The sights, smells and sounds of Christmas are fast upon us, and kids–big and small—are feverishly working on their Letters to Santa, hoping they’re on the “Nice” list, not the “Naughty” one.
Here at RevolverGuy, much of what we’d like Saint Nick to leave behind under the tree and in our stockings is made at latitudes well south of his North Pole workshop, and by hardworking men and women, not elves. I suppose it’s possible that Santa’s crew has a ballistic Skunk Works operation that we don’t know about, but I haven’t seen any guns with North Pole roll stamps on them. The “jolly old elf” described by Clement Clarke Moore seems to be more of a distributor, than a manufacturer.
So, we’re not messing around with the middle man, no matter how much we like him. Instead, we’re going straight to the source, with this open Christmas letter to the executives of the firearms, ammunition, and shooting sports industry.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to present the following RevolverGuy Christmas Wish List for your consideration. We know you’ve been busier than a one-armed brass scrounger at the Knob Creek Machinegun Shoot this past year, but when you finally catch your breath, we’d sure appreciate it if you could make some of these Christmas wishes come true.
Given the late hour, it’s unlikely that you’ll get any of this done before Christmas Eve, but that’s OK—we’ll be thrilled, whenever you can get to it. A Spring or Summer day would feel a lot like Christmas if one of these wishes were granted.
You can even save the hassle of gift wrapping them. We won’t mind a plain, factory carton!
THE LIST *
(*) In no particular order, while reserving the right to amend or supplement at any time, ’cause we just wanna keep our options open, you see . . .
Better J-Frame Sights.
Okay Springfield (or is that, Marysville, now? Well done, folks, it’s about time!), this one shouldn’t be too difficult to pull off. Serious RevolverGuys know the J-Frames, in all their iterations, are capable of very good accuracy, but they’re severely handicapped by their typically-crummy fixed sights. A narrow trough and a vestigial blade, both in the same color, make for a miserable sighting system. Can you give us some relief from having to file rear notches wider and paint our front sights with women’s cosmetics, please? How about a real set of sights, which offers good visibility, proper light, and strong contrast, for best-sellers like the Model 642? Put them in dovetails, please, so we can move them around or replace them with different sizes, as required. Huh? What’s that? You already do it on the 640 Pro Series? Well, then, what’s stopping you from making that standard across the line, hmm? C’mon, guys! Oh, and while fiber optics, like the ones you install on the PDs, are fine for some folks, I’d honestly rather just have a red ramp up front, please. Yep, an all black rear, and a bright red blob up front. Kinda like Rudolph, after he sits in the campfire ashes;
You guys too.
Hey Ruger, Colt, and all you other guys—the same goes for your snubs: Better sights, please! Those rear notches are pretty poor, and the front blades aren’t usually much better. Kudos to you though, Colt, for making your front blade easy to replace with a simple Allen wrench. I wish everyone was doing that. A screw is much easier than a dovetail. Thank you! Are the rest of you guys paying attention? There’s going to be a test, later;
Better regulation on fixed sights.
You thought I was gonna let you off the hook, huh Kimber? Yep, you’ve got the very best snubby sight picture on the market, but goodness gracious, that front sight is much too tall for the loads we actually shoot in these guns! I know you have Popeye on staff to shoot your snubs with full-house, 158 grain, .357 Magnum before they’re shipped, but I’m betting that 95% of your guns will never see a load like that fired in them again. In the real world, we’re shooting .38 Specials in your Magnum snubby, or maybe the lighter, low-recoil Magnums, but I don’t know anyone who’s routinely shooting full-power 158/.357s, so it’s silly to regulate your sights with them. If you insist on using that standard, could you at least offer us some shorter replacement blades to purchase in your online store? We’d appreciate it, because that tall front blade belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys;
Six-shot, .38 Special Ruger SP101.
