Round butts Are Best

Need a special stock? Make your own!

End result: a round-butt Ruger GP100 without modifying the frame.

Round-butted snubbies are the stuff dreams are made of, especially for nostalgic old Coppers. Compact, they have a comforting, familiar heft when loaded with cartridges such as the .44 Special. Round-butts don’t dig into our sides while concealing the way square-butts do, and oh boy, do they feel good in the hand! There’s no sharp corners to accentuate recoil while shooting with them. Everyone loves round-butts, and for good reason.

When it comes to gun needs, sometimes we just have to grab the bull by the horns and do it ourselves. I was faced with this problem after I had a Ruger GP100 customized by Ken Kelly at Mag-na-port International. In a nutshell, Ken lopped the 5.5″ barrel of my Lipsey’s Exclusive down to 3″ and did other cosmetic work for the slickest .44 Special you ever saw.

The Problem?

Ken did his usual wonderful job, but the problem was the stocks. Ruger did a great job farming out Altamont to manufacture stocks I call “Baby Roper’s,” a smaller version reminiscent of Roper stocks. For a 5.5″ barreled revolver, they’re perfect. For a 3″ Concealed Carry gun, not so much. I wanted to round-butt this special shooter.

Scouring the internet proved futile. I couldn’t find any appropriate stocks. Removing, and looking the Altamont stocks over, I saw there was plenty of wood to reshape them without encroaching into the recessed area for the gun’s grip-frame. Grabbing a pencil, I drew lines to the shape I wanted. It looked like it was going to work

Tank used a band saw to make his cuts but a coping saw would work too.

This shows how making the first cuts saves you a lot of sanding work.


After a recent Online article involving a Barranti Leather CCR holster for a Custom 3″ GP100 with home-altered stocks, Head Honcho Roy (Publisher Roy Huntington) received a few inquiries about the stocks. I guess people liked them, having the same problem I did in finding suitable stocks for a shorty GP100. After discussing it, Roy thought a DIY piece on how I altered my stocks might be interesting for the readers.

A belt or disc sander helps remove wood quickly to rough-shape the grips.

Just Do It!

After drawing the lines, I cut the excess wood away with a band saw. You can use a coping saw too, but either way, cutting is a lot faster than filing the wood away.

I then used a belt/disc sander to start rounding, removing and shaping the stocks to “roughly” the contour I wanted. During this phase I worked with the stock halves screwed together to make working on them easier.

We’re about 80 percent done. Next, I used 220 grit sandpaper to finish shaping the stocks. I sanded with the grain and the final shaping/finish didn’t take long at all. Total time invested was around 45 minutes.

Some 220-grit sandpaper and a little elbow grease will clean up the cuts and contour the stocks to your liking.

A squirt of Ballistol multi-purpose oil is all you need to finish your stocks.

Finishing Up

My finish was simply spraying some Ballistol onto the stocks and buffing them with an old rag. I think they turned out pretty nice.

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