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Removable vs "Pressed In" Cylinder bushing?

8308 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Monsai52
Hello all,I apologize if this has already been discussed, I was unable to find it in previous posts.My question is: Is there a big difference in "quality", "value" etc. of a 3rd generation with fixed vs removable cylinder bushing? Is one more popular than the other? Which one would be more sought after in the future? I appreciate all and any advice!Thanks
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IMHO go for the removable bushing version. That is the way all the original SAA's were made.
Saintclair,Thank you for the response! I probably already knew which way to go, I just REALLY needed a little advice and "support" to talk me out of buying one on GB with the fixed bushing. Although it is a beautiful CC entire frame etc with ivories! Thanks a bunch!Tree
In my experience the guns with pressed in bushings are normally poorly fitted and often the cylinder will rattle like a baby's toy. There is no easy way to fix endshake with the pressed in bushings.

I have a critical eye towards 3rd Gen guns and am willing to review the gun in question if you want to PM me a link to the auction. I also have little interest in 3rd Gens so there is no danger of me getting into a bidding war with you over the gun in question.
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I agree with weagle99 re: early 3rd gen SAA. There are some good ones, but generally the quality of fit and finish is much lower than 1st or 2nd gen guns, and that's often really hard to tell just from pictures. The pictures may show a nice blue and beautiful case colours, but you really need to handle the gun to see some of the details.

Some of the issues that you want to look for are: the fit of the backstrap and trigger guard should be perfectly flush to the frame, you shouldn't be able to feel the joint; the radius of the "horns" on the top of the backstrap should match the radius of the hammer, and the top of the "horns" should blend and smoothly match the frame; all the edges should be straight and crisp, not soft or slightly rounded from over/careless polishing; there should be no end shake of the cylinder in the frame; if you are able to, try the action and see how smooth it is.

What's really eyeopening is if you have the opportunity to examine a high condition 1st gen SAA, and then compare it to a typical early 3rd gen SAA; the difference will jump out at you.

You can always have a rough action smoothed and tuned, but there's not much of anything you can do to correct poor fit and finish.

I've owned several early 3rd gen SAAs and a New Frontier, but I don't think that I'd buy another unless I could get it at a real steal. I'd rather save up a few more dollars and look for a 2nd gen, or a recent production SAA.

Best regards,
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Thank you WEAGLE99 and MONSAI52!!! That is the info I was looking for. I appreciate ALL of you're responses. I will concentrate on a 1st Gen and try to find a nice one. This is something I would like to give to my nephew one day when I leave this earth and go see Sam Colt! Hahaha!!! Great Place to be and a great Forum!Thanks a bunch,Tree
Hello, the only 3rd generation I own has the pressed in bushing. It's a 7 1/2" 44sp that does exhibit cylinder endshake. However, when cocked the hand exerts enough pressure so the cylinder remains locked and tight. The only reason I bought it was because the price was too good to pass up. Would I buy another? Probably not.
I have 2nd and 3rd gen SAAs both with and without the removable bushing. From a shooting and using standpoint, one is as good as the other. From a collectibilty standpoint I'm thinking the pressed in bushing will always be a red headed step child. Colt's return to consistant quality control pre-dates the return of the removable bushing and there are very nice 3rd gens out there with the pressed in bushing.
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Pardon my ignorance, but I have an early 3rd gen I got from my Dad. Because of that, I won't be parting with it, but is there an easy, sure way of determining which one I have?


Try to pull the cylinder bushing from the cylinder with your fingers.

If it's short - it's pressed-in, and won't pull free.

Unlike some others, I've never had any problem whatsoever with the 3d Generation SAAs - they've all been tight and shot well, besides.

The fact that Colt's QC of that time slipped is true - hell, it slipped during the much-vaunted 2d Generation production, but it didn't affect 'all' of them, nor did it affect all of the 3d Generation guns - and for that matter, Colt's QC can still be problematic, so the factory never fixed that problem, even after all these years.

If the short bushing's a problem - or even a perceived problem - you 'can' have it removed, and have the cylinder machined to accept the older style of bushing.
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Thanks Dogface.....

I just popped the cylinder out and realized I asked kinda silly question. I do have the pressing in bushing and I can catch a fingernail on the frame to trigger guard transition in places. That's okay with was my Dad's and that's all that matters. It's a nice revolver and I'll never get rid of it. Personally, I'm more of a nice bolt rifle guy, but I appreciate any nice firearm..


Not sure if it's an accurate comparison, but I just compared it to my 1976 vintage Peacemaker 22 (aside from the obvious cylinder bushing) and the fit and finish is comparable. Got that one from my Dad too, so it's not going anywhere except to one of my sons someday.

Thanks to all the great guys here, your knowledge is second to none and I appreciate it.

Jerry was my Dad's and that's all that matters...
You got that right.

Best regards,
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