Anybody have one of these or anyone familiar with this revolver? I've got a coworker wants to sell me one. Supposed to be a good shooter (aren't they all?)
5.5" barrel, case colored frame, brass trigger guard, walnut grips, fixed sights. Don't know the model and have not seen it yet. Fits the description of the "Cattleman" model but might be something else. No idea how old it is either.
Background, he says he's shot both 38 and 357 in it and both shot good but he really liked the 38's. At some point, a screw for the front of the ejector rod cover fell out and was lost. He had it repaired by a gunsmith and at the same time had the trigger worked on. Oddly, the trigger work was to increase the pull as he said it was way too light for a pistol. He doesn't know the current pull weight but simply told the gunsmith to make it like it would have been from the factory. He says that it is in good condition except for some holster wear on one side of the cylinder that looks like "it tried to rust but didn't quite make it."
I'll have a chance to see it next Sunday.
Now, I figure that if it's even a little bit nice and in shootable condition, that is certainly a price that I can live with. What is a typical price for one of these?
Also, in my limited searching for info I've run into comments anywhere from "piece of junk, buy a REAL colt" to "Best revolver and smoothest working action of anything I own."
Looking for opinions, history, variations etc.
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August 23, 2011, 05:16 PM
August 23, 2011, 07:29 PM
Hey Bulla. For $175.00, pick it up. If it is a older Pietta or a pre 2001 Uberti, you have a roll of the dice. They were known to eat "pawls", break pawl springs, or sear/hammer wear because of soft metal.
Later Ubertis had stronger metal parts and could be made into nice competition pistols. Piettas became better prepared for the rigors of cowbo also.
The Smoke Wagons from Taylors is a very nice and well made sixgun. Get the one tuned by Cody Conagher and you could take on any Cowboy.
Sure, you can't go wrong with a Colt but for $175.00? If it cocks, indexes the cylinder six times, and the hammer falls when you pull the trigger, buy it.
August 24, 2011, 10:06 AM
Yup. Good price. I've used several Uberti revolvers and have not found any issue with any of them.They are fine guns. If you like single action they are a go to company. Good customer relations also.
August 24, 2011, 10:58 AM
If it has a hammer-block safety built into the hammer (you can see a slot in the back of the hammer, and see the little half-circle moving block beneath the firing pin) run, don't walk, away. These were notorious for having hammers that were very soft, and the bolt cam would wear out in less than 1 box of ammo. I know. I have a Uberti Cattleman like that, and have been waiting for months for new parts from VTI to try to fix it.
August 24, 2011, 11:22 AM
tpelle, any part you replace can be hardened. Heat and quench in oil. I do that to my firearm screws, especially the Uberti 73s. You can do a neat fire blue on the screws and will increase the Brinell #.
Not seeing photos, it would depend upon the overall condition.
August 24, 2011, 11:31 AM
Maybe American Western Arms?
This outfit has been through so many corporate changes that you need a scorecard to tell the players. Early guns came from Armi San Marco. I think AWA even owned ASM for a while until it folded. I think later AWAs are made by Uberti.
An old thread speaks specifically of lost off ejector rod housing screws and light trigger pulls.
August 24, 2011, 04:18 PM
EMF sells the Great Westerns made by.........probably Sam Marco or Pietta.
AWA?American Western Arms is a remnant of the original company ran by an ex-AWA employee. Or something like that.
August 24, 2011, 06:25 PM
The current owner says it has Uberti stamped on it so I'd guess it's NOT an Armi San Marcos.
The hammer/sear wear comments are interesting because like I said, the owner said the trigger pull was VERY light on it. Sounds like maybe a worn sear eh? This was supposedly repaired by a gunsmith with an actual shop (i.e. not bubba) in Topeka, KS. I was told his name but don't remember it. The owner says he thinks he is deceased now but supposedly did much of the work for Topeka P.D. Hopefully he knew what he was doing. I'll be able to tell more Sunday when I'll get a chance to handle it.
As for the hammer block action, I'll check that but the owner also said it has a half cock position and it was to be loaded with the hammer over an empty chamber. that wouldn't be necessary on a transfer block type action. Maybe I'll get lucky.
Any info on dating one of these or verifying what point in the evolution of AWA it was made?
August 24, 2011, 10:07 PM
I have 2 Ubertis in 45 Colt with 5.5" barrels.
Both are very nice to handle & shoot accurately.
