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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #1  
Old 01-08-2021, 10:43 AM
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Default Altamont Grips -

This post is a slight rant so prepare yourselves. Mods, if you believe it is in the wrong place please move it, and thanks in advance.

With the exception of J-frame grips, I have had particular trouble with this brand of grips. They rarely fit exactly and there can be both play and slippage with fit. My range guy suggested I use a shim to tighten them up, but I find that goes against the entire purpose of a good set up grips. Of particular concern are the K/L - sized combat/banana styles. You can tighten that screw all day long and the grips still have some play in them. - Yet, the woods and finishes are beautiful.

I'm wondering if others here have had similar experiences?

Thanks -

Rich
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:56 AM
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Yep!

But not just Altamont. Haven’t found too many “non” custom mass produced grips that don’t need a bit of tweaking.

Dan
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:58 AM
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I have never dealt directly with them about a fitting issue, but based on the popularity and quality of the grips and stocks made by Altamont, I would expect them to take solving these kinds of fitting issues very seriously.
If the grip panels move around after being positioned properly and tightened down, then something is certainly wrong. Perhaps a call or e-mail to the company Customer Service people would be a good start?
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:04 AM
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I have several sets, both K and L. My problem is the fit is so tight that they are difficult to remove, which is a good thing. No play or slippage here.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:07 AM
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I have a set of Roper N frame conversion grips for a Model 29. The fit is excellent and I have not experienced any slippage or movement under 44 magnum mid range loads. However, the checkering is too shallow and too fine to be functional and the finish is ultra smooth and slippery in its own right. I find these grips to be hard to hold on to under recoil, particularly if your hand is wet, and I question their utility for this application. All in all, I would not purchase these grips again. Here's to a better year ahead, IrishFritz
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine_Worker View Post
I have several sets, both K and L. My problem is the fit is so tight that they are difficult to remove, which is a good thing. No play or slippage here.
My experience with them, also. I have always gotten grips that fit perfectly, and like you, sometimes too perfect!
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:22 AM
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Chock me down with Pine_Worker and Kruezlover. The Altamont Combats have been on my 637-2 since the day it was first sold in 2002. This gun has been my EDC ever since.

The Altamont grips are very tight fitting, very comfortable in my hand, just the right amount of palm swell, no snag points at all, good feeling with full load +P ammo and fast DA shooting.

The OP did say with the exception of J Frames, so I really can't help much about the fit or feel on K, L, or N Frames because I just don't have any Altamonts on any of those guns....all whatever S&W had when they left Springfield.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImDrRichard View Post
This post is a slight rant so prepare yourselves. Mods, if you believe it is in the wrong place please move it, and thanks in advance.

With the exception of J-frame grips, I have had particular trouble with this brand of grips. They rarely fit exactly and there can be both play and slippage with fit. My range guy suggested I use a shim to tighten them up, but I find that goes against the entire purpose of a good set up grips. Of particular concern are the K/L - sized combat/banana styles. You can tighten that screw all day long and the grips still have some play in them. - Yet, the woods and finishes are beautiful.

I'm wondering if others here have had similar experiences?

Thanks -

Rich
OP, did you at least try the shims as your range guy suggested? Maybe not as a permanent fix but as a temporary just to see if it works? I'm only curious, as I have an N frame with the factory rubber grips that I bought preowned, 4 years old. The threaded bushing that the screw goes into just won't stay tight, and wood seems to look better anyways, so I was looking at replacements. I suppose aftermarket grips would be okay (for me) if a shim would keep them tight. I was just looking at some online yesterday. My shooting hand says keep the rubber, but I bought a decent pair of gloves for this purpose; I just need to cut off the trigger finger part of the right glove. Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:58 AM
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The thaicrap almost always gave me problems. Then I switched to Altamont and have been a happy camper ever since.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:10 PM
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I ve never had any problems with Altamont, in fact all mine have fit well. Eagle grips, on the other hand, were warped, left the back strap standing proud or required fitting. Too bad because they have some nice looking grips.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:44 PM
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I bought a set for my Colt Python they look great, but when I put them on there was significant slippage and I was afraid to tighten the screw any tighter. Over all I was disappointed with the grips
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:44 PM
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90% of the non-factory wood grips I get for my revolvers are from a couple of sellers on eBay who are located in the Malaysia area of the world.

With the exception of a pair for an SP101 that I couldn't get to fit right no matter what I tried, they have all been excellent fit and quality.

I do have Altamont grips on some of my L and N Frame S&W revolvers but they came with the guns when I bought them. They are holding up nicely and fit very good.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:52 PM
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More than ten years ago, I bought four or five S&W stock sets from Altamont. I think it was a mixture of N-frame and K-frame sizes. I kept one K-frame pair and sent all the rest back because of poor fit. I should have returned the pair I kept. While the fit was better than the others, it was not all that good. I figured Altamont had improved since then.
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Old 01-08-2021, 01:22 PM
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Have a set on my 1927 Colt Army Special. Fit & finish perfect.
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Old 01-08-2021, 01:35 PM
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I have no specific proof about the
fit of Altamont grips but I think the
company is caught in the trap that
S&W GRIP FRAMES VARY IN SIZE
AND CONTOUR. This was especially
true with revolvers back in the 1950s
through the 1990s.

