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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am curious why so many people bash the 3rd generation SAA's? I have one (S18,XXXA), and it is darn near perfect. It also happens to be one of, if not the most accurate handguns I've ever fired. Fit and finish on this gun is also perfect, it is very beautiful. Most people can't wait for their 21st birthday so they can drink, I coudn't wait so I could buy a single action army. It was the 1st handgun I ever purchased. Thoughts and comments welcome.

Jared
 

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I rarely hear anyone on this forum bash anything.

Mostly its a thing of how old, how scarce, and how rare.

3rd. generation SAA's are the latest version, and I guess SAA purists may look at them as the new kid on the block. They are obviously found in the best condition because they are young in years.

Most early SAA's I see are rough as a cobb because of corrosive primers. Don't take it personally as there are as many opinions on revolvers on this forum, as there were Colt models made in over 100 years of production.
 

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They weren't made as well as the 1st and 2nd generation. I have third and second gens and the 2nd is better although if you got a good third as I have, be happy as I am.
 

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I don't think that most SAA shooters bash the 3rd gen SAA. There were changes made to them to make production easier including the lack of a cylinder bushing. I believe that they have reintroduced the bushing but some purist prefer the 1st and 2nd gen SAA. I was told that the late 2nd and all 3rd generation SAA had a cast frame, but I am not sure of this. I have a SAA from 1905 and couldn't be happier with it. This being said, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 3rd gen if it had the cylinder bushing.
 

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The 3rd gen SAA's that I have seen in recent years have been nicely fitted and finished and like all SAA's are fun to shoot. Like M2HB, I would like to see the return of the removable cylinder bushing as it would bring it more in line with the originals. I never knew why they changed the barrel thread size on 3rd gen's, must be one of those Colt things like oddball pins in Colt's AR-15's. Enjoy your Colt.
 

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My 3rd Generation .45 4 3/4" SAA (Serial Number S346XXA) does indeed have the removable cylinder bushing, just like the 2nd Generation ones. I was told that in the fall of 2002 Colt went back to that to bring the SAA more into line with the features offered by the clones. I shoot mine when I can. Barnacle Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think mine has a removable cylinder bushing; I bought it new in 1997 or so. Does having a removable cylinder bushing improve the function of the revolver?

Jared
 

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The removable barrel bushing more than doubled the surface area the cylinder rotates on which may have aided the early SAA's in working longer in the days of black powder gunking things up. If your SAA developes endshake, it is easier to replace a removable bushing or silver solder a shim to it, than to deal with a fixed bushing. I don't believe there is any functional difference between the two, but the removable one is faithful to the original design which is why I always liked it better.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
I don't think that most SAA shooters bash the 3rd gen SAA. There were changes made to them to make production easier including the lack of a cylinder bushing. I believe that they have reintroduced the bushing but some purist prefer the 1st and 2nd gen SAA. I was told that the late 2nd and all 3rd generation SAA had a cast frame, but I am not sure of this. I have a SAA from 1905 and couldn't be happier with it. This being said, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a 3rd gen if it had the cylinder bushing.

[/ QUOTE ]
I believe that the first of the 2nd Generation cast frames started with the NRA Commemorative circa 1972.
 

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I don't think of myself as a snob, but I will probably sound like one when it comes to this topic. I did a bunch of research before plunking down a large sum of money on a Single Action Army.

First, according to Venturino in his book "Shooting Colt Single Actions", the 3rd generation guns do not equal the external fit (mating surfaces), internal finish (gritty triggers), nor inherent accuracy (excessive chamber mouth diameters) of the 2nd generation guns. He's owned and shot a lot of them, so he's probably in a good position to make that statement, which dates from the mid-1990's.

Second, according to almost any source, the 1st and 2nd generation guns you buy today will never cost less in the future, simply because they're not making them anymore and collectors go nuts over that fact. I don't think that's true of 3rd generation guns, especially after they've been fired, or even turned. Maybe when Colt halts production once and for all it will be the case, but not yet, when all you have to do is order one.

