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Last Post 01 Jan 1900 12:00 AM by  Anonymous
Re: Single Six Lee Baker
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azlandman
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Posts: New Member

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25 Dec 2013 04:02 AM
    Charlie Fetter bought a good 50 or more Lee Baker customized Ruger single actions as well as two customized Uberti 1875 Remingtons and a customized Sauer SAA. He did superb work and mostly used the revolvers to demonstrate the sight picture his red ramp kits gave (he also sold white outline rear sight replacement blades.) His prices were high as was the quality of his work. Charlie was impressed enough to completely buy Lee out during one of the old Yuma Gun Shows, his company was C. C. Fetter & Company based out of Tucson AZ. and he mostly dealt in high quality Belgian Superposed shotguns.

    Lee was not well liked by the California and Arizona Ruger collectors as his prices kept them out of the range of Lee's customized weapons. In particular Dick Barnes loathed him and his work and made Charlie's life miserable over the purchases. When Charlie purchased and attempted to resell Lee Juras, Hamilton Bowen, Ken Lamont or Joe Reed customized Rugers Dick Barnes would trash talk them until Charlie would remove them from his table as well. (They played the same game when Charlie purchased and tried to resell a pair of Hawkeyes in .256 Win Mag. stating that the pistols were so rare because they were so unpopular which scared off potential buyers.)

    I was a single action fan so I was not so judgmental of Lee's work and his long barrel revolvers were a particular favorite of mine.

    Charlie got mad at a particularly nice early Super Blackhawk which Lee had given the full treatment, even re-chambering it for .45 Colt. Charlie grabbed it and tried to load .44 Mags in it because he read the frame instead of the barrel. It was a sheriff's model 3 1/2"" with stainless parts and was a shockingly beautiful two tone with jeweling and a bull barrel. (A pre-saftey model.) Charlie said he was going to sell all of his mis-matched frames and I bought the Super from him for less than his cost. I had Joe Strockmorton in L. A. TIG weld up the frame without taking the temper out and out of honesty I told Charlie and we had Joe TIG weld up about 15 frames that were mismarked eliminating the majority of legitimate complaints on the Lee Bakers.

    I don't know if Lee was the first, but he beat the Ruger Factory by putting out a cylinder unlock on the loading gate by many years which are now standard on modern Rugers.

    I think Charlie sold three of the Lee Bakers. The rest went unsold, the rarest being a Ruger Flat-top in .44 Special paired up with a Bill Mase Bowie knife (both with matching Ivorex grips,) that were on consignment with Tom Ford for so many years and ended up being engraved (by Wolfe I believe.)

    Charlie and I spent many an evening looking at Keith's book on single actions and spreading our collections out on the table going over them with awe. The Baker's were superb looking fine handling single actions and I'd love to have been able to purchased more of them. (I only have the one and it is not for sale at any price.)

    Charlie and Lee are both gone now. It is unclear what happened to the collection. I told Charlie we needed to catalog his Single Actions but sadly to my knowledge that never happened.
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    azlandman
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    05 Sep 2008 06:58 PM
    I have just traded in to a 1982 Single Six with a matte stainless frame, rounded butt stainless grip frame, blued barrel, adjustable rear sight and cylinders, red ramped front sight, and black pearl inserts with Ruger logo on walnut grips
    .
    Obviously not factory original.

    I found a small stamp on the bottom of the frame reading ""Lee Baker"" An online search found a Lee Baker Red Ramps in NM with a disconnected phone. I also found a Lee Bakers Red Ramps in Phelen, CA, which is the adjacent town to where the former owner of the gun lived, where he said his ex wife bought the gun for him many years ago. I phoned, and the lady answering let me know that Lee Baker passed away eight years ago. I commented that if this gun was made by him he certainly did wonderful work. She commented that indeed he did.

    Has anyone run in to another gun like this, or is it a one off creation?

    David Greenberg
    Second Amendment Family GunShop
    Bisbee, AZ
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    flattop44
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    06 Sep 2008 04:37 AM
    Hello David, welcome to the RCA website.

    I have never seen a Single-Six like you describe. It may very well be a unique custom job performed by Mr. Baker. Maybe another RCA member has seen one and will chime in to help you out.

    Regards, Bill
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    azlandman
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    16 Sep 2008 12:45 AM
    Is there a place here to post a photo?
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    bigbore45colt
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    16 Sep 2008 01:45 AM
    azlandman,

    You need to store your picture on a photo hosting site (I use http://www.picturetrail.com, they offer free accounts). Once you upload your picture(s), you can then get the url addresses for those images from the website. Then, all you need to do is copy that url between the following code [img]insert%20url%20here[/img]. It's a lot easier than it sounds.

    Hope this helps,

    BB45C
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    flattop44
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    16 Sep 2008 06:21 PM
    Lee,

    I think that you can ""Upload"" directly from your computer. When you hit the reply button just scroll down below text box past ""submit"" and right beside ""Options"" on the left side will be a button ""Upload Attachments"", click it and you will see Browse, etc and you should be in business.

    Looking forward to seeing some pics.

    Bill
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    PB&JGunNutter
    New Member
    Posts: New Member

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    17 Feb 2018 12:29 AM
    I knew Lee (and Charlie.)

    Lee was a retired Dentist, he made Lee's Red Ramp Kits but his passion was metal work and Ruger Single Actions.

    I had a Husqvarna Rifle and as Lee did such a fine job of Jeweling I wanted him to Jewel my bolt. It took a lot of convincing but finally he gave in and I got back a superbly turned bolt! Still have that rifle!

    Garand thumb, you are right, while Lee was alive his work got almost no respect from the California and Arizona gun community! (I bought a .45 Colt Blackhawk from Lee while he was alive and a .44 Special of Lee's after he had passed at a Mesa Gun Show.) I had to have Margie Shier at Frontier do the transfer for the .45 Colt (I don't remember why I didn't ask Charlie or his main guy to do it for me.)

    Most of Lee's work was with other manufacturer's parts, the Stainless and Brass trigger guard/back straps etc. But Lee fit and finished them with a Dentist's attention to detail! His Cylinders were outsourced as he didn't have a gang reamer, but his barrels (usually Douglas Air Gauged) were done by him and his tolerances were tight and his revolvers had a degree of accuracy that few could match. (Roy Dunlap the Tucson Gunsmith, taught him about forcing cones and muzzle crowns.)

    I believe he did a Smith & Wesson (K-38) for Charlie but his work was usually limited to Rugers. He was a good friend and he is sorely missed. I am very pleased that his work seems appreciated now! Charlie had to go through Bankruptcy and moved away to Indiana most of his guns were sold off I was told which was a shame.

    Tom Ford went out of business, but made a name for himself in the Film Industry. He was a less than inspiring member of the shooting community.

    I had bought a Sherriff's Model Colt From Miller's Gun Center I believe in the early '90's and wanted to get in touch with Lee to see if I could get him to do some custom work on it; but someone else was taking orders for the Red Ramp kits and sadly I wasn't able to reach him!

    Lee Baker, Roy Dunlap, Charlie Fetter are all gone now (I hear Margie (and Jim) are still with us.)

    Charlie could sure shoot! He went shooting every day, sometimes all day! I couldn't keep up with him! He had a Skeet Range at his Home in North West Tucson, but I was no good at Skeet!

    All Old Gunshow Folks, I sure miss those days! Gunshows now are usually just money monkeys out to milk every cent out of the Gun crowd. But there was a time that it was such a great event and group of people!
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