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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. What I really want is for Colt to produce what would essentially be a clone of the Uberti "Buckhorn" .44 Magnum revolver, which itself is a slightly scaled up SAA-style frame and cylinder chambered in .44 Magnum. This revolver should be called the "Colt Single Action Magnum" or the "Single Action Magnum Colt", i.e. the S.A.M. Colt ;)

Unless and until that happens, I am interested in coming up with something of Colt SAA hotrod, but not real interested in blowing the topstrap off. One route is the hot loaded .44 Special, Elmer Keith style, but that makes me a little nervous. I am wondering if going to a somewhat smaller caliber with thicker chamber walls may allow for loads producing even higher muzzle energies while still maintaining a greater safety margin than can be done with a .44 Special.

I've read a little about the ".400 Colt Magnum" cartridge that Colt and Winchester developed in the 1960s but dropped while still in the testing stages when S&W came out with the .41 Magnum. Apparently, ballistic performance of the .400 Colt Magnum was similar to the .41 Magnum, or the Herters .401 Power Mag. The .400 Colt Magnum uses a .40 caliber bullet.

The SAA is of course available in .357 Magnum, and when loaded to its full potential, the .357 is certainly nothing to sneeze at. As such, in order to be worthwhile, a .40/10mm magnum cartridge such as the .400 Colt Magnum would need to outperform the .357 Magnum by a noticeable degree.


The question is, could the modern, current production SAA be safely chamber for the .400 Colt Magnum or its functional equivalent? The idea would be to use a cartridge that uses .40 caliber / 10mm projectiles and launch them at velocities that produce muzzle energies of up to 1000 ft-lbs when fired in a SAA with a 4.75" barrel.

The 10mm Magnum cartridge already exists. Colt may have some old data somewhere on the .400 Colt Magnum. The same or a similar cartridge today might also be named ".41 Colt Magnum" or ".40 Colt" or ".40 Colt Magnum" or ".40 Magnum" or whatever sounds best, etc.

What do people think about this??? Thanks!
 

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I'm sure others will differ, but I have no interest in a SAA in anything other than the standard traditional calibers. If I want a really high power performance single action, I'll buy a Ruger. To me the Colt SAA is about where it's been, not where it's going.

Best regards,
 

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I have to agree with monsai....if you want a more powerful SA, buy a Ruger and have it tuned. I have a 50th Anniversary Blackhawk in 44 Mag that is not that much bigger than a Colt NF. I use factory equivalent loads in it and that is all the power and recoil I need. On the other hand, I have a Colt SAA in 44 Spec with 5.5" barrel that shoots to point of aim at 25 yds and is one of my all time favorite handguns. I load to factory specs.
 

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THIS HAS BEEN DONE ALREADY, and by'n'large it was a flop of a SAA sixgun. The Colt factory built a few 41MAG guns for T&E and a friend of mine shot one. He noted in particular what a vicious sumbee it was under full recoil, and the COLT engineers were none to pleased how that SAA 41MAG handled the pressures of that cartridge. THINK about that. The gun was designed in 1872 for pressures 1/3 that of the modern magnum pistol cartridges. YEP, that can be fixed but WHY bother. Ruger already beat 'em to the punch on such things by fourty years and a hellofabunch cheaper.
NOW...you want a 10MM NORMA[ that is the correct name..] SA pistol, it can be done by Hamilton Bowen on a 3-screw Ruger BH slick as a whistle and at a 'ellof a bunch less greasy green paper. Mine is now over twenty years old and shoots like a little rifle out to 200 meters where I took the money of folks shooting rifles against me.
By the way, when you spend the money use the regular 10MM cartridge noted and do not bother with the socalled 10MM MAGNUM. IF you cannot stand not going all the way with it just do the 41MAg and be done with it.
 

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A modern Colt SAA in .38-40 could be loaded up to 10mm ballistics as long as the Colt could handle the pressure. I had a Buckeye Special Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .38-40/10mm. A collector kept raising his offer until I sold it to him.
 

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A modern Colt SAA in .38-40 could be loaded up to 10mm ballistics as long as the Colt could handle the pressure. I had a Buckeye Special Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .38-40/10mm. A collector kept raising his offer until I sold it to him.
YEP! Get you a 38-40!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This idea of a SAA in ".40 Magnum", etc. presumes the use of a .38-40 barrel, but the cylinder would need to be something cut for a straight walled case in order to provide the maximum amount of steel around the chamber, or so it seems to me. I think the chamber walls of the .38-40 are as thin as the .45 Colt, maybe thinner, like the .44-40.
 

