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Doc Coles SASS 1188

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Doc Coles SASS 1188 last won the day on August 30 2018

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About Doc Coles SASS 1188

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  • Birthday 02/13/1964

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    River City Regulators (#7), Alaska 49rs, NRA Life Member

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    Historical Archaeology,

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  1. Colt never offered short barreled SAAs with ejector housings in the 1st or 2nd generation. However, given the fact that Colt would pretty much make whatever you wanted on special order, it is possible that they built one as a custom order. But, I have never heard of one or seen one in a collector book. Such a gun (if it ever existed) would be a very rare and expensive collectors item. I would look on such a gun as a non factory modification unless the Colt records proved otherwise.
  2. I have a couple of original colts that started out in other calibers. They loose something in the collector value but the shoot beautifully. Many years ago I worked for the Old Sacramento Armory. When I started, they were one of the biggest distributors of Colts in the US and they had a cabinet full of Colt factory parts including 1st and second generation SAA and Bisley parts. I bought several barrels and cylinders in .45 and used them on guns that were in bad shape, several of which I still shoot today (30+ years later). I have a 1905 gun that has a later .44spl barrel and both .44spl and 44-40 cylinders. That came from a friend. It was rebuilt and blued by Christie’s at some point. I would love to get a good 44-40 barrel for it, but they are hard to come by. It is too bad that Colt does not make replacement barrels for the 1st and 2nd generation SAAs. There would be a good market for them. I too recall the San Francisco Gun Exchange fondly. Great shop with great stuff. I almost bought a 45-70 1886 winchester there when I was a kid. I just couldn’t swing it on what I made at that time, but I never forgot it. I didn’t get an 1886 till last year when I bought a deluxe made in 1888.
  3. I don’t have any Dillon dies, but I load about 30 different calibers using a mixture of rcbs, Lee, Lyman, 4-D, and a few other makers dies. A lot of what I load is obsolete American cartridges for old western guns so I buy dies from the folks who offer them. I do load some modern calibers (primarily military ones) but I don’t shoot long range target competition, where small differences can lead to big differences in success. For the stuff I load and especially for sass cartridges, I have never really noted a lot of differences between the dies of different makers. Thee are some dies I find more convenient to use, for example I like carbide dies for straight walled cases and I have a lot of Lee factory crimp dies, but other than that, as long as the round fits the chamber, the bullet is the right diameter, and the overall dimensions are within the envelope, the cartridges all shoot fine. You would have to have some pretty serious problems with your dies to make any kind of noticeable difference in performance in sass calibers at sass ranges.
  4. And where will it be available to read?
  5. Texas is an OK little state with some oil, but up here in Alaska we like things a bit bigger. Its cold half the year, but that just keeps the Texans from moving in. I don't get to the lower 48 (what we call "outside") much these days. Too much work and a young boy to raise. I would love to go to the museums and will if I get the chance. When I was a kid in Santa Barbara we had the annual fiesta, which was a heck of a party with parades over multiple days. My favorite was the cablagata, where everyone rode on horseback or in period horse drawn wagons. Folks, including a lot of the old Spanish/Mexican families that started the town, ranchers from the surrounding area, and the Sheriff's posse (which was a collection of the influential folks in the county, which was saying something for there) would ride in their best gear. Not the Bohlin stuff like the rose parade, but very nice stuff. This often included very fine guns, in tooled gun belts. It was not common to carry a gun at other times, laws being what they were. Not that many cattlemen I know carried handguns while working, and I think actually showing up at a barbecue carrying a gun would not be considered polite, even on a ranch. None the less, a fancy handgun was called a barbecue gun. The only LEO that I know who carried a fancy gun was Dick Price (the late great Diamond Dick), who carried a nickle Colt sheriffs model with ivory grips when he was Captain of Homicide for the Sacramento county Sheriffs Department. The term barbecue gun would have applied to it but I don't recall if he called it that. He told me that the deputies under his command thought it was funny when he showed up to serve warrants etc. and pulled it out. The only reason he could carry it was that as a captain he could establish the TO&E for his unit, so he put in a provision that a Colt sheriffs model was authorized for the homicide captain. So technically, it was a duty gun. Up here in Alaska it is still free America and you can wear open or concealed without a permit and I carry a gun in the bush for work and when I am out, but those are always working guns, usually a shotgun with slugs for bears or moose. If I carry a handgun, its concealed.
  6. Very nice! I love engraved cap and ball guns. I have a 2nd gen 1860 fluted cylinder that came from the factory in the white that I am trying to get dad to engrave with a period pattern.
  7. Levi, to be clear, I got the term from my family as well. My great grandad was raised Oklahoma in the 1880s and ran away to Texas as a cowboy at 14. He came to California around the turn of the century and ran ranches in Ventura county. A number of his kids and grand kids were also cattlemen. I didn’t learn the term from a book. As for me, I grew up with guns, dad is a gunsmith an engraver (he did the work on a number my guns including the 7.5 inch). I have been shooting a handgun since I was five and worked in the gun trade as a salesman and gunsmith for more than 20 years, ran shops, was a partner in a shop. I have bought and sold a lot of very fine western guns over the years and have a decent collection of it myself. I left the trade when I finished my Ph.D in historical archaeology so now I repair and restore primarily western guns as a hobby. Between my dad and having worked in good shops, I have seen a lot of engraved guns and read a lot of good books on engraving. So, I am not exactly “uneducated” in the field. Now that we have both trotted out our great granddaddys and said we didn't just fall off the turnip truck, can we can calm down a bit? I am not saying that your definition is wrong, I am just pointing out that that is not what it meant where I grew up in California. Saying that it’s a Texas thing and we don’t know what we are talking about does not change that.
