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Old 06-20-2018, 08:19 AM
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Hi:
Question for old west quick draw fans:

1. Can a S&W Model 3 be drawn and cocked as fast as a Colt SA ?

Thanks,
Jimmy
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:38 AM
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I've got Colt SAA's, Bisley's and S&W NM #3's. They all handle differently but handle fast once you get used to them.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:42 PM
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Never tried a quick draw with a Model 3 Single action but the most eloquent would likely be a New Model 3 with a 5 inch barrel.

Frankly, about the Colt SAA ... after evaluating the quality and function of a New Model 3 against a Colt SAA, I never had much use for one (a SAA)

.

Yes I know he's using a Cap and ball and not a SAA.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:20 PM
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If you are comparing a SAA vs the early S&W American/1st Russian then I'd say the Colt would be much faster esp in 4.75 in form.

The grip angles are much different, on the American/1st Russian frame you cannot reach the hammer with a firing grip on the pistol like you can with the Colt - don't get me wrong I love the early #3 Smiths but nothing from that time period balances better in hand than a 4.75 in Colt SAA
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Old 07-13-2018, 12:08 AM
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Let's be serious. How many recorded fast draw show-downs really happened when forging west in the 1800s ? Likely not as many as Hollywood focuses the key tension of any decent "western" flick.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:23 AM
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In my SASS experience I learned that shorter barrels are a requirement for true fast draw. In the 1870's , the Colt came in a variety of barrel lengths, while the American came in only XL length. I doubt that there would be much difference between an 8" American and a 7 1/2" Colt. There were no low slung TV holster rigs and the gun was worn at the waist. Quickly drawing from that height on the body was difficult to do it quickly with just about any length barrel. Wild Bill and other old west gunslingers wore their long barrel guns arranged in a cross-draw configuration.

I shot my Americans at SASS, shot my Russians at SASS, shot my replica Schofield and shot Uberti Colts. Of those guns, the 5" Colt was the ticket. I also shot some NM3 and liked it very much, shorter barrel, better hammer, etc. worked well and with more training, would have been as fast as a Colt of equal length.

Of the old west in the 1870s, the American is a much better handling revolver, in my opinion, than the Russian Models. Russians are heavy, thick, spur on trigger guard, etc. making it awkward to quickly draw from the holster plus the hammer is a long ways from the normal hold below the knuckle and difficult to cock. In the 1880s, the New Model 3 would be my pick of the S&Ws available for gun handling in and out of a holster.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:15 AM
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Hollywood myth aside, my point was on the S&W you have to change your grip on the pistol to work the hammer - something the Colt does not require

My understanding is Wild Bill and others who wore pistols butt forward did so to allow an inside hand cavalry draw. Makes sense given Wild Bill's days as a scout in the CW where all Cavalry troopers wore pistols on the right side butt forward. I surmise he stuck with what he knew which is why he hung on to the Navy's as long as he did.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:24 AM
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If one tries to draw a long barreled Model 3, or a 7 1/2" Colt from a waist high holster, you must pull your hand up to your armpit and the barrel is still in the holster. It is a very uncomfortable draw style. My bet is that the reason why the US Cavalry chose cross draw is for that reason in the first place. A C&B Colt was as long as an American, so very difficult to use with a standard strong side holster and certainly cannot be drawn quickly.

I have shot Americans, Schofields, and NM3s without having to move my hand to cock and I do not have large hands. They are remarkably easy to use and the "handilibilty advantage" of the Colt I believe is over-rated. S&W draws easily and cocks quickly and for me the biggest difference is that the Colt is not forward heavy and is more balanced in the hand, while the S&Ws are barrel heavy, making the Colt a little quicker in acquiring the target.

I will agree with you about moving your hand when using the Russians. They are very difficult to cock from the hand draw position and their stiff action makes it a two handed gun to draw, cock, and fire. They were a very poor choice for a holster gun and I do not believe they were very popular in the Old West.

Where I did my SASS shooting, they required a strong side holster and a cross-draw on the left side. The cross draw, actually set up in front, was an easier side for me to reach across with my right hand and pull the longer barreled guns and shoot. Their reason why they do this is that when drawing the barrels of the guns were less likely to be pointed behind as you draw and with a standard rig and a right handed shooter, there is a chance that you can drop the gun while transfering it from your weak hand to strong.
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Old 07-13-2018, 05:19 PM
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The real question is..which gun is faster to reload? The answer is the S&W by a HUGE margin. This was a lot more important than fast draw times..which is more about practice than anything.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glowe View Post
If one tries to draw a long barreled Model 3, or a 7 1/2" Colt from a waist high holster, you must pull your hand up to your armpit and the barrel is still in the holster. It is a very uncomfortable draw style. My bet is that the reason why the US Cavalry chose cross draw is for that reason in the first place. A C&B Colt was as long as an American, so very difficult to use with a standard strong side holster and certainly cannot be drawn quickly.

I have shot Americans, Schofields, and NM3s without having to move my hand to cock and I do not have large hands. They are remarkably easy to use and the "handilibilty advantage" of the Colt I believe is over-rated. S&W draws easily and cocks quickly and for me the biggest difference is that the Colt is not forward heavy and is more balanced in the hand, while the S&Ws are barrel heavy, making the Colt a little quicker in acquiring the target.

I will agree with you about moving your hand when using the Russians. They are very difficult to cock from the hand draw position and their stiff action makes it a two handed gun to draw, cock, and fire. They were a very poor choice for a holster gun and I do not believe they were very popular in the Old West.

Where I did my SASS shooting, they required a strong side holster and a cross-draw on the left side. The cross draw, actually set up in front, was an easier side for me to reach across with my right hand and pull the longer barreled guns and shoot. Their reason why they do this is that when drawing the barrels of the guns were less likely to be pointed behind as you draw and with a standard rig and a right handed shooter, there is a chance that you can drop the gun while transfering it from your weak hand to strong.

You dont pull straight up into your armpit - you pull up and forward.

Look how far forward the butts reside on WBH, when he pulls the pistol is gonna be well forward of his torso.



Thats why all the Cav holsters from the CW are canted forward.



My understanding has always been the forward facing holster was the result of the Cav being issued a saber. Being a long draw weapon, the saber has to be mounted on the left side to allow it being drawn with the right hand. That left the pistol on the right side butt forward so it could be accessed with either hand.

The early Americans with their 8 inch barrels were influenced by the previous generation of cap and ball pistols where having an 8 inch barrel was the norm. Its interesting to see how that dogma changed as times progressed and the standard barrel lengths started to shrink - first to 7 inches with the 2nd Russian and Schofield, then to 6.5 inches with the 3rd Russian and subsequent New Model #3
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakaway500 View Post
The real question is..which gun is faster to reload? The answer is the S&W by a HUGE margin. This was a lot more important than fast draw times..which is more about practice than anything.
Fast reloading was paramount in any military style engagement where you faced dozens of adversaries but didn't mean much when involved in a fast and furious street fight where 2 or 3 shots made the difference.

Case in point - if you were at the OK Corral and had to reload you would already be dead
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