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POTD: Before The Rough Rider and Wrangler – Colt Frontier Scout

POTD: Before The Rough Rider and Wrangler – Colt Frontier Scout


Welcome to today’s Photo of the Day! This time around I have a photo I took of my good friend’s Colt Single-Action Frontier Scout 22LR. The Frontier Scout was Colt‘s attempt at making an affordable Single-Action Army for the everyman and average-joe after its second introduction of the Single-Action Army hit stores. These guns are similar to modern guns like the Ruger Wrangler and Heritage Rough Rider since they are all alloy framed revolvers. This makes them easier to make and sell since they are overall cheaper guns.

The Colt Single-Action Frontier Scout 22LR was made from 1957 to 1970 and boasted more than 350,000 manufactured in that thirteen-year stretch. This particular Colt Frontier Scout is from 1959 and I found that out on Colt’s fantastic serial number lookup on their website.

Source: POTD: Before The Rough Rider and Wrangler - Colt Frontier Scout

History:

In the gun industry, this is an old and often repeated tale. A company—in this case, Colt—decides to cease production of one of its iconic products, then finds itself scrambling to reintroduce it after another company takes up manufacturing a clone of the original. Historically, most gun companies have sought to provide their products to governments—so-called military contracts—because they are lucrative and guarantee sales for a period of time. During war time most firearm companies retool and set up to provide arms for the war effort.

So it was in 1941 when we entered World War II that Colt ceased producing its flagship gun, the Single Action Army (SAA). When the war ended, Colt said it would no longer produce the SAA, believing that double-action revolvers and semi-automatic pistols were the guns of the future. That may have been true, but the bosses at Colt did not realize the impact the single-action revolver had on Americans. Bill Ruger, a gifted designer and lover of guns, recognized the needs and desires of the shooting public, especially as the 1950s brought television programming to nearly every household in the country and the popularity of westerns in the social fabric of the public. His Blackhawk revolvers were an immediate and lucrative success, thus pretty well spanking the pants off Colt.

Colt scrambled to reintroduce its archetypal thumb-buster and did so in 1956. There was also clearly a burgeoning market for a rimfire single action, as evidenced by the success of Ruger’s Single Six introduced in 1953. Just as today, the development of a new product pits the bean counters against the designers in a conflict of quality vis-à-vis cost of production and price point. A year after reintroducing the SAA, Colt brought out the Frontier Scout 22 chambered in the Long Rifle cartridge.

It had a decent run, ceasing production in 1970. The biggest complaint against the Frontier Scout was the anodized aluminum frame. Colt’s brass listened to its customers and brought out the New Frontier Scout with a companion .22 WMR cylinder in 1970. The frame was steel and featured Colt’s famous color casehardening. Three barrel lengths were offered, 4 3/4-inch (somewhat rare), 6-inch (most prevalent) and a very few Buntlines with a 7 1/2-inch barrel.

All of America’s iconic gun manufacturers have had significant challenges impacting their very existence. Each has been forced to reorganize to one extent or another. Colt has had a part in all of this. The business world has several parallels to the natural world, one being if you cannot or will not adapt to changing environment (markets) you are doomed to failure.

Ruger recognized the appeal of a single-action rimfire revolver, and the Single Six has been in constant production for 61 years. One can only hope that Colt will take a close and critical look at its past decisions and operations, and make the necessary changes that will allow it to flourish once again.

New-Frontier-2.jpg



Source: An Official Journal Of The NRA | A Look Back: Colt New Frontier Scout
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A point, sir, there never was a model called the "New Frontier Scout". When the Frontier Scout went out of production (1969-1970), Colt introduced the steel framed "Peacemaker .22" with fixed sights like the Frontier Scout and which was available in three barrel lengths and with or without the .22 WRM cylinder. A year or two later, Colt brought out the "New Frontier .22" with adjustable sights (like the center fire New Frontier revolver) in three barrel lengths and with the Magnum cylinder as an option.
Please refer to my discussion of these models in the Colt Historical Studies section here:
- - - Bruce in Ohio
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A point, sir, there never was a model called the "New Frontier Scout". When the Frontier Scout went out of production (1969-1970), Colt introduced the steel framed "Peacemaker .22" with fixed sights like the Frontier Scout and which was available in three barrel lengths and with or without the .22 WRM cylinder. A year or two later, Colt brought out the "New Frontier .22" with adjustable sights (like the center fire New Frontier revolver) in three barrel lengths and with the Magnum cylinder as an option.

Please refer to my discussion of these models in the Colt Historical Studies section here:
- - - Bruce in Ohio

Thanks for the correctional update to the story line above Bruce...

I appreciate the factual input...and usually learn something new on this forum daily.

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A point, sir, there never was a model called the "New Frontier Scout". When the Frontier Scout went out of production (1969-1970), Colt introduced the steel framed "Peacemaker .22" with fixed sights like the Frontier Scout and which was available in three barrel lengths and with or without the .22 WRM cylinder. A year or two later, Colt brought out the "New Frontier .22" with adjustable sights (like the center fire New Frontier revolver) in three barrel lengths and with the Magnum cylinder as an option.
Please refer to my discussion of these models in the Colt Historical Studies section here:
- - - Bruce in Ohio
What I like about this forum is when you read something that needs correction, all one needs to do is wait a few minutes and the correction will be made.
Thanks in this case, Buckspen.
Jim
 

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When I first read of the Colt Scout I wanted one but could not fine one in Tennessee. Trips to gun shops in Mississippi and Arkansas turned up no Scouts. My older brother was on a business trip and was in Mobile, Alabama. He called me on the (dial) telephone and said he found one in a pawn shop there and if I wanted it he would buy it and I could pay him when he got home. I took him up on it, of course, and he flew back a day or so later, bringing that little Colt in his carry-on bag. (Obviously this was a few years ago.) Mine was the early two-tone Scout. It was the best little squirrel gun I think I ever had. It put many of the bushytails in the frying pan!

Bob Wright
 

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As to the fate of that little Scout, I traded it in for a Ruger Mk. I which my dealer had to order. But before he that pistol came in, I traded it in on a Colt Officers Model Match .22 that just came in. That became my target gun for rimfire matches.

Bob Wright
 

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Yes, it was. The literature says it was 7/8s the size of the SAA. However, the grip frame was the same size which accounts for the slightly different look of the two guns. Also, however, Frontier Scout and SAA grips are NOT interchangeable. The Scout grip frame was one piece (like a Ruger) which precluded the fitting of SAA style one-piece grips.
- Bruce in Ohio
 

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My Frontier Scout 62 isn't the prettiest revolver I own but I got it in a trade with my best friend; he wanted a Ruger 10/22 - and I had a bare bones 10/22. I also have a Ruger Single Six Convertible with both the .22 LR and .22 Magnum Cylinders.

Revolver Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Everyday carry

Revolver Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood
 

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I have a 62 Frontier Scout that one of my uncles gave me after high school graduation. I love it, shot many a cottontail with it. I showed it in a previous post as it has a steel frame done by Colt after the alloy frame cracked.
 
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