And so, after spending two months on the couch watching old westerns more mornings than not, I couldn't resist the call any longer. I got one of these.
These pistols were originally made by Colt from 1873 until 1941, and they came in three barrel lengths-- 4.5", 5.5" and 7.5". The US Cavalry ordered theirs in 7.5" but subsequently had most of them cut back to 5.5, which was known as the "Artillery model" because the light artillery units were the first units to get these refurbished pistols. They were used across the west by private citizens and the military alike, and the US Army used them in the Spanish-American war. Some reportedly even saw rear-echelon use in World War One. The guns were popular and were produced over the years in countless calibers, but Colt finally stopped production in 1941 due to war needs and didn't plan on bringing it back post-war because the design was well past obsolete at that time.
However, a demand arose anew for the SAA pistols with the rise of Hollywood's westerns in the late 40's and early 50's, and shooters clamored for them so much that Colt started production again. (Yeah, I can see that.) They made them until 1974, stopped for a couple of years, then came back with some slight redesigns in 1976 and still produce them today, as do many other companies, notably Ruger and Italy's Uberti, maker of this one.
Yeah, mine's not a Colt, but it still feels right in my hand, and the brief test-firing that I did with it shows that it hits point-of-aim at 25 yards with Federal's 225 gr. Jacketed soft-point fodder.
And for comparison sake, from left to right, here's a .22lr round, a .38 Special, and a .45 Colt cartridge.
Yeah, I like it.