One was made in 2010, shoots like a dream & has about 1,000 rounds through it.
The older one ??? I don't know.
I bought both NIB (new in box) but the older one is 2nd hand.
The original owner never fired it.
I put maybe 200 - 250 rounds through it.
If you buy it, I hope you like it as much as I like mine.
Just be careful of the lead.
Had to shelve mine because my lead level is about 3x what the Dr wants to see.
Maybe I'll have to break down & get some jacketed bullets for it.
I shudder in horror - what would John Wayne, Gene Autry or the Lone Ranger think of jacketed bullets???? ;)
August 25, 2011, 03:21 AM
Thanks a bunch for that link!
Do any of you know what AWA called the model with case colored frame and brass trigger guard?
When I search "AWA 357" I get pics of guns with steel trigger guards. If I just search Uberti 357, the Cattleman fits the description of the gun I'll be looking at.
I'd like to know if AWA/Uberti made a gun identical to the Cattleman.
August 25, 2011, 03:46 AM
None of the AWA guns were ever made by Uberti.
Dave, the above reference to the hammer block "safety" doesn't mean a transfer bar.
Some Ubertis, for a while, were built with a small part that moved up or down in the hammer itself. In conjunction with the trigger position, it would allow the hammer/firing pin to hit the primer, or block it.
Many of those were a crap shoot on longevity.
Ubertis now are much better, but the older guns could be hit or miss on assembly & heat treating of small parts.
The two original AWA guns, made by Armi San Marco, were the top-end Peacekeeper & the lower-end Longhorn.
I believe current AWAs are Piettas, but their offerings are something of a shell game & the website isn't accurate.
August 25, 2011, 10:45 AM
The symptom of the worn hammer cam is that the bolt will not withdraw from the cylinder locking notches at half cock. You will first start getting drag lines around the cylinder, then find that at half cock you can't rotate the cylinder to load it. You actually have to pull the hammer back a little beyond half cock and hold it in order to rotate the cylinder to load it. Finally the POS will just lock up. What happens is that the bolt leg that rides on the hammer cam hack-saws its way through the cam surface.
Doesn't affect the trigger pull, except in maybe an incidental way. I'd expect the gun to just stop working before the trigger pull deteriorated.
It's called the D-Cam hammer, and is a known bad design. Uberti no longer makes 'em like that.
I have ordered "new style" lock parts - hammer, bolt, hand - from VTI in an attempt to update mine to new style parts. Parts not here yet. We'll see.
I believe, because the hammer had to be drilled for the parts that made the hammer block safety work, including one very small diameter hole bored from top to bottom of the hammer, they simply did not heat treat the hammer at all, but just left it soft so it would be "drillable".
August 25, 2011, 01:07 PM
This is probably a dumb question but why wouldn't Uberti drill the hammer before it was hardened?
Also, someone posted that this was done on older Uberti guns but not new ones. I have a current production Cimmaron Richards Type ll and a Cimarron 1851 Richards Mason Conversion, both of which have this safety feature on the hammer. At least I think it's what is being described. Has a little slotted screw on the side of the hammer that when turned will expose or retract a little piece of metal that will prevent the firing pin from hitting the primer.
Hope this will not be a problem for me in the future.
Regarding the AWA. I have a Pecekeeper in .45 Colt with 5.5 barrel that has beautiful case colors. It was made by Armi San Marco and AWA did the case colors or had them done. They also hand tuned the action to the point it was as smooth as butter. Beautifully made guns and I was lucky to find one in excellent condition in a local gun shop about 3 years ago.
August 25, 2011, 02:15 PM
Nope, you describe a different hammer block.
On the older one, there was no screw to turn, no ON/OFF, nothing manual, it was an automatic process as the hammer was cocked & the trigger moved through its related positions.
And, my information on the D-cam was that it was a bandaid approach to a large run of frames with holes drilled slightly off spec.
The Italians are known for trying to salvage a large run of bad parts.
Years ago, one importer brought in a batch of S&W break-top replicas (coincidentally from ASM). The latch developed some problems, the importer conveyed that to ASM, ASM promised to correct the situation.
Next batch received had exactly the same problem.
Importer called ASM, said "Thought you'd promised to fix this!", ASM said, "Yes, we will. As soon as we use up all the old parts."
August 25, 2011, 08:01 PM
DPris, thanks for reducing my anxiety! I got the Type ll just a few months ago and the 1851 R-M in June. Glad they do not have the hammer issue you were describing.
