Colt lawman, half trigger guard?


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BigShep85
August 27, 2012, 08:27 AM
Found one locally and really liked it, it is unique. Has the half trigger guard. Anybody have information on these? I am not a colt guy so I don't know much about why it had half a trigger guard or anything like that. Help0 me out please:uhoh:

Thanks

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Quoheleth
August 27, 2012, 08:56 AM
It's probably someone's rendition of what was called a Fitz special. Back in the 'Day, there was a fellow at the Colt factory by the name of FitzGerald. He was one of their custom 'smiths, and that became his "thing" - a half trigger guard and may or may not include a hammer bob - on Colt Detective Specials.

The American Rifleman had an article on Fitz specials this summer - http://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/the-fitz-special/

There are more copies of Fitz specials than genuine articles, so don't go thinking you're getting some rare gun. In all honesty, removing the trigger guard was an old-school practice no longer in favor with almost any gun-savvy person.

Q

SaxonPig
August 27, 2012, 09:50 AM
I call such guns paperweights. It's sad how many nice revolvers have been butchered into worthlessness this way.

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 10:32 AM
BigShep

You may want to take a moment and read through this thread http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=656956&highlight=fitz
Not only for the good information, but for the debate.

Please note that the main players were SaxonPig and Old Fuff.

In my never-so-humble-opinion they are both intelligent, experienced and worthy of respect. I enjoy their debates when this subject comes up.

My opinion? I understand Saxon's opinion as I love classic revolvers. Before they were classics, some very smart and experienced people endorsed the Fitz conversion. Were I to pocket carry I might, as Saxon might suggest "go to the dark side" and "mutilate an otherwise good gun." But I would not use a pristine old gun.

As I usually carry on the waistband, I have no need for a Fitz save the curiosity (or abomination, depending on your opinion)

Sam1911
August 27, 2012, 10:44 AM
Sounds like someone did a one-off custom job and "Fitz'd" a Lawman. Unless the work was done by a very well-known gunsmith, and you have the paperwork to prove it, the gun is worth quite a bit less than it would otherwise be.

The Fitz Special occupies an special place in early 20th century gun history, and has a certain cachet with gangster/prohibition-era flavor. If you have a fedora and a trench coat, and a double-breasted pinstripe suit, it may be the perfect accessory. :)

On the other hand, there are some clear drawbacks to the idea and modern defensive pistol-craft has passed the concept by.

Unfortunately, your trooper is of entirely the wrong era for even an "authentic" reproduction of a Fitz Special. And the modification is not readily fixable. At least not without spending more than the gun is worth for a smith to weld up the butchered guard and refinish the gun.

I might STILL buy it, if it was otherwise in great shape, but I'd probably not spend more than a $150 on it.

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 12:17 PM
An opinion would be sounder if a photograph was available.

Mr. FitzGerald was much more then a gunsmith at Colt during the years between the two World Wars. He was in fact a member of the company's executive staff, and an important one who was instrumental in helping pull the company through the Great Depression.

His “Fitz Special” design was intended to be used on revolvers carried in a pocket – pants or coat – and the purpose of cutting away the front of the trigger guard was to allow one to get their finger on the trigger in the confined space of a pocket, and to reduce bulk. Contrary to what some say today it was not unsafe, and it did buy a user a fraction of a second under circumstances where such fractions could mean the difference between life and death.

Because the design is not in favor today, Fitz-modified guns generally sell for much less then the same revolver that has not been changed. An exception to the rule are those that were made at the Colt factory, which command some very high prices.

You need to decide if the feature is something you like or don’t, and how you would use or carry it, while keeping in mind that some Great Depression era gunfighters thought it was an "edge giver," and if the price being ask is low enough to be attractive considering the circumstances.

BigShep85
August 27, 2012, 12:32 PM
The price is high, I feel. Especially since I am more of a s&w fan. It's a .357

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 12:36 PM
Sorry Saxon...but I kind of like it

:evil:

awfully big for pocket carry though

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 12:44 PM
What you have there is sort of a "half-Fitz." For most people the revolver is to large and heavy for pants pocket carry, and in most coat pockets the stocks are too large and it might be necessary to bob the hammer. The only way to tell would be to put on a coat and experiment drawing the unloaded gun.

