Friday, July 21, 2006

Fresh Stainless Steel Meat!

Just before the weekend really starts, here's some FRESH MEAT, especially for the boys over at who are into obscure single actions.

The gun is a United Sports Arms Seville in ".454 Magnum," one of only 30 made before United Sports Arms packed it in. Simply put, United Sports Arms single actions were spectacular guns — the first big stainless single actions; the first offered in .454 Casull, super-slick actions and trigger pulls — a gun before its time.

You can read the complete history of these great guns by visiting Lee Martin's super website and reading his comprehensive article on Sevilles! For all you collectory sorts, the gun is frame-marked on one side:

United Sports Arms, Inc.
Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.

And on the other:

.454 Magnum
S/N 7-00400

The barrel is engraved: "SEVILLE STAINLESS"

This gun is special to me because it was a gift from country superstar Hank Williams Jr. after I wrote his autobiography, LIVING PROOF, and consulted on the television movie of the same name. It was one of Hank's working guns, and we put a bunch of rounds through it at various times.

Now, I'm probably going to go to hell for this...and I honestly admit I didn't appreciate how rare the gun actually I said, it was a working gun with honest nicks and dings. A few years ago I sent it to master gunsmith Dave Clements for a complete checkup and light tuning. Because I wanted to keep using the gun, I had Dave clip the barrel back to 5 1/2 inches...a length I really like on heavy single actions...clean up the action a tiny bit, then bead-blast the stainless steel to give the gun a matt finish. One of these days I may bet ambitious and refinish the grips, which are pretty nice just as they are.

I think the gun is now just about perfect as a "packing pistol." I hesitate to launch max load .454s through it, thinking of it more as a really hot .45 Colt (Lee Martin suggests a 50,000 psi pressure cap for the Seville, which would auger for either lighter bullets at the upper end of the pressure range or heavier bullets with throttled down velocities, say 300+-grain bullets at 1000+ fps). AND DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS! DO YOUR OWN DAMN RE

There are some LOONEY TUNES .454 loads out there in Internet World, some approaching 75,000 psi! BEWARE!

Interestingly enough, when I was getting ready to move to the new house six years ago and cleaning out all my boxed reloading stuff, I discovered a box of hot .45 Colt/.454s loaded for this gun by Hank Jr. Those are the rounds pictured in the above photos — 260-grain Keith hard-cast bullets over enough 296 powder to bring the pressure close to the 50K mark (based on my data exterpolation). There are also some hotter loads in the box that are best left to the Bad Old Days!

A quick word about the's a presently uncataloged TEQUILA HUNTER rig from Kirkpatrick Leather. Basically, it's a blending of the "Tequila" competition rig — the best darn competition rig for cowboy shooting! — designed by COWBOYS host and 5-X World Champion Richard "Tequila" Young and Kirkpatrick's best-selling Crossdraw rig. We tweaked it a little while Tequila and I were down at the shop, and the result (in my never so humble opinion!) is the best field carry rig out there!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great write-up.....I'm so glad you liked the Single-Actions article. I'm equally glad to see others shooting these fine revolvers.


Lee Martin