Hi All and Happy New Year to each and everyone!
What is the perfect revolver for you? I've pondered this a bit as I've acquired a number of percussion revolvers, mostly Colts, but some Remingtons, and a single action Starr; all but one are reproductions. I have nearly completed my Colt collection - I have to find a Paterson, but I have every other model, from the Walker to the .36 pocket models. I do have an 1855 Root, my only original, which I have not tried to fire. I have fired all the others, most more than once. All this is to say that my experience is largely limited to the post-Paterson Colt models, plus the "1858" Remington and SA Starr. My first revolver was/is an Uberti 1861 Navy, and since that purchase I've acquired some number north of 50, but I've also traded or sold many of those. I still have around 37 or 38 (who counts?) and some are obviously duplicates.
From my limited experience I would have to say that for me, the 1851 Navy is the "perfect" revolver. I like the feel in my hand, the weight is manageable (unlike the Walker and Dragoon models that preceded it) and I think it's a handsome firearm. I like the 1849 pocket model, but I also like the extra "oomph" of the larger caliber. The 1860 Army, while only slightly heavier, nonetheless is a bit clunky for my stubby fingers. Some prefer the more streamlined look of the 1860 Army and later 1861 Navy, but I like the direct, form-follows-function of the 1851. I can easily understand why the 1851 Navy was so popular. (I've attached a pic of one of my 2nd Gen 1851s, acquired recently from a fellow forum member.)
I especially like my Uberti 5-inch 1851. I have read that there is some documentation that Colt produced a few 1851s with a 5-inch barrel, so this is not an Italian fantasy gun. It is about three ounces lighter with the shortened barrel, but the feel and handling are also very different with the shorter barrel. I highly recommend it. (Pic also attached.)
So, what do y'all think? What percussion revolver or other handgun do you think is "perfect"?