Smythons & Cougars

Wheelgun Diaries

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.

Smythons & Cougars

Just read “Taffin Tests” in the last issue (Ed. “The Sixguns of Milt Morrison,” May 2020) and thought you might like a photo of a stainless Cougar with Rogers grips.

One apparent fact about the Colt Python that adds to its accuracy is its bores are tapered about one-thousandths of an inch from breech to muzzle, essentially “choked.” Carefully measuring a few barrels in my shop over the last 20+ years has seemed to bear this out.

I’m actually a Ruger revolver lover at heart. You can also see my custom Speed vice-Six I built because I couldn’t stand not having a 3″ round butt Speed-Six. I have a collection of 2-3/4″ Speed-Sixes but always wished they had an extra 1/4″ to make them 3″ even, so a fairly rare, square butt 4″ Service Six was sacrificed to my eccentricity. Apparently Ruger made some 3″ Speed-Sixes for the USPS, but I don’t need an original.

Also shown in the photo is my very early 6” Python with Kensight Elliason sight and early wood grips that look worse in person. Those beat-up grips will give you an idea of just how well-used the revolver was before it was ceramic coated. “Sacrilege!” You say, but hey, it’s mine and I like it this way.

And that other “thing” shown in the photo is a Ruger SP-101 Titanium frame casting. I live in the titanium capital of the Western Hemisphere and obviously S.R. & Co. was experimenting here with the idea of a titanium SP-101 back in the late ’90s. I don’t know why it never came to be but here’s the proof. I have been told that Ruger even owned one of the smaller titanium plants around here at one time.

Jeff Hutchins
Rangemaster Gunworks

“The titanium casting is terribly rare to see. Ruger experimented with it but never produced one. I wonder how he got it!”
— Roy Huntington, Publisher

Cowboy Without A Horse

I was a child of the 1960s. Western movies and television shows were extremely popular. I watched everything from Bonanza to Gunsmoke, Have Gun – Will Travel to big screen Westerns at the drive-in theater. My father loved everything Western, too, as his collection of cowboy fiction paperbacks was quite extensive.

I had chromed cap guns in twin holsters that were my prized possessions and my first real handgun was a Hawes Western Marshall .22LR revolver but I always wanted a shiny .45 Colt single action.

My Ruger Vaquero fits the bill. I love shooting it and almost feel like a cowboy when I buckle on my holster! All I’m missing is the horse.

David Griffith

Submit Your Wheelgun Diary

Do you have a wheelgun story to tell? Send us a photo and your story by email and you could see it published here and featured in our weekly Wheelgun Wednesday newsletter.

Send to: [email protected]