On a side note, I read a long article on-line several years ago regarding AWA. IIRC, the lawsuit Colt had with them was over an issue called "trade dress", I think. Colt alleged that AWA copied their revolver so closely that it could be maistaken for a true Colt. AWA lost the suit and had to quit using the Peacekeeper name and also had to quit using the black hard rubber grips with the "galloping horse" (instead of Colt's rampant horse). After that I think they had quality control problems when they introduced a copy of a pump action Colt rifle replica (Lightning?)
For the life of me I cannot find that on-line article anywhere now!
August 25, 2011, 08:35 PM
Here's a couple of pics of my Peacekeeper. As you can see, the grips are near copies of the Colt. Notice the running pony.
August 25, 2011, 08:52 PM
Well, I tried again and found the site that discussed the history of American Western Arms. Now I don't know if this fellow really knows the story but he at least sounds like he does!
I dealt with the first three AWA ownership/management groups, before Russell Simpson acquired the remnants of the company.
I have here (somewhere) a copy of the Colt lawsuit.
I talked to Colt's chief legal counsel at the time about Colt aggressively challenging more than one company over perceived infringements.
I talked to Globerman numerous times, as well as the primary consultant on the Lightning rifle project.
That Lightning project could pretty much constitute a small book in itself.
Your Hobby Gunsmith only has a part of the story.
It was mismanagement and lack of technical competence, variable QC problems, and unrealistic over-extensions of products and promises that was largely responsible for the demise of AWA.
Colt helped, but you can't blame Colt for all of it.
August 26, 2011, 12:05 AM
Denis, that's really interesting. Too bad they had so many problems. I really like the Peacekeeper I have. It's the only single action I own that has real case colors.
August 26, 2011, 12:12 AM
When the original AWA guns were good, they were good.
Unfortunately, not all were.
It's a long story, most of which isn't public knowledge.
August 26, 2011, 12:20 AM
Thanks for all the info guys, keep it coming!
So, as it stands now, I figure the first thing I need to verify when I get to see this gun in person is whether it is in fact an AWA (which I guess should all be Armi San Marcos guns) or if it is just a straight Uberti. The seller said it is marked Western Arms - Uberti but either he is mistaken (probably) or some of the info here about AWA is incorrect.
Second would be to determine the exact model. Are these usually marked right on the barrel?
Third, determine what hammer type it has, condition, how it feels, locks up etc.
Fourth, look over the repair work done previously on the ejector housing and trigger.
More than likely, I'll have to think real hard about it even if condition seems a bit poor as I feel it's a good price.
August 26, 2011, 01:18 AM
As I said- I dealt with three generations of management there.
AWA used ASM products, was at least a partial owner (if not full owner for a period), and my info is that AWA was actually responsible for the demise of ASM, too.
We've had four AWA guns here.
There was no Uberti involvement under those owners, what Simpson has done since could be, but it's my understanding they're Piettas.
You could call the current company & ask, if they'll answer the phone. :)
I'm not familiar with any firearm maker under the name of Western Arms.
There is currently a Western Arms that sells airsoft products, including a Peacemaker style "gun".
Are you sure what you're talking about is even a real gun?
August 26, 2011, 03:59 AM
I'm pretty sure that the guy selling this is not really a "gun guy" if you follow me. It just kinda came up at work about pistols in a conversation and this guy was walking past and stopped and asked half jokingly if I wanted to buy one. I've known him for about two years and have never heard him talk about hunting or shooting that I recall. I'm thinking this is a pistol he picked up at some point, shot a little, had some problems like I mentioned above then got it fixed and just sort of put it away. It's a bit like talking cars with some people and they say what car they have and mention engine "X" is in it and you just go "uh yea, right...that's a chevy engine and your car is a ford." Know what I mean? The guy is't tying to lie, he's just not that into cars and is getting confused about what he has because he never really looks at and probably just doesn't care. Only thing you can do is look under the hood for yourself.
In this case, I didn't know any more about these revolvers than he does but the difference is I'm trying to get some good info before I look it over and/or buy it. He swears it says Uberti on it but I've got no idea if he's got the name right or is guessing. All I want do is get all my ducks in a row before Sunday.
August 26, 2011, 04:04 AM
Maybe this is what he has? See the third line of the post.
