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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If ya'll will excuse the use of a non-Colt for illustration:



This is my Uberti .45 Colt, and I seldom see anything posted here about the Colt Flat Top Target models. Seems to me a great improvement over the Single Action Army with its much better sighting set-up. Front sight is not exactly holster friendly, but easily corrected if desired.

So, why not? Seldom hear of its being mentioned and wonder why.

Bob Wright
 

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I can only imagine because they are pretty darn rare? In all my store travels and internet searches I have never run across one, although I have never specifically searched for them either. Looks really nice, like if Old Colt Officers Model mated with a SAA.
 

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Seldom hear of its being mentioned and wonder why.
Probably because original 1st gen flat top targets are pretty rare; produced in small numbers (don't the exact number in front of me but certainly only in the 100s), and for a limited time. And while most of us won't be able to take our original flat tops out to the range, we can enjoy the New Frontiers.

Best regards,
 

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From Cochran's short handbook on the SAAs there were about 925 SAA Flat Tops made in about 30 or so calibers, and about 976 SAA Bisley Fat Tops made in about 15 calibers. Yeah -- they are rare, some are very rare. Hope some of the serious Pre-War SAA guy will have some better information.
 

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Bob,

I love 'em, and I like your Uberti, especially in the short barrel. Don't you like that wide trigger? I picked up a few of those triggers and installed in my 3rd gens. A nice improvement. But as was said, and I agree they are just too rare and valuable, all in the hands of big collectors who won't shoot them and just squirreled away as safe queens.

Often figured on picking up the USFA version but never came across one before production ceased.

Did find an original #162895 in 38 Colt fully engraved and lettered up for auction but it started at $20K. Have some great pics to show you but my links don't work on this forum. Haven't taken time to work it out yet. But I can send via e-mail for you to see or if you want to post them here, feel free.

Jim Carter
[email protected]
 

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I have a .45 cal Flat Top. One of 100 made in that caliber. Most production was between 1888 and 1895. However, Colt recorded three sent to England in the 200300 serial range. this was the last of "typical" production. Five Target models were assembled and shipped in 1911 with the serial numbers in the 316700 and 317000 ranges. My Flat Top has a manufacture date of 1902 but was not shipped until special ordered but Dr. Frank J. Fuller on March 10, 1910.
I have a 1/2 thick stack of info on Fuller who proved to be quite a colorful character. A friend of Mark Twain and acquaintance of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln appointed him acting governor of Utah. When Fuller took office it was expected of him to pay his respects to "the prophet." When Fuller didn't take the initiative Brigham Young visited him with the message that if Lincoln left him and his flock alone, he and his flock would leave Lincoln alone! Long story i'll cut short.
Interesting to note that Fuller was in his eighties when he ordered the Flat Top so I suspect it was a gift for someone. Anyway I feel fortunate to have stumbled upon it.
 

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Saw one at the Tulsa gun show last spring. I don't remember the price, but I didn't ask to pick it up. I did look at the front sight as it was similar to an officer's target revolver I had. First flattop I've ever seen in person.
 

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I spend a lot of time kicking myself in the butt and here's another reason: 15 years ago in Louisville I saw two Flat Tops for sale. 32-44 and 38-44. pretty scarce guns. $3500.00 each! I was nuts for a factory engraved SAA so I passed on the Flat Tops and bought the engraved gun. Should have done the opposite!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Here's the type of holster I'd carry that gun in, Bob.


That looks like on old Berns-Martain Speed Holster? Haven't see one of those in years.

However, I prefer the gun be more exposed. Here's two of my pet holsters:

A Bob Mernickle PS-6SA:



And, a home made copy of the Lawrence #120:





Bob Wright
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry Bob, I thought you identified the gun in the first picture as a Uberti made .45.


In any case, Italian made revolvers don't have a stop in play as the Colts S.A.A'.s do. To get the feel of a Colts S.A.A., a hammer stop will supply the feeling you get when you cycle the action of a well tuned Colt (assuming the Italian is tuned as well).


Dragoon
I am still baffled. I have four Colt SAAs (Three are New Frontiers) and I don't know where the hammer stop is located. I have one Colt NF and a Cimarron Uberti both in front of me and can discern no difference in the cocking of the hammer, but a slightly smoother and lighter trigger pull on the Uberti.

Where would I look to see the hammer stop? To be frank with you, I've never heard of such a part on any Single Action.

Bob Wright
 

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That looks like on old Berns-Martain Speed Holster? Haven't see one of those in years.

However, I prefer the gun be more exposed. Here's two of my pet holsters:

A Bob Mernickle PS-6SA:



And, a home made copy of the Lawrence #120:





Bob Wright
Those are nice holsters but that flat top front sight would tear them up. A Berns-Martin is the only holster I'd ever use but they are very difficult to find for a Colt SAA and I sure wouldn't know how to make one.
 

