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American Handgunner Jul/Aug 2010 - Page 38
TAFFINTESTS John Taffin THE SIXGUNNER HIMSELF: GUNS, GEAR AND MORE Perfect Packin’ Pistol everal years (decades?) ago I coined the phrase Perfect Packin’ Pistol, or as it has come to be known by many readers, PPP. I originally defined a PPP as a DA or SA sixgun with a barrel length of 4" to 51/2" and chambered in a cartridge which could be counted on to handle any situation arising. This means a PPP could be chambered in anything from .22 up to one of the various .500s depending upon one’s environment. It has to be easy to carry, accurate, quick into action and ride just as easy under a pillow or bed roll as it does on the hip. The joy in a Perfect Packin’ Pistol is the search — not the finding. We just get closer and closer to absolute perfection. If the absolute PPP was ever found we would no longer have an excuse to experience so many possibilities. Several times a week I hear from readers sharing what their quest for the PPP has led them to, and this year the American Pistolsmiths Guild has joined the quest. APG is a group dedicated to practicing pistolsmithing not just as science but also high art. Some of the greatest craftsmen who ever lived will be found listed as members of APG. Each year, as a fundraiser, a special handgun is created with several ‘smiths doing various aspects of the finished product. This year it’s a top candidate for the title of Perfect Packin’ Pistol. The Weigand Combat DX front sight and McGivern gold bead is classic. APG-STyle S This APG custom raffle gun (in this issue!) is a candidate for John’s “Perfect Packin’ Pistol” category. Topstrap work is simply stunning. John stuck with factory loads to test the APG raffle gun. The N-frame proved to be outstandingly accurate with factory loads. Field Gun N ormally, each year’s offering is a one-of-a-kind fancied up museum-style piece, which is raffled off. However this year is different. There’s not one, but two, identical (except for finish) APG pistols, both of which will be raffled. One is engraved and ivory stocked while the other is an everyday working sixgun. I have been given the high honor and privilege of shooting the latter. I have had custom sixguns and semiautos built by a dozen or more of the world’s best, however this is the first time I’ve ever experienced a group effort. Five different craftsmen combined their best to produce a .45 Colt as has never been seen before. Not only does APG come up with a grand idea each year, they also have to deal with the logistics of passing it from pistolsmith to pistolsmith, in this case five artists, to complete the project. This year an N-frame Smith & Wesson was chosen as the base gun. The finished product has a 4" heavy underlugged barrel, beautifully Continued on page 80 38 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2010