You’ve probably got enough space in that cylinder, doncha guys? I haven’t checked, but I kinda doubt a K6s cylinder is much bigger than an SP cylinder. I bet you could do it, even if it meant making a small change to the cylinder window in the frame, to fit a slightly enlarged cylinder (so you wouldn’t have to worry about the location of the stop notches on the cylinder, vis-a-vis the chambers, or moving the cylinder stop in the frame, like Kimber did). I have to think you’ve got enough material in that frame to make room for a slightly bigger, six-shot, .38 Special cylinder. The little SP101 is a tank, and I know you’ve got a legion of fans, but it honestly never made sense to me, as a five-shooter. A gun that big and heavy needs six chambers. Bill Sr. would probably protest if he was still around, but he wouldn’t have approved of the LCR, either, and look how well that worked out for you. We triple dawg dare ya;
Reproductions of classic wood grip designs.
There’s an army of collectors out there, charging and paying extraordinary amounts for wood grips from the likes of legendary makers like Hurst and Farrant, so I have to wonder, why aren’t we seeing any good reproductions of these classic grips? I know, I know; They were true customs, handmade to order by these particular men, and the supply is fixed, so they’re collectible, but there’s obviously something enduring and universal in what they accomplished with their designs. Shooters still appreciate the features on Hurst and Farrant grips, so why isn’t anyone trying to replicate the formula? I’d love to see an outfit build some reproductions, and give shooters an affordable way to enjoy the benefits of these classic grip designs. It shouldn’t be too hard to replicate them, in this day of CAD and CNC machining, right? We’ve got a detachment of elves from Santa’s Wood Shop on standby, if you need an assist;
Making the cut
And speaking of grips and stocks, what would it take for us to convince all you makers out there to put a proper speedloader relief on yours? We’ve been seeing half-hearted efforts at dishing out the left side grip panel for about half a century now, and it’s well past time to get serious about it. I shouldn’t have to carve on every single new set of stocks that I get, just to make common loaders like the ubiquitous HKS or the Safariland Comp work without interference, right? Some of my DIY efforts look like the Abominable Snow Monster chewed on them, so I’d appreciate an assist from the talented folks at the factory, to get it right from the start.
Get rid of the lock.
I hear the good people in Marysville, TN don’t like the stupid locks. We don’t either. Can we get rid of these, please? We know it’s not about safety, because you sell similar guns (at a premium, no less) without them. It’s time, folks. You’ve emancipated your headquarters, so take the chains off your guns. You’ll sell a LOT more guns, and you’ll be instant heroes, I guarantee it. Even Santa will want to wear Smith & Wesson pajamas to bed;
Folks, we really miss the wonderful Six-series, and there’s a huge gap in your line, without a medium-frame double action. A six-shot SP101 would be a step in the right direction, but we’d really like a frame that hits the sweet spot between the GP and the SP. Let’s face it, a three-inch GP is still a lot of gun to be carrying around, and a five-shot SP is too much gun for five beans in the wheel. A reasonably-svelte (I know, I know. Just do your best), six-shot, medium frame would be just the ticket for a lot of us, but please, please, please . . . unless it looks, smells, and feels like one, fight the urge to recycle the “Six” name. Let the classics sleep in Heavenly peace on this Silent Night, eh?
You’re not off the hook yet, Smith & Wesson. It’s well past time for you to revive the Airweight in your ever-popular K-Frame. The Model 12s were limited to standard pressure .38 Special, but with modern metallurgy and your fantastic engineering staff, we know you could rate them for .38 Special +P this time around. I’d be quite happy with an exposed-hammer, Model 12 reissue, but if you really wanted to knock our socks off, you could also give us a Centennial-style hammerless. I’m sure you could do it in aluminum (heck, you’ve got a +P aluminum J-Frame, so a K-Frame should be child’s play), but if it must be made out of unobtanium, we’ll start looking for couch and ashtray change, until we can afford it. We’ll even brave the return lines, after Christmas, to exchange some unwanted gifts for the extra cash we’d need. I’d rather have an Airweight K than a bunch of sweaters, anyhow;
While we’re at it.
