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Uberti 1873 cattleman revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by crooked stripe, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Well-Known Member

    I have been looking at these revolvers and would really like to have one. Info is slim on their website as far as loadings go. Would it be possible to load some bullets for deer hunting that the single action would handle? Hoping to purchase anyone of the models they have in a 45 colt. They also make one with a birds head grip. What are your thought on that one. This last part is probably just a dream thinking most birds head models are only made with a 4.5" barrel. Thanks for any help you could give. John
  2. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    They've always been good guns for the money but have done nothing but improve over the last ten years. These guns are also available in a .45ACP convertible so they should be fine with any of the loads deemed safe for the New Vaquero .45Colt in the 20-21,000psi range. One of my favorites is Hunters Supply 275gr LBT over 16.0gr 2400 for around 1050fps. The problem with any of the Uberti replicas will be the sights. If they have the pinched frame blackpowder era sights they can be a challenge to shoot accurately at any distance.

    Personally, I've been wanting to drive to Dixie Gun Works and pick out another Bisley, this time a 7½" .38-40. Should yield at least 1200fps with 180's at standard pressures.
  3. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    I have the Uberti cattleman in 45 Colt that I bought several years ago. I have nothing but good things to say about it. I also have shot mine a great deal over the years and have had no problems with it. For the money the Uberti guns are very good guns. The fit and finish is better than my Ruger Vaquero and they look traditional.
  4. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    I also am interested in this post, perhaps for different reasons than the OP. I am without a doubt a double action revolver kind of guy so I have a real knowledge gap with SA's.

    I note that my "toolbox" at present doesn't have a big bore revolver. I eventually need to address that. Some analysis tells me that for big bore, my uses would be just as well served with a single action. Not having the budget at present for an FA, I first thought of the Rugers.

    In my mind the Ubertis that I have had the pleasure to see have been truly beautiful. In .45 Colt do the throats measure such to provide really good inherent accuracy? Further, if I want to load up hot .45 Colt to chase .44 mag are the Ubertis going to handle that?

    Is this girl just for taking to the prom or can she butcher a hog and make biscuits too?
  5. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    The problem with any gun where you want to jump around with ammo choices is that the fixed sights will only be accurate for a few very specific loadings. Matching the POI to the POA for a wide variety of loadings is simply not going to be realistic for the fixed sights. One or the other has to give.

    So it comes down to either shoot one or two specific loads that result in the same POI or go with an option that has adjustable sights.

    For an all 'rounder with adjustable sights the Ruger Blackhawk is often the best lower budget choice. Although I see Uberti has a model that has an adjustable sight. But it's only in .44Mag.

    In terms of finding two loads that shoot to the same POI what you're looking at would be a heavy bullet with a full pressure charge. Then by picking a lighter bullet with a moderate charge you can achieve the same muzzle rise at the point where the bullet leaves the muzzle. Thus a pair of loads that will shoot to the same POI. One for full on hunting or taking down big steel and the other for days when you just want to plink or target shoot or introduce new shooters to a less intimidating load. If you can live with this sort of two load setup then a fixed sights gun can work for you.
  6. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Well-Known Member

    A 255 grain semi-wadcutter traveling 900-1000 fps on a broadside shot will easily kill a deer. You don't need a hot round.
  7. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    Good info BC, thanks! What can you tell me about chamber throats and frame strength of the Uberti?
  8. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    Louisiana hogs? Some say for hogs you should go pretty warm with .45 Colt. Do you differ?
  9. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Well-Known Member

    This thread is really getting interesting. I really enjoying learing all I can about different firearms. Thanks guys.
  10. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    For hunting deer in the oak hammock on my farm I like to use my Blackhawk in 45 Colt with 250 gr bullet. I also like the 357 mag blackhawk with 180 gr bullet at 1200 ft/sec for wild boar.
  11. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member


    The question remains;

    For the item under discussion-the Uberti Cattleman (or similer Ubertis)

    Who can speak to the precision of the chamber throats and frame strength for hot rounds?

    P.S. already you have me thinking "prom queen".
  12. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Well-Known Member

    Standard pressure only for the replicas, if you want to go hot, get a Blackhawk/large frame(old)Vaquero

    I have the Uberti Schofield replica ( through Taylor's ) and it's been flawless as far as function, very tight.... but I keep my handloads for it around 900 fps, and when CCW-ing it, I load Winchester Silvertips.

    The Blackhawk has the adjustable sights for my varying loads, and can handle powder-puff loads for the kids, or Buffalo Bore 325 grain Hard cast when I feel the need to twang my diaphragm like a guitar string.
  13. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    No "Ruger only" loads but as I said before, they are safe for heavier loads than factory or cowboy powder puffs.

