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E.M.F. Sheriff's Model.

* There is a certain mystique about a Peacemaker that has had its barrel lopped off to four inches or less, and has had the ejector housing and rod removed. These "Sheriff's" or "Storekeeper's" models, as they are often referred to, attained modest popularity on the Western Frontier during the latter part of the last century. In those days, when loose-fitting, bulky clothing was in fashion, such shortened "hoglegs" became ideal manstopping pocket pistols. However, in today's ultra-modern world, these revolvers are still about as bulky as an old Dragoon Colt when it comes to concealment, yet their popularity with single-action sixgun fans and western buffs, remains as high as it ever was. I've seen several Colt SAAs and import copies that had been made into these Sheriff's models bring a higher price than if they were in brand-new condition!

A couple of years ago Colt Firearms produced a limited edition of 3,000 Sheriff's Model Single Actions in .44 Special and .44-40 calibers. However, this edition was so popular that virtually all of the revolvers were sold before production was completed. Since then, Sheriff's Model fans have tried in vain to find a suitable substitute at a reasonable price. The latest edition Colts are now selling for four-figure prices, and the original black powder and early smokeless versions are strictly collectors pieces. Well take heart, E.M.F. Company Incorporated is offering just the ticket for you pocket Peacemaker enthusiasts. Simply called the "Sheriff's Model," E.M.F.'s offering is a handsome Italian import sixgun that emulates those short-barreled Peacemakers that the Colt firm turned out after 1896. The gun's frame is made without the ejector housing addition, yet employs the smokeless powder cross-pin, cylinder pin system. Available in blued or nickel finish, this 3 1/2-inch barreled revolver is furnished with one-piece walnut stocks. The sights are traditional Colt SAA-type. The front sight is a simple blade, while the rear is a groove in the topstrap. Thes pocket Peacemakers are available in a variety of chamberings including .357 Magnum, .44-40 (.44 WCF), and .45 Colt. The company is also considering adding .32-20 (.32 WCF) and .38-40 (.38 WCF) to their line.

A blued model was sent to me for testing, and I must admit, I was impressed with it. The barrel, cylinder, backstrap and trigger are a modern blue/black, and the frame itself is color casehardened. In all, it is an attractive firearm to look at and a good performer at the range.

During my test sessions with this six-shooter, I enlisted the aid of my Swiss amigo, Walter Amrein. Walter is an avid shooter and western buff who is rated in Switzerland as a "Schuetzenmeister," the American equivalent of a range officer/instructor. Each year, Walter visits the Southern California area and we take that opportunity to do some shooting together.

Our firing consisted of both informal plinking and serious grouping on paper. The revolver functioned smoothly at all times. We were both impressed with the 2 1/2-pound trigger pull, although we detected an ever so slight, but tolerable creep to it. The one hang-up we both experienced was in removing the cylinder base pin from the frame. Because the Sheriff's Model is designed without an ejector rod, empty cartridge cases must be expelled through the use of some sort of makeshift rod, such as a pencil. In the event nothing is handy, the cylinder should then be removed, and the base pin can be utilized (removal of the cylinder is not necessary for loading). However, with this test gun we found that a rawhide mallet was needed to tap the pin free from its housing in the frame. Upon close examination, we discovered a tiny burr on the spring-loaded cross-pin, which is mounted in the frame. This slight imperfection was just enough of an obstacle to make it impossible to remove the base pin by finger pressure. Obviously, this was a "quality control" slip-up at the factory on this particular arm, and could be removed in a few moments by stoning the cross-pin. Incidentally, while we're mentioning the base pin, this was the only area that we felt detracted from the gun's otherwise slick appearance. The base pin serves a dual function in that it acts as a safety as well as the "axle" for the cylinder. A small "leg," set in at a right angle to the base pin, can be rotated, while pushing in on the spring-loaded cross-pin. As it rotates, an extension of the base pin cams into position to keep the hammer's firing pin from resting or striking a primer. While I don't care for the cosmetics of this design, E.M.F.'s president, Boyd Davis, informed me that it is required for import on this firearm.

Walter and I had a ball playing with this little six-shooter while we were familiarizing outselves with it. We bounced tin cans at close range and tried a few shots at longer ranges with satisfying results. Our "paperwork" consisted of 15-yard, five-shot groups, fired in two-hand, offhand position. Using Remington factory 250-grain ammo, we were able to keep our groupings around the 2 1/2-inch mark, with the best score, turned in by Walter, measuring just 2-1/4 inches, center to center. All shots hit about three inches above the point of aim at this distance.

Since this gun was originally designed as a close-encounter sidearm, we thought it would be fun to try it on a silhouette target at the combat distance of 21 feet. Again using a two-hand, offhand hold, Walter was able to group five shots within 1-1/8 inch in the 9 and center rings--in just 30 seconds! With performance like that, you can feel pretty secure about packing one of these Sheriff's Models on your side.

For those of you who have been looking for an affordable Sheriff's Model Peacemaker, E.M.F.'s version is worth consideration. It is handsome, accurate, and faithful to the originals of the turn of the century period. Priced at $325 in blue finish and $365 for the nickeled model, they should be within the budget of many shooters. For further information contact E.M.F. Company Incorporated at Dept. GA, 1900 East Warner Avenue, Suite One D, Santa Ana, CA 92705, or you can call them at (714) 966-0202.
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Title Annotation:revolver
Author:Spangenberger, Phil
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Apr 1, 1984
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