I think the seller is going to have a hard time moving it in today's market. I would pass unless the price became much more attractive. To a degree it might depend on where you lived, and how many months of the year you wore a heavy coat with deep pockets.

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 12:49 PM
Being a Texan, where the winters are non existent 2 out of 3 years, I can see a D-Frame Fritz (or 1/2 Fritz).

(I know not traditional, but more practical in this climate)

Jim K
August 27, 2012, 12:49 PM
Many things done back when would be considered horrible today. I have a film (remember film) someplace of me drawing a Combat Magnum out of a Bucheimer Federal Man holster. The holster allows full exposure of the trigger guard and my finger is on the trigger as I draw. Worse, the hammer is half way back when the gun is at a 45 degree angle and falls as the sights come on target.

If I did that today on a police range, I would be thrown out so fast I would bounce. I think modern training is to never draw the gun unless fired on and never touch the trigger until you have been hit by at least six bullets. All in the name of "safety" and avoiding lawsuits from the bad guys.

Jim

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 12:56 PM
I think modern training is to never draw the gun unless fired on and never touch the trigger until you have been hit by at least six bullets.

they didn't get the memo in NY :neener:

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 01:08 PM
Being a Texan, where the winters are non existent 2 out of 3 years, I can see a D-Frame Fritz (or 1/2 Fritz).

FitzGerald himself favored a pair of cut-down .45 New Service models, but in his day pants tended to be on the baggy side. Colt's records indicate that the most popular platform was the .38 Detective Special, followed by the Official Police. I once converted a .38 Police Positive and in my view it made a great pocket gun, as the frame and cylinder were about 1/4" shorter then the Detective Special.

Jim K. might be interested to know that Bill Jordan also started his double-action trigger pull as soon as the muzzle was pointed down range, and maybe a little before.

Just to cause heart failure among our more "modern school tactical members" I must point out that Colt all so filled some special orders and cut off the entire trigger guard on .45 Government Model pistols. :evil:

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 01:13 PM
Colt all so filled some special orders and cut off the entire trigger guard on .45 Government Model pistols.

the hammer is locked back and there is a grip safety. How much safety do you need?

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 01:18 PM
I will speculate that the individuals who placed the orders had big hands or fingers, and wore gloves in the Winter. At least one person who packed such a pistol was a Capt. in the Texas Rangers. :what:

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 01:25 PM
had big hands or fingers, and wore gloves

that would make the trigger guard modification more practical

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 01:38 PM
Fuffster

As I am sure that you have read Fitz' book "shooting".

What is your opinion of it?

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 02:08 PM
Yes Indeed! It's a valuable resource for those who are interested in Colt's made during the 1920's and 1930's. It also goes into law enforcement theory and training of those times - which some consider to be totally obsolete, but I'm not one of them. Covers bullseye target shooting techniques as it was done during that era. Fundementals are still the same today. Last but not least the author expains the "Fitz Special."

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 02:48 PM
It's a valuable resource

any other valuable resources you want to recommend?

CraigC
August 27, 2012, 02:51 PM
I would never build one, nor would I consider them "paperweights" or "butchery" but I think they are pretty cool. I place the originals in the same class as those built by R.F. Sedgeley and others under the direction of Elmer Keith and Harold Croft. Because I also do not labor under the notion that everything shooters want and need comes from the factory.

CraigC
August 27, 2012, 03:00 PM
You didn't ask me but here is a quick list I compiled and posted on another forum.

Hunting for Handgunners by JD Jones and Larry Kelly.
Handgun Hunting by Mark Hampton.
Taffin's books.
Sixguns by Elmer Keith (now back in print in the 1961 version).
Shooting by Fitzgerald.
Fast & Fancy Revolver Shooting by Ed McGivern.
The Art of Handgun Shooting by Charles Askins.
The Ultimate Guide to Handgun Hunting by Clair Rees is decent.
Textbook of Pistols & Revolvers by Julian Hatcher.
Big Bore Revolvers by Max Prasac (a new one).

