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Having watched "The Magnificent Seven" again last night, I got to thinking about single action revolvers, lever action rifles, and what have you. Out of curiosity (because I'd like to own one someday), I looked up the current Internet price on the genuine article, the Colt Model P SAA revolver. The site had the Model O (1991A1) for about what I paid, so I guess it's not an overpriced company. But I was stunned by the price of a new Peacemaker: $1569!!!

Why is it so much? Is there something special about it compared to Colt's economy "Cowboy Single Action?"

Is there a reason to wait until I can afford the Single Action Army, rather than going with the cheaper Colt or a Ruger?

I don't know much about revolvers, so I appreciate any enlightenment y'all can offer.
 

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The SAA has to be assembled by skilled (that is, expensive) workers. There are quality knock-offs that can be had for $500-$1000 - one is made right in the old Colt factory. I have seen new Colts at gun shows and in Shotgun News for less than $1000. They are fun guns to own and shoot, but like so many "natural pointers" I've tried, they don't point for me.
 

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I have'nt shot any of the Colt SAAs. I have fired a Ruger Vaquero and, it is a real joy to hold and shoot. The action on the Cowboy is all SAA without the high price. Until you become familiar with the breed, why not try the Cowboy they are very good looking and Colt too?
 

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being a cowboy action shooter, i have a little bit of direct knowlege on this subject but please remember this is all oppinion (oppinion based on experiece and observation but still). ok first off unless you HAVE to have a colt and nothing else will do. Skip em!! Colt is NOT worth what they want you to pay for it.

if you want a single action that will last untill your grandchildren wear it out, buy a Ruger Vaquero. they are built like tanks, more reliable, and less exspensive than any reputable clone to boot

If you want a gun based on the original 1873 colt design well there are several companies to look at.
best i have seen are made by United States Firearms. USFA actually occupies the old Colt "dome armory" factory in hartford CT. and are as far as i know the only remaining american "manufacturer" other than colt of SAA pistols all others are itallian clones of varying degrees of finnish ect. they have a website http://www.usfirearms.com/ . USFA's quality puts colt to utter shame, i've heard some say that colt hasn't produced a SAA of like quality since the end of 1st gen production. the prices for USFA are very close to what colt charges but as i said they are much better quality than current colts. USFA also makes a competitor to the colt cowboy called the "Rodeo" which lists on their website for $675, is satin blued with a bone case hardened hammer, hard rubber grips, and is essentially their "entry level" gun

Next step down in price but of VERY close quality that i have direct experience with are the guns sold by Cimmaron arms. if i were to buy a clone this would be what i would buy. Cimmaron buys the individual parts from Uberti then does futher QC, finnishing and assembly work. and produces a very fine gun at a reasonable price. i have the added option of going directly to the source if need be the "factory" is in Fredricksburg TX. http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/

most clones i've seen in stores have been either EMF or Navy Arms. but anything lower priced (new) than a cimmaron i wouldn't trust as the quality seems to become a crap shoot. that said both of the more prevalent companies make comparable quality/finnish models for a comparable price.

You'll have folks tell you a colt is worth every penny and you should save up. teh one undercurrent i have found even amoung colt "purists" is that the Colt Cowboy is a total POS! the production numbers have been moderate and subsequent runs have been better but there are still so many unsold first run runs out there that you don't know if you're getting a shooter or a decoy weight. also if i want a transfer bar i'll buy a ruger

that's my Buck and a quarter lol


hope it helps

Detritus
 

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Check out the Uberti Single Action Armies, the old Colt 1873 parts will even swap out between them, so I've been told. I own one in .44 mag with a brass back strap and it's as pretty a single action, as you could wish for.

7th
 

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get he vaquero... far better gun than the POS colt or the uberti...with the money / agro you save you can buy all the extras you want...THE COLT IS CRAP ! uberti's range from ok to worse than colt..i've had them all ,and will only buy /use the vaquero...
 

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McNamara it seems a lot of people who start useing large revolvers really get to like them so there's no telling where this could lead. If you go with the Colt or most of the clones you are restricted to low pressure loads and the price you mention would get you a Freedom Arms which is probably one of the finest revolvers made anywhere, by anybody. If you start with a Ruger Blackhawk, Super Blackhawk or Bisley you can shoot heavy hunting loads. There are a lot of variations on the Rugers, the blued Blackhawks have aluminum grip frames, the stainless Blackhawks have a steel grip frame, the Super Blackhawks have a steel gripframe and most of Super Blackhawks have the square back trigger guard ( many people find the square back trigger guard very annoying when shooting heavy hunting loads). You may wish to check the Ruger web site to see which combinations you prefer as to barrel lenths, fluted or non fluted cylinders and such. I wanted a steel gripframe, standard trigger guard, unfluted cylinder I was able to get this in a model they call the Heavy Bisley( I think) you would have to ask about this one as it is not shown on their web site. If you think you may wish to hunt or use this gun as woods protection I would get adj sights because the diff in point of impact between a 260 grain bullet at 800 f.p.s and a 300 grain bullet at 1300 f.p.s is quite surprising.
The 44 Rem Mag and the 45 Colt will both Hit 1300 f.p.s with a 300 grain cast bullet in the Rugers with in pressure limits, and if you want more you can get it but thats a whole new story.
Have a nice evening, Rabon...:D
 

