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American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2010 - Page 42

THE SIXGUNNER John Taffin dOuBLe ,tripLe, QuAdrupLe duty siXGuNs Double and triple-duty sixguns expand a revolvers versatility, just by adding a cylinder. This ivory-stocked Colt New Frontier started life as a .44 Special. It now does Triple Duty with the addition of a .44-40 cylinder and a .357 Mag. cylinder converted to .44 Russian. L et’s think about the .38-40 and the .41 Long Colt. Two totally different cartridges. The first is a tapered or bottleneck cartridge beginning life in the Winchester Model ‘73, while the straight-sided .41LC was first chambered in Colt’s 1877 Thunderer. Two totally different cartridges, but by the time they were chambered in the legendary Model P, the Colt Single Action Army, they both used barrels identical except for the caliber markings. To add further to the confusion, the .38-40 is, in reality, a .40 caliber, while the .41 Long Colt is a .38 caliber. Confusing isn’t it? For both to work in the same .401"-403" barrel, the .38-40 used bullets sized at .401" while the .41 Long Colt was loaded with a soft lead .386" hollow base bullet that expanded to fit the rifling when the sixgun was fired. All of this means the .38-40 cylinder could be fitted to a .41 Long Colt sixgun or vice versa. Early sixgun experimenters understood this and took it a step further. Two sixgunsmiths, Pop Eimer of Missouri and Gordon Boser from New York, independently came up with two wildcat sixgun cartridges by building new cylinders to fit Colt Single Actions in .38-40 or .41 Long Colt. Both used cut Freedom Arms Model 97 6-shot .357 down rifle brass to come up with the Magnum can be outfitted with extra .38 Special cylinders while the 5-shot .45 Colt .400 Eimer Special and the .401 Boser also takes a .45 ACP Cylinder. Special respectively in the 1930s. Both rounds were basically the .41 Magnum ahead of time. In the 1940s, another well-known pistolero and experimenter, John LaChuk, had new cylinders made for his .44 Special Colt Single Actions. Again using cut down rifle brass and .44 caliber bullets, LaChuk came up with the .44 Magnum about 10 years before it surfaced as a production cartridge. All three of these men knew one was not restricted to using the original cylinder in any sixgun, but A true quadruple-duty sixgun. This Model rather extra cylinders firing different 83 from Freedom Arms is fitted with cylinders chambered in .454 Casull, .45 cartridges could be added with great Colt, .45 ACP, and .45 WinMag. success. The same holds true today. 42 Because of the simplicity of the basic design, it is much easier to fit a second cylinder to a single action, such as the Freedom Arms Model 83, than double actions such as these from Ruger and Taurus. Auxiliary cylinders work. This big-bull bison was taken using a .480 Ruger cylinder in the Freedom Arms .475 Linebaugh MuLtipLe CyLiNders N ot only do extra cylinders give us the bonus of being able to fire different cartridges from the same sixgun, in some parts of the country it’s such a hassle to purchase a handgun, once that first sixgun is purchased, life is so much simpler if one simply adds new cylinders. An added bonus is the fact one only has to purchase one quality Continued on page 96 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER2010

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