Small'ish SA Revolver?


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skt239
September 9, 2012, 07:35 PM
Ever since the first time I saw a Colt Shopkeeper I've always been interested in short Barreled SA revolvers. It seems like most these days are simply a chopped barreled version of the full size models. My question, which SA revolver has the smallest and lightest grip/frame?

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Chicken-Farmer
September 9, 2012, 08:19 PM
For small and light SA guns i think the NAA minis would win out. The Ruger Bearcat is pretty small and light as well. For a larger calibur i would think any of the "sheriff" model 3" SA pistols would be about the same size and weight. Look into the Ruger Montado Vaquero models.

conhntr
September 9, 2012, 08:22 PM
Ruger bearcat?

Driftwood Johnson
September 9, 2012, 08:31 PM
Howdy

Cimarron markets a 38 Special single action revolver built on a frame a bit smaller than the standard SAA.


http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/Specialty/ModelP-Jr.htm#

Ruger used to build a version of the Single Six chambered for 32 H&H Magnum. Same size as the Single Six, but chambered for the 32 caliber round.

I have also seen Single Sixes rechambered and rebarreled for 38 Special. I know a lady CAS shooter who has a pair of them.

mdThanatos
September 9, 2012, 09:03 PM
What about a bird's head style with a 3 1/2" barrel, that is a pretty small package.

SharpsDressedMan
September 9, 2012, 09:53 PM
We all need pictures! Ruger .44 Special Sheriff's Model http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC06438.jpg

skt239
September 9, 2012, 10:35 PM
Thanks guys. I completely forgot about the bird heads.

Sharp Dress Man,

That's a very nice Sheriffs model you have there.

Lawdawg45
September 10, 2012, 12:14 PM
Ever since the first time I saw a Colt Shopkeeper I've always been interested in short Barreled SA revolvers. It seems like most these days are simply a chopped barreled version of the full size models. My question, which SA revolver has the smallest and lightest grip/frame?

I have a Sheriff's model myself, but most of what you'll find is a large frame gun with a short barrel. I sense you're looking for something like the old Colt pocket pistol in .36 caliber. These were C&B guns, but there might be a cartridge conversion for them, Driftwood Johnson is your best bet for info and photos!;)

LD

CraigC
September 10, 2012, 12:22 PM
The little Cimarron Model P Jr. and Lighting are very close in size to the Single Six. With a short barrel, it would be a handy little sixgun. Also available in .41Colt.

http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/Specialty/Lightning.htm

skt239
September 10, 2012, 08:48 PM
Law,

I've seen some of his photos on the forum, very nice stuff. Maybe one day...

Craig,

Those Cimarrons are look very handy indeed. Interesting that they don't list a .357 option. Any idea why they would not considering all the other available calibers?

A few weeks ago, my wife and I spent a few days in "The Meadows of Dan" on the Blue Ridge Parkway, quite possibly the most beautiful place on earth. While we were there I got the chance to carry my New Vaquero and loved every second of it. It was cumbersome and after a while a bit uncomfortable but it just felt right in some strange way. I wish I could carry my Vaquero everyday but it's just to impractical for me. So, that's what got me wondering how small SA revolvers get. I guess it would have made sense to have this in my OP. Oh well...

CraigC
September 11, 2012, 12:48 AM
No doubt the pressure of the .357 would prove too much for a six shot on the small frame.

skt239
September 11, 2012, 05:41 AM
No doubt the pressure of the .357 would prove too much for a six shot on the small frame.

Ok, I see. I assumed if it could handle the .41 mag, it could handle the .357 mag. Shows how little I know.

Lawdawg45
September 11, 2012, 08:10 AM
Driftwood Johnson,

Can you help the OP out with a picture and/or info on one of the small Colt pocket pistols!:)

LD

Gary A
September 11, 2012, 10:24 AM
Skt239 - CraigC was referring to .41 Colt, not .41 Mag. Not same.

CraigC
September 11, 2012, 10:38 AM
I assumed if it could handle the .41 mag, it could handle the .357 mag.
You assume correctly but as Gary said it's .41Colt, not .41Mag. ;)

Jim Watson
September 11, 2012, 11:03 AM
A friend showed me his Single Six conversion to .38 Special recently. It was a little jewel, but he said the gunsmith thought it was way too much work and he had few customers willing to pay the price.

The Cimarron Lightning/Model P Junior is much the same thing. It started out as a .22 and was bunged out to .32 and .38. There just isn't enough steel there for Magnums.

I would look for the Ruger Single Six .32 H&R with short butt that is called the Vaquerito.

For a Centerfire Plinker, you can get conversion cylinders to shoot .32 S&W in .31 percussion revolvers.


