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Guns of the Old West

Guns of the Old West

Summer 2021

Guns of the Old West is for the tens of thousands of Americans involved in our fastest growing shooting sport, Cowboy Action Shooting, the Old West is as alive today as it ever was, and especially so in any number of competition shooting matches East and West,

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United States
Athlon Media Group
$5.17(Incl. tax)
$12.96(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

1 min
thank you

I have been involved with Guns Of The Old West for more than 22 years as of this writing. I have seen writers come and go; some were missed and others were a blessing to bid farewell. Senior Contributing Editor Dennis Adler is always a pleasure to work with. Some might not know this, but Dennis was the editorial director at Car Collector magazine. He has also authored more than 34 books that should find their way to any Old West aficionado’s coffee table. With his background and knowledge, he made an exceedingly awesome contributor to Guns Of The Old West. Of course, we didn’t know any of this when we were first introduced. Some 16 years ago, Harry Kane, the previous editor of Guns Of The Old West, received a…

5 min
kemosabi’s six-gun

Cowboy Fast Draw (CFD) is where the action is at in handgun competition today. But 20 years ago it was but a dream of founder Brad Hemmah. Brad founded CFD when he created the Cowboy Fast Draw Association as a limited liability company (LLC) in Deadwood, South Dakota, in 2002. At the time, Brad was the manager of the First Gold Hotel and Casino (now First Gold Gaming Resort) in Deadwood. The place is so named because the first discovery of gold in what became Deadwood was just across the street from the hotel. Brad had hosted—and First Gold sponsored—the World Fast Draw Association (WFDA) World Blank Elimination Championship for a decade. During that time, many changes to the WFDA rules of competition had changed the sport to where Brad was…

9 min
el malo 2

SOMETIMES IT’S OKAY TO STRAY A BIT from the original blueprints. A multitude of single-action revolvers have been patterned after the Single Action Army since Colt first introduced it in 1873, some more and some less true to the original design. Apart from the large-frame single-actions I use strictly for hunting, I pre- prefer my Model P-style revolvers to stay fairly close to the real deal, especially when it comes to their dimensions. After all, we’re talking about a handgun design that, despite approaching 150 years in age, still points gun more naturally than just about any handgun ever produced produced. At the same time, I have to admit that I’m always attracted to a model that is more distinct, something special that stands out from the crowd. I think I’ve found…

11 min
hey barkeep

SHORT-BARRELED HANDGUNS have always been the preferred ordnance for fighting in close confines. A number of lawmen, gunslingers, outlaws, gamblers and businessmen in the Old West era were more than aware of this, and many had survived practical applications. During that time, Colt’s Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Company took special orders for their revolvers, and some buyers seemed to prefer short barrels. In 1882, Colt shipped out a regular-production Single Action Army (SAA) revolver that had a 2½-inch barrel with no ejector rod affixed to said barrel, as was usually the case. More of these revolvers were made, with additional barrel lengths including 3 and 3½ inches. These SAA variations were given no particular moniker, but came to be called Sheriff’s, Storekeeper’s or Shopkeeper’s models. Making a full-sized handgun more compact for…

8 min
classic .44 mag

Some READERS WILL FIND IT INTERESTING THAT A “replica” firearms company actually dates back to 1889. Rossi is definitely not one of the new kids in town. The Brazilian company is probably best known for making their version of Winchester’s famous Model 1892 in various configurations, but they also make several rimfire rifles, a single-shot .410 shotgun and a revolver carbine in .45 Colt/.410. I bought my first Rossi more than 25 years ago, a short-barreled saddle-ring carbine with a big loop lever, à la John Wayne and Chuck Connors. And yes, I did practice cocking it one-handed the way they did—only when it was unloaded, I might add. It was chambered in .357 Magnum, and if my memory is correct it had a puma’s head on the receiver. Like so…

10 min
cap-n-ball colt’s 1860 army

Interestingly, OF ALL THE VARIOUS COLT handguns manufactured, little is known of the development of their third-most-produced percussion revolver, the Model 1860 Army. Suffice it to say that being the astute businessman that Col. Samuel Colt was—and considering his close relationship with the military hierarchy—it’s obvious that he understood the faults some Army officers found with his guns. Those who liked the heavy .44 Dragoon Colt were pleased with that arm’s ability to deliver a powerful punch, though they were less than enamored with its excessive weight and bulk. On the other hand, those who preferred the 1851 Navy’s light weight, good balance and ease of handling desired more power than that six-gun’s .36-caliber load could offer. Charles W. Pate, author of the excellent study, The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver, after…