By Lars Dalseide | July 15 2013 16:19

Heavy revolver designed by Colt salesman become rare collector's item

Philip Schreier holds a .45 caliber Colt Fitz Special

Fairfax, Virginia - "It is a very special gun. A rare gun. A big gun."

That's what Senior National Firearms Museum Curator Philip Schreier had to say about the subject of today's Curator's Corner episode on NRANews.

What we have here is a Colt Snubnose Revolver. But not just any snubnose. This one is a collector's item. This one is the Fitz Special.

"John Henry Fitzgerald, Colt's best salesman as well as one of their most colorful characters from 1910 to 1941 was a former police officer, shooting instructor, and designer of this gun," Schreier explained. "As former law enforcement, he liked the round butt styling of the Detective Special, but he liked the big frame on the new service models."

So what did Fitzgerald do to this gun? Plenty.

Starting with the base of a Model 1909 Army Revolver, Fitz went ahead and shortened the barrel to two inches. To make sure it wouldn't snag or catch on a holster or jacket, he got rid of the exposed hammer. Fizt also removed the knob off the ejector knob and dumped the trigger guard.

"He wanted to make sure you could get your finger on the trigger without any impediments."

Only 20 Fitz Specials were ever officially made. Officially. Unofficially, there were another 30 to 40 Fitz made someone along the line.

"If you have the provenance for one these guns, especially a letter from Colt, then it's worth an incredible amount of money."

For the full scoop, tune in to the Sportsman Channel later this afternoon for another live episode of NRANews. That's where Phil will tell you the rest of the tale about Colt, Fitz and his specially designed revolver.

Senior Curator Philip Schreier holds a .45 caliber Colt Fitz Special at the NRA Museum

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