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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  Colt SAA Clones (Moderators: RRio, Gen Lew Wallace, Hoof Hearted)  |  Topic: Uberti or Pietta SAA Clone Quality, Durability and Authenticity? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Uberti or Pietta SAA Clone Quality, Durability and Authenticity?  (Read 39560 times)
Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #75 on: February 04, 2017, 11:37:01 am »

This has been an interesting read after going through it all. I have an Uberti (1993) and a Pietta GW II(2010) and they are both superb firearms and extremely accurate when shot with a load that is tailored to each gun. Reliability has proven to be excellent with a few thousand rounds through each with full power (36 gr. Swiss) BP loads and some quite stout smokeless loads under heavy bullets. Both are chambered for 44 WCF with .429 barrels. I have also owned Colts that were outshined by both of these(go figure). I also do alot of "longrange" shooting with handguns, ie out to 500 yds and been quite successful at it. NOW, having said all of that (which does not impress me at all and hopefully neither does it you), none of these brands can hold a candle and pale in comparison to my working gun which is a J.P. Sauer .44 mag made in the early 70's and cost me less than a Colt or Ruger. It is more precisely made, stronger, much more accurate and the action from the factory is smoother than either a Janis, Turnbull or Munden worked action (as Eddie Janis told me  13 yrs ago). I can shoot .44 Russian, .44 Colt, .44 Spl, .44 Mag and with another cylinder, .44 WCF in this gun with no leading (think velocity and BHN). I have a smokeless load that will shoot to the same point of impact at 100 yds with either a 200gr. cowboy bullet or a Keith SWC in 265 gr. (think velocity, trajectory and especially practice).

As I said, I read this entire thread with great interest and IMO, buy what trips your trigger and enjoy it. Don't let anyone belittle your tastes in guns, women, hunting dogs or cars because they are just voicing their opinion or experiences which are subject to change. Enjoy yourselves, and if you just have to flame this post, go ahead as I can provide either paper, witnesses or exhibit exactly what has been posted (but you will have to call me: 417-359-8880). God Bless and shoot safe.



  Gripmaker you are spot-on regarding those German-made Hawes revolvers. I've had three of them pass through my hands and all of them were superbly crafted. Cocking one of them reminded me of locking my safe; once the hammer was drawn back, everything locked up tight. All of mine have been very accurate. If they had made one with a 4 3/4" barrel I'd own it! In fact it's occurred to me to buy another and have a good 'smith cut the original 6 1/2" barrel back to 4 3/4" and reset the sight.

 CHT
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sfc rick
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« Reply #76 on: April 09, 2017, 08:43:05 am »

My take on Colt or Clones is...Only FOOLS still think on that level. Being that you don't here about Colt 1911's being better than Singers or Ithaca's or what not. I tend to think that they are all Single Action's and as long as they are manufactured we all benefit. The SAA's today are better in every aspect of manufacturing and metallurgy as any before Colt or whatever.

I have no horse in this race... but I find the premise of it all too funny.
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #77 on: April 25, 2017, 04:44:43 pm »

After 25 years shooting and visiting museums and observing many original and clone revolvers, I have no doubt that the original Colt revolvers were much better made, by better professionals and gunsmiths, were better finished and were more accurate than the italian clones.
 
In the  Museum of Connecticut History I had the opportunity to observe many original Colts and there is no possible  comparison in finish to the clones.
Heat or rust blueing versus mediocre alkaline blueing......real case hardening versus fake one....match barrels with deep rifling versus shallow riflings ......forged small parts like hammers and triggers versus invesment casting parts .

The same applies to Winchesters  or Remingtons..or Sharps...or European revolvers or rifles....the originals, in general, shoot BP better if well preserved and are more beautifully finished.

Also, most  World champions who compete in breechloading and MLAIC matches agree that the original guns made by our ancestors are superior. Usually, it takes them more time and effort to get top results with a replica than with an original.


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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #78 on: April 25, 2017, 06:31:48 pm »

From the machining I've seen in the 1st gen models of open tops I've had the pleasure and privilege to observe/work on, I'd say the Italians are light years ahead.  The hardening of action parts can still be done, re finishing to ones liking can be done, etc, etc.

