Monday, February 10, 2014

Two months of cowboy movies. Should have seen this coming.

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.
It's an Uberti replica of Colt's 1873 Single Action Army in .45 Colt, the original cartridge that the first one of these made by Colt was chambered for.

These pistols were originally made by Colt from 1873 until 1941, and they came in three barrel lengths-- 4.5", 5.5" and 7.5".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.
This one has a few scuffs on the grips but is in otherwise excellent shape. It's a big gun, and a heavy one, but it really fits naturally into the hand like few more modern guns do. I even managed to find one box of .45 Colt at the local Wal-Mart and I've got some brass and lead bullets on order for it as I expect to reload for it from now on. I've found some good loads for both smokeless and black powder loads, and while I'l likely use the former primarily, the spirits of American western heroes past all require that I pay proper homage with some black powder loads that are true to the original--38 grains of FFFg powder beneath a 255gr. lead bullet, round-nose flat-point.

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.

17 comments:

  1. Heh, one more shoot off to have... :-)

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  2. Mighty nice hog's leg ya got there Murph!

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  3. I love single actions myself. My first handgun was a Ruger Blackhawk, I've had two Rugers since.

    Any plans on your part to get into Cowboy Action Shooting?

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    1. No plans yet, Bob...but who can tell what might happen down the road?

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  4. Nice, now you've got me interested in SAAs.....ruh, roh.

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    1. Wait until you shoot it. It's too cool for school.

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  5. “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.”

    Yep, it happens. After spending a weekend watching John Wayne movies I had to trade my brother out of a Vaquero that he owns.

    Good lookin' gun.

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    1. One day I'll add a Vaquero and/or Blackhawk to the armory. I'm especially taken with the .30 carbine Blackhawk.

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  6. That's really pretty, but man, I got to warn you: Never start surfing the experimental or vintage plane forums in the mornings!

    :-)

    Enjoy shooting it - looks like a handful of fun, there.

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  7. Scrambles around to find the three screw Ruger Super Blackhawk =). Nice! Dang it, now to find some more!

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  8. "One day I'll add a Vaquero and/or Blackhawk to the armory."

    Heresy! I mean, that such an esteemed collection should not already have a BH or its variant.

    My Dad gave me a 3-screw for my 17th birthday or Christmas (don't remember which - same month), and I've since acquired a stainless New Model 4-5/8", both in Keith/Sharpe/Wesson caliber. They're kept company by a Single-Six (Daughter is very proficient with this one) and a Super BH (round trigger guard - Daughter is not ready for this one).

    My Uberti, a mawiage of 1873 single action innards and 1878 grip frame - "the gun Sam Colt shoulda built", attended finishing school in Fredericksburg, TX, and is dubbed the Cimarron New Thunderer. I'm not tickled with its point of impact, but have determined to try some 200 gr RNFP loads before messing with the sights.

    If I were to add another SA revolver, it would likely be a Bisley.

    Say, I voted for that Deputy Marshal...twice. Wish there were another like him today.

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  9. Mine's a Ruger "Old Model" Blackhawk in the ubiquitous 45 Colt.

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  10. I hear you.

    Although I have a `90s Vaquero, I had the urge to buy a Colt SAA clone. I bought a Cimmeron/Uberti, like yours, except for having a steel backstrap & trigger guard.

    (Both in .45 Colt.)

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  11. Welcome to the club Brother :)

    I have a Blackhawk (45LC) and Lu has a Vaquero (44-40). I think you have to buy assless chaps now.

    At least that's what Lu told me. Swore to it in fact.

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    1. Thanks! But, uh, the way I heard it, the chaps thing is just a Utah state law...and maybe California too, or at least a San Francisco city ordnance. Heh.

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