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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1876 (Moderator: Grizzly Adams)  |  Topic: Hy Hunter Inc. Western Six-Shooter Model, SAA clone 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hy Hunter Inc. Western Six-Shooter Model, SAA clone  (Read 26116 times)
okla_six_shooter
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« on: January 15, 2009, 12:45:09 pm »


Howdy to everybody, this is my first post here.  I hope that I don't get laughed off of the forum for asking my question.
I've never participated in, or even seen, a Cowboy Action get-together or competition.  I am an avid hunter and target shooter, and I reload for a variety of rifles and handguns.  Most of my rifles are bolt-action, in hunting calibers.  The only semi-auto rifle I own is a Ruger 10/22.
A couple of days ago, I had an opportunity to get rid of a Hi-Point .45ACP semi-auto pistol, and I jumped on it.  An acquaintance mentioned that he had "an old six-shooter."  I took a look at it, shot it, and traded him even for the Hi-Point.
The six-shooter is a SAA clone from a few decades ago.  It is roll-marked thus:  Hy Hunter Inc. Firearms Mfg. Co./ Hollywood, California/Made in Western Germany 5/1612.  It is chambered for the .45 Long Colt.  The fit of the metal parts is surprisingly good, and the cylinder timing seems to be right.  The fit of the grips to the strap is not so good.
The major difference from a Colt is its frame-mounted firing pin.  The trigger guard is more rounded than on a Colt.

Does anybody have any experience or knowledge with the Hy Hunter sixguns?  Are these handguns used in Cowboy Action shooting?

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CavSoldier3ACR
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 03:01:55 pm »

I vaguely remember seeing one of those when I was a teenager in the 1970's.  I did a web search and this is all I found.

Henry 'Hy' Hunter was the original proprietor of the American Weapons Corporation of Burbank CCA, but his name was often used on products and is frequently regarded as a brandname. The American Weapons Corporation vanished in the 1970's.
Hy Hunter Firearms Company Inc. of Hollywood and Burbank, California imported and distributed a wide variety of firearms. The Hy Hunter Frontier Six Shooter was a cheap Western style single action .22LR revolver that was manufactured in Germany by Rohm. This is the kind of revolver that is often seen for sale at gunshows in the $50 or less range. Marc

Hope this helps
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Professor Marvel
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 08:04:02 pm »

Hy Hunter, is the trade name of American Weapons Corp
Hayward Hunter, also known as Hy Hunter, is the corporate president

I read in John Taffins "Great Western Single Actions"  that
Hy Hunter and EMF were early distributers of Great Westerns.
The first revolvers made by Great Western were the poorly
made .22's but they improved quickly after that, and even Elmer Kieth commented
on the improvements.  Great Western added a number
of major calibers including .45 colt, 44-40 .357 and .44 magnums.

Great Western sixguns were totally American Made. Later Hunter also
brought in the very well made German  J.P. Sauer & Sohn "Hawes" versions.
-------------
Both Great Western and Sauer revolvers used the frame-mounterd firing pin.
Thus it is entirely possible that you traded a "horse pucky"  HiPoint for at least a Great Western
(most likely) .

yhs
Prof Marvel
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okla_six_shooter
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2009, 10:51:49 am »

Thank you for the tip about J. P. Saur & Sohn, Prof. Marvel.  I found a link to this company's web site, and took a look around.  The first thing I noticed was the company's logo - which is roll-marked onto the barrel of my revolver! 
I'm much more confident in this handgun now, and VERY satisfied with my trade.
Now: would this revolver be accepted in CAS circles?
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Professor Marvel
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 11:42:31 pm »

Happy my humble effort could be of help. The Sauer's I have handled were fine examples of German engineering at it's best! They are very strong, as well. While parts are not generally interchangeable with the other Colt clones, they are available.  While I cannot speak for every club, this revolver ought to be generally acceptable. You certainly made out well on that trade!

yhs
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Grizzly Adams
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2009, 12:40:57 am »

Thank you for the tip about J. P. Saur & Sohn, Prof. Marvel.  I found a link to this company's web site, and took a look around.  The first thing I noticed was the company's logo - which is roll-marked onto the barrel of my revolver! 
I'm much more confident in this handgun now, and VERY satisfied with my trade.
Now: would this revolver be accepted in CAS circles?


