BY: Roy Hunington
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 (see their Guild
Gun of the Year in this issue, and the Handgun of the Month). The
pictured SAA, courtesy of U.S. Firearms, was a donation made by
them at an American Pistolsmith 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 slick-up 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
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 $4811.83 (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?
Prices in this
article are reflected at the time of printing. Prices are subject