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Old December 20, 2008, 04:32 PM   #1
L'derry
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Uberti Colt SAA - Pro's/Con's?

Hi,

I'm considering an Uberti Colt 1873 SAA Cattleman Gunfighter in .45 Colt.
It's for casual shooting - not serious cowboy action.

Does anyone have good or bad things to point out about this particular gun? I have found other brands for much more money - which I can't afford, but wanted to see if folks thought this particular firearm is worth the money. I'd rather not buy one than get something that's junky.:barf:

Thanks for any info.
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Old December 20, 2008, 04:41 PM   #2
Hawg
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I've got a Cattleman and a Cimarron both in 44-40. The finish is better on the Cimarron but as far as quality goes they're both good. The Cimarron has a little smoother action but the Cattleman isn't bad. Both shoot about a foot low at 25 yds. The sights are left tall so you can file them down to fit your loads. There's a lot of them used in cowboy shooting and they hold up very well. The biggest problem is hand springs breaking but you've got to remember those guys shoot more rounds in a year than most folks shoot in ten. The only thing I've noticed with mine is the screws like to loosen up with a lot of use but blue Loctite took care of that. BTW the original Colt's had the same problem.
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Old December 20, 2008, 06:54 PM   #3
L'derry
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Hawg,

Thanks for the reply. I'm having a great time shooting the '58 Remmie you and others recommended - Thanks!

On caliber selection - as I mentioned, I'm thinking .45, but I'm open if there is a better or more historically accurate caliber for this gun. You chose 44-40, better than others? or one you just didn't have?
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Old December 20, 2008, 07:35 PM   #4
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I had a Sheriff's Model Cattleman a few years back. Two-inch barrel, I think. I traded a good Model 24 S&W for the new-in-the-box Uberti. Absolutely the worst gun trade I ever made. I had nothing but trouble with the Uberti. First, after about 20 rounds, I noticed the front sight seemed to be laying over to the right. The barrel was backing out of the frame! I could screw it out (and did) with my hand! I remedied that with loc-tite. I never got where I trusted the trigger. It seemed as if it varied from one shooting session to another. After several hundred rounds, it never "shot in" like my Ruger single actions do. As I remember, there was some kind of small screw on the top of the hammer that would start working its way out. I never figured out, or knew, just exactly what that was. I never got around to taking the gun apart. I had other single-actions to shoot. I finally sold it. I will stick with Ruger for my single-actions, unless I happen to break down and buy a Single-Action Army one of these days.

I should add that my experiences were 8-10 years ago. Maybe things have changed now.
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Old December 20, 2008, 07:41 PM   #5
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Nothing but good luck with my c. 2006/2007 Cimarron Model P (Uberti SAA clone) in .44 Special--antiqued after-the-fact by Cim (i.e., not their regular "original" finish). I added some 3rd gen Colt eagle grips, smoothed them down a bit to match the "aging" of the rest of the gun and the thing is virtually indistinguishable from a nice old 1st gen Colt. Total outlay, including the grip fitting (which took some doing given that the gun came with the one piece wood grips so didn't have the two piece fitment boss) and "action job" by one of the top Colt-smiths in the country = $625. These days, any Uberti will do (Cimarron, Taylors, Uberti-branded, etc), though I don't care much for the Uberti Millenium or whatever the flat black guns warehouse outdoors/sporting goods are selling...But for not much more, the regular polish blue'd/case hardened, nickel or stainless ones I think are dandy - especially for the price. I'm not saying they're the same guns, but out of the box for 1/2 the price of an appx. equivalent USFA and 1/3 that of a new Colt ain't bad.

Last edited by gak; December 20, 2008 at 07:46 PM.
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Old December 20, 2008, 07:49 PM   #6
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For a SAA clone in the $500 range, the USFA Rodeo would be my pick.
http://www.usfirearms.com/cat/rodeogun.asp
If USFA made The Single Action in .357 magnum I would have bought it instead of my 3rd gen Colt SAA. USFA is the only manufacturer I would consider aside from Colt for a SAA clone or .22 single action.
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Old December 21, 2008, 02:04 AM   #7
Jim March
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In the world of $500-price-range SAA clones, the Ubertis will be the best looking, the USFA Rodeo will shoot the best and the Ruger (New Vaquero) will be overall toughest and have the transfer bar safety for safe six-up carry. (Avoid the Taurus Gaucho due to quality control issues.)