Congratulations on a good trade. Smiley  As I recall, the SAA used by Matt in Gunsmoke was actually a Great Western.  You pistola will meet with approval at any CAS/SASS match I know of!

Oh, and Welcome to the fire, Amigo. Smiley
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larrylee64
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2009, 11:17:13 am »

I purchased a Hy Hunter that was chambered in a .357 Mag from the Base Exchange at MCAS El Toro, CA in 1965.  I cannot remember exactly how much I paid for it but I couldn't have been very expensive.  I bought the Hy Hunter and a pre 1964 Winchester Model 94 .30 .30 lever action and I was only a Lance Cpl at the time.  I still own both today but I don't shoot them as much as I would like to.  I am not that much into the cowboy action shooting but more into long range high power rifle competion. 

Personally, I think you got a good revolver out of the deal.  I know that mine is very sturdy and shoots great after all these years. 

Larry
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sixgunsam
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2010, 12:14:31 am »

My wife has a Hy Hunter Great Western 45.  Looks like a Colt 45 and it shoots like a hammer!  Good, that is.
It most certainly has POWER when you shoot it.  She inherited it from her dad after he passed.  I replaced the stag grips
with something close in finishes walnut.  Looks and feels much better.  The grips do not exactly match.  I have had trouble
finding something that will actually match the grip pins and have had to drill holes where there were none in the flat side of
the grips to get them to fit correctly.  Still could use better grips but the feel it has now is WOW!  I'm impressed.

These days, with the wheel gun copies popping up everywhere and blue book values saying Hy Hunter 45's are dirt cheap, I beg to
differ.  I sold a Ruger 357 stainless steel Redhawk for $350 after reading blue book values.  I recently saw a Ruger 357 Redhawk
exactly like the one I sold, for sale on Gunbroker for over $700.  I could KICK myself!!!  So, with Hy Hunter firearms being better
than what people think, especially the 45 colt look alike, I do not believe that $165 is a fair shake for this gun.  It is obviouly not
still in production, which makes it antique by some degree.  Certainly RARE!  You cannot disagree with that.

If I were to sell this gun, I would not ask less than $400 for it JUST BECAUSE of what I expereienced with my Ruger.  Blue book CAN be wrong at times and I think the Hy Hunter firearms get a bad rep because of the few first generation lemons.  Plus, I smell
gun prejudice when I see blue book values on the Hy Hunter series firearms.  I don't think they got a good review as good as
I think they should have gotten.

This one my wife has is a good gun.  I had to replace only one screw in it so far.  The rest of it is a tight fit and works like clockwork.  The trigger is 'RIGHT THERE' when you pull the trigger.  More like a tigger job I have expereinced on some of my
semi-autos I have had in the past.  You cannot knock the trigger action.  It's TIGHT and spot on!  I just wich I had one of these
in 357.  I have a lot of reloads I'd like to shoot some day.  They're just sitting in boxes looking pretty for now.

As for the 45 colt look alike, it will deliver that round with authority and it holds up, in spite of what people say.  I have fired it enough to know first hand that the HH 45 GW at least is not being given proper respect.  It hasn't rattled apart in my hands while shooting it and NO parts indicated any loosening after 150 round were conscutively fired through it.  It got a little warm, but that is about all it did.

The firing pin is spring loaded and is a first attempt at a 'transfer' style firing mechanism.  I think Ruger took this idea and worked
up the transfer bar system after seeing what the GW fiarearms had done.  A safety feature of this gun, indeed.  IT WORKS WELL.  In fact so well, that I have not had even ONE FTF at all.  Very reliable.
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2010, 08:59:48 pm »

A local shop has a Great Western/Hawes that is NIB.  Asking price is $525.  Nice crisp action. Smiley
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CMinard87
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2010, 10:30:20 pm »

Thank you for the tip about J. P. Saur & Sohn, Prof. Marvel.  I found a link to this company's web site, and took a look around.  The first thing I noticed was the company's logo - which is roll-marked onto the barrel of my revolver! 
I'm much more confident in this handgun now, and VERY satisfied with my trade.
Now: would this revolver be accepted in CAS circles?


