This ain't about collecting. The thread is about Standard MFG, i.e., a USFA substitute. I have my own thoughts on the collectability of 3rd generation Colt's but that's for another discussion. IMHO, they were "good" in the `'90's and not "very fine" until the last ten or so years. I can forgive USFA's negligible dimensional differences easier than I can Colt's rough actions, over-polishing, white hammers and modern bluing.It is cool if shooting is the goal and not collecting for presumed profit down the road. That what clones are for. I shot the hell out of clones in the seventies and eighties, but those old Navy Arms repros didn't have good internals or screws. They got out of time easily and some were sold as seconds, having slightly misaligned cylinder to bore measurements. The end labels even stated the gun would shoot "slightly left"! This caused my desire to purchase an actual Colt, a 44Spl. second gen made in 1960. I did all my hip and fast draw shooting with it and never had to replace anything inside. It ate at least 10,000 rounds and I wore 20 percent of the blue and case. I bought it for 275 in 1979 and sold it in 1987 for 800. That indicated, at that time, that Colts held value and increased in value. Clones never did that. But when USFA entered the market, a better choice was available at a time when Colt was on a self destruct path. Donnally capitalized on this and the rest is history, but even while he took out full page adds in the Cowboy Chronicle that stated the only difference was a name, he was still using Italian parts. I discussed this with him just before he began his own machining process from raw stock. Not long after USF folded, presumably because the costs went up or the lawsuit from Colt blocked progress. Today, the on going debate about where they are manufactured keeps this forum interesting, but in the mid nineties, Colt did produce a very fine product, thanks to the intervention of MLV, Hank Williams Jr. and, i think, myself. We pestered Colt to fix a number of problems, but because of their legal department, things like the oversize chamber mouths and thinned down hammer were not changed. Attorneys and unions have a knack for killing business. As for the USFA's, they are not quite accurate representations of a prewar SA. There are their own design but of course fitted and machined very flat and tight. That is where they are too good, because the black power originals were not that flat.
How much of this is outdated information? The guns have had removable bushings for some time now. The new guns have a recoil plate. Seems to me that much of the complaints about Uberti guns are from 30-40yrs ago. A whole hell of a lot has changed in that time.Why the Italians can make these guns so cheap is because of the shortcuts they take, for example:
No hardened (seperate) cam in the hammer.
Skipping heat treat on most parts
Using L steels which is easier on the tooling, but you can't harden those properly, hence the soft screws.
No recoil plate
No bushing in the cylinder (some do have one though)
Castings are used for triggers, hands, etc.
Ejector housing shortcuts
Fitting and finishing shortcuts
Compared to the quality of a Colt, they are nothing. But for the guy who buys them cheap, puts a couple rounds through 'em to try and then decides cowboy shooting is nothing for him, they're ideal.
Consider yourself lucky on your earlier guns. My New Frontier is an over-polished mess that I'm glad I didn't pay more than $700 for. I've thought many times about gutting the whole thing and making a custom out of it.I have owned 3 3rd gen SAAs, 2 made in 78, 1 a .44 special and 1 a 45 and 1 made in 2009 in 45. All 3 guns were well fitted and well built and function flawlessly. True the 78s don't have the removable bushing, but that isn't that big of a deal and if it really bothered me I could get it handled. The 2009 is a work of art. I shoot all 3 as well as my 2 1st gens. I paid 1200 for the 09 in 2012 and bought the 2 78s off here in the last few months and 1600 was the most I paid for either one. Could I get more italians for the money I spent on the Colts? Sure, but to me owning a colt SAA, even a 3rd gen, is a well made connection to history. Buying a uberti or such would be like just buying a ruger or a heritage. The gun wouldn't have that connection to history. I would rather own 1 colt SAA then 2 or 3 Ubertis....
If you hate that gun so much, sell it to me. At least the grips. I am in love with those grips, but of course this is not news to you as I say that every time you post this picture. By the way, I have to correct your statement there. Colts are not made by people that don't care about the product and only the profit. That's true of the company Colt, but the hard working union folks that make them surely care about every single one they make. It's not their fault that Colt would rather cater to government contracts than produce the most iconic firearm in history. But that's also nothing new. Colt has always gone after the military market first and civilian market second.Yeah, it's a nice sixgun but the high polish modern bluing and white-sided hammer kill the "historical connection" for me. The name stamped on the barrel is irrelevant to me. This gun was produced by people who could not care less about the product they made, as long as it turned a profit.
Now who's talking about the past? You were just telling others to stop comparing the uberti's of 30 years ago with the ones of today. It seems like that's what you are doing with today's colts. The early third gens were known for being way over polished, but that's not the case with the ones coming out today. At least none of the ones I've handled.bighipiron, Is that why so many 3rd generation guns are so overpolished, because they care so much? I have contrary opinions about those union workers and unions in general.
That's fine and I don't disagree. If I had the money I'd be looking for another 2nd Generation SAA 5 1/2 .45.It's only money, and getting what you truly want is a better use of it than settling for a lesser product.
(That does not mean that you should try this at home, or that you should expect the same mileage.)
(My opinions are my own.)
(Just excessively glad to have what I have.)
The Model 97 is very similar in size, only very slightly smaller than a Colt SAA. My 5 1/2" 44 Special Colt is one ounce heavier than my M97 of the same length. In the bigger bores (41,44,45) the M97's are five shot cylinders. Mine fits in just about any holster made for a SAA. It is really an apples to oranges comparison I think other than the size. You sure won't find a M97 cheaper. They are awesome guns though.Another question--how does the FA model 97 compare is size to the SAA? I know its not meant to be a clone, but it would fill the gap I have.