This Old, Ugly Gun That I Love

This is a guest post by Andrew Bettsugly guns

My uncle gave me this old, ugly gun. It’s a.44 mag single action revolver. It’s beat up. The finish is worn. The plastic grips are shattered and held together with electrical tape. It is truly hideous but I love it.

The revolver was made by Herter’s back during the cold war in “Western Germany”. Presumably, they wanted to make West Germany sound ugly guna little more cowboyish (that’s a word now). The right side of the barrel is stamped “Herter’s Single Six”. It appears that they made a whole pile of them and then realized that they wouldn’t be able to sell them in the US with a blatant trademark infringement stamped right on the barrel so they struck out the “Six”.

By all appearances it really does look like a nearly identical copy of the old model Ruger Super Blackhawk. I wouldn’t even be surprised if many of the parts were interchangeable. It has a serrated, ramped front sight and a fluted cylinder. The ejector housing is made of anodized aluminum. One area that appears to be more true to the Colt SAA than the Ruger is the main spring, which is the flat style. It does have a frame mounted firing pin but with no transfer bar like the old model Ruger.

Shooting the revolver is fun in the way that only big bore revolvers are. When you shoot any .44 mag revolver, there is a lot of commotion going on, which gives you the impression that something really important just happened. The terminal ballistics of the .44 mag in ordnance gelatin reinforce that impression, too.

Like any single action revolver, loading is accomplished by pulling the hammer back to the second “click”, the half cock notch, and opening ugly gunsthe loading gate on the right side of the frame. Rounds are inserted individually and the cylinder advanced to an empty chamber until all are full. Alternatively, you can skip the second round, which will allow you to carry the revolver with the hammer down on an empty chamber, a practice widely recommended for this style of revolver. The single action manual of arms forces you to manually cock the hammer for each shot, which may seem antiquated but it’s also somewhat nostalgic.

You can’t help but fancy yourself wearing a woolen poncho and chewing a thin, stubby cigar. Unfortunately, the hammer is heavy and the main spring a little light. This, along with a fairly lengthy travel for the hammer, causes the lock time to be a bit long. Exercising proper fundamentals of marksmanship is doubly important with this roscoe. The trigger is thin and has some over travel. The sights are adjustable but small and not sharply defined. So you won’t be winning any matches with it but it is accurate enough that I haven’t had any trouble hitting pop cans out to fifty yards or so. Pop cans may seem innocuous but in large numbers they can take you by surprise and overwhelm you. For that reason, I find it prudent to ensure each of them has at least one extra hole. A big hole.

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Andrew Betts served with the Arizona National Guard for over 12 years, including a tour to Afghanistan.  Visit his YouTube Channel for more great shooting information.Andrew Betts served with the Arizona National Guard for over 12 years, including a tour to Afghanistan.  Visit his YouTube Channel for more great shooting information.

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