Colt Buntline???


July 23, 2003, 10:36 AM
Colt Buntline Scout in .22LR with one hell of a long barrel.............why?
Worth holding on to?
Just another target plinker?

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Old Fuff
July 23, 2003, 10:53 AM
According to legend Ned Buntline, an early (1870’s) writer of Western fiction, presented a number of Dodge City lawmen with special Colt revolvers with extra-long barrels and detachable shoulder stocks. One of these lawman was Wyatt Earp. Earp’s biographer, Stuart Lake named them “Buntline Special’s.” If there ever were such guns is a subject of hot debate. However during the 1950’s resurrection of Westerns on TV, a program called “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp” (or some-such) recreated some interest in the “Buntline’s” and Colt put out some full-sized .45’s as well as smaller .22’s to cash in on the market.

As a practical matter, as a shooter, these guns are accurate, but harder too hold without disturbing one’s aim. If you can do it they will probably be a tack driver. If you can’t then so far as hand-held accuracy is concerned they aren’t any better then the same revolver with a shorter barrel. They do have some modest collector’s value which will probably increase over time.

Jim March
July 23, 2003, 12:33 PM
On the plus side, that's ONE way to get 22LR to perform well out of a handgun! Drive the suckers out of a 12" tube :D. Many of the Colt rimfire SAs had a second cylinder in 22Mag and whoa, the better ones'll haul butt out of 12".

July 23, 2003, 07:23 PM
I started handgun shooting with a buntline scout in 1959 or 60. Very easy to shoot and I killed a boxcar full of small game with it. Won a few local turkey shoots too. I never had a speck of trouble with it but having read that the trigger/bolt springs were prone to break ( a friends did), I changed this part out pretty frequently. There is no telling how many bricks of .22s went through this gun.

As to the legend. They are unable to find any records of Ned Buntline's revolvers but one reference says that Bill Tilgman cut his off to ejector rod lenght as soon as buntline gave it to him. It's a shame that Tilman left no records about it as you would be able to trust anything he said on the matter.

July 23, 2003, 07:41 PM
Something about the buntline appealed to Charles Manson. He owned one and it was used by Tex Watson at the Sharon Tate murders. After Watson ran out of bullets, he used it as a club.

July 23, 2003, 08:07 PM
I could see using it as a light weight club......barrel is so long after all.
It does seem pretty accurate. I took it to the range a few days ago, shot it last, after my P225 and Colt .38 Super so it sounded VERY quiet and basically no recoil. PITA to load though since the cylinder doesn't appear to swing out. (unless I'm not doing it right)

Jim March
July 23, 2003, 09:07 PM
It's a single-action revolver, so yes, reloading is slow :).

You open the loading gate at the right rear area of the frame, and use the ejector rod under the barrel to press empties out one by one. Lesse, it's a Colt, so I'm assuming the loading gate won't open unless you half-cock the hammer. But I'm not 100% sure about the 22 Colts.

The other option is to pull the cylinder completely out, push the empties out with a straightened paperclip or something if they don't drop free, reload it, and put it back in loaded.

While this reloading drill is a pain, the upside is that the cylinder is locked tight into the frame with no crane, so accuracy can be theoretically higher. The most accurate revolvers in the world are single action. Freedom Arms has a new mid-frame 22 SA (model 97 frame) that has been repeatedly tested by independent evaluators of multiple guns as being capable of MOA. Sub-1" groups at 100 *yards*. No DA can match that.

Your Colt Buntline 22 may come close, with very good ammo that the gun likes.


WHOA, another thing: that sucker ain't got a safety!!! OK, listen closely: if you load it six-up and carry it that way, any impact to the hammer will set it off. It's exactly like an 1873-model Colt SAA in that regard.

So what you do is, you load five rounds, and make sure the *empty* cylinder is the one under the hammer during carry. When you cock it, a live round will roll into battery.

There's a drill to do this, but I've only read about it so I hope somebody else will chime in. IF the drill is the same as an SAA, and it probably is, you half-cock it, open the loading gate, completely unload the empties. Then, starting with an empty cylinder, the drill is "load one, skip one, load four". If I have that right, that will put an empty under the hammer (which you then lower from half-cock).

Can anybody who wrangles old-school SAs confirm that for me? And can we confirm that the Colt 22s had the same operations drill as an SAA?

Because if this guy is surprised at how they reload, he didn't understand about the safety issues until just now. I *know* for a fact that thing has no safety, I'm just not sure the drill to put it in a safe five-up-carry, empty-under-hammer state.

RepublicanMan: you should know that Ruger SAs produced since 1972 have a transfer-bar safety so they CAN be carried safely six-up. EAA single actions do too. Freedom Arms uses a transfer bar on the 97s, and a "semi-safety" on the 83s. But the Colts (other than the crappy "Cowboy" model) and most of the various Italian SAs (Colt/Remington copies, etc.) are "safe to carry with five only" like your critter.

The point here is that guns that look like yours don't always operate internally like yours. It's rather critical that you know how this all works if you're going to shoot an SA revolver.

The *advantage* in having a "no safety" gun like yours is that the trigger pull is usually better...the trigger doesn't have to operate a safety mechanism. The guns ARE safe so long as you understand them, pay very careful attention to muzzle direction during loading/unloading, and do the five-shot-carry drill religiously. The only safety on that gun is between your ears and it's quite adequate SO LONG AS you understand that critter.

July 23, 2003, 09:15 PM
Thanks Jim,

the only time this thing will see ammo however is on the range, definitely not something I would ever consider carrying. Even then, it will only be loaded immediately prior to firing and then only if I'm firing from a bench. To be quite honest I don't much care for the pistol but it was left to my wife by her father when he passed away so it's definitely a keeper. We just wanted more info on it.

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