Did Colt Stop Making "The Cowboy" Revolver?


July 13, 2004, 11:02 PM
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July 14, 2004, 12:13 AM
Colt dropped their Ruger Vaquero clone. Not even cheap PI labour could make it attractive to buyers. The Colt Cowboy is indeed, no more.

Jim March
July 14, 2004, 02:31 AM
With good reason.

It had a truly horrible QC rep :(.

July 14, 2004, 08:02 AM
It wasn't a vaquero clone. It may have had the same transfer bar system, but it was SAA sized not vaquero sized. My range has several that aren't moving. I rented one for my birthday a few months ago and was getting misfires all over the place. Not for me.

July 14, 2004, 12:52 PM
With reports of the current Colt 1911 being,"their best quality in years", I wonder why they dropped the ball on the Cowboy?

Brian D.
July 14, 2004, 02:00 PM
Meb1, that Colt Cowboy project may have been cursed from day one. The year that Colt debuted that model at the SHOT Show, I remember that both the protos at their booth were broken on the first morning of the event, and if memory serves stayed that way darn near the whole four days...:eek:

July 15, 2004, 09:34 AM
I'm interested in picking up a "cowboy" revolver and I'm curious what manufacturers are good to look into? I know Ruger makes the Blackhawk and such and they are nice but are there any other good ones I should look into? I'm not really interested in the .22 models if that helps.

July 15, 2004, 12:03 PM
Also is it possible to get a working Colt Dragoon that isnt several thousand dollars? Was it reissued at some point?

July 15, 2004, 12:54 PM
Uberti makes a reproduction Colt Dragoon. I believe Colt might even resell them under their name for a substantial markup.

July 15, 2004, 02:20 PM
A shop near me carries an Uberti Cattleman. I decided to look them up. One question, why is the 'Millenium' so much cheaper than the other versions of the Cattleman? Is it simply the finish?

edit: And is it possible to have a new finish put on a gun?

July 15, 2004, 06:32 PM
Ransom - The Millenium is only cosmetically different than the Cattleman. It has a matte finish and a brass trigger guard. I've shot both, with equally good results.

July 15, 2004, 11:01 PM
I think the days of Colt being able to sell sub-standard firearms on the mere weight of the name alone are coming to an end.

I LOVE Colts, but they haven't haven't had an affordable, top-notch gun available for YEARS. My newest Colt is over 20 years old.

They have lost an entire GENERATION of shooters who believe that there are many manufacturers who make a BETTER 1911, who notice that S&W makes a great revolver with a wide range of models at lower prices, and notice that innovative pistols come stamped with names like Kahr, SIG, HK and Glock.

Colt can't even make a decent knock-off of their own SAA for $600.

Oh the pain, the pain....

July 15, 2004, 11:07 PM
I hear USFA is making a Colt SAA that is to die for. I just bought a pair of stainless Ruger Vaqueros and like them a lot.

Tony Mig
July 16, 2004, 10:15 PM
The USFA's are probably the Rolls Royce of the SAA clones, and I understand that they are built in the old Colt factory with the old Colt machinery, but at close to $1,000.00, a little to rich for my blood.
I recently bought a Ruger Vaquero, 5.5" polished stainless in .45 Colt, and paid half of what a USFA would have cost me, and I have a six gun that'll last me a lifetime backed up with factory service.
I plan to get another one with a 7.5" barrel...(probably next year)

I checked out one of those Colt Cowboy's, and it was total junk, with the poorest fit & finish I've ever seen on an American made firearm.
Can't comment on the Eyetalian made guns, as I've never owned or shot one.....

George Tucker
July 18, 2004, 01:42 PM
I have a USFA 45 LC in the Rodeo, about $500.00, i really like it, George.

July 18, 2004, 02:26 PM
My son and I each found a pawn & gun shop that had two NIB Colt Cowboys left and, since they had been discontinued, were clearing them out for only $425 apiece.

