SAA Brass Backstrap and Triggerguard


June 25, 2008, 11:20 AM
Here's a dip**** question that I think I know the answer to.

Is there any reason or purpose to the brass backstrap and triggerguard on some SAA revolvers other than decorative?
Any advantage/disadvantage?


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June 25, 2008, 11:54 AM
On old SAA/cap-n-ball, brass was easier to work and fit than steel. New guns it's just eye candy.

June 25, 2008, 12:14 PM
Funny thing is though, no SAA ever came with a brass triggerguard and backstrap, until lately. But it sure is pretty with a case hardned gun!
(According to the same discussion I read on CASS)

Jim March
June 25, 2008, 01:54 PM
If it's an aftermarket grip frame, it's easier to hand-fit the brass grip frame to your cylinder frame. And you don't need to send the brass out for re-finishing afterwards, you just polish it yourself.

June 25, 2008, 03:34 PM
It's arguable, but brass is not going to handle a regular dose of full house loads in say a Vaquero 45 (maybe even a 357..) as well as steel or even aluminum.

So if the gun is going to be a true working gun I would stay away from brass. CAS loads are fine.

June 25, 2008, 03:42 PM
One or more of the Italian makers producing Colt SAA clones used brass grip frames. You see them in the western movies a lot as these guns were cheap to buy and beat up for filming compared to real Colts.

I don't know why they did it.

Example up for auction:

June 25, 2008, 04:26 PM
I think that the Italian peacemaker clones used brass straps because the backstrap & trigger guard off the 1851 clones that they made would fit on the peacemaker with little or no fitting needed. And they did add a little "bling" to the appearance.

June 26, 2008, 07:44 AM
I have a Ruger brass grip frame on my SBH and a MT brass frame on my NMBH. They change the weight and balance of the gun. They are eye candy. IMHO they are as strong or stronger than the cast aluminum frames that most SA Rugers have from the factory.

June 26, 2008, 09:27 AM
Brass is much more malleable than Steel or aluminum. Eye candy or not, it is not as strong.

Same reason brass bullets can be reloaded and steel/aluminum cannot - brass has the ability to bend out of shape and be easily put back into shape several times breaking.

Trust me, if brass were equal to steel or aluminum it would still be in regular use. It is much easier to machine and cast because of its low strength and melting point.

Brass was replaced with the advent of the cartridge bullet and smokeless powder because manufacturers had to address the strength issue. A perfect example of this is the 1866 and 1873 Winchester rifles. They are essentially the same rifle but the 73' can handle significantly heavier loads due to the steel frame.

June 26, 2008, 11:43 AM
I had an Uberti Buckhorn in 44 mag,put several thousand rounds through it with nary a problem.Bought it in 94 for $256 tax included, sold it in 98 for $300 and bought an old model Vaquero for $394 out the door.

Jim Watson
June 26, 2008, 12:02 PM
Brass is easier to work into a product. It casts at lower temperature and machines more easily. More than makes up for the higher raw material cost vs steel.

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