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  1. #1
    Junior Member Wolfman is on a distinguished road

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    The quality of Colt SAA and 2nd Gen Blackpowder guns

    Hello all!

    Iím a Swedish Reenactor, CAS enthusiast and black powder shooter (with the MLAIC) and Iím going to by me a cap and ball revolver and a SAA revolver. In my dreams they both will be Colts, but I have some questions that I hope you can help me with.

    1. The quality of Colt SAA 2nd and 3rd generations
    I have heard the quality of Colts 3rd generation isnít that you could hope for and that they had some problems during the 1980s. I have read in a Swedish gun magazine that the well known gunsmith Hamilton Bowden refuses to work on a 3rd gen and that he prefers the 2nd gen or an USFA revolver.

    - What do you say about this?
    - Can I use a 3rd gen straight out of the box or does it need some serious gunsmithing?
    - What is the quality of the 2nd gen in comparison to the 3rd?

    2. How about those Commemorative revolvers?
    I have found a couple of Commemorative revolvers in Sweden with a serial numbers within the 8xxPC range.

    - Are they of the 2nd or 3rd generation?
    - What is the quality of the Commemorative guns in comparison of the regular Colts?

    3. The quality of Colt 2nd generation cap and ball revolvers
    I have found a couple of Colt cap and ball revolvers (a Colt Dragoon 3rd model and a Colt 1851 Navy) in Sweden both made in the early 1970s. I know that they where made in the US but from Italian parts (I think it was from Uberti), but that they still are considered Colt revolvers.

    - What is the quality of the Colt 2nd generation cap and ball revolvers if you compare them with new revolvers from say, Uberti?

    I hope that you can answer my questions

    Best regards

    Ulf

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kid Sopris will become famous soon enough

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    This question comes up all the time regarding Third Gen. Colt SAA's. With the exception of the occasional "Slip" through QC revolver, the New Colt SAA's are as good if not better than many ever built. Even First and Second Gen's had Lemons.

    I do not put much value to Mr. Bowden statements or remarks as I feel there is an undisclosed underlying issue hidden there as well and not the direct quality of the Colts.

    I believe if you use the "Search Function" on this web site, many of your questions have been previously addressed to others curiosities.

  3. #3
    Senior Member durco is on a distinguished road

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    The second gen SA's were good quality. However, each year after about the mid 60's - say 1964 - the quality tended to be in a state of decline. Not a steep decline, but very gradual.
    Third generation SA's were a crap-shoot from about 1980 until about 1995. Fit and finish for the most part were poor - almost comical in some cases - except it was tragic. One would wonder by the quality of the product if everyone came to work high as a kite. Ironically, "Quality makes it a Colt" took on a whole different meaning....
    Of late the quality has been much better. My philosophy on 3rd gen Colts is to look one over carefully before you buy. It may be a great specimen; it may not.
    Mike
    "You boys gonna' pull them pistols - or whistle Dixie?"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Buckspen is on a distinguished road

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    Colt 2nd Gen. Black Powder Revolvers

    I recently became interested in the second generation Colt black powder revolvers and have bought a few.
    I have two Colt 1851 Navy revolvers, one made about 1973 and one about 1976. They are finished in Royal Blue and color case hardening and are really excellent revolvers. I will have to say that I not fired these guns, not being a big fan of black powder and all that it entails. But the quality of the guns is quite high.
    I also have two 1860 Army revolvers, one in stainless steel and one in blue with color case hardening. The stainless steel Army is very nice. The blue/cc revolver is not as well finished as the 1851 Navys built in the 1970's but it is still nice.
    I plan to shoot the stainless steel Army using an five shot conversion cylinder made by Howell/R&D. The cylinder is chambered for the .45 Schofield cartridge and it dropped right into the revolver and functions just fine.
    I am currently looking for another stainless steel 1860 so I can have a pair!

    - - Buckspen
    Last edited by Buckspen; 05-06-2009 at 11:31 AM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Wolfman is on a distinguished road

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    Thanks for your answers! They confirm my own thoughts about the guns.

    Durco – Do you know anything about the Commemorative Colts? Are they of the 2nd or 3rd Generation? Do you know anything about their quality?

    Buckspen – Can you compare your Colt black powder gun to a replica gun from Uberti or Pietta?

    Best regards

    /Ulf

  6. #6
    Senior Member Buckspen is on a distinguished road

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    Comparison of Colt and Uberti

    Ulf - I have never been a black powder fan, just an admirer and collector of Colt pistols. From reading books and browsing on-line internet sites my impression is that the Colt second generation black powder revolvers were some of the best ever made, particularly the ones made in the 1970's.
    However, I have never owned any Uberti, Pietta or other so-called "replica" revolvers so I don't have any personal hands-on experience with them. Uberti does have a good reputation among cowboy action shooters who compete in the black powder classes.
    Sorry I couldn't help more with your question.

    - - Buckspen

  7. #7
    Supporting Member weagle99 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by durco View Post
    My philosophy on 3rd gen Colts is to look one over carefully before you buy. It may be a great specimen; it may not.
    This is a great way to sum up the 3rd Gen Colt SAA in my opinion. I recommend that even new production guns be examined in person before purchase. I have seen enough splotchy bluing and rattling cylinders to make we wary of purchsing 3rd Gen guns over the net.

    My personal favorite SAAs are early production 2nd Gen guns. They are more expensive but to my mind are a much better gun.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Wolfman is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckspen View Post
    Sorry I couldn't help more with your question.

    - - Buckspen
    No Worries!

    /Ulf

  9. #9
    Junior Member Wolfman is on a distinguished road

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    Quote Originally Posted by weagle99 View Post
    My personal favorite SAAs are early production 2nd Gen guns. They are more expensive but to my mind are a much better gun.
    The Colt SAA Iíve found is from 1960 (sn 23xxxSA) and its a 7, 5íí .44 Special in very good condition. But Iīve also got the chance to by two Commemorative Colts (mentioned above) in .45. Do you think I should go for the 2nd gen?

    Best regards

    /Ulf

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Colt75 is on a distinguished road
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    Yes!!!!!!!!!!! If it is original that is a hard gun to find.


 

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