CAMPFIRE TALES

JOHN TAFFIN'S LOOK BACK ON A LIFETIME WITH GUNS
The First Big...

THE RICHARDS-MASON CONVERSION — With the arrival of the Second Model Richards conversions, the conversion ring, hammer and loading gate were all improved,...
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First Big Bore...

In 1856, Smith & Wesson entered into an agreement with Rollin White who held the patent on revolvers with bored-through cylinders, and then in 1857 (some...
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First Big Bore...

NEW MODEL #3 — In 1956, my neighbor who was in his 30s, I was 17, also loved single-action sixguns with his favorite being a 7 ½" custom Colt Single...
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First Big Bore...

S&W MODEL #3 AMERICAN — Beginning in 1857, Smith & Wesson produced .22 and .32 Rimfire pocket pistols. In order to offer a larger caliber in a more...
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1955: A Classic...

.357 Magnum Python — Colt was also affected by the great things happening in 1955 and as a result, gave us their greatest double-action sixgun ever. Some...
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1955: A Classic...

“There must’ve been something in the water!” “The planets must have been lined up just right.” These are clichés we often hear when something...
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Compromise Part 8: ...

Like so many sixgunners before him, and especially those from his generation, sixgunsmith Dick Casull had looked upon the Colt Single Action as the best...
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Compromise Part VII: The #5

On the Fourth of July in 1925 a young cowboy decided to celebrate by firing his Colt .45 Single Action.
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Compromise Part VI: The...

The roots of the Ruger Bisley go back to the 1st Generation Colt Single Actions from which the original Bisley came.
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Compromise Part V: The...

In 1955, Bill Ruger went from his .22 Single-Six single-action revolver to a full-sized single-action with his .357 Blackhawk.
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Compromise Part IV — ...

In late 1961, Colt introduced its New Frontier model in honor of President John F. Kennedy’s ringing declaration, “We stand at the edge of a New...
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Colt Single Action Army
Compromise Part 3: The...

After previously unsuccessful U.S. Army Trials, Colt was sent back to the drawing board and William Mason came up with what became the Colt Single Action...
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Compromise Part 2:...

Sam Colt was a genius, however, just as those of us who are not, he also had flaws in his character.
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percussion pistols; photo of two revolvers
Compromise Part One: ...

Before carrying a percussion pistol afield there are several things that can be done to make sure it is as totally reliable as possible.
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Big Bore Belly Guns Part III

Local gun shops are great places to find Big Bore Belly Guns and two worth looking for are the out-of-production Smith & Wesson L-Frame .44 Specials
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Big Bore Belly Guns Part II

A Big Bore Belly Gun I yearned after for a long time was a Fitz Special. The last time I saw the late Col. Rex Applegate, I was accorded the rare privilege...
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Big Bore Belly Guns Part 1

Today they are most often known as pocket revolvers or sometimes snub-guns. However, several eons ago in the pre-politically correct days when I was a...
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Crazy Cartridge Confusion...

In the beginning, Oliver Winchester’s company brought forth the first really successful repeating firearm with the .44 Henry levergun. When the bullet was...
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Perfect Packin’ Pistol...

We have looked at 4" Smith & Wesson double-action sixguns and now we finish up with a look at some other revolvers worthy of the title of Perfect Packin’...
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Perfect Packin’ Pistol...

We continue our look at the Personification of the Perfect Packin’ Pistol using these words from the Taffin Dictionary of Sixgunning:
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Perfect Packing Pistol Part 6

The real story of the .44 Magnum comes through Elmer Keith. By 1950, the .44 Special chambered in a Smith & Wesson sixgun reached its climax with the superb...
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The Perfect Packin’ Pistol

Phil Sharpe is the main person responsible for the .357 Magnum. To come up with the .357 Magnum case, he simply lengthened the standard .38 Special from...
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The First Forty-Fours

Mention “.44” today and most people immediately think of the .44 Magnum. However, the .44 Magnum did not just suddenly appear on the scene.
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Perfect Packin’ Pistol...

The origin of the .45 Colt goes back to the early 1870s. When the military called for tests to select a new sidearm, Colt produced the 1871-72 Open Top.
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Perfect Packin’ Pistol...

We continue our look at the Personification of the Perfect Packin’ Pistol by concentrating on 4" double-action Smith & Wesson sixguns by remembering these...
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Personification of the ...

From the Taffin Dictionary of Sixgunning — “Perfect Packin’ Pistol is a title given to a sixgun or semi-automatic with a barrel not less than 4", nor...
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The special .44 Special

At the dawn of the 20th century America Smith & Wesson introduced the New Century revolver.
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Tyler Gun Works .22 Magnum...

Bill Ruger apparently always looked back into history to find inspiration for many of his projects.
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Everything Happens For A...

When we left off last month I had a bandaged foot with orders to stay off work for a week.
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Which road to travel?

Anyone who cannot look back down their personal Road of Life and see many, many roads — which ones were chosen and the effect it had on life — has just...
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How I learned to stop...

“The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry,” said poet Bobby Burns. John Steinbeck took this as his theme for his novel Of Mice and Men....
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Remembering Walter Rodgers

I was still a junior in high school when GUNS Magazine first appeared in January 1955. The printed page had a major effect on me, especially some of the...
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The .44 Russian

In 1870 the United States Military purchased 1,000 Smith & Wesson .44 American revolvers. However, they were not satisfied with this first cartridge-firing...
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A Half-Century With...

The year was 1935. In the midst of the 6th year of the Great Depression Smith & Wesson introduced the world’s most powerful handgun: the .357 Magnum.
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A Half-Century With...

December 1954. The Senate censures Senator Joe McCarthy; Bing Crosby is starring in White Christmas; Davy Crockett is fighting Indians on Disneyland; RCA...
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The First Forty-Fours: Part 2

Continued from part 1 — Life is full of trade-offs and while the Walker and Dragoon revolvers had plenty of power, their 4-lb. plus weight made most...
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