Finally, first generation guns in other than doorstop condition (and even then) are a LOT of money. As much as I'd like to have a genuine "wild west" gun, it just seems to me like too much to pay for a shooter. Early 2nd generation guns, often containing 1st generation parts such as the frame and hammer are considerably less expensive in shooting condition and are virtually indistinguishable from 1st generation guns other than the markings.

I concluded that finding a shootable early 2nd generation was the way to go, and that's what I did, being fortunate enough to find an early 1956 vintage .45 x 5 1/2. This is not the right answer for everyone; I'm just explaining my decision making process because we all love talking about these things.
 

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Good post,Dorsey,and it about sums up my feelings on the "Generations" of SAAs.

I have a VERY early 2nd Gen, 5.5" .38 Spec.(#19xxSA),98%(but no box etc.) which is the way I bought it about 15 years ago. Had been shot a little before I got it,and more so since! But it is in "limited use"(a nice Great Western .38 Special handles my SAA shooting in that caliber).I also have a nice 2nd Gen. SAA from the 40,000SA range,that is a regular shooter,5.5" .45 Colt.

Have owned 2 3rd Generations,traded 1, a .44 Special,but have kept(and "gunsmithed") a dual cylinder New Frontier .44,4.75"bbl. It is NOW a nice shooter.

Until you have handled,and shot some of the early 2nd gens.,you will be happy with your 3rd gens!! Many,in the rushed 1980-82 era,were NOT "assembled"(NOT fitted) with shooting in mind. "Speculators" were buying them up,with Colt's edict,that these would be the LAST Colt SAAs! While sales might have improved Colt's red ink situation,they harmed its reputation with experienced shooters like Venturino,Taffin and others.

Bud
 

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My recent manufacture colt saa 4 5/8 barrel 45 long colts are excellent. removeable cylinder bushing ect. Good fit, finish. cylinder throats measure .455 which is big but the same as the 2nd gen guns and at least one annaconda I measures(.456 actually).Get Dave Scovills book on loading the Peacemaker from Wolf publishing and you will be able to get them to shoot well. I did. I size my bullets .454 and use an allot that will obturate. I have had some one inch 25 yard groups. Many around 2 inches. I like to shoot my guns not fantasize about about how they might shoot. We only live once, afterall. I think they are better now than they have beenn at any time since the 2nd gen guns.

Sonny
 

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hey barnackle bill, you aint bill werch from vancouver wash. are you? If not I got a cousin up their that I hear goes by that! Merril Werch
 

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3rds are great. not, as stated in the collector realm as yet for the model is still in mfg. my own opinion is its much better fit and finish again. colt custom shop is to thank.
one more item i dont think has been addressed here is the grip frame on the 3rd gen is larger than 1st or 2nd. its deeper front to back in length. the butt across the bottom is almost 3/16 longer. if you pick one of each up with a simular grip profile you can easy tell. that brings me to the only bugg a boo i have with the 3rd gen as thay come from the factory. i wish thay would change or at least make available the HR grips without the eagle. rampant colt only as 2nd gen and most of 1st. to me its just personal taste but those eagles make the grip look to big and most of all thay feel fat to me down in the hand. this, plus the deeper grip frame makes me more of a fan of the earlyer mfg. SAA`s. other than the grip frame and grips i think the 3rds are fine. thay are still the genuine article. the clones and i think this is all of them, are larger in the frame window and cylinder dia. if you mess with them enough you can see it. Ruger down sized the New vaquaro , but not enough to match colt. thay are larger but thats probibly good for someone wanting to shoot warmer loads most of the time. Phil
 

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I like Colts and mostly own DAs. I have given my local dealer a down payment on a new SAA .45LC with a 7.5 inch barrel. I am buying it to shoot since I have heard they are a lot of fun to shoot /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

John
 
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