Colt Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, let me say that I am an old-time Colt SAA nut. I own a couple early second generations and some thirds. I am not affiliated in any many whatsoever with USFA. I write this solely out of love and respect for single actions in general.

Recently, I have been reading about U.S. Fire Arms (USFA). Yesterday, I held one of their Rodeo models. This is their entry level model with a matte blue finish and case-hardened hammer. They run approx. $475-595, depending on where you go. The fit exhibited on this gun was superior to my early second generation Colts. I couldn't believe just how good it was. It was practically perfect. It was almost like holding a vintage 1900 Colt SAA as far as the fit goes. Obviously, the finish was not historically accurate. But USFA makes models that are, indeed, historically accurate. They range in price from $825 to $1,300, depending. Plus, USFA now employs Dennis Kies (former Colt engraver), if you want something more. In fact, I read that Dick Cheney recently ordered one for himself.

The USFA guns are all made in America and utilize forged frames. Doug Turnbull does the finishing on the SAA and Pre-War models (hot blue and carbona blue, respectively). The USFA cylinders have the removable cylinder bushing and old-style bevelled edges. The grips are hard rubber, not plastic. Even the firing pin is conical like the old ones. The hand-fitting that obviously went into the "entry-level" piece that I examined was nothing short of extraordinary. I could not feel the seams between the frame and backstrap. The hammer filled up the frame completely and was a PERFECT fit, just like you would expect to find on a 1900 Colt.

I write this because (a) I am extremely impressed by the USFA Rodeo that I held and, if this is any indication as to all of their guns (and I have been told that it is) they deserve all the praise in the world; and (b) I am hoping that this will serve as a wake-up call for Colt. It is about time that Colt started taking pride in their line of single actions. With all the modern computers and machining methods there is absolutely no excuse why Colt cannot put out a product on par with their first generations. Especially in light of the price tags you see on the Colts. This $500 Rodeo was hands-down superior fit-wise to any $2,000-3,000 Colt you will see. I hope Colt gets a clue and starts honoring the single action lovers like myself. I would be happy to pay double the price for a Colt, as long as it exhibits a fit on par with the USFA I examined.

Happy trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Virgil,
I was just as impressed with the Rodeo as you obviously are. I closely examined a 5.5" .38 Special and I couldn't find a single flaw anywhere on the gun!

I've read that the Pre War models case coloring is coated with a varnish like substance that gives it a nice shine. I understand that after several hundred rounds this coating starts to wear away giving the case coloring a blotchy unattractive appearance. I don't know if the SAA models use this same coating on the CC.

I've always wanted a Colt SAA. The operative word here is Colt. That little pony matters to me. I've been on the lookout for a nice second generation Colt in .38 Special at a "fair" price. After all the rave reviews I think I'm going to buy a Rodeo to tide me over


Randy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I plan to start with the SAA. I talked to a guy who deals in all of them, and he said there is not much difference in the color of the finish between the Pre-war and the SAA - not enough to justify the extra cost. Also, with my past experience with Colts, I know that if I shoot the heck out of the gun, and clean it a lot, both the bluing and the case-hardened finish degrade over time. The case-hardened finish almost winds up looks like steel in the white.

I'd also like to get a Rodeo. But this guy I spoke to said that the Pre-wars and SAAs have a slightly more polished action. He sells the Rodeo for $475 and the SAA for $825. To me it is worth the extra $350 to have the absolute best action they offer. It will also give me a chance to see just how well the finish holds up over time.

If you get a Colt second generation, try to stick with those made pre-1965. I've seen some later second generations that looked as bad as thirds. I even saw one where too much steel was milled away from around the edge of the frame, making it too small for the cylinder. The cylinder edges stuck out around it. This was really, really bad. I think this particular gun was made around 1965-67. It seems like that is the time when things really started going south for Colt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
How does the USFA rodeo compare to the Colt Cowboy. I'm thinking of getting one or the other as my only SAA type. Input appreciated. RB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't compare the Rodeo with the Cowboy. However, the Rodeo had a better fit than either my 1956 or 1959 Colts! It surpassed any third generation Colt I have ever seen. I couldn't believe it. The fit exhibited on the Rodeo was as close to a first generation Colt as I've ever seen.