Ross Seyfried REALLY needs to do a book or two or three!!!

I'll add Dennis Adler's books on Colt's and cartridge conversions. There are several. Bruce McDowell's book on cartridge conversions if you're serious about them, it doesn't run cheap. Mine was a steal at $70. Then there's the whole R.L. Wilson library. He's in jail, those are cheap but excellent. I have a bunch, including 80 or so leatherbound editions. It's all just a matter of how thirsty you are for information and how much you're willing to invest, time and money.

I urge anyone reading this not to learn everything you know about guns, shooting and hunting from the internet.

Here's a good discussion with lots of old hands throwing in.

http://singleactions.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=sas&action=display&thread=3921

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 03:09 PM
thank you CraigC

I am constantly looking to learn and always appreciate your input

These Fitz threads are always fun as they speak of a different time

CraigC
August 27, 2012, 03:13 PM
These Fitz threads are always fun as they speak of a different time
That's why I like them. :)

CraigC
August 27, 2012, 05:22 PM
This picture was taken at a Texas Ranger museum in San Antonio. I think the owner's name should speak for itself. ;)

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/miscellaneous/large/IMG_9505b.jpg

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 05:29 PM
I had forgotten about Harrison.

Guess he got overshadowed in my memory by his famous brother.

Bikewer
August 27, 2012, 05:34 PM
Bill Jordan, author of No Second Place Winner, favored a "relieved" trigger guard on his duty revolvers. The forward section is reduced in width by about half.
This for fast-draw purposes, not pocket carry.

Dr.Rob
August 27, 2012, 05:43 PM
Needs wood grips. The price would have to be right.

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 05:57 PM
The price would have to be right.

that is for sure

Old Fuff
August 27, 2012, 07:57 PM
Bill Jordan, author of No Second Place Winner, favored a "relieved" trigger guard on his duty revolvers. The forward section is reduced in width by about half. This for fast-draw purposes, not pocket carry.

Bill had big paws. In fact the rest of him was just plain big too! No trigger guard was too big for him, and the slimming helped.

That, and the Border Patrol was not too keen about cut-away trigger guards on revolvers carried on duty. :uhoh:

oldbear
August 27, 2012, 09:05 PM
The price is high, I feel.

Then keep looking for a revolver that meets you liking. remember if you buy you probably will not learn to love it.

Guillermo
August 27, 2012, 09:16 PM
a fitz would have to be referred to as a "gat" or a "heater"

VA27
August 27, 2012, 10:06 PM
Many things done back when would be considered horrible today. I have a film (remember film) someplace of me drawing a Combat Magnum out of a Bucheimer Federal Man holster. The holster allows full exposure of the trigger guard and my finger is on the trigger as I draw. Worse, the hammer is half way back when the gun is at a 45 degree angle and falls as the sights come on target.

If I did that today on a police range, I would be thrown out so fast I would bounce. I think modern training is to never draw the gun unless fired on and never touch the trigger until you have been hit by at least six bullets. All in the name of "safety" and avoiding lawsuits from the bad guys. :barf:

Jim

That's the way I learned it in the academy, 'bucket and string' holster and point shooting up close. The sights were for the 25 and 50 yard line.

And you wouldn't bounce, you'd skip like a flat rock across a pond!:D

Coop45
August 27, 2012, 10:20 PM
Hmmmm!! A Fitz looks like something that would be a good carry when traveling by motorcycle.

SaxonPig
August 28, 2012, 09:41 AM
Jordan was 6'6" and had enormous hands. He actually needed the thinned trigger guard. Most mortals do not. The cut away guard is dangerous as it makes weapon retention a problem. If a crook grabs the gun he will likely get it from you. It makes the gun more likely to be dropped. You shove one of these butchered guns into a holster and it is much more likely to catch the exposed trigger and discharge.

S&W and Colt made revolvers 150 years ago with no guards. Note that they quickly discontinued such designs. The did so for good reason.

A revolver so modified is dangerous. It's crippled. In my opinion it's ugly.

And absolutely worthless...

