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but what is the difference between an SAA, a Peacemaker, and and 1873?

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Nothing really. Those are just different names for the same Colt revolver.

Ther "Model 1873" is technically a US Government designation.

The "Peacemaker" name was a civilian designation.

The gun is also known to the factory as "The Model P".

So, you could easily call it "The Colt Model
P, Single Action Army, 1873 Peacemaker.
 

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Colt also made a .22 revolver that was 7/8 scale to the SAA with dual cylinders called the Peacemaker.22
 
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