Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ever since I saw the movie SHAFT in my youth, I wanted a nickle plated revolver with some Pearl Handled Grips on them. In the movie SHAFT, per one of the the coolest websites in the world,, Actor Richard Roundtree used two different first generation Detective Specials. One blue with wood grips, one nickel with Mother of Pearl grips.

The First Generation Detective Specials were all steel but without an ejector rod shroud. I prefer the Third Generation Detective Special and Cobra because they have a shrouded ejector rod.

So I've always wanted a pimp gun. Back about 25 years ago, a grateful client gave my father a very nice and new Browning Hi Power blued with some highly ornate gold and silver handgrips. I'm guessing at the time that those grips cost about $3k, as there was ALOT of gold in those grips and very intricate inlays.

My father loathed autoloaders and traded his law partner and longtime best friend for some slew of guns. This was despite my begging and pleading that THIS weapon needed to be the male family firearm passed from generation to generation. It was heavy has hell, probably 50 to 60 ounces loaded due to the heavy duty solid siliver and gold grips, which were quite heavy. But it was also cool as hell.

Despite my pleas and even my offers to purchase it from him, he was dead set and determined to give it to Big John, his buddy since college. Big John was as big a firearms freak as I was, even more I think. He probably had 150 or 200 guns of various types, and hunted extensively for deer and dove and ducks and quail and geese and turkey and whatever else was in season. Being frugal as hell, of course he ate what he killed, as both my father and he had been raised to do. In fact, as kids they both had no choice but to do that, or go without food at times during the depression.

But Big John was my friend too and I could see how much he lusted for that gun. After all, being the great white hunter that he was, an ornate pistol like that in a flashy El Paso Saddlery Texas Ranger 1920's rig with a fancy stamped holster, belt, underbelt and magazine holder would sure impress all Big John's friends who he had hunted with since they were kids.

I knew Big John had a Colt .45 that had been gold plated in parts and he had an ornate vintage rig for it as well. That was his gun to take hunting with his long gun and he and all of his buddies had sorta running contests as to who could have the coolest rig. Same with their rifles and shotguns and fishing gear and boats.

And Big John had given me a gun or two over the years, and always loaned me hunting guns when I wanted them, albeit from his "B" stock of used guns. He had his "A" stock, as do I, which doesn't get loaned out. So I felt no great pain in having the gun gifted to Big John, and he was cool enough to let me carry it and shoot it for a few months before he took possession of it.

But by the time he got it, he already had the fancy Texas Ranger Border Patrol 1920's rig and was ready to take it on his hunting trips. I had underestimated him, as he also got a matching bullet loop carrier for his belt as well as a fancy Bowie Knife holster. He had quite a fancy rig, with intricate floral stamping that kinda matched the highly inlaid handgrips.

So I'd like to Pimp-i-fy some sort of nickle or chrome plated revolver. Actually, I'd like to do several, as I have several kids and me. El Fisho Jr. is the only child with an interest in guns. The wife won't want one, but I'll ask anyway. Maybe when she sees how cool they'll be.

I'd like some large real Mother of Pearl grips, and I realize those are gonna cost me. I'd like them to be large, the size of Pachmayr Presentation grips or the Colt Diamondback D frame wood grips. Bigger than most concealable grips.

I want to gold plate some parts. At the least, the hammer, trigger, cylinder release and ejector rod. I'm not sure if gold plating the cylinder itself might not be too gaudy. OTOH, gaudy could be cool.

I want to have the cylinder engraved with my the name and time frames of public service in law enforcement, and I suppose with laser engraving, I might be able to fit in a teeny tiny badge of each agency. But I'd want as much as possible to be hand engraved because it's classier and "more real".

Engraving is expensive, which is why the cylinder engraving may be laser, which is far cheaper. The engraving may be limited to a butt plate, as detailed below, but it would be nice to have something cool, maybe about Texas, somewhere on the frame or cylinder of the gun.


The gun I plan to use has a nickel finish.


Youngsters probably don't know what a butt plate is. On a revolver with wood, pearl, ivory, stag or other non-rubber grips, companies still make ornate silver and gold plates that screw to the butt of the gun. These are often engraved with years of service or names or perhaps the names and dates the gun was acquired and then handed down father to son. You could definately design a butt plate with gold banners to engrave the names of 3 or 4 generations, thus there would be room for the next El Fisho family members to have their names and date engraved.

Butt Plates also look awesome on autoloaders, but I think they look coolest on revolvers. You could do them for any magazine bottom I would think, as long as the base plate was replaceable or if there was room to attach the butt plate to the magazine base plate.


So that's the plan. I'm tentatively planning to use my Colt Cobra, since I've owned it many years and carried it many years. A faithful companion from the legacy of Sam Colt. The Peacemaker for the modern man, or at least it was 30 years ago. I also have a holter of my father's that fits this gun, making it all the more a special gun.

My dad helped me pick this gun out and buy it as a graduation present from the police academy, for an off duty and backup gun, so his aura is all over it too. He shot it often, and liked it's low recoil and the way it felt in his hand.

I need to find a good plating company. I've looked at different companies making butt plates for grips already. And I need to find some nice big MOP grips.

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