Most Ubertis made in the last five to eight years ago to the present are decent guns. At one point about 10 years ago I *think* they improved their metallurgy.

Where possible I would buy Ubertis from Cimmaron - they replace the springs with Wolff or other US-source, and they do a bit of final checkout and cleanup. You also get good stateside warrantee service.

My choice was a Ruger New Vaquero as soon as they came out (2005) in 357. ZERO regrets. It shot great out of the box, windage dead on, and has responded well to minor tweaks such as a spring kit and SuperBlackHawk hammer I installed myself and improved sights done by a smith in the Seattle area. This gun isn't treated as a toy, it's my daily CCW piece (!) in a fanny pack.
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Old December 21, 2008, 08:34 AM   #8
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+1 on the Ruger New Vaquero... excellent quality gun.
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Old December 21, 2008, 09:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
The biggest problem is hand springs breaking
Hawg, what are hand springs?
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Old December 21, 2008, 10:52 AM   #10
CraigC
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The spring, on the hand.

The hand spring is a leaf spring in the back of the hand (pawl in Ruger-speak) that keeps the hand forward in its slot so that it engages the ratchet teeth on the cylinder when it comes up to that position.

As an aside, because it's under spring pressure as it rides up and down, the hand slot in the frame is a common cause of action roughness.
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Old December 21, 2008, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
The only thing I've noticed with mine is the screws like to loosen up with a lot of use but blue Loctite took care of that.
Yep, that is good advice. I usually carry a hollow ground screwdriver in my range box for that purpose among others.


Quote:
At one point about 10 years ago I *think* they improved their metallurgy.
I've been loading my Cimarron well past maximum listed loads for about 1,500 rounds now with absolutely no problems. Maximum loads are listed at levels so that the vintage Colts won't explode.

Quote:
This gun isn't treated as a toy, it's my daily CCW piece (!) in a fanny pack.
Sounds like a killer CCW to me! Carry what you shoot well.
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Old December 21, 2008, 12:40 PM   #12
erikrichard
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The lockwork/action of the Vaquero isnt the same as an SAA or clone, so I don't include it in the mix.
A USFA Single Action in .45 has got to be the best gun/money at $875 out there, if you are looking for the case hardened look (which I like). The one the OP is looking at is (I believe) matt blue, just like the Rodeo, that's why I recommended it. For another $50 you can get the Rodeo in satin nickle.
Everything I've read indicates these guns are not only the best made SAA clones available (including current Colt SAAs which cost around $1200), they are also the closest copy of a first gen Colt (including current colt SAA's). You can't buy any decent shape Colt SAA for $875.

Last edited by erikrichard; December 21, 2008 at 12:55 PM.
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Old December 21, 2008, 01:14 PM   #13
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I purchased a 7th cav model, and was reminded why I dislike carrying long barreled handguns. Bought a 4.75" barrel from CFA and sent the gun and barrel to that guy in Montana who is Mike V's best bud, that's his story and he's sticking to it. Hand tension is supplied by a coil spring in the frame on mine, but think that has been replaced by the usual colt style. Anyway the shooter is funner than gum, I shoot remington swaged 255 grain bullets and lyman 454190s (same design) over whatever I have. unique and titegroup both work well.
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Old December 21, 2008, 10:55 PM   #14
Jim March
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The lockwork/action of the Vaquero isnt the same as an SAA or clone, so I don't include it in the mix.
Agreed, but in terms of "feel in the hand" the NewVaq is at least a "near clone" to the SAA. Setting aside how "traditional" it is, the NewVaq is a nice gun. About the only flaw is the cheesy fake-case colors...

My opinion is that in a piece used for CCW, a transfer bar safety is a good thing, traditions be danged.
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Old December 21, 2008, 11:12 PM   #15
erikrichard
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Cheesy fake case colors and transfer bar safety are pretty big minuses, at least for me. I would agree, aside from those problems it's a fine gun.
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Old December 21, 2008, 11:23 PM   #16
Hawg
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Quote:
Hawg,

Thanks for the reply. I'm having a great time shooting the '58 Remmie you and others recommended - Thanks!

