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I finally shot this 1982 .44 Special

514 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  inspcalahan
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I traded for this a couple years ago. After I got it I noticed the front sight looked too short for .44. I didn't fret over that just being glad to get my hands on another SAA. It is put together excellent though case colors are murky. It grouped good two hand shooting standing at 15 yards but as expected almost 4" high with 240 grain bullets. I bet my 215 grain bullets will work well. This is my only new looking 7 1/2" blue/case colored SAA so it won't ride in a holster like my old '58 .44 Special (and others) but will get shot a lot.



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That is interesting! Here's another example of the early 80s Colt offerings. I'm glad you noticed and posted this. I have two early 80's .44 specials, one being from 1982 like yours. When I compared them one day, I noticed they both had different height front sights. My 7 1/2 has a much taller front sight than yours and my 5 1/2 is lower profile, about the same as yours. This was honestly the first time I noticed, being I was early on in my SAA education. Heck, I still am and enjoy every day of it.

I'm guessing yours had a 5 1/2 sight put on when it was made. The profile looks more like it, or a 4 3/4 barrel sight even.
I've only shot the 7 1/2 so far, now also fitted with a .44-40 cylinder and it's pretty much dead on with both and various bullet weights, at least within 2" of dead center aim.

Here you can see the sight height differences.



the 5 1/2


the 7 1/2




and then I find this picture.....which also really highlights the outside diameter difference in barrel size, the 7 1/2 being on the right and showing the need for a taller front sight to take into account the adjustment needed when measuring from the center of the bore.




Also, thanks for posting about shooting your fine gun! You just answered my dilemma of which couple of guns I'll be taking to the cabin this weekend for a little plinking! Time to let the 5 1/2 get dirty for the first time.
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That is interesting! Here's another example of the early 80s Colt offerings. I'm glad you noticed and posted this. I have two early 80's .44 specials, one being from 1982 like yours. When I compared them one day, I noticed they both had different height front sights. My 7 1/2 has a much taller front sight than yours and my 5 1/2 is lower profile, about the same as yours. This was honestly the first time I noticed, being I was early on in my SAA education. Heck, I still am and enjoy every day of it.

I'm guessing yours had a 5 1/2 sight put on when it was made. The profile looks more like it, or a 4 3/4 barrel sight even.
I've only shot the 7 1/2 so far, now also fitted with a .44-40 cylinder and it's pretty much dead on with both and various bullet weights, at least within 2" of dead center aim.

Here you can see the sight height differences.
View attachment 847023
View attachment 847025

the 5 1/2
View attachment 847026

the 7 1/2
View attachment 847028



and then I find this picture.....which also really highlights the outside diameter difference in barrel size, the 7 1/2 being on the right and showing the need for a taller front sight to take into account the adjustment needed when measuring from the center of the bore.
View attachment 847029



Also, thanks for posting about shooting your fine gun! You just answered my dilemma of which couple of guns I'll be taking to the cabin this weekend for a little plinking! Time to let the 5 1/2 get dirty for the first time.
To me your sight height differences look more noticeable in the top picture than the closeups. Maybe you’re right and my sight came that way. The top of the sight felt slightly rough to the touch but not to the eye. I thought it might have been filed then cold blued. But it sure looks normal like regular blue.
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Both are Beautiful Specimens Gentlemen...and seem were worth the wait to shoot 'em...Enjoy !!
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My first .44Sp SAA was a New Frontier. I was just not in love with it. Aesthetically off - if a pleasure to shoot. When I found my gorgeous 1979(?) .44Sp in a cash compactor - the NF went on down the pike. While I will likely never sell my gorgeous trash-gun, I rather miss the long barrel of the NF.

Reading yours and Insp's posts really makes me want to find a matching quality long barrel if only for the back&forth of it in desert shoots.

I have a goal. Thanks fellas.
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That is interesting! Here's another example of the early 80s Colt offerings. I'm glad you noticed and posted this. I have two early 80's .44 specials, one being from 1982 like yours. When I compared them one day, I noticed they both had different height front sights. My 7 1/2 has a much taller front sight than yours and my 5 1/2 is lower profile, about the same as yours. This was honestly the first time I noticed, being I was early on in my SAA education. Heck, I still am and enjoy every day of it.

I'm guessing yours had a 5 1/2 sight put on when it was made. The profile looks more like it, or a 4 3/4 barrel sight even.
I've only shot the 7 1/2 so far, now also fitted with a .44-40 cylinder and it's pretty much dead on with both and various bullet weights, at least within 2" of dead center aim.