If enough folks would/could pay $1,800-2,000 for a nice, hand fitted S.A., thats what you'd see, but they won't/can't.  Italians need money, we want Revolvers, they do what they can and we fix to suit as needed. Different times, different circumstances. We aren't the "China" of the world anymore. We had cheap labor at one time, not anymore. We had the opportunity and inventiveness once but too many (and big brother) have their hand out for a piece of the "too little pie".  Too many Regs. that snuff out reasons to " go for it" today.  So we buy what we can and fix it to our need. 
  I'll say, you can make an Italian copy every bit as good and better than the first gens. After all, Colt still can't/won't offer a S.A.A. in .44 mag. Uberti has been doing it for some time .  .  .  .  . 

 It's not the will or the want or the know-how, it's the ability more than anything.

Mike
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #79 on: April 25, 2017, 07:22:52 pm »

They  can replicate a perfect clone  as you said, but  it will cost more. The finish will cost more...the forged parts will cost more....making a deeper rifling will cost more...who is going to pay 1500 dollars for a Italian copy with no collector value?

In short, the originals are  allaways better.. They cant replicate them with original quality....no market. You get what you pay for when you buy Uberti and Pietta.

This is why I prefer to buy 1 original, and spend 2000 dollars, to buying 3 clones.

By the way, the Italians are raising prices...Pedersoli are becoming quite expensive .and Uberti long arms too.

Anyway, a Italian clone can be improved with better finish and fitting by the expert...but not their rifling, which in general and with exceptions like Pedersoli, , is  quite mediocre.
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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #80 on: April 25, 2017, 08:48:20 pm »

Yap, but in all honesty, your original needs tuning (assuming it's "just" a factory offering) and some other things to be its potential best. Of course, that's if it's a shooter .  .  .  .   

Mike
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #81 on: April 26, 2017, 03:54:34 am »

If it is a original revolver and a shooter, the gun can be tuned only to very limited  degree..according to the international competition rules in MLAIC and breechloading matches. I have seen guns rejected for installing wider grips than the factory standard, for instance, and a desperate shooter filing the grips on site to be allowed to compete in that match.

The guns must go through a strict check by the officers  before the competition starts to make sure it is in original condition....just good sights, a good bore, a tuned trigger and a stiff hammer spring ( just the opposite to what most tuners do) to make the hammer fly fast, and a ponderate load, is what most originals need to beat many modern clones in the accuracy aspect. Originals in general don't need tuning as they came from factory...they  may need repair or being restored, but not tuning.

I have seen old Belgian, Vasque, and French revolvers beat modern Uberti Schofields, and old Remingtons beat  modern Piettas as well  as old Winchester 92s  and Tigres beat modern  Rossis, and  Spanish Oviedo factory Winchester 73s copies made in 1880 beat Ubertis made in the 2000s.

The Italians boss the market and they do what they want.
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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #82 on: April 26, 2017, 06:59:27 am »

Oh, competition guns .  .  .  .  .    I was unaware of that being part of the subject at hand. Of course, if there are limited mods allowed for Comp reasons, you can only "improve" or "enhance" the reliability/life of the action by so much. I was speaking as a general rule, all S.A.s can be improved over the factory offering.

Of course, original revolvers can be found that are extremely accurate. Then again, original revolvers were expensive and to compare them (age isn't/shouldn't be a factor, they don't know .  .  .  ) to revolvers made in large quantity for mass markets at a rather inexpensive price is a little bit of a stretch. As I posted, even with the materials these Piettas and Uberti's are made with, they can be made into a very nice working revolver (surely you know about the Uberti supplied first offerings of the now defunct USFA?) .  In another thread, I reiterated my daily routine of fanning my carry gun, which is an Uberti product (an El Patron Competition), at least 50 cycles for the past 2 1/2 yrs. This isn't how I treat all my revolvers, but it is a test for endurance, and how well "designed wear patterns" add to the life of the respective parts. This El Patron has had zero failures so far. I seriously doubt any "out of the box" S.A. copy  (including an original S.A.A.)  could do the same.



 BTW, I have a Santa Barbara Remington copy that has really bad bore/chamber misalignment (vertically) but I won't go on about how terrible and inferior they are .  .  .  .  