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I might want a SAA someday, but like many others I don't care to spend the $$$ on a Colt. Besides, I prefer the older blackpowder frame, beveled cylinder, and bulls-eye rod of the old ones. Colt doesn't even make them like that anymore, not even as a Custom Shop item!
 

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I got a colt mod P at a gun show, new in the box for under $900.00. It was manufactured in the middle 80's from what I can find from the serial number.
The revolver shoots well, but is limited to strictly low pressure loadings.
The finish, new, was good, but after about only ten hours of holster wear it began to rub through on the barrel sides and cylinder where it rode in the holster. Didn't last particularly long. This was ok for me as I use it as a shooter. If you wanted a more durable finish, you probably would be pissed at this gun.
The real colts are a lot overpriced for what you get I think. The cimarron is probably a better deal all the way around.
Yours in shooting,
DVC
Kelly
 

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Detritus, I need more info on why the Cowboy is a total POS. Does it not fire the rounds, is it inaccurate, does the finish come off, does the cylinder jam? Whats the deal? I've been wanting one so please tell me more.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Much thanks, everybody. My range has a Vaquero in .45 Colt, but when I was there last night to practice with my 1991, the price of a 25-round box of .45 Colt was $9.95! I had never fired a "real" revolver, just a .22 Ruger (Single Six, I believe) so I decided to try out a .38 Sp S&W Model 60. It was fun, and had a nice SA trigger, but I couldn't hit $#!+ at seven yards. Well, I kept them in a five-inch circle, but I'm spoiled by the 1911's accuracy. But I was surprised at the lack of recoil, even in a lightweight revolver. I had been told to expect worse. Next time I'll suck it up on the ammo price and try the Ruger. I imagine it'll kick a bit more, despite weighing twice as much.

I had heard that the Vaquero's grip differs slightly from the original Colt SAA, and that the hammer only makes two clicks versus four when cocked. Well, I guess we can't have our cake and eat it, too. Cimarron's pistols look very nice, but I believe Rugers will be more easily accessible for me. My store has both the Cowboy and several Rugers. I'm tempted to try the Vaquero in .44 Mag, so I could use cheaper and lighter Specials for practice and plinking. Then when I feel adventurous I could load some Magnums. I'd rather not get into reloading, but I'd have to in order to afford shooting .45 Colt. I can't imagine ever wanting to load a 300 grain bullet at 1300 fps. I like my arm, and if I ever hunt it will most likely be with a rifle. It's still nice to know the Ruger can handle it, though! I also prefer the simplicity of fixed sights, even though that S&W badly needed adjustable ones (the entire group was about 4-5 inches high and left).

Anyway, thanks again. I'll give the Vaquero a try within the next few days. BTW, just completed my CHL class and range qualification! Took ALL day, but it will be worth it when that license arrives.
 

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Colt Model Ps (SAAs)

Yep Colt's ain't what they used to be - but they're gettin' better. They shore ain't gettin' any cheaper, pard! There were some wild swings in quality control, but most of the 3rd-generation SAAs I've seen have been extremely good. If you want the real deal, spend another $300-$500 and get a Second Gen. SAA.

If money is a problem, get one of the American Western Firearms clones. They are beautifully made, and half the price of a Colt (today). The Colt will be worth four times as much after you shoot the gun.

That being said, the Ruger is cheaper and stronger, but it's bigger. Buy the .45 Colt (Bisley) Vaquero with a spare .45acp cylinder. It will be even cheaper to shoot than a .44mag.
 

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Richie, RE colt cowboy

most reports i have seen of the first run cowboys and ALL of them i have handled had some if not all of the following problems.

Abysmal fit and finnish, grip panel to gripframe too big on one side, opposite panel too small ect. ( i wouldn't buy one that badly done if it was just $100!)

the bluing and color case hardening being poorly done and in some cases down right UGLY, have also seen and heard report of the finnish being overly sensitive to wear.

internals being rough, gritty, ect. only single action i've ever picked up and cocked that i SWORE i could feel the burs on teh mating surfaces. I don't know how else to explain "cocks rougher than a gravel road"

improper indexing, sometime under-rotation, more common over rotation (saw a guy at a match with a CB that tended to go 4-booms, "click" checked the round had a rather distict firingpin strike on the rim) slow methodical cocking almost eliminates this but in a cowboy match this is a hard thing to do.

