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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Occasionally or Gunbroker or elsewhere I see that someone has listed a newer Colt SAA (2nd or 3rd generation, I think) as having a "black powder frame"." Did Colt really make two different frame types -- for black powder and for smokeless powder -- for the newer SAA's? If so, can off the shelf smokeless ammo with jacketed bullets be safely used with these black powder frames?
 

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Yes, newer guns were made with both style frames. The difference between the 2 styles relates to the base pin retention method (screw = black powder, spring loaded push pin= smokeless).

And yes, they are both safe for smokeless in newer guns.
 

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The term "Black Powder Frame" has been confusing when applied to newer Colts and Colt copies. While it does infer for black powder use, it actually only refers to the frame style, not its strength. There is not difference, in modern guns, as to strength or structure.

Make sure you know what you have.

Bob Wright
 

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A different 'take' on the subject -- old US marked black powder frame, with 1950s Colt new cylinder & barrel, with 1920s grip & trigger guard, innards all modern, too.

 

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To the best of my knowledge the only 2nd Generation SAAs with the BP style frame were the 1975 Peacemaker Centennial .45 and .44/40 chambered commemoratives.
 

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This whole discussion basically proves that collecting these 'new' SAA's is a joke! What I am saying is that the black powder frame originally came out and it was improved so that one did not require a screwdriver to disassemble it. Likewise, in the early to mid-teens, Colt decided to use up old cylinders that were originally created to produce the Colt 1878, and these were in stock after the Colt 1878 had been discontinued in 1905. There was a reason for the original black powder frame, and there was a reason for its discontinuation; likewise, for the production and end of production of the long-fluted model. To produce today, and special order, a black powder frame and/or a long-fluted model is really ridiculous -- if you want one of those, purchase a first-generation Colt that was produced for the reasons stated above. Neither were a special order feature in their day -- one became obsolete due to improvements and the other, simply for economic reasons and to use up old parts. Just my 2 cents worth...

I am not knocking the quality of new single action army revolvers produced today...they are of good quality. It's just that special order features are things like nickel plating, wood grips, etc. in my opinion.

Having said that, Swamprat, you do own some really nice guns and I am envious!
 

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I acquired my Third Gen BP-framed Model P & had Eddie Janis return it to more of an 1880s look because....I wanted more of an 1880s look. Still has more modern sights I can see better, with fully modern metallurgy.
Didn't get it to "collect", got it because that was a configuration I simply wanted.

No joke.
Honest. :)
Denis
 

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I acquired my Third Gen BP-framed Model P & had Eddie Janis return it to more of an 1880s look because....I wanted more of an 1880s look. Still has more modern sights I can see better, with fully modern metallurgy.
Didn't get it to "collect", got it because that was a configuration I simply wanted.

No joke.
Honest. :)
Denis
Yes, I should have clarified -- I meant to collect. Collecting an original SAA (first generation) of which there are a finite number, with a finite number of special order features on this finite number of revolvers -- the thrill is in discovering what is out there and finding it! To have a new Colt to enjoy with features that are just that (engraving, special order grips, etc.), also makes sense. But to collect a feature which was never a feature in its day seems rather odd (like the long flutes, the black powder frame, the acid-etched panel). I guess that's why I really never liked anything that isn't what it is -- fake wood grain, or mass produced 'paneled' doors that aren't free-floating panels -- drives me insane.
 

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I like the black powder frame to be honest. Its not just the screw retention of the base pin, I like the ejector head as well, plus it is just such a smooth look. The thing that might make me shy away from it though is the idea that with enough shooting, that screw works its way loose. I do have a screw driver with me when I'm shooting most of the time anyway, as I use these guns on a range, and not for "work" so-to-speak. I will carry in the field when hunting, but again, you are talking a few shots if needed, not as busy as a range day. Anyway, that is why I tend to give pause when I think about purchasing bp frame.
 

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"Black powder frames" is just a collector generalization.

If it has the screw pin retainer which all of the true wrought iron frame black powder guns had, it's generally called a black powder frame. But steel frames began about 1884 c. #95-96000. But the screw wasn't replaced with the push button cross pin until c. 1896 on the SAAs, c. 150,000. The DAs began in 1877 and all had the cross pin retaining the cyl pin. So the term is not completely accurate.

The pre war 'BP' screw was a tapered 6x34 screw similar to a pipe thread, so the further in it was screwed the tighter it got. Loss of the screw or shooting it loose was not a big issue.

Unfortunately the 2nd gen Peacemaker Centennial "BP style" frame and all 3rd gen "BP style" frame guns have a 6x36 straight thread screw. So they might not be as secure. However I've never lost one or had it shoot loose.

The USFA SAAs have a true tapered thread screw.
 

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Colt Custom Shop SAA 45 4 3/4" bbl, Hard Chrome Finish, Factory Ivory, fire blue appointments, Black Powder Frame. 1st gen rollmarks, 45 colt only on left side of barrel, 2line barrel address, no rampant colt on left side of receiver, Beveled cylinder.As close to a 1st gen configuration as is possible today..less th ehard chrome finish of course, which is remarkable!
A Custom Shop Special Order.Superb craftsmanship and quality.







 
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