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Old 10-13-2021, 09:54 PM
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Default Model 10-5 Bill Davis PPC Revolver

This revolver belongs to my Dad, and was given to him by the gentleman who had it built and competed with it in the 70's and 80's. The gentleman was a family friend and my grandfather's partner on the local PD. I've been doing a little research on it, and I'm curious if there is a definitive way to tell if it was actually built in the Bill Davis shop, or by another smith using Bill Davis parts?
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Old 10-13-2021, 10:06 PM
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With the markings on the barrel and rib I would assume (absent any additional info) that your gun was built by Bill Davis or at least in his shop. That’s a fine example of the purpose built PPC revolver that would have been used in competition “back in the day”. Congratulations.

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Old 10-13-2021, 11:22 PM
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I donít believe that Davis was selling barrels with his name on them ó maybe itís possible. I would not suspect for any reason that what you show here isnít exactly what you think it is, a genuine Davis Custom. He nearly always added the ball detente lockup and it appears you have that, thatís a feature that some builders did and many others didnít.

Iíd definitely bet that is the real deal.

Now perhaps the research youíve already done has told you this but if not, do understand that this revolver (and nearly all other purpose built PPC-specific revolvers) were setup to be used exclusively with the Federal 100 small pistol primer. For that reason, you may experience an extremely high rate of failure when you shoot this revolver in double action unless you are a handloader and you are crafting your ammo with the Federal 100 primer.

There is a work-around if you arenít a handloader, but itís not a fantastic work-around. But I wanted to share this so if/when you experience FTFís, donít think that something is awry, itís very much set up this way specifically.
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Old 10-14-2021, 06:41 AM
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Those Davis built pieces frequently showed up on the winners platform at matches and should still be capable of that performance, if the shooter can hold the sights steady.

I used mine to shoot my way into a few prizes and medals.

I am not familiar with the situation mentioned by Sevens. I used mostly CCI primers and had no issues.

Kevin
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Old 10-14-2021, 07:44 AM
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The rib was made by Aristocrat. It is the picture, but on the other side states Bill Davis.
I had a 10-5 PPC that was made by Cheshire & Perez. It was pretty heavy. Maybe because it had a 8.75" barrel. At 1 time they were legal to compete with. Later it was limited to 5" if I remember right. Bob
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Now perhaps the research youíve already done has told you this but if not, do understand that this revolver (and nearly all other purpose built PPC-specific revolvers) were setup to be used exclusively with the Federal 100 small pistol primer. For that reason, you may experience an extremely high rate of failure when you shoot this revolver in double action unless you are a handloader and you are crafting your ammo with the Federal 100 primer.

There is a work-around if you arenít a handloader, but itís not a fantastic work-around. But I wanted to share this so if/when you experience FTFís, donít think that something is awry, itís very much set up this way specifically.
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I am not familiar with the situation mentioned by Sevens. I used mostly CCI primers and had no issues.

Kevin
I have a DAO PPC revolver. Have never heard to use Federal SPP in it. Like Strawhat, I use a lot of CCI and also Winchester SPP when reloading for it. My revolver was made by August F. Behlert.

Are the Federal SPP made with thinner metal? Different composition of metals?

AJ
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:05 AM
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I concur that this is a Bill Davis gun. The Aristocrat sight rib was an aftermarket part that anyone could buy, but it wouldn't have had the Bill Davis signature unless he used it and modified it, which he did in your case. I'll bet that thing is a tack driver with 148 gr wadcutters.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
I have a DAO PPC revolver. Have never heard to use Federal SPP in it. Like Strawhat, I use a lot of CCI and also Winchester SPP when reloading for it. My revolver was made by August F. Behlert.

Are the Federal SPP made with thinner metal? Different composition of metals?

AJ
Yes, the Federal primers have thinner metal in the cup. Almost every competition shooter used them to get reliable ignition. I had a Behlert NRA Action 686 that was fantastic, but could only get reliable ignition with Federal primers.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:30 AM
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Federal primers are still the hot setup for those shooting a tuned revolver. They allow for the lightest hammer fall, thus the lightest trigger pull, of all the primers. A lighter mainspring setting then allows for a lighter rebound spring, making for an even lighter DA pull. Reliable DA pulls on tuned S&W revos are commonly in the 6 - 7 pound range. Some are closer to 5 lb.
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Old 10-14-2021, 10:32 AM
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Very nice PPC revolver! Sure looks to be made by Davis, seems to have all the hallmarks of his work. In the grand scheme of things it probably doesnít matter much. A well built PPC gun is a lot of fun.
Will be quite the shooter with the correct load. Really like the adjustable front sight.
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:19 AM
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Here is one I acquired a few years ago. It was done by Master Gunsmith Ken Eversull using a Model 10-7 frame and a Bill Davis Custom Sight Rib. The barrel is slab sided and 6" in length. The gun's weight is approximately 3 lbs. 10 ounces.

