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Colt Blackpowder Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by taylor, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Are they any better than an Uberti or a Pietta? Where are they made?
    I've seen some that looked like crap and some that were outstanding so I don't know.
     
  2. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The best Colt cap and ball revolvers are the 2nd gens from Colt. These are pretty spendy for a shooter and shooting them hurts resale. Next would be the 3rd gen Colts sometimes called the signature series.

    The Italian replicas can be a crap shoot out of the box although quality has been improving. Cimarron imports Uberti's made to their specs. They ones I have handled are nice, they have had a good arbor fit.

    A short arbor is the most common problem on the open tops. It is a fairly easy fix. Expect to do some fitting with any replica new from the box. I get $40 and up for a new revolver tune up and arbor fix, more for used revolvers, used ones may require welding the wedge slot and re-machining it and possible fabricating a new wedge.

    Are you looking for a particular model?

    Here are some of my Colts, most are 2nd gens, some 3rd gens and three high standards.
    mycolts0709.jpg
     
    Blitzkrieg and (deleted member) like this.
  3. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    What a collection! I can see the time and work involved tuning and setting up to shoot perfect that you did. Most people don't realize what history is there. Its so much MORE than a pile of Glocks.
    I like the Colt '51 but all the replicas I've tried have a wierd griprame, really flared at the bottom and uncomfortable. I've read Armi San Marco's from 30 years back have a more authentic comfortable grip and are well made. I'm thinking of bidding on gunbroker on a CVA made by ASM.
    I saw your ad in Handguns wanted and was thinking of giving you a e-mail about tuning some BP Revolvers I currently have.
    I don't know why but I really like Brass frames. I know you can only shoot .36 in Brass and small loads but I still think they look cool. I like the 3rd from the bottom of your pic.
     
  4. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    I like the looks of the brass frames myself. If you keep the loads reasonable they are just fine, I have a Spiller&Burr that's pushing 40 years of age. Just starting to see a imprint of the ratchet on the recoil shield.

    I know what you mean about the grip frame feel. The Italians don't do the profile right. You can take some material off the back strap and get it pretty damn close.

    ASM made a good revolver, the fit and finish could be nit or miss and some had soft internals. Nothing take can't be fixed with some Kasinit.

    LNK if I can do anything for you, I can walk you through the tune-up if your DIY guy.
     
  5. ch139

    ch139 teh gehtoe Active Member

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    WOW! That is an awesome collection!

    Have kinda had a hankering for a Colt Walker or Dragoon, but the priority isn't there at the moment.

    Any advise or words of wisdom on the bigger revolvers?

    So, who does make the "Colt" brand reproduction revolvers? Sounds like they are your preference?
     
  6. andy*

    andy* Everson Wa Member

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    About 6 years ago I came across a Colt 2nd gen Dragoon and a Uberti made Dragoon.
    Both were the 1st model. The biggest difference I could see were the markings and the rifling.
    The cylinder markings on the Colt are U.S.M.R. and ADDRESS SAM COLT NEW CITY on the barrel. The Uberti had U.S. DRAGOONS on the cylinder and the usual import markings.
    The rifling on the Colt is very deep and has a progressive twist. The Uberti had a shallow cut and standard twist.
    I bought the Colt and could not be happier. Andy
     
  7. andy*

    andy* Everson Wa Member

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    After some more coffee and some thinking I felt I need to add the following. I think that the Uberti made revolvers are great copies of Colt and Remington guns. They usually have excellent fit and finish out of the box and are a "fun" gun to shoot. It is when you get to the little details such as original Colt type rifling that they have "faults".
    That being said any of the Uberti copies that I have owned or shot were outstanding "shooters" . If I had the money I would have a Uberti 1860 Army with no regrets. Andy
     
  8. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Where were the real Colts made? someone said they were Uberti made for Colt with Colt markings.
     
  9. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    That is a internet myth. ASM bought up all the leftover 2nd gen parts and sold some revolvers with Colt marking.

    2nd gen Colt.
    C series used raw barrel and cylinder casting from Uberti. Machining and all other parts from North America. Made at the Colt custom shop. The best. A 45 year old 2nd gen Colt Walker is $1500, a new Uberti Walker is $400, there is a reason.

    Mywalker01.jpg

    F series
    Uberti supplied the raw barrel and cylinder castings. Lou Imerato and his Iver Johnson plant made parts, collected parts, and assembled the F series under direct Colt in-plant supervision.

    2nd gens had the CCH done at Colts plant.

    The 3rd gen Colts.
    Again we have Lou under a licensing agreement with Colt, and his Iver Johnson plant using raw Uberti barrel, cylinder and grip frame castings. All machining and finish work done at IJ to Colt spec but NO Colt supervision.

    The best 2nd gens are from the Colt shop, the C series. The F series lost a bit of quality control but are far superior to anything from Italy.

    The 3rd gens suffered a minor drop in QC but are generally as nice as the F series 2nd gens.