Guillermo
August 28, 2012, 11:54 AM
much more likely to catch the exposed trigger and discharge.

this is true.

notice he said "more likely"

This is a possibility with any revolver. I have gotten shirt tail in my holster and had the trigger come back.

Because of that it is important to keep your thumb on the hammer when you holster a gun, modified or not.

CraigC
August 28, 2012, 12:01 PM
On my K-frames with the wide target trigger, the trigger is wider than the triggerguard anyway. So I can't imagine a thinned triggerguard coupled with a thin combat trigger to be any worse.

Old Fuff
August 28, 2012, 12:01 PM
The cut away guard is dangerous as it makes weapon retention a problem. If a crook grabs the gun he will likely get it from you. It makes the gun more likely to be dropped. You shove one of these butchered guns into a holster and it is much more likely to catch the exposed trigger and discharge.

Gee!!! Maybe I should go hide under the bed! Fact is, these are answers looking for a question. Even though the number of Fitz conversions was limited, there is no record of the catastrophic incidents you bring up actually occurring in practice rather then theory. It should be obvious that neither Colt nor others would have continued to make a revolver with a cut-away guard if repeated reports from the field described what you propose was the case.

S&W and Colt made revolvers 150 years ago with no guards. Note that they quickly discontinued such designs. They did so for good reason.

They did indeed, and they were very popular. They had one thing in common however, in that they were all single-action designed, and you had to cock the hammer before they could be fired. They went out of favor when double-action revolvers replaced them that required a long trigger travel, not because they were unsafe.

A revolver so modified is dangerous.

Doesn’t seem to be any real evidence to show this was (or is) the case, just speculation on the part of its critics.

It's crippled.

Why so? Especially when its used in the context it was supposed to be?

In my opinion it's ugly.

The men that used or indorsed them didn’t give a hoot about ugly. When it came to shootings and gunfights they had “been there and done that,” and they were interested in anything that might or would give them an edge in a very risky business. When I was much younger, and therefore knew everything there was to know… :uhoh: I ask Charlie Askins (who was very experienced when it came to gun fighting, “If cutting away the front of the trigger guard (which he customarly did) wasn’t dangerous?” He looked me up and down for a minute, and I got a distinct feeling he was considering if answering such a dumb question was worth the trouble, and then he replied…

“If you ever get in a fight and survive, (he seemed to think I wouldn’t) you will quickly discover that there are a lot of things that are far more dangerous then a cut-away trigger guard.”

And absolutely worthless...

Men like Askins, Rex Applegate and William Fairbairn didn’t think so, and neither did many of Mr. FitzGerald’s contemporaries who were well known in law enforcement and military service circles. If you think otherwise that’s your privilege, but it doesn’t change the facts or history concerning its use.

CraigC
August 28, 2012, 12:16 PM
Fact is, these are answers looking for a question.
I agree. I think some folks just get it in their minds that something is dangerous or unsafe. Despite facts to the contrary.


Men like Askins, Rex Applegate and William Fairbairn didn’t think so, and neither did many of Mr. FitzGerald’s contemporaries who were well known in law enforcement and military service circles.
And they were real gunfighters.


Of course, some folks just don't like modification of a factory revolver in any way. Especially something no longer in production. I can't count the number of times I've heard a Ruger collector or purist use the word "butchered" in reference to a custom Old Model Blackhawk, no matter how much better it was than in its original form.

Guillermo
August 28, 2012, 12:25 PM
That Askins, Rex Applegate and William Fairbairn found value in the Fitz is a very strong argument of which I do not see an adequate response unless they later changed their minds.

Old Fuff
August 28, 2012, 01:00 PM
When I knew Askins his gunfighting days were well over, and he was retired. His current favorite was a S&W model 39/9mm pistol - and the trigger guard was cut away. I don't think he'd changed his mind one bit!

In later life Rex Applegate prefered Smith & Wesson revolvers, apparently J-frame snubbies and a 2 1/2" model 19. Because of the location of the mousetrap spring that tensions the cylinder stop, neither was (or is) a good candidate for a Fitz conversion. At least part of the time he carried them in upside-down shoulder holsters. I know because I have the holsters.

