Colt SAA .45 range report


July 31, 2006, 03:12 PM
I finally got my LNIB 5 1/2" Colt SAA .45 out of layaway on Friday and made it to the range today. I have always wanted a Peacemaker for reasons that are obvious to any red-blooded American, so this Colt is kind of a "Holy Grail" for me. IMO the Colt SA is as iconic of American culture as anything can be, with the possible exception of the 1911. Anyway, I took the Colt and grabbed 2 boxes of CCI Blazer 200 grain JHP and a bag of 255 grain commercial reloads. I began shooting at a 1/2 gallon milk jug at 25 yards to get a feel for POI and recoil characteristics. I found it an easy job to hit the jug by aiming on center for windage and about 6" low for elevation. Recoil was very manageable due the characteristic "plowing" motion of the grip in the hand. I moved on to targets and began using a 2 hand hold to get the best offhand accuracy. I found that a six o'clock hold was about perfect (which is what I like -nice!) for the big 255 grainers. I did not find the skimpy sights to be a detriment at that distance, and had no trouble keeping my shots inside the 5" black scoring area of my targets - that's great shooting for me! One handed "duelist" style opened the groups up a bit, but it was alot of fun shooting that way.

The revolver functioned perfectly and is very well fitted. The trigger pull is approx. 3.5 lbs. and very crisp with just a hint of overtravel. The sights are regulated well from the factory but shoot a hair to the right at 25 yards.

Accuracy was as good as anything else I have in my personal battery.

Fun factor: Immense:p This is just such an incredibly satisfying revolver to shoot, from those big slugs to that majestic rolling recoil, to the beautiful blue barrel and cylinder and the case hardened frame and the action that spells C-O-L-T with every cock of the hammer... this thing is sublime. I love it.

Problems? Only one. Now I have to get another one so I can have a pair. And maybe a .22 version for backyard practice. Hmm, the store did have a Colt Peacemaker .22 LR and Mag convertible too - perhaps I have to go check that out soon. You know how it goes.:)


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Harve Curry
July 31, 2006, 03:25 PM
Welcome to the club, I'm glad you got a good one.

Father Knows Best
July 31, 2006, 03:30 PM
Congrats. They are indeed wonderful guns.

Hmm, the store did have a Colt Peacemaker .22 LR and Mag convertible too - perhaps I have to go check that out soon.

If you decide not to buy it, please shoot me a PM. I've got one Peacemaker 22 and have been looking for another. Thanks!

July 31, 2006, 03:35 PM

What kind of grips? I hope they are Ivory:D

July 31, 2006, 04:12 PM
Here it is - kind of a crappy scan and I have no digital camera. What look like scratches are actually hairs from the silicon rag I've been lovingly polishing her with;)


July 31, 2006, 05:51 PM
I am glad you had better luck with new Colt SAA's than I did.

I just sold mine, and was so happy to get rid of it. Mine had a 7.5 pound trigger pull, and was one of the most inaccurate handguns I have ever fired. It didn't really shoot groups... it shot patterns.

I have a $300 Uberti that could routinely outperform it.

July 31, 2006, 06:05 PM
I notice the three screws in the frame, but I don't think you can go by that anymore.
So I have to ask: Is it the butchered-extra-safe version or the original-better-load-five-cylinders version?
I ask because I hope to get a SAA asap but I don't want the one with the safety mechanisms as I've tried them and they were a horrible chore to shoot.

Father Knows Best
July 31, 2006, 06:14 PM
Since when did Colt modify the internals on the SAA? Every SAA I've ever seen, including those made in the last five years, has the same action. It goes click-click-click-click when you draw the hammer back. There is a real firing pin on the hammer, and no transfer bar or other "safety" system like you find on Rugers and many of the imports. The old adage to load just "five beans in the wheel" still holds.

I think the ill-advised Colt Cowboy of five or six years ago may have had a transfer bar type system, but those weren't SAA's -- they just looked like them. In any case, they didn't last long.

July 31, 2006, 06:46 PM
MBS357 - Not to worry. Colt SAA's have had three screws in the frame since 1873. No transfer bar, no hammer lock, no safety 'cept the one 'tween your ears. I think you might be confusing the Colt with the Ruger - all Rugers made since 1973 have featured the transfer bar safety mechanism. Colts and Rugers share some external cosmetic similarities but are really completely different firearms. Same goes for the Colt Cowboy - that was an attempt by Colt to produce a low-cost competitor to the Rugers and Italian clones (using Italian parts finished and assembled here), but it never gained favor and was dropped a few years ago.

Colt did put out a few questionable SAA's in the late 80's and early 90's. However, I've inspected prolly 10-15 specimens of recent production (97-2005) and found them to be well assembled. Mine is timed very well and the bolt drops into the lead about halfway up. There is a slight bit of endshake but it's well within tolerable limits, and IMO the thing shoots like a house afire.

I examined a NIB Cimarron SAA at the same time and although it was 1/3 the price of the Colt, IMO the Colt was 3 times the revolver! BTW mine was new-old-stock, made in 1998.

Father Knows Best - I will let you know about the Colt .22 soon - I'm still trying to figure out if I can afford it or not. If I can't, it's yours. BUT, it's not new and it's priced at $650, not exactly a bargain. They had a New Frontier .22LR/Mag sitting on the shelf for ages at $400; I finally made up my mind to buy it and, ach! it was gone. C'est la vie!

July 31, 2006, 06:51 PM
can we get a price?

Did this go through the custom shop?

July 31, 2006, 07:13 PM
Hi Warren. I bought it for $1200, which seems to be about mid-range for these things. As I understand, all Colt SAA's are custom shop guns, and have been so for ~5-6 years (maybe more).


Father Knows Best
July 31, 2006, 09:28 PM
$650 for a Peacemaker 22? Yikes, that's a lot! I paid $275 for the one I have. If it's in exceptional shape with the box, I might consider $600, but otherwise....

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