This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
At the GAOS I came across Taylor’s & Company. Normally old timey black powder revolvers does not interest me until I saw something that caught my attention. I present their 1860 Army Snub Nose.
It is an 1860 Army revolver with a short barrel and birdshead grip. The revolver is manufactured by Pietta.
The new 1860 Army Snub Nose takes a smaller size twist on the traditional full size 1860 Army. It is in .44 caliber, has a fluted cylinder, and a 3″ barrel without a loading lever. The Snub Nose model also features very comfortable checkered flattop birdshead grips. A brass loading tool is included with gun. R&D Conversion Cylinder sold separately.
Taylor’s & Co. booth had small information cards associated with all of their guns on display. Unfortunately the one for the Snub Nose was blank. So I spoke with one of their representatives and she explained to me that it is offered in .36 cal or .44 cal. Like any black powder revolver, they are not considered firearms by the BATFE. However Taylor’s & Co. offers a conversion cylinder that will allow the Snub Nose to fire .45 LC or .45 Schofield cowboy ammo. The conversion is only a 5 shot cylinder compared to the 6 shot black powder cylinder.
I find this very interesting. Since the gun is a black powder revolver, you just buy it across the counter or even online without a background check. Then you order the $200 online and now you have a firearm. Granted it only shoots .45LC. However with a little machining it could conceivably shoot .45acp with moon clips.
As I am not familiar with these old revolver designs, I wonder if it is a concern that these revolvers do not have a top strap? Would shooting self defense.45LC be an issue for this revolver? Taylor’s website does state: 45 LC cowboy ammunition. Aren’t Cowboy loads typically lighter loads for cowboy action shooting?
Edit: I called their office and one of their technicians said they recommended that you only shoot cowboy style loads. Lead projectiles, flat nose style bullets which are also loaded a little bit lower than defense loads. The problem is you could compromise the forcing cone and more importantly the frames of these revolvers are very strong. They are proof tested for higher loads but for the longevity of your revolver they do not recommend shooting more powerful loads. You wont have a catastrophic failure but just know that it is something to be concerned about. I suppose if you opted to use this as an EDC self defense gun but hardly shoot it, then it should be ok. But if you want to shoot it a lot, then go with the lighter and softer loads.
For more information on this 1860 Snub Nose go to their website. The .44cal version retails for $339. .36cal is only $354. They also have a white steel variant of the .44cal and it too is $354.