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Old July 14, 2014, 12:06 AM   #26
Join Date: May 23, 2014
Location: NE Louisiana
Posts: 6
Yeap. Had my Fanner 50. Also had the Paladin set with the derringer in the belt buckle. Get this. At the elementary school which I attended in those days, we could bring one toy with us when we got back to school after the Christmas holiday. Guess what all the guys brought? Just about every one of them wearing their Fanner 50's or Paladin set. Imagine that happening today.
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Old July 14, 2014, 02:00 PM   #27
Join Date: July 20, 2013
Posts: 50
I bought a new vaquero in .357 mag this year. I always prefered the look of the 4 5/8", but when I held and pointed that and the 5 1/2", I ended up taking the 5 1/2" one home with me. Funny, because if I had not handeled both at the same time, Im sure Id have bought the 4 1/2"
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Old July 14, 2014, 10:19 PM   #28
Join Date: August 21, 2010
Posts: 3,479
I prefer the look of the 5.5", though I also have a 4.62 and 4.75"
Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:44 PM   #29
Join Date: January 11, 2011
Location: Huntville, AL
Posts: 2,060
No doubt the 4 1/2 is handier and easier to carry but I prefer the looks of the 5 1/2 inch SAA.

“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.”
~ George Washington
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Old July 16, 2014, 01:48 AM   #30
Join Date: May 20, 2010
Posts: 774
Some really nice Pix there!' Personally, I've always been drawn to shorter barrels just because I like the look of a shorter rvolver. Heck I even lke the "Storekeepers" versions though they were likely very hard to hit with as most Snubbies are today.
I have read of the barrels being worn out on the Military .45's and I wonder how soft the barrel steel was? Evidentlly complete rebuilds were cost effective for the military.
I'm sure the aversge Cowboy shot his revolver a lot less than did the average Calverymen did. Both in battle and during prtice, they used them a lot.
I am sure todays barrel steel is much better. and will last longer.
A good point of the shorter Leather neded ws brought up! I have cut a couple holsters down to fit shorter guns and it's no easy proposition! You must first roughthe cut out then do the final shapeing to make it look correct. I have come up with arounded cut, on a slight angle that seems to look pretty good for a Kitvhen Table job! You don't want the end of the barrel exposed nor do you want the leather to "fold" closed on an open holster bottom.
I got lucky the first cut nd found the right length by dumb luck.
Holster alteration is an real art believe me!
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Old July 16, 2014, 09:32 AM   #31
Join Date: March 10, 2010
Posts: 1,217
James Garner in the "Support your Local....." twin set of movies carries a 5.5" SAA and operates it quite effectively.

not today's trigger control, but hey.

Walter Brennan (sic) also had a 5.5"

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Old July 16, 2014, 09:41 AM   #32
Join Date: March 10, 2010
Posts: 1,217
I'd think it safe to say, folks like Walter Brennan had is own SAAs for the movies.. and YES, holding the hammer with the web of your hand would make it impossible to fire, but I think Walter KNEW that, knew what position he and James Garner was in and was making dam sure even his empty gun was as safe as possible.
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Old July 16, 2014, 10:11 AM   #33
Jim Watson
Join Date: December 24, 2002
Posts: 19,433
When I tooled up for CAS, I traded an obscure automatic for a 7.5" .44 Special. That did well, but I wanted the cool civilian/gunfighter look, so I had a 4.75" put on, along with a .44 WCF cylinder so I could shoot the same ammo as my rifle. I shot that for about one season and then had the 7.5" put back on so I could HIT stuff. The longer sight radius really does make a difference. For me, at least.
When SASS went from three to four guns, I added a 7.5" .44 WCF clone.

If I were to resume CAS, I would probably shoot 5.5" .38 Specials. I already know the 4.75" sight radius is short and a smallbore 7.5" is so darned heavy.
We hear: "There is no such thing as a stupid question."
But: "What did I just buy and what is it worth?" comes awful close.
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Old July 16, 2014, 12:25 PM   #34
Join Date: November 19, 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,473
Originally Posted by DammitBoy View Post
Thys why I always liked Clint Eastwood movies, more realism with firearms.