    I've never owned or measured a Uberti .45Colt but .456" throats never stopped my Colt New Frontier from shooting 1"@25yd groups with .452" cast bullets.
  14. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Well-Known Member


    I have owned a couple of Uberti Cattlemen over the years. The one I have now is about 15 years old, so I cannot speak for what they are making today. I just ran downstairs and measured the cylinder throats. Using my calipers, the throats were running around .453-.454. However, a caliper is not the ideal tool for measuring cylinder throats.

    The old standard is, the correct bullet for the throats will just pass through the throats with a little bit of pressure. If it falls right through, it is too small, if it needs a lot of pressure to be shoved through, it is too large. A .452 bullet (which is standard for 45 Colt) pushed through just right with light pressure.

    Regarding pushing 44 Mag pressures with a gun built with basically the same dimensions as the SAA, forget it! Perhaps you have read about Elmer blowing up a Colt with high pressure loads. That's why he went down to 44 Special when he eventually developed the 44 Mag. Any 45 caliber revolver is going to have thinner cylinder walls than the same gun chambered for 44 caliber. The Uberti guns are basically dimensionally the same as a Colt, they are not designed for hot loads. Personally, I would never push any revolver built along the lines of the SAA with anything more than SAAMI Max 14,000 psi loads. These guns are not 'old model' Vaqueros or Blackhawks, they are not as massive.

    Do not confuse a 250 grain bullet moving at 800 fps, the factory standard load for many years, with 'cowboy powder puffs'. Far from it. That load was the most powerful factory load for revolvers until the advent of the 357 Magnum in 1935. It is still plenty potent.

    Regarding accuracy and fixed sights. Do not confuse Point of Impact vs Point of Aim with accuracy. Accuracy consists of how small a group a gun will make, not where it puts the group. A 45 Colt with proper ammunition is plenty accurate. It will make a small group. Kentucky windage and experience will put the group where it needs to be if it is not exactly where it is desired.
  15. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    Freedom Arms if you have the geld and the urge to push the envelope. Colt for I have the $ and authentic lite. Ruger for Chevrolet budget and utility.

    Uberti still gets my vote for prom queen.

    Flame away.

    P.S. I already have a good collection of .357s.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  16. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Driftwood is adding a lot of goodness to this question. He's right in that accuracy isn't a sights issue. But either way I know I would like to work up a set of loads that match their POI's at some distance and then use "Kentucky elevation" to deal with closer or farther. It's just that knowing you can trust the sights for some reasonable zero point gives a nice starting off point. Especially if you're in a bit of a hurry before some game dissapears.

    He also raises a good point about the low SAMMI pressure limit for .45Colt. And along with that the hitting power of a 250gn hunk o' lead even at what many consider modest speed in today's world. Yet these loads hit hard and have taken their share of game since the late 1800's. But if you want to reach out a little farther with a flatter trajectory you might want to shift your sights more towards the .44Mag. Then you can send out a 240gn pill at more around 1200 fps.

    As for throats and frame strength I can't comment as I don't have a recent Uberti either. But it's intriguing to note that they have a number of .44Mag models based on their basic platform. That suggests that the frame and action is able to easily withstand a proper full SAMMI .45Colt loading. But I would be hesitant about exceeding that and trying to step up into the "Ruger Only" loads. The frame is likely OK but there is those thinner cylinder walls to consider what with the bigger hole.
  17. Dnaltrop

    Dnaltrop Well-Known Member


    I really like this Linebaugh article when the topic turns to the inherent weakness of the thinner walls of the .45 colt. Someone still drawing breath who's detonated a *few* pistols in the course of his testing.

    Wouldn't mind one of his guns either ;) Unfortunately I'm paying for the eldest to take a trip to Japan this summer as part of her school's exchange program. Really destroyed my shooting budget this year, but the Kids come first.

  18. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    Based on information I have with mine, I would not want to exceed much beyond 1000 ft/sec with 2400. Plenty good for taking deer too with the 240 gr bullet.
  19. StrawHat

    StrawHat Well-Known Member

    I have two of the SAA clones, one with a 5 1/2" barrel and the other has a 7 1/2" pipe. Both have cylinders for the 45 long Colt. I load a 260 rain lead bullet over a case full of black powder and find it to perform just as the Army expected it to in 1873. I can shoot through a deer from any angle with that load, it was designed to shoot through a horse at 100 yards. Never shot a horse at that distance so I can not verify the claim but from what I have seen of deer, no problem. I cast my bullets from softer lead, lube them with appropraite stuff and get no leading. The cylinders on both of my revolvers are very uniform but I do not recall the diameter.

    I also have a 45 ACP cylinder for the shorter revovler and it handles the heavier bullets also.
  20. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    The Italian proof for this gun is 21,000 PSI

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