Best Of Both Worlds

In the past few years Traditions has blended the old with the new. Their single actions now have the traditional Colt action of opening the loading gate, putting the hammer on half cock and rotating the cylinder. However, at the same time they have a Ruger-style transfer bar which allows the carrying of a fully loaded cylinder safely. If one looks at the current Traditions transfer bar Single Actions it is easy to see the trigger is farther forward than on traditional Colt actions. Everything else looks like Colt-style. Now in addition to the transfer bar action, Traditions is also offering exceptionally good-looking laser engraved single actions. The engraving is more than 80 percent scroll-style coverage and is quite attractive. If one is looking for an engraved sixgun at a very reasonable price, the Traditions Single Action, fully engraved, with one-piece grips can be purchased for much less than you’d expect.

Our test guns from Traditions, both engraved, consisted of a 43/4″ nickel-plated .45 Colt with one-piece walnut grips and a blued .357 Mag. Bill Tilghman Model with a 43/4″ barrel and one-piece ivory-style grips. Bill Tilghman was one of the three famous U.S. Marshals — along with Chris Madsen and Heck Thomas — in the Oklahoma territory in the last quarter of the 19th century, later serving in the oil fields in the 1920s. The movie You Know My Name with Sam Elliott told of Tilghman’s later years. He was murdered in 1924 more than 10 years before the .357 Mag. arrived, so his Colt was a .45.