This Gun Won’t Shoot!

Let’s Try An Obvious Fix First

I recently received a call from my friend Jim Martin. Jim is an even older guy than I am, an expert in fast draw and gun spinning, a top-notch tunesmith when it comes to Colt Single Actions. He is also the man who rebuilt the Great Western .45s, which appeared on the cover of the first issue of GUNS in January 1955, so I could shoot them for the 50th Anniversary issue. Jim had recently tuned and tightened a 3rd Generation 7-1/2″ New Frontier .44 Special and informed me the owner said it wouldn’t shoot. “He will sell it for $600…” and that’s where I immediately interrupted him and said, “I will take it!”

I had a pretty good idea why it wouldn’t shoot and made arrangements for it to be shipped to my FFL dealer, Buckhorn Gun & Pawn. It arrived the next morning and within an hour, I had it shooting 1-hole groups. Martin had done a magnificent job tuning it to perfection and tightening up the cylinder by installing an oversized bolt. When I received it the first thing I noticed was the rear sight was cranked high enough it was obvious the previous owner had been shooting 200-grain bullets, which were probably intended for the .44-40 and also probably sized at .427″. The latter is precisely why it probably wouldn’t shoot.

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