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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 4:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
I've had the 46m for a few weeks, gone through the carving and epoxy putty process, and have figured out what I want a grip to feel like. So this week I set to work carving a new grip from a piece of maple I've had for some years, left over from a doublebass neck replacement. I wanted more rake, or tilt towards the rear for wrist lock and steadier aim, and had experimented with this in the original, modified grip, but also wanted this to be somewhat adjustable. So I designed a simple mechanism to allow a few degrees of adjustment. This relies on a ball bearing, trapped in the carved-out tip of a stainless steel bolt coming in from one side, which rides in a groove on the main adjuster bolt. It's not the sturdiest of position locks for this sort of mechanism on this small scale, would probably be better in a production model if one used a bolt size one bigger for a deeper groove, but the constraints of the existing aluminum grip tang kept me to smaller bolts. Perhaps someone could make a model with a cup going under the tang instead of boring it out for a steel insert as I have, thus avoiding damage to the original part and making the operation reversible if wanted. Here's the parts and the modifications to the end of the grip tang. I also drilled out the upper bolt hole and tapped it with 10/32 threads for a larger bolt:

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The side bolt which carries the bearing on its tip I had made to just the right length so that when fully tight against the 3/8" brass rod insert, the bearing seats almost tight against the bottom of the adjustment bolt groove. A tricky bit of measuring and aligning, and this brass insert is actually the second one I made as the first put the bearing not quite in the right place. There's a bit of grease under the bearing to keep it turning smoothly in the drilled and dremel-carved hole, so it won't jam. I used a nylon washer under the adjuster bolt head, and included that thickness in the spacing for the groove.

Now for the woodwork. This can be done with the stock grip, though it's a bit on the small side front to back and so limited in how much angle increase can be got. Basically I carved the existing mortise shape into something more hourglass shaped, enlarging it towards the rear on the upper half of the socket, and towards the front where the finger grooves are on the lower half. This allows several degrees more tilt. If one wished to do this in a very simplistic way, the stock Baikal grip has a hole in the bottom. It should be easy enough after carving out in front of the tang to glue or otherwise attach inside a wedge of wood to make a locked position on the new angle, or even to use various sizes of wedges in front and behind it to vary the angle, and then fix these in position from below. This approach would likewise eliminate the need for the lower grip bolt for stability. My new grip has zero play, and the angle is perfect to lock my wrist at a more proper angle. The angle change may not be necessary for a shorter shooter (I am about exactly 6' tall) and might need to be even more for a taller shooter. I've shown the old puttied and carved Baikal grip, covered in black paint, alongside a couple of these, as I was using it for my model. Didn't copy it exactly. For the most part it's similar, but the twist of my arm is deeper into the lower grip on the new one to get the bones lined up vertically in the forearm. I also brought the palm lump out a bit relative to the fingers, along with a small angle change in the mortise angle for the pistol frame, both to correct an inherent leftward bias on 'natural aim' for the 46m's barrel. At least that's how it was holding for me, and the correction on every aim on target was a distraction. Now it lines up perfectly without the slightest effort in horizontal aim.

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The finish is not done yet. I've put on two rubbed coats of a Lee Valley oil varnish called Tried & True, something I used in an unusual varnish job on an instrument a couple of years ago. The finish is not slippery and is water-permeable, so should not present a problem with sweat in the hand. Much like Tru Oil I expect, though I've never tried that product. I added a Mohawk brand blue stain powder to the varnish for these first two coats, and will put on another two clear before leaving it to cure for a time. Already I can hold it... but it does turn my hand a bit blue at this point. And of course I'll make a new pumping knob out of the same wood and colour it as well. I like the old copper sort of greenish hue.

If anyone is interested in trying this sort of mod, I'd caution that fitting and alignment of the parts can be a bit challenging. I'd hoped to come up with a design easily implemented by anyone with basic woodworking and metalworking skills, but feel that this is a bit more advanced. Perhaps some grip maker could use it, modifying it to suit the market (ie; no destructive work on original metal parts of the gun), and supply an over-sized hardwood grip which shooters could then modify to their liking, working around the adjustment mechanism. Just a thought. Seems there are a lot of folks using the 46m, and hey, it's a great gun so why not, and that the stock grip really is kind of a joke in terms of being so small as a starting place. I'd much rather have wood everywhere than any putty, as I found the slickness of putty distracted when sweat started part way through a session. The paint was worse of course... but I just did that to make the shape stand out more clearly for copying. And it looks cool in black, eh?


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 8:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:22 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Stavely, Alberta
That is a sweet job, GerardSamija :D :D :D

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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
Thanks! Now I just have to up my scores to justify all the hours I put into making this grip.


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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:19 pm
Posts: 61
Fantastic job....love the adjuster

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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 10:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
Thanks uglyduck. Hope you're not missing the IZZY too much and that the new pistol is treating you well, at least when you get a chance to use it while renovating. I took a shot today of how the pistol sits in my hand while on target. It just feels so natural already, getting used to it faster than expected with a new grip. Shot my first score over 540, a 543 this afternoon. Could probably have gone to 550 but I sort of panicked, got excited about not even touching the black so far... and fell apart on most shots on the last target. Oh well, at least I know it's likely I'll one day not hit the white any more. It'd help if I remembered to shut off my phone and computer when shooting too, as conversations mid-match and the 'click' of new email tend to weaken focus on good shooting technique.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:49 am
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Location: Victoria, BC and Clarkston, WA
Resurrecting an old thread...BUT I just bought a 46M without grips and looking for a way to DIY. I am not a woodworker, but a machinist! Will trade machine shop work for a set of grips!!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:27 am
Posts: 2514
Location: Vancouver
If you're asking me, sorry, it's not going to happen. If you contact Jetter55 on TargetTalk I'm sure he can sell you a set of his machined synthetic grips for the 46m with increased rake angle for a reasonable price. He's posted his email address at the end of the second page of this thread:
http://www.targettalk.org/viewtopic.php?t=32349
They look pretty good to me, but of course some carving is necessary. Every hand is different. Even if I had the time available to make grips now I'd have no idea how to remote-fit a grip to someone else. In the cases of grips I've carved for my pistols it's been a matter of constant reference to the way my hand fits to it, a lot of very careful carving and testing with understanding of where the final angles and dimensions should probably be until everything is right. But I don't have time anyway. Just got commissioned to build another doublebass and have two ancient basses to fully restore, so the next year and a half in my shop is kind of spoken for. Good luck with the grips. And if you're feeling flush, Rink is a nice option. For 171 Euro plus shipping you can have an excellent pistol grip which likely needs only slight modifications to be a perfect fit, provided you order accurately:
http://www.formgriffe.de/en/shpSR.php?s ... 255&p2=255


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