.45 ACP cylinder for 45LC Colt SAA


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kdave21
March 19, 2011, 07:43 AM
I know this topic has been posted about before, and I have tried to find my questions in those threads but had some trouble getting specifics, sorry if this is all rehash...

I am on the verge of ordering a Colt SAA from the Custom shop. While I want it in the traditional 45 LC, I can't afford to shoot 45LC on a regular basis, and I am not wanting to take on reloading right now. I know its an oxymoron buying a colt and not having money for ammo, but its reality, plus the colt will last forever, the ammo lasts just a second :)

That said, Colt customer service said they could include a .45 auto cylinder for an extra $270.

Questions (and these are probably REALLY dumb, but I usually learn alot when I swallow my pride and ask):

1. To switch back and forth, all I have to do is switch cylinders right? Both calibers are safe to shoot from the same barrel right?

2. I read that the ACP wont be as accurate because there is a big gap from the time the bullet gets to the forcing cone and causes it to wobble. Is this true, and if so, is it a significant amount? On the other side of that, I had read others that said ACP was just as accurate or more so than 45LC.

3. How does an ACP stay in place without a rim?

4. Looks like ballistics between the two are similar, does the acp cause any undue wear on a SAA that a LC wont?


Any other insight or thoughts on this dual cylinder concept would be greatly appreciated. My thoughts were, is that it wouldnt take THAT long to get my 270 back in ammo costs. I wonder if 45 auto will be as fun to shoot as 45 LC...

As always, thanks guys-

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StrawHat
March 19, 2011, 08:16 AM
While I do not own a SAA with a spare cylinder, my brother does and I have handles it often so I can give you some insight.

kdave21 ... 1. To switch back and forth, all I have to do is switch cylinders right? Both calibers are safe to shoot from the same barrel right?...

Yes, just a cylider switch is all that is necessary. The bore on the 45s is the same.

kdave21 ...2. I read that the ACP wont be as accurate because there is a big gap from the time the bullet gets to the forcing cone and causes it to wobble. Is this true, and if so, is it a significant amount? On the other side of that, I had read others that said ACP was just as accurate or more so than 45LC....

Not true with the example I have used. Also, S&W made the M25-2 as a target grade revolver and had no issues.

kdave21 ...3. How does an ACP stay in place without a rim?...

The cylinder is cut so the cartridge headspaces on the mouth of the cartridge. The factory load will drop in and stay where it needs to. When you start handloading, use a taper crimp, to accomplish this.

kdave21 ...4. Looks like ballistics between the two are similar, does the acp cause any undue wear on a SAA that a LC wont?...

No, with factory equivalent loads, your revolver will outlast several generations of your family.

kdave21 ...Any other insight or thoughts on this dual cylinder concept would be greatly appreciated. My thoughts were, is that it wouldnt take THAT long to get my 270 back in ammo costs. I wonder if 45 auto will be as fun to shoot as 45 LC...

It depends on your idea of fun. I like lobbing big bullets down range at moderate velocities so for me, it would be win/win. The only problem that might crop up would be the point of impact could vary between the two cartridges.

Additional thoughts, even thought the two cylinder concept sounds pracatical,eventually you will probably find you are using one cylinder more than the other or perhaps even exclusively. I would counsel you to consider just ordering your Model P with the 45 ACP cylinder. The ACP was originally invented to duplicate the ballistics of the 1909 45 long Colt cartridge and it did so quite well. You can handload the ACP with bullets that are used in the long Colt and not need to worry about feeding issues and with the correct powder you will be able to duplicate the ballistics of any load the Model P in 45 long Colt would offer. Besides, with the extra $270 savings, you can start reloading!

I have a lot of fun with my long Colts revolvers but there is nothing they can do that a properly loaded ACP cartridge can not do from the same platform.

Either way, congrats on your purchase and please post a photo.

kdave21
March 19, 2011, 11:47 AM
Strawhat,
Wow- thank you very much for taking the time to so diligently offer answers for each question, very helpful. I think that is a good idea to just order it in ACP to begin with, and one worth considering. I can always get the 45LC when I have more money to blow. I wonder how much they will charge for just the ACP since that is not one of their standard chamberings... I'll have to call them on Monday. Now to decide on barrel length...

CraigC
March 19, 2011, 11:59 AM
I agree with StrawHat. There's certainly no reason not to get the convertible and it will be well worth the expense. Personally, I think a .45ACP SAA would be a hell of a lot of fun to shoot. Those short cases will eject much more easily, making it much quicker to reload. Go for it!

However, for the handloader, the .45Colt can be loaded heavier. Think ACP pressures and 1000-1100fps with 250-270gr cast bullets.

StrawHat
March 19, 2011, 01:30 PM
kdave21,

Da nada.

If I were making the barrel length choice, I would lean to the 5 1/2 barrel. I have had them all and favor that one.

CraigC, I have loaded the long Colt with both the bullets you mention and like the way it shoots but in the ACP, I have only gone as high as the 260 grain cast bullets. Both the Keith bullet and the Lyman 454190 are good choices and can be loaded to better than long Colt velocities in the Model P. Not trying to turn it into a magnum because the original black powder ballistics are all I need.