  8. Well now we know what it is for Texans. But given the fact that 1911s are the primary gun that qualify, and the focus on concealed carry, this would seem to be a 20th century definition and probably associated with cities or towns, where carrying a gun openly in public is frowned upon. The tradition of fancy guns goes a lot further back than that. Back to the days when a gun was a piece of working gear worn openly and carrying a concealed gun was viewed on as underhanded or shifty.
  9. Good idea. A lot nicer than what my bank, or even my gun shop hands out. Doc
  10. A discussion in another thread took an odd turn when I used the term "barbecue gun" to refer to my engraved 7.5 inch Colt with checkered ivories. A fella said that he had never heard of a long barreled gun referred to as a barbecue gun and stated that the term was used in Texas to refer to short barreled guns used for concealed carry and there is a very short specific list of what qualifies as a barbecue gun. I learned the term in California where my family worked with cattle since the turn of the last century but there was never any talk of a required barrel length or association with Texas. The way I learned it, the term referred to a fancy l gun that was worn to public events instead of your every day gun. Obviously they would be functional (who is stupid to wear a gun that wouldn't shoot?), but they were a way to show off or at least dress up a bit. I did some checking on line and and the top result came up with the following definition, which is in keeping with the term as I learned it: "An old term from the Southwest that refers to a gun that is not worn daily. It won't have the scratches, wear marks, etc a daily wear gun would have. These guns were not something that were never used or "useless." In the time the term came about they were functional guns (sometimes, heavily modified for better accuracy/reliability/etc) that might have some custom engraving, polishing, or custom grips. They didn't make many guns purely for show - they made guns to use and users modified them for show. They were normally worn in tooled leather holsters as opposed to daily wear holsters - which were plain." other online references indicate that in modern times, the term applies to a "...large, intricately engraved pistol with custom handles, and it rests comfortably in a belt holster in plain sight. The holsters are usually leather and may also be intricately carved. This would be for formal wear worn with your suit to parties, weddings and — you guessed it — barbecues. These guns usually are bigger, since concealment is no longer the objective. They have longer barrels, thus a longer sight radius, which improves accuracy." The whole discussion got me wondering if or how the term is used or was traditionally used in other necks of the woods. And what exactly is on the list of Texas barbecue guns? Not intending to start a ruckus . Everyone gets to use the term as they like, just wondering about the variations. Let the games begin! Doc
  11. Boy this has drifted. My point, which seems to keep getting lost in the conversation, is that the term means different things in different places. Not uncommon in western gear. Different regions used different terms and gear. The way you use the term makes no sense to me because it’s not what I grew up with and the other way around. With all due respect, I don’t much care if you think I am using it wrong and I don’t much care how you use it or define it, other than to note the alternate usage. My gun actually has very little to do with the later guns, like those made by Bohlin. It uses original Nimschke engraving patterns and checkered one piece ivories, which were common on earlier guns. Engraved, color cased, and blued gun’s were well known in the 19th century, they were just not as common as engraved plated guns in single actions. Plating was much less common in cap an ball revolvers. You are right that fancy guns were not a big thing in early Californio gear, but that is largely because the hey-day of the Californio was before the revolver era. Short swords, knives, and lances were the common weapons during the early days of California. The arrival of Americans in California occurred at about the same time that revolvers became a thing. The Americans (not the revolvers) and the california gold rush led to the downfall of the Californio way of life and fortunes. After that, they didn’t have the money for fancy guns.
  12. It is not accurate to say that Bohlin had nothing to do with fancy guns. He was well known for making very fancy gold and silver grips and he embellished guns in a similar manner as his parade saddles. Attached are a couple of pictures of guns he did. The top one is his personal gun with all decorations to the gun as well as the case and accessories personally made by him. The bottom one is one he did for actor Buck Jones. Not really to my taste and late to the game, but unquestionably highly decorated guns made to show off the owner’s wealth in a parade, on the screen, or at a barbecue.
  13. Carrying a gun to church, oh what times we live in. My great grandfather left Texas around the turn of the century to run ranches in Southern California and the family never looked back. Before the idiots from everywhere else moved to California (after WWII), there was no better place to live on earth. Texas couldn’t hold a candle to it. Sadly, things have changed. My comment on a hideout gun was based on the statement that barbecue guns were short barreled so they could be concealed. I used to have my 5.5 inch Bisley on my CCW in California so could carry it to and from SASS matches. I also regularly carry a full sized 1911. I guess a hideout is what you make of it. But hideout is a term typically used for a smaller gun. By the way, Edward Bohlin worked in Hollywood California and almost all the most famous 19th century engravers were on the east coast, so while Texans may have bought barbecue guns, they sure didn’t invent them. I learned the term barbecue gun from my family and as I said it’s probably a regional variation, since we don’t have Texas rangers on the coast. California did have a long history of making and using very fancy clothes, guns, and equipment in the cattle trade, going back to the Californios and vaqueros and their cattle industry is as old or older than Texas’s. But hey, you can always tell a Texan but you can’t tell em much, so believe what you like.
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