Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Six Gun

I grew up watching cowboy movies and TV shows. Roy and Dale and Gene and Lash Larue and Red Ryder and the Lone Ranger and Tonto; Clint and Scott and Gary and platoons of rangers and soldiers and Winchester rifles and the big iron on their hips, the Colt Peacemaker, the six-shooter.

I couldn't wait to get one of those guns.

First Colt single-action I owned was in 22 caliber, and came with a .22 Magnum cylinder. Great gun.  And I wish I still had it. 

Because it was a small caliber, the cylinder was smaller In relation to the grip, which was standard size. I got used to those proportions, and later, when I got into center fire calibers, they looked off to me. Grips were too small, cylinder too big. Look at the .22 LR above, and the .45 Colt below.

The black powder Colts in big calibers looked clunky to me, too, but the smaller Navy .36 looked great.

Then there were the conversions, and the precusers to the 1873 Peacemaker–black powder guns, converted to fire metallic cartridges, and then an open-top 1871-72, which, with the Navy grips, is, to my eye, is one of the best-looking guns ever, albeit they aren't as mechanically sound as the Peacemakers. 

Shooting black powder is fun, but messy, even if you use Pyrodex, and loading and swapping out cylinders takes a while. The conversions maintain much of the look, but are not as much hassle. 

Check out the charcoal bluing on the Uberti copy of the 1872 Navy Colt, above. Not very effective protection for the steel, but beautiful. (You get it by cooking the steel in an oven with charcoal and bits of bone.)


William Adams said...

Yeah. I'm still saddened that my father sold the little .22 which we had --- incl. the gorgeous belt he'd made (fully tooled!) from a Tandy Leather kit. Still can't recall why he didn't do the same tooling on the holster....

Percussion revolvers are probably going to be my next obsession --- I figure I can tidy up my usage of them by purchasing conversion cylinders. Doesn't hurt that they tie into my desire to focus my gun collection on firearms which my ancestors (may extend this to relatives) bore while serving the United (and Confederate) States.

Openhand said...

Nice collection,I only own the more "modern" pistols these days but always had an affinity for the six-shooter.

Steve Perry said...

I don't own any of these pictured, alas.

Anonymous said...

Hate to nitpick, but that navy of yours are definetly 1960 Army .44 not 1851 Navy .36. Navy have octaconal barrell and the loading lever hinge is different. The Navy (3rd model) looks like:

Steve Perry said...

You're right, my mistake. I copied that from a site and got the wrong image -- it was next to the right one. I fixed it. (And it was an 1860, not a 1960, he says, grinning ...)

Ed said...

Cimarron makes a Navy 1851 type conversion in 38 special...another want. I like the one with the 4 3/4barrel. I really like the look with that octagon barrel and the brass bead front site.