Sunday, May 04, 2008

Uberti 1875 Outlaw

To me, this revolver is a beautiful weapon. It is beautiful just to look at, with its fine lines and dark, blued coloring.

I've owned this weapon, and mine was chambered for .357 magnum shells, which means it can also shoot .38s. I usually shot .38s because there is practically no kick, making it easier to hit your target, but it was also fun to put in .357s for the big boom factor.

This is a very accurate handgun, a better gun than I am a shooter, I'll admit. But most single-action revolvers, like this one, are more comfortable to shoot one-handed, and I've always been a better shot with handguns when shooting with both hands. I don't mean you can't shoot a single-action revolver using both hands, it's just a bit awkward, at least for me. The weapons were mostly meant to be drawn and fired with one hand.

This weapon was a lot of fun. It was a bit difficult for fan firing (holding down the trigger with one hand while "fanning" the hammer with the other hand) because the top of the hammer was a bit small, but with practice it could be done. Fan firing, in my experience, is kind of like shooting a light machine gun at fully automatic. What I mean is, you might not hit with the first or second or third shot, but with practice you can learn to "walk" your shots up to your target. Of course, in a real gun fight this might mean you would be dead, especially if your target is brave enough to aim down on you while you're wasting ammo shooting at the dirt.

The Uberti Outlaw tended to be a little barrel heavy, but this made it a great gun for doing pistol tricks. I'm not talking about trick shooting, but about being skillful at twirling the gun around in your hand and fingers and doing fancy-looking stuff like a "Mexican roll". I was particular good at the Mexican roll (which has other names too, bandit roll, etc). In a Mexican roll, you start off with your revolver facing you while the butt of the gun faces away, then with a quick flip of a finger and thumb you twist the revolver around to face your opponent. Historically, this happened a few times and may have actually saved a few bandits from being caught (John Wesley Hardin was supposedly good at such tricks).

Back to the Uberti Outlaw. Because of the barrel length and the heaviness of the barrel, this isn't a great gun for quickdraw. But it would be a pretty good weapon for horseback riding. It's basically a later version of the earlier ball-and-cap "horse guns," big black powder revolvers often carried by cavalry. Also, because of the length, it's a good revolver for a cross draw holster on your stomach because a shorter barrel (in my experience) often hits on the "tender" spots when you're walking or riding.

For your information, Uberti is an Italian gunsmith. The original versions of this firearm were made by Remington in 1875 (thus, the name). Uberti basically makes a modern version of this Old West gun.

One scary story about this revolver: I was shooting at a state target range one extremely hot day about ten years ago, and I didn't wear my shooting gloves because I have large hands and tend to have problems putting my gloved fingers in the trigger hole. Well, my hands started sweating. And the grips on the Uberti Outlaw are a very smooth rosewood. You can guess what happened. I was fan firing away, and on my fourth shot the gun jumped up out of my hands. I was shaken up enough to quit shooting for the day! And from then on I always made sure my hands weren't sweating while I was shooting.

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