Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Revolvers > S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-19-2012, 06:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2,207
Likes: 403
Liked 1,146 Times in 623 Posts
Default Ahrends grip feel: polyurethane vs tung oil

For anyone who has handled both:

What if any are the differences in grip feel between polyurethane and tung oil on Ahrends grip?

Is one grippier than the other, or preferred from a functional perspective?

I've handled the polyurethane and find it very good for draw and firm shooting grip; I don't care about deep glossy good looks.

Is the tung oil for depth of shine and nothing more? Is it comparable or superior practically speaking?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-19-2012, 06:52 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: GA
Posts: 344
Likes: 31
Liked 79 Times in 50 Posts
Default

I can't speak for Ahrends grips specifically, but I don't care for poly on any firearms wood. I guess I'm just old fashioned but I am a traditionalist and don't care for the "plasticy" feel or look of polyurethane finishes.

When I refinish rifle stocks I much prefer to use a hand rubbed finish real pure Tung oil. It is time consuming but I much prefer the way it makes the wood look richer and feel more like wood instead of plastic. Tung oil finishes are also much easier to touch up in the event of a mishap too.

Poly on the other hand is a cheap and and easy finish to apply and it does offer superior weather resistance.

Lots of great info about firearms wood finishes over on surplusrifleforum's "Stock Care and Replacement Stocks" forum.

Of course I tend to be old school and I will admit that it is a personal preference thing. YMMV.

In fact, I don't even know if they use pure Tung oil or just one of the varnish based finishes often marketed as "Tung Oil".
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 10-19-2012, 07:43 PM
chuck8388's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: NW. Ohio
Posts: 332
Likes: 63
Liked 153 Times in 48 Posts
Default

I have about twenty pair of Ahrends grips both Tung oil and polyurethane I prefer the tung oil to me they do not feel as slippery as the poly.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-19-2012, 08:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 79
Likes: 7
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Default

I stripped the poly from my Ahrends N frame and rubbed in several coats of Tung oil. The result is a somewhat glossy finish that is not nearly as slippery as poly. I wouldn't say tacky exactly, but a better feel definately.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-19-2012, 09:03 PM
BigBill's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: north america
Posts: 4,157
Likes: 47
Liked 1,532 Times in 892 Posts
Default

I can redo any tung oil finish if it gets scratched. Poly is very hard to work with. I have repaired many bubba jobs with his poly finish with tung oil. Do not strip the wood. I would steelwool it with 0000 steelwool then try one little spot with tung oil to see if the finish is there will accept the tung oil. I find most of the time even the poly finish will accept tung oil.

Make sure you use 0000 steelwool between the coats of tung oil.

For my hunting rifles with new stocks I put on 10 coats of tung oil to seal the wood from the moisture.

Last edited by BigBill; 10-19-2012 at 09:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 27
Likes: 7
Liked 31 Times in 5 Posts
Default

I had the poly finish bubble up on a pair of Ahrends grips after getting some cleaning solvent on them, so I stripped the rest off and refinished them with some tung oil. I liked it so much better that I have since refinished all my grips in tung oil. It feels more grippy in the hand but cover garments still slide nicely over it. Any future grips will be ordered unfinished-I like the tung oil finish but I don't feel like paying an extra $20 for a finish I can do myself fairly easily.

Steve
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:43 PM
tops's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 2,227
Likes: 1,511
Liked 907 Times in 480 Posts
Default

I am old enough too know that I don't want any poly finished grips. I ordered the tung oil finish and it looks and feels good. Larry
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-19-2012, 10:44 PM
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 755
Likes: 1
Liked 189 Times in 118 Posts
Default

Polyurethane can be formulated to be grippy by adding plasticizers, which increase its toughness. It can be rubbed just like an oil finish. I don't think there's much difference in tack. However, tung oil penetrates more deeply, which brings out color and grain. It is hides scratches and is easier to repair. You can always apply another layer of tung oil, but must roughen polyurethane if older than about 24 hours.

I love the deep, matte oil finish. It's the only finish I consider from Ahrends. Their grips afford control by their shape, and don't need checkering or stickiness.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	A0004552.jpg
Views:	158
Size:	47.8 KB
ID:	89027  

Last edited by Neumann; 10-20-2012 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Add photo
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-19-2012, 11:18 PM
campfire's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: North Queensland. Australia
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Default Tung Oil

I bought a beautiful set of Ahrends Retro Target Grips (round to square) in Cocobolo with the Tung Oil finish to go on my S&W 617-6. The feel of the grip is very good but I was dissapointed after several months, the grips almost went black and I have lost the excellent character in the wood grain. Apart from that Ahrends workmanship, fit and finish is first class.
Campfire
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-20-2012, 12:00 AM
PH-2's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Twangtown
Posts: 586
Likes: 80
Liked 137 Times in 61 Posts
Default

Hap,

I'm using both. I prefer the look of the tung-oil finish stocks. The poly-finished, while probably a bit smoother, I wouldn't describe as glossy or slick.
I have the poly on one Kimber, and a round-butt N-frame. The oil-finished are on round-butt K-frames and a round-butt L-frame.
Except for the Kimber, all are retro banana or retro combat in maple, cocobolo, or moradillo.

I'm a big fan of Kim's stocks. I think you'll be pleased either way, and I also understand he will ship his products unfinished.

