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American Handgunner May/June 2012 Digital Edition - Page 46

TAFFINTESTS thesiXgunnerhimself:guns,gear & more Johntaffin Bowen ClassiC arms Quarter-Bore Installing the bowen .25-20 cylinder, John found the gun had very modest recoil and was very pleasant to shoot. the bowen custom S&w features easily swapped .25-20 and .256 winchester cylinders. .25-20/.256 i t’s been my good fortune to know the greatest custom sixgunsmiths who have ever lived, simply because they are alive and well and practicing their craft now. For the past three decades I’ve been accumulating examples of the creative genius of these gentlemen, and my relatively short list numbers more than a Baker’s Dozen. At the top of anyone’s list we must find the name of Hamilton Bowen. He may share top billing with a few others, however there are none any better. Hamilton goes way beyond the title of custom sixgunsmith. Not only is he extremely talented when it comes to metalworking, he also has great imagination and artistic talent. Over the past three decades, Hamilton Bowen’s shop has built some of biggest and baddest sixguns imaginable. But his heart, his true sixgunning heart, is with the more pleasant shooting sixguns. I know, over the years, he’s been especially appreciative of the old .32-20, and in recent years has built some very fine examples of custom sixguns chambered in the relatively new .327 Federal Magnum. in one! test-Fire: Bowen Custom s&w 6" .25-20 Cylinder 5Shots / Load MV(fps) 25Yards(inches) Hornady60JHP/7.0gr.#2400 972 11/2 Hornady60JHP/8.0gr.#2400 1,372 11/4 Speer75JFP/7.0gr.#2400 929 11/2 Speer75JFP/12.0gr.#1680 1,274 1 Remington86JFP/8.0gr.#2400 1,150 7/8 Remington86JFP/10.0gr.#1680 1,112 11/8 .256 win Cylinder WinchesterS-X60OpenPointEXP Hornady60JHP/15.0gr.#4227 Speer75JFP/14.0gr.#4227 1,874 1,556 1,459 1 11/8 11/4 big bruiSerS t he closing decades of the 20th century, with some overlapping into the 21st century, was the age of truly big-bore handguns, led by the .454 of Freedom Arms and other truly big-bore blasters! The advance of the .327 Federal Magnum gave us all much needed relief. Hamilton shows his true nature when he talks about this new “little” cartridge: “Those of us who are serious smallbore, small-game revolver enthusiasts have clamored for the moral equivalent of the great old .32-20 but in a more modern, tougher, available package. The cartridge fairies have been listening and have come through in grand style. The .327 Federal Magnum will perform every bit as well as hand-loaded, Continued on page 91 this S&w Model 53 (.22 Jet) is now usable once again thanks to the new .22 lr cylinder fabricated by hamilton bowen. 46 by using two cylinders hamilton bowen’s little sixgun chambers both .25-20 and .256 winchester. with the bowen .256 winchester cylinder in place, the test gun displayed solid small-game accuracy and excellent performance. WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • MAY/JUNE2012

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