CraigC
March 19, 2011, 02:00 PM
Hell, I'd probably just find a good cast bullet load that shot to a similar POA as factory hardball, sight it in and stick with the ACP cylinder. Use cheap 1911 magazines for speedloaders. Be a hell of a fun sixgun to shoot and I'm trying to figure out why I don't already have one.

ironhead7544
March 19, 2011, 11:07 PM
You can get a workable reloading setup for 270.00. Just get the 45 Colt, thats what you want. Reloading is simple.

dprice3844444
March 20, 2011, 12:20 AM
if you decide to get the other cylinder later,you will have to return the gun to the factory,you will have shipping charges,plus any fees the ffl will charge.have them engrave part of the serial number on both cylinders.that way,if you have another with dual cylinders,they will not get mixed up.

SAA
March 20, 2011, 12:43 AM
You might have to check if the SAA is even available in .45 ACP-only. I would get the combo anyway if I wanted to shoot .45 ACP. If I didn't get the .45 Colt cylinder with the gun I'd regret it later, especially if the barrel was marked ".45 ACP". That just doesn't belong on a SAA!

As far as the distance the bullet has to travel to the forcing cone and accuracy, it will mostly depend on the throat dimensions. If the bullets fit the throats snugly then the bullet won't "wobble" and accuracy will be supurb. However, if the throats are oversized, then the further the bullet has to travel to get to the forcing cone the worse the accuracy will be. It all depends.

CraigC
March 20, 2011, 11:05 AM
Even a .45ACP-only sixgun will still be simply marked "Single Action Army .45".

yhtomit
March 20, 2011, 02:05 PM
kdave21:

Interesting question! If I were to get a SAA, I'd sure want the .45ACP cylinder, and (as some others have suggested) if I could only comfortably afford on cylinder (and they're willing), I'd rather get the .45ACP than the Long Colt. The aesthetics of the gun are the same, but cheaper to shoot. (And it would mean not adding to the caliber menagerie.)

It would be great to hear what the custom shop says when you talk to them -- I hope they'll let you do that, if you want.

timothy

SAA
March 20, 2011, 06:27 PM
Even a .45ACP-only sixgun will still be simply marked "Single Action Army .45".

This is true. Thankyou for the correction.

kdave21
March 21, 2011, 05:05 AM
Thanks for all the thoughts guys. Im going to call Colt tomorrow again and find out a) what is the cost for 45acp only, and b) how much trouble is it to add a 45LC cylinder at a later time (it doesnt seem like I should have to send the gun in, but if I do, that is somewhat of a consideration).

I totally agree that it would be best to have both cylinders, but Im at a point where $270 makes a substantial difference to me. I am guessing that a 45acp only will be more than a standard 45LC. More to come.

TonyT
March 21, 2011, 11:19 AM
I have an old 2nd generation Colt SAA in 45 Colt for which I purchased an extra 45ACP cylinder from Christy Gun Works. The cylinder is totally interchangeable with the 45Colt cylinder. No difference in accuracy was noted. The 45ACP headspaces on the front edge of the case and easilly ejects with the ejector rod.

CraigC
March 21, 2011, 11:32 AM
An auxillary cylinder will always need to be fitted to the sixgun so you have to figure shipping into the equation. I would suggest biting the bullet and getting both. If you ever decide to sell it, an ACP only would be more difficult to sell.

kdave21
March 23, 2011, 06:23 AM
If you ever decide to sell it, an ACP only would be more difficult to sell.


While I dont see myself selling this, for the sake of conversaion....

I have not been a part of the SAA world, so I can only speak from guesswork, not experience. But Im not so sure I agree with this sentiment. I have to believe that there are others out there who want the size/ballistics/feel of the .45 round, but are not interested in paying 45LC prices. At the local GS I saw that a box of 50 rounds of 45 LC was selling for 34.99. A box of 100 .45 autos was selling for 44.99. This equates to 70 cents vs 45 cents (if I have done my math right) per round. So basically, a 45LC costs a quarter more, per round.

If I shoot 50 rounds per session, thats 12.50 saved each time by shooting 45 auto. I dont know, I guess I just dont want to feel guilty for what Im spending on ammo every time I get the urge to shoot.

The one thing that separates me from a lot of Colt buyers is that ammo costs are a consideration for me. I recognize the fact that many of the guys that can drop 1200+ for one revolver are not worried about .25 a round.
Even with that being said, I think it will be as easy, or perhaps easier to sell, because, based on my premise that there has to be others interested, there will be a demand for it, and there clearly is not much in the supply side of it.