Yes! Most other westerns would have Josey toting around a brace Colt SAA's or Remington 1875s even though the story takes place directly after the Civil War! I always dig it when I see percussion revolvers in movies during the Civil War or shortly before/after before cartridge guns were common.
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Old May 25, 2015, 12:20 AM   #35
Join Date: May 24, 2015
Posts: 4
Great thread, guys! I was 15 years old when Arvo Ojala launched the quick draw craze that would last at least ten years and spawn the reactive and starkly real competitive combat shooting science. My buddy and I used to hang out at our local gunsmith shop for an occasional drooling session over an original single action or c&b colt that might show up in his display case. On one magic afternoon during our summer break, Arvo showed up to collect a pair of single action Colts that Fred had timed. In a brilliant act of compassion for a pair of almost-comatose teenagers he offered to test Fred's work right on the spot and loaded up one of the shiny 4 3/4" Colts with a handful of 4-in-1 blanks. He extended his gunhand per the quick draw protocol and my buddy called it. The roar that came out of that Colt in the small enclosed shop was stunning. He turned to me and asked how many shots. I knew the report was, 'long', so I smiled and said, "Two". He grinned and knocked three empties out; then he thanked Fred and left. I always thought that my eyes were so big that he was too embarrassed to hang around. Yeah; movies count. From that day I have been in love with 4 3/4" SAs. Nowadays, though, my eyesight at 75 is only good for twenty five yard shooting with a pistol and a longer sight radius is useless. The shorter barrel fits my philosphy pretty well; if you can't knock it on its can at 50 yards, get a rifle.
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Old May 25, 2015, 12:49 AM   #36
Join Date: May 24, 2015
Posts: 182
I prefer the looks of a 3 screw SBH.

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Old May 26, 2015, 12:57 AM   #37
Jim K
Join Date: December 31, 2002
Posts: 16,249
FWIW, I agree with Driftwood that the long barrel was a carryover from the percussion era. The right side loading gate was, too, just replacing the capping cutout with a gate. The Army (for unknown reasons) wanted a .45 revolver, while Colt naturally wanted to change their tooling as little as possible. One result was the small rim of the .45 Colt, to keep the new cylinder as close as possible in diameter to the 1860 Army .44 caliber cylinder. The small .45 rim kept the cartridge from working well in rifles, and few were made in that caliber until recent years.

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Old May 26, 2015, 02:15 PM   #38
Jim NE
Join Date: February 28, 2011
Posts: 1,094
Originally Posted by BaltimoreBoy View Post
Movies? TV?
Well maybe.
I think I was more brainwashed by my Fanner 50's.
Wow...they even had a "Planet of the Apes" version! (??? )
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Old May 26, 2015, 03:15 PM   #39
Join Date: February 11, 2014
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 489
pendennis said:

The SAA, with a 5.5" barrel was referred to as the "Artillery Model". It was usually issued to infantry and artillery members who needed side arms.
The Army did not purchase 5 1/2" barreled Single Action Colts. Original 7 1/2" barreled guns were returned to Colt for refurbishing and while in the process, their barrels were cut to 5 1/2" length.

All origninal Colts were issued with 7 1/2" barrels. The terms "Cavary" and "Artillery" models are of recent adoption by collectors.

As to their primary weapon, the basic weapon of the cavalry was the carbine.

Bob Wright
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Old May 26, 2015, 04:16 PM   #40
Jim K
Join Date: December 31, 2002
Posts: 16,249
Most cavalry tacticians taught that the primary weapon of the cavalry in the U.S. was the saber. The U.S. never took to the lance, and the carbine was used when the cavalry dismounted and fought on foot. The saber was used in the right hand, the revolver ("pistol") in the left. The trooper controlled his horse with his knees and boot heels.

While there were some notable opponents of the saber in the Civil War, it was considered the primary weapon for cavalry throughout the era of the horse. As a practical matter, it really was effective at short range and, as one old timer put it, "a saber don't run dry."

