Colt SAA


November 2, 2006, 11:28 PM
I inspected a new Colt Single Action Army revolver at Reed's Sport Shop in east San Jose, Californina recently, and found it still to be the most expensive inferior product on the market today. The fit between parts is best suited to filing finger nails, and the grips are still too fat, which cause shooting to the right. If one were to pick it up, cock, point and fire at anything more than 25 or 30 feet away in a combat situation, the paper target will shoot back and kill you, because you missed the x-ring. It also is still shipped with a plastic retainer that makes testing the action impossible. Colt Industries has clearly lost their mind; I wrote about the same problems to them when I returned a new revolver to the factory 7 or 8 years ago when it jammed on the firing line.

Thanks for letting me vent. I still love the SAA; I wish I could find one that was built when they still knew how (before the grip design was lost and custom assembly was the norm), which would be at least 30 years ago.

I have read several magazine articles over the last decade that said it was a quality pistol, but the test weapons sent to the writers were obviously custom, not off the assembly line.

Keep you powder dry!

Greg Blankenship
Sunnyvale, California

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November 2, 2006, 11:42 PM
They are in huge demand. Too bad not all of them coming from the factory are as good as what we should expect. If you are interested, a lot of SAA fans think USFA is well worth the money and a superior product.

November 2, 2006, 11:51 PM
Do you have an internet address for USFA?


Old Fuff
November 3, 2006, 09:27 AM
Colt's market for their Single Action Army model is collectors and speculators. They even go so far as to say in the instruction booklet that the revolver shound NEVER be fired, as shooting is will reduce its value.

USFA revolvers offer better quality, and are shooters - but they don't have the built-in value the Colt name adds. That said, if you're looking for a quality gun and not a collectable USFA would be a good place to look. It is generally agreed that they still make the gun like it used to be made, and in the original Colt factory as well.

Uberti (Cimarron Arms, etc.) as well as Beretta and Taurus make excellent shooters at modest prices, and the latter two have a transfer bar safety that allows one to carry 6, not 5 rounds - a nice feature in a shooter.

I don't have an address handy, but Google is your friend... :)

Baba Louie
November 3, 2006, 12:00 PM
Buy the Colt. Think investment/heirloom.

Then buy a US FA Think shoot a lot.

November 4, 2006, 09:02 AM
The last write up I saw on Colt SAAs was by Taffin. they sent him some with large chamber mouth measurements. some people have theorized that colt continues to do this to reduce the pressure and provide a larger margin of error. I don't know but have found some second generation .45s with just about ideal chamber/bore in the .452" range. USFA sets theirs at .452 and they shoot very well. Also the guy who sights them in seems to know what he's doing.

The USFA cylinders are the same diameter as the Ubertis- marginally thicker than the Colts-at least the first and second generations we've measured.

November 4, 2006, 09:19 AM
Gun Tests looked at a new Colt SAA a year or two ago and found it to be inferior in fit, finish, and function. You spend a hell of a lot of money just to get the horsie logo.

Old Fuff
November 4, 2006, 09:33 AM
mec is right... The .025" difference in cylinder diameter makes no practical difference in strength, but it does allow the bolt notches to be cut a hair deeper. That is important. Many Colt cylinders have a relatively short useful life because the notches get peened out and the bolt will no longer securely lock it.

The 19th century guns tended to last longer because the were (1) better fitted, and (2) had so heavy a mainspring that fast cocking was at best difficult.

They didn't call them a "thumb-buster" for nothing... :neener:

November 4, 2006, 09:36 AM
I have the Beretta Stampede (Urberti is owned by Beretta). Gun fit and finish is excellent and shoot to POA - which sometimes is where I am trying to hit.;) That said it is still a SAA and yes the screws back out with lots of shooting so have blue Loc Tite on your bench.

My next foray into the single action world will be a Ruger Black Hawk in ,45 Colt. Guns are built stronger than the SAA design and have adjustable sights.

The USFA models have great reputations but they sell for more coin than the Rugers and Italian Stallions and I am not sure represent that much more in value.

Take Care


erich w
November 4, 2006, 12:26 PM
its out dated, its an old style revolver and shouldn't be bought for shooting, it was meant as a collectors item and a conversation piece, if you want a good sa revolver then look into a ruger blackhawk

November 4, 2006, 01:48 PM
"You spend a hell of a lot of money just to get the horsie logo..."
But never fear. You also spend a hell of a lot of money on a USFA.

Old Fuff is right too. It's not too unusuall to see the notches on a colt cylinder printing through into the chambers. The main spring on the first generation colts was massively heavy and often caused a very stout trigger pull as well.

November 4, 2006, 02:56 PM
What about the Texican from STI? Anyone?


The introduction of this high quality revolver will revolutionize the firearms industry. The STI Texican is the first firearm of any type made using ultra-high speed precision machining. Unlike conventional CNC machining, the surfaces of the finished parts are perfectly smooth and straight; they do not require grinding or polishing, so there are no rounded edges, no distorted screw holes. Flat surfaces are flat, not wavy. The result: perfection.

