June 29th, 2018 by asjstaff

[su_heading size=”30″]The Fabulous .41 Remains A Preferred Caliber For The Discerning And Serious Shooter[/su_heading]

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVE WORKMAN

Author Dave Workman is a devotee of the .41 Magnum, including this vintage S&W Model 57 with a 4-inch barrel.

Author Dave Workman is a devotee of the .41 Magnum, including this vintage S&W Model 57 with a 4-inch barrel.

[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]D[/su_dropcap]espite hitting harder than the .357 Magnum (with a bigger bore), and shooting flatter (to a slight degree) with less recoil than the .44 Magnum, the .41 Remington Magnum has been unfairly overshadowed since hitting the American landscape back in 1964. But the truth is, it just might be the best of a pretty good bunch.

Let’s be honest. The .44 Magnum is a fraud, being a .429 in true caliber, while the .41 Magnum is the real McCoy. With comparable loads, the .41 Magnum can do anything the .44 Magnum can do, and it is a real survivor.

The popularity of the .41-caliber Magnum seems to ebb and flow, but those who have stuck with it make it as versatile a choice as its siblings. I’ve carried the .41 Magnum for personal protection, killed a couple of deer with it, shot long-range targets (it’s a favorite among silhouette shooters) and had it in the backcountry as a utility gun.

I like to think the really smart handgunners prefer this to the everybody’s-got-to-have-one .44 Magnum. And a lot of guys who have been around the block a few times have come to the same conclusion I did more than 30 years ago: It’s a damned fine cartridge.

Last year, I visited my friend Jim Zumbo at his place in Wyoming, and the former hunting editor for Outdoor Life magazine had a Ruger Blackhawk in .41 Magnum parked near the front door. Veteran gunwriter Dick Metcalf and the late Bob Milek also wrote often about this caliber, and I always figured that this trio of wordsmiths were on to something.

Hodgdon’s H110 is a favorite propellant among handloaders for the .41 Magnum

Hodgdon’s H110 is a favorite propellant among handloaders for the .41 Magnum

IT’S A GEM FOR HANDLOADERS too. Thanks to modern powder research, there are more than a few propellants that make this round sizzle. My two favorites are Hodgdon’s H110 and Alliant 2400.

There are several good bullet choices in the 200- to 220-grain field, and I’ve had great results with the 210-grain XTP from Hornady, the 210-grain Nosler JHP, and the 200- and 220-grain halfjacketed semi-wadcutter projectiles and a 210-grain Gold Dot JHP from Speer. In addition, Barnes offers a 180-grain solid-copper hollowpoint, and Sierra has two pills, a 170-grainer and 210-grain bullet, both hollowpoints.

Thanks to updated reloading data in the Speer, Nosler and Hodgdon manuals, I’ve been able to tinker with the cartridge over the past couple of years, and especially since last summer when I bought a little-used and nearly new-inbox 1980s vintage Smith & Wesson Model 57 in .41 Magnum.

There are plenty of factory loads available, including Winchester Silvertips, and JHPs from Remington, Federal and other manufacturers. When I acquired that 4-inch S&W last July, it came with four boxes of factory BVAC (Bitterroot Valley Ammunition) loaded with 210-grain semiwads.

With a belt full of cartridges, one can do a bit of shooting with a pair of double-action magnums.

With a belt full of cartridges, one can do a bit of shooting with a pair of double-action magnums.



I’VE OWNED RUGER BLACKHAWKS and two S&W Model 57s, the first of those being a 6-inch version I’ve shot a few times in the annual Elmer Keith long-range handgun shoot just south of Spokane.

Keith is largely recognized as having been primarily responsible for the .41 Magnum, along with a man named Bill Jordan. It was originally intended as a law-enforcement caliber, but it proved to be a bit much for some lawmen, especially those of smaller stature, to handle. If that sounds like a similar story to that of the 10mm Auto, it is. But while the latter round led to the development of the .40 S&W, nobody bothered to create a .41 Short, so the original cartridge has remained the same since birth.

Of the two deer I killed with a 6.5-inch Blackhawk single action, the muley was the more memorable. Two shots downhill dropped the forkhorn. One bullet went clear through and the other was a perfect mushroom recovered just under the hide on the exit side.

While I prefer the longer barrel for precision shooting and hunting, in recent years I’ve opted for shorter-barrel versions. They’re lighter, they can ride on my hip in a truck, and they’re more concealable. A couple of years ago, I swapped out the alloy ejector rod housing on my 45/8-inch Ruger for one made from steel.

One thing I’ve noticed is that my loads lose 50 to 100 feet per second out of the shorter barrels, though that probably won’t make a lot of difference to anything I shoot within, say, 100 to 150 yards.

THE .41 MAGNUM IS CAPABLE of some impressive ballistics. With lighter bullets, it can warp along at more than 1,650 fps, and my favorite handloads zip out in the 1,250 to 1,600 fps range, depending upon the bullet weight, powder charge and barrel length.

When I shoot Alliant 2400, I stick with standard large pistol primers, but with H110, I always use magnum primers. Other powders are also good choices, including Winchester 296, H4227, Blue Dot, Lil’ Gun, Unique and Vihtavouri N110.

Soon after Workman acquired this revolver, he knocked together the holster.

Soon after Workman acquired this revolver, he knocked together the holster.

The cartridge case should measure 1.290 inches, and the overall length for cartridges should not exceed 1.590 inches. I have two sets of carbide dies, one from Hornady and one from Redding, with the seating die from each set for a different bullet, because they each crimp at a slightly different depth.

I’ve built gunbelts with ample cartridge loops for the .41 Magnum. One needs to use a slightly tighter loop for the .41 than the .44 (.429), and they need to be well-oiled. Mine are all individually hand-stitched rather than looped in and out of the belt.
AS A FIGHT-STOPPER, the .41 Magnum is no slouch. A cartridge that will knock down a black bear, big buck, caribou or bull elk is also fully capable against predators of the two-legged variety. This is a defensive round that should be approached with a little caution, of course, due to the potential for overpenetration.

When it was first introduced, proponents suggested it would be a good load for law enforcement officers to shoot through the windshields of fleeing getaway cars or to foul up an engine block on similar vehicles.

