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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would someone explain to me the difference between "copy" and "clone?" Pertaining to the Colt Single Action Army, the old Belgian models and the 1950s vintage Great Westerns are usually referred to as "copies." The current Italian made guns (i.e. Ubertis) are referred to as "clones."

Also, who all has made copies/clones of the old Colt over the years? I exclude such guns as the Ruger Blackhawks, Abilenes, and Mossbergs which are modern versions of the Single Action.

And, please discuss the pedigree of the "Mexican Colts."

Thanks,

Bob Wright
 

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Apparently, the word clone was not as "main stream " in the 1950's so, 'copy' rather than 'like' was surely better to advertise a gun that's "as good as" a Colt. Likewise today, what could be better than a "clone" of a Colt ?!!! (Certainly not a meer "copy"!!!!!)

There, that's the best I can come up with at the moment!!!

Dragoon
 

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Bob, this is only a guess, but I'd think that a Cimarron, Uberti, etc would be clones. Guns such as the Ruger, Great Western, Haws, would be copies or maybe rather similar. There may be fine lines between terms?
 

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As stated "clone" would infer a piece as close to original spec of the parent piece. A "copy" would be a likeness of the original without regard to exactness.

Uberti closely follows the specs of Colts so would fit the clone scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
O.K. So the Pietta, Uberti, et al, are "clones" and they try to duplicate the old Colt.

And the Ruger Vaquero, Great Western, and Virginian are "copies."

That was my surmise in the beginning, thank ya'll for clarifying that.

Now, as to "Mexican Colts"???????? Where and approximately when, were these made?

Bob Wright
 

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Mexican Colts were 'knockoffs' of real Colts way back in the day. But not very well made nor was there much effort to make them authentic copies of Colts. Most contours and parts were shaped differently. The worst Italian clone is more authentic looking than any Mexican Colt. Basically they only resembled a Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mexican Colts were 'knockoffs' of real Colts way back in the day. But not very well made nor was there much effort to make them authentic copies of Colts. Most contours and parts were shaped differently. The worst Italian clone is more authentic looking than any Mexican Colt. Basically they only resembled a Colt.
Well, my question is, where, and by whom, were these "Mexican Colts" made?

I have seen some Single Action revolvers from around the WW I era, clearly marked Belgium that were indeed very well made copies. This leads me to wonder if the "Mexican Colts were Belgian or Spanish made. I place the era of manufacture around WW I as many of these seem to have been brought back by returning WW I veterans.

One of these revolvers was a very good copy of an 1878 DA Colt. It appeared to have been either thinly nickeled or left in the white, but was very well made.

And I had at one time a DA revolver that looked like a Colt SAA, though about the size of Model 1877 DA, and made up more like a Remington revolver. Crude design, but very well made.

Bob Wright
 

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I used to collect "Mexican"Colts when I worked in Mexico.The best info at the time indicated some were made in Mexico,but most in Spain(no proof marks).These were made between 1890 and 1920's to supply the civilian Mexicans during the various Revolutions.All were in either .38 or .44.Only the government was allowed to have .45's.I've owned them in .38 Colt, 44-40, and 44 rimfire. The Mexicans wanted a SAA but couldn't afford the real thing.Some I owned were poor quality and didn't look "right". others were very well made and were marked "almost "correctly. I wouldn't trust the metallurgy however. The only one I still have is stamped with a RR and number and was obviously used a lot without blowing up.These probably were more a part of the Old West than the Colts we see today and IMHO should be included in any Colt collection.20 years ago you could find these for $50,but I've seen them recently as much as $1000 for a good copy .
 

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The term 'Mexican Colt' likely refers to those Belgian copies.

Colt and S&W revolvers (and of course, Webley) were widely copied on the Continent - notably in Belgium and Spain - with their intended sales directed towards the Third World, where English wasn't the first language, but the logo and lettering looked very similar to an original.

These would eventually fill pawn shop shelves, as well - being low-cost, and to the uninformed - 'close enough'.

The term 'Mexican' was pejorative - much like 'Made in Japan' was, and now - 'Made in China' - signifying a product that wasn't up to snuff, the way American firms would make it.

Today, Winchesters are 'Made in Japan' and Gerber knives are 'Made in China'.

Times have changed...
 

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Where does "repro" fit in this discussion. I hear (and use) the term 'Italian repro' in reference to Uberti, etc. I imagine a 'purist' would consider repro to mean resumed production of an obsolete model by a mfgr such as the 2nd generation Colt percs.
 

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Sometimes the term "Mexican Colts" is in reference to genuine Colts shipped to Mexico which are stamped on the butts "Rep. Mex." (Republica Mexicana - Mexican Republic)) in 44-40 or "E. de Mex." (Estados de Mexico -States of Mexico) in 38-40 w/ 4 3/4" barrels shipped thru Hartley Co., NY.

Knock offs made in Belgian can be of excellent quality since some were made by famous shotgun manufacturers.
 

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Where does "repro" fit in this discussion. I hear (and use) the term 'Italian repro' in reference to Uberti, etc. I imagine a 'purist' would consider repro to mean resumed production of an obsolete model by a mfgr such as the 2nd generation Colt percs.
The term "repro" for reproduction is synonymous with "clone". "Replicas" refers to non-firing copies like those made and sold in Japan and the USA.

Neither of these terms should be confused with "Reintroduction" which refers to Colts 2nd and 3rd gen black powder models. These are the genuine article made by the original manufacturer and are previously discontinued models. It is sometimes applied to models made by a defunct company's successor company that resumes production of the original company's products under the original company's name or a new name. Uberti's Great Western SAAs sorta kinda fits this category.
 

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"Replicas" refers to non-firing copies like those made and sold in Japan and the USA.
The term replica has been understood to be a re-make of a classic design by the original manufacturer - like the Colt SAA or the 2nd or 3rd generation Cap n Ball Colt revolving pistols by Colt. I don't know where the idea of the fake guns you mention could be called a replica.
 

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The term replica has been understood to be a re-make of a classic design by the original manufacturer - like the Colt SAA or the 2nd or 3rd generation Cap n Ball Colt revolving pistols by Colt. I don't know where the idea of the fake guns you mention could be called a replica.
You're right it's commonly mis-used/understood, as are all the terms on occasion. The 'Replica' generic usage, especially in the art world is quite different than when its applied to firearms which has a more specific meaning in the gun fraternity and defined in gun books. When replica is listed in the on-line auctions, however, it's invariably a non-shooting copy. For example: Colt M-1850 REVOLVING PERCUSSION RIFLE / Replica : Non-Firing Replica Guns at GunBroker.com

Jim
 
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