Traditions 1873 SAA blackpowder pistol


October 14, 2007, 03:11 PM

Anybody have one of these revolvers?

How is the quality and how does it shoot?


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October 14, 2007, 03:47 PM
I happen to have a cap and ball version of the Uberti 1873 SAA (they call it the Cattleman). At first I thought this gun was a black powder cartridge gun so I wasn't going to respond to this post. However, after reading the link you provided I had to post something.

First of all, their add calls the gun a 'black powder revolver'. From the ad I cannot tell whether it's a percussion (cap and ball) or black powder cartridge gun. The term 'black powder revolver' covers either type. The picture implies the cylinder has nipples for caps, but it's not clear. So at first glance I don't know what I'm buying.

But that's just poor marketing. The real problem comes when I click on the link to the owner's manual - I did that to see if I could find out what kind of 'black powder revolver' it is. The question was answered immediately, as the manual is generic for 'cap and ball' revolvers.

Ok, that answers the question. I was about to close the window and move on when I noticed that in the very first section, the first condition on the warranty is that only black powder or Pyrodex is authorized for use - anything else will void the warranty! No 777, no Pinnacle, not even Goex Supreme! You gotta be kidding!

So, I read further to see if perhaps that's really the case, and yep, later on they say it again, under Important Safety Precautions. This is really getting to be silly - 777, according to Traditions, is apparently UNSAFE to use in their guns in any amount.

Next, I notice in the loading instructions that they tell you to seat the ball with the loading lever. Well, notice that the 1872 SAA doesn't have a loading lever. You have to remove the cylinder from the gun and use a cylinder loading stand to load it, a little detail they forget to mention. Yes, the manual is a generic manual for a cap and ball revolver, every other one of which (besides this gun) has such a lever. So, this manual doesn't apply to this gun. So is the gun really a cap and ball version of the SAA or not? We still don't know for sure.

So I read further. In the loading instructions they actually advocate putting a lubed Wonder Wad ON TOP OF THE BALL! Because, tney claim, it will lube the barrel bore. That's utter and complete nonsense!

I own one in-line rifle, a Traditions Lightning. The manual is well written and contains none of the nonsense I found in the manual for this gun. What's happened to these people?

Under no circumstances would I buy a gun from Traditions that had a manual containing such foolishness and failed to correctly describe how to load the gun in the bargain.

The cap and ball 1873 SAA is a neat gun. I like mine, but it is a real pain to load since you have to use the cylinder loading stand. In addition, the clearance between the recoil shield and the back of the cylinder has no relief channel to shed spent caps, and they will reliably and completely jam the cylinder every time you use the gun. I rarely shoot it any more for that reason alone.

If you really want a percussion version of the 1873 SAA, buy a Uberti from from somebody else.

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