When I carried my 6-inch Model 57 in an old Safariland shoulder holster, I always had a couple of HKS speed loaders stoked with factory Remington ammo because the bullet shape contributed to quicker reloading than a wadcutter. Under a winter parka, that big gun disappeared, and nobody was any the wiser.

So why doesn’t the .41 Magnum get more respect? The reason is probably as simple as Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty” Harry Callahan firing a .44 Magnum on film. But even if it won’t fire out of the “most powerful handgun in the world,” it has become something of a cult favorite with people who like to shoot metal chickens and rams, as well as discerning handgunners who don’t choose to follow the herd.  ASJ

The N-frame Smith & Wesson is the perfect platform for the .41 Magnum. As the can attests, the gun can shoot, too!

The N-frame Smith & Wesson is the perfect platform for the .41 Magnum. As the can attests, the gun can shoot, too!

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , ,

May 8th, 2018 by asjstaff

How many cop or detective movies have you watched where the hero had a .38 revolver?  

Damn near all of them, right?

That’s because the .38 revolver is a ridiculously reliable gun.  You won’t be winning any long distance sharpshooting challenges with it, but you will feel safe carrying one.  Just look how confident those old-timey cops and private dicks were.

Why a .38?  

First off, let’s talk about what makes the .38 caliber and a revolver worth carrying.  Some people might consider the .38 and even the .38+p ammo to be outdated.  

The .38 ammo is pretty much the same size as a 9mm.  Where it IS different is the actual weight: a .38 is heavier than a 9mm.

Both have their benefits.  The .38 is a little slower-moving but has more mass.  The 9mm has more punch to it and travels faster.

Caliber Comparison
The .38 Special looks like a longer version of the 9mm.

One of the main reasons you’d want to carry a .38 this because it predominantly comes as a revolver.  Revolvers, as we know, are very reliable. There are less moving parts and there’s less to go wrong.  That’s why a lot of the police and other agencies used it in great quantities before the advent of reliable semi-automatic pistols.

Agencies eventually moved to the more common use of semi-automatic pistols but it wasn’t necessarily because of a lack of confidence in the caliber, it was more because of the greater number of rounds in each gun that semi-autos provide.  

If you have the option of carrying five rounds vs 15 rounds, there’s little choice as to which one is better to have in a gunfight.

How Does a .38 Revolver Compare to Other Concealed Carry Guns?  

Carrying a Ruger LCR .38 SPL Revolver in an Alien Gear Holster

As mentioned before, the revolvers carry less ammo and are little slower to reload unless you practice a lot, but you need to compare reliability versus additional ammo.  At close range, how many rounds will you really get off before you either neutralize the target or they runoff?  

Something else to sway you one way or the other might be the weight of the trigger.  Most of the dual action only revolvers are about 12 pounds versus most semi-auto pistols are around the 5-pound range.  If you have weaker hand strength, this can be a big problem

1. Ruger LCR-LG 38 Spl+P Revolver with Crimson Trace Lasergrips

Ruger LCR Revolver

Ruger LCR Revolver

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Ruger LCR comes in a lot of calibers, .38 just happens to be one.  What you get with the LCR internal hammer, alloy frame revolver is is an ultra-lightweight, reliable carry gun.  The internal hammer helps remove the possibility of any snags as you’re drawing it from your holster.

2. Taurus Model 85

The Model 85 is one of the most popular guns in the Taurus fleet.  What makes it the popular kid in class is the +P capability.  It’s light and accurate—as accurate as a short barrel revolver can be.  

Many of the Taurus guns have an internal lock.  Using the provided key, you can immobilize the gun.  This is a great feature for those of you with kids in the house

3. Charter Arms Undercover Lite Standard

Charter Arms Undercover Lite Standard

Charter Arms Undercover Lite Standard

Prices accurate at time of writing

There are a couple features of the Charter Arms Undercover Lite that are appealing.  

The first is the weight.  This thing is feather light at about 12oz.  You can carry it all day and not know it’s there.  

The other feature you might like is the longer grip.  You’ll be able to get your whole hand on the handle.  Some revolvers have small handles and aren’t easy to deal with the recoil like this Charter Arms .38 will.

4. Colt Detective Special

Ahhh, the Colt Detective Special…

This is the gun you see in most of the older movies from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.  You’ll find a lot of people who modded their Colt .38 Special to fit their needs. Some cut the barrel, others got rid of the squared off butt of the grip, some cut the trigger guard, or whatever they needed.

The newer variants of the Colt Detective Special are a lot more in tune with the others on the market, but stay true to the name.  Really, the main things that changed over the years were materials and build quality. The same basic premise design is still there.  

They shortened the barrel at the manufacturer so you didn’t have to chop it off like they did in the 20s and 30s. This one you will need to find used because they stopped making them about 1995, but they are a great little gun.  If you want something similar but current, you can look into the Colt Cobra.  

Colt Cobra

Colt Cobra

Prices accurate at time of writing

5. Rossi 352

Rossi 352

Rossi 352

Prices accurate at time of writing

The 352 from Rossi is on the budget side of the price grid, but don’t let that fool you; it keeps up with the other models just fine.  It has a stainless finish and a contoured rubber grip to help with managing the recoil.  It can handle 5 rounds of +P ammo, too.

Rossi makes about 50 different variations of revolvers, so if you 352 isn’t your cup of tea, there should be one to fit your needs.

6. Smith & Wesson M&P 340

Smith & Wesson M&P 340

Smith & Wesson M&P 340

Prices accurate at time of writing

The Smith & Wesson M&P 340 is a great option for a carry gun.  They are lightweight and have an internal hammer making them ideal for a carry gun.  Because they have an internal hammer, they are dual action only.  They come with night sights, but if you want one, you can get the model with the Crimson Trace laser.

7. Smith & Wesson 642

If you want the polished look, the Smith & Wesson 642 is your beast.  This guy is similar in features and weight to the M&P 340 but gives a different look.  Rated for continuous +P use, you can fire off all 5 rounds, reload, and shoot 5 more with no worries about the 1.875-inch barrel looking like a Looney Tunes character shot it with a plugged barrel.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, the .38 is still a gun and caliber you should consider when choosing a carry gun.  When you’re just starting out with guns, a revolver is never a bad choice.  They are reliable, easy to use, and the +P rounds have some good power to stop a would-be assailant.

Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints
Lots of Holsters, Boondock Saints

When you are shopping for a .38 to carry, think about your carry position.  They can be thicker than some semi-auto pistols and may print easier. Something else to consider too is the double action trigger.  It can be a little harder to pull and have a longer pole than some people are used to. If you just starting out, it’ll be easy enough to train with.

While you think about carrying position, also think about what holster is right for you. We can get you started with our Best Concealed Carry Holsters article!

A .38 is not by any means a long-range weapon.  It’s meant for close-up, down and dirty action.  This is because of the short barrel, most of them are around 2 inches.  That’s why they are good last resort or backup weapons, too.

When it comes to a .38, what are your preferences?  Let us know the comments below!

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

April 11th, 2018 by asjstaff

Choosing a spot to carry your gun is almost as important as the gun you carry.  When it comes to choosing a concealed carry location, the ideal place for you is where ever you have easy access to at the time.

Concealed carrying inside waistband
Carrying concealed

I know that kind of sounds confusing, but one location isn’t an end all be all for carrying a gun.  

Being able to access your gun quickly depends on the situation, the place you’re in, and what you are wearing.  What I mean is, if you are in a vehicle and have to draw your weapon, would it be easier to access your CCW if it was on your hip versus at the 6 position?  

Probably.

If you are wearing clothing that’s more form-fitting, it’s harder to hide a concealed carry weapon.  In these cases, you might want to look into an off body carry.  While the most common place is on your hip or by your kidney, take a look at some of the other options as we go through and see if they may be better for you depending on your day-to-day activities.

Drawing from Concealed Carry
Carrying Concealed is Much Easier in Winter Clothing

We’re going to cover 9 of the most essential carrying positions and our favorite holster for each.  If you’d like more choices once you narrow down your position, check out Best Holsters.

Around The Clock: 1, 3, and 4-6 O’Clock

Carry positions around the waist are usually referred to by the location on a clock face.  For example, if you’re carrying on a hip, this would be referred to as the 3 o’clock position.  That being said, all of these positions have two options.

Option 1: Outside Waistband (OWB) Carry 

OWB Holster Example
OWB Carry

There different levels of holsters for your OWB carry depending on where along your body you are going to carry.  The 3-9 o’clock positions are where you’ll usually see an OWB holster.

Editor’s Pick (OWB)
Safariland OWB Holsters

Safariland OWB Holsters

Option 2: Inside Waistband (IWB) Carry

Carrying Concealed
Carrying IWB

IWB is probably the most common concealed carry choice. Because it’s inside your waistband, you can get holsters that allow for you to tuck in your shirt which hides the weapon even more.

Placing the holster and weapon inside your waistband lets you carry at pretty much any position around your waist.  This opens up the door for an appendix carry, which is in front of your hips and off to one side. The appendix carry offers a very quick draw, but if you have a larger weapon, it can make it uncomfortable to sit or squat.

R&R HOLSTERS IWB Kydex Gun Holster

R&R HOLSTERS IWB Kydex Gun Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Belly Bands

Lirisy Belly Band
Wearing a Belly Band

A belly band is an ideal carry option for those of you who don’t have a belt.  This could be your wearing basketball shorts, or you are out running and don’t have the option for a belt or off-body carry.

At first, I wasn’t too sold on a belly band.  To be honest, it kind of reminded me of a girdle.  However, they’re surprisingly comfortable especially if you have a smaller concealed carry gun.  If your gun is a little heavier, like a compact or a subcompact with a double stack magazine, it might not be the easiest weapon of choice to wear when being active.

If you have a smaller gun, like a bodyguard 380 or an LCP,  you can easily wear a belly band and have your full range of motion and an easily accessible CCW in case your life is threatened.

Galco Belly Band Holster

Galco Belly Band Holster

Ankle

Man and Woman Examples of Ankle Carry
Ankle Carry

To ankle carry your CCW, you’ll need a specialized holster.  Typically these holsters have some sort of fur inside, often rabbit fur.  The holster is securely attached is around your ankle and lower calf. Obviously, you’ll have to wear pants that are a little looser fitting when choosing an ankle carry.

The ankle carry option offers you a unique opportunity.  It frees up your shirt choice to anything you’d like, and you don’t have to have a belt either.  

Another benefit of an ankle carry is that if somebody comes up from behind and knocks you down, it’s much easier to reach for your ankle in many cases than it is to grab a gun that’s behind you in the 4 or 5 o’clock position. It’s also less likely that someone will try and grab your gun from you if they see it.

Galco Ankle Band Holster

Galco Ankle Band Holster

Pocket Carry

back pocket carry
Pocket Carry

Carrying your CCW in your pocket is another common option.  Many of the smaller guns like a .380 or .22 will fit easily along with a holster into a front pocket.  Well, the draw it is a little trickier, you can carry a weapon in many more circumstances than you might have with an IWB carry.

If you think a pocket carry option is right for you, look into some of the holsters available.  Many times there are generic holsters that fit a specific caliber or shape weapon.

These holsters have a stickier material on the outside of the holster and a slicker material on the inside to make the draw quicker.  Something to practice with a pocket draw is pulling out just the gun and not the holster and the gun then needing to remove it from the holster before you can use it.

Blackhawk TecGrip Pocket Holster

Blackhawk TecGrip Pocket Holster

Shoulder Harness

James Bond in Shoulder Holster
Many Incarnations of the Legendary James Bond Have Appeared Wearing Shoulder Holsters.

I’m sure you’ve seen a shoulder harness before on TV.  Many times detectives, police, and government agents will have a single or dual shoulder rig.  This puts the weapon on the opposing side of your body because you’ll have to draw across your body.  

So if you’re right handed your shoulder rig will put the gun on the left side of your body that way you reach into your coat or shirt or whatever the case, and draw the weapon.  This can be an extremely quick draw, but it’s very obvious draw as well.

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster

Galco Classic Lite Shoulder Holster

Bra Carry

Bra Holster
Bra Holster

Some bras are made with holsters built in.  Some fit more like a standard bra with the holster typically situated between and under the breasts, while others fit like a sports bra with the holster on the side, under the arm.  There are also specialty holsters that can be affixed to most regular bras, though many multipurpose holsters with loops will also work with most bras.

