Peacemaker Specialists

Perfecting Perfection

This Colt “Royal” New Frontier is affiliated with real royalty, and
showcases the restoration and artistic talents of Peacemaker Specialists.
Photo: Ron Bez

Eddie Janis of Peacemaker Specialist, has long been known for producing exquisitely tuned Colt Single Actions as well as beautiful restorations. Eddie specializes in Peacemakers to the extent he will not work on any other revolvers — no Rugers, no Great Westerns, no USFAs and no replicas. Eddie is a purist in the strictest sense of the word. Eddie’s sixgunning mission is to take over where the manufacturer of Colt Single Actions leaves off, and proceed to perfection. Or to take an early Colt Single Action and complete it or return it to perfection.

Pre-War Colts in their original form are beautiful sixguns, however many were used hard over the course of their shooting life. Again this is where Peacemaker Specialists comes onstage. The early 2nd Generation Colts were also fine sixguns, but lacked perfection, often being found with oversize chambers, and as machinery began to wear the later sixguns slipped in quality. Many 3rd Generation revolvers also need help, the kind of help Eddie Janis can supply.

The time-honored Colt Elliason rear sight was installed ......
as well as ivory grips, stunning rust-bluing, color case-hardening
and custom “early Colt” modifications were done to enhance this classic Colt.
Photo: Ron Bez

Royal New Frontier

This brings us to the single action sixgun at hand. I consider the Colt New Frontier to be the finest and best looking Single Action Colt has ever produced. It is perfection in a Single Action. However, Peacemaker Specialist specializes in Perfecting Perfection. Before we delve into the work performed and the performance, a little background is necessary. Eddie calls this a Royal New Frontier because of the customer it is destined to go to. This gentleman who will soon receive his New Frontier, was gracious enough to allow me to test fire it first. The Royal designation comes from the fact he is descended from royalty.

The basic sixgun is a 3rd Generation 71/2″ New Frontier originally chambered in .44 Special and dating back to 1981. Starting on the inside, the action saw virtually all friction between parts removed and where necessary, the refitting or replacing of any internal action parts out of spec. Next came hand timing and adjusting of the action for optimal performance and reliability. To aid this, Peacemaker Specialists custom Gunfighter leaf springs were installed, which are guaranteed for life. This, along with setting the trigger to client specs and removing all trigger creep, is included in Peacemaker Specialists’ Gunslinger Deluxe Action Job. With this refinement, Peacemaker Specialists guarantees a Colt will never break, never wear out and never malfunction — or it’s fixed free of charge.

Only factory Black Hills 210-gr. .44 Special loads were used in
John’s “loaner” Royal Colt, delivering 13/8" groups at 20 yards.

Pre-War Looks

To enhance accuracy the forcing cone is re-cut to 11 degrees to help accuracy. To optimize the shoot-ability of this Colt, the standard rear sight was replaced with the time-honored Elliason adjustable rear sight which, by the way, now comes standard on current production New Frontiers. The Eliason sight improves the rear sight picture by displaying a flat rear blade. To make it even more user-friendly, the corners are radiused, and the blade is serrated to match the serrations on the ramp front sight.

This Royal Colt was also cosmetically and ergonomically enhanced by reaching back to refinements found on 1st Generation Colts. Things like re-fluting the cylinder with wider, deeper flutes, beveling the front edges of the cylinder and ejector tube do a single action de-horning to help eliminate excessive holster wear, and actually give the New Frontier a pre-War look. These and other features are included in the Peacemaker Specialist Cowboy Shooters 1880s package.

Royalty in America: a genuine Colt.

Detail Work

So far everything is beautiful, however there are a couple of steps left. Any sixgun this magnificent deserves two other changes not found on the original. These are case coloring the hammer and adding stocks worthy of such a Royal sixgun. In this case the plain vanilla Walnut grips were replaced with absolutely exquisite one-piece ivories perfectly fitted to the grip frame and checkered in one of my favorite patterns, the fleur-de-lis harkening back to the days of the French kings.

The only thing left to perform is the re-finishing. Colts from the early 1900s were finished in what is known as a Rust Blue. Eddie has recaptured that finish, and also color case-hardened the frame to match the finish found on pre-war Colts.

The final touch was the installation of custom Peacemaker Specialist Fire Blue screws. While he was at Perfecting Perfection, Eddie replaced the cylinder bushing to eliminate all end-shake. Eddie says any, or all of these enhancements, can be performed on any Colt Single Action produced from 1873 right up to today, including the newly re-introduced New Frontier.

John tries out the Peacemaker Specialists Royal New Frontier.

Refined Groups

The final act for me was to actually shoot this Royal New Frontier. Normally when I have a test gun from a factory I do not hesitate to use my handloads. For the .44 Special especially, I like to use the Keith hard cast bullet tailored to fit the cylinder throats with three power levels: 6.0 grains of Unique or Universal for around 750 fps, 7.5 grains of the same powder for around 950-1,000 fps and 16.0 grains of #2400 for right at 1,150-1,200 fps.

However, one of my cardinal rules, which I rarely ever break, is never to use someone else’s handloads in my personal guns, or use my handloads in someone else’s personal sixgun. The rule was followed judiciously in this case and only factory loaded Black Hills .44 Special 210-grain LFP rounds were used for testing the Royal New Frontier. Shooting indoors, where the light is not the best for my old eyes, still saw groups for five shots at 20 yards of 13/8″, with a muzzle velocity of 675 fps. Elegant, lovely and very definitely a Royal Colt.

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