[This message has been edited by Virgil Starkwell (edited 12-13-2003).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Has anyone compared the USFA guns to the latest SAA's coming from Colt? I am in the market for a "real" SAA (already have a AWA clone that I use for Blackpowder shooting and other abuses). I'm really torn between the USFA (based on all the positive reviews I've read here and elsewhere) and the Colt...which has the prancing horse and will never decrease in value.

Reason I ask is that I have one of the new WWII 1911A1 Repros and it is the finest (Stock) 1911 I have seen in terms of fit/finish and reliability. I tend to think the newest guns coming from Colt are pretty good pieces.

Thoughts?

Thanks
B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The new 1911s coming from Colt are the best on the market IMO. My friend and I both bought new rollmark series 80s and these things are outstanding. Extremely reliable and accurate. Another friend bought a WW2 Repro and a Series 70 Repro. BOth are absolutely beautiful.

So far, though, the Colt SAAs I've seen (a couple local shops have several) just don't measure up to the USFAs. The USFAs are practically perfect. The hammer fills up the frame completely and perfectly; the seams between frame and backstrap are virtually non-existant; the screws are flush with the frame; that action is smooooooth; etc. I still haven't seen this kind of perfection on the Colts. It's unfortunate, too. Maybe if you wait another year or two Colt will come around. They've definitely started improving their line of 1911s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
Tell me more about the WWII 1911a1? Are they still available, to start with? Fit, finnish, reliability says it all - and without the extras I don't really want. Trigger? Are the sights GI? I'm all ears! <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bushman66:
Has anyone compared the USFA guns to the latest SAA's coming from Colt? I am in the market for a "real" SAA (already have a AWA clone that I use for Blackpowder shooting and other abuses). I'm really torn between the USFA (based on all the positive reviews I've read here and elsewhere) and the Colt...which has the prancing horse and will never decrease in value.

Reason I ask is that I have one of the new WWII 1911A1 Repros and it is the finest (Stock) 1911 I have seen in terms of fit/finish and reliability. I tend to think the newest guns coming from Colt are pretty good pieces.

Thoughts?

Thanks
B
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I am happy for you re: Rodeo; however, value is determined in the marketplace. A NIB 1956 'blackbox' Colt (.45 or .38 cal) will always bring more than a NIB Rodeo. And, FWIW, there is much difference between 'case-coloring' and 'case-hardening'; no comparison......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yea, no doubt, my 1956 Colt will always be more valuable than a USFA - whether it's the Rodeo, SAA or Pre-War. As for the case hardening vs. case coloring, if you are going to shoot the hell out of the gun, it's probably all the same in the end. The case colors on my 1959 Colt and my third gen. Colt are all but worn off. The steel looks like it's in the white practically.

Right now USFA has a $50 rebate going on their SAAs. You can find distributors who sell these for $825, so after the rebate you will have spent $775 for one hell of a good shooter. The fit and action will probably be better than my 1956 and 1959 Colts. That's pretty hard to beat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I have a USFA Single Action, 4 3/4" .44 Special revolver made in 2011 and ordered from USFA through my local gun shop. My only Colt SAA is a 1978 New Frontier 7 1/2", also a .44 Spl. Both guns are similar in fit and finish, but the grips are not well fitted on the Colt. Given the prices now charged both of my guns were bargains. I enjoy shooting both of them, so market prices don't affect me. I'm sure the Colt will be more valuable down the line but I'll be gone buy then, so who cares? As a shooter, a well made SAA lives up to its heritage, whoever built it.
 

·
Registered
Colt SAA, Usfa SA, Std Mfg SA.
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
I have a USFA Single Action, 4 3/4" .44 Special revolver made in 2011 and ordered from USFA through my local gun shop. My only Colt SAA is a 1978 New Frontier 7 1/2", also a .44 Spl. Both guns are similar in fit and finish, but the grips are not well fitted on the Colt. Given the prices now charged both of my guns were bargains. I enjoy shooting both of them, so market prices don't affect me. I'm sure the Colt will be more valuable down the line but I'll be gone buy then, so who cares? As a shooter, a well made SAA lives up to its heritage, whoever built it.
This thread is 12 years old, they were still selling USFA guns then. Please check dates on threads so you dont resurrect zombie threads. Located on top left of post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,014 Posts
This thread is 12 years old, they were still selling USFA guns then. Please check dates on threads so you dont resurrect zombie threads. Located on top left of post.
Even older than that, over 17 years old. I think it might be a record on this site for bringing one back from the dead.

Best regards,
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top