Let’s not forget a few other classics that deserve a reissue. I’m thinking of the tough-looking 3.5” Model 27 (fedora, optional), the dreadfully under-appreciated Model 58 in .41 Magnum (let’s show all the 10mm hipsters what a real mid-bore looks like), and the gun that came waaaay before its time, the 9mm Model 547. Those would be real dandies, and there’s a bowl of Mrs. Claus’ famous reindeer stew in it for ya, if you pull it off. But if you can’t do them without the lock, then just forget the whole thing, please. Putting a lock on a Model 58 would make Baby Jesus cry all night in the manger. You don’t want to make Baby Jesus cry, do you? Of course not, and besides, you’d have to deal with a cranky Mary in the morning;
I’d love to see more .38 Special wadcutters designed for self defense. A Big-Three, factory production, hard cast bullet around 900 fps would be pretty spiffy. We don’t need to leave all the fun for the boutique makers at Buffalo Bore and Atomic. If you’re feeling clever, how about designing some kind of polymer nose cone to enhance feeding from a speedloader, which would fly off the bullet after it left the barrel? Don’t worry, you won’t shoot your eye out;
Ruger, here’s an easy one for ya. I see that the three-inch, .44 Special GP100 silently disappeared from your catalog in the last year or so. Please return this outstanding gun to the catalog, stat! There’s nothing else like it out there, and it’s an ideal combination of size, power and Keith-style panache. The world needs more .44 Specials, not less. Besides, I didn’t get one before you sneakily turned off the spigot. I’m kinda feeling like the Grinch stole it in the middle of the night, and I woke up to an empty catalog the next day. Not even a smudge of Who Pudding left, on the pages. Awful;
More .32s, too.
I think we need more .32 caliber revolvers, too. A high-capacity, medium-frame, .32 H&R Magnum from one of the big guys would be appreciated as a defensive arm for those who don’t like the recoil of larger cartridges, and it would easily double as an outdoorsman’s tool for small game or centerfire plinking. If you must, you can make it a .327 Fed Mag, but please don’t sacrifice capacity to do it. While we’re at it, a reissue of the .32 H&R Magnum Model 431PD (blackened Airweight J-Frame, exposed hammer), Model 432PD (blackened Airweight J-Frame, Centennial-style), Model 631 (stainless J-Frame, exposed hammer) or Model 632 (stainless J-Frame, Centennial-style) would be downright nifty, and I would be tickled to see a genuine K-32 come back as well. I’m told that Grandpa’s generation found them to be more accurate than the K-38s, in general. Let’s make it an old-fashioned Christmas, shall we?
A .327 Fed Mag Centennial.
While we’re talking .32s, how about a Centennial in .327 Federal Magnum? Everyone would download it with .32 H&R or .32 Long, so it might as well be chambered for .32 H&R Mag (a Model 632), but you’d probably find better commercial success with the .327 Fed Mag chambering, so we’d be quite willing to accept that. A six-shot, centerfire J-Frame would have a lot of appeal. Ruger seems to be doing very well with their LCR in this caliber. Let’s stop playing reindeer games and get down to business;
More three-inch guns.
Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Kimber, Colt, you guys have been doing very well with this, and I have it on great authority that Santa’s elves are pleased. I think more and more people are learning to appreciate having a three-inch tube on their revolver, and I’d like to see even more options like this. Colt, I bet a three-inch Python would be a hot seller! Whaddya say? You don’t want to upset the elves;
Better revolver ammo.