I am guessing that unless I really tear up the gun, I wont end up losing much on it in the event I am in a position where I need to sell it someday.

kdave21
March 23, 2011, 06:26 AM
After all of that I just said above, I will admit, I would prefer to bite the bullet and get the extra cylinder. Colt is working on a quote for me right now. It was kind of like when we built our house. There were a lot of things we would have liked to have, and things that would have helped with resale, but where do you draw the line? Especially when you consider I also want a Colt 1991? :)

CraigC
March 23, 2011, 01:19 PM
But Im not so sure I agree with this sentiment.
I live and breathe single actions and I'd bet the farm that most shooters buying SAA's want the big .45Colt. When purchasing a $1200 historical relic, practicality takes a backseat. Wanna know how many .45ACP-only single actions there are on the market? Zero. While .45Colt sixguns abound.

rcmodel
March 23, 2011, 02:36 PM
If you ever decide to sell it, an ACP only would be more difficult to sell. I agree that even if Colt will make it with only a .45 ACP cylinder, which I doubt, the value of the gun in future years would probably be less then if you have both cylinders.

The .45 Colt SAA is the historically correct caliber, and thats what peole want it in.
An extra .45 ACP cylinder would just be icing on the cake.

On the otherhand, you could just get it in .45 Colt, and for that $270 bucks extra get a reloading set-up and cut your .45 Colt ammo costs to about $8 bucks a box!

Then develop a load that hits where the sights are pointed and stay with it.
You would be money ahead in the long run by reduced .45 Colt ammo costs forever.

rc

SAA
March 23, 2011, 07:43 PM
...and for that $270 bucks extra get a reloading set-up and cut your .45 Colt ammo costs...

This is so very true, and the best route to go. However, it is the $270 that the op doesn't want to spend.

But Im not so sure I agree with this sentiment.

You may not agree with it, but as CraigC has already pointed out, that's just how it is. True, there will me some market for a .45ACP-only SAA, but it will be much, much smaller than the market for .45 Colt SAAs.

BTW, my .45 Colt loads cost me $6.25 per fifty. All you need is a Lee Loader ($36) and hammer, and your own cast bullets ($26 mould and handles).
http://leeprecision.com/xcart/LEE-LOADER-45-COLT.html
http://leeprecision.com/xcart/MOLD-DC-452-255-RF.html

kdave21
March 24, 2011, 06:34 AM
Wow, thats a lot to think about. You guys almost have me convinced...I didnt realize it would be that cheap to reload,,,I had no idea.

What makes it even tougher to decide though is that I got my quote from Colt today and they said there is no extra charge to have it in .45acp only, and they will fit the 45LC at any time in the future for no extra charge (other than the before mentioned 270 obviously). Which kind of makes it difficult to justify getting it now knowing I can get it at any time in the future, shipping costs aside. ($25, not a big deal). But...if reloading is easy and cheap, maybe I should just switch to 45LC after all. I just know myself, and I know if its a big hassle, I will lose interest in it. Call me lazy but with my job and kids I dont have a lot of extra time for extras...

kdave21
March 24, 2011, 06:43 AM
Okay. Two questions.

1.) How difficult / time consuming is it to reload? Keep in mind I have never ever done anything like that in my life. The closest thing I have done is shoot a Remington 1858 cap and ball revolver.


2) Other than the "desire / acceptance / popularity" factor of future potential buyers in the case of trying to sell it someday, what is the real advantage of .45LC over .45 ACP? Granted, its not historically accurate, etc, but is there really much difference in the shooting aspect of it?

The barrel will not say .45LC or .45ACP, it will simply say ".45" and yes, I have confirmed all of this in writing with the sales rep.

Thanks

StrawHat
March 24, 2011, 07:41 AM
kdave21 ...1.) How difficult / time consuming is it to reload? Keep in mind I have never ever done anything like that in my life. The closest thing I have done is shoot a Remington 1858 cap and ball revolver....

Here is a quick overview, ask any question you would like. Reloading ammunition is not all that difficult. From your writing it seems you are able to read and understand what folks write and reloading is all about following a recipe. The tools for reloading can be as simple as a tong tool or as complex as a progressive machine that perfoms multiple functions. I am old fashioned and recommend a good single stage press to learn on and then you can upgrade to a manual progressive if the need arises. There are several good reloading manuals available and you should get at least one and more is better in this case. Each of the powder companies offer some sort of maunal and th epress makers all have manuals for their machines. The biggest obstacle to reloading is the initial cost.

The minimum you will need:

A press

Dies

powder

Bullets

Primer

Cartridge cases

Powder scale

The machine can often be purchased from a maker as a kit. Machines and kits are available from Lee, Hornandy, Lyman, Dillon and others. What I use and like may not work for you so read the brag sheets and get what you like or think will work for you.

The actual making of ammunition requires concentration and a lack of interuptions. I go to my shop and my wife knows not to interupt except for emergencies.

Powder, primers, cases and bullets are all available on line from places like Midway, Midsouth, etc.

Go slow for the first couple of sessions, learn your machine and enjoy the results. There is no need for experimenting, lots of folks have done that and the manuals are the results of their efforts.


kdave21 ...2) Other than the "desire / acceptance / popularity" factor of future potential buyers in the case of trying to sell it someday, what is the real advantage of .45LC over .45 ACP? Granted, its not historically accurate, etc, but is there really much difference in the shooting aspect of it?...