I forgot to add: It is double action and the hammer has been bobbed, trigger has a an installed stop. and the trigger pull is 6 lbs.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:26 PM
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Surprises me greatly that you guys can run your PPC guns with CCI primers. I’m fortunate in that I own four of these (one Bill Davis, two by Travis Strahan and the last one unknown) and none of them will reliably pop CCI-500 SP in double action but all of them are sweethearts with the Federal 100.
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:29 PM
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The "Bill Davis" rib was indeed manufactured by Aristocrat, and was so-named because of his innovation of the sliding pre-set on the front sight, rather than the tri-set rear which Aristocrat had already developed; this created the "Bill Davis" model rib, which could be purchased by itself, and often was. Most, if not all, complete guns which came out of his shop were marked on the barrel. His guns came in several grades, with the "Windmaster" considered the ultimate, but slab-side and round barrels were part of his less expensive offerings. He even dabbled with .32 Long guns as an experiment, but major concerns were wind-bucking ability of the round, and a lack of speedloaders available. I had a good conversation with him about all this back when the NPRC was still in Des Moines.


Of course, those who knew Bill can be certain he was chomping on his cigar the whole time.


He is missed.


RWJ


Edit: For those who don't know, he also gave us the original "Speed-Feed" stock for shotguns - I don't recall who he licensed/ sold that design to. I have an original on my Smith 3000 riot gun.

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Old 10-14-2021, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sevens View Post
Surprises me greatly that you guys can run your PPC guns with CCI primers. Iím fortunate in that I own four of these (one Bill Davis, two by Travis Strahan and the last one unknown) and none of them will reliably pop CCI-500 SP in double action but all of them are sweethearts with the Federal 100.
My Behlert is a bit road worn, but can still shoot. Like wrote a DAO and I use CCI and Winchester and sometimes Remington SPP's.
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Old 10-14-2021, 03:38 PM
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Yep, a lot of fitting and fiddling went into the building of a top shelf PPC gun, but they were designed to keep on running... 60 rounds per match for many many matches. They just keep on shooting well!

I heard about the Federal primer situation way back in the eighties and preferentially loaded them, but occasionally used Remington or Winchester (if I had to) without issues. It was an article of faith that CCI made the "hardest" primers, so I didn't even try them. BTW, I was shooting the demo gun Fred Schmidt built to take to matches, etc. I bought it from his estate and campaigned it locally for a few years.

Froggie
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Old 10-14-2021, 03:58 PM
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Not to get too far off in the weeds on the primer subject, but I've been staunchly married to the CCI-500 small pistol primer since 1989. Only because that was what the LGS had for this 16 year old kid venturing down this journey alone.

When I got my first PPC revolver more than 7 years ago, I knew from much research that it was likely going to demand the Federal 100 primer. But still gotta try, right? And with each PPC revolver I added, still gotta try, right?

Across four of them, three being S&W K-frames and the Bill Davis being a Cougar/Rython/"PUGER!", a Python barrel mounted to a Ruger Service Six, I am lucky to get 4 bang from a cyliderful of .38 Special loaded with the CCI-500 primer. And I get 100% with no deviation when I feed it the Federal 100.



When I posted early in this thread, my intention wasn't to start a campaign saying that no custom PPC revolvers will reliably pop CCI-500 primers. Rather, what I think is important to share is that if you have never owned a custom PPC revolver with a mouth-watering ridiculous double action trigger stroke, there's a very good chance that your first range trip could be frustrating and I would hate for a new owner to think "arrgh, this gun is broke!" because that's just not the case.
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Old 10-15-2021, 01:19 AM
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Was at a local gun show some years back. Ran into a Bill Davis ppc gun with a slabbed barrel and aristocrat rib. Beautiful craftsmanship. Same shot found a Colt trooper also done up the same way. Unknown as to who actually did the Colt. Frank
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:02 PM
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Definitely looks like a Davis grade 3 B I used to shoot one exactly like it. The only thing I see different is most had a trigger stop installed. However I and a lot of others changed the triggers out because they had a rather big set screw hole in the face of the trigger. You could probably do the same internally, I chose to install Tanaka triggers, he thinned them out and left just a tiny allen wrench hole for adjustment. Most of the early guns had the builders initials stamped on the frame under the yoke. Later guns did not. When my wife started shooting Davis was out of business but the guy who built my gun, Craig Marivio ?, was still building guns so he made my wife a 3-B . Bottom gun in photo. My gun (middle) was a windmaster diameter barrel with all the weight left on the bottom and the sides slabbed a bit, 60 oz. Top is a lighter weight Tanaka gun I had done in my later years , thinking the light weight might be useful, It shot wonderful, but I never could get away from my Davis gun.
As far as Federal primers etc it all depends how your gun is set up . True Federal is probably the lightest igniting , but I shot Winchester from 1993 on and "never" had any FTF issues.
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Old 10-16-2021, 08:32 PM
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Bought this at Krausewerks in San Mateo, CA last year -

IMG_0228.jpg

Originally a 4" Model 65. Came with Bill Davis grips but I found a set of K frame target with the steel based "S&W" emblem base.
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Old 10-16-2021, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by three50seven View Post
This revolver belongs to my Dad, and was given to him by the gentleman who had it built and competed with it in the 70's and 80's. The gentleman was a family friend and my grandfather's partner on the local PD. I've been doing a little research on it, and I'm curious if there is a definitive way to tell if it was actually built in the Bill Davis shop, or by another smith using Bill Davis parts?
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I so want a PPC Wheel Gun like that for the collection.
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