The Taylor’s & Company Gunfighter reminds me a lot of that scene in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly where Tuco enters a gun shop and takes apart a few revolvers, then reassembles the parts from different guns to make his own. The Gunfighter features the larger grip of a blackpowder Colt Model 1860 Army revolver and the frame of a Colt Model 1873 Single Action Army. The result is an extended grip that is longer and more comfortable to shoot, especially for modern-day shootists blasting banditos made of steel and paper.
This grip modification slightly changes the balance of the revolver for the better, and if you are like me, the traditional Colt SAA grip is just a bit too short. I have to curl my small finger under the butt. With the Gunfighter, there is simply more grip to hold onto.
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My guess is that shooters with large hands will find this grip style easier to grasp, especially against the recoil from .45 Colt cartridges. And for shooters with smaller or average-sized hands like me, the Gunfighter’s extra grip is a definite advantage.
The Taylor’s & Company Gunfighter is an exceptionally good-looking SAA replica. The metal work is well executed with a sweet finish. The barrel, ejector rod housing, cylinder, trigger, backstrap and triggerguard are deeply blued. The Model 1860 Army-style grip and triggerguard are steel. The frame, hammer and loading gate sport frothy casehardening with blues, grays, browns and hints of purple. The smooth, one-piece walnut grip is expertly fitted to the steel frame with no overlap or sharp edges. Checkered grips are also available if so desired. The Gunfighter is easy to look at, and, like I said, even easier to hold.
My test gun featured a 5.5-inch barrel with plain roll markings on top with Taylor’s name as well as Uberti’s, as Uberti manufactures the Gunfighter to Taylor’s specifications. The model and caliber is plainly roll marked on the left side of the barrel. The cylinder also wears the last four digits of the serial number. My test sample was chambered in .45 Colt, but .357 Magnum models are also available.
The gun sports a traditional blade front sight, and the groove in the topstrap serves as the rear sight. The ejector rod uses a crescent-style head, and it pivots away from the barrel when in use so your fingertip does not get singed when unloading after extended shooting. The front edge of the cylinder is also slightly beveled, so reholstering—something you do a lot in Cowboy Action Shooting—is smoother with less resistance. The edges on the revolver were also nicely rounded. Similarly, the hammer spur was finely checkered for sure, no-slip cocking.
Like the original Colt SAA, the Gunfighter is a single-action revolver that is best carried with five rounds in the cylinder with the hammer resting on an empty chamber. An accidental discharge is highly probable if the revolver is fully loaded with six rounds. The Gunfighter is also equipped with a manual basepin safety. With the hammer in the quarter-cock position, the user can push the basepin farther into the frame, blocking the hammer and firing pin from reaching the primer of a cartridge.
I followed the old-school loading procedure by placing the hammer at half-cock, opening the loading gate, loading one cartridge, rotating the cylinder to skip a chamber and then loading the remaining chambers. This way, I knew the hammer would rest on the empty cylinder. With the Gunfighter loaded with dummy cartridges, I practiced some dry firing to get acclimated to the sights, grip and hammer. It only took a few minutes to learn the Gunfighter.