On caliber selection - as I mentioned, I'm thinking .45, but I'm open if there is a better or more historically accurate caliber for this gun. You chose 44-40, better than others? or one you just didn't have?
.45 Colt is historically accurate for the SAA. However it's not for the lever action rifles. I'm kind of a purist and wanted the same caliber for pistols and rifle both for CAS so for me 44-40 was a no brainer. It's historically accurate for both. It's a little tricky to learn to reload for but it's a great cartridge.
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Old December 22, 2008, 09:40 AM   #17
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I must be the only unlucky owner of a real bummer of a Cimarron Cattleman.
Shoots OK with factory ammo , not great, just OK.
Nightmare to handload for, as NONE of the 7 holes (6 chambers + 1 barrel) seem to be of a same (or even like) diameter.
Roughest bore I ever seen on a factory new gun
Breaks various springs every 50 rounds or so
Yeah, looks good. I'll give you that.
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Old December 22, 2008, 10:31 AM   #18
salvadore
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Too bad about the chamber chriske, Haven't measured all of mine but by shooting .454 dia. I think I must be larger than the largest hole, and they shoot nicely. I lost that hand spring once, but found one to replace it. No other problems with springs.
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Old December 22, 2008, 11:37 AM   #19
Oldjarhead
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I own an Uberti cattleman, blue, 5.5 inch barrel in .45 Colt. Imported by Stoeger. It is a well made Colt replica. The Ubertis now are very well made and fun to shoot. Not as accurate as a Ruger Vaquero though or as tough. I have owned both. If you plan to shoot alot and in competition, I would opt for the Vaquero. If you just want Colt type gun, because it is fun to shoot and has the old cowboy action, get the Uberti.
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Old December 22, 2008, 01:09 PM   #20
Hawg
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Quote:
Not as accurate as a Ruger Vaquero though or as tough.
I'll argue the accuracy part with you unless you can keep your shots under 2 1/2 inches at 25 yds. offhand. I can keep both of my Uberti's under three at 25 yds. offhand. As for the tough part. Yeah, the old Vaquero is tougher. It's also bigger than a Colt with a thicker frame. IMHO A rather ugly chunk of steel with no grace. The new Vaquero is no stronger than a Uberti.
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Old December 22, 2008, 04:32 PM   #21
Jim March
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Quote:
The new Vaquero is no stronger than a Uberti.
Remember, there's two kinds of strength.

In terms of "resistance to blowup on an overload" strength, they're in the same ballpark although I'd bet on the Ruger to hold up better. Not any sort of difference I'd load the NewVaq hotter for.

BUT in terms of "action strength", where it's a matter of the lockwork lasting longer, I'd bet on the Ruger any day of the week. It's just a better design in there...coil springs over flat for starters but there's more to it than that.

To illustrate the different "types of strength", note that an S&W K-Frame shooting mild 38 at high rates of fire will last a LOT longer than at least the same vintage (1930s through early 1980s) N-Frame S&W 357 (model 27, 28, etc.). This is because the lighter cylinder on the K can start/stop faster without beating the action parts up. Yet in terms of "resistance to blowup", the N-frame dominates the K.

So when you talk about a "strong gun", there's two kinds of strength.
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Old December 23, 2008, 01:12 PM   #22
Mark Milton
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I've been shooting an old Uberti Cattleman imported by Mitchell arms well over a decade ago. Maybe two decades ago.

It shoots tighter groups than you would imagine, when you consider the Mitchells were not quite as upgrade as Allen Firearms and Cimmarons Uberti Imports were.

Only real problem is that it shoots pretty high at 25 yards, but is dead on the money at 100 yards.
Older shooters I respect tell me that a run of the mill Cattleman is about like the run of the mill Colts they shot when they were young guys.
Taylors and Cimmaron get the best of the best of the Imports from what I understand...
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Old December 23, 2008, 04:30 PM   #23
Hawg
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Only real problem is that it shoots pretty high at 25 yards, but is dead on the money at 100 yards.
The newer ones shoot low. The sights are left high so you can file them down to fit your loads.
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