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Hello. For me, the quality of a clone isn't the most important. I have a 1st. gen SAA and would rather preserve it than wear it out. I will shoot it, but only a few times until I get a clone to use as a shooter. This way I can shoot the clone until it wears out and get a replacement then... That's what clones are for. You get the SAA experience without worrying about destroying an antique.

I used to have a Pietta SAA in .45 Colt. I noticed off-center primer strikes. The bolt would jump out of the cylinder slots on a couple chambers with slight finger pressure... The Pietta is cheaper than the Uberti, and closer in design to the Colt, but I would not buy another one without inspecting it myself first or have a gunsmith look at it... Uberti, I hear good things about them, but that new hammer safety gizmo on all models now is bugging me.

My SAA is in .38-40, but I'll get a .45 Colt clone. 95gr more lead does make a difference :)

Gil.
 

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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....
 

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Colt's are better built, that is not in question. The question is, are they built better enough for a 400% premium? For $2000, they better be perfect but they are not. I can't justify $2000 or more for an SAA with a white-sided hammer and hot salt bluing that 'may' still need an action job. I'll buy Uberti's and be happy. I'd rather send a Uberti to Turnbull for period correct finishes. If Colt's were $1000, which is about what they should be, it would be a different story.


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.
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.


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.
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.
 

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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....
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.

Except a Ruger is not a faithful copy of the original Colt and a Heritage is a cheap knockoff. As I said, some people make that connection and some do not. I have a hard time making that historical connection with a replica of a 19th century firearm made by a modern soulless corporation that has not a care in the world for their history other than the money it makes them. In truth, the work they do has ALWAYS been more important to Uberti than it has been to the people at Colt in a very long time.

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.




A good shooter but an over-polished mess with huge chambers and throats, produced by people who really didn't care what they made as long as they collected a paycheck. The famous name on the barrel can't make up for that.



Something truly fine, inside and out. Again, the name stamped on the barrel is irrelevant. This gun was produced by people passionate about Colt single actions.




Say what you want about "Eye-talian" gunmakers. They've been at it a hell of a lot longer than we have and they tend to be passionate about everything they do. Some of the finest g uns int he world come from Italy and these days (not 1960) Uberti is doing it right.

 

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We will just have to disagree I am afraid. A Uberti doesn't speak to me, neither does a great western, or a USFA, a Colt does. I have seen a lot of 3rd gen guns, except for a few in the early to mid 80s I have seen, the 3rd gens have all been well built guns. In fact, only 5 or so years ago we discussed on here the current 3rd gens and many who know far more about these 6 shooters than I, felt that since the mid 2000s or so Colt has built the best SAA they have ever produced. I can't say as my 1st gens are all over a 115 years old and not anywhere near mint condition, but like I said my 2009 SAA is a work of Art both in form and function.
 

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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.

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.
 

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Kingcobb, they all speak to me in one way or another. Be they Colt's, USFA's, Uberti's, Pietta's, Ruger's, S&W's, Freedom Arms or full blown customs. I just judge and value them by what they are, not the same stamped on them.

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.

I don't hate it, quite the contrary, it's a very nice sixgun. I'm just not starry-eyed about it just because it's a Colt. In fact, I had planned on having it engraved, refinished and probably restocked in Dall sheep horn. So at some point, I may send those grips to you. I don't like the way they're shaped anyway, too flat on the sides. Contrary to many, I'd do all that to any 3rd generation Colt but not the USFA.
 

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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.
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.
 

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At times like these, I'm in that demographic that's comforted by the "I got mine already" saying.
You, on the other hand, may not be. :D
Denis
 

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At times like these, I'm in that demographic that's comforted by the "I got mine already" saying.
You, on the other hand, may not be. :D
Denis
Maybe so, but at least I've had a couple of Colt's SAA, and can therefore not justify paying MSRP + 1K just to have mine.
 

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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.)
Denis
 

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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.)
Denis
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.
You see I've had several Colt's SAA revolvers, so when I post that today's Uberti's are good enough, I have something to base it on. A Volkswagen is better then walking.

Speaking of 5 1/2 Single Action Army Revolvers I took a trip over to the Colt Web site and the 5 1/2 is no longer listed. Not that it makes any difference they don't have any 7 1/2 or 4.75 either.
 

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First girlfriend in highschool had a Volks.
Woohoo!
Fond memories there, proving you CAN have good times with a Bug. And IN a Bug. :D
Denis
 

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How are things looking now? I came across Standard (and subsequently this thread) looking for US made repro's after passing on a pair of consecutive USFA Rodeos. They sold for just north of $2500 in near mint condition, and I'll probably kick myself later, but I wasn't confident in my knowledge of the pricing.

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.
 

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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.
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.

Dan
 

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At my age,and being with Colts since the late 60s,and only discovering the SAA last year I’m out of time ! No time
to check out the Colt “wannabes “. So the ONLY thing I’m buying is Colt,the real deal or nothing!
 
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