BluMagnum Grips


Skeeter Skelton’s earliest articles appeared in the pages of our sister publication, GUNS, in the late 1950s when he was still known as Charles A. Skelton. At the time he was the sheriff of Deaf Smith County operating out of Hereford Texas.

Skeeter is also a specially remembered for his double action sixgun stocks, or grips if you prefer. In the 1930s Walter Roper designed the target stocks found on the Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. These stocks carried over after the war with a version made by Smith & Wesson available on both the .357 Magnum and 1950 Target Model and then were also found on the original .44 Magnum. Somewhere along the way the Smith & Wesson stocks fell off the proper path and lost their wonderful feel; in fact to me the latter ones feel like a chunk of 2×4.

Skeeter liked the original Ropers but also made a slight modification to fit him personally with a little flair at the bottom and rounded edges. Skeeter’s friend, Steve Herrett, custom-made Skeeter’s stocks. In the early 1980s a man who was destined to become my very close friend contacted Skeeter and was given permission to duplicate his stocks and market them as the Skeeter Skelton design. That man was Deacon Deason of BearHug Grips.

I met Deac in the mid-1980s and we immediately struck it off and I was stunned by his death in 1994 while I was in Africa. One night after supper Deac stood up and fell to the floor and was gone. Fortunately for sixgunners the Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks were not gone.

How about this fancy walnut and 1-piece ivory on these single actions!

BluMagnum’s Bob Braun stocks on a pair of S&W .38s, a 3" HB Mdl. 60 and a custom Chief’s Special.

A Bumpy Road

Deac had shared his stockmaking skills with another fellow who was destined to become closer than a brother to me, Tedd Adamovich. Tedd formed BluMagnum Grips and received permission from Deacon’s widow as well as Sally Skelton to produce Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks.

From the time BearHug ended in the mid-1990s until the beginning years of this century, Tedd supplied Skeeter Skelton Stocks in both the original style to fit square butt Smith & Wesson double-action sixguns as well as to convert round-butted Smiths to the square butt configuration.

Sometimes in life things go very smoothly at other times the bumps rule. Tedd had a major bump which caused him to almost totally suspend production of BluMagnum Grips. A family situation, and also the need for help in the woodshop, put a real crimp in his operation; fortunately time heals most problems and BluMagnum is once again up and running and producing Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks.

Elegant BluMagnum round-butt stocks on a .357 Magnum S&W Ladysmith.

Function, Feel & Fit

Blue Magnum believes in the three Fs: function, feel and fit. They also realize grips are quite subjective and there’s no such thing as one size or style fitting all. Of the Skeeter Skelton Style Tedd says: “… Skeeter’s original design was to open the backstrap, with plain front and slim sides. His design has a slight palm swell with a hint of a flair and rounded edges at the bottom strap. Variation on the original can, at your request, eliminate the swell and the flair, leaving just enough wood to give a convex look and feel.”

In addition to making the Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks for all Smith & Wesson double action sixguns, BluMagnum also offers several styles of single action stocks. This includes 1-piece stocks for Colt SAAs, factory replacements with most of the flair and sharp bevel eliminated, panels with extended bottom straps, and a version that fills in behind the trigger guard and encloses the front and bottom strap. The Taffin Style features thin factory replacements without the flair and bevel eliminated, while the Sheriff Wilson Tear Drop Style has side panels with no bottom strap bevel and are rounded to fit the palm of the hand.

Bob Braun works with Tedd building stocks and has also has come up with the Bob Braun Style design on his own, for J-frame Smiths. These are quite different than anything I’ve ever tried on the little J-frames and I definitely like them. These are made as thin as possible for concealment, with a slight finger groove on the round butt and two finger grooves on the larger square butt grips.

One of the problems inherent with J-frames is too little distance from the back of the frame to the trigger. BluMagnum addresses this by adding a 1/4″ to 3/8″ filler down the backstrap; this moves the trigger finger back a little further making shooting much more comfortable.

Classic BluMagnum’s Skeeter Skeltons on a S&W round-butted .45 ACP.

Single Action #3 grips of fancy walnut with filler behind
trigger guard and enclosed front and bottom strap.

Clint’s Design

I know of no one today who knows more about the defensive use of firearms than Clint Smith. He not only knows his stuff he is a very talented teacher and his CDs are worth having by anyone owning a firearm. His first rule of gunfighting is a most important and practical “Avoid It!” if it’s all possible. He also gives very sound advice on being able to use what we have.

Pictured is a new style stock known as the Clint Smith/Thunder Ranch Style designed by our own Clint. These are basically the Skeeter Skelton Style with no flair at the bottom strap. They feel very good in my hand and actually seemed to give a little more control as the hand seems able to wrap around them a little more. Clint still believes revolvers are viable for self defense and this style grip not only provides extra added security when shooting it also helps with concealment under a jacket.

Clint Smith/Thunder Ranch Style stocks on a S&W .44 Magnum.
Note the lack of flair at the bottom.

Skeeter Stocks

This brings us to the old standby, Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks. I’ve been using numerous examples of these stocks on several sixguns since Deacon sent me the first test pair back in the early 1980s. I have never been a fan of round butts on large-framed sixguns; they work fine on pocket pistols but I need more material on a large sixgun to keep it from feeling exceptionally nose heavy. Skeeter Skelton Style Stocks which change the round butt to square butt puts things back the way they should be.

There is one exception to the aversion to round butted N-frames and that is the 3″ HB .44 Magnum “Pocket Pistol.” With its short-barrel it is not nose heavy and the RB BluMagnum’s work perfectly for me on this big bore pocket pistol.

The grip frame which fits my hand the best is the K-frame such as found on the original .38 Special Military & Police and the .357 Combat Magnum of 1955. This same grip frame is also used on all of the Smith & Wesson L-frames. With its larger cylinder the balance varies just enough from the K-frames to definitely justify the use of the round butt to square butt stocks. The round butts do work well for me on the short-barreled .357 Magnums.

BluMagnum can supply stocks in all grades of walnut as well as exotic woods, and laminated staminawood. For single actions only, ivory and black micarta are offered as well as genuine stag and ivory as available. A hand pattern is needed to provide the best personal feel for each set of grips. Tedd has requested I come up with a Taffin Style DA grip so we will see what develops!

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