Fairbairn much prefered pistols over revolvers, but in discussing revolvers he intentionally showed a Fitz Special in a shoulder holster. It was in fact, identical to the outfit FitzGerald set Charles Lindbergh up with after his baby-son was kidnapped and killed.

SaxonPig
August 28, 2012, 03:15 PM
Old Fuff- Laugh off the possibility of a struggle over the gun if you like, it does happen and it's NOT that rare of an occurrence.

Dismiss the safety issues if you like. The fact is such a butchered gun is more dangerous to the user and to bystanders.

Seems to me the butchered gun is an unwanted answer looking for a problem to address. I have yet to see any evidence offered that the butchered gun is superior in any way.

I don't really care about how many guys 80 years ago thought a butchered gun was the cat's pajamas. They were wrong. This misguided craze started because Fitz thought the cut away guard was different and looked cool. People thought Fitz was cool so his gun had to be cool and they wanted to be cool, too.

You and everyone else have my blessings to carry such a butchered gun if you choose. I would rather not do anything so foolish.

1911Tuner
August 28, 2012, 04:44 PM
The "Fitz" modifications were purpose-driven...made by and for men who weren't concerned in the least with future collector or resale value or originality, or even safety...but who were keenly concerned with staying alive. Men who carried the guns through their front doors with full knowledge that there was a pretty decent chance that they'd have to shoot to live before the day was over.

These men would remove anything that stood even a small chance of slowing them down, or modify anything that would give them even a fraction of a second's edge in getting the gun involved in the fray. A trigger guard that could catch a fingernail was eliminated or radically thinned. A hammer spur that could catch on clothing was gone.

Because many of them had been there and done that, and they came to understand that a 10th of a second could easily make the difference...and often did. Those who hadn't could see that these so-called "butcher jobs" made sense in the real world.

Men who...if we're smart...we pay heed to, and at least consider that they probably know something about surviving a sudden, lethal attack that most of us will hopefully never discover.

Guillermo
August 28, 2012, 06:34 PM
Of course Saxon is right that the trigger guard can help with retention

how likely such to be an issue? Not very often.


is the modified (or "butchered") gun more dangerous?

Let's look at how
the trigger is more exposed from the front which is only an issue if another object pushes it on accident.
a small amount of training will minimize or eliminate this problem

Not having a trigger guard to rest your finger on when not prepared to shoot would require a bit of adaption for me. I would have to lay my finger on the frame.
Still, not an insurmountable issue.

Any other issues?

1911Tuner
August 28, 2012, 07:44 PM
Not having a trigger guard to rest your finger on when not prepared to shoot would require a bit of adaption for me. I would have to lay my finger on the frame.

The point of those modifications was based on the assumption that the man who carried it would be firing as soon as the gun cleared leather...or his pocket because the negotiation part of the confrontation was a ship that had already sailed.

Guillermo
August 28, 2012, 08:05 PM
The point of those modifications was based on the assumption that the man who carried it would be firing as soon as the gun cleared leather...or his pocket because the negotiation part of the confrontation was a ship that had already sailed.

Perhaps

But it is still a gun and they have more uses other than quick draw.

Even in a gunfight one might be behind cover and not shooting at that moment.

Jaymo
August 28, 2012, 09:05 PM
Why u beez hatin' on da Fitzez?

Guillermo
August 28, 2012, 09:30 PM
Jaymo,

I ain't hatin' on em'

SaxonPig, on the other hand...

:eek:

Old Fuff
August 28, 2012, 10:28 PM
Returning to Charles Askins…

His major concern was how long it might take him to get it done, when he decided it was time to shoot, rather then worry about what was happening when he didn’t have to. He was also not a fan of delayed decision-making in the face of hostilities. That he opined, could get him killed, and no one was more concerned about this then himself.