Can you post a link to the website here? I just bought a Hy-Hunter Great Western off my brother-in-law, and I've been trying to find some info about these types of guns (like year made, how much its worth etc)
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john boy
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2010, 10:50:31 pm »

 GREAT WESTERN ARMS COMPANY
Previous manufacturer located in Los Angeles, CA circa 1954-1964.
Most firearms enthusiasts are more or less familiar with Great Western Arms Co., an enterprise initially organized in Los Angeles through the efforts of Hy Hunter and established by three partners; Dr. Hassam, a prominent surgeon, Dan Reeves, owner of the L.A. Rams, and Dan Fortmann. Bill Wilson, a former production engineer at North American Aviation, served as president.
Wilson established his shop in a tin covered building on Minor Street in Southgate, CA and staffed it with a small group of employees, some taken from Weatherby. As time went by, as many as fifty workers were busy producing guns.
Hy Hunter's American Weapons Corp. in Burbank was chosen by the partners to be the exclusive distributor. Hunter so aggressively marketed the Frontier Six Shooter that his name became synonymous with Great Western and many believed that he was the owner of the company.
With Bob Green as financial officer and Bill Hensley as plant superintendent, machining of parts to manufacture exact copies of the original Colt Model P began in early 1954. Fitting, de-burring, polishing, finishing and assembly began slowly in the spring, with initial production and sales generated by notoriety of the proprietary .357 Atomic cartridge.
Great Western Arms Co. operated for approximately ten years, during which time they were reorganized by at least five different owners. Even though the company was well funded with $250,000 initially, it was never stable, lacking in manufacturing expertise and management skills. But the employees made up for it with enthusiasm and a genuine desire to accommodate their customers.
Appearing in early Great Western brochures and catalogues were spokesmen John Wayne and Audie Murphy. Exhibition shooters Dee Woolem and Sam Toole represented the company with their fast draw talents.
The Great Western revolver line-up offered a well-rounded variety of models with sub-variants. A good selection of barrel lengths, finishes, decoration and calibers were available. They offered interchangeable auxiliary cylinders and a variety of other special and innovative accessories.
The author would like to thank Mr. John Dougan for providing information and values for this section.
Manufacturer Specific Product Categories

    * DERRINGERS
       GREAT WESTERN DERRINGER   Get Current Values
      - .38 S&W or .38 S&W Spl. cal. (not interchangeable). Basically an improved version of the Remington Double Derringer frame.


    * REVOLVERS: SINGLE ACTION
    *
      DEPUTY MODEL   Get Current Values
      - .22 LR, .38 Spl., or .357 Mag. cal., 4 in. barrel, deluxe blue finish, walnut grips.
    *
      ENGRAVED MODEL   Get Current Values
    *
      FAST DRAW MODEL   Get Current Values
      - solid brass backstrap and triggerguard, 4 3/4 in. barrel, blue finish, plastic faux stag grips.
    *
      FRONTIER SIX SHOOTER   Get Current Values
      - chambered for .22 LR/WMR and a variety of centerfire calibers, 4 3/4, 5 1/2, 7 1/2, or 12 in. barrel, plastic faux stag (standard), walnut, stag, pearl, or ivory grips, cyanide case colored, blue, chrome, or nickel plated finish, Christy Gun Works firing pin mounted in recoil shield.
    *
      KIT GUNS   Get Current Values
    *
      SHERIFF'S MODEL   Get Current Values
      - .45 LC cal., nickel, blue, cyanide case colored finish, plastic faux stag grips standard.
    *
      TARGET MODEL   Get Current Values
      - most .22 LR cal., blue or case colored finish.


    * ADDITIONAL HISTORY
Examination and survey of approximately four hundred Great Western revolvers and derringers revealed the following.
- A small quantity of smooth bore guns were shipped.
- Single-actions with a through the frame firing pin hole and a full radius to the front of the cylinder frame have Colt frames. Many of the earliest revolvers were made with the Colt cylinder frame; serial numbers 73, 95, 111, 245, 332, 348, and 367.
- Serial number GW5543 is roll marked on the side of the cylinder frame "GREAT WESTERN LOS ANGELES".
- Occasionally an example will be found that has a letter T stamped on the cylinder frame. Assembler Toni Rimerez hand stamped the guns that she assembled until she was instructed to stop.
- Some revolvers feature chrome lined barrels.
- Standard finishes were cyanide case colored, blued, chrome, nickel, silver, gold, bead blasted, and blued.
- A specially fabricated Great Western revolver was built to be used by Don Knotts in the Disney production, The Shakiest Gun in the West, it was designed to fall apart upon cocking.

