are there any other revolvers that feel like an open top conversion?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by greyling22, Apr 12, 2021.

  1. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I have a 3 screw blackhawk in 357 mag. I like it ok, but the grip has never felt all that great to me. It's too... something. My uncle has an open top army conversion that points like a dream and feels amazing in the hand. Is there another revolver that feels like an open top, but was designed form the beginning as a cartridge gun? does the 1873 feel like an 1872 open top?
     
  2. 45 Dragoon

    45 Dragoon Member

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    Welp, yes. Most open top revolvers point naturally and no, the only open top designed as a cartridge gun from the beginning is the '71/'72 open top. That said, they (all belt pistols (Armys / Navys and the '71/'72)) all feel like family. The horse pistols are nice pointers as well . . . they just have a shorter holding time! Pocket pistols are too small to feel comfortable in my hands but a lot of folks like um . . .
    There are other grips that will fit on your 3 screw . . . just so ya know.

    Mike
     
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  3. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    The SAA clones I have do feel similar to my 1860 clone. I have always liked the grip size and angle of the Colt style Single Action clones. Both C&B and cartridge guns.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Strange. The 1851-61 Navy - 1873 SAA grip frame is not the same as the 1860 Army, which is longer (yay) but has more "droop" (boo.).
    The 1872 "Open Top" can be found with either but the Army grip is more common.

    Early Rugers had the XR3 one piece grip frame, pretty close to SAA.
    Then they went to the XR3-RED, a more open curve.

    I don't know the exact shape of the Lesser Vaquero and New Flattop but their stocks are not as well blended and not as comfortable.
     
  5. swoter

    swoter Member

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    My favorite has always been the navy grip. The army grip has always felt a little big.
     
  6. SW351C

    SW351C Member

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  7. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Agreed! The Colt belt guns, from the 1851 through the SAA, just feel right. They're comfortable in the hand, they point naturally, they handle fast. Nothing handles like the SAA. William Mason is a friggin' genius and an artist for what he came up with after the Army rejected the Open Top cartridge model. Today I think we take these guns for granted but they are the reason why people worship the prancing pony. Not the other way around.

    That said, maybe it's perception more than anything but I don't think any other firearm is going to feel like an open top Colt. Though anything with the Navy grip is instantly familiar. The Ruger XR3 is my preference on those guns.
     
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  8. MacAR

    MacAR Member

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    No truer words, Craig. I've had lots of revolvers down through the years, and I'm down to four: two .357 SAA clones, a Ruger Single Six, and a hybrid 51/61 Navy (51 barrel on a 61 frame). The Navy is by far my favorite to handle and shoot; that 8" barrel points and balances perfectly. The clones come second, and the SS is third, though I do enjoy shooting it even it does feel, well, different. I had a Remington New Model Army, and just didn't like it; same with some of my S&W DA revolvers. After I lost 1/2 of my middle finger, the DA revolvers just weren't comfortable to shoot, and I never used them DA anyhow. Single actions are what I "want" now, I guess. The plow-handle grips fit my hand much better anyway.

    To the OP: I've often wondered if someone couldn't retro fit a Navy grip to a SAA or Ruger... looking at you, @Michael Tinker Pearce.

    Mac
     
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  9. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    What is it specifically that you like about your uncle's open top? Grip? Balance? As others have noted, the 1860 Army and subsequent conversions have a different grip frame from the 1851 Navy and the Single Action Army.

    I think some of the importers of SAA replicas offer an 1873 with the 1860 Army grip frame. One of those with a 7.5 inch barrel might feel similar.

    I had an open top with Navy grips. Was a sweet shooter and a natural pointer.
     
  10. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    There's a fellow making all sorts of brass frames for Rugers. Ronnie Wells I believe. Some very cool stuff!
     
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  11. P89DCSS

    P89DCSS Member

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  12. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I'm going to have to pin down exactly what my uncle has. He's got a navy set, and I was shooting his army. But which army, and was it on a navy frame, I'm going to have to figure out. I didn't realize how many combinations there could be. He's also got remington, an original colt, some clones..... he's a cowboy action shooter. I suppose I'm going to try them all on. I really wanted to like the ruger. My garbage eyes like the bigger sights.
     
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