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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have been contemplating ivories for many years but never pulled the trigger. That all changed when the gut urge to have them outweighed the cost - and that happened just about seven months ago. There are many fine grip makers working in ivory for the 1911 - and the loyalty of forum members to their particular maker has been noted by me and surely deserved.
I spoke with many of them and found all professional, polite and informative. But only one had the requisite patience and will to take the extra effort and time to ensure that I got that special 'presentation grade' of ivory I wanted. But which ivory to choose: elephant, mammoth, walrus, narwhal - all with their variations of grain, tone, coloration and bark. OK - I'm not going to bore you with all of the details, but I decided that for me elephant ivory with a soft pale buttery tone with fine, uniform and book matched grain - uniform through and through - was what I was looking for.
I dealt with David Boone, the owner of the Boone Trading Company, and after many conversations I finally saw some scans of ivory that particularly appealed to me. Those were the panels that were chosen, the grips produced and delivered. The finished product was well worth the wait - as you can see by the scans below - but please note that ivory is really tough to photograph to show its depth, grain and detail - so what you see in no way does justice to the 'real McCoy'.


If you're thinking of ivory here are some tips I learned along the way:
1. Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder - so make sure you get exactly what turns you on and is what you want. Listen to advice but the only one that has to be pleased is YOU.
1a. Make sure you see scans of what you'll be buying, have return privileges and if possible - see the grips in person.
2. You don't have to mortgage the house to get a fine pair of ivories - unless you must have ornate carvings, checkering or ultra rare examples such as narwhal.
3. Ivory is tough and should withstand normal use including shooting, that is, they're not just for safe queens.
4. Ivory is fairly plentiful now, but will certainly not get any easier to find in top grades, so if interested get them them sooner than later.
5. Understand there will be a color change as the ivory ages and this is part of its natural beauty.

Comments and responses welcome.
 

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That looks great! I love the look of ivory on a 1911! When I see them on a blued gun I think, "Man, ivory on a blued gun looks the best!" Then when I see ivory on a stainless gun I think, "Man, ivory on a stainless gun looks the best!" I've come to realize that there really isn't a "best" finish that ivory looks good on. Ivory just looks good on anything!


My ivory grips were made by Dan Chinnock. I was looking at elephant ivory, and as you mentioned, you have to wait for something that really catches your eye. I found that I loved the look of bark on ivory for contrast, so I started looking at mammoth ivory and that's what I wound up going with.

 

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That looks great! I love the look of ivory on a 1911! When I see them on a blued gun I think, "Man, ivory on a blued gun looks the best!" Then when I see ivory on a stainless gun I think, "Man, ivory on a stainless gun looks the best!" I've come to realize that there really isn't a "best" finish that ivory looks good on. Ivory just looks good on anything!


My ivory grips were made by Dan Chinnock. I was looking at elephant ivory, and as you mentioned, you have to wait for something that really catches your eye. I found that I loved the look of bark on ivory for contrast, so I started looking at mammoth ivory and that's what I wound up going with.

Live2Ride,

You always show beautiful pistols.

I have had trouble with mammoth knife scales cracking. How do mammoth grips hold up? Is non-fossilized ivory better in this respect?

Thanks.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
. . .as you mentioned, you have to wait for something that really catches your eye. I found that I loved the look of bark on ivory for contrast, so I started looking at mammoth ivory and that's what I wound up going with.
This is NOT fair - now I may have to look for mammoth. Yours really look beautiful on black - enjoy!!!!!
 

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Live2Ride,

You always show beautiful pistols.

I have had trouble with mammoth knife scales cracking. How do mammoth grips hold up? Is non-fossilized ivory better in this respect?

Thanks.

Craig
Thanks!

So far they're holding up great. No issues at all with them. I put 300 rounds through the gun as fast I could pull the trigger while my dad kept my mags loaded. The grips withstood that pounding just fine. In regards to fossilized vs non-fossilized, I don't know. Contact Dan Chinnock. I'm sure he could answer that question for you. He's a member of the Knifemakers' Guild and uses mammoth ivory for many of his knives.

http://www.danchinnock.com/
 

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This is NOT fair - now I may have to look for mammoth. Yours really look beautiful on black - enjoy!!!!!
I think it's fair, because YOU made me start browsing for a set of elephant ivory to possibly put on a stainless Springfield 9mm I'm planning to send to Alchemy Custom for work. lol
 

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Wow...great looking pistols both of you. And like you were saying NDL, photo's don't do ivory justice. I have a few ivory nuts and a bridge or two on a few of my guitars and it is a thing of beauty.

Now I need to go ivory grip shopping- ;)
 
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