View Full Version : Research, research, research

December 26, 2008, 07:05 PM
I am in the early stages of researching my next gun purchase and would like some direction. I am interested in a Colt Single Action Army or clone. There are so many models and manufacturers out there (Colt, Uberti, Cimarron, USFA, Baretta, etc) that it's confusing. The more I research, the more unsure I become.

I would like something that:

1. Can shoot authentic black powder loads
2. Is accurate
3. Is of good quality
4. Looks/operates just like (or is) the real thing
5. A good gunsmith would be willing to work on (action job, etc)
6. Could be readily fitted with genuine ivory grips and engraved at a later date

I've been looking into different calibers as well. Obviously, 45 Colt is the most common out there. 44-40 looks good because the same caliber would be authentic for a lever action rifle, if I ever decide to get one later. It is my understanding that 45 Colt was not used in lever actions.

I've browsed in a few local gunshops lately. Here is what I noticed:

1. Ruger case hardening looks terrible and the action is made differently. It's not a 'clone' in the true sense.
2. USFA case hardening looks as good as Colt and better than Uberti and Cimarron
3. Fitting on all seems good, but USFA and Colt look to be the best fit; however, I've also been told that Colts need tuning out of the box.
4. Colts are the most expensive, followed by USFA
5. 357 Magnum, 45 Colt, and 44-40 are the most commonly available calibers

From my listed requirements, is there any brand or model I should definitely look more closely at or remove from my list?

Quality-wise, is a new 3rd generation Colt worth the extra $400 above the USFA?

Thank you.

December 26, 2008, 07:55 PM
If money is not a problem, USFA is the answer in my book.

December 26, 2008, 10:56 PM
Uberti by Cimarron would be my choice in a black powder frame. The Cimarron costs a little more than the average Cattleman but the finish is better and on mine anyway the action is a little smoother. Not that the action is bad on a cattleman cuz it's not. Uberti's have the hammer mounted firing pin, half cock loading and four clicks when you cock the hammer. They also have the Colt patent dates on the frame. Cattleman has Uberti's name stamped on the barrel in big deep block letters. Cimarron doesn't. The only place a Cimarron has Uberti on it is under the ejector rod housing. Cimarron has Cimarron Arms Co. Houston Tx. in a light roll stamping in the proper Colt style on top of the barrel. The difference in the bp frame and the smokeless frame is the cylinder pin in the bp frame is retained by a screw under the bottom of the frame and the smokeless frame has the spring loaded cross pin. Case colors on the Cimarron are pretty good but not the best. My Cattleman has faint pastels that don't even show up in a pic but they may be better now.
Top is my Cimarron, bottom is my Cattleman. Note the Cattleman has a thumb screw retaining the cylinder pin and the Cimarron just has a slotted screw retaining it. They're both bp frames. http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/rebel727/CAS/truckstuff008.jpg

December 27, 2008, 11:01 AM
Get a Colt, cause you KNOW you want the real deal.

December 27, 2008, 01:15 PM
Get a Colt, cause you KNOW you want the real deal.

Damn you! Are you trying to make me go poor? :D

I'm actually leaning towards saving up for the genuine Colt. Is there a widespread problem with the Colt action out of the box? I would probably end up sending it to a good gunsmith like Peacemaker Specialists before shooting anyway.