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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  USFA CSS (Moderator: Capt. John Fitzgerald)  |  Topic: Your very first SA...? 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Capt. John Fitzgerald
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« on: January 04, 2018, 06:39:01 pm »


Greetings all!  Things have been a bit quiet here on the board of late so I thought I would bring up a subject that may, and most likely will not, relate to USFA.
What was the very first single action that you ever owned? Mine (and this dates me) was a brand new 2nd generation Colt that I purchased through an Army PX in Korea in 1967 (Camp Casey, Tong du Chon - at that time home of the infamous 4077 MASH - and I seem to recall paying somewhere around $120 for it).  .38 cal, 5&1/2" barrel, "stagecoach box."  Went for the .38 as that ammo was readily available to me at the time.  Sold it to a friend in my BOQ before returning home and have regretted it ever since!!!  Cry  
So...  when did your love of the SAA's begin?  50's TV shows (count me in), nostalgia, cowboy action shooting (not so much) or the simple appreciation of a basic mechanical design that has survived since well before our beloved 1873 models were introduced?
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Buck Stinson
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2018, 08:30:47 pm »

My very first Colt Single Action was a Christmas present  from my folks  in 1962.  I was 13 years old.  Dad found it in the Shotgun News and bought it through the mail from a guy in Tuscon, who had brought it back from Mexico.  It was a .44WCF, made in 1879 and originally, the gun had a 7 1/2" barrel, full nickel plate and one piece walnut grips.  During it's period of use, the barrel was cut to 4 3/4" and most of the nickel worn off.  The gun was a wreck, but it shot well and I played with it for many years, before I sold it to buy a better one.  Wish I still had it.
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 09:01:38 pm »

My first SAA is a blue & case 1927 38-40 5 1/2 in barrel that belonged to my Grandfather, family story is that he acquired it in New Mexico in the 1930's.  He gave it to my mother for a house gun in the 50's.  My dad held it and I pulled the trigger at age 3.  I have been addicted to Colt SAA's ever since.  Between that old pistol and being in an 8" Btry for 15 years my ears still ring. I acquired the pistol because I was afraid my mother would sell it to support some of her problems.  It now resides with my middle son and hopefully will go to one of my 2 grandsons in 30 years or so.
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Buckaroo Lou
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2018, 09:30:42 pm »

I had owned some Ruger single action revolvers back in the early 60's, but my first Colt single action army was a first year second generation that I traded for sometime in the late 80's or early 90's. At the time I had no idea as to what I had. It was a 5 1/2" 45 Colt. It had a visible turn line on the cylinder but it wasn't very deep, plenty of case color left on the frame, and some slight holster wear at the end of the barrel and cylinder edges. The end of the cylinder pin was slightly buggered where it looked as though someone had used a pair of pliers to pull the cylinder pin at one time.

Not long after I got it some friends and I became intrigued in black powder cartridge rifles and I got the hots for a sharps rifle. A guy I knew had a 1875 C. Sharps he was wanting to sell for $1000 and at the time I didn't have that kind of cash so I traded him the Colt even-steven. As I said previously, I had no idea as to what I had. I later sold the 1875 C. Sharps for $1500 because I preferred the 1874 Shiloh Sharps over the C. Sharps 1875 model.

Anyway, in hindsight I wish I would have kept the Colt. I was fairly new back then at gun dealings and just didn't know better.
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Abilene
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2018, 10:26:25 pm »

I was born in '52 so grew up with all the TV westerns from the mid-50's on. My folks made friends with the old spinster sisters that owned the local kids theater and we got to go free, so I was there every weekend for years and saw all those westerns, too.  But after playing cowboys and indians as a kid with the Fanner 50 and such, and then hunting with a .22 as a teen, I managed to continue life pretty much oblivious to guns until '98 for concealed carry, and it turned out I liked shooting so bought a gun a month for a couple years, and got into Colt snake DA's.  My first SAA was an early 3rd gen 5 1/2" 44 Spcl, bought at a gunshow in '99 for $700.  It had a ring around the cylinder and timing problems and I didn't know anything about SAA's so gave it to Bob Taylor for an action job.  It was made in early '78 and was one of the last SA suffixes.  Same gunshow exactly one year later bought its mate for $1000, a possibly unfired 4 3/4" 44 Spcl, made in late '78 and one of the first SA prefixes.  They were my first CAS guns and I still shoot them a couple matches a year.
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Forty Rod
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2018, 08:40:34 am »

Colt Five and a half inch .45 with real ivory grips, a belt and holster, and two boxes of ammo.  I gave $35.00 for the whole thing in 1956.  I was only 14 so the man called Dad to see if it was okay to sell it to me.

The grips were cracked, the finish shot, and the front sight had been ground down to almost nothing, but it was a sound shooter and it was real Colt .45 like all the guys on TV were using.

