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Old September 12, 2012, 09:30 PM   #1
Gaz_in_NZ
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Colt Navy Clones.

Hi all,
I have a hankering (when I get my B endorsement) to get a Colt Navy clone 1851/1861, no idea why I just like the look of them for some reason and also being a fan of Supernatural and seeing the Colt Paterson probably swayed me towards one (even though their Colt shouldn't be a cartridge gun... unless it was a conversion... but seeing as Sam Colt supposed to have made it by hand it seems very unlikely, but that's a matter not for discussion here).

I don't think I could put up with all the black powder, ball, wadding, powder horn, ramming it home (so to speak) etc so I will probably go for a conversion in .38 at least that way I can shoot it down at the club without having to spend ages reloading it.

What makes are good and which are bad. There is a Uberti dealer in NZ who can get anything in their current catalog (for a price) and please correct me if I am wrong but isn't Uberti a subsidiary of Beretta, and does that mean anything in it's build quality?

Also what are the better Winchester clone lever-action rifles in .357/.38, I was thinking about an 1866 but I am more than willing to take advice on the matter.

Don't worry, I am still going to get an older S&W 6" 686 or a Ruger GP-100, I'm not going all cowboy on your a**.

Any and all advice welcome.

Thanks in advance
G
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:30 AM   #2
9mmfan
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Ain't no shame in going all cowboy on anyone.

Don't have my coach gun here, didn't even own my '92 clone (pre-safety Rossi) at this point. My wife took this pic, as she found my ensemble amusing. She didn't believe me when I told her shorts were more common in the 19th century than westerns would have you believe. (I will admit that the Ray-Bans are a bit of an anachronism.) The hog leg on my hip is a Cimarron Model P ('73 SAA clone), which is made by Uberti, and I like it immensely. It is newer production, I have had it a year or so. I do have a 1970 made Uberti in .357, and the screws that hold the grip frame to the upper frame will shoot loose after a bit, but I am about 90% positive that replacing those screws will solve that problem. If that didn't do it, whichever is the medium strength Loc-Tite would. Haven't seen that issue with the new one. I'm with you on the hassle of the BP models, though I REALLY like the looks of the 1860 Army. Beautiful, elegant weapon. The conversion loses a lot of that, as the loading lever and housing were removed for the ejector rod.
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Old September 13, 2012, 05:54 AM   #3
Hal
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Quote:
I have a hankering (when I get my B endorsement) to get a Colt Navy clone 1851/1861, no idea why I just like the look of them for some reason
Well - I can help you a lot with the "why" part...
The Colt 1851 Navy may well be the perfect S/A revolver.
The grip - which is all important on a S/A - was revived for the 1873 Colt "Peacemaker".
The old Colt "Peacmaker" is the defacto standard by which all other S/A "Cowboy" guns are judged.
Ruger even revised their Vaquero to make it more like the old Colt.

My own 1851 Navy is an old Italian import at least 35 years old.
It has several broken parts which prevents it from being a user.
The good news - @ least for me - is that it's a faithful reproduction of the orginal & parts are readily available form Dixie Gun Works.

That's also somewhat bad news for you - being where you are...

The Colts are prone to breakage. The open top design aslo doesn't lend itself too well to a smokeless conversion w/the brass frame.
I hate to say it but -if you're going for a conversion, you're better off going with a Remignton design...
But then you lose the mystique of the 1851 Navy.

FWIW though - shooting black powder cap and ball is alot of fun. Dirty and black powder is a real PITA to deal with - but fun.

If you've never used or shot black powder - let me throw this at you...

Black powder burns at the same rate, regardless of if it's in the open or confined...
If you don't fully understand why that's important - find out before you mess with the stuff.