But then a SAA or clone 4 3/4" .45 is not really a big gun. Kind of medium large with great big holes that keep the weight down

CraigC
September 11, 2012, 11:16 AM
The custom five-shot Single Sixes are actually more work than building a large frame .475 or .500. Especially if it's an Old Model into a .41Spl. They're particularly tricky and David Clements said he'd never do another.

Another custom option is the Bearcat .32H&R conversion. Not cheap either. Boge Quinn of Gunblast has one by Alan Harton.

http://www.bogequinn.com/images/Post/Harton32Bearcat/01.jpg

Driftwood Johnson
September 11, 2012, 08:37 PM
Howdy

Here is the best I can do for a comparison photo. Top to bottom, 'old model' Vaquero, New Vaquero, Three Screw Single Six. As has been stated, in the not too distant past Ruger was building a reduced size single action revolver chambered for 32 H&R Magnum on the Single Six frame and cylinder. As a matter of fact, I really missed the boat a few years ago. One of the distributors was unloading boat loads of them for $299 each. I should have grabbed a pair for my wife to shoot in CAS. That was the end of them, Ruger has not made the 'Vaquerito' since. But this photo does show the comparative size of the Single Six and the larger frame guns. The 32 H&R version was the same size as a standard Single Six.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/rugers/Vaquero_NVaquero_Singlesix.jpg

As has also been stated, some gunsmiths are customizing Single Sixes into 38s. I know several CAS shooters who shoot them, or the older 'Vaquerito' that Ruger was making. I also know one lady who has a pair of Single Sixes modified to shoot 38 Specials. Very nice little guns, very lightweight with their bored out chambers and 38 barrel. The only drawback is that with the shorter cylinder bored out for 38 Special, one has to watch OAL so the bullets don't hang out the front of the cylinder. I just picked up one of my Single Sixes and compared one of my standard 38 Special, 158 grain Semi-Wadcutter loads to the cylinder. If the cylinder were bored out for 38 Special Chambers, my 38 Semi-wadcutter reloads would poke out the front of the cylinder. Because of this, some shooters load these modified guns with 38 Long Colt ammo instead of 38 Special.

************

Regarding 41 Colt, it is a much older cartridge than 41 Magnum. 41 Colt, also known as 41 Long Colt was first introduced by Colt in the late 1870s. Unlike 45 Colt, 41 Colt used a heeled bullet. A heeled bullet is the same diameter as the outside of the case, like modern 22 Rimfire ammo. 41 Colt originally used a 200 grain bullet of about .408 in diameter over 21 or 22 grains of Black Powder in a case about .93 long.

The problem with heeled bullets was that they carried their soft, BP bullet lube on the outside of the bullet, so they could pick up dirt and grit. About 1895 the ammunition makers changed the design of the 41 Colt, changing over to a bullet that slid inside the case like any other modern bullet, sealing the bullet lube in grooves completely covered by the case. The new bullet diameter was about .386 in diameter. In order to engage the earlier larger diameter rifling of the older guns, a hollow based bullet was used that would expand at the skirt to engage the rifling.

The cartridge at the center of this photo is a 41 Colt. On the left is a 45 Colt, on the right is a 44 Colt. Both the 41 Colt and the 44 Colt cartridges in this photo have heeled bullets. You can see how the bullets are the same diameter as the cases, just like with modern 22 Rimfire ammo.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Driftwood_Johnson/cartridges/45C41LC44C.jpg

Driftwood Johnson
September 11, 2012, 08:46 PM
Sorry, Double Tap

Jaymo
September 11, 2012, 08:58 PM
I got my Vaquerito about 5 years ago for $195.00
Stainless steel, short grip frame, fake ivory (factory) grips.
Like new.
The bad thing was, they had about six of them. Some were blue, some stainless, some CCH.

Lawdawg45
September 12, 2012, 10:29 AM
Here is a Colt pocket pistol, .36 caliber. Is there a .38 special conversion kit available Driftwood?

LD

CraigC
September 12, 2012, 10:48 AM
Actually that's an 1849 Pocket model .31cal. It can be converted to .32S&W and Kirst makes a cylinder for it. The 1862 Police model .36 can be converted to cartridges, like any other percussion gun but it's a custom-only option. No drop-in cylinders available.

PRM
September 12, 2012, 09:55 PM
My favorites are the Colt 2nd Generation C&Bs.

1862 Pocket Navy and Pocket Police.

Followed closely by my Cimarron Lightning.

All have pre-ban elephant ivory grips by Jerry Meacham.

skt239
September 13, 2012, 06:46 AM
Wow, thanks for the pics and great info driftwood!

Jaymo
September 13, 2012, 08:36 PM
Drooling.

W.E.G.
September 13, 2012, 09:34 PM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/DSCN6606leftside-smaller.jpg

http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/holsters/TripleKholster-crossdraw.jpg

skt239
September 20, 2012, 08:52 PM
Very nice PMR.

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