When I graduated from high school in 1960 my parents gave me a new one almost like the original, but with black gutta perch grips.
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Capt. John Fitzgerald
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2018, 05:21:53 pm »

Didn't mean for this to turn into a "first Colt' discussion, just a first SAA.  USFA, Colt, Uberti, ASM, whatever. What was the first SAA you ever owned?  Did you love it?  Did you hate it?  Do you still own it?

 
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Capt Quirk
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2018, 06:10:17 pm »

I'll bring this thread back on course... which is something that I have never done before. My first SAA is an Uberti Cattleman .357. Got it a couple years ago, after getting a decent outlook on my cancer. It was also a little something I got myself for my Birthday. Needless to say, it was a spur of the moment thing, which has caused quite a few arguments. It was also what got me started doing leather holsters.
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Niederlander
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2018, 07:09:26 pm »

Mine was a 7 1/2" EMF Dakota in .44 Special.  I paid extra to have the steel back strap and trigger guard, which the fitting (or lack of it) indicated someone at EMF just literally screwed it on.  Pretty much a piece of crap, but it got me started in reloading and bullet casting! 
Sold it years ago.  Later, a friend gave me an 1894 Colt Frontier Six Shooter for a wedding present.  Much nicer!
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Baltimore Ed
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 07:55:15 pm »

My first saa was a Ruger Bisley.45. I traded a nib Ruger .44 mag semi auto carbine for it. I had won the .44 carbine in a .22 pistol match. However, the Bisley grip and shooting duelist didn't work so I got rid of it.. Those funds became a Ruger ss Vaquero .45 that I still have.
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Buckaroo Lou
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2018, 09:12:35 pm »

My first was a Ruger Single Six with an additional magnum cylinder. I was just a teenager and I loved it. I don't remember what eventually happened to it. I later saved up and bought one of the early Ruger Blackhawks in .44 magnum. I sold it along with two rifles I had when I got out of the service because I wanted to buy a car. I don't think I had shot a box of shells in the .44 magnum. I was more of a rifle shooter than a hand gun shooter back then.

Like others here as a youth I spent my Saturday mornings watching Gunsmoke Theater on a black and white TV. They were B westerns and they used black powder in the guns. The screen would become so filled with white smoke you could hardly see the actors. The cowboys were Roy Rodgers, Gene Autry, Lash Laroo, Hopalong Cassidy, Johnny Mack Brown, John Wayne, Hoot Gibson, Eddie Elliott, etc. and their rigs were awesome. I didn't realize for years that actual true western rigs were not nearly so fancy.
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Abilene
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2018, 12:24:06 am »

Didn't mean for this to turn into a "first Colt' discussion, just a first SAA.  USFA, Colt, Uberti, ASM, whatever. What was the first SAA you ever owned?  Did you love it?  Did you hate it?  Do you still own it?

But my first 4 SAA's WERE Colts  Smiley  I'm not counting the Vacquero.  Single Action yes, SAA No. 

Then my income started going downhill and it has been all Italian since then. 
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2018, 01:24:40 am »

I started shooting 2 or 3 years ago with black powder cap n' ball revolvers. My first cartridge gun was a Colt New Frontier .22 caliber with a .22 magnum cylinder. I'm not sure that counts as an SAA. My first real SAA(replica) was an American made USFA "Custer Battlefield" .45 Colt with a 7 1/2" barrel. After all the problems I'd had with my cap n' ball revolvers I wanted my first SAA to be one that would function correctly and shoot to point of aim right out of the box, without needing to go to a gunsmith first. I read a lot of reviews and old forum threads and my impression was that the American made USFA's seemed to have the fewest complaints of any SAA manufacturer. I've only had it for less than a year but it is everything I'd hoped it would be, smooth as butter action, crisp trigger and shoots to point of aim or a little higher, depending upon the load.

My intrest in the Westerns began as a child watching Bonanza and Big Valley reruns and then later in junior high reading Louis L'Amour books but it was not until a few years ago that I got into guns.
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45 Dragoon
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2018, 05:53:03 am »

Abilene, I was a '57 baby and when I was around 5/6 yrs old I had a pair of "Shoot-n-Shell" Fanner 50s!! Those were the best toy revolvers ever made!!  

  As far as SAA copies (never owned a SAA) the first was a 5 1/2" New Dakota 45C (ASM) made in the early '90s I think. The only other one is my El Patron Comp (also 5 1/2" 45C) which has seen extensive spring conversions/layouts and is somewhat of a "test bed" of  S.A. tuning. I fitted a 45 acp cyl (make unknown) a couple of yrs ago (to expend cheap "new" ammo). Absolutely love it!!   All my other S.A.s have been copies of  open tops including Armys, Navys, Dragoons,  Walkers  and a couple of Remies.