BTW - my .38/.357 Rifle is a Marlin Cowboy II.
My Winchesters in .44mag/.44spl/.44Russian and .45LC are both Model 94 Trappers.
I like the Winchesters for looks - but - the Marlin action is just so silky smooth,,,
One of these days, when I win the lottery,,,I'd like to have the Marlin reamed out for .357Max and stick a tang sight on it - if that's at all possible...
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Old September 13, 2012, 05:17 PM   #4
Bob Wright
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Go to Uberti or Cimarron's website. They make some cartridge revovlers that are not conversions, sort of like an 1872 Navy Open Top but not quite, that is a very handsome looking revovler. It features a SAA style loading gate. A friend of mine has one in .38 Special, shoots only mild .38 Specials in and really enjoys the thing. Little tame for my taste, but a handsome gun none then less.

Bob Wright
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Old September 13, 2012, 05:57 PM   #5
gak
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Cimarron (Uberti) has a slick "Man With No Name" replica of the 1851 Eastwood used in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly spaghetti western. It's available in .38 Special and is essentially the same gun as their "regular" 1851 IIRC, but adds the iconic silver rattlesnake grips.
IOW Uberti - via Cimarron or Taylor's also I believe.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:04 PM   #6
Gaz_in_NZ
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Thank you gentlemen for the information, it's very much appreciated.

That is the one thing that bothered me was the possible weakness of the gun here.



But modern replicas should be able to take .38's with no problems....Y/N?

Cheers
G
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:49 PM   #7
Dfariswheel
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The original type of conversion was strong enough for the cartridges of the day, and modern Uberti's are stronger for todays appropriate loads.

The frame is stronger then it looks because the wedge passes through the cylinder base pin and makes for a reasonably strong assembly.
The area you pointed to really doesn't take that much stress.

As for the Uberti's, they're top quality guns, and were even before Beretta bought them.
If you want a cartridge conversion of a Colt Navy, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Uberti.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:56 PM   #8
Hawg Haggen
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The open tops are plenty strong enough for the black powder and equivalent smokeless loads.
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Old September 14, 2012, 02:12 PM   #9
Gaz_in_NZ
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Thanks gents,
That has put my mind at ease.

I take it that Uberti Rifles are also good (1866's?).
There are a load of Rossi rifles available in NZ (.357mag and .44mag) but they look and feel a bit cheap and too shiny when new to me and I don't think a gun should be like that when it costs $1200nz (us$1000).
Most of the used ones I have seen are "very" used.

Cheers
G
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Old September 14, 2012, 05:10 PM   #10
brazosdave
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Don't sell cap and ball short! I have two cap and ball revolvers, and once you get into them, other guns seem kind of boring. It's not as hard as you lead yourself to believe, and you can go to Cabellas and pick one up quite reasonably. You can even have them mail them direct to your house. That's how I got my 1860. I have their what the call a 51 confederate navy sherrifs, which is really more a scneider and glassick in .44 cal instead of .36, but I love that gun! Took it to the range today, as a matter of fact!
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Old September 14, 2012, 06:31 PM   #11
Gaz_in_NZ
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While there is a Cabela's website listed for New Zealand under Google (http://www.cabelas.com/NZ), it just comes up with a Page Not Found error.
The stores appear to be only in America and Canada, but thanks anyway.

Cheers
G
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Old September 14, 2012, 06:44 PM   #12
Dfariswheel
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The Uberti Winchester and Henry replica rifles are excellent on all counts.
They are a design that was suitable for the cartridges of the day, and work well with modern loads, but they aren't designed or built for hot loads.

A Rossi would be able to better handle hotter ammo due to the stronger John Browning design.
If you stick to standard type loads, the Uberti rifles give very good service, and there's just something about that massive Model 66 and 73 action that operates so smoothly.
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Old September 14, 2012, 11:32 PM   #13
Gaz_in_NZ
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I have read a few reviews that say they can have heavy trigger pulls (7.5lbs+), is it easy to get a Gunsmith to take that down to something a bit more manageable say 1/4 to 1/5 of the weight of the rifle (around 2lbs or less),
or is the spring tension "user adjustable"?

Also noticed that in most reviews the '73 gets a better overall write up than the '66.

Cheers
G
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