Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage
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From the Vault: Bob Dalton's Colt Single Action Army Revolver
From the Vault: Bob Dalton's Colt Single Action Army Revolver

Brownells Gun Techs and resident firearm historians Steve and Keith have donned their best Saturday night goin'-into-town duds and returned to Rock Island Auction Company to show us a very rare, beautifully preserved, lavishly engraved Colt Single Action Army revolver (aka, Peacemaker, Model 1873, Model P, SAA). It was originally owned by Bob Dalton of the Dalton Gang, a group of outlaws active all over the West ca. 1890 to '92. Only 10 of these guns were made, two going to Bob Dalton and two ea

From the Vault: Smith & Wesson Model of 1917
From the Vault: Smith & Wesson Model of 1917

Brownells Gun Tech™ and Revolvermeister Steve Ostrem has a special treat for us: a look at the Smith & Wesson Model 1917 revolver in "forty-five" - .45 ACP, that is. When the U.S. entered World War I, the Army's inventory of Colt 1911 pistols - and Colt's capacity to build more quickly enough - was severely limited. As a result, Smith & Wesson chambered their .44 Special Second Model Hand Ejector large-frame revolver in .45 ACP. But that's a rimless semi-auto pistol cartridge, so how do you shoo

From the Vault: Ruger Blackhawk 1877 Custom Build
From the Vault: Ruger Blackhawk 1877 Custom Build

Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem talks with Bobby Tyler about a special, very custom Ruger® Old Model "three-screw" Blackhawk® built in Bobby's shop, Tyler Gun Works. His customer wanted a single action with a bird's head grip, and Bobby found a Power Custom replica of the Colt 1877 Lightning grip frame that was ideal. (The Model 1877 Lightning was Colt's less-than-successful first attempt at a double-action revolver.) The donor gun was a factory original Blackhawk® convertible in .45 Long Colt

From the Vault - Nagant M1895 Revolver
From the Vault - Nagant M1895 Revolver

Brownells Gun Tech™ and resident firearm historian Keith Ford shows us a little chunk of wheelgun awesomeness: the Russian Nagant M1895 revolver. At first glance, it looks like a typical gnarly old revolver of its period (cough! - Webley - cough!), but there are two unique things about the Nagant: the whole cylinder actually moves FORWARD tight against the forcing cone, and the bullet is recessed entirely within the cartridge case, which is shaped to form a tight gas seal against the forcing con

From the Vault: Custom 1911 Carry Commander
From the Vault: Custom 1911 Carry Commander

Outside of his day job as a Brownells Gun Tech™ and reassuring presence in these videos, Steve Ostrem is also an accomplished gunsmith. Today, he reaches into his own vault to show us a custom 1911 Commander he built as a carry gun. It has a Nighthawk stainless steel frame and a Caspian slide with an Ed Brown drop-in barrel. The gun is very tight and shoots extremely well. But since Steve has access to the "world's largest" source of gun parts, he added some other goodies: Novak sights, Ed Brown

From the Vault: Ruger Bearcat Revolver
From the Vault: Ruger Bearcat Revolver

Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem talks with gunsmith Bobby Tyler about three beautifully customized Ruger® Bearcat® revolvers from Bobby's shop, Tyler Gun Works of Friona, Texas. The Bearcat has actually been around since 1958, and it's a lightweight, smaller-framed version of Ruger's venerable Single Six® .22 Long Rifle single-action revolver. Unlike the Six, the 'Cat's grip frame and receiver are formed from a single piece of metal, which makes it a bit more challenging to customize. The Bearc

From the Vault: Ruger GP100 Revolver
From the Vault: Ruger GP100 Revolver

Brownells Gun Tech™ and resident Revolvermeister Steve Ostrem tells us about the innovative Ruger® GP100® revolver. "Wait... the GP100® is still in production and isn't old or historic or collectible," you say™ Maybe not now, but it will be! Introduced in the mid-1980s, the GP100® is a medium-frame double-action revolver designed around the .357 Magnum cartridge. Its cylinder locks at the rear AND the front, so when that cylinder is closed, it stays put. The GP100® is built to take full-power .3

From the Vault: Beretta M1951 Pistol
From the Vault: Beretta M1951 Pistol

Today, Brownells Gun Techs Steve Ostrem and Keith Ford go to "Area 51".... No, not that Area 51, but rather a special zone occupied by the Beretta M1951 9mm pistol, sometimes referred to simply as the "Beretta 51" or its U.S. import name, the Brigadier. The M1951 is special because it was Beretta's first locked-breech pistol. Before that, all Berettas were simple blowback designs, and in fact the Model 1934 was the mainstay of the Italian military in World War II. The 51 was specifically develop

From the Vault: The .41 Magnum Cartridge
From the Vault: The .41 Magnum Cartridge

Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem takes us on a little detour from our usual FTV fare of historic / classic firearms and instead discusses the "middle child" of magnum revolver cartridges - the .41 Magnum. It was developed in the early 1960s by two famous gun writers and great cartridge developers, Elmer Keith and Bill Jordan. Jordan wanted a medium-power load with a bigger bullet than the .357 Magnum for law enforcement use, a ".41 Special" that lobbed a 200 grain bullet at 900 fps. Keith envisi

From the Vault: Colt Police Positive Revolver
From the Vault: Colt Police Positive Revolver

Brownells Gun Tech™ and all-around reassuring presence Steve Ostrem shows us his Colt Police Positive. A beautiful little revolver introduced in 1907, the Police Positive is built on the Colt D frame, same as the Detective Special. Steve's gun is chambered in .38 Smith & Wesson - oops! Colt called the cartridge the ".38 Colt New Police" because who wants to give their arch-competitor free advertising™ The Police Positive was much loved by professional constabulary and private citizens alike beca

From the Vault: S&W Model 17 Snub Nose
From the Vault: S&W Model 17 Snub Nose

Today, Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem shows us a unique revolver: a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson Model 17. The Model 17 is S&W's long-running .22 LR K-frame target revolver, which usually comes from the factory with a 6" or 8-3/8" barrel. Steve transplanted a .38 Special Model 15 snubbie barrel and installed a .22 rimfire liner. He got the idea from a gun he saw in a museum. Built by Smith & Wesson for the Air Force, it was a prototype for a .22 caliber training variant of the aluminum alloy snub

From the Vault: Colt Target Bisley
From the Vault: Colt Target Bisley

Single-action wheelgun fanciers rejoice - this one's for you! It took no persuasion at all to get Keith and Steve to head back to Rock Island Auction Company so they could check out this rare Colt Bisley Flattop Target revolver. The Bisley is the late 19th Century's equivalent of the tricked-out Colt 1911 Gold Cup. It's the target variant of the Single Action Army, named after the famous Bisley shooting range in Surrey, England. Less than 1,000 of these Flattop target Bisleys were made, and this