Tag Archives: cowboy gun

Lots of Fun with a Cheap .22

As a kid, one of my first actual cartridge guns was an old second (or maybe third)-hand Ruger Single Six, which back in the 1980s was a lot cheaper than what they are now. I probably put enough bullets through that little revolver to wear the rifling smooth. No pop can was safe.

Recently, I have kind of rediscovered that joy with a new single-action rimfire wheel gun from Heritage Firearms in Georgia– the Barkeep. An homage to the chopped down Sheriff’s Model and Storekeeper variants of the Colt Single Action Army, the .22LR Barkeep runs a 2.68-inch barrel while keeping a near full-sized grip. The short length deletes the traditional onboard ejection rod but gives the gun a kind of old-school snub-nosed look to it.

Sweet shooting and running about $180, it also accepts a .22WMR cylinder.

My review on the Barkeep over at Guns.com.

146 Years of Peacemaking

Samuel Colt’s iconic revolver works peaked during the Civil War while the inventor and founder himself passed away in 1862. This left his company behind to try and compete against other revolver makers (looking at you, Smith & Wesson) who were using Rollin White’s breech-loading cartridge wheel gun patents. Once White’s patent tanked in 1870, William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards at Colt filed patents for their own Model 1871-72 Open Top revolver.

This six-shot single action, chambered in the same .44 Rimfire cartridge used by the Henry lever-action rifles of the day, soon morphed into a chambering in Colt’s new centerfire black powder .45 cartridge and submitted for a new U.S. Army handgun contract to replace older cap-and-ball revolvers.

And the rest was history.

More in my column at Guns.com