Picking five guns was fun, but five just isn't enough so I'm going to add to the list every so often. Here's number six:
A wheel-gun would be a desirable addition to the collection and this was a very tricky one to choose. Do I go for a double or single action? What calibre? Tricky indeed. I eventually narrowed it down to two options- a .357 magnum or a .45 Colt.
The former, in a Ruger GP-100, preferably in low glare stainless with a 4" barrel, would make for another great defence weapon. However, there's just something about the .45 Colt cartridge. Maybe its the fact that while it's an old time cartridge it can still be loaded hot, with Corbon ammo giving similar power to the .44 Magnum in an easier to handle form. However, as the .38 Special might be suitable for most needs, in many cases it would be better to buy a .357 magunm, giving more power if and when needed- and the same applies to .45 Colt. Why simply get a .45 Colt when a .454 Casull will handle the Colt, but also gives one the added ability to take even more powerful ammo? For example, the hot .45 Corbon load can put a 335 grain bullet out at 1050fps. The Corbon .454 Casull can put a 360 grain bullet out at 1500 fps! While it would be tempting to grab one of the new Ruger Alaskans, I'd much rather have a 5-shot Bowen Classic 'Alpine' Redhawk conversion. Now there's a very nice looking gun indeed.
There's also the Wild West Guns option to consider too of course- their Wolverine Super Redhawk with moonclip conversion lets you shoot .454, .45 Colt and even .45ACP (Yay! More ammo compatibility). But I prefer the Redhawk to the Super and the Bowen is just such a fine looking weapon. Add the moonclip option to that and you'd have a very nice set-up- enabling you to do everything from home defence to hunting. It's also a heck of a lot more versatile than a .357/.38 GP-100.
I did briefly consider the new Smith and Wesson 460 XVR in .460 S&W Magnum as this brute will also handle .454 and .45 Colt. The .460 puts a 200 grain bullet out at a whopping 2,330fps! That's a lot of gun and it seems to be a really flat-shooting cartridge but it's beyond pretty much any hunting situation I'd want to be in. The .454 Casull would be more than sufficient. And even though it's not officially on my list, the Bowen .454 would pair up very nicely indeed with the Puma Model 92, a handy little lever action in .454 Casull, which was reviewed by Paco Kelly of Gunblast here.