The quickest access holsters have the gun horizontal below the bra.  This allows you to pull up your shirt a little, reach up, and draw the weapon quickly.  There are videos from manufacturers showing a pretty consistent 1.6-second draw and shoot times from under various style shirts.

Flashbang Bra Holster

Flashbang Bra Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Thigh Carry

Thigh Holster
Thigh Holster

This carry option is predominantly used by women but is an underrated choice for men as well.  While most people think of thigh carry with skirts or dresses, it can also work with loose shorts.

A thigh carry holster is meant for a smaller weapon like a 380.  You could probably get away with small 9mm, but it would depend on the weapon.  In most cases, thigh holsters are used because there’s no pockets or firm waistband.  Using a thigh holster also keeps the weapon on you, unlike an off the body carry in a purse or something similar.

Fullmosa Concealed Carry Thigh Holster

Fullmosa Concealed Carry Thigh Holster

Prices accurate at time of writing

Off the Body Carry

Off the body carry options are plentiful and have their own set of considerations and training needed to use them successfully.  When you have a weapon in something like a backpack, you need to keep that backpack on or near you at all times. Otherwise, it’s like setting your gun on a counter and walking away.  

Vertx Commuter Bag

Vertx Commuter Bag

Some of the off the body carry options are:

  • Backpacks
  • Purses
  • Handbags
  • Briefcase
  • Specially made binders or art portfolios that have concealed carry provisions.

For me, I consider having a gun in your center console or glove box to be in off the body carry as well.  You don’t want to just toss a non-holstered weapon in your glove box because you never know what will happen.  If you have some way to mount a holster into your glove box or console, it’s much more preferable.

Final Thoughts

Choosing where to carry is a personal preference.  If you like an ankle carry or OWB, go for it. There’s no need to be uncomfortable just to make sure you have a gun on you, there are a lot of options.  You can try a few to see what works best for your daily activities.

Are you a jogger?  Then I’d recommend a belly band and a small 9mm or 380.  They are light and comfortable.  Do you wear a suit with a jacket all day?  How about out a shoulder harness, ankle holster or a horizontal OWB holster at the 6 o’clock position?

The place you carry isn’t as important as the fact that you are carrying.

Check out our full recommendations of the Best Concealed Carry Holsters.

So, where do you carry? What do you carry? How often do you carry? Tell us all about it in the comments!

The post Top 9 Essential CCW Positions appeared first on Pew Pew Tactical.

Posted in Gear, Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

February 19th, 2018 by asjstaff

There is a lot of love for semi-auto pistols nowadays, but it is hard to beat the reliability, power and clean manufacturing of a revolver. In this TFB Review, we take a look at the stout Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum with a 2 3/4″ barrel.

model 66 Specifications

The Smith & Wesson Model 66 comes in two different configurations of barrel lengths from the factory. Consumers can either choose a 4.25″ or a 2.75″ barrel option. The specific variation of the Model 66 that we took to the range is the 2.75″ option.

Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum

The rundown of specifications for both Model 66 revolvers follows as such with only the barrel and overall length differentiating the two options:

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum / .38 Special + P
  • Capacity: 6-Round Cylinder
  • Barrel Length: 2.75″
  • Overall Length: 7.8″
  • Front Sight: Red Ramp
  • Rear Sight: Adjustable Black Blade
  • Action: Single-Action / Double-Action
  • Grip: Synthetic
  • Weight: 33.5 Ounces
  • Cylinder, Barrel & Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Purpose: Competitive Shooting, Home Protection & Recreational Shooting

The MSRP of the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum is $849.

The Model 66 is a K-frame revolver by Smith & Wesson. The K-frame was originally introduced in 1899 specifically for the .38 S&W Special cartridge. So to see the Model 66 in a K-frame size as a .357 Magnum is pretty unique even if the outward appearance is pretty unassuming. It also boasts a 2-piece barrel, a full-length extractor rod, and a ball-detent lock-up mechanism.

Model 66

[Left to Right] S&W Model 686 barrel compared to S&W Model 66 2-piece barrel

Overall, the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum is very close in size to a Smith & Wesson Model 686. Most people should appreciate the leaner K-frame of the Model 66 versus the beefier L-frame of the Model 686 if you are contemplating purchasing a shorter barrel length like this revolver we reviewed.

Trigger time

Unboxing the revolver at the range, it comes with your standard issue of contents. You receive an owner’s manual, cable lock, red chamber flag (plastic disc to set on the cylinder facing when closed) and a key set for the internal lock. From the factory it comes clean and dry; not excessively oiled or lubed.

Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum

To get a good feel for this revolver, both .38 Special and .357 Magnum target rounds were fired. The .38 Special rounds were very enjoyable, controllable and light to shoot. The .357 Magnum rounds were still controllable but had a lot more snap. The snap was not surprising, but the fact that it was easily controllable with the moderate-sized handle was a pleasant surprise. The power of the .357 Magnum cartridge hit your hand hard, but the dexterity from the rubber grip and its length helped control it.

Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum

The single-action trigger pull of the Model 66 was very light and crisp. The break of the trigger was definitive and clean. Even with the shorter 2.75″ barrel, essentially anywhere I aimed I was hitting that mark perfectly.

The double-action trigger pull was consistently heavy from the initial pull up until the break of the trigger. So while it was heavy, there was no feeling of stacking or a compounding resistance that would make you squirm wondering when the double-action trigger may finally fire. The break of the double-action trigger pull, just like the single-action, was definitive and smooth.

After methodically firing 100 rounds (50 rounds of .38 SPL and 50 rounds of .357 Mag), I gained a few other impressions and thoughts about the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum.

post-range thoughts

After all of the firing stopped and the earmuffs came off I had a few more thoughts about the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum revolver. For one, I would have liked to have seen the rear sight have a white outline of some kind.

Model 66

[Left to Right] S&W Model 686 rear sight compared to S&W Model 66 rear sight

I hail from MN so this range day was conducted indoors and most indoor ranges (ironically enough) have really poor lighting in the shooter’s bay, but phenomenal lighting out by your target. As a result, even with young eyes, you have to work to drop that red ramp front sight exactly where you need it to be.

Model 66

Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum

The Smith & Wesson Model 686, by comparison, comes with a white outline rear sight standard. I would believe these sights should transfer over easily enough and I would like to see those on the Model 66 as well.