Mi!e
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #83 on: April 26, 2017, 10:23:07 am »

Before I sign off from this futile exercise in Necromancy ........ I found long ago, attempting to explain reality to a card carrying "COLTISTA" to be a complete waste of effort.   They (the COLTISTAS) simply refuse to accept that Colt isn't and Wasn't the finest thing ever manufactured on the planet.

Waste of breath Mike.

Oh, and I should mention, it is seldom if ever the "instrument" that wins a competition.  Any competition.  It is ALWAYS the skilled person wielding the instrument.

Coffinmaker
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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #84 on: April 26, 2017, 11:33:01 am »

I think you are right Mike. Thanks.

And, definitely right about the skilled marksman thing!


Mike
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #85 on: April 26, 2017, 08:32:22 pm »

Sometimes we forget that the SAA was born as a military gun, not as a sporting gun.

I' ll save words, I won't be understood as I am a purist.

Let me remind  here that we are talking about Quality, Durability and ........Authenticity....yes...Authenticity....and some  of the latest fashions in SAAs...have very little of Authenticity...........springs, grips, hammers, finishes...holsters...ammo...targets...distances...

If someone wants authenticity at a fair price,  both Uberti and Pietta will serve well, but I would buy a standard model and would avoid modification and replacements in mainsprings or hammer shape or bird or Colt Army grips... to keep things as they were in the old times. Just a nice trigger job would suffice if needed iwhen authenticity is a goal. Some polishing and oil stoning in moving parts is allways good too. I fully recommend leaving the task to a competent gunsmith specialized in SAAs. We'll save troubles, money and time.

They are very well made revolvers with mediocre barrels and inferior finishes compared to the originals, it is what I say. And some of their models are just plain invented, historically false. But it is a good excuse to sell more revolvers...just to invent revolvers that never existed.




PD:

They obviously replaced the cilinder in your SB with an Italian one, that have bigger dimensions. The frame cut in SBs is huge, and allows putting a slightly bigger cilinder inside, doing a adjustments in the cylinder length, which are almost identical in all companies,

Santa Barbara was the largest military factory in Spain, making machine guns, cannons, and tanks (German Leopard 2E tank) as well as aircraft parts for Rolls Royce and General Dynamics,.working with NATO standards of quality.  It is the same factory that made the famous Mauser Oviedo rifles.

Several World MLAIC championships were won wiith those guns, being a very admired  revolver in France by the way. All these revolvers had  to go through the strict Eibar proof house test and inspection before  being allowed to be legally sold. They were shipped with a document from the spanish government testifying that the gun had passed the test and were safe to shoot.

Almost the same with all Italian guns...they must strictly  be tested before being aproved for sale......so a revolver with vertical misalignment of modern  European manufacture is a revolver that has been altered/ fitted with  a non original factory cylinder by unscrupulous individuals. The gun has just a cilinder that does not belong to the gun....and easy to spot alteration.

Any photo would be welcomed.
.
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #86 on: April 29, 2017, 05:26:14 am »

Let me add that a perfect clone will not sell well...very few people today in the USA are interested in a perfect clone, except purists, marksmen and collectors, which are a minority.

People today don't demand a revolver conceived for the military and for serious marksmanship. It would not be the most adequate pistol for CAS .....the actions would be harder because in the old times they wanted a fast and powerful hammer fall for reliability and accuracy...their life in combat depended on it...not on speed......sights would be smaller to gain accuracy  at longer distances and conceived to shoot one handed....the rifling much deeper and not allways the best for smokeless powder...

And the guns much more expensive, probably. To drill a good barrel costs  more money. To finish a gun like they did in the old times can double the sale price....as Turn Bull and his excellent recreation finishes shows..who, by the way, did Colt's case hardenings  or still does,
 

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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #87 on: April 29, 2017, 08:02:10 am »

Let me add that a perfect clone will not sell well...very few people today in the USA are interested in a perfect clone, except purists, marksmen and collectors, which are a minority.

People today don't demand a revolver conceived for the military and for serious marksmanship. It would not be the most adequate pistol for CAS .....the actions would be harder because in the old times they wanted a fast and powerful hammer fall for reliability and accuracy...their life in combat depended on it...not on speed......sights would be smaller to gain accuracy  at longer distances and conceived to shoot one handed....the rifling much deeper and not allways the best for smokeless powder...

