View Full Version : Traditions ?

October 12, 2010, 05:25 PM
I am new to BP shooting and this forum. I got interested in BP and have a Pietta Navy 1851 44 from Cabelas and a Uberti Walker Colt 44 from DGW. Due to shoulder surgery, I have not fired either and have been trying to learn as much as I can about them. I own several centerfire and rimfire handguns and reload so I am not new to guns in general, just to BP pistols.

I just love the look and feel of these older style guns. I want more.

I have a gift certificate for Bass Pro shops who sell Traditions brand bp handguns. I am not sure who makes Traditions but by looks of the guns it might be Pietta???

I don't see much on this forum about Traditions brand guns and note that Bass Pro prices are a bit higher than Cabelas. Anything wrong with getting a Traditions gun?


Andy Griffith
October 12, 2010, 06:24 PM
Traditions is an importer/marketer/distributor and warranter of black powder rifles and pistols. In replica blackpowder revolvers they use Pietta and some Spanish ones in flint and percussion single shots.

They have their own warranty department and give an extra warranty of one year on each one sold which is imported by them. They will not warranty any others imported by any other importer such as Cabelas or Dixie Gun Works or anyone else.

They also do some exclusives to them that no other importers do, such as the "gold rush" series and some others- which makes them stand out. Also, their extra cylinders were fairly reasonable through my local dealer- but that was a year ago, so it's likely they've gone up- dollar against the euro and all that jazz...

If you can get one with a certificate which makes it less expensive- go for it!

Nearly all my BP revolvers are Piettas, with one Euroarms and one Uberti in the mix and a couple of vintage- so you can't go wrong with the Piettas. There is always a chance that nearly every one you buy you may have to "tweak" a bit, but most come right out of the box ready to shoot once you've cleaned half the oil in Italy off of one of them. :p

Doc Hoy
October 12, 2010, 06:25 PM
Welcome to te forum.

Traditions firearms are now made by Pietta as you surmised. In fact, for all I know, Traditions may always have been Pietta when it comes to revolvers. When people here speak about Pietta and are speaking of a revolver they bought from Cabelas or Bass, they mean to say Traditions in most cases.

It is my experience that Bass Proshop is way out of line on their BP revolver prices and maybe on all BP firearms. I buy only powder and caps from BPS and that is because I don't buy enough at a time to make bulk purchase from a distibutor cost effective given the hazmat charges.

If you are concerned about these kinds of things, you might want to use the gift certificate for something that has a more competitive price and then go buy your BP revolver outright from Cabelas, Midway or some other discount distributor. You will save probably fifty to seventy bucks depending upon which one you buy.

As far as Traditions quality, I just bought an 1858 Remington in Steel frame with a six and a half in barrel, .36 caliber. It is a real sweet pistol. Fit and finish are great. Operation is very smooth. Makes a nice bang when you shoot it. It really is good quality. I can't find anything wrong with it.

If you are going to go to the store to buy, make sure you select the best one from their stock. The saleman will p _ _ s and moan when you ask him to get several examples out, but when you show him the faults you find in the pistols, he will have no alternative but to agree with you.

A poster here name "Cajun" has a list of ten points he looks at on a new pistol in a store. Hopefully he will read your question and share those points. he is a very discriminating buyer and the prudent mariner should pay attention to what he says.

Just in case he does not, here are some of the things others on the forum have mentioned about BP revolvers and not just those from Traditions/Pietta:

On a Remington, hold the pistol in the firing postion, sight down the barrel as though you were aiming and make sure the front sight lines up properly. In some revolvers the barrel is not turned in properly and the sights do not line up. It is easily noticable.

Check the fit of the trigger guard to the frame.

Look at the loading lever latch which is on the bottom of the barrel. Make sure it is not bent forward.

