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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The following questions are divided into three separate categories.  The first category is questions regarding ivory grips.  The second is questions involving purchasing engraved guns.  The last category involves sending guns in for engraving.

 

IVORY GRIPS

 

1. Can I get the color I want in my new ivory grips?

Answer:  We do our best to give each client the color they ask for but every tusk and section of tusk is different, so while we usually come very close, we can never guarantee color.

2. I have heard that I have to remove my ivory if I plan on shooting my gun.  Is this true? 

Answer:  Nothing could be further from the truth.  That would be like selling somebody some hiking boots and telling them they can only wear them indoors.  Ivory is one of the toughest grip materials available.  Think about it.  The elephant that wore this ivory tore down trees and unearthed large heavy stones with his tusks.  Pool shooters would strike ivory Q balls as hard as they could sending them crashing into other ivory balls without damage.  Usually people that spout stories regarding the fragility of ivory are selling wood or ivory look alike grips.

3. Will my ivory shrink or crack?

Answer:  Ivory, just like wood, can shrink or crack over time.  This can happen in especially dry or warm climates and especially if the ivory is not cared for.  We include a full page of instructions regarding what steps an owner can take to assure that they get more than a lifetime of service and enjoyment from their grips.

4. Will my ivory grips get yellow?

Answer:  Your grips will begin to take on a darker appearance right away.  You may not even notice it at first but after about a year you should notice the change.  Then the color will continue to darken.  After about 100 years it will stop changing and your grandchildren can enjoy that aged look.

5. I thought ivory was illegal.  How can you sell it?

Answer:  The domestic sale of African elephant ivory that was legally imported prior to 1989 is perfectly legal.  I am licensed to sell African elephant ivory.  I have met with Federal Agents from the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Department to confirm the legality of my business.  Whenever I purchase tusks I insist that the seller provide me with personal identification as well as written certification regarding the origin and importation information on the ivory.  When you buy ivory grips from me you will receive a letter of authenticity assuring you that your grips were made from legally imported African Elephant ivory. 

6. If I have my grips scrimshawed will the artwork ever get lighter or come off?

Answer:  As a general rule it should not get lighter and it should never come off.  There are exceptions to this rule however.  The surface of ivory is extremely hard but no matter how hard anything is, if you rub on it long enough you could alter the surface thereby lightening or possibly even removing what is there.  Generally for firearms with normal use this will not happen.

7. Will my ivory grips add value to my gun?

Answer:  Yes.  Absolutely.  Ivory, or engraving are the only things I can think of that a person can do to a firearm that will increase its value.  Everywhere you see guns for sale that are wearing ivory the prices are dramatically higher than the same model with wood or some other material.  If you want to sell your gun you can keep the ivory and attach the old grips.  Your ivory grips will only increase in value as time passes.

8. Can my grips be switched from gun to gun?

Answer:  Yes, in some cases.  With 1911 style grips you can swap ivory grips from gun to gun.  Colts, Kimber, Springfield Armory, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, etc all have the same hole pattern and grip size so the grips are interchangeable.  For Single Action Army style grips it is a hit or miss thing.  Sometimes grips can be changed to another SAA and they will fit perfectly but in a lot of cases they will not.

9. If I buy 1911 grips do I need to send you the gun to make them?

Answer:  No.  I have several “slave” receivers and I try all my grips on them prior to shipping so you can simply order the grips without sending the gun.

10. Why do I have to send in my SAA revolver if I want to buy ivory grips for it?

Answer:  Each polisher tends to use a slightly different amount of pressure while polishing the grip frames.  This causes slightly more or less material to be removed resulting it the need to fit grips individually to each gun.

11. Can I do the fitting myself?

Answer:  Yes.  If a client feels they can do the fitting, they can save $50 off the grip price as well as avoid the shipping charges each way shipping the gun to me.  It can be a substantial savings.  I just remind people that fitting is no easy task.  Once somebody starts to sand the grip down the grips become non-returnable at that point.

13. Why have other dealers told me I have to pay more for grips with "character" or color and your grips are all the same price?

Answer:  Other dealers do what they can get away with.  My feeling is that when I cut into a tusk with color I just got lucky.  I should not gouge my customers an extra fee for something I did not pay extra to get.  I make a reasonable profit that I believe is fair.  I'm happy with that.

14. I am not a dealer.  Do I have to go through a dealer to send you my gun for grips?

Answer:  Federal laws are very clear on this point.  No, you do not have to go through a dealer as long as you are sending me your gun for work.  I am a federally licensed dealer.  You can send your gun directly to me and I can return it directly to you.  We would not be doing a transfer.  It is referred to as a "repair and return", and is in strict accordance with the law.  Just keep in mind that hand guns must ship overnight via UPS or Fed-Ex with adult signature required.  It is unlawful for an unlicensed individual to ship a handgun via the U.S. Postal Service.

