Dry fire Uberti Cattleman .45 Colt?


A. E. Hertzler
June 22, 2008, 08:46 PM
I just bought an Uberti Cattleman that the local dealer had on sale for $370. It is the old model without the transfer bar.

The booklet has a special caution not to dry fire the .22, but that is pretty standard, including my S&W 317 kit gun.

I would assume that there would be no damage from dry firing the .45 Colt, but searching for an answer in the THC archives I found a post where a member returned a Cimarron (also made by Uberti) and was told the problem (a broken hand spring on a Bisley) was caused by dry fire.

Cimarron blowing smoke, or is there a risk to the older designs from dry fire?

Do snap caps make a difference (except for the practice loading)?



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June 22, 2008, 09:05 PM
I would not dry fire any Colt SAA clone, and I believe good snap caps make a huge difference. I have had numerous Colts and still have 2 Cimarrons, and I have never broken anything other than a mainspring and a couple of trigger/bolt springs (a common failing of the design). I like the A-Zoom aluminum ones. I have had numerous breakages with the red and clear plastic ones.

A. E. Hertzler
June 22, 2008, 09:27 PM
Thanks Virginian. But I am a little confused.

Is it OK to dry fire with good aluminum snap caps like I have for my .45 ACP and .38 special and 12 gauge, or should I never dry fire?

Dry fire really helps with getting used to a new trigger and practicing trigger control. .45 Colt ammo is not cheap, and I can dry fire in the basement.

June 22, 2008, 11:28 PM
Dry-firing any half-way true copy of a SAA is a no-no.....the firing pin will strike directly on the hole in the frame, causing excessive wear to both...if the gun has a bushing/recoil-plate for the fp hole, it could end up punching it out....enlarging/burring the hole is a certainty....you can buy snap caps, or just stick a bit of leather in the hammer recess.....

June 22, 2008, 11:49 PM
It is the old model without the transfer bar. When did Uberti start using transfer bars?

A. E. Hertzler
June 23, 2008, 12:23 AM
New model is also without transfer bar. Old model explains sale price. I really didn't investigate what was new about the new model until I read nalioth's post. I was just hoping Uberti was not pulling a S&W and putting an internal lock on.

I have wanted an SAA reproduction for a long time, and the price was too good for me to pass up.

I understand why it is a bad idea to dry fire without snap caps, but it seems to me that dry firing with good aluminum snap caps would be safe. Particularly if I inspect them periodically to be sure they are not dented enough for the pin to strike the frame.

Am I missing something? This is my first single action (except my 1911).

June 23, 2008, 04:15 AM
I have a Longhunter USFA Rodeo and I recently bought a Cimarron Thunderer, I regularly dry fire both of them with A-Zoom snap caps. So far no problems....


June 23, 2008, 06:38 AM
Uberti doesn't use an actual transfer bar, they use a screw activated hammer block located on the hammer itself.
When this device is moved to the up position it prevents the hammer from contacting the primer of a chambered cartridge.
Unlike a transfer bar, the hammer block does not automatically engage during operation, it must be manually engaged and disengaged with a small screwdriver.
This device was added to Uberti revolvers to satisfy the point system that the US uses to allow importation of handguns into the country.
Meet the minimum points and the gun can be imported, simple as that.
In actual practice the hammer block device is really all but useless or practical.

That said, it will also not work as a dry firing device.
Excessive snapping with the hammer block engaged will cause it to peen out in the hammer recess and become impossible to disengage not to mention the impact in the hammer slot in the frame does this area no good either.

If you want to dry fire your single action, and this applies to any and all single action revolvers no matter who made the gun in my opinion,,,,
Buy the previously recommended A-Zoom snap caps.HTH

June 23, 2008, 08:05 AM
Firing the gun with snap caps is okay. Dry firing without snap caps is the no-no.

June 23, 2008, 12:28 PM
Good snap caps (not dummy rounds, but true snap caps) make dry-firing safe by giving the firing pin something to work against.

They have springs or elastomers to absorb the shock of the firing pin hitting a moving brass plug in the location of the primer.

These particular ones are clear plastic, so you can see what's inside:

June 23, 2008, 12:37 PM
A broken hand spring on a SAA is not caused by dry-firing.

A broken firing pin, or peened and enlarged firing pin hole are cause by dry firing.
Heck, you might even be able to crystallize & break a hammer eventually!

All metal A-Zoom Snap-Caps will prevent all that unpleasantness.

IMO: Don't waste your money on the clear plastic ones from other makers.


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