I view the Smith & Wesson Model 686 as a benchmark of features and quality for revolvers chambered in .357 Magnum. So a lot of the comparisons I make will treat that as the yardstick.

A 2nd item that differs from the Model 66 in comparison to a lot of the other revolvers Smith & Wesson puts out is the black accents. On most Smith & Wesson revolvers the trigger, hammer, cylinder release and potentially other small pieces will be case-colored; that swirled look of almost running water on metal. It can be very beautiful when done well, but I thought the black accented features on the Model 66 was a refreshing change from what has become standard protocol for Smith & Wesson.

Model 66

[Bottom Left to Top Right] S&W Model 66 (note black accents) versus S&W Model 686 (note case-colored accents)

As you can see above, on the Model 66 the extractor rod, cylinder release, trigger, and hammer are all accented black. They appear more pronounced in a profile image like this and better match the black grips. In comparison to the Model 686, the case-colored pieces get almost washed-out when paired with a brushed stainless finish and are not as easily noticed or appreciated.

Another attribute of the Model 66 I liked was the satin stainless finish. You might be thinking that is not a big deal, but let me explain. Once again, a standard Model 686 provides a brushed stainless finish. Often times, you can see actual brush marks on a brushed stainless finish leading the user to almost believe a new revolver is… used. The satin stainless finish appears cleaner, exhibits no finishing marks and its matte appearance looks clean even after shooting a lot of rounds.

Model 66

[Left to Right] S&W Model 686 (note brushed stainless finish) versus S&W Model 66 (note satin stainless finish)

A final thought I have on the Model 66 is the black rubber grip. The rubber material is very tacky and gives you great dexterity when shooting .357 Magnum rounds. So all-in-all, the large grip accomplishes what it sets out to do which is give the user a sturdy purchase to control and accurately fire the revolver.

Since this is only a 2.75″ barrel, I would have liked to potentially see a little smaller grip even with all of those positive, previous comments. I would not put this specific variation of the Model 66 into the category of a range pistol even though it shot really well. Its outward appearance and likely intended purpose would be for carrying; whether that is concealed or open. So to have a shorter handle would benefit anyone trying to carry it.

In summary, I believe the Smith & Wesson Model 66 Combat Magnum® .357 Magnum revolver is a well thought out pistol. The MSRP of $849 is still within a tolerable range for most people’s checkbooks and my few complaints about a possibly shorter handle and improved rear sight are more personal opinions than engineering flaws.

If you are contemplating purchasing the Model 66, I can confidently say after spending significant time with one that you would not be disappointed.

Posted in Product Reviews Tagged with: , , , , , ,

December 31st, 2016 by asjstaff

[su_heading size=”30″]The Ruger 3-inch LCRx remains an excellent choice for a lightweight trail gun or for home defense.[/su_heading]

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB REED

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”5″]R[/su_dropcap]ecently, the Ruger LCRx with a 3-inch barrel transformed the popular lightweight revolver design from a snub-nose carry gun into a handy general-purpose revolver.

The Ruger LCRx in .38 Special.

The Ruger LCRx in .38 Special.

The innovative LCR design has been a hit with shooters since the original Ruger LCR .38 Special +P was released in 2009. That design was optimized for concealed carry with a five-round cylinder, 1.875-inch barrel and hammerless, double-action-only trigger. Since that time Ruger (ruger.com) has expanded the line by chambering the gun in new calibers and adding new features. The LCRx model added single-action capability by introducing an exposed hammer to the available options but retained the short barrel length.

The author tested the LCRx with .38 Special loads from Hornady.

The author tested the LCRx with .38 Special loads from Hornady.

In late 2014 Ruger released the LCRx with a 3-inch barrel. This variant is again chambered in .38 Special +P with an exposed hammer that allows both double-action and single-action activation. The 3-inch tube has a full-length rib and fulllength underlug. The black rear sight is adjustable for both elevation and windage. The serrated front sight features a white square to aid in sight acquisition. The sight is pinned to the barrel and can be easily removed and replaced with one of the other front sight options available from Ruger. The package is completed with the installation of a full-size Hogue Tamer grip in place of the shorter grips on the previous models.

The rest of the gun follows the general LCR pattern: The two main structural components are the aerospace-grade aluminum frame mated to a polymer fire control housing. The lock work includes a patented friction-reducing cam that eliminates stacking and reduces the perceived trigger weight. The stainless-steel cylinder is heavily fluted for weight savings with a durable black Ionbond Diamondblack finish. The push-button cylinder release is in the normal Ruger location on the left side of the frame behind the cylinder.

1701-ruger-lcr-03THE BARREL UTILIZES a stainless-steel liner and aluminum shroud with a polished muzzle. The ejector rod is the same length as on the 2-inch barreled models. The one-piece grip fits onto a shorter grip peg molded as part of the fire control housing. The grip can be removed and replaced by unscrewing a single screw in the butt.

The first thing I noticed about my review model was the size. While the LCR heritage is evident, this is no pocket gun. The extra inch of barrel, full-length rib, and larger sized Hogue grip add enough to the physical envelope to push it into the small side of the medium-frame revolver category.

The 3-inch barrel increased the overall length to 7.5 inches, while the full-length rib and larger Hogue grip make it taller at 5.8 inches. The LCRx 3-inch weighs 15.7 ounces. For comparison, the standard 2-inch-barreled .38 Special LCR is 6.5 inches long, 4.5 inches high, and weighs 13.5 ounces.

I had my gunsmith measure the trigger pull with a Lyman digital gauge when I picked up the revolver. This revealed a pull weight of 11.5 pounds for double-action and 7.0 pounds for single-action.

I tested the gun with a variety of .38 Special loads provided by Hornady Ammunition. This included their Critical Defense Lite 90-grain FTX load, their Critical Defense 110-grain FTX standard and +P loads, their 125-grain XTP load, and their 158-grain XTP load.

I warmed up by shooting a few rounds at a plate rack at 15 yards to give me a general feel for the double-action and single-action trigger pulls. I then fired for groups at 25 yards while seated at a table with my hands resting on the LCR’s zipper bag for padding. All firing here was single-action.

The best group, measured from the furthest distances of the holes, was almost exactly 2½ inches.

Interestingly, it was almost exactly the same when measured from the top- to bottom-most holes as when measured from the furthest left to the furthest right. This was the standard-pressure 158-grain FTX load.