Mike
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-20-2012, 12:38 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: La Conner, WA
Posts: 720
Likes: 964
Liked 239 Times in 151 Posts
Default

I have two of Ahrends Cocobolo revolver grips, and I just ordered two more for new guns. I order them unfinished, and use pure Tung oil and Gum Turpentine. I like to re shape the grips with course sand paper to get a custom fit. I buy the finger grove models, and remove about half of the wood in the points so that there is just a suggestion of groves. It is possible to slightly change the grove width that way. Then, I go to finer paper until I decide I have what I want. Not real smooth. I think last time I stopped at 220 grit. The first coats of oil are thinned about 40% with the turpentine, for penetration. I decrease the percent for additional coats, down to maybe 20%. I have used the same procedure on touring kayak paddles, and they have held up well in salt water, with a rinse when I am done. An old rule is to apply 1 coat a day for a week, 1 coat a week for a month, 1 coat a month for a year, and finally, 1 coat a year forever.

Rick
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:01 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: GA
Posts: 344
Likes: 31
Liked 79 Times in 50 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by riverrat38 View Post
I have two of Ahrends Cocobolo revolver grips, and I just ordered two more for new guns. I order them unfinished, and use pure Tung oil and Gum Turpentine. I like to re shape the grips with course sand paper to get a custom fit. I buy the finger grove models, and remove about half of the wood in the points so that there is just a suggestion of groves. It is possible to slightly change the grove width that way. Then, I go to finer paper until I decide I have what I want. Not real smooth. I think last time I stopped at 220 grit. The first coats of oil are thinned about 40% with the turpentine, for penetration. I decrease the percent for additional coats, down to maybe 20%. I have used the same procedure on touring kayak paddles, and they have held up well in salt water, with a rinse when I am done. An old rule is to apply 1 coat a day for a week, 1 coat a week for a month, 1 coat a month for a year, and finally, 1 coat a year forever.

Rick
Any chance of seeing some pics of your reshaped and finished grips?

.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:51 AM
fyimo's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 15,474
Likes: 2,091
Liked 2,109 Times in 951 Posts
Talking

The big advantage of tung oil is with a small nick or light scratch it's easy to fix where with polyurethane it's a strip job and complete redo.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-20-2012, 02:57 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: La Conner, WA
Posts: 720
Likes: 964
Liked 239 Times in 151 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaposer View Post
Any chance of seeing some pics of your reshaped and finished grips?

.
Unfortunately, no, for two reasons. The reason that I have ordered two more grips is that I have traded the two guns that I wrote of for two new ones. An M60 no dash, and an M67-1. The new grips are for the new guns. The ones traded off are an M14-3 and an M686-6. The M67 has a square butt, and I am going to make it a round butt for the new grip, which will be a boot grip. At another time, I may chop the gun barrel from 4 in to 3 in. Both guns will be carry guns, and will likely be my only guns.
The other reason is that my cameras are as old as my guns, and use something called film. Some day, I will figure out how to load scans into my computer, and maybe I can figure out how to send photos. My cameras do take excellent photos, and digital replacements would cost around $5K for the same quality. So, I will probably just keep using film!

Rick
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:45 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 715
Likes: 7
Liked 237 Times in 132 Posts
Default

You can't lick the tung oil finish from Ahrends.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:11 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 103
Likes: 6
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Default

I always sand the poly off and use linseed oil. I stop at 150 sandpaper to leave the wood just a little rougher. Works good for me.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #17  
Old 10-20-2012, 01:52 PM
Penmon's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: MD -PA
Posts: 506
Likes: 50
Liked 156 Times in 84 Posts
Default

Rub Tung oil on, 12 hours to dry,a light rub with OOOO steel wool. Repeat at least once better to do it twice more.I then apply a light coat of paste wax front and back.
Repeat in one month ( one coat) then yearly or as needed for touch up.

Can't touch up Poly need to strip and do the whole job over.

Penmon
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-28-2012, 02:14 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,756
Likes: 448
Liked 1,026 Times in 535 Posts
Default

I too dislike any "un-natural" plastic and shiny finish on grips. I also prefer real solid woods as opposed to the stained to whatever color you want plywood like "dymondwood."
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-28-2012, 07:55 AM
David LaPell's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4,672
Likes: 231
Liked 1,915 Times in 698 Posts
Default

I don't use Tung oil on mine, but I do like Tru-Oil. I redid the finish on my Bubinga grips on my 649, adding four coats of Tru-oil, using 0000 steel wool in between each coat and five coats on my Cordia ahrends grips on my Model 27. They are glossy, but not so much so that you can't old to them and the draw is just fine.



Here is the 27 before Tru-Oil



and after....

__________________
Vaya con Dios
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #20  
Old 12-28-2012, 12:36 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SC Missouri
Posts: 1,143
Likes: 217
Liked 232 Times in 162 Posts
Default

I have both. Like the Tung Oil better.

It is hard to explain. The Tung Oil is not Grippy, it is just not slippery at all.

My last set:
Concealed Carry Boot Stocks
S&W K/L Frame
Square Butt
Tung Oil
Cordia

They are on my Square Butt 15-4 Snub Nose Barbecue Gun. They are pretty is all I can say. These are my first Cordia grips, probably not my last however.

Bob
__________________
ICORE MO2908
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present Thread, Ahrends grip feel: polyurethane vs tung oil in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; For anyone who has handled both: What if any are the differences in grip feel between polyurethane and tung oil ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ahrends grip choices pacecars S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 13 06-13-2012 07:38 PM
SOLD: S&W 325 Night Guard .45ACP w/ AHRENDS Tung Oiled Grips ride GUNS - For Sale or Trade 1 04-17-2012 03:46 PM
WTS/WTT Ahrends N-Square Grip (avail) & L-RTS Grips (SOLD), WTT N T-Grip (traded) RufusG Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 10 08-19-2011 06:44 PM
Leather gloves - good grip but thin enough to feel? Triggernosis Gun Leather & Carry Gear 17 01-01-2011 08:23 PM
WTS: Ahrends Grip & Tyler-T grip (J-frame) Owenbright Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 5 04-04-2009 09:51 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 10:54 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2013
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)