Custom Display Case for my Skeeter Skelton .44 Specials

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mm6mm6

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
507
Location
Illinois
I bought my Smith & Wesson Model 624 .44 Special used in 1989. Skeeter Skelton said the only way to improve on the Model 24 was to make it in stainless steel. When I saw this 4" barrel revolver, I just had to have it. My dad did a little work on the action and it's smooth as can be with a 2 1/2 pound single action trigger pull.

SW624g002.jpg


It's been a shooter since I bought it. I sent a tracing of my right hand to Deacon Deason of Bear Hug Grips and had him make me a pair of his Skeeter Skelton style grips out of birdseye maple. I shot the gun like this for years. I put a red fiber optic front sight on and had Weigand Combat install their rear blade on the factory rear adjustable sight. Then I sent the gun to Michael Gouse ( http://www.mtart.com ) and had in engraved with 75% coverage American Scroll with Skeeter's cattle brand on the backstrap. I swapped out the red fiber optic sight for a McGivern gold bead since it fit the style of the gun a lot better.

SW624008.jpg


I've got a well used El Paso Saddlery Threepersons crossdraw holster to carry the 624 when needed. But the .44 had only a zippered gun rug to hold it in my safe. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted a better home for my special Skeeter tribute.

SW624g006.jpg


Then Ruger came out with the Lipsey's Exclusive .44 Special Blackhawk. When I read about them, I was intrigued. When I saw that the ugly "WARNING: Before shooting gun, read...." was moved from the left side of the barrel to the underside where it was out of the way, I knew I had to have one. It would be the perfect match for my S&W.

The Lipsey's Blackhawk was very hard to find. I finally secured one and that's a story for another time (it's a great story though!). I immediately went on Cary C's website ( http://www.clccustomgrips.com ) and perused his birdseye maple blanks. I ordered a set with original style Ruger medallions and received them a few weeks later. Now I had my two Skeeter Skelton .44 Specials, the two revolvers he said would be the ultimate .44 Specials. I even had them outfitted with the birdseye maple that I love.

Ruger023.jpg


But the Ruger is simply in another zippered gun rug and that's just no good.

I searched around on Ebay and found a solid wood silverware box from the 1950's (there's quite a few of them on there). I didn't care that the inside felt was an ugly faded and completely worn green. I liked the box's wood and it's corners so I bought it for $29. I figured making my own presentation case would be much cheaper than buying one pre-made.

I expended a little elbow grease sanding the box down. Then I refinished it with several coats of Lin-Speed oil, sanding between coats and using 00 steel wool. I got it to where it has a nice satin oil finish, which I think looks subtle.

Box.jpg


I cut a section of pine to fit inside the box and then traced the two revolvers. My brother-in-law cut out the shapes with his saw for me. I then drilled six holes in the lower right hand corner to hold six rounds of my hot 240 grain Skeeter reloads.


Box001.jpg

SkeltonBox001.jpg


I went to the fabric store and I was the only guy in the place. I picked out some royal blue velvet and then spent the afternoon fitting it to the insides of the box.

SkeltonBox004.jpg


I think it turned out really well. I like the idea that the presentation case is a silverware box because you can leave it out like it has silverware in it. I may put some old, collectible boxes of .44 Special ammo in the bottom drawer if I can find some. Or maybe some speedloaders filled with Cor-Bon .44 hollowpoints. Hmmmm. I'll have to think about what else to put in that drawer. Any suggestions?


SkeltonBox005.jpg


SkeltonBox012.jpg



SkeltonBox011.jpg


I have brass side handles for lifting the box and a brass nameplate for the top. Drawer pulls might be neat (made out of .44 Special brass perhaps?), but then again, I like how the box looks plain and rather simple. This box has indented grooves to help in opening, so it doesn't really neat all the brass exterior hardware.


SkeltonBox016.jpg




SkeltonBox019.jpg



(By the way, that's my mom in the framed picture from when she was around 19 years old. She's posing with my dad's 1934 Ford Five Window Coupe circa 1948.)

There is just one little thing left to do...of course. I'm in line and just waiting to hear from Gouse so I can send the Blackhawk off to him. The Ruger is going to look much better when it is engraved to match the S&W!

So what do you all think?

-Steve
 

Jeff Hoover

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
919
mm6mm6,
Great job on the box, and those guns are BEAUTIFULL ! The only thing I think you could improve on is some original 429421 cast bullets, for your reloads. A very nice memorial to ole Skeet.

A couple years ago, I bought the books you have pictured, 'Hoglegs, Hipshots, and Jalopinos' and 'Good friends, Good guns, Good whiskey for $135.00 in new condition. I thought it was a little steep, but got them anyway. After reading them, I knew why Skeeter was so well loved. I felt like I was reunited with a long lost friend. Best money I ever spent ! I'll always cherish those books. Now your lucky to find one of those books for under $150.00. Elmers still my favorite, but Skeet is a close second !

Drop me a line if you want some original 429421 cast bullets. Skeeter would approve :D
 

mm6mm6

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
507
Location
Illinois
Wait a minute! I just thought of something! It's not a Colt New Frontier like Skeeter favored, but it is a Colt .44 Special...I could put this in the bottom drawer!

SkeltonBox021.jpg
 

caryc

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 31, 2004
Messages
6,820
Location
Southern California
Very very cool, you did good. I had the wild idea that you could keep your silverware in the bottom drawer, but you came up with something a lot better. :mrgreen:

I'm honored to see something of mine in that box. You have some of the neatest stuff. :wink:

I don't know what holds that top in the open position but you might get some nice hardware made for that purpose like a small brass chain at one of the lower corners. You don't want to keep stressing out those hinges unless like some hinges are, they are made to hold the lid open. Still, I think that small chain would look good.

You should be able to fnd something like that at Micheals or any craft store in your area. Again very good job.
 

45flattop

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
392
Location
Jackson, MS USA
Absolutely amazingly good photos never MIND the guns, drool!! :mrgreen:
I have all of Skeeter's books and his ST special editions thanks to John
Taffin who was nice enough to scan his copies of what I lacked, his special
presentation Colt .44 Special from an old ST article and I always thought
that I was a Skeeter fanatic but bubba, you have me beat all to hades. :D
 

JWhitmore44

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
987
Location
NW Kansas
Nice set of revolvers, love the engraving on the Smith. The grips on both look great.

Love the picture of your mom and that 34 coupe. My dad's first car was a 34 Ford coupe :)
 

flyinfred

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 27, 2007
Messages
648
Location
High Point,NC
And I thought I was a big Skeeter fan owning one of his guns and all the books. You make me look like a rank amateur!
This is just so beautiful that I might have to go look for a 44special of my own!
You do NICE work!
Skeeter would be proud of this, I think.
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
Absolutely beautiful work, and with a very personal touch for me, too: Though I've never so much as read a Skeeter article, I recently fell in love with the .44 Special on my own. I picked up one of the 5.5" Lipsey's guns and enjoyed it so much I had to replicate it in my other favorite brand (one reason I have too many guns...), and ended up with a 3" S&W 624 Lew Horton Special. I won't detract from your thread with pictures, but suffice to say, in a very short time I have come to completely understand what would bring you to make something as nice as you have.

-- Sam
 

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