By Dennis Adler
A different approach to branding
F.lli Pietta has pioneered several different types of engraving styles on their Single Actions using traditional hand engraving (on very limited editions), their own deep laser engraving process used on more affordable limited editions, and traditional computer controlled laser engraving.
This first ever cattlebrand model from Taylor’s & Co. is built by Pietta and uses their standard laser engraving, which is also something of a first, since the laser not only has to do the cattlebrands but the punch dot background! On hand engraved models there is exceptional depth to the brands and punch dots.
This is not possible with laser engraving (though somewhat more effective with deep laser engraving) but the results shown here still have some depth and dimension, and cost considerably less than a hand engraved gun. This new Taylor’s Pietta model has a retail of $617 and comes with Pietta’s imitation stag grips, which add another interesting layer to this cattlebrand .45 Colt.
The Taylor’s Pietta has more than 50 cattlebrands covering over 90 percent of the gun including the backstrap, ejector housing, frame, barrel, cylinder and triggerguard. In fact, the only parts not engraved with cattlebrands and punch dots are the frontstrap, buttstrap, hammer and front sight. The 5-1/2 inch models (offered in .45 LC and .357 Magnum/.38 Special) use the later Colt-style smokeless frame with transverse cylinder latch.
The cattlebrand guns have a nickel over stainless steel finish with the cattlebrands highly polished and the slightly deeper punch dots left flat to give more definition to the laser engraving. There are some very recognizable Texas cattlebrands on the gun including 45, $, flying W, the Lazy Y, JA, (big) hat, stirrup, spur, turkey track, horse track, the barbed Y, anchor, open A, double bar and broken bar, (jail) key, hay hook, diamond, and half diamond, broken arrow, and sunrise; it’s darn near a Texas cattlebrand registry in steel.
Action and HandlingPietta Single Actions are known for having factory-tuned actions with a light trigger pull and hammer draw. The Taylor’s gun has a slightly heavier trigger pull and hammer draw than usual. Compared to a stock (not engraved or customized) out-of-the-box Pietta Single Action, average trigger pull is 3 pounds, 11 ounces, while the Taylor’s Cattlebrand measures 4 pounds, 14.8 ounces. I personally prefer the lighter trigger (the lightest Pietta I have is 2 pounds, 15.4 ounces), but the Cattlebrand gun is still quite good at under 5-pounds.
The Pietta hammer delivers those four, crisp Colt clicks as it comes back, but has a resistance of 6 pounds, 5 ounces average, compared the usual Single Action average of 4 pounds, 1.9 ounces. So, it is not quite as smooth or as fast to get into action, but much of that also comes down to personal preferences.As expected, the Cattlebrand model’s overall dimensions are very close to a 5-1/2 inch Colt Peacemaker, and the stainless steel Pietta weighs in at 2 pounds, 5 ounces with its slightly heavier synthetic stag grips.
These are a marvel of consistency; I have three different models with the stag grips and each is identical in every little detail with just slight nuances in the darkness of the color. And these are pretty hand filling stocks that have a base width (including the buttstrap) of 1.5 inches. A standard grip (including the buttstrap) measures 1.4 inches.
Slinging lead downrange
For the range test I selected Black Hills 250 gr. RNFP and Leadville 200 gr. RNFP ammo. These are both CAS loads and the test was shot Duelist style from 45 feet. The Black Hills cleared the chronograph’s traps at 730 fps, the Leadville at 748 fps. The Taylor’s Cattlebrand shot a little low, like most Single Actions, and with a minor correction I was able to keep all my rounds within the 10 and X rings. My best 5-rounds with the Black Hills delivered a spread of 1.75 inches with a pair overlapping in the 10 and X.
The Leadville grouped its 5-shots a little wider in a line at 2.75 inches, again all in the 10 and X. Overall the gun shot a bit more accurately with the heavier grain weight Black Hills rounds. The revolver’s weight takes up a bit of the recoil but there is still that good old fashioned Wild West muzzle rise to contend with, but that’s all part of shooting Peacemaker style revolvers! The Taylor’s Cattlebrand shoots accurately enough and the 4 pound, 14.8 ounce trigger pull was just fine for aimed shots.
The 5-1/2 inch barrel length Cattlebrand cleared leather effortlessly from the custom Chisholm’s Trail Cattlebrand holster. In fact, my only issue with the gun is the bottom edges of the stag grips, which are a little uneven and can begin to annoy the palm of your hand after a few dozen rounds. Stag sure looks good, but smooth white Micarta grips (offered as an option) wouldn’t be a bad idea if you’re going to shoot this gun in CAS matches. Otherwise, if you can hit your target true with this unique Taylor’s six-shooter, you will definitely leave your brand on the event.
The Agee Influence
Cole Agee grew up in the waning days of the Wild West born just after the turn of the century. He had learned the art of engraving by his early twenties by just watching other engravers, and practiced on his own until he was good enough to start selling his own work. In less than a decade had became one of the most popular gun engravers in Ft. Worth, Texas, operating from his shop on Christine Street.
Agee engraved guns for some of the most famous Texas lawmen of his time including Texas Rangers Manuel Trazazas “Lone Wolf” Gonzaullas and Captain Clint Peoples. Agee passed away in 1955 at age 54 having only engraved somewhere between 15 and 20 guns in his cattle brand style. A style that has inspired engraves for more than half a century, including a very talented laser engraving machine in Brescia, Italy.
For more information
Specifications Taylor-s & Co. Pietta Cattlebrand
Caliber: .45 LC
Barrel: 5-1/2 inches
OA Length: 10-7/8 inches
Weight: 2 pounds, 5 ounces
Grip: Molded stag finish
Finish: Polished nickel and laser engraved
Performance Taylor-s & Co. Pietta Cattlebrand
Load Velocity Accuracy
Black Hills 250 gr. RNFP 730 1.75
Leadville 200 gr. RNFP 748 2.75
Bullet weight measured in grains, velocity in fps by ProChrono chronograph, and accuracy in inches for 5-rounds fired at 45 feet Duelist style.