The second best group was from the Critical Defense 110-grain standard-pressure load that printed at just over 3 inches, from furthest edge to furthest edge, with pronounced left-to-right stringing.

1701-ruger-lcr-04

The revolver is a great choice for shooters of smaller stature.

Unfortunately, the deliberate single-action, slow-fire shooting revealed a mechanical problem that I hadn’t noticed during the more casual firing at the plate rack. The hammer was noticeably more difficult to cock on one of the chambers than the others. I later consulted with a gunsmith friend who said the likely cause was due to out-of-spec machining on the lobe of the star corresponding to that chamber. (I later cleaned the revolver and the problem was still there during dry fire with the clean gun.) The one bad hammer pull made the precision testing more difficult. I only got the best two groups later in the test after I identified and compensated for the issue. At first the heavier and grittier pull on that chamber both threw off my concentration and also caused me to break my grip. This also made it impossible to determine if any particular load was more accurate in the gun. A typical “bad” group was 5 inches or so, often with one flyer that messed up an otherwise good group.

1701-ruger-lcr-05

The author achieved good results shooting at 25 yards while seated.

IN EXCHANGE FOR THE LARGER size and weight over the flagship LCR, you get a revolver that is easier and more fun to shoot. The grip is large and comfortable, the hammer is easily accessible for single-action cocking, and the longer sight radius and more visible sights help practical accuracy. The extra weight over the standard .38 Special version helps make the gun more pleasant to shoot as well. While the +P rounds had some noticeable sting, they weren’t bad, and the polymer trigger housing and generous grip soaked up the recoil of the standard-pressure rounds nicely.

The only disappointment in the design was that the gun retained the short 2-inch ejector rod of the parent models. While it’s understandable that Ruger wouldn’t want to spend the money on a dedicated 3-inch ejector rod for this model, having that full ejector rod stroke would have been a nice touch. Note that I didn’t have any problems with the shorter ejection stroke; I just prefer the longer ejector rod when possible.

The Ruger LCRx 3-inch would make an excellent choice for a lightweight trail gun, as a concealed carry gun in a belt holster, or as a home defense gun. As with most revolvers, the limited ammo capacity is an issue, but if you want a lightweight revolver that shots like a medium-frame gun, this is one to get. ASJ

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

December 10th, 2016 by asjstaff

[su_heading size=”30″]Ruger’s GP-100 in .22 LR is a large, solidly built stainless-steel revolver. [/su_heading]

STORY AND PHOTOS BY BOB SHELL

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”5″]R[/su_dropcap]uger always seems to be coming out with new products, and many of them are very interesting and desirable. Some are variations of previous successes, such as the popular GP-100 in .22 LR. This gun is part of a family of sturdy-framed double-action revolvers that evolved from Ruger’s early 1970s introduction, the Security Six.

The author firing the sturdy stainless-steel revolver in the field.

The author firing the sturdy stainless-steel revolver in the field.

As you can imagine, this revolver is very large for its caliber. You’d expect a double-action GP revolver from Ruger to be large and sturdy, and it is. If you are looking for some power when you go plinking, this could be the gun for you.

According to my trigger pull gauge, the single action broke at 6 pounds, while the double action broke between 19 and 20, which is certainly extreme. It has a 10-shot cylinder, and since it is a .22, recoil is virtually nonexistent. I wouldn’t recommend dry firing it much, if at all, because, as with all rimfires, if the firing pin hits the edge of the chamber some damage may occur.

It is a massive, well-built revolver made from stainless steel, which means that weight may be an issue for those who may plan to carry it a lot. The rear sight is adjustable, and the front is a fiber optic, which makes it easier to pick up, especially in less than ideal lighting conditions. It comes in the durable case and, of course, the ever-present lock is included. The grips have a wood center panel and rubber on the outside where you hold it, and they are both comfortable and attractive. It also comes with Ruger’s patented transfer bar mechanism, which provides an unparalleled measure of security against accidental discharge.

 

A close-up of the cushioned rubber grips with wooden inserts.

A close-up of the cushioned rubber grips with wooden inserts.

SINCE IT IS SO STURDY, I’d like to see it chambered for the .22 rimfire Magnum, either as a replacement cylinder or as another variation of the gun. While the cartridges will chamber, it isn’t a good idea to shoot .22 rimfires in a magnum cylinder. The .22 LR ammo may split, and wouldn’t be accurate even if they don’t.

This gun is built so well that I don’t think it could be worn out regardless of how many rounds are put through it, especially since the .22 is a low-pressure round that enhances the life of any gun chambered for it. Because the DA trigger break was so high, I did the majority of my shooting single action. I don’t possess strong hands and can’t get any accuracy shooting DA. Hitting cans is easier using single action even out to 25 yards, and better shooters will be able to extend that range, as the gun has excellent accuracy.

The sights are easy to pick up, which is always an asset when shooting or hunting in reduced light. I have chronographed many calibers in both rifles and handguns, and depending on the load and other factors, velocity is commonly from 200 to 400 feet per second faster in the long gun as the shorter barrel and flash gap reduces velocity. During my testing of the GP-100, the ammo was about 200 fps slower than from a rifle.

Making reloaded rimfire ammo isn’t worth the time, trouble and expense involved, so factory loads are your best bet. As with any gun, this one will show a preference to a specific load or loads, and there are a variety of good factory ones to test what this particular revolver likes.

A size comparison of the .22 LR cartridge (above) and the .22 rimfire Magnum.

A size comparison of the .22 LR cartridge (above) and the .22 rimfire Magnum.

I consider the .22 RF round as one of the most dangerous in existence. Because it is small, people tend to underestimate it. But it is dangerous at longer distances, and you should never shoot it at a flat surface, as it will ricochet like any other cartridge and the shooter has no control as to where it will go.

The .22 LR is a decent small game load. I have shot a lot of squirrels and rabbits with it, especially when using hollow points. The .22 is also good for training someone because the lack of both recoil and muzzle blast will not intimidate a new or younger shooter. In addition, the .22 RF remains less expensive than centerfire rounds, even though they have gone up in price in the last few years.