    The Italian replicas general have short arbors and poorly fit wedges, this seems to be getting better with current production. I have handled a few 2009 Cimarrons that are very well made. Pietta has been on CNC machines from about 2001 and they are making a good revolver if you address the arbor and wedge fit.

    The Italians make a very good 1858 clone with few if any problems.
     
  10. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for clearing all that up. My concern would be as to the quality of the steel casting of cylinders and barrels. But I'm sure it had to pass rigid quality inspection before Colt signed on.
    Were the 2nd gen. Colts sold with tuned actions?
     
  11. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    Lot of guys stuff the chambers full of 3F and compress it as hard as they can to get the ball below the mouth. This is 60grs in a Walker, 50+ in a dragoon and near 35+ in the 1860 Army. I have never seen a cylinder damaged by these FULL loads of BP. That was not the case with the originals. Colt had problems with the Walkers, but metallurgy was brand new and they were learning as they made these revolvers. Colt did not blue the Walker cylinders because they were unsure of what it did to the steel. By the late 1840's they had done considerable experimenting and came out with a new steel called "Silver steel" that was considerably stronger than what had been previously used.

    Back to the replica's, I think the 'soft steel' rap is from small parts wearing or breaking. The hand spring, bolt spring are known to fail and the hand wears down fast. This was pretty common on older guns but it has improved in the past ten years, they have gotten better at heat treating the steel they use, and/or changed the quality of steel used.

    The new production replica's are vastly superior the ones made twenty plus years ago. Don't be afraid of old guns, a parts kit brings them up to date.

    The 2nd gens were not "tuned" but were well fit, there is room for improvement like any modern revolver. Stone and polish well smooth things out.
     
  12. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Do you think any of the Uberti's, Pietta's. ASM's ever achieved the quality of a Colt made 1851. I don't mean a comlete run , I mean a special hand fitted run like a commemrative or maybe a just a 1 in 1000 from the italians.
    Once in a while someone says their Italian is so well made its indistinguishable from one Colt made.
    Also is there any difference other than barrel design in an 1851 and an 1861? I think the 1861 is the most beautiful handgun I've ever seen, and if I was going to pony up for a real Colt I'd be real tempted to go for a '61.
     
  13. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The new production guns I have handled from Cimarron are pretty impressive. Out of the box the action is excellent, overall fit is excellent. Finish is better than anything in the past but it's not up to a 2nd or 3rd gen. The bluing is very good but they do as much pre-blue polish and the CCH has improved it does not look like Colt. The 2nd gen CCH was done in the old furnaces and is the best you can find, 3 gen is good but slightly different. The Italians have gotten much better at CCH, it still does not look like Colt.

    I own two Cimarrons and I'm very impressed with both revolvers. It's a great bang for the buck, the only thing better is the 2nd and 3rd gens and they can cost up to three times as much and you are just getting a subtle change in appearance.

    My one big pet peeve with the Italian revolvers is the placement of the proof marks and sometimes the company marking. They are getting better but I still find them butt ugly.


    The 51 Navy, 60 Army and 61 Navy share the same frame, the 60 is rebated for the .44 cylinder. The difference is the 51 is a pivoting loading lever, like the Walker and Dragoon. The 60 and 61 is the creeping loading lever. The 60 and 61 are the sexiest looking revolvers ever made to my eye. My personal favorite is the 61 Navy, it is so well balanced it feels like a part of your body.

    Nickle plated 60 Army 2nd gen Colt.
    nickle04.jpg

    62 Pocket Police by Cimarron/Uberti. About as close to a 2nd gen as you can get.
    62uberti02.jpg
     
  14. jmh119

    jmh119 Hillsboro, Oregon Member

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    You guys have re-ignited my interest in BP pistols! I have dugout my 1858 Navy from the back of the safe and can't wait to get out there with it again! Very nice collection Madcratebuilder and good info too. Taylor, thanks for the original post and let us know what you end up getting.
    James
     
  15. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Do you think $450 is too much for a High standard 1776-1976 Centennial model NIB. Its a Reb model something and glassick I believe. Also I think its Nickle plated where the brass usually is. In the pics it really looks well made But it seems pretty high for a non-Colt. And I want a shooter not something I'd be scared to touch
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    E-mail sent.
     
  17. RailwayMan

    RailwayMan Oregon New Member

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    How do you treat/condition your BPs for storage? I was using the oil and plastic bag recommended by some, but that isn't working too well. Thinking of treating them with RenWax so storing them in their cardboard boxes won't oil-soak the box liner. Looking for suggestions. Have some tarnish on the silver trigger guard of the Signature Series I'd like to get cleaned up and prevent from happening again.
     
  18. CoryStotts

    CoryStotts Michigan New Member

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    What's the easiest way to tell a fake walker colt??
     
  19. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    For a shooter I would definitely prefer a Dragoon to a Walker.. the Walkers had issues with the unlocked rod under the barrel, due to recoil
     
  20. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    you are able to hold it in your hand. I seriously doubt that of the 170 some real Colt Walkers known to exist with an average value of over $500,000.00 there is anyway short of winning the lottery that you could be holding a real example.