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.