There are several excellent factory .22 LR rounds available, including the Gold Medal UltraMatch cartridges from Federal Premium. (FEDERAL PREMIUM)

There are several excellent factory .22 LR rounds available, including the Gold Medal UltraMatch cartridges from Federal Premium. (FEDERAL PREMIUM)

If you shop around, good deals are available, especially for 500-round bricks. Such purchases will cut down the cost on shooting and for most uses the inexpensive ammo works as well as the pricey stuff. I have shot a good amount of rimfire ammo, and the cheap stuff is nearly as accurate  as the pricey fodder, especially in  noncompetition guns.

When it comes to having fun shooting there is nothing like a .22 rimfire. It is easy on the ears and pocketbook, and a family can buy a 500 pack of ammo and shoot all day. Many shooters, including yours truly, started with a singleshot .22 rifle.

I always ask other shooters for input during a gun test, as people tend to have different preferences. For example, I have a single six with both cylinders and I prefer it for daily carry, as it is lighter and more compact. But the GP100 could be ideal for someone who shoots often because I don’t believe you can shoot it enough to wear it out. It is one rugged design, and most of the shooters I spoke with liked it.

A brick of Remington’s Thunderbolt cartridges will provide plenty of practice with the GP100. (REMINGTON)

A brick of Remington’s Thunderbolt cartridges will provide plenty of practice with the GP100. (REMINGTON)

At the conclusion of any gun test, I have the choice to either return the gun or buy it. But sometimes someone I know will purchase it if they want it, and that is exactly what happened to this gun. ASJ

The Ruger GP100 comes in a durable case.

The Ruger GP100 comes in a durable case.

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , ,

October 3rd, 2016 by asjstaff

[su_heading size=”30″]Dixie Gun Works offers Uberti’s ‘new’ Cattleman Flat-Top single action in .44/40[/su_heading]

STORY AND PHOTOS BY MIKE NESBITT

[su_dropcap style=”flat” size=”5″]B[/su_dropcap]ack in 1961, Colt allowed some announcements to leak out about a new target-sighted single action they’d soon release. At the time, I’d hoped for a return of the early flat-top target model of their famous Single Action Army, but instead, they introduced the New Frontier model. And while that is an exceptionally fine revolver, it really didn’t appeal to my oldtime, traditional tastes.

Finally, a mere 55 years later, Dixie Gun Works has added the Uberti Cattleman Flat-top to their catalog, and it was worth the wait. In addition to being historically correct, this is a six-gun built for accurate and fine shooting.

The details of that historical correctness begin with the cartridges this gun is chambered for. Currently (although things can change), the flat-top Cattleman is offered only for the .45 Colt and the .44/40. Of those two cartridges, the .45 is certainly the most common today, just as it was years ago. If all of my wishes had come true, this new gun would be offered in .44 Smith & Wesson Russian/Special too. However, with the .45 Colt and the .44/40 to choose from, one of the .44/40s was my choice.

The blue and color case hardening, combined with the excellent fit and finish, make this a beautiful gun.

The blue and color case hardening, combined with the excellent fit and finish, make this a beautiful gun.

THE MOST OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE between this target model and the standard frame guns, in addition to the flat-top frame, is the sights. At the back, the rear sight sits in a dovetail and it is easily windage adjustable, with a small set screw to lock it in place. The front sight is a blade pinned into a lug soldered to the top of the barrel. Originally, the front sight could be changed, and that should be possible on this gun too (simply drive out the pin), but a new front sight blade would have to be made.

Another feature I really like is the wide trigger. Instead of the standard narrow trigger found on most Colt Single Actions and their clones, this trigger is the same width as the trigger guard. That will give the trigger finger a much better “grip” while aiming for the shot.

Interestingly enough, in reviewing some original flattops, I discovered that not all of them had the wide triggers. Additionally, a few of the models with wide triggers had their triggers checkered. To me, that’s an interesting detail about the rare original Colts, and likewise for these rather uncommon copies.

The “flat-top” is clearly seen in this image, along with the adjustable rear sight.

The “flat-top” is clearly seen in this image, along with the adjustable rear sight.

Shooting the Flat-top in .44/40 is like shooting a very rare piece. As you may know, Colt originally made only 21 of their flat-top Single Action Army revolvers in this caliber. (Of course, that doesn’t count the 78 flat-top .44/40 Bisley Models which were also made.) Most of my shooting was done with black powder loads, but that is certainly not
a requirement. I will even admit that my best shooting was done with smokeless powdered loads.

THOSE LOADS ARE GOOD ENOUGH to mention in detail. First, the bullets used for all of my loads were cast from Lyman’s mold #427098, usually out of a soft 30-1 alloy, sized to .429 inches, and lubricated with BPC lube (Black Powder Cartridge lube from Montana Armory). Primers used were always CCI’s standard Large Pistol.

The black powder load used 33.0 grains of GOEX’s Olde Eynsford powder, which fills the Starline .44/40 cases almost to the top. Then the powder is compressed simply by seating the bullet down on it.

For a smokeless powder load, all of the above remains the same except for the powder charge. Instead of using black powder, I used a charge of 7½ grains of Unique. That is basically a recommended load, not near maximum at all, and some very comfortable shooting can be done with it. That is an accurate load too, good enough for pleasing groups and controllable enough for Cowboy competition.

This gun has the “black powder frame” with the base pin held in by a screw.

This gun has the “black powder frame” with the base pin held in by a screw.

To make load identification very easy, I load my black powder ammo in Starline’s nickel-plated cases, while the smokeless load go into standard brass cases.

Both of those loads seem to hit at about the same elevation. For my “accuracy check,” I posted a couple of pistol targets at 50 feet, and fired the flat-top from a rest. While holding the sights at 6 o’clock, right at the bottom of the black, very good hits were made, mostly in the 10 ring. The smokeless load did produce a somewhat smaller group than the black powder loads, but I only made this comparison once, and I’m certain a lot of “human element” was involved.

The trigger is as wide as the trigger guard, making this revolver very comfortable to shoot.

The trigger is as wide as the trigger guard, making this revolver very comfortable to shoot.

WHAT WAS A LOT MORE FUN, as you could probably guess, was plinking with the black powder loads. One particular small target was teasing me, and that was a clothespin hanging on a wire at a distance of 25 or 30 yards. There was a good dirt bank backstop behind it, and I could spot exactly where my shots that missed actually hit. It took me only three tries to hit that clothespin, and it disassembled quite nicely on my third shot.

