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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy there. I am very new to Cap and Ball shooting and could use some information. I have a pair of cabelas "51's" in 44 caliber with the brass frames. I am aware that they are not period correct in anyway, but so far they are fun to shoot. I had no idea that they would be this fun. That being said, I would like to upgrade to the real deal at some point. Now I know all about the Italian guns, but I only just became aware of the Colt 2nd generation guns (and 3rd?). What I would like to know is what models or versions would be a good gun to own and shoot? It won't be for any kind of collection, but rather to shoot as much as possible. Or are they way too valuable and should I stick with the Italians? I am of the mind that it's not worth owning a gun that I can't shoot, so any help folks can provide would be great. I'm looking forward to this new adventure.
 

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I would refer you to the Darksider's Den at CAS City which is THE best forum on the Internet regarding your questions. They have lots of 'stickies' that answer your generic questions and countless threads in the archives that will answer any question you can possibly think of:


The Darksider's Den
 

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I bought myself a 2nd Generation Colt 1851 last year, to shoot. But keep in mind that the parts are Italian. The fit and finish is what's better, not the hardness of the steel. I learned this the 3rd outing with mine, when I broke the hand spring. It's fixed again, and shooting fine. But it was a gunsmith visit, and learning who NOT to go to.

I do like the looks of the 1851 2nd Colts. But I'd say most quality replicas will shoot just as well, from Uberti or such. I've had them, they do fine.
 

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I've been shooting Colt 2nd Gen C series 1851s and F series 1861s since 2004. They've all had thousands of rounds through them in CAS competition. The '51s needed an overhaul due to loose arbors, wedge fitment and some trigger work & the 1861s have been upgraded with cap rakes and some action work to make them more competition ready. They cost a little more than Ubertis; but, IMNSHO Ubertis and Piettas do not compare - and I have a bunch of them too. Good deals can be found for unfired 2nd Gens on Gun Broker; you may have to be patient for some to come up though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been shooting Colt 2nd Gen C series 1851s and F series 1861s since 2004. They've all had thousands of rounds through them in CAS competition. The '51s needed an overhaul due to loose arbors, wedge fitment and some trigger work & the 1861s have been upgraded with cap rakes and some action work to make them more competition ready. They cost a little more than Ubertis; but, IMNSHO Ubertis and Piettas do not compare - and I have a bunch of them too. Good deals can be found for unfired 2nd Gens on Gun Broker; you may have to be patient for some to come up though.
Thanks Fingers. When you say good deal, what exactly would that be? This is a very new market for me so I am a bit out of my element here. I'm certainly not afraid to spend money on guns, but I wouldn't want to get fleeced in the process. I would rather get a good deal and spend that saved money on more guns. Thanks for your help and please show me mo smoke!
 

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2004?! The Uberti I bought in the mid 1970s never gave me a lick of trouble, and years of service. It just depends on the gun, each is a little different. They are all hand fitted and such.
 

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2004?! The Uberti I bought in the mid 1970s never gave me a lick of trouble, and years of service. It just depends on the gun, each is a little different. They are all hand fitted and such.
Also depends on how much they are shot. I go through close to 2000 cast round balls a year in CAS matches. Mine never gave me any trouble; they just got wore out.
 

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Thanks Fingers. When you say good deal, what exactly would that be? This is a very new market for me so I am a bit out of my element here. I'm certainly not afraid to spend money on guns, but I wouldn't want to get fleeced in the process. I would rather get a good deal and spend that saved money on more guns. Thanks for your help and please show me mo smoke!
Prices for 2nd Gens are all over the place. If you can get a lightly used or unfired 1851 Navy for $350 - $400, you'll be doing good.

Always make MO smoke !:D
 

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I've been shooting Colt 2nd Gen C series 1851s and F series 1861s since 2004. They've all had thousands of rounds through them in CAS competition. The '51s needed an overhaul due to loose arbors, wedge fitment and some trigger work & the 1861s have been upgraded with cap rakes and some action work to make them more competition ready. They cost a little more than Ubertis; but, IMNSHO Ubertis and Piettas do not compare - and I have a bunch of them too. Good deals can be found for unfired 2nd Gens on Gun Broker; you may have to be patient for some to come up though.
You'll have to be VERY patient. I've been watching 2nd gen 1851s and 1860s on Gunbroker for a while now and though occasionally something will show up with a tempting price, most are priced so high or have such high reserves that they never sell. Check GunsInternational - I've seen a few reasonable prices there. Also, it seems like most will ship direct to the purchaser because an FFL is apparently not needed for percussion guns, but a few, if I read correctly, won't and so you'll have to include the FFL fee while debating how much you're willing to spend. Maybe there's regional variations on the regulations for percussion weapons, I don't know much about that aspect.
 

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Is there actualy a difference in the Steels used by Uberti in the 1970s/1980s, vis a vie the Steels used by Colt for their 2nd Generation Cap & Balls?
 

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Prices for 2nd Gens are all over the place. If you can get a lightly used or unfired 1851 Navy for $350 - $400, you'll be doing good.

Always make MO smoke !:D
Get to know your dealers. Here in the UK I found one dealer, one of the biggest over here, who is convinced that all 2nd. & 3rd. generation percussion colts are re badged Italian guns and buys then in on that basis. I have talked him into letting me know each time he gets one. It's a great arrangement, he thinks they are Italian and buys them on that basis, I get to know and pay him on that basis.;)
 
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