The Frankengun & Freud


The “Frankengun” is a conglomeration of ram horn, case coloring
and brass, blended together for sixgun perfection.

It happens to the best of us from time to time! It’s what makes living worthwhile, right? Something grabs our attention, and immediately the synapses start firing uncontrollably, triggering something in the primitive lobe of our brain telling us, “Me want! Now!” We never know when these moments will happen, at least for me, but happen they do. It works something like this. You’re minding your own business, walking the aisles at a Gun Show, when something catches our eye.

As you get closer for a better look, funny things start happening. The more you look, the more you realize you can’t possibly live without having that gun.

Compact in size with its 3 ¾" barrel, the full-size Vaquero
action allows use of heavy “Ruger Only” loads.

Freud’s Fault?

According to Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy working to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires. These are the demons responsible for our wanderlust! Back in June of this year, these guys awoke in my primitive lobe, beating the drums of lust, after Bobby Tyler, of Tyler Gun Works, showed me a recent build of his.

Close-up of the grip-frame mated to the frame, and ram horn
stocks to grip-frame. Pretty darn nice!

The “Frankengun”

Bobby calls it the “Frankengun.” I call it beautiful — and slick, sleek and seductive, a perfect packin’ piece, with plenty of personality. I don’t know what grabs my attention the most, the well barked ram horn grips, with Ruger Phoenix medallions, or the beautiful case colored frame, hammer and trigger? Maybe it’s the short 3 ¾” barrel, making it a compact package with punch?

Did I mention it’s chambered in my all-time favorite cartridge, .45 Colt? That alone makes it a true attention grabber. The full-size Ruger Vaquero frame sure doesn’t hurt things, adding traditional curves, surely seducing traditional shooters, while making it strong enough for “Ruger Only” loads, too.

The rugged “hog trough” groove forms the rear sight. Matched with a fixed front sight, it would take one hell of a jolt to knock this gun off zero. The wide Super Blackhawk hammer conveniently lowers reach, making cocking this thumb-buster a pure pleasure for shooting preparedness.

Seeing this gun automatically makes you want to pick it up and shoot it!

Brassy, Not Sassy

The re-contoured brass grip-frame also has eye-grabbing abilities. Re-shaped, welded, sandblasted and coated with a special sealant, the subdued finish will not taint, nor tarnish, this original Ruger Super Blackhawk grip-frame. Snugged up and fitted perfectly to the tiger-striped frame and ram’s horn stocks make for a trifecta of blended beauty. Final shape reminds me of a round-butted Bisley/birds-head grip.

Whatever it is, I love it! It fits my paw perfectly and is comfortable, even when shooting heavy “Ruger Only” loads in it. Those ram horn stocks are impeccably fitted to its new brass home, looking as if they sprouted and grew together as one. Everything flows together into an attractive, nice, neat package, something surely not having a “thrown together” look, as some guns do.

We can see the trimmed back ejector rod knob and base-pin head allowing for better extraction.

Magnificent Metal Work

With such a short barrel, the ejector rod housing obviously needed trimming, making it flush with the barrel. To maximize extraction, Bobby skillfully trims the base-pin knob as thin as you’d dare to go and gives it a thumbnail notch for easy removal. He also thins the ejector rod knob for the same reason.

The gun is given a TGW action job, making it a symphony of harmonic clicks, locking up tightly when cocked. Trigger pull is measured at an honest 2 lbs. Bobby also administered his Accuracy package, consisting of re-cutting the forcing cone to 11 degrees, followed by a polish and lapping of the barrel face, ensuring it’s square, and lastly, setting cylinder gap so tightly barely any sunlight can pass.

A target barrel crown completes the job. Lastly, the barrel and cylinder are re-blued, after removing the warning label from the barrel. Talk about a full workover!

Chambered for the versatile .45 Colt, this small package promises a big payload.

The compact size of this shooter makes manipulating it easier for unloading.

A More Personal Note

The final clincher to the whole works is the source of the donner gun for this magnificent piece. A mutual friend of Bobby and mine, Robbie Roberts, died this past spring. He was the curator of the NRA’s fabulous museum, the Whittington Center. I was hoping to possibly get one of his guns, as a keepsake, from my old amigo, and this piece fills this void perfectly.

Whenever wearing, shooting, or showing off this gun, Robbie’s name will surely come up, keeping his memory and spirit alive, as should be. Gunmen never die when their shooters are passed on, to be enjoyed, shot, while continuing their natural cycle, keeping the purpose and spirit they were intended for alive.

This gun does that, and more, in a beautifully unique package, put together and worked over by Bobby Tyler.

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