Designing the KL CMS Pro Short Stroke Revolver with Kenda Lenseigne
Uberti USA’s 1873 .45 Single Action Army is synonymous with tradition, beauty and craftsmanship, and most importantly helped build the foundation of the American way of life. In the 1800’s, when the world was moving west, this classic firearm stood steadfast as the handgun of choice for self-defense, home protection and side arm of survival. As arms began to evolve with the times, the needs of the population grew with technology and new ideals of how arms were used changed. 1870’s firearms were finding their way into storage as the 1911 semi-automatic pistol became the wave of the future.
Enter Cowboy Mounted Shooting a little over 100 years later in the mid 1990’s, a timed sport developed with the same old west values and American traditions, combining horsemanship and marksmanship, topped with a good old-fashioned adrenaline rush. As the sport has progressed over the last 20+ years, so has the gear that CMS athletes use to help achieve their goals. Winners prevail by having the fastest time with the most targets shot, so it would only be natural to assume that the 1870’s era revolver needed a face lift to keep up with this modern-day use of the arms. The Uberti CMS Pro Short Stroke collection, designed by Uberti USA’s top engineers in collaboration with multiple time World and National Champion Kenda Lenseigne, has changed the way the modern-day Cowboy (or Cowgirl) competes. We sat down with Kenda to chat with her about the features of the firearms and what went into the design changes.
Uberti USA: What is your experience with using Uberti firearms?
Kenda: I've competed with Uberti Single Action Revolvers since I first started in the sport in 1998. At that time, the 1870’s era .45 caliber SAA, which is a mandatory firearm set forth in the rules of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association, was just that - either a true antique that folks inherited from their grandparents, or exact replicas thereof.
Uberti USA: Can you explain what design changes were made to the original 1873, and why?
Kenda: To start, we changed the aesthetics of the hammer spur, it’s low and wide which fits a competitive shooter’s thumb comfortably, thus creating an easier pull to each Single Action Stroke. The hammer comes with factory machined, deep thumb grooves to give the shooter that extra grip confidence in the pull. With hundredths of seconds on the line between first and second place, having a thumb slip off of the hammer can be costly.
Uberti USA: Speaking of stroke, please tell us about the Short Stroke feature.
Kenda: This is my favorite feature of the new CMS Pro, as it has revolutionized the way I, as a competitor, approach each stage. Uberti trimmed off approximately 40% of the hammer pull, making it faster and easier to acquire each shot. This enables me to cock the gun as fast as my horse can run without ever worrying that I will miss my hammer pull. It gets all of the job done in almost half of the time.
Uberti USA: So, the hammer and the action have changed, anything else?
Kenda: The collection includes both a traditional standard grip and a newly designed bird’s head grip for competitors with smaller hands (some even like it for concealed carry). After months of sending mail posts back and forth to test new grip features on the bird’s head, I decided to visit the Uberti factory in Italy to work with the engineers to knock out the design in one afternoon. We came up with a more ergonomic bird’s head grip, that enables a higher purchase without a dovetail point to inhibit a strong grasp on the gun. This is especially useful as Cowboy Mounted Shooting is a one-handed shooting sport (our other hand must guide the horse). It’s small, light weight and fits perfectly in my palm.