Bill Laughbridge of the Cylinder
& Slide Shop in Fremont, Nebraska is a
pistolsmith who offers trigger work on
revolvers, including those made by Colt.
Having served as a consultant for that
company in the past, he is well qualified to
undertake such work.
Cylinder & Slide recently
worked on one of my Colts, a new Magnum Carry
in .357 Magnum.
While its double-action trigger was
actually quite good, I felt that it could be
improved upon. A phone call to Bill resulted in an invitation to send him
the revolver to see what he could do with it.
During my initial shooting with
the revolver, I found that the double-action
trigger pull, while acceptable, tended to
pull my groups to the left, especially when I
tried to increase the speed of my shooting.
Apart from this, I have really grown to
like the little revolver, which I find carries
well in a Gallagher belt slide holster and
points well so that I can get on target
quickly from a draw.
In spite of its short two-inch barrel,
the revolver displays minimal recoil with .38
In fact, I have enjoyed shooting it so
much that I have given serious consideration
it for IDPA competition, if only I can improve
the trigger enough to tighten up my DA groups.
determine what improvements could be effected,
I did some controlled shooting with the Magnum
Carry before sending it off to be worked on.
Initially, I measured the double-action pull
to be around 11 pounds.
But on shooting the revolver, it seemed
to be somewhat heavier and on remeasuring the
pull I found it to be closer to 12 pounds.
I set up
a B-27 target center at seven yards and then
fired several aimed six-shot strings, shooting
as fast as I could maintain acquisition of
The ammunition was Black Hills
158-grain JHP+P. Each string was timed with a
Pact electronic timer and all shooting was
done with a one-hand hold.
Even though I had replaced the rubber
stocks with a nice set of wood Hogues, the
revolver exhibited mild recoil. An acceptable six shot run was six shots within the nine ring
of the target.
I was able to accomplish this quite
consistently in 4.44 seconds with my best run
being in 4.00 even.
I then changed to shooting fast two-shot
strings with my fastest time being 1.4
My only complaint was that my two-shot
strings were spread apart by about twelve
inches, and try as I might I could not get it
Another minor problem was a tendency of
the trigger to tie up as I increased my speed,
because I did not allow it to return all the
Not long after this, I shipped the
revolver off to Cylinder & Slide together
with a second Colt that is Part of another
improvement project I am working on.
Not long after I had shipped the
revolver, Bill called with the disturbing news
that the revolvers had apparently come in
contact during shipping, resulting in the
Magnum Carry sustaining some bad dings to the
barrel. It was obviously my fault for not
packing them more carefully. He said he would
do what he could to remove the dings along
with the trigger work too.
About a month or so later, Bill called to
say the revolver had been shipped back to me.
When the package arrived, I held my breath as
I unpacked it, anticipating the sight of a
badly dinged Magnum Carry with evidence of
attempts to restore the original smooth
I was both relieved and
pleasantly surprised to find my Magnum Carry
looking as good as when I packed it for
shipping, there being absolutely no evidence
of dings or scratches on it.
The revolver looked as good as new.
most obvious feature of the custom work done
to my revolver was the radiusing of the edges
of the trigger face. Originally, the face had
a flat surface that could be uncomfortable
when shooting heavy Magnum loads.
On doing some dry firing, it was obvious that
the double-action was much improved seemed a
lot lighter and easier.
In addition, I was able to cycle the
double-action trigger quick without tying up
When I shot the Magnum Carry on
our range at the Petersen ranch, putting it
through exactly the same
exercises already described, I saw an
immediate improvement in the size of my groups
and I consistently kept everything within
the ten ring of a B-27 center.
Shooting fast double-taps, the revolver
consistently printed the two shots close
As far as reliability was
concerned, the revolver performed flawlessly
with everything that I shot in it, in spite of
its seemingly lighter 11-pound trigger.
The trigger work is priced at around $90.00,
and as far as I am concerned it is well worth
(Price reflects print pricing at time of
article. For current pricing visit our online
store.) My Magnum Carry has
been transformed into a revolver that has been
elevated to one of my favorite shooting guns.