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.45 long colt rifle and pistol

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by palerider1, Jan 4, 2006.

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  1. palerider1

    palerider1 member

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    I have been looking at the 3rd generation colt .45 saa , and the Navy arms 1873 colt .45 rifle. i would love to own both, but im probably looking at about $2300 for both of them. Anyone have any comments on the colt SAA .45 , or the Navy arms .45 rifle? i have seen the taurus gaucho write ups but i like to own the original as long as it is still made. just me i guess. also can i use the same ammo in both? i believe i can but am not totally sure. Would love to have a nice cowboy rifle and pistol.

    thanks for all responses!!!!!

    Palerider1
     
  2. VirgilCaine

    VirgilCaine Member

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    If they are both .45 Long Colt, you can use the same ammunition in both a handgun and rifle.
     
  3. stoky

    stoky Member

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    I have one of the Navy Arms (Rossi) "Texas Specials", with the short heavy barrel. The action was pretty rough when I bought it. I bubba smithed it by taking it apart and polishing the rough spots in the action and installed a spring kit. I put a Marbles tang sight on it. It is a well balanced, quick handling, very accurate little carbine and it is alot of fun. :D
    Their new pump Lightning repro might be worth checking out.
     
  4. stoky

    stoky Member

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    BTW the Navy Arms 1873 is actually a reproduction of the 1873 Winchester, firing the .45 Colt (Long Colt) cartridge. The original 1873 was never chambered in the .45 Colt, it was .44-40 (aka.44 WCF), .38 WCF (.38-40), and .32 WCF (.32-20).
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Neither the Winchester nor the Marlin lever guns were made for the .45 Colt for one simple reason - the rim is too small for reliable functioning. Unfortunately, things have not changed. If one wants a single cartridge setup, .44-40 is the better choice.

    Jim
     
  6. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    actually they HAVE, originally the .45 Colt used copper cased ammo with folded rims (and Benet priming on the army issue cartridges) these cases naturally had no extractor groove, this continued through the era of "balloon head" cases.
    but nowadays most .45colt cases HAVE an extracor groove (don't think i've seen a box yet that didn't) granted compared to some it's small but it is there, and they are much more reliable in lever guns. from the day I bought it i never had a single failure to extract with my marlin.
     
  7. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    The mechanics of whether or not 45 colt is an appropriate choice for a lever gun are unimportant compared to the fact that there never was a 45 Colt lever gun in the Old West. The 45 Colt lever gun is an abomination sold to people who want a gun that is kind of Old West-like, but don't know enough to make a historically correct choice. If historical correctness is unimportant, then I guess it is OK, though.

    I would recommend going with 44-40 in both the SAA and lever gun.

    As for the Navy Arms 1873, it is manufactured by Uberti I believe. I have Uberti 1873's in both 32-20 and 44-40, and both are fine rifles. You will be very happy with them.

    I have a couple of Colt SAAs also, and they are fine revolvers. However, the Uberti replicas are almost as nicely finished, and I think generally have better triggers than new Colts. You might want to look at them also, it will save you about $600 if you go with Uberti. Of course, you won't get a prancing pony on the side of your revolver, and that will make a huge difference in resale value.
     
  8. palerider1

    palerider1 member

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    thanks lone gunman for the info,,,,thats why i asked the question. i appreciate your input. so i think i'll go with the 44-40 round. i like to be historically correct when looking to make my purchases based on history. if i may be so stupid to ask, since im never afraid to ask what i dont know, and to always share what i do know, what is the difference between the .45 colt and the 44-40?

    thanks so much!!!!!!

    palerider1
     
  9. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    Not a whole lot from a cowboy action shooting standpoint.

    The 44-40 cartridge is slightly bottle necked. The bullet weights are very similar, as are velocities. If you are just plinking, it wont make a practical difference, and really wont be able to tell a difference between them.
     
  10. palerider1

    palerider1 member

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    thanks Lone Gunman for your good advice..........i appreciate it!!!! i really like history and thought it would be nice to have a rifle and SAA chambered the same....now i have to buy 3 guns. a 44-40 rifle, a 44-40 SAA, and a .45 colt SAA.....lol guess it wont be a bad investment huh?

    thanks :)

    palerider1
     
  11. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

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    Buy the Ruger BlackHawk

    Stronger, more reliable. The Colt SAA's tend to loosen up the Cyl pin screws, and to break trigger / bolt springs, the kid has gone through 2 on his, but the Ruger just keeps shooting with no issues.:D
     
  12. jtward01

    jtward01 Member

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    Last I recall, CDNN had some Winchester 1873 models for sale, left overs from a special production run Winchester did a few years ago.
     