Or, on this post: http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsforums.yuku.com/topic/14795/Uberti-vs-Pietta-revolvers-any-thoughts#.TldGdV0RrYQ
Go down to the 8th post by dogngun. He saysMy Uberti was made in the 1970's, imported by a company called Western Arms Corp, Santa Fe NM, and marked A Uberti with the date code AC. It has a 7 1/2" barrel, is very highly polished and beautifully blued with a case color frame and one piece wood grip.
And finally!!!! What sounds like a solid answer....
Western Arms Corp was an importer in the 1960's and 1970's, but got sued by Winchester-Western over the company name. It became Allen Firearms in 1984, named after the owner.
In 1987, the company was bought out by Cimarron.
According to the date code, my revolver was made in 1977
August 26, 2011, 04:48 AM
Sorry to keep posting about this but I figure that maybe the next guy who is looking for info on one of these might find it helpful to have it all in one topic.
If/when I buy it, I'll try to post a couple pictures.
August 26, 2011, 01:45 PM
Allen Firearms I knew was the predecessor to Mike Harvey's Cimarron, but I don't recall a Western Arms from the era.
If you can find the markings "AMERICAN Western Arms" and "Uberti" on the same gun, I can be corrected, but unless it's a current gun under Simpson's ownership, I'd be astounded to see anything AWA put out marked Uberti.
There was a long-running relationship with ASM from the start. I talked to Bob Gangi, the founder, years ago & he had grand plans for the company that never materialised. The second ownership group was a little more conservative, the third wrote checks that reality couldn't cash.
Toward the end of the third ownership group under Globerman, they sent out a spare parts catalog, which I still have.
One of the guns we acquired from them at about the same time had a problem that required a new hammer. AWA was unable by then to sell parts, despite the parts catalog, and was briefly scavenging them off guns in stock to make repairs as needed. That was also about the time ASM went under.
Everything fell apart at the end of that operation.
The guy who finally did the repair had to rebuild the part. He (and others I've talked to about AWA guns) said the ASM parts were not directly interchangeable with Uberti or Pietta.
He was unable to get the hammer from AWA, I couldn't, and at no point was the possibility of using a Uberti part mentioned.
If AWA was using Uberti as a source, there would have been no shortage of parts to be sold by AWA, and they would have been easily available to just about anybody, gunsmith or regular guy-at-home.
One consideration to think about strongly is that if it IS a Uberti from the 70s, I'd stay away.
The Italians didn't begin to take their replicas seriously till SASS demands forced them to improve durability. For many years those guns were built to function, but at lower levels of usage, and QC was spotty. Soft guts that wore out, and so on.
I would not waste money on a replica from that era.
Go look at the thing, write down everything you can find on it, and get back here.
August 26, 2011, 02:02 PM
Wasn't trying to get on you about any of your info. I appreciate all of it and find it interesting. My original post specifically only said Western Arms Uberti but I was "corrected" early on in the post that it should be AWA. Names are close enough that I figured it was probably correct. Guess it wasn't but honestly, I don't mind. I'll remember all of this stuff easier because of the small bit of controversy in the info.
Kinda gives a new insight to the whole "similar name" lawsuits you talked about.
August 29, 2011, 03:51 AM
Well, I've got the "mystery pistol" in hand.... It's not quite as described to me.
Marked as follows:
On top of barrel: "-WESTERN-ARMS-awz" The awz is real tiny both here and on the left side where I show it below.
On left side of barrel: "HEGE-DAKOTA-awz CAL..357 MAG
On left side of frame below the cylinder is a stamp that is a little hard to describe precisely. It's a letter U inside what looks like a 6 cog gear. This symbol in turn sits inside what looks about like a hex head bolt head but the top 'flat' has a little triangle or pointy hat thing on it and what would be the bottom flat of the bolt head is missing.
The s/n is on the bottom of the frame just fwd of the trigger guard and is H2**
Right side of the frame below the cylinder has what looks like a couple of proof marks. One sort of looks like crossed rifles on a shield with a flower on top or maybe a crown. Next is PSF with the same flower/crown above it followed by XXV,
The same two proofs are on the rt side of the barrel just fwd of the frame.
Also, he said it had the brass grip frame and trigger guard but it doesn't. No brass anywhere on it.
