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GUNS Magazine May 2010 - Page 82
my wife arranged for me to empty a basement filled with ceramic molds. I sure grumbled a lot as I stumbled up those ancient steps and hauled pickup load after pickup load to our house. There was however a definite reward for doing all ow are your Somedays coming along? Someday I am going to this as also in the basement were several go there; Someday I am going to do this. Most of us spend much stacks of American Rifleman magazines of our lives contemplating Somedays. I know much of my youth was from the 1920s to 1940s. What a treasure and they were free for the taking. I went spent looking forward to something I would accomplish Someday. through those magazines clipping every I first wrote about this in the January 2009 Campfire Tales which article of interest including several by related one of my Somedays being fulfilled with the acquisition of a Elmer Keith. I not only found his 1929 article on his No. 5 SAA, there were also Mossberg .22 old-fashioned military training rifle. earlier articles concerning the visit to Once I found the rifle it took the classes full-time and also working full- his ranch outside of Durkee, Oregon, by boys at Buckhorn six months to find time at night, I removed the stress by Harold Croft. Croft traveled all the way crossthe proper magazine and then my friend looking at that picture and thinking Denis found the right rear sight in a box about Someday. Thirty years later I was country to witness firsthand the longof parts at the local gun show. Someday able to actually handle Keith’s custom range sixgun shooting Keith had been talking about. He brought a whole came together and the result was suitcase full of custom sixguns an excellent shooting .22. I still including four lightweight packin’ have a lot of Somedays left. pistols built on Single Action and One of those Somedays Bisley Model Colts. They were all goes back to 1955 with the chambered in .45 Colt with barrel publication of Elmer Keith’s band front sights. My enthusiasm book Sixguns. I did not get was rekindled. Croft numbered my copy until after graduating his guns, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Forty from high school and I spent years later I was able to handle a lot of time pouring over the two of those, even shoot one of low-quality but highly exciting them, and it was interesting to pictures of custom sixguns find they had been converted by in that book. Almost every Croft to .44 Special after his visit Sixgunner knows of the history to Oregon. of Keith’s “No. 5 SAA.” It may Over the years I did come up well be the most famous .44 with one barrel-band front sighted Special in existence. However, The “barrel turning” club of John and his friend Denis fits on the sixgun, a John Linebaugh .500 the one really catching my hitch of John’s pick-up. They can adjust windage without harm Linebaugh. It is a wonderfully imagination was one of his other on fixed sight SAAs. built sixgun and the band is .44 Special Single Actions. actually machined as part of the The one picture in the book does not do it justice but I could tell it sixguns and then just a few years ago barrel; close to what I wanted but it was was not only a beautiful but well used place them in the Elmer Keith Museum not built on a Colt but rather a Ruger New sixgun. Barrel length is 7-1/2" with within the Boise, Idaho, Cabela’s. They Model. I still dreamt of the Someday I a King short action, Bisley Model look a whole lot better in person than in would have my “Keith Colt,” but alas it seemed not to be. style hammer, and a Smith & Wesson those old pictures. Fast forward several decades. adjustable rear sight. Stocks are 1-piece Treasure Trove Shooters often complain about fixed ivory and the most attractive feature to Somedays are usually tough to sighted guns wondering why the factory me is the front sight which is on a barrel band such as often found on big bore accomplish as we have to spend most can’t sight them in properly. The problem rifles. I wonder how many times during of our time surviving in reality rather is everyone does not use the same my college days, when I was attending than fulfilling our dreams. In the 1960s continued on page 81 seRiously seekiNG soMedAy And making it happen. H 82 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • MAY 2010