Gun Digest

Taylor & Co. Hickok: First Look At The Open Top Replica

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A tweaked throwback Colt Open-Top, the Taylor & Company Hickok is as dashing as its namesake.

What Makes The Hickok A Unique Open-Top Replica:

A pair of Colt 1851 Navy Model cap-and-ball revolvers were supposedly “Wild” Bill Hickok’s most prized guns. And when he was gunned down by Jack McCall in a Deadwood, SD saloon he was wearing a Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 Army revolver. So how exactly Taylor & Company ended up naming its new Colt Model 1871-72 Open Top after the “deadliest pistoleer” in the west isn’t exactly clear. But the abbreviated rendition certainly appears as dashing as its namesake.

The Colt Open Top is a unique design and has a certain appeal to aficionados of Old West guns. In particular, it’s desirable given it’s considered the parent of the famed Colt Single-Action Army revolver, the acme of the handguns of the era. In essence, it’s a bridge between the SAA and the cap-and-ball conversions that preceded it, maintaining many of the Colt Navy’s design points, but specifically designed for metallic cartridges.

Don’t expect a dead ringer to the original with the Taylor & Company Hickock. While it maintains a similar frame and open-top design of the original, the gun company has tweaked it in several ways to make it more appealing to modern shooters. At least the ones that aren’t wed to historical accuracy in replicas.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Hickok’s barrel, which comes in at an abbreviated 3.5 inches. For reference, the original Open-Top was a monster, with 7.5-inches of barrel with which to pitch .44 Henry rimfire. What it lacks in authenticity, the revolver is certain to more than make up for in agility, with the near snub-nose likely to prove much more widely than the six-shooter its base on.

Chambering is another break from the past. Since .44 Henry isn’t exactly spilling out of retailers’ ammunition departments, Taylor opted for two much more accessible options—.38 Special and .45 Colt. The .38 option seems especially fitting for the configuration, given its mild recoil and inherent accuracy out of short-barreled pistols. Though, in recreations from this era, it’s difficult to go wrong with .45, even if it might make the Hickok a bit more bucky in the hand.

As to the gun’s aesthetics, Taylor seems to hit the nail on the head, delivering the look of the Old West. The Hickok comes from an 1860 army snub nose revolver made with modern shooters in mind. It features a large Army-size grip for increased comfort and stability. Blued parts with a case-hardened forged steel frame and walnut grip give the pistol great appeal. Other features include a front blade sight and rear sight on the back of the barrel.

As to price, the Taylor & Company Hickok has an MSRP of $616.14.

For more information on the Hickok, please visit

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