It almost seems as if colt rushed production a bit when bringing out the Cowboy and too a few too many shotcuts in final fit and QC

they are less than a SAA but are proportionally less well done/produced/finnished

now as i said in my original post some are fairly good guns, but there are still enough "junkers" on the shelves that buying one is a crapshoot. and reports on colt's customer services seem to indicate that they wouldn't be of much help should you get a turd.

so my oppinion would remain, if you want a SAA style gun over a ruger, get a USFA or Cimmaron. you'll be most likely to get a gun that is good "out of the box" and will in most cases pay less. And if you don't then either of these companies will treat you better than Colt seems to.
 

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Colt SAA

Two years ago I bought a third generation SAA in 45 colt with a 7 1/2 barrel blue and case hardened. The front sight was leaning to the left, that I could fix. I went to the range, loaded five rounds and began to shoot. Two of the rounds felt different and when I went to eject them I found that two cases were split.

Turns out two chambers were over large and out of spec. Sent back to Colt and 6 months later it was returned. Traded it for a Ruger Blackhawk and never looked back. You would think that a company that has been building a gun since 1873 would have gotten it right by now. The Ruger is more accurate and will handle hotter loads.
 

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Check out the American Western Arms SAA. Priced at about $650 (the last time I saw one). The fit and finish is every bit as good as the Colt SAA at half the price. Never shot one, however if they shoot as nicely as they are finished they may be a deal. As for me, I'll stick with a Ruger Blackhawk.
Regards,
Sam
 

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Very good info from all you guys. Thanks a bunch for the insite and help in my future SAA purchase. Its got to be a 1st or 2nd gen Colt. Or a Cimmeron or American Western Arms I guess. Now over to GA to check out prices on these.
 

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Just did my first Cowboy Action event with a Ruger Vaquero (SS). Now I'm getting a second Vaquero. I borrowed a SAA repro as my second handgun at the event and couldn't hit anything with it. It handled nicely but routinely shot off target at 7 o'clock of POA and the owner told me his doing some sight work on it. I also like the transfer bar safety feature of the Ruger New Model which was dead on target. But then I'm more interested in safety than being a "purist" which is why I have a Winchester Model 94 with cross bolt safety, too. You just can't beat Ruger, IMHO, unless you are striving to be historically accurate.
 

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I have had Rugers, still own Ubertis, but my Colt SAA is tops. Worth the current price? I don't know. It is very high. But as far as fit and that hard to describe "feel," forget the Ruger with that awful safety system and go with the Colt pattern.
 

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I agree with SaxonPig- the Rugers are fine, strong, reliable, affordable, etc., etc. BUT, they ain't a Colt's thumbuster as far as balance, bulk, eye appeal (and remember boys, that's a LARGE part of why we buy certain toys, and not others), pride of ownership, and a couple of other intangibles that just make the SAA "right". Mine is a 1977-vintage 4 3/4" blued .357. Yup, a stinkin' 3rd generation. Still, I can't imagine picking a Ruger over it.
Is the 1873-design "worth" todays price (read Elmer Kieth's "Sixguns" and you'll see he thought the SAA was way overpriced @$125!!)? I guess only an individual can decide what something is "worth" to him. I am far from a rich man, but was never able to really enjoy "copies". A character flaw I guess!
 

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I've had both Ruger's and Colts, but the genuine SAA gets my vote.

I traded a brand new Springfield S.S. Loaded for an early 2nd Generation ('62) SAA a few weeks ago. It is a 7.5", blue/case hardened, .357 mag with 90+% blue and about 80% case colors. It is in time and tight, shoots P.O.A. And as a bonus, it came neatly tucked into a Bianch leather rig.

I kind of felt sorry for the guy that traded it to me, but he was hell-bent on getting a stainless 1911. Hey, who am I to stand in this guy's way?

I have to say that the Ruger Vaquero I had previously owned did not give me the same pride of ownership. while I enjoyed the Ruger for its ruggedness and overal six-gun appeal, inside I yearned for the real thing. The Vaquero was an excellent gun and the bang-for-buck factor that Ruger offers in its line of SAA copies is second to none. But even as an SAA "clone", the Vaquero left much to be desired with its transfer bar safety, faux case colors and lack of pedigree.

There just is no comparrison; when you look at a genuine Colt SAA, you think of the old west and the characters on both sides of the law who employed this most revered of all six-guns.

When you look at the Rugers and other assorted clones, you think of such things as investment casting or guns being assembled in some foreign country....but mostly, you're thinking "it just aint a Colt".
 
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