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Old June 2, 2018, 04:45 PM   #1
1stmar
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Open top 5” or 7.5”?

Havent had a chance to shoot either of these or handle them. 7.5” seems like it may have some poor balance. The 5” is hard to come by they sell out quick so assuming they may be more popular. Looking to purchase a taylors and co in 45colt. Any thoughts on these revolvers? Leaning towards the 5” for casual range use.

Thanks
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Old June 2, 2018, 06:17 PM   #2
Bob Wright
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I have this .38 Special Open Top Navy, 4 3/4" barrel, from Cimarron.



Its certainly not for any serious shooting, the sights are impossible and accuracy is poor, yet it is the most fun gun I have. I call it my "Centerfire .22" as my loads are pretty mild. Its surprisingly heavy due to the mass of steel in the barrel, but balances very well.

I'd advise you to keep your loads on the mild side as I don't believe it will take much punishment. I've had mine just over a year and only put a little over a thousand rounds through it so far, and no troubles with the gun. And, it is the only revolver I have that allows the barrel to be cleaned from the breech end.


The gun points surprisingly well, and fast shooting is a hoot. Don't expect hair splitting groups nor 100 yard shots, but for rolling cans or bouncing wood blocks, this little gun is a hoot!


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Old June 2, 2018, 06:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice bob nice looking gun.
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Old June 2, 2018, 07:29 PM   #4
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My guess is it's going to be a personal like and preference.

I haven't handled a 45 Colt, which I'm assuming is on the Army size frame? I waiting for a '61 Navy Richards & Mason Conversion in 38 special with a 7 1/2" barrel which should be in this net week. I went with the 7 1/2" barrel because I have extensive experience with '51 Navies with 7 1/2" barrels - been shooting them for 50 plus years.

I think Bob makes some very good points - I agree with keeping the loads on the light side. Some may differ with that but I plan on it with th 38 and I'd do the same on a 45. I didn't buy mine with the expectations of how accurate it might be, but rather for the historical aspect of it. I doubt that mine will see many 38 specials but I do plan on using 38 Colt Shorts and Longs in it - both smokeless and BP. I cast so I'll be playing with a number of different grain weights as well for fun. It will mainly be a "range fun gun". If I want to carry something more accurate, it will be my Uberti 3357 Bisley 4 3/4 as it carries well and shoots accurately - if I do my job.

I cast/load/shoot the 45 Colt as well and have a Uberti SAA with a 7 1/2" barrel - another fun and accurate six gun for me. However, if I buy an open top in 45 Colt, which I do plan to do in another year, it will either be the 4 3/4 or 5 barrelm mainly for the ease in carrying. I think either of those barrel lengths would be great for a woods gun in 45 Colt = but, I would not push the max on the cartridges. Whichever way you go, I hope you'll do some posting on how you like it and how it shoots. Personally, I'd like to hear more from those that belong to the "open top club" - they are certainly nice looking handguns with a rich history.

Bob - I know you have and shoot a lot of different six guns but that one you picture has got to really put a big smile on your face. That has really got to be a fun gun to carry in the field/woods and play with. Let's face it . . . a person can be in a real quandary over which barrel length to order - I know I struggled with it for a long time but then decided on the 7 1/2" primarily because I won't be carrying it. I plan on making a double wood case for it to hold the Richards & Mason conversion and the '51 Uberti Navy that I shoot. Just out of curiosity, what are you shooting in your 38? Bullet weight/design/charge - since I assume that you roll your own? I'm going to try a 90 ish grain round nose in the 38 Colt Short and the 121 gr RN (Ideal/Lyman 358-242) in the 38 Colt Long.

Have you had to do much with the sights to adjust for elevation? i.e. out of the box is it shooting high like many of the c & b revolvers do?
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Old June 2, 2018, 07:43 PM   #5
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bedbugbilly,

Here is a load I tried, a 158 gr. RNFP (Missouri bullets) with 3.1 grs. HP-38. I've since gone to 3.5 grs. HP-38 which meters better in my RCBS Uniflow powder measure.



As to sighting in, here are first targets:



Notice the group was 3 1/2" low. This target shows it took 45 strokes with a file on the front sight to bring it to taw.



Again, just a fun project. And my shooting is not what it used to be. As Skeeter Skelton once said, "Maybe it never was."

Bob Wright


P.S. Cimarron shows the Open Top Navy in .38, .44, and .45 caibers all on the same frame. And I believe the only difference in the Army is in the grip and grip straps. They list the .44 in two varieties, .44 Colt and Russian, and .44 Special, Colt and Russian.
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Last edited by Bob Wright; June 2, 2018 at 07:51 PM.
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Old June 2, 2018, 08:17 PM   #6
1stmar
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The 45 colt is a navy grip. It’s actuality a 5.5”. Probably sacrilege but aesthetically i like it better than the 1873 saa
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Old June 2, 2018, 09:58 PM   #7
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Bedbug how do you find the 7.5 for balance and shoot ability? Muzzle heavy?
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Old June 3, 2018, 08:08 AM   #8
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Thanks Bob - the targets are interesting - I figured that it might have shot high from the box but at least you didn't have to "add" to the height o the front sight! Looks like you got it zeroed in pretty nicely! I also have the Ideal/Lyman 358-311 mold which is basically the same bullet you are using and I'll be trying that as well. Thanks for the photos and info - greatly appreciated.

