Keith Brown had seen a few sets of Roper grips over the years but wasn’t satisfied with his attempts to replicate them until meeting Lee Jarrett, longtime S&W guru. Jarrett encouraged Brown by bringing several sets of the original grips to an Ohio Gun Collectors show, lent them to Brown and bought several of his early examples. Brown studied the original grips, making mental images and taking notes. While researching Ropers he found several citings about Roper grips in the writings of Charles Askins, Elmer Keith and others. Keith Brown discovered the S&W Internet forum ( about this time and found other folks with like interests, posting photos and information about Roper grips. Forum member Kevin Williams, who had written the most comprehensive information about Gagne to date for the S&W Collector’s Association, sent photos and much Roper material to Brown.

In something of a convergence, as Brown’s employment at GM was being phased out, he found the S&W Internet forum, researched Roper grips to the point of feeling confident about recreating them and after discussions with his wife Laura, decided to go into handgun grip making as a full-time occupation. Brown had made grips as a hobby since high school and had enough knowledge, tools, materials and enthusiasm to get started, what he needed was a specialty. Early in 2006, Brown felt like he could reliably offer revolver shooters something that hadn’t been available for several decades—Roper-type custom grips.