Author Topic: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???  (Read 2147 times)

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Offline RangerJoe

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Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« on: January 30, 2008, 09:09:29 pm »
Back when my father was at the University of Colorado in the early '60s, his class and lab work often brought him out into the mountains and the back woods. I'm guessing that Colorado was a little different back then, because my father bought and routinely carried a pistol while he was collecting his data to protect himself from bears.

His weapon of choice back in the day was single-action .357 Magnum revolver. It appears to have been manufactured by a company called "Herters". The only other markings on the gun of any kind are the serial number and the word "Waseca". Without having it in front of me, I'd guess the barrel is six inches. It loads 6 rounds by a small swing-out trap-door on the right side and has a spring-loaded shell ejector under the barrel for the brass that won't just fall out the trap door.

Forty plus years later, my father has become concerned about this pistol and gets upset whenever I take it shooting. He says it's a "Saturday Night Special" and claims we'd be better off throwing it in the lake. I have fired quite a few .357 rounds out of it, but my father's concerns have scared me enough that I only shoot .38 loads out of it now, for fear of it blowing up in my face.

My father tends to be a little irrational about these things, but I want to see if his concerns have any merits. Has anyone out there ever come across this brand "Herters"??? Is this a quality firearm or is it one I am right to be worried about???

Graybeard Outdoors

Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« on: January 30, 2008, 09:09:29 pm »
 

Offline RangerJoe

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2008, 09:18:17 pm »
I should have looked at the forum posts before I put this up. Two little posts down, someone with almost the same question. My apologies for the dual post.

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2008, 02:19:17 am »
im to lazy to look down at the other post too but ill tell you the gun is not a saturday night special. Its a good stout gun.
sixgun addict

Offline Ken ONeill

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2008, 05:09:53 am »
Ditto.

Offline TGFOGAL

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 06:17:49 am »
Hi
Waseca, Mn. is where Herters was located in the 60's. I grew up about 20 miles from there.
Got my first revolver 22 there went I was 14. They were a big mail order store.

Offline RangerJoe

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 08:47:11 pm »
Alright, thanks guys. Now, to convince the old man!

Offline thxmrgarand

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2008, 09:04:30 am »
If you decide to throw it in a lake, please send it to me and I will throw it in a shallow one so I can retrieve it as there is absolutely nothing wrong with your gun any day of the week including Saturdays.  When I was 14 years of age I sent a $47 money order (plus postage I suppose) to Herters and received back a .44 magnum single action made for Herters by Sauer in West Germany.  I worked at a dairy before school each morning at a pay rate of $.95 per hour and all the dairy products I could carry home, so $47 was more dear than anyone today might guess.  Some part of the process required me to lie about my age and say I was 16 but I don't remember the details.  The gun has served very well.  It has a 6 inch barrel and the rear sight is adjustable.  It has no transfer bar and therefore is a typical old fashioned 5-shot single action.  The grip is cast and perhaps not as strong as some would like but the barrel and frame appear to be as strong as any Ruger single action .44.   The finish is very pretty and has held up very well but over the years I have seen a few Herters SA here in coastal Alaska that have been left on boats or not wiped down after exposure to salt water or maybe just salt air, and the gun can rust as much as any.  Back when the gun was new, my high school chemistry professor had an old model Blackhawk (new at the time), and a few of us students reloaded and shot with him.  It was foolish of course but we got up to 26 grns of 2400 before the professor's Blackhawk divided, the top strap and part of the cylinder going back over his shoulder.  We all backed off our recipe.  That .44 is still tight and shoots well despite a few cylinders of that 26 grn load.  The 1968 Gun Control Act came along 4 years later and killed mail order guns, and perhaps the law contributed to the demise of Herters.

Online Keith L

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2008, 10:21:57 am »
Herters was alive until just a few years ago in beaver Dam, Wisconsin.  The last few years it was known as the duck factory because all they made and sold were duck decoys.  Cabelas bought it and I think it is still there allowing catalog sales and pickup.  I never had one of their pistols, but lots of their fishing equipment over the years. 
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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2008, 10:26:58 am »
Here's the current Herter's website. :'(

Tim

http://www.herters.com/
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Offline Ladobe

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Re: Herters Waseca .357 Mag???
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2008, 04:20:29 pm »
As thxmrgarand said, they are very well made SA revolvers that George contracted with J. P. Sauer in Germany, and were also noted for having a longer grip than other SA's to fit man-sized hands.   While I had a 357 MAG Herter's for a short time in the mid 60's, I soon upgraded to his 401 Power Mag and had it until only a few years ago when I let a collector finally talk me out of it.    I killed a lot of big game with it in the 60's and 70's - it made a perfect hog gun.    It was a favored silhouette revolver for me after that.   Over 35 years of good service out of it, and I sold it for 7-8 times what I paid for it.   Still have the old Herter's dies for it, and with the original Herter's 401 brass a high priced collectors items now days, soon found I could just reform 41 MAG brass to shoot in it.   Still have a few of the original cast bullet cartridges that Herter's sold for it, and they are hot loads.   So they are very strong revolvers and were almost a give away in the 60's, as was most of the Herter's offerings back then.   I wouldn't be concerned about shooting anything except maybe the hottest loads in it, and it probably would even handle them without problem.   GCA '68 was their demise when George couldn't ship them direct to his customers anymore, and he begrudgingly removed them from his catalog.

Having grown up on a ranch, I ordered almost everything out of his catalogs from a young age (and from L.L. Bean, Carhartt, Orvis, etc catalogs).   All of Herter's offerings were very serviceable, and low cost compared to other places.   George was quite a character with salesmanship akin to a used car salesman in a plaid suit with a polka dot bow tie and saddle oxfords.   Really got a kick out of his wild-eyed claims.   The books he wrote are comical too although very informative, and his new catalogs each year were eagerly awaited.    Still have a couple of mine from the late 60's-early 70's.   I must have worn the earlier ones completely out as it was a great way to pass the hours and dream of better things with his catalog in hand.   He offered it all for almost any sport and it was all unconditionally guaranteed.   He boasted the highest quality and workmanship at the lowest prices, his guarantee was a full refund if you were not fully satisfied and he stood behind it.   I won't say without question, as George really wanted and trusted the input form his customers.   Remember talking to him on the phone many times.   Not to complain, but to ask questions or get his opinion on something.   

The company was not the same after George died.  I'm not sure if it even stayed in the family, but George must have turned over in his grave for what it became.    Literally a pale shadow of what he had made it. 

 

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