1stmar - The 7 1/2" barrel '51 R & M conversions I have had the opportunity to handle I have liked as far as the balance. The frame itself is a bit heavier due to the slot for the loading ram lever not being there and the weight of the loading lever gone. I'm so used to shooting '51 Navies that I don't think I'm going to see a lot of difference. The '51 Navy R & M that I ordered is due to be delivered to the LGS sometime this next week. When I get it,I'll do a post on it.

As far as 7 1/2" barrel - on a SAA, I prefer a 4 3/4" after having had other barrel lengths - at least for carrying. However, when I got my Uberti Cattleman 45 Colt, I went with the 7 1/2" as that was what was issued to cavalry (I had a distant relation killed at the Little Big Horn - kind of sparked my interest in a 7 1/2"45). I have tried a number of the different loads in it (smokeless) and finally settled on 6 gr or Red Dot under the traditional 454-190 250is grain Ideal/Lyman. Before my wife and I moved last year in to a condo in town, I had a 50 yard range in my backyard where we lived on the farm for 45 years. I started out at 25 yards with the 7 1/2" Cattleman and was surprised at how well it shot right out of the box. Mind you, I'm older and have some vision problems so I was glad I hit the target! LOL I was getting three inch groups that were about 1" below POA - windage was "right on". I decided to try it at 50 yards - thinking I would be happy if I hit the target - I run them off on standard 8 1/2" X 11 paper. My ver first shot with the above load was a bullseye! I was thrilled - and I knew it was "blind man's luck". :-) Those that followed were not as good but I was able to keep the group at around 8" - which for me was excellent. I'm still playing with it and learning the sight picture of that particular revolver but I'm glad I got the 7 1/2" barrel for the first 45 Colt. I do want an open top in 45 Colt and will most likely opt for a 4 3/4" barrel.

As Bob notes, Cimarron offers the .44 as well. Between Uberti, Taylor and Cimarron, you can get a variety of different open tops but I have no idea of the actual availability of them. I was going to order a 4 3/4" Cattleman in 32-20 and had the LGS check on the availability of them - no one had one in stock and they were waiting on them - the same answer I got a year ago and two years ago - my timing was obviously off! LOL So, the '51 R & M was next on my list and Uberti had it in stock in the 7 1/2" I wanted.

I know that open tops aren't for everyone but they certainly offer a lot of fun for those that like the historical wheel guns! Id love to hear what other's think of theirs.

Bob - Sorry, but I can't help but chuckle about your comment about them not being the most accurate shooters - as I know you have quite a few nice revolvers and are an accomplished shooter. BUT . . looking at what you are able to achieve with you open top after you worked on the sights . . . . I don[t think I'd want to face you on a shoot out on the streets of Tombstone! :-)
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Old June 3, 2018, 04:37 PM   #9
Bob Wright
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Just for the information:

The Open Tops from Cimarron are the Army Model and the Navy Model. Both models come in .38, .44, and .45 calibers, and are on the same frame. The diffeence is that the Navy Model have the Navy grip, with grip straps of brass. The Army Models have the 1860 Colt Army grip profile, and gripstraps are of blued steel.
And, Cimarron offers barel lengths of 4 3/4", 5 1/2" and 7 1/2".

As to Cimarron, I found most distributors were out of the gun I wanted, do I called Cimarron and had my dealer, a local pawn shop, order from them. Gun arrived within a day or so. The dealer told me Cimarron would not sell directly to them. Not true. I could have bought directly from Cimarron (shipped to my FFL) but they had to charge me list price, whereas my dealer gave me a reduced price.

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Old June 3, 2018, 05:02 PM   #10
1stmar
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Interesting. I read taylors are really cimarons perhaps hand selected but that seemed to be speculation whereever i read it. Also i believe cimarons are ubertis and cimaron is the importer. This sound accurate?
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Old June 3, 2018, 08:06 PM   #11
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Imho, the army grip frame and 7.5" barrel is one of the best balanced revolvers there is. the pointability is great.
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Old June 3, 2018, 09:12 PM   #12
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Shame the accuracy on these isn't very good. I've wanted a 7.5 .38 for a while. I think the original were chambered in .38 Short Colt's which is surprisingly easy to find. Remington did a big run of it a while back. They chamber and are safe in any .38 SPC revolver.
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Old June 4, 2018, 05:51 PM   #13
bedbugbilly
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The 38 Colt short did come about for the '51 conversions. It was the parent cartridge for the 38 Colt Long which utilized an internally lubed slug whereas the Short did not. Staline makes both the 38 Colt Short and the 38 Colt Long - availabe in quantities of 500. If a person wants to buy less than that, then try Track of the Wolf as they usually have it in smaller quantities.

