Number 5 Project
Of all the custom revolvers built in the history of gunmaking, none stands out like the No. 5, designed and finished by Harold Croft and Elmer Keith in 1929. A highly modified Colt SA in .44 Special, Keith called it, justifiably,
The Last Word, and wrote it up in the April, 1929 issue of The American Rifleman. Other gunmakers have plied their efforts into a version of the
No. 5. My friend, Hamilton Bowen was by far the most successful in building a near perfect reconstruction of the original around 1999.
My friend, Dan Love, knew Elmer Keith and in the early '70's, while Dan was visiting Keith, Elmer removed the grips from his favorite No. 5 and traced around them on an envelope and gave that tracing to Dan. Dan was a master engraver and gun builder himself and he made up a couple templates of the tracing, thus giving Hamilton and myself a true copy of the No. 5 grip shape.
Using a Ron Power #5 grip frame, which came from that very tracing, we fitted it to a Ruger™ Flat Top .44 Special w/ 5 1/2" barrel, modified front sight, color cased Bisley™ hammer made in our shop and xxxx fancy walnut grips, finishing up this first "prototype" No 5.
Our No. 5 is a modern rendition, and tribute to, the original Keith gun for practical reasons. The rear sight and base pin latch are changed - the new flattop rear sight by Ruger is a vast improvement, so we keep it. As for the latch, it was made this way so that when the gun got fouled from powder and other crud, the gun could be easily and quickly disassembled for a quick cleaning - with modern loads, this is no longer an issue.
The medium size Ruger Flat Top frame is almost identical in size and dimension to the modified Colt frame used in Keith's original 'one and only' No. 5 sixgun. We then sent this prototype out and had blue prints draw up for the grip frame - machined from a solid and EXACTLY matching the original template supplied by Dan Love.
Thus, all of that, 4 years in the making we now offer our own Linebaugh hand built version of the Keith No. 5.
We make our own No. 5:
custom grip frame
custom oversize 6 shot fluted cylinders
custom 5 1/2' barrels
Belt MTN No. 5 style locking base pins
custom fancy grips
scalloped loading gate - free wheel action
No. 5 style front ramp - post sight
Available in .44 Special or .44 Magnum or .45 Colt