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Old December 13, 2011, 03:15 PM   #1
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The perfect open carry length?

Face it, by todays standards Cap and Ball Belt revolvers are HUGE!
Even though though they were vastly downsized from the Walker and Dragoon, they still were way larger than the Colt SAA and the short 4 5/8" barrel offering of the Colt made it supremelly easy to carry! But the standard C&B Belt Revolver is still a large piece of hardware!
Lately I have been working with finding the "right" C&B trail revolver for myself. I've tried several options and carrying and drawing my short (5 1/2") revolvers seems the most pratical and boy using this barrel length sure makes the draw much easier!
I am 6' 2" weith long arms and even the way I am built, the shorter barrel clears leather way easier than the standard 7 1/2" Colt or 8" Remington!
I choose a Strongside holster for my Piettia Police and only carry a single revolver on the right. My favorite rig is the Triple-K Western Holster from Cabelas hanging on a Triple-K Confederate Belt. The draw is at about the maximum bend of my long arm! The 7 1/2" standard barrel requires some side twisting of my back to clear the leather and the shortie Piettia is just about right for the strongside gunbelt rig.
I tried a belt level holster for my Remingtons but it required some side twist to clear the gun from the leather. For the carry of the Piettia Remington Sheriff (5 1/2") I chose an Oklahoma brand Double Loop Cheyanne Cross-Draw Holster, no body twisting or overflexed arm there! Just pull the revolver to the right and you're clear! A crossdraw is pretty comfortable to work around and though the revolver sits mainly in front of the body, it's largeley out of the way.
To best secure the revolver with a Crossdraw you need a good thumbstrap for the hammer or a thong though to the hammer as the Crossdraw could dump the revolver if you bend just right... The Oklahoma Leather Goods Double Loop Cheyanne rig uses a leather thong. For the low cost of this rig it is quite a good holster, nice looking also! It's made for a Centerfire Revolver like a Ruger Blackhawk or Vaquero but the large frame of the Remington calls for a slightlly larger holster width than a Colt-style C&B does. Remington holsters are noticablelly wider at the cylinder than a Colt-style.
I have become quite fond of the Piettia Police and the Tripele-K Holster for trail carry. The set-up is relatitivelly light and hanging off the right hip you hardly feel the weight of the revolver. It stays secure without a restraint.The power of the 6 shot .36 is more than sufficent for small game and personal protection from Feral Dogs etc. In areas where larger dangerous animals are present it behooves you to carry a heavy, powerfull Centerfire, for protection.
Some have chosen to really shorten their revolvers to 2" lengths and holsters for those are a custom piece. Hideout is the normal use for such barrel lengths and I'm talking "open carry" on the trail here.
How to carry has always been a very personal choice and each shooter has his own preferances but for ease of use, these rigs have worked out best for me.
What's your choice for your C&B trail carry revolver and how do you holster it?
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Old December 13, 2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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For just "playing" in the woods, I carry one of three pairs of revolvers. I have a pair of .36 1851 navies, .44 1863 "remmies", and .44 3rd model dragoons. All of them are Uberti guns. The navies and "remmies" I carry in 1850-1870s style "slim jim" holsters, butt forward for a cavalry or "twist" draw. The dragoons, I also carry in "slim jim" holsters, but they hang butt to the rear. I prefer the original (long) barrel length. They feel more natural and seem to hang on target better for me. As for "draw speed", I've never had a problem getting any of them out of the leather in a hurry. Although, the dragoons do unlimber a little slower than the others.
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Old December 13, 2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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If I carry a C&B revolver, it's a .36 Pietta "Police" model. The big guys are just too heavy to pack around for any length of time. While I appreciate that my great, great grandfather was obviously an ox of a man, I just don't feel like emulating him in that regard.

To be honest, when I'm out afield, I usually carry an eight shot .357. I really have fun with my black powder guns, but I figure that if it comes right down to it and, God forbid, I actually need to save my life, I'm going to do it with the most reliable handgun I own. Funny thing, though, it's a six inch barrel - about the same size as the 1862.
Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop - Gus McCrae
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Old December 13, 2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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To be honest, when I'm out afield, I usually carry an eight shot .357. I really have fun with my black powder guns, but I figure that if it comes right down to it and, God forbid, I actually need to save my life, I'm going to do it with the most reliable handgun I own.
As I stated, I carry C&B guns for "playing" in the woods. Hiking, scouting game trails, etc. While I would NOT feel undergunned if I had to defend myself with a C&B revolver, I like not having to fool around with percussion caps in a hairy situation. For everyday carry while checking on the cattle and such, I carry either an Auto Ordinance 1911A1 .45 acp, a Colt New Service or a 1917 S&W revolver, both in .45 colt, or one of my .45 colt or .44-40 Uberti revolvers, along with whatever rifle I bring with me. All of my revolvers have 5 1/2 -7 1/2 barrels. For concealed carry, I carry a 1911A1, M9 Baretta, Bulgarian Makarov, or a snubbie S&W .38 special, depending on where I am going. I love my C&Bs, but there is a reason they invented self contained cartridges.
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Old December 13, 2011, 08:31 PM   #5
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I've never felt that either the 1851 Colt or Remington was any problem drawing rather quickly either stronghand side or cross draw. It just takes practice. The short Remington is a pretty fast handling revolver and would make a cool trail gun.
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