The Altamont grips seem to fit
tightly on the newest Smith revolvers
made with the newer machinery. I
suspect the company is making those
grips to fit the newer grip frame contours.

With Magnas back "in the day" I
sometimes noted variances in the
backstrap frame contours, some a little
more pronounced than others. This
was in the day of hand finishing, some
hand fitting which so many hail as
a benchmark of quality. So you have
to live with those old time variances.
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:33 PM
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When I got a set of Altamonts that didn't fit My old 29 I simply used Accra Glas gel.
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Old 01-08-2021, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CH4 View Post
I ve never had any problems with Altamont, in fact all mine have fit well. Eagle grips, on the other hand, were warped, left the back strap standing proud or required fitting. Too bad because they have some nice looking grips.
Not to steal the thread, but I have 2 sets of like new Eagle Heritage. One rosewood, and one walnut. No problems. Love em!
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:22 PM
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My opinion on Altamonts is they're made to look at, not shoot. The ergonomics to me is horrible, especially with magnum loads. Their low cost is probably what won them the contract with S&W. I sure do hate that Ahrends went under. They understood fit-to-hand.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75Vette View Post
My opinion on Altamonts is they're made to look at, not shoot. The ergonomics to me is horrible, especially with magnum loads. Their low cost is probably what won them the contract with S&W. I sure do hate that Ahrends went under. They understood fit-to-hand.
The fit of Ahrends are great! And real wood too..
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:54 PM
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i posted these photos in another thread I started about ill fitting grips on an new 327. I contacted both Altamont and S&W about the issue. Altamont replied first advising try S&W then they would see what the could do.
S&W advised they are ordering me a new set of grips. I don't think this will help and I tried the grips on a 21-4 round butt N frame and the fit correctly. The problem seems that the top of t he 327 frame is a bit shorter than other N frame round butts. The first photo is 327 2nd is the 21-4.

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Old 01-08-2021, 06:01 PM
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Iíve purchased 5 sets of Altamont grips, though none for an S&W revolver, and they all fit well. I had one pair I had to modify the right panel on because of an ambi safety but I knew that going in. On a couple of pistols I did go back to the factory grips since I thought they felt better - but were not nearly as pretty.
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:09 PM
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Mine, all of them are just fine.

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Old 01-08-2021, 06:13 PM
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I had one issue. A simple phone call had the issue rectified. They sent me a new set. I have four revolvers with them now.
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:17 PM
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I can say that both sets of Altamont grips I purchased for my 629 fit the pistol superbly. They are snug and smooth with almost no noticeable seam. Honestly, however, the first set I purchased that I like the looks of fit the gun better than they fit my hand... But that was just my fault for not handling them before making the purchase.

A prior poster mentioned that they don't like grip checkering that is too small. I recommend to look for the Altamont grips with "Spanish Checkering". The diamonds are larger than standard checkering and in the center of each diamond is a small nib, which gives them excellent grip feel and texture.

Last edited by Jon651; 01-08-2021 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:49 PM
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I've always liked them. I've had trouble with "e-bay grips" but never with Altamont.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:19 PM
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I've had three sets. One I bought, the other two came with used guns. Two of the three were ill fitting. Draw your own conclusions.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:24 PM
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Like Toyman's photos I had an issue with the fit on the backstrap. I sanded and polished until I could live with the result. They are inleted very tightly and look good.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:45 PM
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I have a single pair of Altamont grips, a solid walnut set of their Roper style grips for the S&W K/L frames. They fit reasonably well, and the general style of the checkering is reminiscent of that done for Roper by Gagne, but the shape of the grip is too flat and only suggestive of the originals. They are mass produced to specifications suitable to bean counters, not artisans. Mine were on a project gun for a while, but are now residing in a box to take to the next gun show. YMMV

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Old 01-08-2021, 07:49 PM
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To cite my post, #15, please
be mindful that not
all Smith backstrap frame
contours are the same given
different years they were
produced. In older guns
the contours varied more
than you might think.
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Old 01-08-2021, 08:17 PM
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Personally, I have always been a Hogue grip fan for my revolvers. However, last year I ordered some Altamont high end grips for my Smith & Wesson Victory pistol and the fit was perfect and I was well pleased with the finish.
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Old 01-08-2021, 09:40 PM
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Altamont K L frame grips seem to have some variation. One target stock (purchased for a 686-6) needed some fitting at the backstrap. The stock was too high.

One combat grip ( for a 686-6 ) fit perfectly.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:20 PM
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No problems with 3 different Altamont sets on mine.
Have them on 1911’s as well.

