Pietta or Uberti


BP Hunter
January 11, 2006, 01:28 PM
Hello. It seems that there are 2 major makers of blackpowder revolvers in the market. I am in the market for the 1873 Cattleman cap and ball. The Uberti sells for $100 more than the Pietta. Are they of the same quality? What do you folks recommend? Also, is Traditions comparable in quality?

Thanks in advance.:)

If you enjoyed reading about "Pietta or Uberti" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Father Knows Best
January 11, 2006, 01:52 PM
Five years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to recommend that you spend the extra money for the Uberti, because Uberti seemed to have better quality control. The Pietta firm has made great strides, however, over the last few years. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Pietta product these days, and for that price difference, I would certainly consider the Pietta to be a much better value.

January 11, 2006, 02:08 PM
Hello. It seems that there are 2 major makers of blackpowder revolvers in the market. I am in the market for the 1873 Cattleman cap and ball. The Uberti sells for $100 more than the Pietta. Are they of the same quality? What do you folks recommend? Also, is Traditions comparable in quality?

Thanks in advance.:)

I have a couple recent Ubertis. One is a Remington New Army that came in a Cimarron box, from Texas Jack's (both Cimarron and Texas Jack's are in Fredericksburg TX and owned by the same people). The other is a Uberti Cattleman with Stoeger on the barrel, and a Uberti box that looks a lot like the Cimarron box. Both are Millenium Finish (durable beadblast blue and brass) because I wanted a couple of "working guns" I could enjoy playing with, without the anal-retentive paranoia that comes with using beautifully-polished and color-case-hardened guns out in the desert sand and gravel.

The Cimarron has a better trigger. I haven't given the SAA a spring job or anything, so I can improve it I'm sure. But the Cimarron gun doesn't need it. Just luck? I don't know. Let's see what others say.

Pietta makes some very fine guns now, too, though Uberti has the more solid long-term reputation. None of them will blow up, shoot loose, etc.:)

The importer does matter, though. The frame and barrel will be the same, I think, and they're solid. The springs and action, though, can be different. If you get a Navy Arms or Cimarron or somesuch, you will pay more but you may get a gun that was spec'd better and had to meet higher standards. A regular Cimarron Model P is spec'd with a smooth 3-pound trigger. My Stoeger Uberti Cattleman needs some work to get there, though it shoots well and accurately and came sighted-in. A Cimarron Evil Roy costs more, but comes with improved sights, grips and an action job, and is a good deal if you plan to get one done anyway. All these guns are built on the same frame and barrel AFAIK. It's the machine work that differs.

If you plan to do the work yourself or have a gunsmith do it, I'd get the cheapest one. The little parts will be throwaways anyway.

WRT Uberti vs. Pietta... Same deal. The Pietta is not going to explode. The action matters.

An EMF Great Western II (high-end Pietta) is a nice gun. A generic Pietta? Who knows about the springs or trigger, but it'll be cheaper and perfectly solid.

If you will do some modifications, I think that performance parts for Uberti are easier to get.

Now, praytell, why a loose-loading SAA? A specific use for it?

Where are you looking to buy it?

BP Hunter
January 11, 2006, 02:33 PM
thanks for your answers. the 1873 sells their ubertis for $349 at thunderridgemuzzleloading, $395 for their ubertis at taylors, and $295 for their piettas at dixie.

though i have been hunting with bp for a while, last weekend was the first time i 've shot a bp revolver. my wife got me (at my request;) :) ) the ruger old army blued in 5 1/2" barrel for christmas. it was a blast!! loading was quite tedious though. i had to order a loading stand and a good flask with a 35gr spout to hopefully make it easier.

it made ragged holes at 15 feet with a load of 35gr. of 777/ox-yoke felt/hornady .457 ball. i was surprised at how accurate the gun fired. at 25 yards it still held a good 2" grouping...freestyle...out of the box. it shot better than any modern pistol i've fired.

January 11, 2006, 03:01 PM
IMHO you can have more fun with less money.

Since you already have a good-shooting modern BP revolver, why not play with some authentic replicas? 1851 Navy, 1858 Remington, 1860 Army for example.

Note: loading a 7.5" or 8" barrel gun with the built-in loading lever is less tedious than a 5.5" bbl.

Some decent prices on Piettas...

Good prices on Cimarrons...

A Rogers and Spencer is a great shooter, too, but similar to the Ruger in many ways. A Starr is an interesting gun, too, available in Double Action.

