Friday, June 19, 2015

Sam Colt Left-Handed

The more I fool with Colt's single action revolvers (the clones anyway... I can't afford a real Colt) the more convinced I am that it was built to be shot from the left hand.  I know that Samuel Colt wasn't around for the launch of the iconic 1873 revolver.  He died in 1862, eleven years before the Peacemaker was launched, but he was certainly involved in the design of the earlier revolvers, which predated the Peacemaker.

Notables such as John Taffin are convinced that Colt was a southpaw, and says so in different places in several books.  For example, in Single Action Sixguns, Chapter 10, he says:
"Sam Colt was left-handed, that's why the Colt Single Action has the loading gate on the right side!" This is one of the first things I heard from Bill Grover as I met him for the first time at The 1987 Shootists Holiday. I didn't have the heart to tell him that Sam Colt died in 1862 and probably had nothing to do with the design of the 1873 Colt Single Action, the famed .45 Peacemaker.
Even if Sam didn't design the Colt, Grover's point is well taken. The Colt Single Action is definitely made for a left-hander. I know that I personally always load and unload my Single Action Colts, Rugers, etc., by switching them to my left hand.
While discussing this with my boys recently, one of them pointed out that the trigger on my Uberti Hombre is off-set in the trigger guard, to the left side of the frame.  Sure enough.

Definitely off-set to the left side of the frame.  Interesting.  Once you notice that, it seems that when used in the left-hand, the finger goes to the trigger quicker.

The trigger is off-set to the left and the loading gate falls naturally under the left thumb.  There may be something to this "Sam Colt was left-handed" theory after all.


6ShotsOr5? said...

I don't know if Sam Colt was a southpaw, but I'm right-handed and when im loading my single actions, the only thing my left hand is doing is holding the revolver. I'm doing all the more intricate stuff with my right hand. I'm sure it would be harder for me if the loading gate was on the left side. As far as I know, none of my revolver shooting friends are natural lefties. I would like to hear what a few natural lefties have to say about this one.

Sport Pilot said...

The Walker, Paterson, Navy & Army Colts originated during a time where cavalry sabers, bowie knives and tomahawks were prevalent. Edged weapons went to dominant hands, shields, dirks, single shot handguns and revolvers were more of a secondary. The SAA was carried in a left side, reverse draw holster as well. Someone might have been left handed but I’ve of a mind it was form following function.

Theother Ryan said...

The 'revolver in weak hand' point may have some merit. When I owned a SAA clone I didn't have an issue loading it from the right hand, though it was not exactly speedy. These days I have standardized to the .38/.357 double action revolver. My 6" Taurus 66 is a darn tack driver. They may well have made some lemons but my 66 shoots every single time and hits at 75 yards with boring regularity. If I could have any gun with 6 rounds to go into a fight it would be that revolver with some good ammo like Speer Gold Dots or Cor Bon.

Old NFO said...

I think Sport Pilot also has a good point... And maybe a combination of the two is the truth!

Anonymous said...

I'm a born leftie and have a Puma Westerner SAA clone chambered in .357 magnum. I shoot and reload it from the left hand. Here's my steps for reloading: 1) half-cock the hammer 2) open the loading gate with my left hand thumb, which comes naturally 3) use my trigger finger to rotate the cylinder by placing it in the lowest groove, which also comes fairly naturally, 4) tilt the revolver back and use gravity to aid in the extraction. A stuck casing is hit with the plunger. 5) insert a fresh round with my right hand, leaving my thumb over the casing while I spin the cylinder with my left hand trigger finger. It's surprisingly fast; about 1.5 seconds per cartridge. I personally think the Peacemaker is one of the truly left-handed guns ever produced, aside from my Charter Arms Southpaw, with a crane that swings the cylinder out to the right side and not the left.