DIY Bullshooter Stocks

Get a Grip of These

There’s no easier way to dress up your sixgun than putting on fancy stocks. A proper grip is the foundation to good shooting and doing the work yourself ensures they’ll feel just the way you want them too, as well as save you a few bucks.

You can start from scratch and whittle down some wood slabs, or you can do it the easy way and order some “rough fit” stocks from Bullshooter Stocks.

How It All Started

I first met Dick Thompson in 2009. Mom was dying of cancer and I had just recently discovered the Internet. Perusing a number of gun forums, I kept noticing this guy from Idaho posting pictures of stuff he shot with sixguns.

Mom died the last day of August and Dick invited me to an elk hunt a few weeks later in November. I had a great time, making my first sixgun kill using my Ruger Bisley .45 Colt and a hot-loaded Keith bullet, 454424, loaded over 20 grains of 2400. A long friendship was started and continues to this day.

Dick’s oldest son, Shane, is the youngest member ever voted into the rifle maker’s guild, so you don’t need me to tell you he’s talented. Today, Shane has a full-time job and builds rifle stocks in his spare time out of a beautiful supply of the most gorgeous wood you’ve ever seen. But taking a wood planking and shaping it to rifle stock dimensions which means there’s plenty of AAA-grade walnut wood scraps leftover. Seeing these scraps, Dick got the idea of turning them into sixgun stocks for Ruger single-action revolvers.

You can go the full-custom finished route, or, do as I do, and order “roughed out” stocks where you do the final fitting and finishing. Dick sends them with ferrules installed, with the screw. It’s a great way to end up with beautiful sixgun stocks for the best price in town, plus you’ll have the pride and satisfaction of doing them yourself.

Getting Started

The last time I was out in Idaho hunting with Dick, he gave me some beautiful walnut stocks for my Ruger Bisley 5-shot .454 Casull. Time went by and I finally decided I needed to get these stocks fitted and finished. Here’s how I did it:

First, I put the rough out stocks onto the Bisley and tightened the screw. I then got a sharp pencil and traced the inside of the overlapping wood against the grip-frame of the gun, giving me a witness mark for rough sanding on my belt/disc sander. I got as close to the line without actually removing the line, because once removed, you can’t bring the wood back.

Next, I bolted the stocks back onto the stainless-steel grip-frame. Close to final fit, I started the sanding process. And since my frame is stainless, I wasn’t worried about the finish as a Scotchbrite pad will return the brushed finish lickity-split. If I were fitting on a blued steel frame, I would have used a piece of electrical tape to protect the finish.

Then, I just kept on sanding, getting the stocks to the desired thickness, or thinness, I wanted. For the edges of the inner and outer grip-frame, I used the “shoeshine method” of sanding using a long strip of sandpaper and worked it back and forth so as to melt the wood edge into the grip-frame. You’ll know when you’re finished when the grip-frame “pops” in sight.

When you get close to finishing your sanding, make a slurry of the sawdust and finish you plan on using to fill any imperfections. In my case I used Birchwod Casey Tru-Oil, added where needed and lightly sanded when dry. When you’re finished sanding, wet sand to rid the stocks of any standing fibers.

Finally, it’s time to finish the stocks. I like Tru-Oil for my finish. I applied a coat, let it dry and used 00 steel wool to smooth the finish. You can repeat the process until your satisfied. When done, I sprayed Ballistol onto the stocks and buffed them with an oily rag — it really brings out the shine in a subdued kind of way. And that’s it!

If you’re interested in some DIY sixgun stocks for your Ruger, contact Dick Thompson at (208) 540-7788. His rough out stocks start at $65 for really nice wood. Tell him American Handgunner or GUNS Magazine sent you!

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