On Colt pistols, with the barrel wedge in place and snug, the barrel gap should be not more than the thickness of a credit card. (Gap between the front of the cylinder and the breach of the barrel)

It would be nice to buy a pistol on which the barrel wedge can be removed with just the force you can apply with your finger. It is tight but it can be done. Most are tighter than this, but it is nice to be able to get the wedge out without having to resort to a wooden or plastic tool.

On all pistols, if the salesperson will permit you to turn the pistol, you should take him up on it. Make sure the bolt is fully retracted at half cock. Make sure the line-up is right and tight at full cock. I know you know this because you have already said you are very familiar with cartridge weapons. But when you buy a cartridge pistol, you don't even think of these things. On a BP pistol you must.

You will get answers from other folks on the forum. Some of them may dispute my words and in those cases, you are probably well advised to pay attention to them. About half the people here shoot ten times as much as I do and they are very savvy guys. Not knowing what I am talking about never stopped me from talking.

Good luck and again, welcome to the forum and the way of life.

October 13, 2010, 02:42 AM
Because Cabela's imports their own guns directly from Pietta in Italy themselves, they're able to cut out the middle man, or in other words the wholesale distibutors that supply gun shops and other smaller retailers around the country who don't import guns directly from Italy on their own.
Those are the type of dealers that Traditions does serve with dealer pricing. And that added layer of distribution is probably the main reason why their guns are more expensive, along with the added cost of providing the warranty and their lesser volume of sales

Cabela's does have a no questions asked return policy, they have a lot of extended sales events and offer consumers many incentives that has enabled them to capture a very large percentage of the U.S. cap & ball market. When a gun is returned to Cabela's, they self-insure that loss against their own profits and high sales volume.

Traditions can't match Cabela's volume of sales because revolvers are only a minor part of their overall business of selling Ardesa muzzle loaders, accessories and their shotgun line.
Otherwise the quality of the Pietta guns that each sells appear to be about the same. Although we don't hear as many reports about the quality of Traditions guns compared to reports about those from Cabela's.

October 13, 2010, 09:28 AM
The thickness of a business card is .008".

Doc Hoy
October 13, 2010, 09:38 AM
Correct. That may be a little wide but if the credit card just fits, I think the field test (or in this case, the store counter test) works out okay.

October 13, 2010, 10:49 AM
Thanks for all your advice and replies. I appreciate that. I belong to several forums....archery, rimfire, etc. but I find that this forum has some really good advice on a subject that I am just starting to learn about.

Unfortunately living in SW CO near Four Corners, there are no Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops within hundreds of miles so I have to purchase nearly all my specialty guns via mail order. I do use the Cabelas discounts whenever I can.


October 15, 2010, 08:44 PM
I just saw that one of the 1851 Navy pistols with accessories is listed as Traditions brand. Others on the same page are Pietta.


October 16, 2010, 09:35 AM
as always Doc, very sound advice...:D

October 16, 2010, 11:07 AM
Not knowing what I am talking about never stopped me from talking.

Don't sell yourself short Doc. I may not always agree with you but you do know what you're talking about.

Doc Hoy
October 16, 2010, 11:15 AM
Coming from you, I take that as a real compliment. Thanks dude!

October 16, 2010, 11:40 AM
You're welcome Doc.

mike in nc
October 22, 2010, 12:27 PM
Just bought the antiqued 1860 from Traditions, it is manufactured by Pietta.
Pistol looks great. Seems to be tuned just right(as far as I know,,,,,,,,,,). Just need to figure how to take it apart and clean all the grease out of it. I really like the looks of it and think it was a pretty good deal.


Doc Hoy
October 22, 2010, 01:14 PM
Disassembly is relatively straight forward. Three things to remember.

1. Have a good set of hollow ground screwdrivers and be careful with the screws so as not to slip out of the slot and hounce up the screw heads.

2. When you remove the cylinder, make sure the pistol is at half cock

3. Before loosening the three screws on the trigger guard, loosen the screw that is tensioning the main spring. at the bottom of the grip end.