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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stopped by one of my LGSs this afternoon to see if they had anything new on their Colt SAA shelf, and there to my surprise sat a used, but what appeared to be an virtually unfired 5.5" blue/CCH Black Powder frame 45 Colt with its Custom Shop box. When I examined it, the SN dated it to about 2007, and the fit and finish was really quite good, not quite on a par with a 1st gen, but far better than any of my prior 3rd gens. Even though it's not exactly what I've been looking for, it was tagged at $1,095.00 (a price at least $400.00 less than any recent production SAA I've seen out here in CA); so I had them write it up. I'll post some pictures and a range report when I pick it up after its 10 day quarantine.

My question: I have quite a bit of experience with 1st, 2nd, and early 3rd gen SAAs, but none with recent production Custom Shop guns. The action on this SAA has obviously been tuned; was this an option available through the Custom Shop, or something the prior owner would have had done by a third party? I'm just curious, because whoever did the work did an excellent job, and there is no evidence that the gun has ever been apart.

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It is possible that the gun has not been tuned, but came from Colt that way. I have a couple of new 3rd gen guns that have amazingly smooth actions.
 

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It likely came that way - I've owned and handled a number of the late-issues recently, and all had excellent timing and trigger pulls.

Incidentally - using a 'good' set of screwdrivers and a steady hand - no one can tell that the piece has been disassembled and reassembled many times.

It's good that you bought this one - you'll enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The action is more than just smooth, it has that feeling of having been worked by someone who really knew what they were doing. If this is stock out of the box, I am extremely impressed.

But I'm still curious, did, or does Colt offer a tuned action on its SAAs? I know that you can have a Python's action smoothed and lightened how about the SAA?

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The Custom Shop 'could' do action jobs - but I've never paid any attention to the pricing - I just know that they did so when a couple of guys I know had ordered their SAAs from them.

The ones I'm personally familiar with were all new, and off-the-shelf - with nothing indicated on their respective boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's good that you bought this one - you'll enjoy it.
Thanks, and there's no doubt that I'll enjoy it. I wasn't really looking for another 45; I was really keeping my eyes open for a 44 Special or 2nd gen 357, but when something kind of falls into your lap you've "gotta go" with it. If nothing else I've got LOTS or primed 45 Colt brass, but I'm running a little low on Unique, which seems to be in very short supply. For years my standard load was 8.5 grs. Unique under a 250 gr. SWC. Any suggestions for comparable loadings with more readily available powders?

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The Custom Shop 'could' do action jobs - but I've never paid any attention to the pricing - I just know that they did so when a couple of guys I know had ordered their SAAs from them.

The ones I'm personally familiar with were all new, and off-the-shelf - with nothing indicated on their respective boxes.
I didn't pay much attention to the box; I'll have to take a closer look at it when I pick up the gun to see if there is anything indicated on the label.

Whether it was standard Colt out of the box, or a Colt custom tune, or tuned by someone else, I won't have to spend any time or money working on the action of this one. I'll know a week from Sunday if it shoots as good as it feels.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I shoot .45 S&W - loaded with Trail Boss.

It effectively duplicates the Army's service load of the era, and also mimics the characteristics of .45 ACP for recoil and handling.
Thanks for the suggestion. I've never used Trail Boss, but I had been thinking about trying some for my 32-20, so maybe now is the time to give it a try.

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I bought a pair of NIB, unfired, Single Action Army revolvers (4 3/4, 45 Colt, blue & cch) from a dealer friend (and fellow member of the Colt Collector's Association) last year that were only one number apart in their serial numbers. I bought the first one from him at a Ohio Gun Collector's Association show, took it home and, while checking it out, found that it had the slickest action I've ever seen on a SAA. I called him at home and asked if he still had it's twin and, since he did, I asked if he would hold it for me until the next show. He did and it had the same slick action, so I bought it, too. It turns out that they were both shipped to Kiesler Police Supply in Jeffersonville, Indiana on November 24, 2004. There is no mention of custom shop or any other special work on the original boxes of the guns or in the Archive letters. When I showed my dealer friend the slick action on these guns, he was amazed. He's a SAA collector and shooter and said it was the best action he'd ever seen on this type of gun. I showed them to several other SAA shooting guys and they all said the action jobs were exceptionally good.
When I bought them, the guns showed absolutely no wear on them at all. So, I guess these came from the factory this way. They function great and shoot fine and I'll be fitting ivory grips to them sometime soon. Then they will used in cowboy action shooting. What could be better?

- - - - Buckspen
 

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Trail Boss works fine as the max load is a full case of powder making an overcharge impossible. Started using real black powder, and it is a hoot to shoot producing "the way it was" experience, and haven't shot smokeless in it since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Eventually I'll need to break down and buy the dies brass and bullets, and of course the Black Powder, to load for my 1880 vintage 44-40. When I do, I'll probably also load up some 45 Colt BP for this one. I've shot lots of BP in C&B, but never cartridge. Should be fun, and quite a show at the range.

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the feedback Buckspen,

It's interesting that I've read a lot about the improved Q.C. on fit and finish, but I've never seen anything mentioning a dramatic improvement in the stock "out of the box" actions.

Maybe it's because a lot of folks buying new SAAs are storing them away in the back of their safes, un-turn and un-fired, hoping for a Pythonesque (sp?) price increase for NIB SAAs in the far distant future.:rolleyes: If so, they don't know what they're missing today.

The difference between this SAA, and the last 3rd gen I had (early '80s vintage), is remarkable.

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I think that the reason you don't hear a lot on their smoothness, is because those that are being shot are in the C&WAS arena, and not the 'Colt' forum, which has a much higher percentage of folks who are 'investing' rather than 'enjoying'.

They're made to shoot - so enjoy yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the tip on the HP-38; unfortunately that also is currently unavailable from any of my regular sources, but I'll keep it in mind to try it out when I see some. I did pick up some Silhouette; I've never used it, but it looks like it could be a good choice for 45 Colt as well as 45 ACP and 38 Special.

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Monsai52,

Good find and good buy!

As I understand it, all SAAs are produced in the custom shop. If there were extra options they may or may not be listed on the box label. The current guns since c.1999 generally have pretty smooth actions as standard. The first thing to check to verify a custom tune whether factory or otherwise is the mainspring (hammer spring). If changed, it will be thinner in width which is obvious or in thickness which will take a dial caliper measurement to be compared with a standard Colt factory spring. A factory tune runs about $150 the last time I looked.
 
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