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Stoeger Six Shooters

Buckshot Bear

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33 minutes ago, LawMan Mark, SASS #57095L said:

I have a Uberti Cattleman revolver in 45 Colt that is stamped "Stoeger" on the barrel.

Stoeger is now an importer of Uberti. 

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They were actually a fairly good gun, but their derringer was a great gun.  It was much more authentic than the bulbous over-sized guns you get today.


I had a friend who owned a pair of the .357 4 3/4" six-guns and did well with fast draw in the days when TV was crawling with gunfighters.

Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935
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I've enjoyed reading through a lot of old Guns magazines, interestingly there was as much talk in the 50's, 60's and 70's about gun bans and restrictions as there is now. 


P.S here's where you can download the mags from each month for many years.



Edited by Buckshot Bear
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I foolishly traded off a Great Western .357 Atomic many years ago (pre-SASS).
When I originally received it in lieu of a $50 debt payment, it had a broken bolt and a hair trigger.
I took it to an LGS where it was repaired using Colt parts.

A couple of months after I'd swapped it out, "Guns & Ammo" magazine had an article mentioning how desirable they had become to collectors.  :wacko:



Edited by PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L
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  • 1 month later...

I'm late to the party on this one -


I acquired a .357 Atomic a month back, but it was missing the entire firing pin & bushing assembly, and wouldn't lock up. I found the bushing, bushing cap, and firing pin spring online easy enough, but had to turn a firing pin out of a piece of drill rod. It also needed a new bolt stop and trigger spring, but Colt parts are compatible, the bolt/trigger spring is a pretty universal part, and I had both parts on hand. A pretty rare duck - only marked ".357 Atomic" for a couple years in the mid-50's, probably '57 and '58, from what I can find.



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It's been very confusing trying to figure out the history of Great Western Arms. Here's what I've gleaned from dozens of sources over the past month -


All Great Western revolvers were assembled in Los Angeles, and all were made by Great Western... kind of (see "Ferrocast" below). The company was formed in 1954, starting full production in 1955, but some parts were eventually contracted elsewhere. For instance, the base pin in mine is characteristic of what J. P. Sauer started producing in the latter '50's. Stoeger and Henry, or Heywood, Hunter (Good Lord, even his name is in question), aka Hy Hunter, were the main distributors, outside of Great Western. Over the decade of the company's history, Herter's, Hawes, J. P. Sauer, Hy Hunter, Stoeger, Ferrocast, and Great Western companies were all somewhat intertwined. About 1955, Bill Ruger introduced the Blackawk revolver, and in 1956, Colt decided to resume production of the Single Action Army, then Aldo Uberti started making reproductions in 1959, starting with percussion revolvers, sounding the death knell for GWA. By Great Western's demise in 1964, they had ceased producing complete revolvers, and were just cleaning out inventory for kit guns. Customer assembled kit guns have serial numbers starting with 0, while Great Western produced guns have a GW prefix, then a company called Ferrocast got some financing into the game from 1957 - 1960, dropping the GW prefix, but continuing the numerical order. In 1961, Great Western was once again in charge and resumed the GW prefix. Quality varied greatly from year to year. Production of complete, assembled, revolvers lasted barely eight years. Some sources claim GW was marketing revolvers as early as 1953, which seems impossible, although limited numbers may have been assembled in '54. Total production, including kit guns, was ~22,000, making any Great Western somewhat rare - by comparison, Ruger produced 53,000 Blackhawks in 1979 and 50,000 in 1980, the Blackhawk's best two years according to their Web site.


Some sources claim the .357 Atomic was slightly longer than the .357 magnum, but it's almost universally agreed it was just a hot .357 load, consisting of 16.0 grains of 2400 and a 158 grain bullet. No ammo or cases are known to exist with ".357 Atomic" head stamps. It was the beginning of the nuclear age, and founder William Wilson wanted something catchy that would sell guns and sound even more awe-inspiring than "magnum", and so the "Atomic" was born. The designation caused confusion when buyers discovered they couldn't buy .357 Atomic ammo, and the name had an adverse affect on sales, so the roll mark was changed back to ".357 Magnum" in '58/'59.


A good read on GWA, one of many, actually -


Edited by Three Foot Johnson
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