A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Fitz Special

"J.H. FitzGerald, ("Fitz") to his many friends, was a key employee at Colt between the two World Wars, and the best company promoter since the Col. himself. He was a major force in keeping Colt alive during the Great Depression, and their point man when it came to law enforcement sales.

His revolver design was built around a concept of side-pocket carry, either pants or topcoat. It was for this reason that he cut away the front of the trigger guard, because of the tight confines of a pocket. In addition the hammer spur was bobbed and often the butt was shortened and rounded in the manner used on Detective Specials.

However some rather interesting people, Charles Askins being the most notable, liked the amputated trigger guard on any handgun, including a few pistols.

Askins and FitzGerald were both close friends, and Charley sent the Colt Company a fair amount of business when they badly needed it. But more to the point, Askins discovered he could quickly unload a revolver (or pistol) by, “fanning the trigger,” as he put it. He would hold the gun in the left hand (he was a southpaw) and use the edge of his right to literally fan the trigger through the open front of the trigger guard. It should be noted that he used a holster of his own design that covered the trigger guard, or where the guard would usually be. This holster was adopted by the Border Patrol for general issue, but they never made any alterations to their guns.

When I was a callow youth, and not the brightest light bulb in the room, I asked Askins – who was in a mellow mood – if cutting away the trigger guard wasn’t a bit dangerous. He looked me up and down, and then told me in somewhat stronger language that wouldn’t get past Art’s Grandma, that there were a lot more dangerous things one would encounter in a gunfight then a cut-away trigger guard. His words and experience made an impression I haven’t forgotten."

The Old Fuff

More info on Fitz Specials

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Blogger Reno Sepulveda said...

Charlie Askins and Old Fuff? Together? Please God let there be pictures.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Less said...

I never understood the trigger guard cutaway... I mean, even in the pocket a fitz isn't that much smaller with it cutaway...

I've got to go with Ed McGivern on that one and say that its a mutilation. Sure, it maybe historically significant, but it seems downright silly - truly a solution in search of a problem.

I bet Ol' Fitz just did it to make the guys feel like they were "gunfighters" - could this be a form of tactial douch-baggery?

8:14 AM  

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