Both of them are faultless in fit and finish. and they both are TACK driver accurate .45 Colt shooters!

They are NOT made in the Phillipines! They were made at Colt in Hartford, Conn.

I read a report on the internet about these babies and I have to agree that the later production was much better than the early ones that caused the glich in Colt's quality reputation. The two my son and I got were both made in 2002. Read this review to get an idea of what they are now like:

Cowboy review (http://www.galleryofguns.com/shootingtimes/Articles/DisplayArticles.asp?ID=13)

Here is a picture of my own Colt Cowboy - see for yourself and compare it to a late generation SAA:


George Tucker
July 18, 2004, 02:35 PM
The USFA Rodeo has the firing pin on the hammer, no transfer bar stuff like the Cowboy, George.

July 18, 2004, 03:41 PM
I never got the chance to own one. I only saw, maybe, 5 or 6 at gunshows. All were priced in the $500 range. They looked good, but not as nicely executed as the 3rd Gen SAAs I've seen. I was stupid and bought 2 Ruger Vaqueros instead. First was a 44 mag that I didn't closely look over before I bought new. The grip frame was very poorly fitted. Traded it for a blued Vaquero in 45 Colt with that ridiculous artificial color case frame. About 2 months after that I noticed a few rust spots on the artificial color case part of the frame. I had just cleaned the gun a few days before and, as usuall, wiped it down with an oiled cloth. The rust rubbed right off with no pitting, but left white spots on the frame. I'm torn between just having the whole gun blued or sending it off to Bowen for real color case hardening (about 2x the cost of reblueing).

I've looked over some Rodeos. Thoroughly unattractive finish. But, they have to have the tightest lockup I've ever come across.

Jim March
July 18, 2004, 05:14 PM
I've looked over some Rodeos. Thoroughly unattractive finish. But, they have to have the tightest lockup I've ever come across.

Only FA beats 'em. Or maybe a Korth, which I've never handled but for $5K it BETTER lock up like a bank vault :scrutiny:.

But the Rodeo is a damned good gun. What they do is, they only build to one set of blueprints for all guns. Rodeos get a crude finish in-house. The $1,200ish higher-end pieces go to Doug Turnbull for case hardening, high-gloss bluing, etc. But the thing is, since they expect the higher-end guns to fetch over $1k, they know it has to be as mechanically perfect as it is good looking.

So the Rodeos are basically "thousand dollar guns under a cheap paint job". :cool: It's like finding a Python in perfect mechanical condition and a great shooter with a great trigger for $400 because it's got a ton of holster wear from some dude that barely shot it.

It *should* be possible to have a Rodeo refinished to a higher standard sometime down the road. Something like...

MASTER GRADE FINISH: Guns are mirror polished. Blue guns have a deep gloss similar to Colt Pythons of old. Plated and stainless guns shine like mirrors.

$315 (entire gun)

http://alphaprecisioninc.com/contact/prices.htm (Gunsmith Jim Stroh, very reputable)

Do that and some really good grips on a Rodeo, you'd have something quite decent...the hammer and trigger are color-case-hardened even on a Rodeo.


SOMEWHERE I heard that the Colt Cowboy had some Italian "innards". But I could be either misinformed, or confused with the brief recent run of Colt open-top percussion guns that WERE largely Italian (the cap'n'balls I'm positive of, all parts were Italian and were fitted/finished stateside).

July 19, 2004, 10:30 AM
If you want an SAA sized gun with a transfer bar, look at the Beretta Stampede. There were some minor QC problems related to timing & indexing, but most of those can be fixed by a gunsmith for $100. Read up on SassNet.com

However, there is still the issue of the crappy "paint" job used on the color case faux versions, so I'd recommend their stainless.

Stainless Beretta Stampede; $100 minor gunsmithing to perfect it - you've got a Colt clone with a Ruger transfer bar in an SAA size body.


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