Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Western Arms - Uberti 357????

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dave Bulla, Aug 23, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Okay, typical question time....

    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.

    Price $175.

    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.

    Thanks,

    Dave
     
  2. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    What...nobody????

    ;)?
     
  3. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,395
    Location:
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    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.
     
  4. kcmitch

    kcmitch Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central Minnesota
    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.
     
  5. tpelle

    tpelle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    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.
     
  6. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,395
    Location:
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    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.
     
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    22,321
    Western Arms?
    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.
    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-248707.html
     
  8. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,395
    Location:
    McLeansville, NC by way of WV SASS 29170L
    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  9. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Thanks guys.

    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?
     
  10. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Manitowoc, WI
    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???? ;)
     
  11. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Jim Watson,

    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.
     
  12. DPris

    DPris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,547
    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.
    Denis
     
  13. tpelle

    tpelle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    423
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    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".
     
  14. ozarkguy

    ozarkguy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Southwest Mo
    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.
     
  15. DPris

    DPris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,547
    OZ,
    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."
    Denis
     
  16. ozarkguy

    ozarkguy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Southwest Mo
    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!
     
  17. ozarkguy

    ozarkguy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Southwest Mo
    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. ozarkguy

    ozarkguy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Southwest Mo
  19. DPris

    DPris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,547
    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.
    Denis
     
  20. ozarkguy

    ozarkguy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Southwest Mo
    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.
    Jim
     
  21. DPris

    DPris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,547
    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.
    Denis
     
  22. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    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.
     
  23. DPris

    DPris Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,547
    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?
    Denis
     
  24. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Dpris,

    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.
     
  25. Dave Bulla

    Dave Bulla Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    131
    Maybe this is what he has? See the third line of the post.

    http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=159637

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Or, on this post: http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirear...vs-Pietta-revolvers-any-thoughts#.TldGdV0RrYQ

    Go down to the 8th post by dogngun. He says
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hmmmm, did a little more looking with the same search topic and found this.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=245772724

    Maybe the guy selling this is not nearly as confused as I've been?????

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And finally!!!! What sounds like a solid answer....


     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page