Cimarron’s Spaghetti Western Colt conversion pays homage to the Man with No Name
By Robert Sadowski
There’s no reason why Cimarron’s Man with No Name conversion revolver (SRP: $800) shouldn’t be holstered in your customers’ gun leather, especially if they are into cowboyaction shooting or are fans of movie Westerns. Cimarron’s revolver is patterned after the model used by Clint Eastwood in the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And though it was the product of an armorer’s mistake, the revolver is no doubt as iconic as Clint’s S&W .44 Magnum from the Dirty Harry movies.
Think of the No Name revolver as a mix of fact and fiction. Fact: In the 1870s, Colt fitted its 1851 Navy revolvers to be compatible with the latest technology– metallic cartridges. The converted Navy was named the 1851 Navy Richards- Mason conversion and chambered in .38 Colt. The resulting product was a hybrid of percussion revolver and cartridge revolver. From the former, it made use of an open top (no top strap on the frame); from the latter, it took a swing-out loading gate, a firing pin housed in the hammer, an ejection rod and a cylinder chambered for metallic cartridges. Originals came from the factory without a loading lever.
|Cimarron’s Man with No Name single-action revolver is an intriguing blend of truth and fiction.|
Fiction: In the movie, set during the Civil War, the Man with No Name wields a Colt Model 1851 Navy Richards-Mason conversion about 10 years before the conversion was available. Call it cinematic license. The truth is stretched a bit further, as Clint’s revolver still displays the loading lever. The armorer did provide a stunning silver inlay of a rattlesnake in the revolver’s wood grip–as does Cimarron–but he forgot to remove the loading lever. Cimarron left the loading lever, too, to faithfully reproduce the movie’s revolver.
Cimarron actually took a little license of its own and chambered the No Name conversion in .38 Special (a caliber that wasn’t introduced until 1898). Bending the truth in this case really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the revolver reflects the steely, lethal coolness of Eastwood’s character.
The No Name revolver features a frothy case-hardening on the frame, hammer and rear section of the loading lever. The barrel is blued dark and, as with original Navy 1851s, a naval battle scene is engraved on the six-shot cylinder. The trigger guard and backstrap are brass, and the latter is housed in a solid wood grip–again, just like the original.
The No Name chambers both .38 Special and .38 Colt ammo and loading cartridges, and is similar to any singleaction revolver that has no internal hammer safety. Feed one hole, skip the next hole, then fill the remaining chambers. Test ammo included 130-grain FMJ Federal American Eagle and 158-grain lead-round nose Winchester Super X. The balance of the No Name conversion was splendid, and like the Colt 1851 Navy, the gun is a natural pointer. At a cowboyaction shooting distance of 25 feet, I easily clustered holes using one hand, à la the SASS Duelist category.
Closing the Deal
For a few dollars more, smart owners will want to display the No Name revolver along with a DVD of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, so movie buffs will make the connection right away. CAS competitors like to show off their individualism, and the No Name will set them apart from the trove of SAA revolver shooters.
The revolver’s weight recoil was nil, so I was able to make quick follow-up shots. The trigger broke at a crisp 3 pounds. Like all well-made single-actions, it shot to point of aim, so there was no need to use estimated windage or elevation. Just line up the conical brass front bead in the shallow rear sight, which adjusts for windage. It shot dead-on.
After 15 or so rounds, ejecting spent cartridges required a little shaking and a prying fingernail. The missing ejection rod was a minor annoyance in an otherwise beautifully manufactured revolver that performed well and would be a trophy piece for any Western-movie buff.