The Fitz Special was nothing more or less then a tool made for the specific purpose of keeping one alive in lethal circumstances. It was used by some experienced individuals for the intended purpose, and ignored or rejected by others. To my knowledge it was never an issued duty weapon, but was freely chosen by those who carried and used it. Without question some of them had backgrounds that made them knowledgeable authorities on the subject, and what they chose and why, should not be easily dismissed. Today in some circles the Fitz Special has become “politically incorrect” and shunned. It is however no less affective then it originally was, just out of favor. If nothing else they make an interesting conversation piece.

CraigC
August 29, 2012, 12:37 AM
Men who...if we're smart...we pay heed to, and at least consider that they probably know something about surviving a sudden, lethal attack that most of us will hopefully never discover.
Very well put!

I think the biggest difference between now and then is 80yrs of lawyers lining up to protect us from ourselves.

Cocked & Locked
August 29, 2012, 01:37 AM
I love Fitz threads!

ColtPythonElite
August 29, 2012, 02:03 AM
About 200 bucks would be top of the mark on that gun for me....I understand the Fitz theory, but that gun is too big for pocket carry anyway.

Guillermo
August 29, 2012, 02:21 AM
CPE is right on the mark

now if were a Police Positive Special

Hmmm

http://spuddybuddies.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/smiley3.jpg

ColtPythonElite
August 29, 2012, 02:32 AM
If it were a PP wearing ivory grips, I'd have in my pocket right now.

Edarnold
August 29, 2012, 02:38 AM
Many things done back when would be considered horrible today. I have a film (remember film) someplace of me drawing a Combat Magnum out of a Bucheimer Federal Man holster. The holster allows full exposure of the trigger guard and my finger is on the trigger as I draw. Worse, the hammer is half way back when the gun is at a 45 degree angle and falls as the sights come on target.

If I did that today on a police range, I would be thrown out so fast I would bounce. I think modern training is to never draw the gun unless fired on and never touch the trigger until you have been hit by at least six bullets. All in the name of "safety" and avoiding lawsuits from the bad guys.

Jim
And I suppose you are going to tell us that you fired that pistol with One Hand! And that you actually hit what you were shooting at.
When today Everybody knows that handguns are only to be fired when held with both hands, lest the ghost of Jeff rise up and smite them. Actually, doesn't that mean they should be called 'handsguns'?
At least tell us that after breaking the laws of Nature with your scofflaw technique, you at least brought the gun up to high ready under your chin and looked to the left and right, thereby satisfying the rules of Modern Technique by imitating a squirrel eating a peanut...

splithoof
August 29, 2012, 03:10 AM
Last time I saw one of those (some years ago) it was riding a conveyor belt up to the smelter door....don't know how old it was, but it looked to be a big old Colt of some kind. Now it's been fashioned into rebar for some project in Los Angeles.

Edarnold
August 29, 2012, 03:15 AM
Old Fuff wrote:
In later life Rex Applegate prefered Smith & Wesson revolvers, apparently J-frame snubbies and a 2 1/2" model 19. Because of the location of the mousetrap spring that tensions the cylinder stop, neither was (or is) a good candidate for a Fitz conversion. At least part of the time he carried them in upside-down shoulder holsters. I know because I have the holsters.

Those holsters sound like the Berns-Martin clamshell rig I had for an Airweight Bodyguard back in the 60's. Invisible under a jacket and lightning fast to draw. And, of course, no longer made because everything we have today is so much better...

2DREZQ
August 29, 2012, 04:08 AM
Last time I saw one of those (some years ago) it was riding a conveyor belt up to the smelter door....don't know how old it was, but it looked to be a big old Colt of some kind. Now it's been fashioned into rebar for some project in Los Angeles.
Thanks a lot. You made me barf all over my keyboard! (j/k)

Just me, but I don't like the way it looks. I am NOT going to argue with Charles Askins, dead or alive, however!

I don't see how such a trigger guard could speed me up by even a fraction of a second, and I hope I never find out.

1911Tuner
August 29, 2012, 05:55 AM
Perhaps

But it is still a gun and they have more uses other than quick draw.

Nope. These revolvers had a singular purpose, and they were often backups to their general purpose sidearms...for those moments when Plan A goes to hell and fractions of seconds could easily mean the difference between going home upright, or going to the morgue on a gurney. The "Fitz" modifications were generally meant for hideout guns.