And the guns much more expensive, probably. To drill a good barrel costs  more money. To finish a gun like they did in the old times can double the sale price....as Turn Bull and his excellent recreation finishes shows..who, by the way, did Colt's case hardenings  or still does,
 



Good grief! Well since this is a CAS forum, blah blah blah blah blah. And you can get the reproductions with the same case coloring finishes you speak of. It costs 275 bucks to have the frame and hammer case color hardened and Colt doesn't even do the hammer, that's a long way from doubling the price and a longer way from the four times cost Colt charges.

Look, I currently have and have owned plenty of both, Colts and Cimarrons and I've sand bagged the guns and can't tell any overall difference in performance. There are good ones, better ones and once and a while bad ones of both. Yes the Colts are better quality materials and a few little features but not three or four times the cost worth. Especially with todays machining capability cutting labor cost. Colt will eventually go permanently bankrupt while everyone else continues to make there way producing Colts designs.
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« Reply #88 on: April 29, 2017, 09:01:36 am »

I own Colts with case hardened hammers




A cased hammer or not is a custom shop option.
 
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Cliff Fendley
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« Reply #89 on: April 29, 2017, 02:54:06 pm »


A cased hammer or not is a custom shop option.
 

I guess so since ALL Colt SAA's are a custom shop item. What's that another 2-300 from Colt for an additional 2-30 dollars worth of work?
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« Reply #90 on: April 29, 2017, 05:28:15 pm »

Hand made in the USA by American workers+  beautiful+ excellent barrel+good investment+ they dont make many and latest models are near perfection in mechanisms and finish+ they are the original and not a clone= expensive.

Made in Italy by robots+ 1000 dollars a month wages+ mediocre barrels+  no collector interest+ nicely made+ sell a lot of them+ dealers earn very little in them= affordable .
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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #91 on: April 30, 2017, 04:09:48 pm »

Hand made in the USA by American workers+  beautiful+ excellent barrel+good investment+ they dont make many and latest models are near perfection in mechanisms and finish+ they are the original and not a clone= expensive.

Made in Italy by robots+ 1000 dollars a month wages+ mediocre barrels+  no collector interest+ nicely made+ sell a lot of them+ dealers earn very little in them= affordable .

 Your logic is a little difficult for me to follow.

 You repeatedly refer to "original" Colt SA's being of superior quality. Which originals? Quality in what areas? I own three 1st Generation Colt's dating from 1902 to 1906, and while they're very well fitted, the quality of the metal and durability of the finish is nowhere near that of the Italian revolvers simply because technology in that area has grown by leaps and bounds. All of my old Colt's have pitted barrels and most of the finish is gone because finishes back then weren't nearly as durable and the metal was softer. Prettier, yes, better, no. Too, because of the softer metals, they tend to be looser and one of my Bisley's has quite a bit of end-shake.

  I've never owned a 2nd Generation, but it's my understanding that those produced from their beginnings in the '50's to the mid-'60's are pretty much the pinnacle of quality.

  I've had two new 3rd Generation Colt's pass through my hands and never even bothered firing them before I sold them. Beautiful by any mans standards, but they were grossly over-sprung, had actions that felt as though they'd been dunked in little Timmy's sand box, and cylinder throats whose measurements couldn't possibly provide any more than informal plinking accuracy.

  Yes, I'm sure much of the Italian revolvers production is done with CNC machinery. But unlike humans who have bad days, come to work hungover, have a fight with their spouses as they were leaving for work, etc., automated machineries production quality is the same no matter what. Program it correctly, and it will spit out good parts faster and more accurately than the human hand.

  What makes you think the barrels produced by the Italians are mediocre? Have you fired for accuracy any of these revolvers? I have, extensively, and have been extremely pleased with them:

 

 





  Judging from the photos of your Colt's and your remark regarding the smaller sights for long range shooting, I'd hazard a guess that you're more of a collector than a shooter, and that's fine. Were I only a collector and not a shooter, I'd certainly select Colt's over reproductions.

