This is why most 1st gen SAAs are Bubba'd
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Thread: This is why most 1st gen SAAs are Bubba'd

  1. #31
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    “You guys are going off the rails.”
    We’re engaged in a heated debate over the historical significance and practical utility of modifications made to a 150 year old firearm design as outlined in a 90 year old article by a fella who’s been dead for over 35 years...I’d say we’re ALL a little “off the rails!” Good discussion fellas, happy Friday!
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  2. #32
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    Old timers and their guns and the collectors who followed them will always be a hot debate. It's a User vs Collector argument that's gone on for decades. It seems few collectors ever truly understand the 'a gun is a tool' concept until they either become an outlaw, a cop, or serve in the military. Yes you HEAR it when you're told and you act like you're no fool and know full well that guns are tools, but you don't LISTEN. I wonder if there's a forum out there about woodworking tools with collectors complaining that their 2019 "Colt" tools are not pristine condition from the factory and that one scratch hurts the resell value, or a japanese sword forum where collectors bitch that their ancient japanese sword worth thousands of dollars was used by owners over the centuries. I know there are knife and sword forums out there with collectors of modern day smiths who pay $500 for a shiny new "colt" knife that they wait a year for then put it on display or in the safe LOL. These jokers buy 10, 15, 30, 100 knives of modern day crafters. They must spend 10 years or more overall of waiting for these knives to be made and sent to them. They treat them like Colts.

    Seriously, some collector hobbies go way overboard. I thought sports cards, comics, and action figures were ridiculous, but several years into other areas makes me appreciate when people were just happy to get their hands on somebody's rare rookie card, or find an action figure at retail. Here it's all 'well by golly look at what this fool did 100 years ago, he done rurnt this colt SAA didn't he know it'd be hugely collectable 100 years later????' We take for granted this day and age our law enforcement capabilities. The need for guns were real back in the day, and people did just about everything to and with them to gain an advantage or make a fortune. That's not to say there wasn't the occasional individual who was in love with his guns and treated them like they were made of gold. If it wasn't for the Bubba, we'd still be using stones and sticks. Hell, if it wasn't for the Bubba, there wouldn't be a 1st gen Colt SAA collector's hobby, I'd wager. You'd still be buying 'worthless' 1st gen SAAs in pawn stores for a hundred bucks for old west reenactments or movies. No average joe would care to own one outside of the occasional outlaw or sheriff gun with real history.

    The 1st gen SAA is a testament to the need of life saving equipment, to even the playing field in a time when you couldn't just grab your phone from your pocket and dial 911 and the cops were there in under 5 minutes. It's why there is a market at all for those guns, otherwise all of them would be around today as old pieces of crap nobody wants. If not for Bubba you'd still be looking for the 52 mantle for your baseball card collection. You'd be some geezer on a old baseball card forum somewhere fussing at other geezers about how hard it is to find a decent condition Babe Ruth card and how you couldn't afford it if you ever found it. Some thanks is owed to Bubba, and I suggest we give it.
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  3. #33
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    I think Botie makes a few good points.. and I'd like to add this yet, in a bode to bubba ... if it wasn't for the mods, customizations and "bubbafying" of these old Colts by guys just like Elmer & Croft, the late Dick Casull, or John Lachuk's, there also VERY likely wouldn't be today's Blackhawks in existence by their experimenting, no Freedom arms, or ANY other improved sixguns that are capable of what they-are the way we presently know them.

    Those old boys may have inflicted the harshest bubba-crafts of all to (namely) Colts, but they too paved the way for incredible advancements in handguns as well. So sure, a few guns were lost in the process but look what's been gained by it too. Those guys yesterday and the ones today still doing it just the same, they're the guys pushing boundaries & opening doors for tomorrow by their work... bubba craft or not. They're the ones utilizing what there is and lying outlines for tomorrow paving the way forward.

    I'll go on a limb personally to say more is owed to bubba than he should really be knocked, especially in the bubba form of what the Elmers & other above-mentioned oldtimers ever were.. collector or not, it's hard to argue with what those original bubba-jobs have evolved into since! They were the blueprint test guns to damn near each and every one of todays sixgun advancements! My own hat is off to-them, those guys were innovators.
    CraigC likes this.

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  5. #34
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    Exactly! Not all R&D comes from major manufacturers. Much of it comes from individuals. Be they gunsmiths, wildcatters, experimenters, hunters, shooters, competitors or any combination of those. Much of what would be considered development by those individuals would be considered butchery by purist collectors. Two different groups with two very different views of the same thing. With some of us enjoying the vast gray area somewhere in the middle.

