What is the “Fitz Special”? A snub nose revolver with (what many consider to be) extreme modifications to make it more suitable for close-quarters gun-fighting. John H. Fitzgerald created the Fitz Special, and other well-known shootists such as Charles Askins and Rex Applegate endorsed the concept by employing it.
(click the title for more)
The typical modifications made to a revolver to turn it into a Fitz Special were:
The drawbacks of the Fitz Special were:
More on the concept and the man who originated it (or just Google/Bing it):
A lot of early Colts were turned into Fitz Specials, and the concept had a lot of imitators:
While I understand the purpose behind the modifications, I think the original Fitz Special design was flawed, and had more drawbacks than advantages.
With concealed-hammer/bobbed-hammer revolvers being a standard factory item, there is no need to mutilate a gun’s hammer. Smaller “secret service” grips are available for increased concealment. Low-snag and high-visibility sights, as well as lasers, can address the need for quick target aquisition. Removing some of the trigger guard material on the trigger-finger side of the gun seems useful, but I would want to leave enough intact to protect the trigger and prevent a bent trigger guard in the event the gun is handled roughly.
Add in some polishing of the bearing surfaces of the action (to maximize smoothness, not to lighten the trigger pull) and chamfering the charge-holes to facilitate fast reloads, and you end up with a very capable carry gun that never fails to feed or extract, never gets knocked out of battery, and doesn’t need its slide racked in the event of a misfire.
2 modern (and less risky) takes on the concept:
Tempting, aren’t they?