This issue’s cover pays homage to the 65th anniversary of “Gunsmoke,” the Western that holds the record for the longest-running series and the longest-running nighttime television drama. It seems that gun smoke has always been as much a part of Westerns and shooting as the guns themselves. There are many tales of gunfights in Old West saloons where, in a matter of seconds, the smoke was so thick that you could hardly see what you were shooting at.
We made sure another kind of gun smoke filled the pages of this issue! With the history of engraved Colt revolvers carried by Texas Rangers from the late 1870s well into the early 20th century, we took a look at tales of famous Rangers like Frank Hamer and others in this issue’s “Guns of the Gunfighters.”
Author Dennis Adler tested the new EMF/Pietta 1851 Navy London for this issue and proved that, sure enough, the old loose-power, cap-and-ball pistol can still punch tight groups and run flawlessly. Not to be outdone, author Larry Ford took a look at George S. Patton’s life and an exciting new reproduction of his famous engraved SAA in “Patton’s Colt Returns.”
Phil Spangenberger brought down the Lightning and a little Thunderer with his review of Colt’s first double-action revolvers, two famous pistols that still elude the art of reproduction by modern gun-makers. “La Vista” Bill Bell brings down his own thunder by taking a 91-year-old Winchester Model 12 shotgun to an SASS competition! We also get a glimpse at some new Old West guns premiered at this past January’s SHOT Show and test Henry’s new Lever Action Axe .410.
The past and present collide once again in this issue, and the smoke has yet to clear! There’s a lot more in this issue, including a write-up of the best classic whiskeys and some true need to know Colt history.
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Carrie Roeder, Senior Director, Marketing and Operations