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Dragoon,

The hammer travel on any properly timed SA is stopped when all the parts snug up and can't move any farther and should all happen at once:

the hand moves cyl until the cyl bolt pops into the cyl notch, and the trigger sear locks into the hammer full cock notch. The 2nd tooth on the hand remains snug (not binding, just snug) against the ratchet teeth, the bolt is snug against the right side of the cyl notch, and the hammer travel stops. Everything stops moving at the same time and there's no further movement of any of the parts.

If the hand is not snug against the ratchet tooth, the cyl will not be held snug against the cyl bolt, the cyl will have play and it can rotate back slightly against the bolt. You won't have proper chamber to barrel alignment. You don't want that!

"The pin boss where the hand attaches to the hammer" DOES NOT "bottom out on the web between the hand passage and the hammer". The pin boss is always in the hand channel. To prove this, remove the cyl and cock the hammer. The hand will keep moving much farther up into the channel until the hammer bottoms in the hammer slot of the grip frame back strap.

The hammer stop screw you're referring to is a fast draw modification to prevent battering all the parts which is absolutely not needed in a standard SA that's properly timed and not used for fast draw.
 

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Hondo,
We will have to agree to disagree. When the hammer is at full cock, the bolt in the notch is what holds the cylinder in position. This includes the chamber/ bore alignment as well (snug in the notch, not one particular side). When the hammer falls, you lose the "snug against the notch " because the hand moves down with the hammer. Therefore, the bolt is the only thing holding the cylinder in position. According to first gen. shop manuals, the "handstop" DOES prevent the hand spring and hand from moving past the fully extended travel. The hand, trigger and bolt jammed together is definitely NOT what stops the action in a Colt S.A.A. (but it IS what stops the action in an Italian SA which is what we want to fix ).
The hammer stop screw that I speak of ( no matter where it originated from) does the same thing as the handstop (which is the name of said boss on a hand), it stops the parts from crashing into each other. To wit, many Colts that I have handled that were properly timed, still had whatever the slightest rotational play in the cylinder at rest as it had at full cock with thumb still pulling back on the hammer. That can't happen if there is contact with hand/ratchet. Thus, all my SA's exhibit the same correct traits as mentioned above.

That's why after the hammer is fitted, the first part Colt put in was the hand. The stoping point of the hand dictated the length of the trigger sear. Last is the bolt. (as far as these parts are concerned). With Italian guns, the full cock position is the stopping point. If your gun has "good" timing, just install the stop and you will be fine. If not,the best set up would be a slightly longer trigger sear (get the trigger with the longest sear section if you can compare) and set the stop. then fit the hand to the stop position (should bring the chamber to full battery and NO more !!!). Then fit the bolt and time the bolt (pick up and drop)and you will have and KEEP perfect timing in your revolver.

Dragoon
 

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Dragoon,

Thanks for your continued and very friendly discussion of this interesting Colt action operation. I don't think we have to agree to disagree yet. I'm always interested in the perceptions of others and never mind being proved wrong because then I learn something new. Besides we have hard evidence and should be able to come to a shared understanding of that evidence.

First of all, I suggest that you remove cyl and pull off the grip frame on your Colt and observe that the actual operation of gun in hand doesn't match your interpretation of what you read in the 1st gen manual. I'm aware of the web between hand channel and hammer slot that you are referring to. It sounds like the manual is describing the original design, I don't know till I see it. But in normal assembly and tuning, the trigger length is not going to be determined by the "web/hand/hammer stop". It has to be quite a bit shorter to work.

Also my USFA clone has the same "web/hand/hammer stop" and works exactly like my Colts which is: with grip frame removed and cyl out, the hand will continue moving up well past the cyl/hand contact position-at-lockup and the hammer well past the full cock position, long before it is stopped by the web. In fact, that's the ONLY WAY the web "stop" can be contacted by the hand pin boss: with cyl and grip frame removed!

Please post a scan of what you are reading, maybe we can figure it out together.

Secondly, you are correct, the hand position relative to the cylinder when hammer is at rest is entirely different than when hammer is fully cocked. That's why there is cyl play when hammer is down. But with hammer cocked, and proper length hand, the cyl notch is held tight against the bolt and should have no play. No Colt notches fit the cyl bolt that snugly and do not for a reason.

So yes, when the hammer falls, the hand retracts but the bolt spring tension holds the cyl in position for continued barrel alignment during the mili-seconds of hammer drop. That's why overly light bolt springs cause problems in cyl alignment and can also cause the bolt to "jump" out of the notch under rapid hammer cocking.


Please observe your Colt and see if it agrees with you and then let's discuss some more.

Good discussion,
Jim
 
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