F.lli Pietta’s tribute to the other very famous Bat MastersonHero of the B&W television frontier 3/3
Range Testing the Bat Masterson E.M.F. Great Western II
The Bat Masterson E.M.F. Great Western II, built by F.lli Pietta in Italy, is available for a reasonable $705 with the very fine imitation stag grips, a 3-1/2 inch barrel with full length ejector, bright nickel finish and the W.B. MASTERSON name engraved on the backstrap.
To put the new Pietta model (which is actually a custom version of their standard 3-1/2 inch model), I borrowed an exact copy of Gene Barry’s holster and belt from legendary western holster maker Jim Lockwood, who has duplicated nearly all of the famous TV and movie western rigs over the years.
The Bat Masterson rig, as can be seen in the photos, is much like the one Gene Barry wore on the TV series. The 3-1/2 inch Pietta was a perfect fit, quick to draw and re-holster. The GWII’s construction is excellent and comes right out of the box with a tuned action. Hammer draw averaged a genteel 4 pounds, 3.6 ounces, with an equally light (but not too light) 4 pound, 8.5 ounce average trigger pull.
The hammer hits the four clicks when you thumb it back just like a Colt Peacemaker, and the sights are as true as any short barreled SAA, and that means the gun shoots a little low.
There were no windage issues with the gun and once I got a handle on the aiming correction, which was six inches above where I wanted the rounds to hit, (short of filing down the sight on the E.M.F.) the gun delivered very predicable accuracy with consistent five shot groups measuring 1.75 to 2.0 inches and always with at least a pair almost overlapping.
I shot the entire test using Ten-X 165 gr. hollow base flat points (HBFP) smokeless powder cartridges. These are a lighter weight (manufactured) round suitable for Cowboy Action Shooting competition or just plain down on the range banging away at paper or steel.
All tests were done firing duelist style (draw, aim and fire one handed) and for a 3-1/2 inch barrel with rudimentary SAA sights, nine out of 10 rounds were in the 10 and X. It’s not a target pistol, but at 10 paces (between 25 and 30 feet) it gets the job done, just like short-barreled Colt Peacemakers did back in Bat Masterson’s day.
Bat Masterson Derby courtesy Golden Gate Western Wear; goldengatewesternwear.com.
Bat Masterson The Man and the Legendby Robert K. DeArment, 1979 University of Oklahoma Press.
Guns of the American West by Dennis Adler, 2010, Chartwell Books
Bat Masterson – The Lawman Seriesby R. L. Wilson, Colt’s Inc. 1967
For more information on the E.M.F. GWII line and the Bat Masterson model visit emf-company.com or call 800-430-1310.
Specifications EMF Great Western II Bat Masterson
Caliber: .45 Colt
Barrel: 3-1/2 inches
Weight: 34 ounces
Grips: Imitation stag