Colt Frontier Six Shooter

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Ed Harris posted this 13 August 2019

Date of manufacture 1906.  Colt factory letter has been requested.  Wish it could talk.

Barrel groove diameter slugs .427

Cylinder throats .4285

Chamber necks .449"

Cylinder gap pass 0.012"/hold 0.013"

Range report to follow.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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M3 Mitch posted this 13 August 2019

Ed, you certainly have managed to buy some really great guns lately!  Barrel fairly smooth, "salt and pepper", or worse damage from corrosive ammo?  Cylinder gap is a bit wide, but, I would not mess with it.  At least the cylinder throats are bigger than the bore.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 13 August 2019

... i could see that would be hard to pass up ... 

... i got to shoot one also in 44-40 when i was a kid .. and a '73 winchester in 44-40 ...  

looking back, i should have stayed a kid ....  ( g ) ...  next time around i might just do that ...

ken

 

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longhunter posted this 13 August 2019

Nice find.

There is this feel of the old guns that is special.

Can't wait for the range report!

Jon

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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Ed Harris posted this 13 August 2019

Ed, you certainly have managed to buy some really great guns lately!  Barrel fairly smooth, "salt and pepper", or worse damage from corrosive ammo?  Cylinder gap is a bit wide, but, I would not mess with it.  At least the cylinder throats are bigger than the bore.

 

Bore actually looks worse after thorough cleaning, exposing the pits, etc.  Now plan to scrub well with JB and Kroil and with all the old prior corrosion gone, shoot some factory jacketed and a few BP loads for benchmark, then clean carefully and recondition with mild, lead-bullet handloads.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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JeffinNZ posted this 13 August 2019

Meh, I had a Mod 92 in .32-20 with a bore that looked similar.  Shot great with the right loads.

The cylinder gap will be a fire breather!

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ed Harris posted this 17 August 2019

Ed, you certainly have managed to buy some really great guns lately!  Barrel fairly smooth, "salt and pepper", or worse damage from corrosive ammo?  Cylinder gap is a bit wide, but, I would not mess with it.  At least the cylinder throats are bigger than the bore.

You understand "the plan."

Now that I am of the age where I am required to take minimum distributions from my IRA, I've decided rather than using the money to take Carribean cruises, European vacations or frequenting "slop chutes" and country music venues which serve alcoholic beverages to aging bikers and rednecks, that have Saturday night wet T-shirt contests attended by young ladies, while having their doors placarded "THIS ESTABLISHMENT OFF LIMITS TO MILITARY PERSONNEL..."

..that I will search the listings of my "most trusted sellers" on GunBroker for investment quality guns which I can enjoy shooting and writing about.  I'm thinning the herd also and concentrating on quality, rather than quantity.

The adult entertainment establishments will have to survive without my presence...

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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SavvyJack posted this 17 August 2019

Ed, can I use that photo on the website?

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Ed Harris posted this 17 August 2019

Already sent to you in higher res.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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Ed Harris posted this 26 August 2019

Range report, pics self-explanatory.  I did some touch-up using Birchwood Casey Aluminum black on 000 steel wool.  The color took nicely and blends in well with the original patina.  Purists may whine, but I think once it has weathered a bit, it will look "right."  Sights on the money.  These 25-yard sandbagged groups show promise.  #42798 bullets which came with the gun, sized .427 with old Ideal black lube and 6.5 grains of 452AA shot well, as did my new Accurate 43-206H cast 1 to 30 tin-lead, loaded as-cast and unsized, tumbled in LLA. Rounds were profiled in the Redding Profile Crimp which sizes bullets to .429" by compression inside the case, applying a moderate roll crimp similar to that on factory rounds.

Think I'll leave both the gun and the load alone.  

 

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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M3 Mitch posted this 26 August 2019

That's good shooting, apparently the pitting in the bore is not spoiling the party.  Maybe it shoots a little to the left of dead center, but not enough that it would worry me, personally.

Usually these old fixed sight guns from nearly 100 years ago shoot pretty close to point of aim, if you load a more or less "standard" load, or when you figure out what load they "like" and were set up for from the factory.

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Ed Harris posted this 26 August 2019

That's good shooting, apparently the pitting in the bore is not spoiling the party.  Maybe it shoots a little to the left of dead center, but not enough that it would worry me, personally.

Usually these old fixed sight guns from nearly 100 years ago shoot pretty close to point of aim, if you load a more or less "standard" load, or when you figure out what load they "like" and were set up for from the factory.

Exactly.  This 452AA load is close to factory velocity and bullet weight, which was what I had hoped to do.  Payload and velocity approximates a full-charge .45 ACP IPSC load with H&G#68, so I figure no more oomph is needed.  Next is to experiment with Bullseye to determine a safe charge weight for the old gun which is a good match to this load. 

I'm thinking that 6 grains of modern Alliant is about right, based on modern Lyman data for Bullseye and similar fast-burners like TiteGroup, 700-X, Red Dot, Acc.#2, Trail Boss.  P.268 in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 4th Edition goes up to 6.5 grains of Bullseye for 962 fps at 12,700 cup in a solid 6" test barrel in Universal Receiver.  I would consider that max. for the Colt and work up to it.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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SavvyJack posted this 27 August 2019

https://curtisshawk21.wixsite.com/44centerfire/post/colt-frontier-six-shooter

 

That is some great results Ed!!!!!

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Ed Harris posted this 27 August 2019

More testing will follow.  Glad to help you fill out the .44-40 blog.  My pleasure.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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JeffinNZ posted this 27 August 2019

There ain't NOTHING wrong with that Ed.  I knew the bore condition wouldn't cause you any problems.  Awesome.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ed Harris posted this 07 September 2019

Found another really good load.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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SavvyJack posted this 07 September 2019

Another historic powder!!!

 

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SavvyJack posted this 07 September 2019

I almost forgot, did you try out the 43-214A yet?

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Ed Harris posted this 07 September 2019

I almost forgot, did you try out the 43-214A yet?

 

I have them loaded with a somewhat heavier load of 6.3 grains of Bullseye which I plan to try in the El Tigre and in a Colt New Service .44-40 I just picked up today.  Made 1920, cylinder throats .4282-.4285, cylinder gap pass 0.008"/hold 0.009", barrel slugs .427 groove, chamber necks .450", nice mechanics and bright bore. 

Can't wait to shoot it.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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