  CHT

 
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #92 on: May 14, 2017, 10:20:13 am »

Quality in manufacturing tolerances, for instance :


A measurement in my Colt's recently made  revolver's chambers indicate  around 11,585 mm, 456", with virtually zero variations in all chambers, larger in diameter than first gen. Revolvers, but drilled with Swiss precision.
 
By contrast, my Uberti Cattleman, with larger dimensions, 11,62 mm, presents important variations among the different chambers...11,62 mm, 11,64, 11,65, 11,67 that shows a less refined manufacture.

Not in vane Colt gained a reputation as a precision machining company in their time.

About finishes, a good heat blueing finish is normally not as durable as an alkaline finish  but it is more beautiful if well done. I have done it in the past. It takes time. It is expensive.

For example, this Lefacheux revolver is  160 years old, and still has its original heat blueing finish applied in the Oviedo factory whe it was made.
The photo does not show the beauty and perfection of this finish that surpasses alakaline Italian blueings.





I am both, a collector and a shooter, qualified as first class pistol shooter in Int. Standar pistol and second class shooter in Int. Centerfire, ISSF.






About accuracy, I have shot extensively with ASM, Uberti, and much less with Pietta. Of all them, the most critical in that aspect were the Ubertis. As a bullseye competitor, I  am used to shooting accurate guns.  So it is not a matter of shooting Ubertis extensively....but a matter of comparing the level of accuracy  achieved in the field in comparison with the level of ccuracy achieved with other revolvers, antique or new.

If the gun can't print holes in less than 1,5" at 25 meters, not yards, as this is the international distance for both ISSF and MLAIC, the gun is useless for me.

I have allways being beaten by shooters with original XIX century guns in competition. The original revolvers had excellent barrels.

So I label Italian revolvers, with exceptions like Perdersoli, , specially in lead ball and BP,, as mediocre revolvers in that aspect.

Just by comparison, this is a common Astra revolver, made over 30 years ago and much used and abused....it can print holes in around 1'25 " at 25 meters (28 yards) with an average powder  like Vectan and with average Lee cast bullets....with a good Lyman mold and Norma powders the gun would be able to print in 1" or less at 25 meters. Please note that there  are 3 holes in the same hole, shooting seated at 25 meters.



For doing decent accuracy shooting, the gun must be able to group in 1,5 inches or less...as the size of the O ring in the Int. Pistol target is 2".

I need to develope a load for 50 meters...as in the accuracy aspect, a load that works well for 25 meters does not normally work so well for 50 and viceversa. I shot my last 3 rounds at 50 meters (56 yards) and I am not happy with the group at all.





This is a group achieved shooting standing, one unsupported hand, at 25 meters with a 100 years old Duque revolver, a basque copy, of good quality, with some mechanical variations, of a S&W MP. The previous 22 lr impacts made by unknown shooter...

It was the first time I used this revolver...with shows accuracy typical of a match gun.







Most original revolvers were tack drivers. Most Italian replicas are not, and the shooting public is not demanding that, as I said...a tack driver needs a good barrel and stiff hammer springs...over sprung actions that today's shooter rejects, as few people compete in bullseye, and there is not much knowledge about it.







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Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #93 on: May 14, 2017, 11:00:14 am »

    That's great that that your Colt's cylinder throats (You said chambers, but I think you meant throats since a 45 Colt chamber should measure around .486") are consistent in diameter, but at .456" they are roughly .004" over the SAAMI specifications/recommendation of .452". As I mentioned in my previous post, .456" is too large when the groove diameter of the barrel is going to be around .452". Evidently you cast/shoot your own bullets so surely you understand the principle of the cylinder throat needing to measure close to or slightly larger than the groove diameter of the barrel, don't you?

  Did you only measure the throats of one Uberti? I ask because I see a difference in quality in my old '90's production Uberti and those that were made in the last 10 years. The newer models are of very good quality and it's my understanding that very recent production Uberti's are by far the best yet ( See Brian Pearce's column in Handloader- April 2017)

 Your targets and shooting ability are quite impressive, but since the subject is quality and accuracy of Italian SA's vs. Colt SA's , I'm not sure why you are posting pictures of targets fired with various DA revolvers. How does your recent production Colt SA shoot with a standard cast bullet?