Proudly made in the USA, the Texican sets itself apart from the other single action revolvers. All Texican parts are either ultra-high speed or electron discharge machined from chrome-moly steel forgings or bar stock (no castings) to dimensions measured in tenths ( ten thousands of an inch), then precisely installed, achieving an exactness of fit and smoothness of function not found in custom revolvers at twice the price of the Texican.

The new Texican will find itself at home shooting popular cowboy action loads, but when called upon is fully capable of safely shooting factory ammunition, due to the high quality materials used in manufacturing and the precision alignment of the chamber throats to the bore center of barrel. Competition sights, springs, triggers and hammers eliminate the trip to your gunsmith you might expect with other single action revolvers. Classic features like color case hardening and bluing help to maintain the original look that is desirable in the traditional single action revolver.

Caliber .45 L.C. (Long Colt)
Capacity 6 Rounds
Grip Hard Rubber with STI Logo
Barrel 5 1/2", 1:12 Twist
Firing Pin Hammer Firing Pin (no transfer bar)
Sights Front Fixed, Rear Fixed
Overall Length 11”
Weight 36.0 oz.
Finish Blued Finish with Color Case Hardened Frame
Competition Approvals S.A.S.S. (Single Action Shooting Society)

MSRP $1,260.00

November 4, 2006, 03:24 PM
They seem to have it priced the same as the USFA PreWar and the picture looks just like what I remember of the advertising pictures of the second generation colts. I bet it's about the same quality as the USFA and some will prefer the more subdued frame to the varnished Turnbull finish on the USFAs.

Harve Curry
November 4, 2006, 03:27 PM
I don't know about other peoples problems with Colt's SAA. I have a new one in 44 spl, made for me from the Colt Custom Shop and it shoots very well.:)
I did change the trigger/bolt spring to a Hienie brand wire type because I wanted a lighter trigger. It shoots to POA from close to ranges past 150 yards with anything I put in it. It prefers 200 to 215gr bullets.

November 4, 2006, 03:35 PM
"its out dated, its an old style revolver and shouldn't be bought for shooting..."

I can't argue with a single word of that. But, the more outdated and old style I get, the more I seem to vector toward old fashioned handguns. The Gold Cup I'm wearing right now is fairly ancient too. What happened with me is that a friend has a large collection of first, second and third gen colts and uberti copies. I/ve shot them extensively and decided it was time for me to get one of the same ilk. the choice seemed to be either get a second generation in new or renewable condition or the USFA. You can shoot just as well with a well set up Uberti but I wanted to go the whole hog so ordered this one. USFA also maintaines spare parts and I have laid in some extra hand springs, hand , mainspring and locking bolt. I reduced the trigger pull somewhat by replacing the trigger/ bolt spring with a wolff wire job.

November 4, 2006, 07:27 PM
A few years (2 or 3 years?) ago I bought a new in box Colt SAA that was from the custom shop (complete with the custom shop inner and outer boxes and all accessories. i was disappointed with the finish of the gun. On careful inspection, there were fine tool marks in the backstrap. Also, when I field stripped the gun to clean it before taking it to the range, I found metal shavings inside all of the chambers of the cylinders! I used some canned air to gently blow the shavings out, but that was bad!

I took the gun to the range and was disappointed that the gun shot several inches to the left! I was super disappointed with the gun. I inexplicably bought another Colt SAA a year or so later. This was an older production gun, but was NIB from a dealer. There were no tool marks, but the blueing on the gun seemed kinda dull. However, this older production SAA shot much better than the more recent production gun. My only complaint was that the point of impact was a little high with 255 gr standard pressure loads. I had to hold the sights at a six o'clock position at 25 yards to hit the center.

Anyway, I was less than impressed with the Colt SAA's that I've seen. The USFA guns that I've had the chance to handle seem to be much better quality. Even the lower cost Rodeo models that I've handled in the shop seem to be really nicely machined and finished. Also the Beretta/Uberti's that I've seen were really quite nice.

I eventually sold both Colts. i must say, they really do have good resale value. I didn't lose much money on these guns.

If I were to buy a cowboy-style SAA again, I'd probably go with a Ruger Vaquero or a Beretta/Uberti Clone or a USFA gun if I could afford it. The USFA seems to be the nicest of the bunch, but they are pricey (although still less expensive than a Colt). I've had mixed experience with Ruger quality, but their customer service department seems to be very helpful and does a good job.

I do own a Colt 1911a1 (recent production) and it is a nice and accurate gun, but I doubt if I would ever spend the big bucks on another Colt. I think that they are generally overvalued due to the "Colt mystique."

Oh yeah, here's the link the the USFA website,

November 7, 2006, 07:36 AM
I've been bitten by the "Texican" bug.

From all I've been able to gather, it's typical STI, which is to say: "Racegun" - just for the CAS set this time through.

If they manage to make it look decent, so much the better.

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