All of the above are at or well below the price of an 1873 BP, which, AFAIK, never existed in original form. A Pietta 1851 Navy, 1860 Army or 1858 Remington can each be had for well under $200, a Cimarron Uberti for a little above $200.

My Cimarron Remington 1858 shoots real nice groups, too, with its 8" barrel. I'm thinking I want an open top next, though, like an 1851 Colt, since I have two Remmies and a Rogers and Spencer.:)

Open-tops do collect less fouling. Solid frames with little clearance like the 1873 or the 1858 need to be wiped off every few cylinders, or things get tight.

DO NOT buy a brass-framed gun. They DO shoot loose. Most are inauthentic, too, unless you get a replica of a Confederate gun. They used brass to save steel. They're good for reenactments and wall decorations. Shoot steel.

January 11, 2006, 03:09 PM

By brass frame, I mean the structural frame of the gun. Brass grip frames, triggerguards, backstraps, etc. were standard on a lot of original guns and worked fine.

Remingtons had one-piece frames including grip frames, but Colts had screw-together assemblies. Some Colt military guns had steel grip frames, many other Colts had polished brass. Get whatever you like, as long as the gun's structural frame is steel.

BP Hunter
January 11, 2006, 06:26 PM
thanks for you ideas. are .36 cal. revolovers as much fun as .44's? now i can't decide what to get.:( so many guns, too little time.:)

January 11, 2006, 07:10 PM
thanks for you ideas. are .36 cal. revolovers as much fun as .44's? now i can't decide what to get.:( so many guns, too little time.:)

The Ruger takes a different sized bullet from other .44's. So either way, you'll have to get different bullets or molds.

The .36 caliber guns have less recoil, burn less powder, and shoot cheaper bullets (whether you buy or cast them). So they're cheaper to use and less intimidating to neophytes you might want to invite to the range. The Ruger is a stout, heavy gun with a substantial grip. A Colt or Remington grip is smaller, and the guns are lighter. The first time a .44 BP goes off in your hand can be a bit of a surprise if you're not a seasoned handgun shooter, and feels "different" even if you are. With all the smoke and flame, it's a flinchmaker. But it's fun, too.

A Colt Navy grip is the same as a Colt SAA. The 1860 Army grip is longer. The 1858 Remington feels small, but I haven't measured it against a SAA grip. The Rogers and Spencer has a large grip that's flared at the bottom; it's probably the easiest original .44 to shoot with a full-house load (40 gr. of 3F or equiv).

Anyway, I don't have a .36, but I'm contemplating getting one, probably an 1851 Navy, though the 1861 is a beautiful piece (note that only the Uberti is an accurate replica of the 1861). The 1851 Navy Marshal (5.5" engraved, Pietta) also looks fun, though there's something appealing about the .44 version.

If you only plan to shoot paper and cans, a .36 would be a good next gun, especially given that you have a .44 already. It's actually an effective SD weapon, too, if Old West gunfighters can be believed. The only downside, really, is that SASS targets are set up for heavier bullets so SASS cautions against .36 caliber in CAS competition. And most loaders I've seen don't work on smaller calibers, so you'd have to load the .36 with the built-in lever. It will be easier to load than your Ruger, though.

The cool thing about the dilemma is that the guns, even the really nice ones, are pretty cheap.:)

BP Hunter
January 11, 2006, 07:41 PM
you're right. i already have a .44 cal. so i guess the next one is going to be the .36cal. i liked your comment on a revolver without the top strap. it will definitely shorten cleaning time. shooting black powder is a blast but the cleaning, i have to admit, is something you really have to get use to.

i'm looking at this piece of beauty: .36 cal 1862 police


January 11, 2006, 09:46 PM
i love the ruger old army.i have the 7inch barrel.there is nothing better than ruger,i have a colt 1851 navy have not fired it yet,waiting on the molds to come.

walking arsenal
January 11, 2006, 10:25 PM
Having handled both in our shop my vote is for te pietta. I know how neither shoot but in looks nad machining the pietta looked way better, absolutly gorgeous. However colt has pietta grind the patent numbers off the guns on import.

