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Old December 13, 2014, 05:25 PM   #1
Model12Win
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Most authentic SAA clone?

Hey guys! What i the most authentic, true to the original Colt 1873 Single Action Army revolver out there?

I know there are plenty of makes and models with many new features like coil springs, transfer bars, frame mounted firing pins, the list goes on and on but really what it boils down to is I am looking for the most authentic gun that is as true to the original guns as possible including finish options. As for me personally, I have a budget of not more than $700 so a true old one is well out of my price range. So what SAA clone do you think best fits this description?

Thanks!
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Old December 13, 2014, 06:29 PM   #2
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Some would say the Ruger Vaquero is the best but I don't agree. It's a great very well made gun but to me a transfer bar on a SAA is a big NO NO. The firing pin needs to be on the hammer on a 1873 clone.
Uberti Cattleman or a Pietta 1873 are very close to the original and both are quite equal in quality with a great range of choices in finish and so on...
I wouldn't go for older clones like a Hammerli Virginian (which is an excellent gun) because parts can be a problem ( Uberti parts fit but need some gunsmithing) ....
Anyway when buying test the quality of the action (timing, etc) and if possible ask to test fire it....
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Old December 13, 2014, 07:12 PM   #3
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U.S. Firearms is hands down the most authentic and the best made. Even better than modern Colts. The rub is that they're out of your price range.
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Old December 13, 2014, 07:16 PM   #4
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he could probably get a rodeo for that price
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Old December 13, 2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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The Ruger new vaq is nothing like a Colt. The action is entirely different and up close it doesn't really look like one. The Uberti Cattleman is pretty dang close. It has the hammer mounted firing pin and there's four clicks when you cock the hammer just like the originals.
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Old December 13, 2014, 07:42 PM   #6
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Thank guys! Any others??
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Old December 13, 2014, 07:59 PM   #7
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Evil Roy made by Uberti
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Old December 13, 2014, 08:04 PM   #8
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I had a couple "Hartford Models" by Uberti that looked to me very close to an authentic Colt but I don't know if they make these any longer. Maybe 3 years ago I sold the pair (with consecutive serials) for $850.
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Old December 13, 2014, 10:45 PM   #9
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I agree on the USFA revolvers, but they are not being made any more, and are now going for well over the $700 figure. IMHO, the USFA guns were more true to the pre-WWII Colts than are the current Colts.

Jim
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Old December 13, 2014, 10:47 PM   #10
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Thanks! I'm not a cowboy action shooter, just a history buff and that's why I'd greatly prefer the most authentic version I can possibly afford ($700 or less)!
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Old December 13, 2014, 11:23 PM   #11
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Like others said, the Uberti is probably the most authentic you will get in the $700 price range. While not very authentic, don't discount the Vaquero's; they are well made guns and great shooters.
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Old December 13, 2014, 11:30 PM   #12
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USFA's have pretty much doubled since they started making that funky plastic thing. The days of getting a better Colt than Colt for $800 are long gone. Uberti and Pietta are basically your only choices these days.
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Old December 14, 2014, 12:38 AM   #13
Driftwood Johnson
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Quote:
Hey guys! What i the most authentic, true to the original Colt 1873 Single Action Army revolver out there?
Howdy

I'm going to take your statement literally about the 'original' Colt 1873 Single Action Army. If you want the most authentic clone of the Single Action Army, let's stop for a moment and consider what features were and were not present when the gun was first introduced in 1873.

Barrel length: 7 1/2"
Caliber: 45 Colt
Frame style: Black Powder Frame
Sights: Narrow front blade and narrow V notch rear sight
Ejector Handle: Bullseye style
Finish: Case hardened frame, blue barrel, cylinder, trigger guard and backstrap.

The barrel length of the first Colts issued to the Army was 7 1/2". No other lengths were available for some years. Likewise, the only caliber in production was 45 Colt. It was not until 1878 that the Colt was available chambered for 44-40, other calibers followed over the years. The Black Powder frame was the only style frame available up until about 1892 when the modern spring loaded cylinder pin retaining latch started to become available. Sights were a narrow blade front sight and a tiny V notch rear sight. These sights are difficult to use, one needs good eyesight to center the blade in the narrow V notch. The squared off rear sight did not appear until 1956 with the first of the 2nd Gen Colts. The round Bullseye style ejector handle was what was available, I do not know when the modern crescent style became available. The finish of the frame was case hardening with bright colors. The rest of the gun was highly polished blue. Forget about brass trigger guards or backstraps, Colt never used these in the SAA right up until today. Forget matte finishes, Colt prided itself on the high polish of their guns.