The one thing the 45 long Colt will do the 45 ACP will not is launch heavier bullets. Originally, the 45 long Colt used 255 grain bullets at about 800 - 900 fps. The ACP launched a 230 grain bullet at 850 fps. In my revolvers I use a 280 grain lead bullet in the 45 long Colt at about 900 fps and the ACP gets a 255 grain bullet at about 900 fps. Is that a big deal? Maybe. I also use a 240 grain full wadcutter bullet in either cartridge and load it to about 900 fps. That is a load that is not available from the factory. If you get into casting, then you can really use bullets that are not commonly available in loaded form.

kdave21 ...Thanks...

You're welcome, knowledge is to be shared, otherwise it dies with the man.

Smaug
March 24, 2011, 03:57 PM
Sure you won't re-consider about reloading? $270 will get you a very nice reloading set-up. It is not that hard to do, if only you can follow directions.

Check the videos in my signature link.

I've been doing it lately with a hand press from the comfort of my couch. A box of 45 Colt would cost me about $9 or so. (assuming you had brass already, and all other components are new commercial production)

It is really nothing to be intimidated about.

45 ACP factory ammo is also expensive. Maybe better than 45 Colt, but still $20 a box or so. It won't take long for that reloading set-up to pay for itself.

I'm willing to give you help if you need it.

SAA
March 24, 2011, 04:25 PM
Reloading a brass cartridge case is essentially the same as reloading a cap-and-ball revolver chamber. You already understand the fundamentals. The main differences are that cases have to be decapped and resized, and the bullets lubed (if you cast your own).

I reloaded .45 Colt for years with the aforementioned Lee Loader before I ever got a press. The instructions are included. All you need is a hammer. Reloading obviously has to consume some time, but even more so if you get into it heavily with all the gadgets mentioned in StrawHat's post. Just start simple and do a little at a time. You will find it doesn't take many little sessions during the week to have plenty to shoot on a weekend.

You can buy factory bullets and forego the casting. Your ammunition will cost a few pennies more per round, but you would cut at least 50% of the time off your total reloading time.

The most critical thing is not to double charge the powder. That is the one step you should definitely complete uninterrupted.

Your shopping list:
pre-lubed bullets
1 lb. Unique powder
large pistol primers
1- Lee Loader
1- hammer

Of course you will also need brass, but once you have it you will be able to reload it several times.

kdave21
March 24, 2011, 06:10 PM
First and foremost, to smaug and strawhat, I would like to thank for graciously offering to lend me a hand in the reloading department.

Also, after all the advice I have gotten here, I went ahead and placed an order for the .45LC cylinder in addition to the .45acp cylinder. The cost was $268 extra. It was a bit to swallow, but the SAA was actually quoted to me for $125 less than what I thought it was going to be, plus I only had to put 50% down, so the "damage" is spread out a bit.

As I told another member, this doesnt mean I wont get into reloading though, the price of any ammunition, 45acp or LC makes it worth a serious look.

I like the idea of the Lee handpress. Keeping it simple is usually what works best for me, especially when I know ahead of time that Im not going to putting thousands of rounds through it per year probably. (Although if it was cheap, and I like it as much as I hope...:))

Colt quoted me 140 wait time for the SAA so I have some time to figure it out. I also tried to talk the sales rep into direct selling me a Colt 1991 government but no dice...

kdave21
March 24, 2011, 06:15 PM
Also thanks to everyone else to for helping me hash out some ideas. I had some points of view pointed out to me that I hadn't considered before, which is exactly why I like posting questions on this board.

CraigC
March 24, 2011, 09:46 PM
I still buy .45ACP because I don't like chasing brass. I get a really good deal on .45ACP ammo buying it by the case at $17.50/50rds. I handload sixgun cartridges like .44Colt, .44Spl, .44Mag and .45Colt for $6.50 - $7.00/50rds.

yhtomit
March 25, 2011, 12:46 AM
Once you have the gun in hand, I'd like to hear what you think of each caliber through it, and whether you find any accuracy decrease w/ the .45ACP. The availability of a .45ACP cylinder greatly increases my interest in any revolver :) (My only revolver is a S&W 625.)

timothy

kdave21
March 25, 2011, 02:25 AM
will do. Hopefully it wont actually take as long as they said, but hey, anticipation makes it all the sweeter....

Leaky Waders
March 25, 2011, 03:26 AM
The 45 Long Colt is what got me into reloading. It's very easy to reload and liberating to not have to shop around for ammo...just go roll your own.

In 45 LC I have a SAA, Vaquero, model 25, and uberti 1873. I'm always looking at more too. When i want to shoot shorter cases...I just reload some 45 schoefield just for the heck of it.

In 45 acp I have several 1911's. If I had a 45 acp cyclinder, I doubt I would really use it that much.

What kind of custom work are you getting done? Have you looked at Nutmeg Sports? They usually have one or two prettied up colts ready to go.

LW

StrawHat
March 25, 2011, 07:11 AM
kdave21 ...after all the advice I have gotten here, I went ahead and placed an order for the .45LC cylinder in addition to the .45acp cylinder...