    * THE MYTHS OF GREAT WESTERN ARMS COMPANY
Very often, either one or two of the prevailing misconceptions will be raised at the mention of Great Western Arms Co., depending upon the respondents' knowledge of firearms. One is that Hy Hunter was the founder and owner of Great Western. The second myth is Great Western revolvers and derringers were manufactured in Italy, Spain, or Germany.
Hy Hunter, arms dealer to the stars, aggressively promoted Great Western through his American Weapons Corp., retail store, and his catalog. Hunter publicized the Frontier Six Shooter to a degree that his name became a synonym for Great Western. In the beginning Hunter served in the capacity as sole West Coast distributor and was never an equity partner or corporately involved with any of the four companies that bore the Great Western marquee. Further, the back page of the 1956 GW Arms Sales Company, Inc. catalogue makes the following statement.
Note: Great Western Arms Company is the manufacturer, GW Arms Sales Co. is the distributor and there are no agreements expressed or implied between these companies and Hy Hunter, American Weapons and/or Crown International of Burbank, California, and these companies have not been purchasers of Great Western products since about the middle of 1955.
Eventually, in the early 1960s, Hunter imported and marketed a line of lower quality European made single-action revolvers and derringers, which were roll-marked with his name. Hy Hunter marked guns are relatively scarce today and there is not much collector interest in his single-action revolvers or derringers.
Secondly, no Great Western components were fabricated offshore. Castings, barrels, and other parts were provided by outside contractors. An exception can be the stag, pearl and ivory grip panels traditionally produced overseas and imported by grip distributors. Final fitting, polishing, finishing, and assembly were accomplished in-house. All Great Western facilities and correspondent shops were located in and around Los Angeles, Burbank, and Long Beach, which were the West Coast equivalent to Bridgeport and New Haven.
During WW II, Southern California developed the same capabilities for manufacturing as New England and was the greatest producer of war material on the Pacific Rim.
Following is an annual production schedule. At this juncture, it is an educated guess based on surviving documents, letters, and invoices, and should be used as a general guide only.
1953...................................GW1 - GW150
1954..............................GW150 - GW4500
1955...........................GW4500 - GW11000
1956.........................GW11000 - GW11500
1957....................................11500 - 15000
1958....................................15000 - 17000
1959.....................................17000 - 18500
1960..........................................18500 - 20500
1961..........................GW20500 - GW21500
1963..........................GW21500 - GW22000
Regrettably, from a collector perspective, interest in the Great Western guns has remained an esoteric subject, however, at the time of this writing, a dedicated following seems to be rallying. Along with other short lived modern manufacturers, Great Western Arms Co. should some day be afforded the same status as obscure pre-Victorian makers now enjoy.

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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 01:22:50 pm »

I purchased a Hy Hunter .45 Long Colt on consignment at my local gun shop about 18 months ago.  5/0751.  I thought it was cool because it said "Hollywood, CA" on it and being from Southern CA originally, had to have it.  I paid $275 for it.  It's in great shape.  A little bit of the bluing has started to come on the back strap.  I did some on line research and found this:  http://www.gunsmagazine.com/1962issues/G0162.pdf  (Guns Magazine circa 1962 - very cool) Page two is a Hy Hunter full page ad and in the ad is the .45 Long Colt 6 shooter for $69.95 (note this magazine is a 1962 issue!).  As far as action shooting is concerned, I too would like to get involved but would prefer using a .38spl / .357mag model because the ammo is plentiful and a lot less expensive than .45 LC.  I was watching the Gun Guru TV show (kind of like Antique Roadshow but about guns) and one person brought in a 6 shooter that looked just like the Hy Hunter but made in Hollywood by a company named Great Western   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Western_Arms_Company    also  www.greatwesternfirearms.com  It was in .22 Hornet (which really excited the expert) because of the rarity of it.  It was valued at $850 and had it had a smooth blade front site and not one with a serrated edge (more common), it would have been worth almost $2,000!   Grin
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