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  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
    ........ The point is that they are ALL rather obvious modifications done for a specific purpose. The OP did not call out slip guns specifically but pretty much any modification as "Bubba-ed".
    As the OP I can tell you that was not said by me as I understand not all modifications are bubba-ed ( but that example I posted certainly qualifies in my book).
    I am a fan of many guns, but mostly the SAA, the 51 Navy, the 49 Pocket, the 1877 Colt, the 1873 Winchester (owned 10, now down to 1) the 1890 Winchester (owned 8 now down to 2), trapdoor Springfields, and the 23 Savage, and recently got into the older Colt DA's like the Police Positive and the Pocket Positive. I can tell you I pretty much pick up every one of these models I see at gunshows, and I sometimes hit 3 or 4 gunshows a weekend. Take out the SAAs and the Trapdoors, and 95% of what I see is as it left the factory except for condition. Certainly missing/replaced small parts like screws pins, springs, but other than wear and neglect, the gun is still 'there'. As I consider a purchase on these guns my radar is mostly going off on condition factors. Now look at the SAAs. Its the exact opposite. 95% of what I see is has my radar pinging on originality of major parts and often ungainly modifications to them!! On the SAA only!!! Why? Look at the DA thread here, when people post photos of their guns for comment. Its almost always wear issues, very little else. Now look back on photos posted here on the SAA threads....look at the comments...hammers replaced, barrels and cylinders changed out, filed sight grooves, goofy front sights, wrong era replacement parts, etc. Why? Why not on the 51 Navy? Why not on the 73 Winchesters? All from the same era too. Pick any gun up and I say to myself "how is the wear", pick up an SAA and I say to myself "what has someone done to this"? Why is it like this with the SAA only? Victorio alluded to it above and says the 1911 has the same issues.
    Then I read this article from 1930 and it shed some light. So I posted it here. Its that simple.
    And call it modified if you want, but I call that SAA pictured as bubbad. I dont care if it left the Colt factory that way...thats a bubbad gun in my book. If I owned it, and it wasnt from a historical figure, I would disassemble it, hide it way back in my safe and scour ebay for original parts to put it back to how it should be. If I wrote a dictionary and had to define a bubba'd gun that SAA would be a contender for a picture in it (altho I have seen worse). If it was from a historical figure I would sell it as is so I wouldn't have to look at it. Just my opinion I guess. (Side note:By the time this 1930 article was written wasnt the SAA on the way out as a defensive handgun? Didnt the DA revolver and the 1911 take over by then like the bolt action took over from the lever?)
    Also, NOWHERE have I mentioned them not thinking of future collectors value...how anyone read that into my post I have ZERO idea. While I have safe queens, I realize the ultimate use for a guns existence. I gave up looking for a somewhat used Python and broke down and bought fairly pristine one recently...then proceeded to take it out to Wyoming on a 3 week camping/backpacking trip where it was worn on my side constantly. I understand the use of guns and in no way implied that aspect of the bubbaing of guns.
    Last edited by dandak; 04-14-2019 at 06:23 AM.

  7. #36
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    That gun is interesting because it was altered because someone had a use for it. Ok, the work might not be factory quality but it doesn't look like crap either. Easy to swap out the hammer and trigger. But that would be messing with the history of the piece.
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  8. #37
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    Same reason kids put Babe Ruth cards on their bike spokes.

  9. #38
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    No one, including the OP, is arguing against the incredibly obvious assertion that modification begets innovation in the world of weaponry. The discussion at hand centers around a very specific style of modification made to a very specific style of firearm. Namely, the transformation of a, presumably, properly functioning SAA into a “slip gun”. No one here, thus far, has clearly dilineated a path between modifying this platform to negate the use of the trigger thereby allowing for rapid firing capabilities via hammer fanning or thumb “slipping” , and any significant advancement in the arena of single or double action revolvers in the last 90 years. Arguing the efecacy of this method of shooting on the basis that it is a widely practiced technique in the world of CAS, fails to address the historicity and real-world application of the subject at hand. Inarguably, during the era when these revolvers were regularly relied upon as “life saving devices” this practice was not at all common and understandably so. As to the assertion that folks who cherish these guns today as collectible icons fail to reckognize a historical context wherein they were viewed as nothing more than “tools” for survival, also BS. Since it’s public release, a new Colt SAA has set the buyer back the better portion of his or her monthly income. As a man who uses “tools” for a living, I can appreciate the sentiment here, but you’d be hard pressed to find me a ball peen hammer from 1890 that someone had bothered engraving and fitting with a set of MOP handle scabs. The reality is this, firearms, and the men who made a name for themselves using them, have been respected, revered, esteemed and idolized since America began her Westward expansion. Long before Hollywood took up the torch, the “gunman” of the “Wild West” were immortalized in literature the world over, many before their time was even up. Sure, hard men facing hard times did what they had to do to keep these old wheel guns up and running, and often this included some pretty shoddy sh$t as mandated by pure necessity, but this is certainly no indication that these guys didn’t value these guns as much as anything they owned. A couple of mismatched screws, buggered grips and a chopped barrel: character. A Colt SAA utterly deformed by Elmer Keith to better facilitate a style of shooting that is demonstrably inferior to the methods more commonly practiced and has little to no bearing in any sort of historical context...”BUBBA’D”
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  10. #39
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    We've heard all the same rhetoric with the Fitz guns. It was surely implied that 'any' modification would be considered "Bubba'ed". Because the gun in question was built by a gunsmith, not some moron with a hammer, screwdriver and files. And yes, it is my impression that 'some' have a lack of perspective and judge history by present circumstances. I notice my point about cheap surplus guns has been continually ignored. Why assume that everyone who owned an SAA bought it brand new? That there is absolutely a disconnect between shooters and collectors and it is evident here. Not to mention the references to Keith with disdain.

    The other thing we have to remember is that these were the first generation of serious revolver shooters. Sure, there were lots of killers in the late 1800's but how much did they really shoot?

    It was also touched on that DA's and 1911 's were displacing the SAA and that is absolutely true. Surplus Colt's were cheap and often modified to better fit an individual's needs. Same reason that surplus rifles were often modified or used as the basis of custom guns.

    Further, the idea that there are a lot of these guns out there is absurd. I've never even seen a slip gun. King and Christy guns sure but very few and never a slip gun. Whether it appeals to me or YOU or not is irrelevant.
    BigMuddy, Prowbar and BoSabbath like this.

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