So tell us more! Barrel length, choice of finish, etc... And photos are mandatory when it arrives.

kdave21
March 25, 2011, 10:14 AM
What kind of custom work are you getting done? Have you looked at Nutmeg Sports? They usually have one or two prettied up colts ready to go.

I have checked with Nutmeg, and if I get an action job, I will get it done there probably. I dont think $150 is too bad for a job by someone with his background. I am going to wait till winter time next year though because a) I dont want to have the gun out during shooting weather b) I want to shoot it first to see if it needs one and c) it will take that long for my budget to recover :)

I have heard that an action job can help reduce wear on parts. Is this true? Im sure shooting a few rounds without one shouldnt hurt too much though, correct me (someone) if I'm wrong.

kdave21
March 25, 2011, 10:29 AM
So tell us more! Barrel length, choice of finish, etc... And photos are mandatory when it arrives.

Well, pretty plain jane for the most part, which is exactly what I wanted.

Debated for the longest time on barrel length, ended up on 5 1/2 because even though it might almost be negligible, I wanted the slightly longer sight radius than a 4 3/4. Although I love the history and look of the 7 1/2, I was afraid that I would grow tired of the extra 2 inches. Unfortunately I was not able to go out and handle all three lengths. No one anywhere near me had anything for sale like this, let alone for rent. The closest thing I found was one vaquero at the local largest gun store that looked like a 7" (or maybe 7 1/2...not sure). I could have handled it but didnt want to explain to the salesperson that I was handling it so I could go order a Colt on my own. I never really feel welcome in that store, nor do many people I know. Plus I didnt feel confident that a vaquero would balance the same as a Colt anyway.

Finish Blued/case hardened. Since I plan to keep this my whole life (of all my guns, I suspect this one will be the most likely to finish the race with me) I considered how it would wear and look after lots of use. I like the look of a honest worn blued revolver.

Standard Black Eagle grips.

I ordered it without the 175th Anniv. rollmark. For some reason this just didnt settle right with me. It felt too...."commemorative" for my likes. If I had 7 or 8 other SAA's it might have been different, but since this is my one and only, I wanted it close to stock. Only my opinion, Im sure many think it is a cool feature.

I will try to post some pics for all to see. Of all the guns out there, I think the SAA has some of the most beautiful lines and overall looks. Add the swirls and colors a good case hardened frame...it doesnt get much better than that. I have wanted one of these for a long time. In a way Im glad I had to wait so long, makes me appreciate it all the more. I have wanted a true Colt SAA longer than any other gun on my wish list. Now, no one else order a Colt for the next 5 months so they can focus on mine...:neener:

yhtomit
March 25, 2011, 12:29 PM
"In 45 LC I have a SAA, Vaquero, model 25, and uberti 1873. I'm always looking at more too. When i want to shoot shorter cases...I just reload some 45 schoefield just for the heck of it."

Huh! Wasn't familiar except having heard the name with this cartridge, and my Cartridges of the World is in storage right now, so, to Wikipedia. Interesting!

"It is similar to the .45 Colt round though shorter and with a slightly larger rim, and will generally work in revolvers chambered for that cartridge ... Many reports indicate that while the .45 S&W cartridge could be used in a gun chambered for the .45 Colt, not every chamber in the gun could be loaded at the same time. Because of the larger diameter rim (.522 inches) on the S&W cartridge, the rims would sometimes interfere with each other when attempting to load every chamber of a .45 Colt chambered gun."

So that's another cartridge that this gun would make possible -- interesting :) I like cross-platform compatibility ... thanks for the new knowledge.

timothy

CraigC
March 25, 2011, 01:37 PM
I don't want to throw a wrench in the works but I feel you should have all the info possible in order to make an informed decision. Have you looked at US Firearms? USFA produces a SAA that is a replica of the original 1st generation of guns. They are very precisely built on modern CNC machinery, feature case colors by Doug Turnbull and quite frankly, are superior guns to the genuine 3rd generation Colt in every way possible. Most 3rd generation Colt's are over-polished with roll-over edges, dished out screw holes, bolt notches and lettering. While they have done much better in the last couple years, they're still producing .45Colt's with oversized chamber mouths. None of which is present on a USFA. They are done right. To boot, the standard USFA single action, which is comparable to the current Colt in finish level, runs about $200 less. They also do not need an action job, just a spring swap. Convertible cylinders are less expensive at $235. All the money you save over the Colt can be spent on reloading equipment or swanky grips. Also available direct from USFA. Or you could upgrade to the Pre-War model which is head and shoulders above anything ever produced by Colt. It won't have the rampant pony on the side but it is a better gun at less money. It's something to think about.

http://www.usfirearms.com/cat/single-action-revolver.asp
http://www.usfirearms.com/cat/prewar.asp

