Jim Taylor

Javelina taken with Bowen .41 Magnum


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Custom Single Six

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.45 Ruger

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Model 71

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Model 94 Winchester

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The Everyday Gun




The Javelina was taken at about 30 yards with the custom Bowen-built .41 Magnum. I used the Speer 200 gr. JHP at approximately 1400 fps.  It worked really well.  The area I was hunting is Area 33 in Arizona, north of Tucson.

My everyday is gun is an old small-frame 3-screw Ruger .357 Blackhawk. The gun was in poor shape when I got it-  rusty, pitted and missing parts.  I got a new barrel from John Taffin for it and cut it to 4 1/2".  The top strap was re-shaped to resemble the Colt SAA, but rather than weld up the frame where the sight fits I simply re-shaped the sight to fit into the top strap.  The trigger was straightened as is my practice on many of my guns.  The front sight was a Freedom Arms sight intended for the .454 Casull.  I silver-soldered it to the barrel and shaped it according to my needs.  The back of the ejector rod has been rounded for ease of pulling the gun from your pants when carrying "Mexican Carry" style.  Without that you tend to pull your underwear up to your armpits when the ejector rod hangs on them. The grips are by GripMaker.

My working guns are (1) Ruger Single Six. It has been remodeled and sports a Model 52 Winchester Target Rifle barrel that has been cut down, threaded and fitted to the gun.  The hammer has been cut in the "speed hammer" profile to aid in target work.  One chamber was reamed to .22 Magnum.  When carrying the gun the hammer is left down on the empty Magnum chamber.  With a few Magnums in the pocket one is then ready for about anything.  (2) Old Model (3-screw) .45 Colt.  This gun has been used heavily with stout loads since the early 1970's.  It has not been rebuilt.  Showing wear, it is still serviceable and one I use constantly.  I also have the .45 ACP cylinder for it which is used with light loads for practice.

All 3 of the Old Model Rugers have been fitted with the XR-3 gripframe (if they did not have it originally) so they all have pretty much the same "feel" and pointability. 



The Model 71 Winchester was purchased new in 1937 by my good friend Robert Smythe.  When he died I obtained the rifle from his widow.  A Deluxe Grade, it has the factory aperture sight, checkering and grip caps.  It is one of the early "long tang" models.  I do not use the rifle much, not having a real need for this level of power in most of the hunting I have done.  I have done very long range shooting with – to 800 yards and beyond – and taken some great game with it.  But it does not get used a lot.

The Model 94 gets much more use.  It is more practical in terms of size and power for what I need on a regular basis around the place.  This gun has had nothing but cast bullets shot through it since I cleaned the barrel with the Outers Foul-Out II.  I normally load the RCBS 180-FN bullet which weighs 190 gr. with my alloy, over 26 gr. H-335 for 1800 fps.  It is an accurate load and does all I want to do with the gun.