  13. palerider1

    palerider1 member

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    thanks Sheldon for your response,,,i'll be sure to look at the Ruger...

    palerider1
     
  14. jtward01

    jtward01 Member

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    Just remember, if you're being historically correct you need to shoot .45 S&W ammo in that Colt if you want to use the same ammo the US Army used. The government only used .45 Colt ammo early on after they adopted the SAA. By August, 1874, the Army had stopped using the Colt cartridge. Because some units had been equipped with S&W revolvers the Army, for logistical reasons, settled on the shorter S&W cartridge which would fit in both S&W and Colt revolvers. The longer Colt cartridge would not fit in the S&W chamber.

    Also, Colt Model P revolvers chambered in .44-40 were typically marked Frontier Six-Shooter, and not Single Action Army. The government revolvers also did not have the pony stamped on the frame, instead usually having the letters US stamped in its place.

    If you're really into history take a look at the US Firearms "Cavalry Colt" that they're selling now. It's a virtually identical replica of the Single Action Army with an antique, "well used" finish. The Jan/Feb issue of American Handgunner has a nice write-up on it, as well as another article on other firearms used by the cavalry during the time of the Indian Wars.
     
  15. Tom C.

    Tom C. Member

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    If you are planning to use these guns in cowboy competition, you should plan to reload. Reloading the .44-40 can be a bear due to the thin, tapered cases that tend to collapse in sizing. Reloading the .45 Colt or .45 Schofield is easy in comparison. Carbide dies are available for the .45, not for the tapered .44-40.
    I use Rugers in competition. They never fail. The Colt design, whether original or clone, are more fragile.
     
  16. Camp David

    Camp David member

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    I can't speak to the Navy 1873 rifle as I have never shot it, but I have shot several other lever rifles chambered for .45 Colt and I have a Winchester Trapper Model in .45 LC, which I carry with my .45 Colt Peacemaker so as to use the same ammunition for both. I use this setup during deer season in Northern Vermont, where I hunt in heavy cedars in thick brush... .45 round in such conifer is perfect as it is largely unaffected and I have shot bucks at close range with Trapper model rifle and with Colt revolver.

    My only concern with Navy Arms rifle would be quality; it should be ok...
     
  17. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    44-40 ammo is harder to find and more expensive usually :(
     
  18. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    Ruger has a new Peacemaker clone....

    it is a Volquero with a frame more the size of a Colt than a Blackhawk. I have a Rossi 92 Winchester clone in 45 Colt that functions perfectly and is accurate. I did have to stone some of the rough edges off the action. This rifle was built after cowboy action took off and they were building them faster. I have a 357/38 Rossi that is an older rifle that has excellent workmanship and finish. Cowboy action is a fun sport but the "win at all costs" crowd drove me away.......I have seen the two guns you are looking at and can only dream.......chris3
     
  19. kjeff50cal

    kjeff50cal Member

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    About the Ruger Blackhawk......
    I'd say look at the Ruger New Model Vaquero. It has more of the look, feel and weight of a Colt then the Blackhawk.

    kjeff50cal
     
  20. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    From what I've been able to tell, Ruger firearms (blackhawks & Vaqueros) are very different internally than the traditional SAA. Most new Rugers do not have a half-cock, the cylinder is freed by opening the loading gate, and they have a transfer-bar safety. These are nice safety features, but if what you want is authenticity there are other combanies that make exact SAA clones (Taylor Co. on the low $ and US Firearms and Colt on the high $).

    While SAA's don't have all the fancy safety features of Ruger and Baretta, you can be safe with them (people have been for over a century). Just follow some common sense rules; keep and empty chamber under the firing pin until ready to fire, don't try spinning tricks with a loaded gun, etc.
     
  21. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    The additional strength of the Ruger is unnecessary if you are going to be shooting nothing but cowboy loads.

    Rugers are ok, but again I would say if Old West authenticity is what you are after, the SAA or its clones are closer.
     
  22. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    To appear "cowboy" one would actually have to buy a Ruger Vaquero, not a Blackhawk, because the Blackhawks have adjustable, target sights. But a Ruger won't have a historically-accurate firing pin, it'll have a transfer bar.

    And unless you get the NEW Vaquero, the Ruger will also be larger and heavier than a Colt SAA.
     
  23. Sheldon J

    Sheldon J Member

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    He didn't say Cowboy shooting

    But if that is his intent then you are 100% I'm betting the Ruger Vaquero is built similar to the Blackhawk in cyl lock up. Now for the bad news if you are really going to shoot authentic cowboy then you must (and many do) use :uhoh: black powder :what: can you say corrosive.:eek:
     
  24. kentucky_smith

    kentucky_smith Member

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    I would think that since these are new production guns using new production techniques, the availability of .45 Colt would far outweight the "historical correctness" of using rare and disadvantaged .44-40
     
  25. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

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    thats true if all you wanted it for was plinking or a set to carry into the backcountry, but the original poster has said he wants historicly accurate guns. That rules out the .45 colt as a rifle calibre.
     
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