Old Dragoon
January 11, 2006, 11:55 PM
I'll throw in with the Pietta.
I own 3 '58 Remingtons, none purchased new, but bought off the net. All were new in the box or unfired when I got them. Two shoot great out of the box, one had a small problem with indentations into the rifling at the site of the front sight and the rammer latch. That one is now my 4 3/4 inch gunfighter. I'm working on the front sight to get it poa at 25 yds. Shot it last Sat and let Smoking_Gun shoot it. He showed me that it would shoot. I'm very happy with all three now.

January 12, 2006, 08:59 AM
Over the years I have bought four C&B guns from Cabelas and they have all been Pietta. Years ago Pietta did not hold a candle to Uberti but that has changed in the past few years.
It doesn't matter who you buy from these Revolvers are either made by Uberti or Pietta. One company does a better job of quality control meaning they check out the guns before they are sent to you. Some even go so far as smoothing up the action for you and touching up any little dings. That's why they charge you $100.00-$150.00 more than another distributer. Learning how to tune and smooth the action on these Revolvers is all part of the fun and one of the most satifying aspects of owning and shooting one.
We may get one that has a scratch or a nick here and there but that's typical of Italian guns. Have you bought a so called made in the USA gun lately? It's enough to make you cry!
Anyway, I would like to suggest that you buy your first from Cabelas and buy a parts kit to go with it at the same time. You can also buy it as a kit and get everything you need to get you started shooting except the caps and powder. They have a great easy return policy with no hassels at all, you can talk to there gun techs if you have any questions or problems and they will make it right.
Way to many bad stories from guy's who have bought there revolvers from others lately. You just can't beat Cabelas today.

BP Hunter
January 12, 2006, 02:08 PM
thanks for all of your contributions. it looks like pietta will be my choice. and it also looks like cabelas is going to be the place to get it. $199 for a 5" .36 cal. 1862 police and $34.99 for a spare cylinder should make me happy. i might even get a loading stand.:) :)

January 12, 2006, 02:49 PM
One more comment...

FYI I was nosing around the Web and it seems that Thunder Ranch has a .36 cal loading lever assembly as well as a .44 version.

Good luck and have fun!

BP Hunter
January 12, 2006, 06:12 PM
next question: will a 5", 5 1/2", or a 6 1/2" barrel make a difference in accuracy? i plan to shoot up to 25-30 yards.

January 12, 2006, 06:34 PM
The longer the barrel, the better we generally shoot. That is more a function of the longer sight radius than any accuracy deficiency from shorter barrels which are capable of excellent accuracy but are handicapped by their sights. I'd say pick whichever length looks better to you and have fun!


January 12, 2006, 08:36 PM
With black powder, you will get more velocity with a longer barrel, since the powder burns slowly. A Colt doesn't have the most advanced sights: a notch in the hammer and a cone on the barrel. But the sight radius is the longest of any gun with that barrel length, since the sight is on the cocked hammer!:)

January 16, 2006, 01:25 AM
Five years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to recommend that you spend the extra money for the Uberti, because Uberti seemed to have better quality control. The Pietta firm has made great strides, however, over the last few years. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Pietta product these days, and for that price difference, I would certainly consider the Pietta to be a much better value.

Get the Uberti 1873BP 7 1/2" all steel perfect acton and alignment, bluing is close to being a charcoal, shoots great. Chamber to bore dimensions are equal. You wouldn't be sorry getting it, I'd recommend it. I have always bought Pietta Rems most all their products are very good. They sell a couple of open top model colts that have had problems...I did just make a trade for a 1858 Uberti which I am very pleased with, smooth action needs no work, feels a little better in my hand.
I doubt very much if the Pietta 1873BP SAA has any problems...If I were wanting to buy for $100 less I wouldn't hesitate on the Pietta myself.

May 28, 2008, 11:04 AM
Hello;Iam new to the group.
I just purchased a new pietta 1851 navy colt in .44.it is stainless steel.does any body have any input on it?

May 28, 2008, 11:22 AM
I bought a Uberti 1873 7 1/2 barrel a few years ago ..The action was so slick out of the box , I would have sworn some one had done some action work on it .Fit and finish were A+++ to boot .....only problem with it ....and my friends that have them have the same problem ..they shoot a little high and a little left , and there isn`t much you can do about it except learn some KY windage . My 1858 Remingtons with conversion cylinders shoot POA ..So I was expecting more out of the 1873 and got a little dissapointed .