Condition is a bit worse than I expected cosmetically. He said it had a little rust but there is a bit of actual pitting on the cylinder and a fair bit of scuffs, scratches and blueing loss on both the barrel and the ejector housing. Trigger pull is very nice and the hammer spring feels nice and firm but not difficult. Just right really.
There does NOT appear to be any sort of hammer safety of any kind. The hammer is four position rather than three or two. There is fully down with firing pin protruding, first notch hammer almost fully down but back enough for pin to NOT protrude and cylinder locked. Half cock, cylinder spins freely even with loading gate closed....Is that normal? And last, full cock where cylinder locks back up.
Cylinder lock up is ok but I noticed a little visible movement front to rear. Not sure how critical that is????
He told me to take it home and shoot it to see what I thought of it and even provide a full box of Remington 125 gr JSP ammo.
I'll give it a try I guess and see how it shoots. He says it's nice and accurate but that you have to aim low. Looking at the sights, I think he got that backwards as the front sight seems fairly tall and just pointing it, it feels like I need to hold half the front sight above the top of the rear notch to be level and "on".
I'll try to post some pictures in the morning.
August 29, 2011, 04:06 AM
Looks identical to this one except not as clean and the barrel stampings are slightly different. There is no Hammerili Switzerland stamp. Maybe Hammerilli imported the same revolver as Western Arms?
Also googled "uberti logo" and the letter U inside the cog and hex is their logo.
August 29, 2011, 01:12 PM
Hammerli was a manufacturer, not an importer.
You generally should not have Italian proofs on a Swiss gun.
The fore & aft endplay is called end shake & can be a problem, depending on how extreme it gets.
Hammerli was the first to use a two-position cylinder base pin as a "safety".
Can you move the pin on that one back to a notch where it prevents the hammer from falling completely forward to strike the primer?
And, I'd still recommend passing on it.
Parts are not readily available, condition sounds poor. Repairs would probably be a nuisance if (when) something breaks.
Certainly don't put out anything more than a hundred on it.
125-grain .357 loads are also harder on guns than 158s, particularly on that SA.
They shoot to a different point of impact, too, which may be part of the sight regulation problem you refer to.
August 29, 2011, 02:15 PM
Appreciate you taking the time once again to pass along more info.
Just to clarify... this gun is not a Hammereli, I only posted that link because it looks just like that one.
I went ahead and took some pictures. I made a point to show it "at it's worst" and not try to make it look better than it is.
Side of barrel.
Worst part of cylinder. It was kept in a really cheap holster and I expect this is from the leather.
Typical "good part" of cylinder.
Inside of frame.
And lastly, cylinder and pin.
She sure looks rough in the pic's but not quite so bad in person unless you look closely.
Certainly not a collector grade by any means but I'll still take it out and shoot it to see how it does. If by chance it's a good solid shooter, I'll probably still make an offer on it but not sure. Since I'm not a collector and not into cowboy shooting, it wouldn't get shot a whole lot. Just occasional fun and plinking. I can live with the condition as is or do some work on it but the main thing is if it shoots okay.
What would you all pay?
August 29, 2011, 02:42 PM
The gun's frame has no firing pin bushing, a typical shortcut in early & mid Italian repros. You can see either somebody's dry-fired it a fair amount, or the frame's steel is fairly soft (possibly both) by the burr ring around the firing pin channel.
The drag lines around the cylinder are indications of either a probable timing problem or somebody repeatedly lowering the hammer from a half-cock position.
Coupled with the end shake you mention, and the overall poor condition of the gun, not to mention the possible parts problem, I feel compelled to ask why you're so interested in buying it?
Your money, of course, but you have an older replica in bad shape chambered for a caliber that's hard on the design to begin with (even in a Colt with good steels) along with questionable spare parts support, and an apparent sight regulation problem.
And, Hege was the primary German importer of Uberti guns in that country, among other things, for several years.
That & the Uberti proof you describe would indicate the thing is a Uberti, but as I mentioned before- it's from an era when Uberti was not producing the same quality they are today.
Parts from that era may or may not be replaceable by current parts.
If you absolutely have to have it for some reason, again- I would not go over $100.
I personally wouldn't waste any money on it at all.
September 6, 2011, 11:44 PM
Well guys, finally got this thing to the range today and shot both some 38 specials and some 357 mags. The 38's were cheap PMC "bronze" fmj 132 grains but shot real well.
