The Firearms Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone,
I am new on this forum and made an account to hopefully have one of you answer some questions and maybe give me a history lesson on this firearm that I have recently come to own. I found some stuff about it online but you can't always believe what you read on the internet. Does anyone here know about the history of this or what it is potentially worth?
247075
247076
247077
247078
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,487 Posts
Someone on here knows a lot about them but I don't remember who. Hopefully they will be along.

I know a little. They were made I believe in California from the 50's until I believe the early 60's. I believe the opinion is that when Colt started making the SAA again it killed off Great Western. They had a reputation of being good, SA revolvers. Though I've never had the privilege of handling one, people I know and respect their opinion say they were as good as if not better than Colt. Somewhere I have a picture of John Wayne with a pair he owned. I've been out of the SAA loop for quite a while so I can't really make an honest offer as to their value.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
This is one I got working again:

The .44's weren't cataloged in the Blue Book. Is your firing pin in the hammer, or frame?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
This is one I got working again:

The .44's weren't cataloged in the Blue Book. Is your firing pin in the hammer, or frame?
frame
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,487 Posts
Tol' ya there was someone! Now that I see who, I'm not surprised and should have guessed!..... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,395 Posts
...I know a little. They were made I believe in California from the 50's until I believe the early 60's...
Because I don't know, I'll ask. How has the .44 Magnum cartridge pressure evolved over time? Would a revolver of this age be built for modern pressures or have the pressures changed much over time for .44 Magnum loadings? :unsure:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
GW was making a .44mag SAA before Bill Ruger did. The .44mag was introduced in 1955, and GW made their first .44mag in 1955 for the new cartridge. I think B23's gun was made that year. The firing pin was in the frame like Hawes ended up using. Note there's no gap at the rear of the cylinder. The cartridge rim was recessed into it, but the cylinder fits a stand Colt frame. A lot of the early GW's like mine, were made with some Colt parts, like the hammer/firing pin.
They are exact duplicates of 2nd Gen Colts, or I should say, it's the other way around. GW started the comeback of the SAA, and then Colt, Ruger, and the Italian repros jumped on the bandwagon, and finished them off.
@BigB23, if you haven't found it already, two reliable sources for info are the GW Forum, and this website:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,487 Posts
In answer to how 44 Mag. loadings have changed over the decades since its introduction they haven't, in regards to pressure. At least not factory ammo. SAAMI set the specs for the cartridge when it was developed and introduced and that hasn't changed. Ammo makers will load to pressures. Handloading; if a powder has been reformulated to a different pressure then that will be reflected in the next manual. I'm confident there can be as much differences in powders, batch to batch, as there might be in reformulation simply because a maker/supplier is going to be desirous of consistency. We also have to agree that those suppliers and retailers have a picky bunch of customers. I'm equally confident a lot of changes in loading manuals are due to litigation fearful attorneys rather than supposed changes in powders. So....his Great Western revolver is as able to handle 44Mag. loads as is the early Ruger or the modern S&W.

Think about it for a second. Would anyone be reluctant to use modern factory ammo or loading specs for a 1930's Win. Mod 70 or a 1950's Rem. 721? Pick a cartridge, say the venerable 30-06. Has its specs changed since 1906? Has the 270 WCF since 1925 when it was introduced? What about the 280 Rem. from 1955?

Here's an interesting tidbit. The 7 X 64 Brenneke from 1917 and the 280 Rem. from 1955 are nearly identical BUT, not interchangeable. Speer, and I believe early Lyman books, recommend the same handloading data for both cartridges. Two cartridges 38 years and an ocean apart use the same data. Clear as mud, ain't it...lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
Nice looking SAA .44mag. I have also heard good things about the Great Western series.

I have a Ruger Super Blackhawk in. 44mag, but would not hesitate to add one like yours to pair up with it.

Welcome to the Forums.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigB23

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Because I don't know, I'll ask. How has the .44 Magnum cartridge pressure evolved over time? Would a revolver of this age be built for modern pressures or have the pressures changed much over time for .44 Magnum loadings? :unsure:
This is a great question because I wanted to carry this with me while archery hunting but don't know how big of a load I can put in it. I do know that there are "cowboy cartridges" that are suppose to be made with less pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,990 Posts
This is a great question because I wanted to carry this with me while archery hunting but don't know how big of a load I can put in it. I do know that there are "cowboy cartridges" that are suppose to be made with less pressure.
You should be perfectly safe firing factory .44 Magnum ammo in that revolver IF it is still in good mechanical condition. Just FYI - .44 S&W Special ammunition is incredibly accurate when fired from a .44 Magnum revolver. Mild in recoil, too. When I still had my firearms I used to load .44 Special ammunition for my wife to use in my Hawes Western Marshall - nearly identical to your revolver.

I'm not certain, but I seem to recall that back in the 1950s, many of the 'six guns' used in Hollywood were Great Western guns. That was because the original Colts were getting old and pretty beaten up by then. Don't quote me on it - just something I seem to remember as a bit of trivia.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
Yes Sir, bonus - load the .44 Special in a .44mag.

Still a heavy hitting round, without as much recoil.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shootbrownelk

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,487 Posts
In that revolver I'd load the "standard" bullet weight, which is 240 grs., to 900-1000 fps. with the bullet being a Keith Type semi-wadcutter. 44 Mag or 44 Spl. cases would work fine. Cowboy loads are fun to shoot and usually fairly accurate but they ordinarily run between 600-700 fps. using a lighter bullet.

I expect full house 44 Mag. loads in that revolver would buck an' roar pretty good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,972 Posts
This is a great question because I wanted to carry this with me while archery hunting but don't know how big of a load I can put in it. I do know that there are "cowboy cartridges" that are suppose to be made with less pressure.
B, if you just want less recoil, you can shoot the cowboy loads or .44 Spcl, but as long as the cylinder timing checks out, there's no worries shooting factory .44 mag in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
YOU probably don't want to shoot a steady diet of Magnums, but the revolver can. If you aren't shooting bear, why load for bear?

I load my cowboy loads with 200gr PC @ 850-900 fps.what I shoot 99% of the time.
Deer loads are 240gr at max. A handful, but safe and get the job done
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top