Honoring Skeeter

I never knew Skeeter Skelton. But, like a lot of you guys, I spent countless hours reading the great articles that he wrote for Shooting Times magazine. Although he’s been gone for quite some time, Skeeter Skelton is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, writers to ever grace the pages of a gun magazine.

About 15 years ago, I had a chance to examine a sixgun that belonged to John Wootters. The gun had been originally built for Skeeter, but Skeeter passed before the work was completed. Wootters had the work finished and it became his favorite handgun. Simply, it was an Old Model Ruger .357 Blackhawk, with a 4 5/8” barrel, that had been converted to .44 Special. At the time, I wrote the gun up for the Guns & Ammo Annual.

As a result, several of us got together and decided to have a limited edition of .44 Special Rugers done up to honor Skeeter. The work was done by Bob Baer and Bill Grover. Since Wootter’s sixgun was numbered “SS1”, these guns would be marked “SS2” through “SS7”. The guns would be done up for myself, Bart Skelton, John Taffin, Terry Murbach, Bill Grover, and Bob Baer.

My Skeeter Skelton Special is #SS5. It started life as an Old Model Flat Top .357 Magnum. Bill Grover re-bored it to .44 Special, with the bore being .429” and the chamber throats being .430”. He mounted a King Mirror Ramp front sight, on of Skeeter’s favorites, on the front, added a big-head cylinder pin, and generally tuned up the action to perfection. Originally, I had a set of walnut stocks on the Ruger that were given to me by John Taffin. However, as you can see, I later replaced these with a set of antiqued Tru-ivory stocks for that old-timey look.

So one of my favorite single actions, in one of my favorite calibers, is a gun that I carry quite a bit. And it honors a man who gave so much to the shooting world. There’s no down-side to that.


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10 Responses to Honoring Skeeter

  1. Rob says:

    Last year at the Shootist’s Holiday, I had the pleasure of shooting Terry Murbach’s Skeeter gun. Skeeter was way ahead of the pack when it came to defining a perfect pistol.

  2. Jay Stripling says:

    Great story, I have been a fan of Skeeter’s work for years. Thanks!

  3. Bill Weddle says:

    Skeeter had a lot of influence on me and Elmer Kieth too. So much so that I decided to get a once in a lifetime new Colt SAA with 3 gold lines inlayed in the front sight. Colt talked me into engraving and signature down the back-strap. It is a beauty, but not a safe queen. I use it. To my frustration it’s not as accurate as I’d like and haven’t been able to figure it out. Most gunsmiths say and asking to much of it but I don’t think so. I like this Ruger and maybe someday I’ll switch over.

  4. Steve Wice says:

    Skeeter was my favorite gun writer, and his guns were simply wonderful. This one is a fine example and I’m it got a good home with Sheriff Jim!

  5. Michael Bruda says:

    Sheriff Jim, I am green with envy.

  6. E.E. Coffey says:

    Skeeter influenced a bunch of us with tales of the 44 Spl. I now own a Ruger Flat Top 44 Spl. that has brought back the joy of shooting. Doesn’t match the guns to honor Skeeter, but I remember Skeeter stories with each trigger pull.

  7. Calm Gun says:

    Love that firearm!

  8. David LaPell says:

    I have had a couple of Flat top rugers, and original .357 and a 50th Anniversary .44 Magnum. (I wished that .44 Mag was a short barrel). Right now I know where there is one of the new .44 Specials and I love the feel of that gun but I can’t afford it at the moment. I have a Model 10 Smith I am considering selling for it, but not sure yet. These guns are sweethearts let me tell you. I just wish they had made them sooner when I had money. I never could afford to have one converted.

  9. Pingback: Remembering Mr. Bill | Sheriff Jim Wilson

    • Jack Kellum says:

      Being lucky enough to say you enjoyed reading Elmer and Skeeter even when a teenager kinda dates some of us. For those of you who’d like to reread or for the younger guys and gals that would like a treat go to “dark canyon” (google) and many of his articles are on the site as well as other great reading. The gentleman who started it has sadly passed but last I checked it is still up and running.

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