Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Revolvers 2

I had some interesting responses to my post on a two- revolver "set" of mine last month but it took me some time to get back blogging-- obviously.

Jonathan Hanson, editor of Overland journal and possibly the last Edwardian, proposed a perfect pair of antique English Webleys.

The big one is "a MKV ("star" or "double star"). It's was altered for WWI; the standard barrel for WWI was 6 inches. It was originally .455, but the back of the cylinder has been cut for .45ACP/AR -- .455 will still fit, but the rim is so thin the cartridge will slide back and forth.

"The little one is the famous British Bulldog [ think Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson--SB], chambered in the short little .450 Adams. It has a famous scene in the beginning of The Wind and the Lion.

"I think they used that cartridge (like 600 fps) because you could not only see where your bullet was going; reportedly if it was off-target you could actually run up beside it and tap it back in line with a finger."

Our mutual friend and J's fellow Arizonan Bruce Douglas took a more American angle.

"Around 1983, I drove up to Oregon with my college girlfriend to meet her parents. They had her very late in life; she was in her late 20s, her father was in his early 80s. His name was George Engleheart (related to, and named after, the English miniature portrait painter). His family had moved from England to Mexico at the turn of the century. He was a fascinating guy: English, but only saw England when he was sent to University in his late teens. He spent his time learning Latin, Ancient Greek, drinking, and pursuing English girls… when the final exam came, he decided it was a good time to go home to Mexico. He landed a job as a geologist in Chihuahua – spending months alone in the countryside. 50 to 60 years of life passed, and we were sitting in the cold, damp basement in a rundown neighborhood in Portland. Smoking and sipping cheap wine, keeping company with his aging, incontinent, Black Lab (smoking wasn’t allowed upstairs). And here’s where the story of the Pistola Carcajada came in:

"George had been out working in the mountains by himself; after a month or so he wandered into a village after dark. Seeing a cantina, he made his way straight for it. When he stepped through the door of the lamp-lit room he noticed everyone was lining the walls, and there were only two men at the bar – standing at either end. The bartender was trying to make himself part of the bar back. Young George walked up to the middle of the bar and asked for a drink… at which point the men at the ends of the bar pulled out their guns, a Luger and a Pistola Carcajada (better known as the Colt Single Action). Caught in between, George hit the floor as the men covered their heads with their left arms and emptied their guns, then rushed for the door – fighting to get out. The ceiling ended up the only casualty of this gunfight.

"George asked if I was familiar with the Colt Single Action… oh yes, nothing feels as right as drawing back the hammer of an old or well tuned (3rd Generation), Colt SA. It truly chuckles, or laughs, with its sharp, light clicks.

"Every time I shoot one of mine I can’t help but smile and think of George."

1 comment:

mdmnm said...

Great responses! Those Webleys look to be in very nice condition and the Bulldog is especially cool. Too bad the MK V is cut.