View Full Version : SAA recommendations?

January 2, 2005, 12:15 PM
The original Colt 1873 has a look that I find hard to resist but the price that Colt wants for a new one is hard to accept.

I know little about SA guns of the period and I've never shot one.

I looked at several replicas at my local dealer and all the Berettas had problems with their transfer bars while other makes looked cheap.

The Ruger Vaquero is OK but not to scale and the dealer showed me the 2005 catalog in which a downsized Vaquero looks better. The gun is not available yet and I reserve judgment until I handle it.

How would you advise me to proceed?

Is there a gun that combines quality and authentic looks at an affordable price?

Is the Colt offering better than the rest and worth the money?

If a choice of calibers is offered which should I select?

And last but not least, is there a book that will demistify SA shooting for me?

January 2, 2005, 04:10 PM
Ruger single actions are hellferstout, but are slightly bigger and heavier than the Colt in order to accomplish that. Uberti SA's (Navy Arms, Cimarron, Hartford, etc.) are such close copies of the original Colt SAA, that most, maybe all, parts will interchange.

January 2, 2005, 06:33 PM
The Uberti's out since the Beretta purchase are looking good. This is the Stainless one available from Uberti USA or Cimarron Arms at $ 4-500. It was made this year. It has the base pin with an extra notch for the latch that allows it to be deep seated in the frame to act as a hammer block safety. This one had an over sized and out of round base pin which we replaced with a colt replica.

The action is smooth, timing is perfect and the trigger pull is very good.

Somebody designed it with shooting in mind as it has a durable round wire trigger bolt spring and the small leaf spring that drives the hand has been replaced with a coil spring/plunger deal like the rugers.

The cylinder mouths are about .451while the barrel slugs at .450. It should be optimum for .452 bullets. The sights are regulated for the nominal 250 grain bullets at 700- 850fps.

Here it is with a third generation Colt .44 special.

60 ft offhand group

The owner has a number of Colts from all three generations and is very pleased with this one. He likes the stainless finish and finds that its handling qualities are very true to that of the originals.

January 2, 2005, 09:16 PM
mec you are making people envious.

Colt offers only blue and case finish on their new guns. A stainless appears out of the question for a new gun unless one finds a Uberti in the desired caliber.

Is Colt worth the extra premium over the Uberti? Colt also offers to fit a .45 ACP cylinder. A worthwhile option?

January 2, 2005, 09:25 PM
A .45 acp cylinder is available for Uberti's too. One of my five Uberti SA's is a convertible .45 Colt/.45 acp.

Is a gennywine Colt worth the extra $$$? Only if you absolutely have to have "Colt" on the barrel instead of "Uberti". I can get three or even four Uberti's for the price of one Colt.

January 2, 2005, 09:48 PM
Jbar, do your Ubertis have the same transfer bar system that was locking up on the Berettas I was trying?

Did you order the gun at the same time with the extra .45 ACP cylinder or did you send it in for fitment after you bought it?

Epi 1:10,000
January 2, 2005, 09:56 PM
"The cylinder mouths are about .450 while the barrel slugs at .451."

That is a huge no no. The cylinder mouths on a revolver should always be .001 to .003 larger than the barrel otherwise you will get a horribly leaded barrel and quickly decreasing accuracy. I would have a gunsmith bore out and polish your cylinder throats/mouths and your forcing cone and it will significantly decrease barrel leading if you use bullets that are .0005 larger than your cylinder mouths/throats to .0005 smaller.

See the link for recomendations frome the engineers in the firearms industry.

January 2, 2005, 10:16 PM
No, the Ubertis have the firing pin mounted on the hammer. Uberti uses a unique hammer block on some of their SAA revolver hammers that is actuated by the trigger sear, but outward appearance and function remains faithful to the original 1873 design, and a "normal" SAA hammer will function fine if you want to swap it out. See the middle pic of the attachment to see how it works.
I bought the .45 acp cylinder off ebay and fitted it myself.

January 2, 2005, 10:34 PM
Very helpful Jbar.

Which book is this taken from? It looks like a publication that I should have.

January 2, 2005, 10:37 PM
That page was scanned from the '82 Gun Digest.

January 2, 2005, 11:13 PM
actually I reversed the chamber/bore measurements the chambers went a bit over 451 and the bore was in the 450 range. In fact, this guy has a blue .45 acp cylinder that fits this Uberti perfectly and seems to shoot very well.

Dave Sample
January 4, 2005, 04:39 PM
The only SA revolvers I recommend are from Cimarron Arms. I just tuned up a Colt SA out of the Custom Shop that had the bolt timed up too soon. They were nice enough to send us a new bolt which I installed and got the timing somewhat better, but the bolt was also not long enough and was too narrow to be fitted to the cylinder notches. It was an improvement but still not as good as I like them. This was a $2700.00 + Tax and shipping (Total $3000.00) that had a front sight that was way too short and made the gun shoot high. It fought me all the way. of course, and everytime I have to tune a new Colt, I swear I am going to have them send it to Eddie at Peacemaker Specialist. He likes Colts. I don't. The Ciimarrons are 1/3 to 1/4th the price of a Colt and are not as well made. I have four of them in use now. 7 1/2":5 1/2":4 3/4": and a 3 /12 " with gunleather to match. Captain Eagle SASS # 10144. Single Action Tune Up Specialist.

January 4, 2005, 06:59 PM
Been shooting a pair of Cimarron's for 5 years and have had absolutely no trouble with them. They are in .45 Colt with 4 3/4" barrels and are an awesome handful with 32gr 3f also shot Duelist.

January 4, 2005, 08:26 PM
Today I visited the only dealer I could find in a 50 mile radius that had a good assortment of Rugers, Berettas, Ubertis, Cimarrons and Colts all under one roof.

The prices of the Colts were where you'd expect them to be. The guns look good but for the price you'd expect that and more.

The Ruger Vaqueros had big frames and cylinders(soon to be remedied with the New vaquero but not yet available at retail) and an offensive string of lettering on the left side of the barrel (California only?). I didn't like their size but I'm sure I'd get lots of life out of them even if I feed them hot .45 LC loads.

The Berettas had binding transfer bars.

The Ubertis looked good, have firing pins and are reasonably priced. If they had a .45 ACP extra cyliner for their .45 LC I'd been tempted by one in colored case/blue.

Cimarron (is it made by Uberti?) had a "Evil Roy" in .45 LC that was superb. The non-availability of an extra .45 ACP cylinder stopped me but it was a very close call. Had it been a .357/.38 I'd have bought it. Did I say it was superb? Good.

Then came the used Colts. Prices started at $1,500 and were stil rising North of $10,000. There was also a .22/.22WMR Peacemaker (I think it is a 7/8 scale of the .45) in its original box with manuals and tools and the extra cylinder in its own little box. The gun looke like new save for the marks on the cylinders that let you know that it had been fired and it was priced far less than the .45s. It felt good (even though I have large hands) and pointed even better.

To make a long story short I bought it to scratch my itch while I take my sweet time looking for that "Evil Roy" (boy, do I like this name) in .45LC/.45ACP or in .357.

That's it guys. Now please recommend a good book that will enlighten me about the background of my new/old Colt and how I can go about taking it apart and polishing everything in my way.

January 4, 2005, 09:29 PM
Yes, Cimarron, Hartford, and Navy Arms are all made by Uberti. Probably others too that I just can't think of right off.