May 28, 2008, 01:53 PM
I'm not a Pietta fan. My wife got me a Pietta stainless 58 Rem. for Christmas and after the initial excitement died down I had to admit to my wife that I was taking it back to Bass-Pro. The finish was fine the fit was too terrible. The wood to metal fit was so bad that there was no way to fix it and I wouldn't support lousy workmanship anyway. I hoped that it was just that gun but it wasn't. I looked at three other Pietta SS 58's and they were all too bad to buy. I took a store credit. I also made sure that the management of Bass-Pro knew why I was irritated. Just yesterday I was at Bass-Pro and decided to go and look at BP revolvers. The sales guy took out another SS 58 and it looked terrible too. So much for the Pietta's.
The Ubertis I have have great fit and finish and shoot better than I'll ever be able to.

May 28, 2008, 02:45 PM

I have the 1873 percussion Pietta from Dixie : the quality is very very good , both fonction (usual with Pietta) and finish/polishing (less often with Pietta) are top quality. The quality of this gun (I had 4 of them in hand to judge) is above the usual Pietta quality of percussion revolvers.

As for the Colt 1862, it is indeed a very nice gun but you will have to consider that it is more fragile and prone to breakage due to the size so it must be handle with a lot of respect...........

Anyway both guns are beautiful........

have fun

May 28, 2008, 04:33 PM
Jack Steele -

First of all, welcome to the forum. A great group of folks here, always willing to share their vast experience. And even tell a joke or two now and then. You'll enjoy them, I'm sure.

Just a bit of advice: you added your message to an old thread on a topic quite different than your question. I think that's caused some confusion, as Sundance44s and Flibuste were a bit off topic (you asked about an 1851 Navy in .44 cal by Pietta, and they answered about the 1873 Colt that was the original topic in this thread). If you start a new thread with the "New Thread" button at the top of the page where the threads are all listed you'll get more attention focused on your questions.

Now, about the Pietta 1851 Navy in .44 cal --

First, it's not an authentic reproduction. Colt never made the 1851 Navy in .44 cal. However, it's a fun gun to shoot and should give you many years of excellent service. Pietta's recent products have been good quality, often reaching Uberti's standards for less money. However, they do still occasionally produce the odd lemon, as Pancho unfortunately found out.

Use either .454 or .457 round balls, over about 25 grains (by volume) of real black powder. I personally prefer a lubed felt wad between the powder and ball, but others prefer to put a dab of Crisco shortening or other lube over the ball after it's in place. One note of warning: be sure the ball is seated on the wad and powder - there must be no gap there. Also, you will note a small ring of lead is shaved from the ball when loading; this is a good thing, ensuring a good gas seal around the ball.

You can expect the gun to shoot high at 25 yards; they all do it due to the basic design.

Have fun!

May 28, 2008, 07:36 PM
I just compared a Pietta 1858 to my Uberti 1858. I was glad I got the Uberti. The trigger is a LOT better; the whole action is a lot better. Pietta didn't bother to finish the inside of the brass trigger guard; it was still rough-machined.

I have a Uberti Cattleman Millenium, but in .357. It was so-so out of the box, mainly due to a heavy mainspring. A set of Wolffs and the thing feels GREAT! $265 for the revolver, $20 for the springs. Can't complain, given that it feels like it's been worked. Shoots dead-on, it's smooth and reliable.

Can't say for sure what the SAA would be like, but I lean Uberti, the more I see. Beretta seems to be improving Uberti, too. Too bad the prices are also rising, but they're still not bad.

June 1, 2008, 10:05 AM
Thank you for the response it was very helpful and i apologize for the late response for i was away.

June 1, 2008, 12:50 PM
I just bought a new Pietta 1860 Army, here is what happened after about 100 rounds. The first thing that I noticed was the bolt head hitting on the edge of the cylinder notch and knocking it in. I had to shorten the leg on the bolt to make it hit earlier so it would be off the edge of the notch. I think this is common with all makes. The next thing I noticed was the bolt is really denting the cylinder, I guess the spring is a little strong, or they just use soft metal.

I did find alot of burrs on the inside parts that had to be removed, and the trigger pull had alot of creep. After some polishing it did smooth up.

The bad thing was the gap between the barrel and cylinder opened up to .011, it was not that loose out of the box. It took some work with a file, and fitting a new wedge after the file work was done to close the gap back up.

The grips had a dark finish on them, so I had to refinish them to lighten them up some.

The screw in the loading lever could not be tight or it would almost lock the lever up and not let it work. So it took some work to loosen it up.