A shot of my USFA 12/22:
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_1138c.jpg

rbernie
March 25, 2011, 01:57 PM
I have a convertible Ruger Bisley in 45LC/45ACP. I love shooting the 45LC rounds, but I also very much appreciate the ability to shoot commonly-available 45ACP ammo. Yes, I reload for both, but there is an intrinsic virtue in having a handgun that can shoot readily available and easily found commercial ammo. If nothing else, I can scrounge a whole lot more 45ACP brass than I can 45LC brass. :)

I do not think that the rationale for a 45LC/45ACP convertible is limited to a lack of desire to reload - it's also a way to expand the capability of the base firearm. I can see nothing wrong with that, and the cost of the cylinder is far less than the cost of a second handgun.

kludge
March 25, 2011, 02:50 PM
$270 will buy a lot of .45 Colt brass. The difference in ammo cost (to reload) is almost nil.

my $0.02

SAA
March 25, 2011, 02:54 PM
I ordered it without the 175th Anniv. rollmark. For some reason this just didnt settle right with me. It felt too...."commemorative" for my likes. If I had 7 or 8 other SAA's it might have been different, but since this is my one and only, I wanted it close to stock. Only my opinion, Im sure many think it is a cool feature.

I don't know of anyone yet who says he likes the rollmark. I think Colt's made a bad decision to do it on all their stock SAAs this year, but at least the buyer can opt out through the custom shop.



...quite frankly, are superior guns to the genuine 3rd generation Colt in every way possible. Most 3rd generation Colt's are over-polished with roll-over edges, dished out screw holes, bolt notches and lettering. While they have done much better in the last couple years, they're still producing .45Colt's with oversized chamber mouths.

"Rolled edges", "dished out screw holes"? When was the last SAA made that you looked at? I've seen none of this on recent SAAs, at least not on the color cased hardened ones.

Sounds like Colt's may have a handle on the throat issue of late (not that everyone even noticed, realized, or cared about it in the first place):
http://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-revolvers/36426-new-saa-45-a.html

CraigC
March 25, 2011, 03:38 PM
When was the last SAA made that you looked at?
The New Frontier is the only 3rd generation Colt SAA I'll ever bother with. I would take a chance on the new New Frontiers but that's about it. My `80's gun has the aforementioned signs of over-polishing and oversized chambers. Measuring .457" if I remember right. Which is typical of 3rd generation SAA's. It's a good sixgun and a fine shooter but if USFA made a New Frontier replica, I would never buy another Colt.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/New%20Frontier%2045x7_.jpg


"Rolled edges", "dished out screw holes"? When was the last SAA made that you looked at? I've seen none of this on recent SAAs, at least not on the color cased hardened ones.
Like I said they are much better in the last couple years but they still can't get the chamber mouths right, they still cost $200 more and they're still inferior. If Mike's new sample is correct, it's the first I've heard. I've seen several firsthand reports and they all indicate that even those from the last couple years have oversized mouths. Confirmed by John Taffin.


not that everyone even noticed, realized, or cared about it in the first place
Really? Because all the sixgunners I know like to shoot their single actions and they like them to be accurate. It's difficult for a sixgun to be accurate when the chamber mouths are as much as .008" larger than their cast bullets. As evident in post #3.

SAA
March 25, 2011, 05:18 PM
kdave21, congratulations on being the original owner of a genuine Colt Single Action Army whose predecessors made history in the American West. I know you've been wanting one for a long time, as you stated, and you are finally able to purchase one. I went through the same thing and when all the anticipation was finished I was a happy owner of a real peacemaker. Nothing could take that away from me.

The only complaint was that mine (mfg. early 2009) did have oversized cylinder throats (.456"). But, it shot just as well as any other .45 Colt I have ever shot, and, frankly, my groups are the same size (5" 10-shot, one-handed @ 25 yds.) as the one shown in the link I provided in spite of the larger throats. If you do end up reloading you will find it is a simple matter to load bullets that fit your cylinder, and accuracy will be fine.

kdave21
March 27, 2011, 12:22 PM
CraigC- You must have missed my post that said I have already purchased it, so to rehash over the finer points of which one is better does me little good at this point.

To be honest, I never would have been talked into the USFA anyways. A) I want a gun from the same company that made em 140 yrs ago B) Ive heard a lot of 3rd generation complaints on these boards, yet the vast majority of them are from people who say "I would never own them" which I take to mean, they dont own one. Those who have one, especially from the last few years have stated the quality is greatly improved and is truly top notch.

It seems to be an age old debate, and Ive read the debate quite a bit on THR. Im not knowledgeable enough to know one way or the other which is better, I only know what I want. If I had the USFA, I would always feel I had a copy, even it if was a "better" copy. Thats just me, everyone is different. Something tells me the quality will be just fine for my purposes, and Im excited to have it.

Thanks for the input though, I take your thoughts in the spirit of being helpful, and I genuinely appreciate that.

CraigC
March 27, 2011, 01:03 PM
No, I missed th at part. Apologies for the sidetrack. I always feel that lots of folks are under false impressions where Colt's are concerned and like to fill in some blanks before they spend their money. Unfortunately, it's difficult to have an objective discussion with some people, because to imply that Colt may not build the best SAA on the market gets taken personally. As stated, I own both and single actions are my passion. Fortunately, I can look at them objectively and appreciate them all for what they are. Including what I consider to be a more realistic view of what Colt is, what it means and what it doesn't.

