Elmer Keith’s Legendary Number 5 Revolver: The Last Word

Elmer Keith’s Number 5 revolver is cited by many as the most famous, influential, and recognized custom revolver of the last century, and perhaps ever. Working with top craftsmen of the era, Elmer Keith designed what he called, “the finest and best Colt in existence.”

Elmer Keith would know. His knowledge and experience made him one of the godfathers of 20th century gun writers, and he played no small role in developing a number of cartridges such as the .357 magnum, the .44 magnum, the .41 magnum, and even the Winchester Model 70 bolt action.

Keith carried this .44 Special for almost 30 years before he was wooed away by the very .44 magnum he had helped develop. It was his favorite revolver and “the last word” in Colt revolvers.

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