Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum

Posted by: bea175

Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/13/10 08:17 PM

I purchased this Colt Frontier Scout Pistol new back around 1973 and keep it for years then traded to a friend sometime in the 80's and about a year back he need some quick cash and wanted to sell it back to me so it came back home. This pistol has been carried a lot and shows the wear from spending a lot of it life in the holster. I'm still amazed at how accurate the pistol is with just about every brand of ammo it has digested, liking the Federal HP better than most. The 22 magnum cylinder has had less than a box of ammo shot in it. Does anyone else shoot the Colt Cowboy in 22 LR?
Posted by: 300_savage

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/13/10 10:36 PM

If that's the steel frame New Frontier, I had one in the short barrel version from 1978 to 2009. It only had two perceived, it shot way high. I didn't want to alter the gun, so finally sold it. The other perceived problem was that, like all traditional six-shooters, it could only be carried with 5 rounds safely. I desired more. I bought a 4 5/8 single-six, and am happy with the deal. I am less worried about damaging the Ruger and can safely carry six.

I couldn't see the rounds from the side, so had to load one, skip one, load four, bring to full cock and let the hammer down and TRUST that it was on the empty chamber. I always opened the loading gate and checked to see that the first round loaded was visible, but still worried about someday putting the hammer down on a live round by accident.

The Colt of mine had a GREAT trigger pull, and was also very accurate, both with WMRs and Long Rifles. I kind of miss it, but also love the Ruger.
Posted by: bea175

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/13/10 11:20 PM

I believe it has the Steel frame and you can carry six in the cylinder. It has the half cock for loading and then you let the hammer down and then pull back just a little and it locks the hammer back off the firing pin. The adjustable sights makes zeroing easy with any load. The pistol has a really good trigger pull .
Posted by: safariman

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 02:08 AM

I would if I had one. I like my Ruger Single six really well, too.
Posted by: 300_savage

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 03:58 AM


That first click is NOT a safety notch, regardless of what you may have heard. It has very little resistance to breaking....and if it does, the hammer will impact the firing pin on a Colt or any single action that does not have either a 1) transfer bar mechanism or 2) separate mechanical hammer block.

I repeat...the first click on a traditional single action is not meant to act as a safety for carrying with a live round under the hammer. The correct way to carry this revolver is with 5 live rounds and the hammer all the way down on an empty chamber.

The trigger sear mechanism is not that strong. If the revolver is dropped or the hammer is impacted while on the first notch (click) the sear is apt to break dropping the hammer hard enough to fire a round under the hammer.

The older three screw Rugers should also only be carried with five in the cylinder. But the later, New Model Rugers have the transfer bar and can be carried safety with six rounds.
Posted by: Armen

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 04:41 AM


To my untrained eye that looks like a "New Frontier" rather than a Frontier Scout. I always thought the Frontier Scout had an aluminum frame and/or fixed sights, while the New Frontier - like yours - had a case colored steel frame with adjustable sights.

Either way, nice revolver!

Here's my New Frontier .22. It was given to me by my late uncle back in 1985. He'd had it for many years prior. It was always more accurate than my 6 1/2 inch Ruger Super Single Six, and handles much better.

I rarely ever shoot the .22 Mag cylinder any more. Always assumed its barrel was too short to realize any meaningful gains from the 22 WMR.
Posted by: 300_savage

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 04:56 AM

Nice single-action. The library behind it is very nice too!

I would agree that the handling of the little Colt .22 single actions is excellent. Mine had a certain balance as well.

Don't discount the WRM round in the revolver. It is a considerable velocity improvement over LR rounds even in a 4 5/8 barrel. Loud, however, and often shoots to a different point of impact than the LR.
Posted by: EthanEdwards

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 01:12 PM

They are all "Scouts" and most are "Frontier Scouts" with only the Buntlines not being. The latter are referred to as "Buntline Scouts". They were introduced in 1957 and I believe, were 7/8 scale. IIRC, they were produced until the mid-eighties, but not continuously. Up until 1970, they were evidently made of two different materials. The older ones had "Zamac" frames while the newer ones were investment-cast steel.

Mike Venturino did a shootout in one of the Peterson mags he worked for, with all the single action .22's of the era. This was quite a few years back. I believe the Scout was the most accurate.

My wife has one. It has both cylinders and shoots well with the LR cylinder. I've not shot the Magnum cylinder enough to form an opinion. I like them. I think a Single Six is significantly heavier, but the Colt is probably heavy enough.
Posted by: Armen

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 03:43 PM

My understanding was that the Scouts/Frontier Scouts were aluminum alloy frames, whereas the New Frontier, which was released after the Scout, came with case hardened steel frames. I don't believe any Colt .22 single action revolvers using the name "Scout" were ever offered w/ steel frames.

The barrel on my revolver simply says "New Frontier 22".

While I don't assume Chuck Hawks to be the gospel truth on all things gun, here is a quote from his website that provides some details on these guns:

"The Colt Peacemaker .22 and New Frontier .22 were introduced in 1970 to replace the earlier Frontier Scout .22 revolvers. They are also related to the centerfire Colt Single Action Army and SAA New Frontier.

One of the main criticisms of the Scout was its black anodized aluminum alloy frame. With the Peacemaker and New Frontier .22's, Colt addressed this and other complaints."
Quoted from: Chuck Hawks: Colt New Frontier and Peacemaker .22 Revolvers.
Posted by: 300_savage

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 03:54 PM

I'm with Armen. There was also a Peascemaker version (round top, fixed sights) of the steel frame, post-1970 gun. Neither were called "scouts" in Colt literature.

They discontinued them in the late 1970s (around 1978). The New Frontier version was reintroduced in the early 1980s with a hammer block to address the safety concerns of a traditional single action. I don't think it lasted very long in the marketplace.

They were nice little revolvers.
Posted by: EthanEdwards

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 05:15 PM

Posted by: ingwe

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 05:18 PM


Posted by: Armen

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 06:22 PM

Originally Posted By: ColeYounger

That's a keeper!
Posted by: bea175

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 07:56 PM

I was just speaking in general, mine is the New Frontier. As far as the safety notch I have carried these gun since the 70's with six in the chamber and it hasn't shot me yet , maybe some day.
Armen yours looks almost new , but so did mine when i first got it . Maybe i will have it refinished one day . They shoot better than they should.
Posted by: 300_savage

Re: Colt Frontier Scout 22 LR and Magnum - 04/14/10 09:47 PM


This one I can't let rest. This not a matter of opinion, or my's FACT. Carrying with the hammer in the "safety" notch in a traditional SA is dangerous.

The small amount of metal protecting you is not enough to prevent firing in the event of the pistol landing on its hammer if dropped, or a weight hitting the hammer.

Ruger reconfigured its single actions in 1973 to the New Models because of this reason. The transfer bar prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled back. I have seen two Colts without safety an old .45 that used to belong to a friend and the other a New Frontier .22 at a gun show.

Keep in mind that if that pistol is dropped or if a branch pulls it out of the holster and it lands on the hammer...the barrel is pointing somewhere. It may not be you that gets shot...might be someone else.

With the hammer on half-cock, load one, skip one, load 4. Do not spin the cylinder after loading the last cartridge. Pull the hammer to full cock and let it down on the empty chamber. Practice this until you are good at it.

This practice has been known since the SA was developed. And it's a good one.