I'll shutup now and let you enjoy your new Colt. Luckily for you, they are putting out a very good SAA these days. I'm glad you're buying a new one and not one ten or more years old.

kdave21
March 27, 2011, 04:22 PM
If you do end up reloading you will find it is a simple matter to load bullets that fit your cylinder, and accuracy will be fine.

Can you explain what this means? Are there slight variations available as far as size offerings?

kdave21
March 27, 2011, 04:25 PM
CraigC, -No offense taken, and again, I am thankful for differing opinions, as they have helped guide me to better decisions. I know there are lots of guys on here who have forgotten more than I will ever learn.

SAA
March 27, 2011, 05:32 PM
....to imply that Colt may not build the best SAA on the market gets taken personally.

No implication needed. Colt's makes the only SAA ("Single Action Army"). You will note that not even USFA dares to plagiarize the name.

Can you explain what this means? Are there slight variations available as far as size offerings?

I cast and size my own bullets, and there are different diameters of sizing dies available from which to choose. You want to size the bullets to the throats as well as possible if you want to avoid leading and get peak accuracy for your revolver.

If you do end up casting and don't wish to purchase a sizer, you can just use the bullets unsized. A mould made to throw bullets to be sized .454-.455" (Such as Lyman's 454190 or 454424) bullets will usually cast the bullets at .456" or so depending on the alloy used. I mentioned Lee moulds before as they are inexpensive, but now see that their .45 Colt bullet moulds are made to be .452". However, even a ".452" mould will throw bullets at about .453-.454". If your gun comes with properly dimensioned throats, then the whole issue is moot.

I never buy factory made cast bullets, but if I understand there are some outfits that have .454" or .455" bullets available for .45 Colt loading. Perhaps someone will chime in and mention some.

I hope this helps. It might sound complicated, but it isn't. When the time comes, be sure to measure the throats and ask a lot of questions so you get some guidance on what is a good way to go so you know what to get the first time around.

kdave21
March 28, 2011, 06:27 AM
SAA,
Gotcha, thanks. I have some questions, but I will sit on them for now until I can get it in my hands and see what Im dealing with. Once I have it, I can measure the throat and go from there.

kdave21
May 23, 2011, 08:59 PM
Dont know if anyone remembers this thread, but since I have spent hours drooling over all of your single action pics, and since I was asked by strawhat, here is my new girl. There are many like it, but this one is mine...

SAA
May 24, 2011, 12:29 AM
Beautiful! Just beautiful! .....Where is she?

kdave21
May 24, 2011, 09:43 PM
LOL, argghh! I dont know why, but i have had an extremely tough time posting pics, and even logging onto THR lately. I will try it again...

kdave21
May 24, 2011, 09:46 PM
Lets try again....
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=142717&d=1306284403

kdave21
May 24, 2011, 09:49 PM
Victory! Okay, so what were your guys thoughts? Should I get an action job before shooting? Is an action job going to make the gun last longer with fewer problems? I thought I read somewhere that smoothing the parts out will prevent undue wear and make the gun function better for longer. Is there any problem with shooting it, right out of the box that you can see?

If I get an action job, I will go through Nutmeg.

yhtomit
May 24, 2011, 09:51 PM
Congratulations -- I've been wondering what the result of your quest would be. Looks nice!

timothy

kdave21
May 24, 2011, 10:23 PM
Thanks Timothy, I really like her :) It just feels right in my hand, and its cool to finally have the historical SAA Ive been wanting. Ive had the itch since the first time I read about old west guns in a book by Time Life called "The Gunfighters."

Heres a funny part of the manual:

Collectors of fine firearms, such as this Colt revolver, should be aware that:

1. Loading and unloading the firearm will show wear and lead to loss of collector value.

2. Excessive handling will lead to premature wear and cause loss of value.

3. Firing this revolver will cause immediate extreme loss of collectors value.

CAUTION: IF YOU HAVE READ THE WARNING ABOVE, AND ACCEPT THE LOSS OF COLLECTORS VALUE AND THE RISK OF DANGER FROM LOADING THIS REVOLVER USE THE INFORMATION IN THE REST OF THIS MANUAL TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF INJURY, DEATH, OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY.

Sorry, dont know why, but this made me smile. I guess mine will just have to suffer immediate extreme loss of collectors value :) While I dont blame those who collect them only, for me, I paid too much money to not make her work! Maybe after I win the lottery I will buy some to sit around.

StrawHat
May 25, 2011, 08:25 AM
kdave21,

Good looking revolver! I am partial to the 5 1/2" barrel. Go ahead and shoot it, it may not need any action work. You won't know until you try it. An action job is an immediate approximation of a lifetime of wear. I have several revolvers on which action work has been done and more that have never needed it. Good luck and enjoy it. What kind of leather are you considering?

CraigC
May 25, 2011, 12:39 PM
Beautiful sixgun! Colt is obviously doing a very good job with their new SAA's.

