10 Short-Barreled Sixgun Revolvers
Cimarron Lightning: Cimarron offers several revolvers in its Lightning model, including scaled-down versions. This particular Lightning has a 3½-inch barrel and is chambered in .38 Special. The barrel and cylinder are blued, while the frame is casehardened. It’s truly a small revolver with plenty of power. For more information, visit http://www.cimarron-firearms.com
or call 877-749-4861.
Cimarron Thunderer: The Cimarron Thunderer grip is a cross between a 1877 Thunderer grip and an 1878 Colt DA on a Model P frame. Cimarron’s Mike “Texas Jack” Harvey came up with the matchup back in 1990 to create the Thunderer. Back in 1877, Colt introduced the Lightning and Thunderer revolvers, which were Colt’s first DA revolvers. The Cimarron Thunderer is a single-action that features a conventionally shaped hammer spur. For more information, visit http://www.cimarron-firearms.com
or call 877-749-4861.
EMF Deluxe Sheriff: EMF’s Deluxe Sheriff, part of the 1873 Great Western II line, is made of stainless steel with factory laser engraving covering three quarters of the revolver. A faux-ivory grip makes this hideout gun sharp looking. The Deluxe Sheriff also features a plain 3-inch barrel and is made for EMF by Pietta in Italy. For more information, visit http://www.emf-company.com
or call 800-430-1310.
EMF Pony Express: This Pony Express model from EMF’s 1873 Great Western II series was designed by Cowboy Action Shooting competitor Dave Anderson. The Pony Express was built specifically for cowboy mounted shooting and features EMF’s express-style grip, a turned-down hammer for faster cocking with one hand and a wider, setback trigger. The finish is bright stainless. For more information, visit http://www.emf-company.com
or call 800-430-1310.
Ruger New Vaquero Birdshead: The Vaquero Birdshead is a TALO exclusive that combines Ruger’s Ruger Vaquero Montado with a 3¾-inch barrel and a wide checkered hammer spur with Ruger’s version of the bird’s-head grip style. Like the Montado, the Birdshead model has a reverse indexing pawl makes loading and unloading easier, and the front edge of the cylinder is beveled for simplified holstering. It can share ammo with your 1911, since this six-shooter fires .45 ACP cartridges. For more information, visit http://www.ruger.com
Ruger New Vaquero Montado: The Montado is built on Ruger’s New Vaquero frame and features a short 3¾-inch barrel. The hammer spur is wide, checkered and slightly lower than the traditional Vaquero hammer spur for fast, one-handed cocking. The reverse indexing pawl makes loading and unloading easier than traditional single-action revolvers. For smoother holstering, the front edge of the cylinder is beveled. For more information, visit http://www.ruger.com
Taylor’s & Company Birdshead Cattleman: The Cattleman series all have strong forged frames for durability, especially when shooting high round counts in the local sand pit or in competition. The Birdshead Cattleman six-shooter features a small, curved bird’s-head grip of smooth or checkered walnut. For shooters with small hands, the bird’s-head grip allows for better control. The casehardened frame is pleasing to the eyes, as is the deep blued barrel and cylinder. Custom tuning is available. For more information, visit http://www.taylorsfirearms.com
or call 540-722-2017.
Taylor’s & Company Runnin’ Iron: Originally inspired for the sport of mounted shooting by mounted shooter and Wild West Entertainer Denny Chapman and designed by third-generation Wild West Showman and Gunsmith Deke Rivers. This forged-framed six-shooter is light and well balanced, featuring a low and wide hammer spur and a wide trigger. This pistol can fire standard cowboy loads as well as black powder blanks. Custom tuning is available. For more information, call 540-722-2017 or visit http://www.taylorsfirearms.com
Uberti 1873 Cattleman El Patrón CMS: As the “CMS” in its name implies, this El Patrón model is customized for Cowboy Mounted Action Shooting with a short barrel for quick draws and a low hammer spur profile for easier cocking with one hand. The action is tuned and uses Wolff springs, and the cylinder chambers are numbered. The sights are wide and big for easier aiming. For more information, visit http://www.uberti.com
Uberti 1875 No. 3 Top Break 2nd Model: By any other name the No. 3 Top Break is commonly known as the Schofield. This revolver was originally manufactured by Smith & Wesson and rivaled Colt’s Single Action Army. Uberti has recreated a hideout model of the Schofield with a 3½-inch barrel and a forged frame. The break-top action uses an automatic cartridge extractor that ejects empty cartridge cases quickly. For more information, visit http://www.uberti.com
A hideout six-shooter in the Old West usually meant a short-barreled pistol that was easy to carry discreetly yet able to be brought quickly into play from across a card table or across a room. Bankers and shopkeepers kept them hidden just in case, and lawmen and outlaws used these hideout guns as backups. The shorter barrel on these sixgun revolvers made them more concealable yet, because they were based off of full-sized pistols, they were chambered in powerful calibers. There was no compromise with these discreet pistols.
Originally, Colt’s Sheriff’s Models had short barrels with no ejector rod; Colt Shopkeeper’s Models had short barrels with ejector rods. Today, Mounted Cowboy Action shooters who need a quick-drawing gun that can easily be cocked one-handed favor modern reproductions of short-barrel revolvers. Some of these models incorporate a bird’s-head grip, making the gun more concealable and easier to shoot for those shooters with smaller hands. They are also chambered in powerful calibers, making them excellent self-defense guns or unique variants for a six-gunner’s collection.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Cimarron Firearms Company
Taylor’s & Company
10 Great Engraved Western Guns
15 .357 Magnum Revolvers For Competition and Personal Defense
Top 13 Snub-Nose Revolvers
10 Big-Bore Revolvers
This article originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of GUNS OF THE OLD WEST®, print and digital subscriptions to GUNS OF THE OLD WEST are available here.