I don't see how such a trigger guard could speed me up by even a fraction of a second, and I hope I never find out.

It wasn't about speeding up. It was about eliminating anything that could slow him down or cause a fouled draw.

Da Fuff said:

His major concern was how long it might take him to get it done, when he decided it was time to shoot, rather then worry about what was happening when he didn’t have to.

And there it is. When one of these men reached for the gun, shooting the man in front of them was a foregone conclusion.

I love Fitz threads!

Me too. So many look at those modifications and can't wrap their heads around the very practical reasons for them.

Old Fuff
August 29, 2012, 11:36 AM
I understand the Fitz theory, but that gun is too big for pocket carry anyway.

See if you can find some old photographs, or even better - movie footage - taken during the 1920's and 30's and pay attention to the "baggy look" of the suit styles. Then you may understand how FitzGerald could on occasion carry not one, but a pair of cut-down .45 New Service revolvers, that represented the largest frame that Colt made.

While it does nothing about the weight (even though Fitz had special leather holsters sewed into the pants pockets) the removal of the trigger guard at the front does noticeably reduce the bulk, regardless of frame size although it it more apparent in the larger ones.

Old Fuff
August 29, 2012, 11:41 AM
If it were a PP wearing ivory grips, I'd have in my pocket right now.

It works well, or at least I found that to be the case when I made one using a .38 Police Positive as the basic platform. Didn't have ivory stocks though. :(

ColtPythonElite
August 29, 2012, 05:37 PM
Trouble is I don't wear baggy suits from the 30's...

Guillermo
August 29, 2012, 07:21 PM
Trouble is I don't wear baggy suits from the 30's...

but you would look so fetching

Old Fuff
August 29, 2012, 07:38 PM
fetching

Fetching...???????? :uhoh:

Guillermo
August 29, 2012, 07:45 PM
fetching [ˈfɛtʃɪŋ]
adj Informal
1. attractively befitting a fetching hat
2. charming a fetching personality
fetchingly adv

Cocked & Locked
August 29, 2012, 08:05 PM
"fetching"...I knew what that meant in the context it was used. Showing my age I guess.:scrutiny:

ColtPythonElite
August 29, 2012, 10:05 PM
I knew what "fetching" meant and don't think I'm all that old.

Guillermo
August 29, 2012, 10:24 PM
Old Fuff didn't and he is old.

Still broken up from when his pet triceratops died.

Old Fuff
August 29, 2012, 11:53 PM
Still broken up from when his pet triceratops died.

Indeed (SNIFF) You have no idea what I've gone through trying to find another one... (SOB!!) :D

Jim Watson
August 30, 2012, 12:10 AM
my finger is on the trigger as I draw. Worse, the hammer is half way back when the gun is at a 45 degree angle and falls as the sights come on target.

I was once signed up for a class with a professional trainer/gunsmith who teaches "prepping the trigger" on his favorite brand of DA/SA autopistol. The practice is deprecated in most circles, but it is still done in some. I didn't make it to the class and now think I am better off without that technique. Doesn't work too well with a 1911 or even a Plastic M&P, which are my preferred pistols.


I think it was Elmer Keith who pointed out that one incentive for Mr Fitzgerald to put a lot of thought and work into pocket pistols was his wife. She liked jewelry and she liked to go out on the town and show it off. Elmer wrote that when they were out together, Fitz was always seen with one hand or the other in his pocket.

murdoc rose
August 30, 2012, 12:22 AM
While it does kill its value as a collectable,if it was done well I wouldn't mind bringing one home.

Guillermo
August 30, 2012, 12:55 AM
You have no idea what I've gone through trying to find another one... (SOB!!)

John Hammond can hook u up.

(curator at Jurrasic Park)



(did Fuff call me an SOB?)

Old Fuff
August 30, 2012, 01:12 AM
(did Fuff call me an SOB?)



