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Herter's Single Six

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by 444, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    I was shopping today for a new 1911. In the display case I spied a single action revolver, for some reason the first thing that came into my mind was Herters .401 Power Mag. I have no idea why I thought this since I had never seen one in person, and hadn't seen a picture of one since childhood. The salesperson told me that it was a Herter's .44 Magnum. I checked it out and it seemed to be a very well made revolver. The action was very smooth, trigger pull OK, locked up tight. Once out of the case I thought it looked a lot like an Old Model Ruger. I asked the price; $175. I decided, what the heck; what kind of a deal will you give me if I buy the 1911 AND this Herter's. I was satisfied with the price and agreed to buy. As I was looking it over more closely I noticed that it said, .44 calibre. I asked if she was sure it was a .44 Mag since it didn't specifically say this on the barrel. She said she honestly didn't know, she was just going by what the guy told her that put it on consignment. I took it out this evening and ran perhaps 50 rounds through it. .44 Specials consisting of a 240 grain plated cast bullet over 4.0 grains of Clays. It ran like a champ. Accuracy was very good.

    So, what can you tell me about it ? I know who Herter's was. I spent many an evening as a kid thumbing through their catalog. I did an internet search and came up with two results. One was a question asking if it was a .44 Mag and the guy didn't answer that question. The other was on TFL and a guy just mentioned that he had one but didn't say anything about it. After I got home I dropped a .44 Mag in the cylinder and it fell right in. But, I am not going to actually fire a .44 Mag in it until I confirm that it is in fact chambered for that caliber. Any idea how these things hold up ? Is is strong ? Is it durable. Anything at all would be appreciated.

    I needed this like I needed a hole in the head. I have three .44 Mags already. But, for $175 (it looks new) I figured, what the heck. And, I guess the fact that I spent so much time dreaming over their catalog made me want it also.
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Herters had guns made by a number of companies, some good, some only fair. IIRC, those big SA revolvers were made by Sauer and were .44 Magnum.

    Check to see if the chambers have shoulders. If they do, and a .44 Magnum fits, that is what the gun is chambered for.

  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Saw this question and thought...
    Piece of cake.
    Grabbed Herter's catalog
    Oops. Can't find in writing whether .44 Spec, Mag or ?
    The big guns called .357, .401 and .44 POWERMAGS.

    Jim's advice re the shoulder in the chamber is good. Bear in mind tho, if the chambers are through bored (no shoulder) do NOT shoot mags in it untill you have found trustable source that says it's ok.

    Agree that Sauer was the maker.
    Price in 1967 was $61.00, down from $77.95 previously.
    A lot of strong gun for the price, even then.

  4. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    Dumb Question: what do you mean by shoulders ?
  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Chamber is bored in two diameters, larger where the case goes and very slightly smaller starting bout even with case mouth.

    Keeps one from dropping an overlong cartridge in it. Hence...modern .44 Special should not chamber .44 Mag ammol.

    Seen as a slight step when viewed from the rear of the cylinder.

  6. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    Ok, I will look at the cylinder more closely. This was along the line of my thinking when I tried to chamber a .44 Mag round. I assumed that the chamber would be bored so as to prevent the insertion of the longer .44 Mag round, however if there is a .44 Powermag cartridge, I have no idea what it looks like.
  7. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Not definitive but.

    Same catalogs that list the .44 Powermag gun list Herter's ammo for .44 Mag. No indication of seperate and different ammo for their own gun.

    Out of some 24 calibers of herter's ammo, and multiple loadings for some, just the one .44. .44 Mag.

  8. jetless39

    jetless39 New Member

    Herters 44 magnuim

    i bought my herters 44 magnum from the catalog in the 60's. It was just about the time they passed a law that prohibited anyone from buying guns by mail. They, Herters, had to send my gun to an authorized dealer. The gun as I recall was made by walther and is indeed chambered for 44 magnum although it only says .44 on the barrel. My serial number is Z5110.
  9. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    The Herter's Power Mags were relabled pistols made by Hawes of Germany and were indeed magnums. They were kind of awkward looking but solid, strong and very serviceable handguns for a nominal price even at the time. Lock time is a bit slow due to the long and heavy hammer but you have a jewel if the price was right for its condition.
  10. Longtimer

    Longtimer New Member

    Herters' pistols production data

    The Herters' SAA frame pistol in .22, .357,.401 Powermag, and .44 Magnum were made by J.P.Sauer and I can provide production data and shipping dates for them...

  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    How about the ones made by Sauer & Suhl?

    Don't know about the reliable part either.
    Many of them had quality issues.

    My buddy sort of collects them.

    I fixed a sheared ejector rod stud on one some time ago.

    He has another .401 with the cylinder pin stop drilled in the wrong location in the frame.
    The cylinder pin comes out under recoil, and there is nothing you can do about it short of making a new spring loaded retainer about an 1/8" larger diameter, and drilling out the frame to fit it.

    His .44 PowerMag is currently laid up with a broken locking bolt, which is made of Unobtainaum metal.
    In otherwords, no parts to be had anywhere.

    He even came up with one of the Model Perfect Guide DA .357's last year.
    New in the box, and the shoddiest quality gun I have ever seen bar none. It has so much cylinder end-shake you can't close the cylinder without it hitting the barrel and stopping it cold.
    Oh! Made with no forcing cone either!

  12. indyboom

    indyboom New Member

    who has the number sheet to verify age?
    I also need a set of grips?? anyone??? 44 MAG
  13. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The .44 Powermag revolvers were made for the .44 Magnum cartridge and AFAIK there was no .44 Powermag cartridge.

    There was a Herter's proprietary .357, though, called the .357 Atomic, with a case a bit longer than the .357 Magnum but not (IIRC) as long as the .357 Maximum. The .357 Atomic ammo was sold only by Herters and AFAIK was never available on the general market. It was hot, though.

    The .401, mentioned above, was another Herter's proprietary round that was never on the general market.

  14. Keb

    Keb Well-Known Member

    I have the .357 and it sure looks like a solid built gun. It is has rather prominent sights compared to a Colt. Mine traded to me in 2006 for $200.
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I always thought the .357 Atomic was a Great Western trademark.

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