Pimp your revolver

The makeover I gave my own Taurus has stirred some interest amongst  our customers and we are starting to get requests to sort out and smarten up people’s revolvers.

Taurus has been the default long-barrel revolver (LBR) on the UK market for many years; nearly every LBR you’ll see at a range will be one.

Unfortunately, although resembling Smith & Wesson in their aesthetic, the Tauruses don’t have the same fit and finish as a Smith.  I’ve come across quite a few that needed attention from brand new; even some that have been laid to one side because they just don’t work properly.

True, these guns have their idiosyncrasies. That horrible cylinder detent and spring that loves to work its way into the mechanism. Rough finishing inside the cylinder axis leading to ejection issues. Overly tight-fitting side-plates. Coarsely finished forcing cones. A closure mechanism that clogs after a couple of dozen rounds. And the nasty rubber grips that sting the web of your hand when firing.

But even at their current prices, the Tauruses are still a fraction of the cost of an actual converted Smith & Wesson, if you can find one at all. Made to work properly and given the love and attention they need, these revolvers can be great shooters.

That’s why I’m rolling out a service aimed specifically at these guns; to make them look and shoot better than when they left the factory.

All sorts of options are available to bring your gun the look and feel that you want. Matching rear extensions and ejector rods, a selection of hardwood or laminated grips, recrowning the muzzle and polishing the forcing cone. And not forgetting, polishing of the whole gun to a mirror shine.

Why not give your Taurus the makeover it deserves?

For more info email me on: jon@jdrguns.com

Taurus completed

Finally, it’s done. The Taurus M66 in 44 Magnum that I was polishing (and improving internally) is complete.

It took a couple of weeks of polishing and other cosmetic work, then our gunsmith added an 11-degree recrown, a new ejector rod and counterweight and a polish of the forcing cone.

Finally, I added some unusual Hogue grips in laminated hardwood.

I won’t waffle on. I’d rather let the photos speak for themselves…


Kral Puncher Breaker 22 air rifle (FAC version)

A quick look at two of the Kral Puncher Breaker range…

And some stills:

Walnut blued (top) and Marine synthetic (bottom). These are excellent value guns and come with two mags each, a single-shot adapter, a built-in scope rail and (in the synthetic stocks) a storage space for the second mag.

The Marine variant with synthetic stock. This was the one I went for. It has a slightly shorter and more curved stock and I found it much easier to set up a scope the way I wanted.

Walnut blued variant. These air rifles are pretty much half the price of competing bullpup guns and yet the quality is excellent. The walnut is good quality with a sculpted and slightly futuristic look.

The Marine with a scope on top of a riser and a torch attached for night shooting.

Sheridan “Cowboy” .177 pellet/BB revolver

I’d like to show you this great little airgun from Crosman – the Sheridan Cowboy:

It’s designed to look like an 1858 Remington revolver which was of course a muzzle-loader. This one copies the later cartridge-converted variants on those guns.

The size and weight are quite a surprise when you get it in your hands. It’s not light and tinny as you might expect.

It has a Peacemaker-style loading gate and takes six dummy cartridges, each with a pellet or BB.

This is how you load the dummy shells.

Pop them in with the hammer at half-cock and you’re good to go.

A very nice touch is this little under-frame safety catch. Red means ready to fire.

A CO2 bulb is loaded via the left-hand grip and an L-shaped hex key is included to make life a bit easier.

It even comes to bits like the real thing. The ramrod under the barrel isn’t moveable, but the pistol has an ejector rod.

Totally authentic-looking from the outside, the cylinder is actually hollowed out, so no danger of it being converted illegally.

The end of the barrel shows imitation rifling.


Shoots pellets or BBs. A total of twelve shells are included (six for pellets and six for BBs), plus instructions.

These are terrific back-garden plinkers and very satisfying to use. The grip is a lot larger than you might expect but that makes a very comfortable fit for adults at least.

The trigger breaks at about 4lb.

Marlin 1894 – 44 Mag


Just realised I’ve been blathering on about my love affair with Marlins and how to eradicate The Line, but not actually posted any images of the new one.

Here goes.

I’ve wondered about a Marlin lever in 45-70 at some point in the future. I’ve not yet had a chance to load for that calibre, so it would be interesting to give it a go.

How I’ve missed you!

First date with the 1894C. 

In case I haven’t said so anywhere else, let me declare my very deep affection for Marlin lever-action rifles.

I know they have their fans and their detractors and that there are plenty of other very good lever-actions out there, but there’s something about Marlins which I just like.

I didn’t originally. There was the oddly square-looking lever itself and some people moaned about sloppy triggers and jiggly action.  When I first got into shooting, I was more enamoured by the idea of a Winchester. Winchesters were the archetypal cowboy rifle (and the only lever-action that I’d heard of that point).

But it was in conversation with a much more experienced shooter at my club that I learned how simple Marlins were to take to bits and clean. And, in the meantime, I’d had the odd red-hot case drop down the front of my shirt from the club Rossi.

I started to rethink things. I ummed and ahhed for ages while saving up for a lever and, in the end, decided to jump in and try a Marlin.

I got an 1894C in 357 Magnum and pretty much cut my reloading teeth on this calibre for the next 18 months. I got into casting my own bullets for my Marlin and developed an absolutely magic load incorporating a 167 gr flat- nosed projectile backed up by 11.5 gr of H110. I’d been given half a tub of this powder by somebody who just couldn’t get it to work for them and, through careful experimentation, came across this combination. In my rifle, it produced incredible groupings (1.5″ or less) at 50 yards with the rifle’s iron sights.

Time passed by, my hobby expanded and expanded and then I got to the point where I set up JD Reloading. I imported and sold reloading machinery and tools for people. As this developed, it became apparent that some companies overseas were cagey about dealing with us as we weren’t a registered firearms dealership. It had to be done.

Setting up a dealership in the UK is expensive and I was running a bit low on funds and unfortunately my Marlin had to be sacrificed. It was very, very reluctantly that I gave this rifle up in part exchange for some of the work on my new RFD.

The work was worth it but I did pine for my old Marlin!

I always promised myself that if I ever did get another Marlin, I would go up in size and get a 44 Magnum. It’s a somewhat easier cartridge to cater for than 357 Mag, due in part to the additional case volume which just makes everything simpler. And it’s the same calibre as my long barrelled revolver. An ideal candidate for the Dillon, then, once we develop a reliable load.

The other day, I was delighted to finally come across an as-new example at a very reasonable price. Brand-new ones are changing hands at something approaching £1000; not the kind of loose change I generally carry! This one had been marked down, as part of a major sell-off, from someone looking to purchase a very expensive high-end target rifle.

It arrives in a few days time, so I’ll post up more about it then…

By the way, there was a happy ending for my original rifle. It’s in excellent hands and is being very well looked after by its new owner. I even see my “old flame” from time to time at the club.