SAA
May 26, 2011, 12:18 AM
Like I said, beautiful! Just beautiful! But, it is even more 'beautifuller' than I imagined! You got one of the prettiest I have seen lately.

They don't usually need action jobs out of the box these days, but chances are that a good action job will make it smoother and feel lighter on the trigger. You won't regret a good action job, but probably won't miss it either if you don't get one. Your call. The only time a specialty action job can really help it to last longer enough to warrant the job is if you plan to abuse it by fanning. I hope you aren't considering treating it that way.

kdave21
May 26, 2011, 07:36 AM
What kind of leather are you considering?

I havent decided yet. Right now my favorite is probably one by Cochise Leather of AZ. I like the fact that they are lined, and while it may seem silly, I like the fact that the company is located in a part of AZ that I have some fond memories of, and is associated with history that I like (Earps, etc).

Any other recommendations? Never bought any nice leather before. I prefer lined leather, and I dont want to spend much over $200 for my rig. I know that limits me.

I hope you aren't considering treating it that way.

No, I wont be fanning this one. Tombstone has a little shop where tourists can try their hands at "shooting" six guns. (It only shoots paintball type bullets, and if I remember correctly, they were Ruger Vaqueros, or something similar). Anyway, I had never shot a single action before and after a few shots I asked the owner if I could fan it. He didnt care. I think I got it out of my system that day. Its not what its cracked up to be and Im glad I did it on someone else's gun and not mine.

BCRider
May 26, 2011, 05:24 PM
She's a real beaut'! The colour case in particular is really nicely defined on your gun.

And I think you did the right thing getting both cylinders from the get go. That way there's no returning the gun for fitting and you likely got a better match on the blueing to the rest of the gun since the parts were likely all done in one batch.

And a hearty agreement on living with the devaluation from shooting it. Like you I just do NOT have the collector mentality to buy "kinetic" objects and then just let them lay unused in some display case or dark storage cabinet on the chance that they will be more valuable some day. To me be it guns, cars, motorcycles or airplanes I think caging such creations is as cruel as putting a soaring bird or high speed animal in a closet size cage. The true nature and beauty of any of these man made or natural creations just cannot be truly appreciated until they are seen in operation or running/flying freely.

As for the trigger job I'd say you should try it as it is now first. Check on how much creep it has and the trigger effort needed. If it's too heavy a pull and/or has more creep than you'd like THEN get a trigger job done to it.

Out of my various SA cartridge and C&B guns only two have a bad trigger creep length that I'll eventually get around to reducing. The others all shoot with a light enough pull and what seems like an instant hammer fall. And none of mine are all that fancy what with all but the two Rugers being born in Italy. So a premium offering such as yours should be pretty darn good right out of the box I'd assume

kdave21
May 27, 2011, 02:33 PM
Thanks for all the feedback and compliments guys.

I think I'm going to go ahead and take her out and evaluate the trigger at that time. If I could get away without an action job, then that just means I can get some money into leather all that much quicker and no sense in spending money if it doesn't need one.

Now to just find some range time...

mrwilmoth
December 10, 2011, 09:59 PM
sweet!

jmstevens2
December 10, 2011, 10:11 PM
if you decide to get the other cylinder later,you will have to return the gun to the factory,you will have shipping charges,plus any fees the ffl will charge.have them engrave part of the serial number on both cylinders.that way,if you have another with dual cylinders,they will not get mixed up.

There is no reason to use a FFL when shipping between the owner and manufacturer, and back . There is no transfer, just sending it for repair and return.
I just sent in a 1858 to Kirst to have the ejector installed and the .45 colt cylinder fitted. Regular UPS, no FFL.

jmstevens2
December 10, 2011, 10:14 PM
Reloading a brass cartridge case is essentially the same as reloading a cap-and-ball revolver chamber. You already understand the fundamentals. The main differences are that cases have to be decapped and resized, and the bullets lubed (if you cast your own).

I reloaded .45 Colt for years with the aforementioned Lee Loader before I ever got a press. The instructions are included. All you need is a hammer. Reloading obviously has to consume some time, but even more so if you get into it heavily with all the gadgets mentioned in StrawHat's post. Just start simple and do a little at a time. You will find it doesn't take many little sessions during the week to have plenty to shoot on a weekend.

You can buy factory bullets and forego the casting. Your ammunition will cost a few pennies more per round, but you would cut at least 50% of the time off your total reloading time.

The most critical thing is not to double charge the powder. That is the one step you should definitely complete uninterrupted.

Your shopping list:
pre-lubed bullets
1 lb. Unique powder
large pistol primers
1- Lee Loader
1- hammer

Of course you will also need brass, but once you have it you will be able to reload it several times.
And if you want to get fancy you could get the hand press too. Simple, and cheap. This is a good option for something you won't shoot tons of ammo out of. I have one, it is nice. If you want take it to the range and work up a load.
If you use something like Trailboss that helps. Use a bulky powder If worried. Get 2 load manuals and read them before trying to load.

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