  The others that deserve a mention would be my 4 ROAs. Weird thing about them is, I never gave Rugers much of look ((not enough clicks! ) I missed the 3 screws altogether!!) until about 2 yrs ago when a ROA all but fell in my lap! It was the first one I'd even handled and the apparently unfired thing came home with me! It must have been pregnant because now there's 3 more in the safe!! Love um or hate um, they are impressive pieces that taught me what I missed with the "3 screw" Rugers. They are what convinced me that coil/torsion springs belong in a S.A. revolver!!

Mike
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Tascosa Joe
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2018, 08:56:57 pm »

After reading .45 Dragoons post, I suppose my first SAA was a pair of Nichols Stallion .45s for Christmas when I was 7.  I wore them out and purchased another set when I was 10 or 11.  Those were the most authentic cap guns ever.
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jthbjr
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2018, 11:47:17 am »

Very first: a pair of Hopalong Casidy cap pistols in about 1953. Started me in the right direction. First single action firearm: a Ruger light weight single six that my Dad started letting me carry fishing about 1960 (back when a 12 year old was expected to act like a man). First Colt SAA: an 80's production 44 special from a grateful client who handed it to me after he paid his bill in full. Still have all of them and a few more mostly in 44wcf. Between the Ruger and the first Colt SAA I had discovered the 1911, but now I'm back to where I started in 1953. I carry a USFA 44wcf unless unless I need to conceal.     
Jthbjr in beautiful Art, Texas
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pony express
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2018, 12:15:41 pm »

First SA was a new Ruger Blackhawk under the Christmas tree when I was 14. 357, with 9mm cylinder, old model 3 screw, of course, they hadn't invented the "improved" model yet. Still shoot it occasionally. Bought another just about like it when I was shooting CAS, before I got into the BP classes. First Colts were inherited from my Dad, One a 32-20 he bought from a guy he used to do a lot of handyman work for, I think for $125- in the mid 70's. Other is a Bisley in .45, traded from his brother. Pretty much a put together parts gun, has some timing issues and a non Colt barrel of unknown origin. One of these days.....
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Crossdrawnj
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 04:19:45 pm »

Mine is an early 3rd generation Colt SAA with a 4 3/4" barrel. Blued CH. It now has a .44-40 cylinder a talented friend of mine fit and some John Wayne style grips. Original grips and cylinder are still with the gun.
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LongWalker
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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2018, 11:43:37 pm »

The first I had access to was the original '51 Navy that hung on a nail by the backdoor of my great-uncle's house.  It hung there with 6 rounds loaded and the hammer resting between nipples.  After I'd been introduced to it, the only admonition I received about it was that if I shot anyone, they'd better have needed shooting . . . .  I had several cap-n-ball revolvers of my own over the years, before picking up most of a BP frame Colt.  That got re-built, then swapped off as part of the deal that got me an original 1860. 

That's the story of my life: sell off or swap a good revolver to get another, always chasing the will-o-whisp.  But it has been fun!
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2018, 07:37:08 pm »

My first SAA is a blue & case 1912 Bisley,  5 1/2" barrel that belonged to my Grandfather.  Learned how to take it apart and clean it, then got to shoot it under strict supervision as a kid  in the 3rd or 4th grade.   Inherited the gun later when I had the means to buy my own.

Still have it and others from the family.
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Jeremiah Jones
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« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2018, 11:53:33 am »

I had a BP Navy revolver that I put together from a kit in 1977. It was lost during a PCS in 1989.  I just bought a replacement  Grin Uberti 1875 Outlaw in .45LC.
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2018, 03:29:29 pm »

First single action of any kind, not counting cap pistols, was an EMF 1851 Navy, bought back when I turned 21. Followed almost immediately by an Iver Johnson Cattleman in 45. First real Colt was a 125th Anniversary model that someone had used, but had one of the sweetest actions and was deadly accurate to boot. Sadly that turned into a washer/dryer set for the wife about the time the second daughter showed up and on an sergeant's pay we couldn't afford to keep buying Pampers and decided to go the wash your own bit. Almost 40 years later I still regret that one getting away. Still gag at the smell of used diapers too.
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2018, 01:19:30 pm »

TV westerns & my dad who grew up in Oklahoma.  He was a western history buff and liked cap & ball revolvers.  He passed away when I was young but the seed was planted.  Talked Mom into letting me get a Navy Arms 1861 Navy, very nice and super accurate.  Learned to shoot with that beauty, probably because you took your time!  Turned 21 and got a Ruger NM Blackhawk 45 Colt x 4-3/4" and learned to reload with that. Bought the first 3rd Gen SAA that hit Kansas City in the '70's a B/CC 45 Colt x 7-1/2".  Still have the Navy and the SAA, and a few more...wink, wink!
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