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GUNS Magazine August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 36

JOHN TAFFIN A pair of fun, accurate sixguns. ’ve been a big fan of western movies ever since I saw I my first “B” western back in the 1940s; however, I have never been able to warm up to what is known as “Spaghetti westerns.” There are several reasons for this. The acting is usually terrible and overly dramatic, story lines are almost impossible to understand (I never have figured out Once Upon A Time In The West), but most of all it’s the firearms. Today, replica manufacturers do their best to produce authentic reproductions of historical sixguns and leverguns. This was not always the case and every time I saw a brass-grip frame on what was supposed to be a Colt Single Action Army, the movie was over as far as I was concerned. Sometime around the early 1990s we started seeing Western movies all with very authentic-looking domestic and Italian replicas of historical American firearms from the frontier period. There have been several men and several manufacturers responsible for this and one of those manufacturers is Pietta. Heritage Manufacturing is importing Pietta parts and assembling “Rough Rider” .45 Colt single-action sixguns in this country that don’t even come close to looking like those Spaghetti Western sixguns from the 1960s. In fact, at first glance these Rough Rider .45s look quite authentic. The only thing which gives them away initially is the fact that due to the use of a transfer-bar safety, the trigger rides farther forward in the triggerguard than found on original single actions from the 19th century. Once the hammer is cocked, you also see the lack of a firing pin on the hammer. Most of the form of these sixguns is quite right. The hammer spur follows the proper curve, the front sights are not only shaped correctly, they are also made easier to see by the fact that they are not tapered to the top and are also matched up with a rear notch cut square. The sights are traditional single hErITAGE rOUGh rIdEr .45s The 4-3/4" heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider .45 in blue with optional case-colored frame shot well with Black hills ammo. The 7-1/2" Rough Rider in full nickel plate finish shot just over the front sight and a little to the left for John. John found the heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider .45 a pleasant and accurate sixgun. action following the hog-wallow trough through the top of the mainframe. The base pin is of the proper configuration, while the ejector-rod head is of the half-moon variety. The front of the cylinder is nicely chamfered in the old black-powder style as is the front of the ejector-rod housing. For me the only thing that detracts from the eye pleasing character of these revolvers is the warning labels found on both sides of the barrel. I understand why they are there, however, I am not happy with a world which causes such a situation. Grips are 1-piece cocobolo, fitted very well, and although they are a little wide for my taste, they could easily be reshaped. As far as finish Heritage offers a choice of full blue, blue with a casecolored frame and full nickel plating, as well as a choice of the traditional barrel lengths of 4-3/4", 5-1/2" and 7-1/2". Test guns consisted of a 4-3/4" blue/ case-colored version and a 7-1/2" full nickel example. Both guns are finished quite nicely with excellent metal-tometal fit as well as metal to wood. Finding a sixgun with fixed sights that shoots to point-of-aim with your choice of ammunition, eyesight and method of gripping a revolver, is pretty much hit and miss. Any time one is found the owner should feel very fortunate. The Rough Rider manual mentions the front sights on these sixguns are made tall to be filed in by 36 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • AUGUST 2011

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