They loosened up when I put them on an xframe but no surprise there.
OP did you try to ask Altamont about your issue?
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:38 PM
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OP. I don't know where you got your grips from, but every pair I have bought directly from Altamont has come with several different length screws. I have never had a pair that was ill fitting more than any other mass produced grip, and not that needed tweaking to be useable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine_Worker View Post
I have several sets, both K and L. My problem is the fit is so tight that they are difficult to remove, which is a good thing. No play or slippage here.
You can use the screw as a button to push the opposite grip out.
Just back it out enough so that the head is above the grip panel, and use it to push the other side free.


My problems with Altamont are more in that the grips look too perfect, and just not quite right on a classic gun. I also am not a fan of hot gluing the medallions in place.

The lines are all cut perfect, and the checkering is all sharp and uniform.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:45 PM
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If I remember correctly, I've put Altamont round butt to square butt target conversion grips on at least 2 K frames, 1 L frame, and 1 N frame. Maybe the N frame grips were just square and not round butt conversions. Regardless, all were good fits and required no shimming or shaving.

Last edited by Boudiepitbull; 01-08-2021 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Demond View Post
You can use the screw as a button to push the opposite grip out.
Just back it out enough so that the head is above the grip panel, and use it to push the other side free.
That is exactly what I do, still does not come free easily. Iíd rather have it tight than loose.
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:14 AM
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I have one pair that was on my model 36. Fit is awful, I took them off and put a pair of Hogue rubber grips on. The gun doesn't look dressed for show but it's more comfortable to shoot now. Maybe some day when I get bored, I'll try to modify them so they fit better.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:37 AM
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No problems with Altamont so far, but I've encountered tight grips from other manufacturers. It's always wood grips, which makes me wonder if maybe sometimes the wood contracts just a little bit in storage.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:39 AM
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I have a set of Altamont grips on my 19-4 2 1/2" that fit fine . i have had them on it for a couple years with no issues at the range or when carring.
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Old 01-09-2021, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pine_Worker View Post
I have several sets, both K and L. My problem is the fit is so tight that they are difficult to remove, which is a good thing. No play or slippage here.
This has been my experience with Altamont as well. I have a set of their rosewood laminate boot grips on my edc model 60 and the fit perfectly.
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Old 01-09-2021, 08:47 AM
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I purchased a set of them for an N-frame a few years ago and they were junk. First thing out of the box the screw retainer fell out and they were ill-fitting. I know some folks like them but I would t buy another Altamont product.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:27 AM
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Most of my Altamont grips fit good out of the box.
But I have had some J frame grips that I had to return twice before they got it right.
They have 2 or 3 customer service people that will answer the phone.
I can't remember their names now, but one was very helpful and was was absolutely worthless.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:57 AM
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Unless you send the gun to the grip maker to be fitted ... there is no way a "perfect" fit can be guaranteed ... it's just impossible !
I have learned to perfectly fit grips to frames with a little epoxy stock bedding compound or brown colored epoxy putty .
It's not hard and solves all the things you are complaining about .
Gary
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
Unless you send the gun to the grip maker to be fitted ... there is no way a "perfect" fit can be guaranteed ... it's just impossible !
I have learned to perfectly fit grips to frames with a little epoxy stock bedding compound or brown colored epoxy putty .
It's not hard and solves all the things you are complaining about .
Gary

This. It's been what I've preaching in this thread
regarding "sizing." So many posters don't seem
to realize their individuals guns can vary from
the "spec norm" of a particular era.
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:52 AM
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I have a set of Altamont grips for my 66 snubby and another for my 686+. The fit is great for both.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:11 PM
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I have about a half dozen Altamonts on various Jframes that fit tight
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  #46  
Old 01-09-2021, 12:48 PM
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I have several altamont grips they all fit tight and look good.Once when ordering i asked about extra pins and grip screws and they sent me assortment for free.Happy with altamont's but sometimes only culina's will do.
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Old 01-09-2021, 01:24 PM
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Never had a problem with Altamont. While we all
realise that Culina is the best, Altamont makes a
an attractive alternstive, if you're concerned about price.

Altamont is the official wood grip supplier to S&W. I've always found them to be quite helpful
in accommodating customers. Their customer
service is great whether its advice or problems.
Doug is the premier customer service/sales guy.
Call and ask to speak to him.
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:54 PM
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I had a notice from Altamont
that it was out of the model I
odered. Asked if I wished to
wait. I said no. Refund on
CC came immediately.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:57 PM
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I have Altamonts for three of my five j's. A variety of styles and wood, and all fit tight and feel good. Medallions, however, were a problem. I ordered two sets with medallions, and they came with the medallions off center left-right, and had to be returned. They were replaced quickly, and are fine now.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleEd View Post
I had a notice from Altamont
that it was out of the model I
odered. Asked if I wished to
wait. I said no. Refund on
CC came immediately.
I had a similar experience. When I ordered Altamont grips for my Smith & Wesson Victory I got an email back telling me that the particular grips that I ordered had laser engraving and stippling and were made to order only and said that it would be a 4-6 week lead time and said that if I chose not to wait that they would refund my money. I told them I was fine with the wait and I had them in my hands in just a little over 4 weeks. In my opinion they are a class act company and strive to make the customer happy.
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