As Ivory is a natural material and not synthetic, it needs moisture to stay hydrated. That’s why your grips can shrink when exposed to a very dry climate or the dehumidifier inside your gun safe. I have found that this hydration loss can be stabilized somewhat by replacing the natural water with oil. When the Ivory is fresh, like after we fit them to your Colt, we can start the stabilization process by rubbing white mineral oil or other similar oil like honing oils for knife sharpening or even baby oil on the outside surfaces of the grips when we put them away in the safe. And by all means either disconnect the dehumidifier in your safe or cover your grips with a plastic sandwich bag and wrap a rubber band around the top. This way the drying effects of the dehumidifier won’t suck the moisture out of your beautiful new Ivory grips.
At first you can oil your grips every week or so. Then check them to see if the oil has been absorbed or not. If it has and they seem dry to the touch, you can oil them again. Continue this process as often as needed until the Ivory does not absorb the oil anymore. At first they may need oil once a week and then once a month for awhile then only a couple times a year. This will help your Ivory grips stay full size, and fit your Colt snuggly as well as help your grips to start the beautiful coloring process we enjoy so much. One other feature that may concern you are the “crack lines” or bark lines as we call them. These lines are a normal part of the stocks and not a structural problem with the material. If you like the bark lines make sure you request them when you place your order.
If you prefer “clear” ivory (with no lines) please request clear ivory. One last note all ivory can show small crack lines in the center nerve area of even clear ivory. These small lines can start to occur as soon as the stocks are fitted, or sometimes start long after the grips start the yellowing process.
Either way don’t worry about the lines, as they are just part of the beautiful aging process that is so desirable with top quality elephant ivory. With a little care and feeding your Ivory stocks should fit nicely and add that unmistakable character to your favorite Peacemaker for years to come.