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Old May 26, 2015, 10:00 PM   #41
the Black Spot
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Location: central arkansas
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5.5" and 7.5" for me. I carry a .44 special blackhawk 5.5" all the time.
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Old May 26, 2015, 10:34 PM   #42
Join Date: February 3, 2004
Location: outback Kentucky
Posts: 5,541
I read one time was Bat Masterson. That ordered the 1st 4 3/4 barrel for himself . Then others followed .
My self I would just like to own a old Colt SA no matter the barrel length. I under stand back in the early 1950's My Grandmother(motherside) sold my then deceased
Grand father Colt SA to a guy for 5 bucks. I do remember my father was madder than He## even if I was just a kid. He was really upset. .
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Old May 28, 2015, 03:09 AM   #43
Join Date: January 15, 2011
Location: AZ
Posts: 770
I think both have their place. I have two GP100s One in 4.x" and one at 6". Really enjoy them both. Wouldn't give up either one.
"All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to stand by and do nothing."
Attributed to Edmund Burke, though it's source cannot be proven.

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Old May 28, 2015, 07:33 AM   #44
Join Date: December 15, 2008
Location: TN
Posts: 2,882
From a visual and aesthetics standpoint, I prefer the 5 ˝" barrel on SAA style revolvers. However, when I had a Blackhawk, it had the 4 ⅝" barrel. The large front sight on it needed the extra mass of the ejector under the barrel to balance it visually.

I love everything about my Colt SAA with it's 5 ˝" barrel.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
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Old May 28, 2015, 11:59 AM   #45
Join Date: June 11, 2006
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 2,908
ACK! It lives! Zombie thread!

Any way sorry guys the Carbine WAS the main weapon of horse troopers. Union use of the same made a huge difference in the out come of the civil war.

During the period between the War Between the States and the Spanish American War accuracy to 600 meters with the carbine was expected for Army wide competitions. Might be interesting to do that with the M4 today on those huge Army targets of the 1880's.

Unlike the movies and TV most US Cavalry battles of the time WERE dismounted, or ended up so, and the Carbine was used extensively. Unfortunately when the Spencer was removed from service and replaced with a single shot many commanders figured what the heck. The guy that had the highest carbine ammo expenditures in the US Army just before the trap door was forced on the horse soldiers and who had demonstrated the effectiveness of carbines in the later half of the ACW did not bother with training for the single shot......he paid for that at a place the winners called Greasy Grass and the Army paid attention and adopted new training standards.

Certainly much training continued to be done with mounted use of the revolver and with the Sabre. But the battle winner was the carbine. To use the handgun or sabre in battle, one had to expose valuable horses to death and maiming for gosh sakes!

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Old May 28, 2015, 01:19 PM   #46
Join Date: May 2, 2006
Location: Lincoln Park, Mi.
Posts: 931
I have one of these cap guns currently.

When I was a kid I had a Fanner 50. I also had the Belt Buckle Derringer the when mounted on the belt if you tensed your muscles it popped the gun out and fired.
For the honor of the Dinocrome!

1911. For when 911 just isn't fast enough.

"Be wary of Strong Drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors...
And miss!" - L. Long
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Old May 28, 2015, 02:35 PM   #47
Contributing Member
Join Date: September 10, 2005
Location: Pell City, AL
Posts: 123
Arkansas Paul asked "And seriously, what does 3/4" extra really do in real world terms?"

Here are velocity readings I took on a 4 3/4in and a 5 1/2in SAA replicas.

The load is 40 grns of FFFG (3F) Olde Eynsford under a 250grn PRS Big Lube bullet. All loads fired 10 feet from chrono.

4 3/4 Bbl Pietta:

1. 925
2. 903
3. 927
4. 923
Average 922.4

Cimarron 5 1/2 Bbl :

1. 1004
2. 967
3. 1048
4. 1070
5. 1047
Average 1027.2
Thing about liberals that you need to understand is this, you can show them exactly what a toilet and toilet paper are meant to be used for, but they'll still manage to crap all over themselves and everything else without touching the bowl, and be proud of themselves afterwards. (anonymous poster elsewhere)

Last edited by medic15al; May 28, 2015 at 02:37 PM. Reason: spelling
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