I did find that the point of impact was about 5 to 6 inches low at 15 yards but that was better than the 5 or 6 inches high I was told it shot. At least, a low POI will allow trimming of the front sight until I can hold "on". Won't do that until I buy the gun and try some more load variations. First two groups at 15 yards were right at 2 3/4" which isn't bad but not all that good either. Of course, I don't do much handgun shooting and have never considered myself to be "good" at it. At best I get by and do nearly all of it from a rest.
Here is a picture of my first two groups on the left target. I had my 10 year old boy along and after feeling how mild the 38's were, offered to let him shoot it. I sat him in my lap and let him rest his wrists on the rest we were using and then put my hands around his for support. Told him to "hold it like he means it", firm but not a death grip and how to hold the sights based on my first two groups. He didn't do too bad for a 10 year old kid who had only ever shot a 22 pistol once before. The lower group circled on the left was shot with the front sight held flush, the upper one was with more front sight held up trying to get a feel for how much I needed.
After the next cease fire when we put up a fresh target, I decided to try again and really focus on sight picture and trigger. I shot these two groups on the left and top center target and Emmett shot the right side again. This time, I still had my hands around his, but barely touching so it was pretty much all him. The group on the left is 1.5" and the top center is just under 1 7/8". Guestimating the proper front sight elevation was a bit of a hassle. I kept wanting to hold the sights level.
Tried to edit the title about range results but couldn't do it. Just wonderin' what you think.
As for the accuracy, I don't claim to be a handgun guy but for comparison, I get only slightly better groups with my Ruger 44mag bisley hunter if that tells you anything. In the hands of a good shooter, both would likely do better.
Also, I've done some looking on gunbroker and such for these and both uberti and asm models in general. Oddly, I've found a fair number of them that were purposely made to look "aged" and worn like this one and they want $350 to $500 for them. Kinda surprised me.
Is "AWZ" the mark for German Maker Albin Wahl of Zella-Mehlis?
September 7, 2011, 08:01 PM
I've got no idea what the awz stands for. When I was googling for info on this gun, I ran across a chart with abbreviations and makers that might be where you got your info. I doubt it's a German mark as these are Italian guns imported by an American company.
On a side note, I went to my local gun shop today and they had half a dozen various new Uberti revolvers. The four I looked at were a 45 colt Cattleman El Patrone, a birds head 45, a 2nd model Schofield and a 22/22 mag that I can't remember the model of. Of them all, I liked the Birds Head model with the 3.5" barrel the best for feel and balance even though I wasn't sure whether it felt better with my pinky finger above the corner of the grip or curled underneath it. I did notice that the actions on these new models feels totally different than on the old one I'm looking at. The new guns hammer tension feels way too light but I suppose that is the coil spring vs the leaf spring the old one has. The old one felt more "positive" during cocking but the new ones sure are smooth. Can't decide which feel I prefer but I'm leaning towards the feel of the old type. I also noted the new guns having the double detent on the the cylinder pin which the old one does not have. I guess that is a safety feature?
Only bad thing now is I'm starting to REALLY get interested in these Colt clones but I don't have the money to indulge that interest.... Oh well.
September 7, 2011, 11:24 PM
I doubt it's a German mark as these are Italian guns imported by an American company.
Yeah, I was digging around, a warped part of me enjoys trying to track down info' like this.
And fair warning, Single Action's can be addictive!! :)
September 8, 2011, 12:57 AM
No I didn't but thanks for that! I used to have one bookmarked about 2 computers ago but never found it again.
Now, the question is, how do I save that since it won't let me bookmark it?
September 8, 2011, 01:04 AM
Current Ubertis should still be using a flat mainspring, unless they sneaked something by me.
The "double detent", if you mean two locking rings around the base pin, is a safety.
It allows you to position it fully to the rear, where it prevents the firing pin from striking a primer. In its forward position, it leaves the gun shootable.
September 8, 2011, 08:45 AM
Now, the question is, how do I save that since it won't let me bookmark it?
Just right click on the link and your browser should let you "save" it. If it won't, PM me an email address and I can email it to you.
September 8, 2011, 01:57 PM
Dpris, not sure but I was pretty certain that in one of the posts I read there was mention of the newer guns going to a coil spring but that might have been the Armi San Marcos guns. And yes, I meant the two locking positions for the pin. The old one does not have that feature.
BCCL, thanks for the help, I got it. Been ages but I finally remembered to click on 'file' and then 'save as'.
