Cap and Ball 1873 SAA.


Skinny 1950
April 13, 2012, 12:23 AM
Just got this revolver, something a bit different from the more common 1873 SAA in .45 Colt.
This gun has a cylinder with nipples on it instead of just a big hole for a cartridge. The cylinder is loaded outside of the gun as there is no ram, I have a loading press that I am going to take to the range. It takes .454 balls which I already cast for other guns.
The gun was made by Uberti in 2001 and has a 5 1/2 inch barrel and the grips are really nice wood. Here are a couple of pictures:

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April 13, 2012, 12:45 AM
how hard is it to take the cylinder out?

I remember seeing one of these on youtube. it could have been the nipples or the wrong caps, but under firing the cylinder would move back just enough that the caps would hit the frame of the gun and set them off. i dont think it was an uberti tho.

Skinny 1950
April 13, 2012, 02:00 AM
The cylinder is easy to take out, pull hammer back to half cock open the loading gate...push the cross pin in and pull the base pin out. The cylinder will now roll out the right side of the gun.
The nipples on the cylinder are set in quite a bit so it is unlikely that they will hit the frame when fired.

April 13, 2012, 04:08 AM
awww, I had one of these for several years, it was my slickest-shooting cap n ball gun after I sent it back to Traditions for some work. When i first bought it, the hammer wouldn't break the caps for whatever reason. After they shipped it back to me, the action and trigger were suuuperb, they really wanted to make sure I was a happy customer! It was a very fun, great-shootin gun, mine had a 4 3/4" bbl, and I deeply regret having to sell it when times was tough.

Skinny 1950
April 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
I noticed that the rifling on this gun is a lot deeper and more defined than on my other 1873 SAA .45 Colt... I hope this translates into better accuracy cause I can't seem to hit much with it.

April 14, 2012, 07:55 AM
Here's mine, made in 1998. No problem with cap clearance on this one.

April 14, 2012, 08:47 PM
Saw this in a shop in Minneapolis a while back..a percussion revolver with a loading gate and ejector rod...I'm curious...does anyone make cartridge conversion cylinders for this beast? I just decided that I need an 1873 to go with my 1858.

April 14, 2012, 09:10 PM
There aren't any conversion cylinders made for it that can be installed to easily transform it into a center fire pistol, but there are cartridge cylinders that fit it.
However the conversions that are performed on them are either home or gunsmith conversions.

April 14, 2012, 09:26 PM
A couple of things you'd need to fix:

April 14, 2012, 09:29 PM
OK, I'm a bit confused..... Wasn't the idea of the 1873 SAA to bring all the developments in cartridges together in a new model intended from the outset for cartridges rather than being a warmed over C&B conversion?

So is the concept of an 1873 C&B something Uberti made up or where percussion cylinders available for the 1873's back in the day?

April 14, 2012, 09:38 PM
There were no cap and ball 1873's in the 1870's. It's a modern design.

Uberti created the cap and ball version for sale in countries where possession of a cartridge revolver is prohibited (specifically, the United Kingdom). It's quite popular as it allows residents of those jurisdictions to possess and shoot the venerable 1873, even though it's not strictly correct with respect to it's ancestor.

April 14, 2012, 09:46 PM
Uberti made these for European countries where cartridge guns are illegal. In the late '90's or early 00's somebody, I think it was Cabela's imported a shipment of them to the States. I haven't seen any for awhile.

April 14, 2012, 09:47 PM
I see a couple of us answered at the same time

April 14, 2012, 10:24 PM
AH.... That makes far more sense. I thank you gentlemen.

April 15, 2012, 05:59 AM
I see a couple of us answered at the same time
No problem. I'm pleased to be in concert.

Uberti was, I believe, the first to produce this 'variant', and I further believe they were only available in Europe. Pietta joined the fray a few years ago and imported some to the US - I thought Dixie was the importer, but when you mentioned Cabela's that seemed right so it probably was Cabela's. Mine is a Uberti and was purchased out of an estate about 5 years ago. How it got to the US I have no idea; the estate also had some cartridge handguns I've never seen for sale here so perhaps the original owner bought them while resident overseas. I have some British long guns I bought while living in the UK some years ago that made the trip here with me. As far as I know the Uberti design is still not sold in the US.

It's a very nice shooting gun.

Skinny 1950
April 15, 2012, 10:52 AM
The original 1873 SAA used black powder cartridges which are nearly impossible to buy off the shelf these days. This design makes it possible to shoot black powder without reloading cartridges.
I have a Uberti 1873 SAA in .45 Colt but I now reload smokeless rounds for it, I tried black powder in it but found that I had to clean the barrel every 6 or so shots.
This cap and ball version will work out great because I have to take the cylinder out to load it and can clean the barrel at the same time.

April 15, 2012, 05:16 PM
I read some where that the hammer and the thru hole was made off center to keep the pistol from shooting center fire ammo. It was made so the european marked could have a 1873 style looking Colt type revolver.

April 15, 2012, 07:16 PM
Malckom -

You are correct. Take a close look at the first photo in post #9; you can see the end of the nipple through the offset hole in the frame. That means that the nipple is offset in the chamber with respect to the chamber centerline; this can be seen in this photo:
Several people have suggested the gun could be modified to accept a cartridge cylinder. So far I've seen no successful attempts, but anything metal can be modified if you have enough money.

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