View Full Version : Colt SAA Questions

December 26, 2008, 04:54 PM
Two questions--

Were there any revolvers in the west in the late 1800s that rivaled the Colt SAA? Did "Cowboys," Gunfighters, Lawmen have another gun that they preferred if they wanted a Colt and one wasn't available? I'm looking for guns that were real similar to the Colt.

What would someone buy who was looking for a Colt SAA that wanted the same thing but didn't want to spend the money? I'm willing to spend in the $500-600 range, but i really want a Colt or something similar.

Thanks for any input.

December 26, 2008, 05:05 PM
S&W Schofield and 1875 Remington.
Uberti clone if you want a Colt copy http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/CAS/truckstuff008.jpg

Jim Watson
December 26, 2008, 05:08 PM
There were fair numbers of Smith & Wessons, the big top breaks from the .44 American through the No 3 New Model and the .44 Double Action.
There were some Remingtons, the 1875 and a very few 1890s.
There were Merwin & Hulberts, Forehand & Wadsworth, and a few other minor makers of "Army and Navy" revolvers (full size service models.)
There were a lot of percussion revolvers in use and cartridge conversions of same, not everybody back then could afford $20 for a pistol.
There were huge numbers of cheaper guns from IJ, H&R, F&W, several other forgotten brands plus imports from England, Belgium, and Spain.
The real west was not like a movie set, there were more choices than you might think.

There are numerous copies of the Colt SAA.
The USFA Rodeo is American made of quality comparable to a real Colt, but less expensive due partly to its plain finish. They have prettier guns, too, still less expensive than Colt.
There are gobs of Italian clones from Uberti and Pietta, sold here by Cimarron Arms, Navy Arms, EMF, and others. They do ok for Cowboy Action Shooting and plinking.
Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero look a lot like Colt but are bigger, stronger, and less expensive.

Riot Earp
December 26, 2008, 05:09 PM
Jim Watson is correct. Contrary to what 20th Century Hollywood would have us believe, there were many handguns used in the Old West. The SAA didn't come along until late 1873 and didn't take hold of the civilian market until two or three years later. During the early cattle drives of the mid 1860s through the mid 1870s, the most common revolvers were cap & ball guns, the Smith & Wesson Model 3 American (after 1870), and various cap & ball conversions. The SAA ruled the "late" Old West, from the mid 1870s through the 1890s. The S&W Model 3 continued to sell during this later period, as did the 1875 Remington and the 1877/78 Colt double action guns. There were lots of other revolvers also, some European made. I do not know the relative cost of these guns, but I do know that it was cheaper to convert a cap & ball gun than to buy a new one. Keep in mind that Colt made cap & ball guns through 1872 or so, and not everyone ran out to trade them in on cartridge guns. The transition took years, just like the transition from horses to automobiles. It is said that cap & ball guns saw use up till 1880, and perhaps even later on a very limited basis.

December 26, 2008, 05:13 PM
They do ok for Cowboy Action Shooting and plinking.

I'd say offhand groups under three inches at 25 yds. is a little better than ok.:rolleyes:

Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero look a lot like Colt

Blackhawk and old Vaquero look nothing like a Colt except from a distance. New Vaq looks like one but it's action is nothing like one and it's no stronger.

December 27, 2008, 11:12 AM
In that price range an Italian import or a Ruger New Vaquero. I see a lot of the Italian imports on gunbroker at reasonable prices. The Ruger well hold resale better.

Riot Earp
January 23, 2009, 07:20 PM
If you don't like the Rodeo's matte black finish, check this out.

(I plan on doing this to my gun.)


Ron Earp
January 23, 2009, 07:22 PM
Dang, that is really nice. I like the looks of that.


Hoss Fly
January 23, 2009, 07:24 PM
If you don't like the Rodeo's utilitarian finish, check this out.

(I plan on doing this to my gun.)

I'm sorry but thats just wrong all round :barf:
Dont look "aged" or "new" - just "wrong"------------

January 24, 2009, 02:33 AM
I'm sorry but thats just wrong all round
Dont look "aged" or "new" - just "wrong"-------

I agree.

January 25, 2009, 07:42 PM
I think I know the dissatisfaction that the author had with the looks of his gun.
A handgun has to look either "sweet" or "tough".

I give the author of that article, credit for taking the step to change what he didn't like, but I'm afraid it's not changed for the better. :rolleyes:

Maybe some ivory grips would dress it up and make it nicer to look at for him.
But, I think he'll end up buying a "sweeter" looking USF model!;)

January 25, 2009, 10:49 PM
He could always have it blued or browned.