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Resurrect the Colt Cowboy, put a decent action in it, make it with good adjustable sights, drill and tap for scope mounts, put an 8" barrel on it, make it out of Stainless Steel, chamber it in the .400 Colt Magnum, and call it the Colt Single Action Deer Hunter. Oh, and get me one by the first weekend of November.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Resurrect the Colt Cowboy, put a decent action in it, make it with good adjustable sights, drill and tap for scope mounts, put an 8" barrel on it, make it out of Stainless Steel, chamber it in the .400 Colt Magnum, and call it the Colt Single Action Deer Hunter. Oh, and get me one by the first weekend of November.;)
...How about a parkerized version chambered in 5.7x28mm FN and SLATHERED in Picatinny rails?? The Colt Single Action TRJ -- "Tactical Rail Job"! ;)


Seriously though, I'm not suggesting anything like either of the above monstrosities. I'm just suggesting a way of using 21st century metallurgy and propellants to get more "horse"power (sorry, couldn't resist) out of a pistol that has the look and feel of something out of the late 19th century. No need to load this gun up to its maximum potential all the time either, but the OPTION is there.

In fact, one cool idea (I think) would be to get the Custom Shop to build an order for a new SAA chambered in and marked on the barrel as ".41 Colt". Presumably this could be done easily enough by using a .38-40 barrel, opening up the chambers on a .357 magnum cylinder and applying appropriate markings. Then, you just start adding extra cylinders: .38-40, .40S&W, 10mm Auto, .400 Colt Magnum, etc. The limiting factor is what can the frame and cylinder combination handle? Not based on iron/steel of the 1870s, nor the 1890s, nor the 1920s, nor the 1940s, nor the 1970s, but based on steel in 2013.


"Oh, the humanity!!"




 

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Seriously though, I'm not suggesting anything like either of the above monstrosities. I'm just suggesting a way of using 21st century metallurgy and propellants to get more "horse"power (sorry, couldn't resist) out of a pistol that has the look and feel of something out of the late 19th century. No need to load this gun up to its maximum potential all the time either, but the OPTION is there.
I was only partly joking about resurrecting the Cowboy. I would like to see Colt make a serious single action hunting handgun in a caliber in the .41 or .44 Magnum class. Not sure how much of a market there would be but I would like one. Yeah I know the .44 Special can be hot loaded up but still not in the league of the .41 or .44 Magnum full torque loads (especially in a Single Action Army or New Frontier). Guess I will just have to keep using my Smith 629 till Colt gets around to it.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are some pistols that roughly show what a possible "Colt Single Action Magnum" .44 Magnum might look like relative to a Colt Single Action Army. The guns on the bottom and second down from the top are Colt SAAs in .44 Special made during the last 4 years. The other two are Uberti Buckhorns in .44 Magnum made about 20 years ago, with repro 1st gen Colt grips.

 

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Interesting picture. The frames on the Ubertis are noticeably larger, and to my eye, not nearly as graceful as the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Interesting picture. The frames on the Ubertis are noticeably larger, and to my eye, not nearly as graceful as the original.
...Hence the need for an SAA in .400 Colt Magnum!!! :)

These two Uberti Buckhorns are wearing Uberti Cattleman (SAA clone) backstraps and trigger guards, which make the larger frame and cylinder look larger still, and less graceful, but not awful. Normally, however, the Uberti Buckhorn came from the factory with a backstrap, trigger guard and grip of about the same size and shape as that used on the 1860 Army, rather than the smaller 1851 Navy based grip of the SAA. The larger, longer grip is definitely more comfortable to shoot with full power .44 magnum loads, and it makes the frame look less "big". I believe Colt offered the SAA with a similar 1860 Army sized grip at one point in time, as an option.
 

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You could just buy a Colt 38-40 and have a third generation cylinder in .357 chambered for any .40 cal you want. I would NOT hot-rod the 38-40 in a SAA due to thin cylinder walls at the rear. Either 10MM or .401 herter's of which brass does show up from time to time. OR just buy a Colt New Frontier in 44 special and be done. The 45 ed. of the Lyman reloading manual has data for the 44 special using a Colt single action has its test gun that drives a 245 grain Keith bullet at 1100 FPS out of a 5 1/2 barrel. That should kill anything on this continent. If the barrel was a 7 1/2, the velocities would be even more. The plow handle of the single action is not a magnum grip. The gun rotates sharply to the 12 o-clock position and beyond. Pachmayr makes a rubber grip that helps.
 

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I think both Colt and Ruger have their niche......when they feel the need to bleed over into the others territory, there are too many compromises made......leave the 10mm, .41 and .44 mags to the Ruger Blackhawks and the classics to the Colt SAA...both are great platforms if used as the engineers intended. Sidebar comment on the mention of Colt making a run of SAAs in .41 Colt (which is highly doubtful) a batch of the last USFA guns assembled were made in some cool calibers, several .41 Colts among them.....along with .455, .450 Boxer, and a few more......I was slow on the draw on those unfortunately but I did get to see a few of them.
 

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I'd love to see a non-magnum, 40 or 41 caliber modern cartridge for the Colt SAA, but it'll not happen during My lifetime.
Buy a 44 special Colt SAA, and work up a load with a little more magic than the normal lead, 246 grain fodder.
There's prolly 44 spl factory loads available with more zing, though I haven't noticed, because I don't own a 44 special.
Just be advised, as other posters have wisely stated, the Colt SAA frame was designed to handle non-magnum pressures.
 
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