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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,
I'm curious to know if I should send my NIB SAA to one of the recommended smiths to have it tuned up, and the timing checked? I've read various opinions on-line, but I'm curious what the experts here say.
Thanks,
C
 

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Here is my opinion on your question. First, the newest Cotl SAA revolver I have is a 1971 2nd Gen. NRA Commemorative that was in unfired condition when I bought it. When I got it, the action was timed correctly, but I had to take it apart to check out the interior for oil, lube etc. What I found was it was totally dry of lube, but there was some old "sticky" oil inside. I cleaned all the that off the parts and found some "burr" that needed to be removed and some of the parts had sharp edges so I removed those. Some parts needed a little polishing too so I did that. After that I oiled and lubed the interior and it was "slick as snot". On the Frame, there were some very sharp edges that were removed. I also used a stone to polished the Chimney where the Hand rides. On the Hand, I broke some sharp edges too.

The revolver would have been fine with just the oiling and lubing, but I wanted mine to be slick and smooth operating. I would guess that a new 3rd Gen. would need this too. I would also recommed sending it to Jim Martin for him to work his "magic" on our revolver. The smoother it operates, the better it will be for shooting with no sharp edges or burrs left.
 

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I had the same question when I bought my first Single action army not ever having shot one that had an action job. The difference in feel and funcion was nothing short of amazing. It was like driving a big old heavy clunky Buick to a Corvette. The action is much smoother and less clunky feeling. I had the trigger pull lightened a bit and it became a more accurate shooter as a result. Once I had the first done I had to do the others as they felt so different.

I had Tom Sargis of Bozeman Trail Arms work on mine but as others have mentioned there are numerous qualified individuals who could clean up your new gun and make it sing for you.

Let us know if you decide to do so.
 

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Some do, some don't. Luck of the draw for the most part. Trick there is actually knowing if your gun does need some help sooner, than later.
 

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It is really sad that there needs to be a thread like this. Sad in the fact that after finally aquiring a current era single action there is a good chance that from Colt it does not work right.
 

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scstrain said:
It is really sad that there needs to be a thread like this...
Not that I can disagree much :) But the basic design is 150+ years old. If you buy into the mystic of an old relic you also buy into the problems that were solved decades ago by newer revolver designs and the 1911. Want a gun that works every time for 1000s upon thousands of rounds? Buy plastic :)

It's almost Christmas. I am inclined to give Colt a break today :) And happy they are still building the thing!
 

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Sorry to disagree, but if I pay $1,400++ for a brand new firearm, especially a COLT-- I expect it to WORK CORRECTLY--every time I pull the trigger, right out of the box---if I don't fan or abuse the action. They've had 150 years to work the bugs out of that action. Anything else is just a plain, cop-out BS excuse. Period, end of story !! And BTW, there doesn't get to be a bigger Colt fan than I am; I have 23 of them, several unfired. I'm just a true believer in getting what I paid for; none of them were cheap.....
 

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I never had a Colt that didn't work right. Maybe I'm the lucky one. As for SAA, I have several. The newer ones after about serial number S50,000A Colt was sending them out tuned. At least better than they were years prior. The older ones were hard and strong sprigged. The newer ones seem better and smoother. Just my 2 cents. I wouldn't tune it up if your not going to compete or shoot it frequently. If you plan on shooting it a great deal or plan on doing any of the western shoots then have at it. Great guns sad to say they will no longer be had.
 
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As others have said, it really depends on your intended use for it. Should you need to? No, it should be completely functional out of the box. My truck worked great when I drove it off the dealer's lot, but because it gets used for hauling heavy loads, I did a fair amount of work to it (stronger springs, exhaust brake, additional gauges, etc) so that it would perform optimally for my needs. Similarly, if you plan to shoot your new SAA in competition you might want to have some work done on it (lighter springs, deburring and polishing, etc). This assumes that you've already given it a once-over and ensured that it does time and lock-up properly of course.

A number of years ago, I ordered a new, factory-engraved SAA from Colt. It finally arrived almost two years later. First thing that happened when I opened the box to look it over was a small piece of sintered metal (no larger than a BB) fell out of it. Off it went to Jim Martin for a good going over. (In truth, I had planned to send it off for him to work his magic anyhow, but this provided an added impetus).

Another Colt which I picked up last year was perfectly timed and very smooth, but the firing pin rivet was a bit "proud" and was slightly scraping the sides of the channel in which the hammer moves. In fairness, the gun was purchased used, so I don't know whether this was from the factory or caused by the previous owner. A quick trip to a nearby gunsmith fixed the issue before it had the opportunity to cause serious problems.

Another Colt that I purchased NIB has worked flawlessly straight from the box (although it too, eventually went to Mr. Martin for additional tuning). So the answer is "it depends" which is probably not what you want to hear, but is the best advice that I can provide to you.
 

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I have stated this before about "new" or slightly used SAA revolvers........They will be better when ALL sharp edges, burrs, gunk in the action, etc is performed on them all. If you get a new Custom Shop revolver, you should be paying to have these items done before shipping. The cost of any final deburring and polishing cost $$$$$. They will work without this being done, but when you buy a Colt they should have checked all this, but due to the cost they don't. Hand work is required and back in 1873, most parts were hand fit with this work done. Today, with modern CNC machines, you don't NEED this done, but it is better to do it. I would rather pay a few dollors to get the action perfect for ME and future generations to have.
 

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You should get it done if you've never felt a tuned action before. That alone is worth the price of admission. I like Mr. Martin.
 

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Every new Colt SAA I've bought work as it should but sometimes with a heavy trigger pull. No big deal for me. The only problems that I've encountered were with used Colt SAA's with action jobs. You just don't know who did the work. Even this 3rd gen from 1980 works as it should but I did replace the heavy mainspring with one of the newer ones to lessen the hammer fall. Goes bang every time. DSCN0617.JPG
 

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Hi folks,
I'm curious to know if I should send my NIB SAA to one of the recommended smiths to have it tuned up, and the timing checked? I've read various opinions on-line, but I'm curious what the experts here say.
Thanks,
C
You can check the timing yourself. as you cocked the hammer and you hear the four clicks watch the bolt as you do this. You should see the bolt rise into the lead before the cylinder notch on the 3rd click. If the bolt rises and makes contact with the cylinder before the lead then it's out of time. Enjoy your new Colt SAA and if it's not broken then don't fix it.
 

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I find it ironic that some (many?) collectors here curse any practice of altering any gun in the slightest way, boxs, labels, you name it, yet when a master outside gunsmith touch's a gun and a potential collector/buyer wants the gun they will be sure to ding the gun to try and buy it cheaper. Colt can hire a person off the street and evidently that employee must be "dubbed" or knighted with a rod of power and knowledge than any other unwashed experienced and acknowledged outside expert that touch's that gun!
 

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I believe a brand new Colt SAA should be flawless right out of the box. We expect all brand-new items to be flawless as received. I realize the newer generations have been brought up to be politically correct in all facets by those not willing to admit their own failures and therefore want folks to accept the failures they created as their own! BULL SHIT!! Wake up people. As a teenager in the 1950's I recall reading Keith's "Sixguns" stating the Colt SAA is the only gun that will be able to fire "with over half its parts missing". Just my own worthless opinion these days.
 

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I have never had an action job on my 2009 SAA. It functions smooth for me. Granted I don't know what an action job would do. My family 1883 is a rougher pull but timed correctly so I am not going to touch it.
 
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