 PURCHASING AN ENGRAVED GUN

1. Would you recommend that I not shoot my engraved gun?

Answer:  The decision to shoot an engraved gun is entirely up to the owner.  I would estimate that about 25% of the guns we sell get fired.  We do not sell non-firing replicas.  Our guns are fully functioning firearms.

2. Will shooting my engraved gun ruin its value?

Answer:  Shooting ANY gun engraved or otherwise will have an impact on its value.  The amount of impact depends on the frequency of use and how the gun is cared for.  If a gun is fired a few times just to try it and that is all, chances are the value will be totally unaffected.  If ten boxes are put through it every weekend, there will be a significant impact on value.

3. Is a “factory engraved” engraved gun more valuable than a non-factory engraved gun?

Answer:  The answer to that one depends on who you are talking to.  There are strong arguments supporting all positions.  I believe that the quality of the work speaks volumes on the subject.  There are hundreds of guns out on the market that are poor examples of unsigned “factory engraved” pieces.  Many of these guns don’t bring a lot of money because buyers can see that the work is not that good.  There are also hundreds of unsigned “non-factory engraved” guns that are very similar.  Each gun speaks for itself.  A piece of paper that says that a gun was done at the factory is just that.  A piece of paper.  And in most cases the paper does not say very much and over the years gets separated from the gun.  The owner or the buyer of the gun has to make the decision on value.  I will end this question with this.  Guns last a long time.  Certainly hundreds of years.  In the year 2106 if your great grandchild has a gun you once owned in his collection in brand new condition that was 100 years old would he really care where you got or if it was factory engraved?  My bet is he will cherish the gun because of its beauty and the fact that it was owned by his great grandfather back in 2006.

4. How do we complete the transaction on a gun sale?  Do you ship to me?

Answer:  If you purchase a gun from me I cannot ship directly to you unless you have a current federal firearms license.  If you do not have a license, I can only ship to a current federal license holder in the state where the transfer will be made.  I can only make that shipment when I receive a signed copy of that license in the mail or by fax.  Then when I ship to your dealer I include a signed copy of my my license and reference that the gun is for transfer to you.  At that point you would have paid me for the gun.  Your dealer will charge you a small transfer fee and assure that the transfer is made in accordance with the laws of your home state.

SENDING IN A GUN FOR ENGRAVING

 1. If I send my gun in for engraving will it kill its value?

Answer:  That depends on what the gun is.  If you have a prewar Colt in decent shape, you should leave it alone.  We could take it in, engrave it and make a nice profit but you would be hurting the value.  On newer guns that may be a little tired you would not be hurting the value and in most cases you would be adding to the value.  At Nutmeg Sports, we perform top quality work so your money is an investment rather than just “spent” money.  

 2. The bluing is missing on my gun or the plating is gone in spots.  How will my gun look when I get it back. 

Answer:  We won’t accept a gun that is not a good candidate for engraving.  If your gun is pitted or has been refinished a couple of times or more we won’t take it.  When we complete a gun it will look like it just came out of the box even though it might be fifty years old.

 3. I don’t know too much about engraving.  How can I pick a pattern?

Answer:  Check out the pictures on our gun list page.  If you see a style you like we can do that style again.  We will not duplicate a gun exactly but we will come close to what you see with a couple of subtle changes.  Call and we can discuss options.

 4. What about pricing?  What is included and what is not included?

Answer:  We try to include everything.  We make sure there are no hidden surprises.  Usually our prices include everything you see in our pictures.  Most dealers charge extra for everything like engraved front sights or engraved hammers.  Our fire blue package is included, ivory grips are included.  Some time someone will say “My gun already has Ivory.”  In cases like that we lower our quote so the client does not pay for unneeded grips.

5. I am not a dealer.  Do I have to go through a dealer to send you my gun for engraving?

Answer:  Federal laws are very clear on this point.  No, you do not have to go through a dealer as long as you are sending me your gun for work.  I am a federally licensed dealer.  You can send your gun directly to me and I can return it directly to you.  We would not be doing a transfer.  It is referred to as a "repair and return", and is in strict accordance with the law.  Just keep in mind that hand guns must ship overnight via UPS or Fed-Ex with adult signature required.  It is unlawful for an unlicensed individual to ship a handgun via the U.S. Postal Service.

                     

 


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Last Revised: February 18, 2006