USFA Ultimate Sixgun

C&S's Take On The SAA

Handgunner shamelessly endorses the concept of handguns as a “high art” form. From the mundane to the staggering, you’ve seen it on our pages and will continue to do so. At times, however, the “less is more” concept proves yet again simplicity is often related to elegance. Simply because something may be diamond- encrusted, with mother-of-pearl widgets doesn’t necessarily mean it’s classy — or even beautiful. Think of a rapper’s neck “bling” as they call it. I promise you’ll never hear us describe a gun as being “bling.” Or for that matter, even being remotely associated with anything resembling bling. Yikes.

Chances are pretty good if you think of quality in handguns, you can probably think of the American Pistolsmiths Guild in the same breath. The pictured SAA, courtesy of U.S. Firearms, was a donation made by them at an American Pistolsmiths Guild meeting. The lucky winner — in this case, Bill Laughridge of the Cylinder & Slide Shop — could do what they please with it. It turns out, Bill did this.

A Basic Gun

Starting with a USFA Frontier Six Shooter in .44-40, Bill pondered exactly what to do to make it a special gun, but not too glitzy. Glitzy can be a good thing — and certainly has a fair place in a handgunner’s world — but Bill had other ideas. Known for his shop’s sublime treatment of metal, Bill took this particular SAA in the direction of “modest is more.” Modest? Well, kind of. Bill started from scratch, making plenty of scratches as he worked the single action into the final form. From polishing to puttering, his list of touches is a lengthy one. To wit: A reliable 3-pound trigger pull, light chamfer to the cylinder mouths (to slickup loading), internal trigger over-travel stop and even the tiny hole in the end of the base pin just like the old Colts used to have, just gets things started. The front sight got tapered at 50 percent, the barrel re-crowned to 45 degrees and regulating the barrel to correct windage added to the chore list. Bill didn’t stop there. A classic rust blue to the barrel, grip frame, ejector rod head, tube base pin and cylinder shows the proper gleam, and the heat-treated trigger screws glow in a manner to make your eyes smile.

Nothing would have been right unless the gun had the proper color case hardening on the frame and, of course, genuine ivory grips by Jim Alaimo of Nutmeg Sports. But Bill couldn’t help one final touch. His mug will always be remembered in the classic C&S logo modestly added to the left side of the frame — in gold. Bill’s famous mustache lurks within it. What price perfection, you might ask? In this case, we can tell you exactly. For precisely $4,531.24 (additional for shipping) you can possess happiness in the form of steel, ivory and a touch of gold. If this one is long-gone,
I’ll bet you can twist Bill’s arm for another. But remember, it won’t be exactly the same — and that’s what makes it interesting, right?

For more info: Cylinder & Slide
Shop, (402) 721-4277

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