September 8, 2011, 03:52 PM
The only coil springs I'm aware of in Ubertis as they come from the factory are SOME with a wire trigger return/bolt spring, and SOME with a coil/plunger hand spring, both to replace breakage-prone flat or leaf springs. (I've personally had a leaf-type handspring break in an older model Italian replica. It's far from unknown even in Colts, and has been an intermittent problem in reproductions for many years.)
I'll point out again that your gun is an early model, built before current improvements were made. Three things the older Ubertis were known for- soft guts, sight elevation being off, and being fairly heavily sprung.
The softer cocking you mention on the new ones you handled is more likely to be from a more current flat mainspring that's of a slightly different configuration than the older ones.
One of the longtime tricks of lightening a Peacemaker (or clone) action is to thin the mainspring. I believe you'd find, if you could remove the grips & compare your gun to one of those new ones, that there's a visible difference between the two.
A very stiff hammer spring isn't necessary, and it's not a sign of quality in a Colt clone.
The only Peacemaker clone I know of with a coil mainspring is (or was, their website isn't up to date) the current AWA's Ultimate Octagon model.
ASM never turned them out with coil mainsprings.
Your gun just isn't up to par with what Uberti's putting out now. It was built during a time when the Italians were making them for the casual shooting American market, long before the higher demands of CAS pushed them into upgrading and taking the guns more seriously.
Did you happen to notice if those new ones had the firing pin bushing?
You may find that the burr around your firing pin channel without a bushing will grow further with use, and it can eventually interfere with headspacing and other problems if it gets too bad.
September 10, 2011, 02:34 PM
No, I didn't notice for sure if it had a bushing but I'm inclined to think maybe it was there but I didn't make specific note of it. Just kinda niggling at the back of my mind that I saw it when I wasn't looking for it.
As for the quality.... I recently acquired a book on Colts that I also recently seem to have misplaced. Go figure.
Anyway, as far as I read, this guy talked about the early colt clones and talked about the high quality of the Italian made clones. He also said that for years Colt had been getting a good many of their parts from Italy for the Colt production guns. Supposedly it was denied many times but then admitted to years later. You'd think if the parts were good enough to be put in a real colt, they'd be good enough for a clone. Of course, I realize that simply making a part of a certain size and shape is not the same as making one of a certain quality and hardness but I would think if they got the spec's directly from Colt, they'd probably try to stick to them if it wasn't overly cost prohibitive.
One thing I'd be curious to know... how would an original Colt from the 1800's stand up to SASS? The author of this book mentioned quite a few times about how you shouldn't shoot the old Colts because of collector value (that's an idea that kinda bugs me too) and instead should look into buying a clone if you wanted to experience shooting a Colt. I hear all the time about how the quality of the metal in old guns like Mauser, Colt or whatever classic you like is not as good as those built today. Could it be that the quality of the early clones was pretty near the same as the old Colts but both would not have stood up to the high volume of shooting that todays competition demands?
Just thinking out loud again...
September 10, 2011, 04:52 PM
First- Colt has NEVER used Italian parts in the Colt Peacemaker. Period. EOS. TASW. :)
I don't know who wrote whatever you saw, but neither the part about the Colt sourcing nor the "high quality" of the early Italian clones was true.
As I said, the early Ubertis were not built to be fired much, and the guts were often problematical.
The clones were built to a certain level of function & pricing, and that was it. Before CAS, most casual shooters were happy with what they got.
Besides the hand spring I mentioned breaking on my replica percussion, Italian mainsprings in Peacemaker clones were also known to break on occasion. It's not exactly a rare occurrance on the older guns, Phil Spangenberger commented on it more than once in his old Guns & Ammo days.
I've personally seen an Opentop with a trigger so soft the tip curled back progressively with use, first lightening the pull (which the owner initially liked), then getting to the point where it was dangerously so with a pull measured in ounces rather than pounds. The trigger had to be replaced.
I knew a gunsmith who couldn't keep his wife's Opentops running for her CAS uses. I saw a local competitor here who had problems with his Opentop.
Hammer notches wore quicker than corresponding Colt parts, the cam frequently did too.
Again- Italian parts were NOT used in Colts & were NOT the equal of Colt parts.
There's been improvement in the new Uberti factory with CAS demands that the guns hold up longer, but the older guns had known problems and while not every one was a clunker, percentages were high enough to indicate certain trends, such as the soft guts, sight regulation, and spring issues mentioned above.
