Watch: ‘Fitz Special’ Customized Carry Revolver


Watch: ‘Fitz Special’ Customized Carry Revolver

If you were a gunfighter — or even a gun guy — in the 1920s, chances are good that you’d know what a Fitz Special is. But almost a century later, most of us have never heard of it. In short, it’s a highly modified revolver that was popularized by a former New York police officer and exhibition shooter named John Henry Fitzgerald.

“Fitz” was also a gunsmith, which is not surprising since he performed the necessary surgery on numerous revolvers by shortening barrels, bobbing hammers & ejector rods, and chopping off the fronts of trigger guards, and he was in the employ of Colt for more than 25 years.

The Colt revolver in this video is coming up for auction, with an estimated price of $1500-$3000. Chambered for 44-40, it’s fairly beefy for a snub-nose, and it wasn’t modified by Fitz himself.

These days, a much less-thorough job of making a gun easier to carry is often called “de-horning,” but the goal is the same: to make it more comfortable and above all else, easier to draw and fire in a hurry. The “Fitz” job involves removing the hammer spur so it can’t get hung up on your clothing, shortening the barrel (and sometimes the ejector rod), and removing the front of the trigger guard to create wide-open access to the trigger.

(Oh, and just for the record, a revolver isn’t technically a pistol, even though it is a handgun.)


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Editor & Contributing Writer Russ Chastain is a lifelong hunter and shooter who has spent his life learning about hunting, shooting, guns, ammunition, gunsmithing, reloading, and bullet casting. He started toting his own gun in the woods at age nine and he's pursued deer with rifles since 1982, so his hunting knowledge has been growing for more than three and a half decades. His desire and ability to share this knowledge with others has also grown, and Russ has been professionally writing and editing original hunting & shooting content since 1998. Russ Chastain has a passion for sharing accurate, honest, interesting hunting & shooting knowledge and stories with people of all skill levels.

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