It does shoot good and groups well, but that is alot of work for a new pistol. I have one Uberti 1858 in Stainless Steel, no problems with it. I have two 2nd gen. and one 3rd gen. Colts, no problems there.

Would I buy another Pietta, no way. I would put my money on a Colt if I could spend the extra, if not, buy the Uberti. I know my comparison of my Pietta and my Uberti is probally not a fair one, because my Uberti is Stainless, but that is the only one I have. I did not have to remove any burrs inside of the Colts or the Uberti. No problems with them.

I heard talk that Pietta has improved their Quality in the last couple of years, this one is dated 2007, they need to do alot more. Sorry Pietta fans if I've pi*#ed you off, that is not my intention, just reporting what I found so this guy can make the right decision.:)

June 25, 2008, 03:53 PM
I know this is a little dated, but I'd thought I would sound off.

I sell a number of SAA and have been looking for one for myself.

I've seen a good number of Cimarrons, Navy Arms, and Charles Daly (Pietta).
I have to say as of late I have not been impressed with the Cimarrons, specifically the Model P. The fit and finish, well not bad, is bettered by the CD. I've sent a couple back due to excessive cylinder gap. I'm talking about
.007-.008", and while Cimarron says that's in spec. the CDs are usually around .002-.004. I cannot imagine shooting .357 Mag. ammo in the .008" gap.

I prefer the dark Walnut found on the CDs and even the "CD" that's engraved on the wood is tastefully done. Fit and finish is first rate, I know, I know, even though they say Charles Daly on the barrels they are well done.

The base pin to frame and base pin to cylinder fit on the CDs is actually tight. No slop at all, the same can't always be said for the other two brands.

Just my .02 cents.

June 25, 2008, 04:04 PM
i agree with armed bear on Cimaron arms. Now apples to apples a new out of the box uberti is probably pretty darn close with a pietta. Problem is you dont know how old the item your buying is. Lets say you go to XYZ gunshop. ask for an 1851 pietta and 1851 uberti. out of the box the uberti just smokes the pietta. Now look at the production dates if you have a chart. box dates help. you may be looking at a pietta from 1999 and an uberti from 2007. Not a fair match. If you look at a pietta from the past year to an ubert they are probably pretty close. Now that does not compare to cimaron. Cimaron takes the ubertis and pretty much redoes the whole gun. They pick the best of the litter then refit finish and refine the gun. Some they even do more detail work, plating engraving. You get some really fine guns from them. You will pay top dollar. I have a cimaron WALKER. that gun is really nice. However comparing a pietta and uberti they both shoot well and handle very good. We read everyweek how someone gets a bad gun out of the box from xyz gunshop. they had to return it 4 times and pretty much pissed everyone off at the gunshop. This is not the shooters fault its the retailer. why. Because they fail to get rid of the bad guns. hate to say it. that shooter could have and should have put a red X on the box on a corner or somethin. Because someone else is going to buy the same gun. The retailer i guarantee has not sent back the gun and has no intentions. if anything the will knock off 50 bucks or so to get rid of it. So someone else will have to deal with the problem. just like buying a car 20 years ago or more. Straight from the dealer you could get a really good one. Or sometimes pick up a lemon. unfortuneatley this is what we have to deal with today.

June 25, 2008, 04:28 PM
Pietta`s quality seems to have improved alot on the outside fit and finish ...but it`s still the same blind man fitting the innards ...Bought a new Pietta 1858 2 months ago ..looks great on the out side ..inside ..one word ( rough )

June 25, 2008, 06:01 PM
:uhoh: K.A.T. :
I know the feeling of getting a lemon. Anymore, I get gun shy buying a new gun of any type, brand, or make. However; I've just purchased an 1860 EMF (PIETTA). Put maybe 50 rounds through it so far. Hopefully EMF tweaks theirs up before shipping, because this is a good one so far.:D


June 25, 2008, 06:35 PM
Pietta`s quality seems to have improved alot on the outside fit and finish ...but it`s still the same blind man fitting the innards ...Bought a new Pietta 1858 2 months ago ..looks great on the out side ..inside ..one word ( rough )

That has not been my experience at all. I don't know when your 1858 was manufactured but anything I've received has been 2005 and later. Like I said, the Pietta made SAA are as good if not better than most other brands.

As a retailer I have sent guns back for bad fit and finish

If you enjoyed reading about "Pietta or Uberti" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!