Here you can see the sight height differences.
View attachment 847023
View attachment 847025

the 5 1/2
View attachment 847026

the 7 1/2
View attachment 847028



and then I find this picture.....which also really highlights the outside diameter difference in barrel size, the 7 1/2 being on the right and showing the need for a taller front sight to take into account the adjustment needed when measuring from the center of the bore.
View attachment 847029



Also, thanks for posting about shooting your fine gun! You just answered my dilemma of which couple of guns I'll be taking to the cabin this weekend for a little plinking! Time to let the 5 1/2 get dirty for the first time.
Here's the 1958 .44 special with a higher front sight I think would be standard. The 1982 gun's is obviously shorter. The 4 3/4" 1992 44-40 pictured came with only a .44 Special cylinder and it's front sight is in between which I guess is meant for 200 grain bullets. That gun shoots just fine with 240 grain bullets going by my less than precise standards.

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Here is my 5 1/2 44 special I got in 1982 or so. Shoots way high with everything. BTW, the screws look like they were chewed on by a metal eating bea
ver, from the factory. Is it a strike gun?
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I have a 1980 44 special the sight is pretty tall.
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I have a 1980 7 1/2" .44 Special I bought back in '82. Since it had been shot, I tried it with my hunting load of 2400 and a 200 grain bullet. At 50 yards it shot 10" low and 10" to the left but grouped 5 shots in 5". Good enough! No need to fiddle with the front sight, just use Kentucky windage.
In the '90s I shot 3 deer with it, each standing broadside at around 50 yards. I just aimed at the heart/lungs, then shifted 10" right and 10 " up. Worked fine.
I haven't fired it this century but I have enjoyed owning it!
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I have a 1980 44 special the sight is pretty tall. View attachment 847107
Fo r years I kept a few 1983 or 84 Shotgun News’ because of a couple distributors selling tons of new SAAs. Colt was supposedly dropping the gun and this ‘was the end of them”. Prices were around $550 and many were nickel .44 Specials like yours and shorter barrel lengths. Over 20 Years later I bought a 5 1/2” .44 with a nickel cylinder that was in those ads. Double the price, though. But it was put together so bad I sold it without profit. But many turned out great like many posted Here.
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FWIW? I have several 7.5" 44 Special spare barrels I've collected over the years. Sights go from high to low. Some are NOS and sone were obviously pulled off guns. I also have a half dozen or so 4 3/4" 44 Special barrels, both nickel and blue. Same story. My pair of nickel 44 Specials have the same issue. One is POA/POI at 10 yards. The other is an inch or so high at 10 with 240s but it is also a good bit more accurate than the other gun. I've thought about screwing on a new nickel barrel with the larger front sight several times so the guns would match cosmetically. But a SAA that actually shoots dead nuts on for windage, is a very rare bird, so I've never had the courage to change it out. ;)




My Uberti 44 Special is spot on at 67 yards with the same ammo 🤣 And it is more accurate than either of the Colt's.
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As intended, I got the 5 1/2" .44 out for a short run this morning. First time it's has lead down the barrel since it left Colt. Gritty, 3 stage trigger. A little cylinder end shake. Using 240gr lead, it hits just a tad left at 15-18 yards. Groups well enough, so likely worth tightening up the cylinder and a little trigger work.

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As intended, I got the 5 1/2" .44 out for a short run this morning. First time it's has lead down the barrel since it left Colt. Gritty, 3 stage trigger. A little cylinder end shake. Using 240gr lead, it hits just a tad left at 15-18 yards. Groups well enough, so likely worth tightening up the cylinder and a little trigger work.
View attachment 847492
View attachment 847493
Looks like fine shootin’ to me. When I bought my 1992 4 3/4” .44 off this forum I was told there was a shim put on to tighten the fixed bushing cylinder. But the first time I tried to put it back on I bent it. How do you tighten the cylinder on yours? BTW, I love that Trooper. I shot my friend’s identical gun (except with full checkered Colt target grips) and liked it more than my Python.
Looks like fine shootin’ to me. When I bought my 1992 4 3/4” .44 off this forum I was told there was a shim put on to tighten the fixed bushing cylinder. But the first time I tried to put it back on I bent it. How do you tighten the cylinder on yours? BTW, I love that Trooper. I shot my friend’s identical gun (except with full checkered Colt target grips) and liked it more than my Python.
I really like this Trooper. It was a gun show find last winter and is the perfect condition to shoot and enjoy. Target hammer and trigger but the long ago replaced Pachmyr's were falling apart. Fortunately I had this set of Herrett's in the drawer that fit well. One day I'll track down a set of target panels to put her back together perhaps.

The trigger is outstanding and smooth as butter. I just had time to put a quick few .38s through it, 158gr and some lighter 125hp's. I'll be sure to bring along a box of .357's next outing and get her dialed in. Overall, one of my favorite DA/SA revolvers.

Saying you liked it more than your Python is making me think a bit.... Now I have to bring them both along at the same time. This could be interesting.
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