Make Mine Custom
By John Taffin
Before Ruger offered a long-barreled stainless steel Super Blackhawk Taffin
had this custom satin nickeled .44 built for hunting. Stocks are by Herrett’s.
Gary Reeder tuned and beautifully refinished this Ruger .357 Bisley Model and also added a second
cylinder in .356GNR. The latter gives .357 SuperMag performance in a standard sized cylinder.
Two custom single actions by Hamilton Bowen, an 8-1/2” .32-20 Colt and a .44 Special Ruger.
Ben Forkin started with three 7-1/2” Ruger Bisleys in .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, and .41 Magnum,
trimmed all the barrels to 5-1/2”, fitted new front sights, and case hardened the frames and
hammers with the result being three Perfect Packin’ Pistols.
Alan Harton turned what was a dog of a Ruger Old Model .357 into this beautiful
ivory gripped Bisley Model .44 Special with an octagon barrel.
A pair of customs by Gary Reeder: Diamond Dot’s Border Special .45
Schofield and a Number Five .44 Special.
Ruger’s Super Redhawk is a big brute of a gun; Mag-na-port cut
this .480 to 4.8”, tuned and Mag-na-ported it.
Jack Huntington used the 50th Anniversary .357 Ruger Blackhawk as a platform
to build a heavy-barreled .44 Special target pistol.
The top sixgun is a Ruger .357 Maximum; the bottom gun started out the same way however,
under the touch of Ben Forkin is now a .445 SuperMag with Bisley grip frame and hammer.
Taffin’s local gunsmiths, Mike Rainey and Tom Cripe at Buckhorn, turned this Texican .45 Colt
into a “Keith Gun” complete with adjustable rear sight and barrel band front sight.
Taffin’s every day always guns are a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum Model 340 Sc worked over
by Mag-na-port and a Taurus UltraLite .38 Special with Crimson Trace laser grips.
Ben Forkin used an Old Model .357 Blackhawk and a Ruger .44
Flat-Top barrel to come up with is .44 Special.
There is only one original Elmer Keith Number Five SAA and it is in the Elmer Keith Museum; This re-creation is by Hamilton Bowen.
When Taffin was in college he drooled over Skeeter Skelton’s 5-1/2” .44 Special. This one started life as a 7-1/2” New Frontier and has been fitted with custom carved ivory stocks by Nutmeg Sports.
Ruger never made a .44-40 Blackhawk; Brian Cosby used a
Ruger .357 Old Model Blackhawk to build this one.
Ben Forkin built these custom .44 Special Rugers by using a Ruger .44
Magnum barrel and a Colt New Frontier .44 Special barrel.
Thanks to custom sixgunsmiths such as Hamilton Bowen, Brian Cosby, Jim Stroh, and the late Bill Grover, we can have medium-frame Blackhawks chambered in .44 Special, .44-40, .38-40, and .45 Colt
No factory sixguns here! Light weight .44 Special by Bob Baer and
Pocket Model Bisley .44-40 by Milt Morrison
A pair of Ruger .44 Specials by Andy Horvath. The top one
uses a Smith & Wesson ribbed .44 Magna barrel.
The late Bill Grover made this “Skeeter Skelton .44 Special” by using a
These custom sixguns belong to Elmer Keith and date back to the 1930s.
These custom Bisley Models were built by Jim Stroh; notice the special front sights.
John Linebaugh and his son Dustin have been building custom sixguns for three plus decades.
Shooting a pair of custom SSK Redhawks.
Contacts for guns featured: CUSTOM SIXGUNSMITHS:
Hamilton Bowen, Bowen Classic Arms,
PO Box 67, Louisville TN 37777;
Brian Cosby, Cosby Custom Guns,
111 W.Lincoln, Chandler IN 47616;
David Clements, Clements Custom Guns,
12766 Mt. Zion Rd., Woodlawn VA 24381;
Ben Forkin, Forkin Custom Classics,
205 10th Avenue SW, White Sulphur Springs MT 59645;
3923 Bird Farm Rd., Jasper AL 35503;
Alan Harton, Single Action Service,
8822 Jackson St., Houston Texas;
phone: 713-772-8314 or 907-6031.
21854 Meyer Ravine, Grass Valley CA 95942;
Andy Horvath, Diagonal Road Gunshop,
14131 Diagonal Road, LaGrange OH 44050;
Ken Kelly, Mag-na-port Int’l,
41302 Executive Dr., Harrison Township MI 48045;
John Linebaugh, Linebaugh Custom Sixguns,
P.O. Box 455, Cody, WY 82414;
Gary Reeder, Reeder Custom Guns,
2601 E. 7th Avenue, Flagstaff AZ;
phone: 928-527-4100 or 526-3313.
Jim Stroh, Alpha Precision,
3238 Della Slaton Road, Comer GA 30629;
590 Woodvue Lane, Wintersville OH 43953;