Federal has been doing some good work lately with the .38 Special Micro HST and Hydra-Shok Deep, and Hornady has been putting in the work on their .357 Magnum Critical Duty and .38 Special Critical Defense products, but the revolver calibers are still lagging, and not getting the attention they deserve as defensive rounds. The 9mm has really made strides in the last few decades with the concentrated effort that industry has put into it, so let’s see some of that same energy get focused on .32 H&R Magnum, .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .44 Special. I think the .32 H&R Magnum and low-recoil .357 Magnum are cartridges that are especially ripe for some engineering attention, don’t you? We know it’s been a tough year, with all hands on deck, just trying to pump out enough 9mm and 5.56 to keep the hungry masses supplied, but when the dust settles, let’s show the revolver calibers some love, huh? If we can make a snowman come to life with an old top hat, I bet you could figure out a way to push a .32 caliber JHP to 12-plus inches in ballistic gel;
A small touch.
I recently handled my first Registered Magnum, and was delighted to see the tip of the ejector rod had a beautiful, beer keg-like shape, and was very nicely rounded at the end, with no sharp edges. You wouldn’t feel like you were slamming your hand into a hole punch with this ejector rod tip. It’s a small touch, but a nice one, and I’d appreciate seeing it make a comeback on all of our favorite Smiths. I’ve got visions of sugarplums, fairies and CNC lathes turning these things out dancing in my head ;
Safariland Colt/Kimber speedloader.
OK Safariland, I’m calling you out. How about a dedicated loader for the resurgent, small-frame six-shooters that are selling so well? Don’t you think the new Colts and Kimbers deserve their own, properly-sized loaders? If you think your K-Frame loaders fit well enough, then you obviously haven’t tried them, or you’re fibbing, and you deserve a lump of coal in your stocking. HKS and 5-Star have some twistie loaders that will work, and SpeedBeez has a push-feed that works OK for the gamesmen, but we really need a tougher push-loader for duty use, that won’t lose the rounds every time a reindeer farts. You used to have a dedicated D-Frame loader in your Comp series, so why haven’t you dusted off those old molds yet? Let’s get on it, boys, don’t make us tell Santa to put you on the Naughty List;
And speaking of loaders.
Where are the inexpensive reproductions of the SL Variant? I just got my hands on a copy from overseas that was probably 3-D printed, but the scalper’s price was still much too high. With today’s tech, there’s no reason we couldn’t see a clever person build some SLVs here at a reasonable price. Talk about Christmas in July—a $30 SL Variant would even put a smile on the Grinch’s face!
Snakes on a Sleigh?
You thought you were going to get out of this easy, right Colt? Well, hold your horses (Rampant Pony?), folks!
We’ve got one word for you, ladies and gents: Diamondback. Yep, the sexy D-Frame snake is due for a comeback, and we’re not just talking about a New Cobra with a new snout; We’re taking about a faithful recreation, in the same mold as those beautiful new Pythons and Anacondas you’ve been making. Please put a wider trigger blade on it than the New Cobras have, though. Thanks!
We especially need a .22 LR Diamondback, because it would be super cool, and it would also fill a glaring gap in your current lineup. How can a revolver company not have a .22 in the catalog, hmmm?
We just got off the horn with Svatý Mikuláš, the Czech Saint Nicholas, and he says he can translate, if necessary. Let us know, and we’ll get him on it.
All kidding aside, I know you guys and gals have been pushing hard all year long to keep up with record-breaking demand, and we really, truly appreciate all that you’re doing to keep products on the shelf! You probably feel like you’ve been sprinting in a marathon, and the finish line is still nowhere in sight.
We hope you’ll have a wonderful holiday with your families, and will get some well-deserved rest. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
But we weren’t kidding about the elves. You don’t want to make the elves mad. You’d better get on that three-inch Python.
And don’t make Baby Jesus cry.
MERRY CHRISTMAS ALL!
Featured image from:
(Please forgive Santa’s Rule # 1-4 violations—we’ll get Saint Nick straightened out. It’s just a cartoon anyhow.
Lighten up, Francis!)
Ralphie image from:
The mind of some brilliant guy who deserves an extra cup of spiked egg nog, for his creativity! Thanks for the chuckle, whoever you are! Well done!