The Italians took certain shortcuts with the design, why do you think there's such a price difference between them & the real thing? (And before somebody jumps in to say "You're just paying for the Colt name", let me say that gun is genuinely an expensive one to build, the way Colt does it.)
There's a marked difference in quality.
The lack of a firing pin bushing in earlier clones was a shortcut. Fired relatively little, not a problem. Fired a lot, you see why Colt included that bushing. The bushing is far cheaper to replace than the frame in high mileage guns.
I've owned & fired Italian clones since 1969, I've owned Colts for several years.
I've been involved with people in the industry at Colt and among clone importers for a long time. I've been at many CAS events. I've seen clones break down. I've talked to clone owners & I've seen clone problems myself.
(Yes, Colts can break too, but not as often & they don't wear in the same ways that the older Italian clones did.)
Eddie Janis at Peacemaker Specialists will ONLY work on genuine Colts, and it's not snobbery.
He says the Colts are more consistent, more responsive to work, last longer after work is done, and he doesn't get the same results from standardized procedures in clones that he does in Colts.
None of this is calling Ubertis junk, they aren't. Just trying to advise that the older guns were known to have their weaknesses.
Current quality is much improved. The Italians, and not just singling Uberti out, are taking their single-action clones more seriously today, and it shows.
How would an original Colt from the 1880s hold up to CAS?
Heat treating as we know it today didn't begin at Colt till the 1920s. Heat treating began to spread at S&W and other manufacturers at about the same time period.
Today's Peacemaker is vastly better than an 1880 gun, in terms of overall longevity and in relation to the high-volume demands of CAS shooters & events.
The originals were never intended to fire hundreds of rounds a month, for years at a time. Or, to be fired rapidly on a regular basis.
Modern CAS use on a regular basis would destroy an 1880s Colt in short order.
Many people do shoot those older Colts, mostly on a limited basis & mostly with relatively low-pressured loads.
The man who fixed my busted repro hand spring years ago had an original blackpowder-framed Colt Peacemaker inherited from his father who'd inherited from his. Great shape, he fired it rarely, but did do an occasional short "nostalgia" session with it. I respected his judgement, and that type of use doesn't bother me. Trying to use it in CAS certainly would. :)
Colts from that area had no heat treating, older Italian clones did, but not quite the equal of today's Italian clones.
Saying an 1880s Colt would be roughly comparable to a 1970s Uberti in that respect wouldn't be entirely accurate, but heat treating isn't the whole issue, anyway.
Colts in that era (and after) were hand fitted at the factory to a greater degree than the Italians did when your Uberti was built.
The internals on the Peacemaker design will eat themselves up sooner if not well-fitted than they will if they are.
How much sooner depends on the quality of the parts to begin with and the degree of usage.
September 11, 2011, 03:50 AM
Thanks for all the info Denis.
I really wish I could find that book but I got thinking and I might have left it in the waiting room of a doctors office I had an appointment at a couple weeks ago when I broke 3 fingers. Of course, I suppose anybody could write a book but it seemed like this guy knew his stuff. He REALLY seemed to be a colt fan but the book included a lot of info about other makers mostly for the sake of comparison. He did though claim that colt imported parts for over a decade from Italian makers. Did they heat treat and hand fit in house? I don't know but suspect that would be the case so it'd be kinda like the parts were "roughed out" in Italy and then "finished" over here to the higher Colt spec's. I'm pretty sure he mentioned names of high executives from Colt who denied it for years then later admitted it was true but my memory is too poor to quote back anything useful at this time. If I find the book, I'll drop you a pm with some actual details.
September 11, 2011, 09:01 AM
At one time, Colt did use some Italian parts in some modern releases of their black powder cap-n-ball revolvers, and that has led to the "Italian parts in the Peacemaker" rumor.
As BCCL notes, Colt used Italian parts (entire guns assembled & final finished by Colt) for their BP reintroductions.
Colt also sourced several parts for their short-lived Cowboy model from a casting house in Canada.
No Italian parts in the Peacemakers.
If you're trying to convince yourself the gun you have is anywhere near Colt quality by thinking Colts used the same parts at some point, you're not benefiting yourself in the long run. :)
Colt has outsourced Peacemaker parts (and those for other models) from various vendors over the years, and in at least one case from Florida, but not from Italy.
If you can find that book, or any other that makes such claims, I'd be interested to look it up.
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