AS FOR TECHNICAL INFO about the gun, the 7½-inch-long barrel is rifled with grooves .004 inch deep and a rate of twist at one turn in 20 inches. The groove diameter of the barrel is .429 inch. This gun’s front sight is a silver blade that is held with a screw in the blued steel base. The rear sight is a nice wide square notch that sits in a dovetail. It is windage adjustable and it has a set screw to hold it in place. This gun measures 13.25 inches overall, and it weighs about 2½ pounds. Dixie’s price, at this writing, is only $450.00, making this a lot of gun for the money.

Good groups! The smokeless group is on the left, and the black powder group is on the right

Good groups! The smokeless group is on the left, and the black powder group is on the right

Shooting with the Flat-top Cattleman is, for me, a real pleasure. And now, if they’ll bring back the flat-top Bisley Model, I hope my name is at the top of their list.

I also hope that I don’t have to wait another 55 years. ASJ 

It pays to enjoy your work. Here, author Mike Nesbitt grins as he fires the Uberti Cattleman .44/40 with full black powder loads. (JERRY MAYO)

It pays to enjoy your work. Here, author Mike Nesbitt grins as he fires the Uberti Cattleman .44/40 with full black powder loads. (JERRY MAYO)

 

Posted in Handguns Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

July 28th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

Taylor’s New Model #3 Frontier

 

Story and photographs by Mike Nesbitt

Mike Nesbitt

Mike Nesbitt

[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”5″]T[/su_dropcap]here are some, perhaps several shooters, who say the old Smith & Wesson New Model #3 was the finest single-action revolver ever made, and I’m certainly one of them. I have had two of the originals, both in .44 Russian, and that’s why this new copy of the original New Model #3 feels so good in my hands. Holding and shooting this version from Taylor’s & Co. is like shaking hands with an old friend.

Before telling you about this new gun, let me quickly present a little bit of S&W history. After the Russian Model #3 and the Schofield version of the Model #3 had been made, the New Model #3 was introduced in 1878. This single-action revolver proved to be fairly popular, although not as popular as their .44-caliber, top-break, double-action revolvers. S&W lengthened the #3’s cylinder from 1 and 7/16 inches to 1 and 9/16 inches, adding an eighth of an inch to the length of the cartridges that could be used. This was meant to make their revolver available for the popular .44-40 cartridge, and like Colt, they called it their Frontier version. The S&Ws in .44-40 did not prove to be as popular and several of their .44-40 single-actions and were converted back to .44 Russian. By 1908, the New Model #3 was discontinued.

New Model #3 Frontier by Taylor's and Co.

This New Model #3 Frontier by Taylor’s and Co. has a 6.5-inch barrel (5-inch versions are also available), and the cylinder is removable after taking out the screw in the top strap.

One of the best options that could be found on the original S&W New Model #3 revolvers was target sights. Instead of having the tiny rear sight on the pivot point of the top latch, the target version had a very nice rear sight on the end of the top latch just over the hammer. Moving the sight to the back or rear of the top latch increased the sighting radius by over half of an inch, and it gave the shooter a very nice flat-top rear sight with a deep notch. The rear sight on the target version is adjustable for windage by loosening the screws that hold the sight in its slot and sliding the sight to the right or left, which is quickly and easily done. The new Taylor’s version copies the original model and the easy-to-see rear sight can be appreciated all over again.

Authenticity is very important to me and the profile of this New Model #3 is very good. Taylor’s selected the .45 Colt chambering because of that cartridge’s popularity in the cowboy-action arena; however, I loudly recommend they add more caliber options. For those of you who prefer maintaining authenticity, the original New Model #3 was made on special order and chambered for the .45 S&W Schofield cartridge. In fact, in the book Smith And Wesson 1857-1945, there is a picture of an original New Model #3 with target sights and a 6½-inch barrel in .45 S&W caliber, almost a twin to the replica we’re talking about now.

PHOTO 5

Mike Nesbitt sits for a shot with black powder at a distant target. (JOHN WEGER).

Even more important than authenticity is how well a six-gun shoots, and this revolver shoots pretty well. The first loads that I tried with this Colt .45 used 32 grains (by volume) of Olde Eynsford 1-1/2F under a 235-grain bullet. With that black powder load, I quickly learned to grip the gun a little tighter because the recoil caused the gun’s trigger guard to hit my middle finger hard enough to really make it very noticeable. Also, somewhat because of my relatively loose grip, those shots went high and the sights needed to be held even lower than a typical six-o’clock hold. It took a few shots to learn where the gun was hitting, and after that hits could be counted on.

John “Sepp” Weger was my partner for most of the shooting, and for him this six-gun shot much closer to his point of aim. John is younger, a lot stronger than me and he gripped the gun more firmly, which considerably decreased the muzzle’s ability to climb.

While most of our shooting was done using black-powder loads, some tamer smokeless loads were also tried. The smokeless loads had 7.5 grains of Unique under a 250-grain bullet, a comfortable load for the Colt .45. These bullets were cast from Lyman’s old standard mould, #454190, and even though we did not chronograph this load, it was definitely good for cowboy-action shooting and general use with this Colt.

PHOTO 6

Five shots were fired across a benchrest using both hands. The sights were held at six o’clock on the bullseye and I’d say we achieved a really good group, even with the low flier that happened to go right through the X ring.

Some finer shooting could be done if the easily adjustable rear sight was moved just a touch to the right to correct the windage, but an even bigger improvement would be to give this gun a better trigger pull. While Uberti is known for making fine guns, they really do need to tone down their springs a bit. This Colt has a very stiff trigger pull which simply must be fixed. This is my only critical remark.

PHOTO 1In addition to asking for softer springs and a lighter trigger pull, I will not hesitate to ask Taylor’s to follow a bit more in S&W’s footsteps and release this revolver in .44-40 caliber as well as .44 S&W Russian, or even .44 Special. Adding those chamberings, in my opinion, would increase the options for buyers to select from, and that could only increase this revolver’s popularity. I will conclude my begging by saying I hope their first New Model #3 Frontier made in .44-40 comes to me. ASJ

Author’s note: If you are ready to own a perfect replica of history that you can pick up for about $1,053, visit Taylor’s & Co. at taylorsfirearms.com.

Posted in Black Powder Tagged with: , , , ,