As far as the Navy and Army grip - I agree with Bob. But there is another thing to consider when choosing the grip frame. I have had several '60 Army revolvers (C & B) and they were certainly fine revolvers but still, a different animal from the '51 Navy model - plus 36 versus 44 caliber. I learned on an original '51 Navy more than 50 years ago so my preference has always been towards that model. The current one I have and shot is a '51 Uberti with a square back trigger guard. Every once in a while, my middle finger gets sore due to the minimum clearance between the grip and the back of the trigger guard. The Uberti '51 R & M that I ordered and is on the way has a round trigerguard - so I'm hoping that the trigger guard is not going to be an issue on my bidder finger. In the end, the Navy frame is smaller than the Army.

I'm 6' - 210 pounds but I don't have large hands so for me, I like the Navy grip. However, If I had large hands - and lets face it, I know fellows with hands the size of hams - then the Army grip would be a no-brainer. Based on how my '51 Navy C & B shoots, I'm hoping the '51 R & M will be close in balance and handling. If not, then it won't stay around and I'll be getting something on the Army grip frame.

As far as Cimarron, Taylors and Uberti Aerica - all are Ubertis that are imported to their individual specs. I talked with the fellows at the gun shop that I purchase through in regards to the quality between the three different suppliers. All have their own opinions and it is often passed around that one is better than the other, some are hand selected, etc. - but in the end - the fellows at the gun shop said that they have gotten revolvers from all three suppliers and that they really couldn't tell the difference in the quality. The last two I ordered through them came from Uberti as they had them in stock - the quality, fit and finish couldn't be any better and oranges for oranges, the price from Uberti was better than the other two. As Bob points out - I found out the same thing as far as talking with them about purchasing direct and having it shipped to my local FFL - straight MSRP. When I purchase through the LGS - I have always been given a better price than that.
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Old June 5, 2018, 11:09 AM   #14
Bob Wright
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As a matter of interest regarding the Uberti line of firearms, an article in Guns of The Old West magazine states that Uberti is now an importer as well as Cimarron and EMF. Heretofore Uberti sold only through Stoegers, Cimarron, and EMF.

as to the original cartridge conversions, it was the .38 Colt Navy cartridge that was the original cartridge:



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Old June 11, 2018, 10:30 PM   #15
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Poor balance?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Joke, right?
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Old June 12, 2018, 12:53 AM   #16
1stmar
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I ordered the 5.5”should have it by Saturday. Thanks for the replies BB and Bob.
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Old June 16, 2018, 07:31 PM   #17
1stmar
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Picked up my open top today and was lucky enough to get a brief range session with it. Only put about 25-30 rds through it. Very light loads, 5.2 gr clays, 230gr FP. It shot very nicely. Trigger is very light and crisp, i think it may be a good ahooter if i can ever maintain some focus on that front sight. Was shooting 20 yds, expecting it to shoot low i held at the top of the bull and they seem to hit poa. I have a tendency to elevate the front sight a bit so i can get better focus on it. Most hits one handed were in the 3-4” range. Was really just trying to get some rounds down range. Very hard to see/distinguish that front sight.
Gun functioned flawlessly and was very enjoyable to shoot. Well worth the $440 i paid for it. Looking forward to getting back out.

Thanks for the previous replies.
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Old June 16, 2018, 08:35 PM   #18
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
The Open Tops from Cimarron are the Army Model and the Navy Model. Both models come in .38, .44, and .45 calibers, and are on the same frame. The diffeence is that the Navy Model have the Navy grip, with grip straps of brass. The Army Models have the 1860 Colt Army grip profile, and gripstraps are of blued steel.
What's the difference between the Navy grip and the 1860 Army grip? I wasn't aware that there was a change in the grip until the 1873 SAA.

Bob, you must have some photos of both ...
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Old June 16, 2018, 09:02 PM   #19
Bob Wright
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Sorry, don't have photos of both. The Colt 1851 Navy Model introduced the famous "plow handle" grip, which was carried over on the 1873 Single Action Army. The Colt 1860 Army Model had a slightly longer grip, allowing all four fingers on the front strap.

The Army grip was carried over onto the 1872 Open Top revolver, and was, of course utilized on the Richards and Richards-Mason cartridge conversions.

This is my Colt Single Action Army, which has Navy grip:



Closest thing I have to the Army grip would be the Ruger Super Blackhawk grip:




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Old June 17, 2018, 11:37 AM   #20
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Or the SBH Hunter grip frame I added to my 5.5" SBH that came with the shorter factory grip. Don't know why Ruger puts the shorter round trigger guard grip on the 4.62" & 5.5" Supers.

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Old June 17, 2018, 01:52 PM   #21
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
Sorry, don't have photos of both. The Colt 1851 Navy Model introduced the famous "plow handle" grip, which was carried over on the 1873 Single Action Army. The Colt 1860 Army Model had a slightly longer grip, allowing all four fingers on the front strap.

The Army grip was carried over onto the 1872 Open Top revolver, and was, of course utilized on the Richards and Richards-Mason cartridge conversions.
Thanks, Bob. I see where my confusion arose. I completely forgot the older, open tops had the smaller grip frame.
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