(SOB!!) (BLUBBER!) (SNIFF!!!) (SMILE). :evil:

Checkman
August 30, 2012, 05:26 PM
Well it would be neat to have one in my collection regardless of the merits or demerits of the design. Just a well done conversion would make me happy. Wouldn't even have to be a genuine Fitz. Which is good because I couldn't afford a genuine Fitz. I've heard rumors that Tom Selleck owns a genuine Fitz. Same rumors state that the Fitz he used in his television show Bluebloods was his.

Guillermo
August 30, 2012, 06:05 PM
http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Blue_Bloods#Colt_Official_Police_.22Fitz_Special.22

cool

Checkman
August 31, 2012, 12:34 PM
Isn't that a great site? I should know I'm one of the moderators over there. I'm Jcordell. There has been some debating between me and another memeber whether Selleck was using an OP Fitz or a DS Fitz. In this case I liked the image of the OP Fitz (which I found and downloaded :) ) and since we couldn't really tell I left it as an OP Fitz. Glad you liked it Guillermo.

CraigC
August 31, 2012, 01:11 PM
Selleck definitely uses his own guns in his movies and shows. If he has to have them built, as in the case of cartridge conversion and Open Top Colts, he always has an extra one or two made for himself. It's his fault that I'm addicted to topless Colt's and replicas. :p

Here's a shot of his 1860 from "Last Stand at Saber River". Can't remember if it was built by Kenny Howell or Bob Millington.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/miscellaneous/large/IMG_0801b.jpg

Old Fuff
August 31, 2012, 01:25 PM
and since we couldn't really tell I left it as an OP Fitz.

The revolver pictured is made on the Official Police platform. An easy way to tell is the cylinder's length and diameter. A Detective Special cylinder is about the same length but smaller in diameter. There are also differences in the shape of the respective model's handles. I once handeled a gunuine Official Police/Fitz that was identical to the one in question, but was nickel plated. Very rare in that finish, but backed by a factory letter.

The same individual who had this Fitz Special also and a wood cased Police Positive Special / .38Special / nickel plated / factory pearl stocks rvolver with a 1 3/4" barrel, shorten ejector rod, and no front sight! I first thought it was a cut-off, but he again produced a factory letter that confirmed that it had been made as described for a Colt sales representive.

On a custom basis they offered both the Official Police and New Service with shorter then cataloged barrels, and in both cases may have produced more of them then the number of Fitz Specials.

During the middle 1950's when the U.K. dumped most of their World War One .455 New Service revolvers on us (often selling in the $16.00 range) many of them were rechambered to .45 Colt and the barrels shortened to various lengths. Some became Fitz Special conversions, but many more simply became big-frame/big bore snubbies.

Guillermo
August 31, 2012, 01:46 PM
Craig,

Sounds like Tom uses the opportunity to "write off" his guns from his taxes


Smart man!!!

Mike Faires
August 31, 2012, 02:39 PM
I am having a very hard time with the "retention" canard offered by Saxon Pig offered. Why would you have to retain your gun unless;
(1) You allowed the bad guy to enter your personal space prior to presentation and discharge. Maybe because you fired a warning shot instead of disabling your opponent with a center of mass or head shot. ...or..
(2) your are carrying more hand gun than you can handle and it jumped smack out of your hand when fired.
In shooting the attached picture I finally found a down side the the Fitz trigger guard modification, the darned prop rod keeps slipping out!!!
By the way the holster proping up the Colt is an original S. D. Myres "tom Threepersons" holster. Tom was another experiance pistolero and can you imagine he prefered that the trigger be exposed on his holsters; Oh the Humanity!

By the way kudo's to Ranger Hamer, here is mine of the same style;

Sam1911
August 31, 2012, 02:51 PM
Why would you have to retain your gun unless;


Are you unfamiliar with handgun retention practices and the importance of those skills? You cannot just shoot whomever gets inside "your personal space" and many MANY officers (and other folks) have been jumped unexpectedly or otherwise grappled and have had to fight to keep control of their own weapon. When folks fail, they tend to die.

That's not something to make light of.

Mike Faires
August 31, 2012, 02:56 PM
My point was, if your weapon was unholstered don't let them inside your personal space and it won't be required. If holstered, again the triggerguard missing is a moot point.

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