How to Make Pistol Grips With Faux Ivory

Updated February 21, 2017

Homemade pistol grips can easily set your pistol apart from the rest of the crowd. In the past, ivory grips were top-of-the-line for old western pioneers, and typically only wealthier gentlemen carried these guns. Though ivory is still used as of 2011 in fabricating pistol grips, faux ivory is also used in place. Faux ivory looks and feels almost the same as ivory. Making your own pistol grips out of faux ivory stock can be accomplished with little difficulty.

Unload your pistol completely. Visually inspect the weapon to ensure that no live ammunition is present.

Remove your pistol grips using a suitable screwdriver. Consult your owner's manual for specifics.

Set the grips on a piece of paper. Trace around the grips to make a template. Ensure that you mark the centre roll-pin--if any--and any screw holes needed to secure the new grip.

Measure the dimensions of your stock grips. Ensure that you measure all surface features precisely, including curves and any grooves on the underside of the grips.

Cut the faux ivory to your grip measurements using a band saw. Work slowly so you don't chip the ivory. File down your edges to the curved measurements you took earlier using a fine wood file. Check your measurements by fitting the rough grips onto the pistol.

Wet the faux ivory. Sand the faux ivory using medium 225-grit sandpaper. Ensure that you sand any sharp corners and bumps down flat. Sand again with 400-grit sandpaper to smooth out the faux ivory.

Apply buffing compound to the faux ivory. Buff the faux ivory using a rotary tool and soft buff attachment until it's nicely polished.

Install the new grips onto your pistol. Use caution when tightening the screws.


You can carve lines or patterns into the faux ivory if you prefer, or inlay a scrimshaw design with the right tools.


Never attempt maintenance on a loaded firearm. Never point a weapon at anything that you do not intend to shoot or kill.

Things You'll Need

  • Faux ivory stock
  • Paper and pencil
  • Band saw
  • 225-grit sandpaper
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • Buffing compound
  • Rotary tool with buffing attachment
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