They say every gun has a story. A reader submission series from American Handgunner, Wheelgun Diaries seeks to tell some of those stories through the words of revolver owners.

The following stories were shared by email with permission to publish.

Shiny & Smooth

A while back I read a piece about a company producing new handguns with that well-used appearance. The writer said, and I agreed, he preferred to have his handguns get that well-used patina the old-fashioned way — by actually using them.

With that in mind, I recently acquired this old Smith & Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman. It’s a .357 on a .44 Mag frame and rode in the holster of a now-retired sheriff’s deputy for years until the department switched to 9mms. It’s got a lot of shiny spots but the action is still smooth and it hits what it’s aimed at.

I too have a lot of shiny spots, but my action ain’t as smooth as it once was and I don’t always hit what I’m aiming at. But we get along just fine.

John Schroeder
Editor’s Note: Perhaps this wheelgunner was referring to Roy Huntington’s Mar/Apr 2020 Insider column, in which Roy details how to give new guns that worn and aged look.

Load Development

I got a great deal on this old Ruger Blackhawk a while back. Notice it’s a standard 4 5/8” Blackhawk on a Super Blackhawk frame. I’d been wanting a .45 Colt and this one just happened to fall right into my lap for a price I couldn’t refuse.

I tinkered with it with WW296 and a 300 gr. RimRock hardcast bullets and the targets looked like shotgun patterns. I loaded up another six lots with the same bullet and H110, backing off 10% from a max of 23 gr. and worked my way up. Once I got the sights adjusted (which were way, way low) my little beast put everything I shot through it into a 6” target at 20 yards. I’m not planning on sniping groundhogs with it as this is for bear hunting and perhaps the odd deer at proper revolver range.

Later, after more shooting and tinkering, 21.7 gr. of H110 gave me 1179 fps and a 2.5” group. It liked just about anything I gave it other than the max of 23 gr. where it opened up to around 5” or so. Next up, is my old 6.5” .357 Blackhawk!

Jeff M.

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