Uberti is supplying a few models with these features. Check out the versions labelled 'Old Model'. Beware of the Charcoal Blue finish. It is beautiful, but not very durable. I had one of these a bunch of years ago. Within one year the blue was completely worn off the backstrap by the sweat of my palm.

http://www.uberti.com/1873-single-ac...eman-revolvers
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Old December 14, 2014, 02:26 AM   #14
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Be sure to check out Cimarron too.
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Old December 14, 2014, 04:51 PM   #15
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The most authentic " clone " of a COLT is the THIRD GENERATION COLT SAA being made right now as we speak, Period. THINK about that.
And so it goes...
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Old December 14, 2014, 05:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
The most authentic " clone " of a COLT is the THIRD GENERATION COLT SAA being made right now as we speak, Period. THINK about that.
And so it goes...
ummm no, its not
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Old December 14, 2014, 10:16 PM   #17
Model12Win
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Thanks! Don't the 3rd generation Colts cost a mint though??

I am DEFINETELY going to have to take a look at the Uberti old model! I can't wait to get a SAA but have to be sure of the one I want first, and that would be the most true to the original I can afford.
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Old December 14, 2014, 10:21 PM   #18
Jim March
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I know what the least authentic is: mine. I started with a Ruger New Vaquero in 357 (already pretty "off") and then converted it to 9mmPara and added magazine feeding and gas-powered automatic shell ejection.

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Old December 14, 2014, 11:26 PM   #19
Venom1956
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Quote:
The most authentic " clone " of a COLT is the THIRD GENERATION COLT SAA being made right now as we speak, Period. THINK about that.
And so it goes...
All caps means its true.
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Old December 14, 2014, 11:38 PM   #20
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The German company Saeur and Sohn used to make a version much more authentic than the Ruger. I got one in 44 magnum for only $299 last summer. It is a quality firearm. I am not sure if they made one in 45 long colt. If so, it would be more authentic than most, and you could find one cheap on Gunbroker if you were patient.
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Old December 14, 2014, 11:48 PM   #21
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I have handled a fair number of "First Gen" Colt SAA's, and owned a few over the years, but somehow the new Colts just don't feel right. It is not the mechanism, it seems to be more of the way the grips are made and fitted and maybe the angle of the grip. I can't really see any differences, and it is possible that it is just my imagination, but I believe there is a difference. The USFA guns have that "right" feel; the modern Colts do not.

As for Rugers, they are fine guns, but no one ever claimed them to be copies or clones of the original SAA. They are modern, well designed and well made single action revolvers; they are not, and were never intended to be, correct copies of the old guns.

Jim
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Old December 15, 2014, 04:15 PM   #22
Model12Win
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Thanks pards! I'm looking keenly at the Uberti made Cimarron old model... but I looked on the Cimarron website and it said the gun has a "cowboy comp action than elimanates the weakness of the 19th century design" or something to that effect.

What does that mean??

Does that mean it has newer style parts? Honestly I don't care about the "weaknesses" of the old design. I'm not a cowboy action shooter and don't compete in a any way. I want something that is as close to an early Colt Single Action Army as I can get south of $700 or so, inside and outside!

Do you fellers know what the heck a cowboy comp action is?
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Old December 15, 2014, 05:16 PM   #23
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I'm not sure what they do to that one. I know models like the El Patron have hand honed actions, Wolff springs and the rear sight is widened. I have a model P from when they were in Houston. It has Wolff springs but they are aftermarket. I do recommend them because I had a Cattleman and the springs in it were a lot heavier. The Wolff springs make it feel and sound more like an original Colt. The hammer clicks are a lot softer than the Cattleman. One thing that is not historically accurate is the hammer block safety that prevents it from firing if the safety notch gets broken but its not too obvious.
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Old December 15, 2014, 05:28 PM   #24
Model12Win
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Okay cool, are the Wolf springs the same type spring as the originals? I'm just a little confused. I sure wish one of these companies would just make a SAA that was truly the same as the original guns... but I can easily understand liability and legal issues and most of these are bought by CAS guys who probably want a little more reliability etc.
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Old December 15, 2014, 06:44 PM   #25
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The Wolff mainspring is still a leaf spring but is thinner and lighter than the Uberti Cattleman and the bolt/trigger spring is music wire. The Cattleman has original style springs but they're a little heavier. I'm about as much a purist as they come but I like the Wolff springs and its not like you can see them until you tear it down. I guess it comes down to do you want it to look original when you tear it down or feel original when you shoot it. One more thing the Cimarron has their name and address tastefully roll stamped on the barrel Colt style where the Cattleman has it in stamped in block letters. Both have the Colt's patent dates. The Cimarron has all Italian markings hidden under the ejector rod housing except for the cat. number which is required by Italy for export. If it was me I would definitely go with a Uberti Cimarron with the bp frame.



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