 Incidentally, I'm not a competitive shooter, rather a hunter. The Uberti fired groups pictured below, with the exception of those fired at 100 yds., were all fired from a seated, back rested position with the revolver rested on my knees. This is how I shoot at game when in the field, so it's also how I test loads and practice with my revolvers.

 CHT
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llanerosolitario
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« Reply #94 on: May 14, 2017, 03:17:57 pm »

Yes, Uberti has improved quality in the last years, .but not their barrels. Their market is not bullseye. Most users just want a decent revolver that works and Ubertis do work and very well for people not specially interested in competitive shooting. They  are made with good steel.

Yes, chambers throats. Both Colt and Taurus drill their chamber  throats around 11, 585 mm or 456"...the reason is chamber pressures and the very slim steel section under the bolt cut in the cilinder. A bigger chamber reduces pressures and the cylinders suffers less.
 Another problem is that some commercial loads come with 454" bullets, like some Hornady's cowboy action shooting loads.

That's the reason why they are not going back  to 452/453" like they did in the old times. Uberti, however, at least until very recently, is drilling chambers at a huge 11,62 mm or 458".... the result is many ruptured cases. A common problem in this brand including Schofields.

 I say, on the other hand, that their barrels have not improved because I have friends with brand new Ubertis. None of them specially accurate, but rather...average or below average in that aspect just by comparing with other pistols owned by fellow shooters...S&W... old Astras, Colts, old Llamas..Orbeas...old French revolvers...

That is why I show groups with the Astra and the Duque revolver...they are like twice as accurate as most Ubertis
 in my shooting club.

It is interesting that despite having huge chambers, Uberti have smaller bores than Colts, around 450", versus 451/52" in Colts. Some leading problems with certain bullets are probably due to that smaller bore in Ubertis, plus quite shallow riflings, very adequate  for metal jacketed bullets but not for pure lead..but I solved the problem using bullets with deep grease bands.

I will show groups with Colts soon..
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« Reply #95 on: May 15, 2017, 10:34:44 am »

Before I sign off from this futile exercise in Necromancy ........ I found long ago, attempting to explain reality to a card carrying "COLTISTA" to be a complete waste of effort.   They (the COLTISTAS) simply refuse to accept that Colt isn't and Wasn't the finest thing ever manufactured on the planet.

Waste of breath Mike.

Oh, and I should mention, it is seldom if ever the "instrument" that wins a competition.  Any competition.  It is ALWAYS the skilled person wielding the instrument.

Coffinmaker

  I'm with CM....this is turning into a fruitless discussion. Shoulda seen it coming.

  CHT
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« Reply #96 on: May 23, 2017, 05:12:13 am »

They  can replicate a perfect clone  as you said, but  it will cost more. The finish will cost more...the forged parts will cost more....making a deeper rifling will cost more...who is going to pay 1500 dollars for a Italian copy with no collector value?




USPFA USFS cultists do and more
Too little a market, and too late for Doug Donnelly


 
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« Reply #97 on: May 23, 2017, 07:28:26 pm »

I only have one "SAA", it's an American made USFA and it's awesome, awesome, awesome. I also think it's fantastic that Uberti and Pietta build the guns they do and that they have been successful at it.
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« Reply #98 on: June 02, 2017, 11:58:18 pm »

about 15 years ago, I got my hands on a third gen Colt SAA planning to do an article on it for the Cowboy Chronicle.,  The fit and finish of the stocks was TERRIBLE!, oversized as if not sanded down.  The case blue was washed out, and the cylinder dog drug a line on the cylinder.  Then I got A Hartford Premier.  It was gorgeous, and still less than the Colt.  I personally owned a 1900 vintage 1st Gen in 38WCF, and it was better than the third gen...
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« Reply #99 on: June 05, 2017, 07:43:41 pm »

Was it a new gun  supplied from the  Colt custom shop? Or was it a second hand gun probably manipulated?


   You might want to read up on the Colt forum [urlhttp://www.coltforum.com/#/forums/56?page=1[/url]. Even the died-in-the-wool Colt guys will tell you that for shooting, a Uberti is better.

  CHT
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