A (.38) special day at the range.


Active Member
Mrs.Thumbcocker and I went retro this week and took some vintage iron to the range. I had cast a bunch of 358495s and loaded them over 3.0 of promo in Winchester wadcutter brass. The guns were a pre model 10 2" with tacky but vintage Franzite grips born in 1948, a model 15 with Roper (I think) grips born in 1969, and the newly acquired model 14 that was born in 1970.

Mrs.Thumbcocker shot at 7 yards with the 14 and 15 at the same target. 5 shots from each. She pronounced the model 14 to be "SWEET!" and like the 25 ok. For giggles I tried the snubby with Lee 125 rnfps over 4 grains of promo at 25 yards. Once I figured out it was sighted in for a 6 o'clock hold at 25 yards (a thousand curses on the fiend who decided that fixed sights should be set 4-5" high) I did ok. I think that old gun is capable of sub 3" groups with a lot of snake eyed concentration. I shot the 14 at 25 yards . First shot was high (I wiggled) making me think I needed to hold low. Second shot was low. Held dead on for the last 3 and they were all in the bull.

We got to talking with a nice guy about our age (we are 64) and asked is he would like to shoot the 14 with wadcutters. Told him to cover the bull with the front sight. At 7 yards he put 6 into or touching the bull. He was thrilled. I gave him his target and he left holding it like a diamond.

I suprised Mrs.Thumbcocker by taking her down to the rifle range. I blew up 2 red 8" balloons (put a piece of 9mm brass in each one), placed them on the 50 yard berm. I told Mrs.Thumbcocker that the gun didn't care how far the target was and to put the front sight on the balloon and squeeze the shot. The result was 2 popped balloons with 3 shots fired and a wife with a mile wide grin. It was a good day.


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Well-Known Member
I've had a pair of Herrett's Shooting Stars on a Model 14 for 45? yrs and a Ruger Security-Six even longer. Bought both from a small gun shop in the late 1970's. Just regular production grips, same as the ones for Model 34 and Ruger SBK. Wish I had more. but this days they are all custom order.

david s

Well-Known Member
In the early 1980's Herrett Shooting Star grips (and quite a few other styles) were offered both ways. You could get custom versions of them via the hand tracing from Steve Herrett in Idaho or just buy the standard size offerings in a shop or catalog. I used to get mine from the Midsouth Shooter Supply catalog outa Tennessee.
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Well-Known Member
I checked this old Colt Official Police very closely over a couple of visits to the LGS. Blue wear was the only thing that I saw wrong (to some- not I)
So, a bit of swapping ensued and I have my first medium frame Colt .38 Special revolver.
I’ve had Police Positives, Detective Specials, and one 1909 .45 Colt in the past.
I didn’t need that polyframe 9mm, anyway…….IMG_2854.jpeg


Well-Known Member
I have an Colt OP too, a six inch. My Dad bought it new before I was born, so it's past 70. It's in remarkable shape. Except for a few jackrabbit hunting trips, it's never been carried. He gave it to Me shortly before He passed. It's one of My most prized possessions. While I no longer shoot the heavy .38/44 loads We used to use, it still gets fed a bit above target class.

Rick H

Well-Known Member
I have never seen one in person, but the Henry Big Boy revolver sure reminds me of the old Colt New Service revolvers.

Uncle Grinch

Active Member
Some time ago I sold my Diamondback and later my Ruger Service-Six. Been chasing other “wants” but finally decided to get back into the 38 Spl business. Just this morning I order a nice used Taurus 82s stainless 4” for less than $300.


Well-Known Member
Ever tried any type of fillers??. I'm using titegroup powder. 3.9 grains. Wonder if a filler might improve the groups. Johnny

Jeff H

NW Ohio
Some time ago I sold my Diamondback and later my Ruger Service-Six. Been chasing other “wants” but finally decided to get back into the 38 Spl business. Just this morning I order a nice used Taurus 82s stainless 4” for less than $300.

The newer Taurus 856 looks NICE.

Taurus has really stepped up their game in the last few years. A lot of the clumsy aesthetic, which started to happen after the mid-nineties has been corrected and they have some damned fine looking revolvers lately. Beyond that, the dimensions on the few I've handled are RIGHT. I had a 5-shot 357, Model 605 for about a year and it was a really nice gun and accurate.

Rossi started harping about getting back into revolvers and I immediately sold the Taurus and started shopping for a Rossi RP63. FINALLY got one and, true to their words, it's a step up from the stepped up Taurus revolvers of late! Funny thing - Taurus MAKES them, but to Rossi specs. You get the old hammer-nose/hammer-block action and an even more nicely finished revolver. The specs on this one are RIGHT. Accurate, no leading, a really nice little gun. The action on the Rossi is SO much nicer and easier to tune, and it took very little tuning. The insides were impeccable form the factory and Rossi's old clumsy barrel/muzzle eyesore is GONE. They are very classy-looking guns.

The Taurus 605 and Rossi RP63 were new and priced right. I paid a little over $400 for the Taurus and, get this, a little over $300 for the nicer Rossi.

I think these smaller, lighter revolvers which are all the rage today are a boon to those shooting 38 Specials. In my case, I load 357 cases to 38 Special levels for most of my shooting, but have the capacity to do more when/if necessary.


Well-Known Member
One of the reasons I switched to Titegroup from Bullseye, was that Titegroup was NOT sensitive to position in the case.