have them in a box of assorted grips I have accumulated over the years.
__________________
Dogs are better than people.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-06-2019, 04:03 PM
Absalom's Avatar
Absalom Absalom is online now
SWCA Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 10,026
Likes: 6,897
Liked 18,813 Times in 6,174 Posts
Default

I didn’t read the whole thread, but just for fun, here’s a link to a Franzite catalog:

1955 Franzite Catalog - www.franzitegrips.com
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-06-2019, 06:48 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is online now
Member
Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips. Franzite grips.  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 26,472
Likes: 23
Liked 18,570 Times in 9,770 Posts
Default

Interesting information. I knew from personal experience that they were made of some thermoplastic, but not what type. The article said they were made of a plastic "similar to" Tenite. If true, Tenite was one of the earilest plastics in commercial use, and is a cellulose ester. As such it is not petroleum based as the majority of plastics available today are. One of the largest markets for Tenite was in plastic eyeglass frames.

Last edited by DWalt; 03-06-2019 at 06:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
38spl, colt, detective, fitz, franzite, herrett, hogue, lock, model 10, prewar, sig arms, trooper, universal

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Franzite Grips-lowered price! 6thtexas Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 3 09-16-2014 09:33 AM
Rosewood burl hideout grips more franzite..What people want in custom revolver grips Schofieldkid81 S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 128 01-08-2013 06:23 AM
WTS-Franzite imitation stag grips for K-frame SB safearm Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 7 06-12-2012 11:04 AM
Franzite grips? HAWKEYE10 S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 13 07-23-2009 01:36 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:57 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)