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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  USFA CSS (Moderator: Capt. John Fitzgerald)  |  Topic: BP Frames 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: BP Frames  (Read 1649 times)
Dave T
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« on: January 11, 2018, 10:58:33 am »


Since there hasn't been much talk or comments in this forum for a while, the thread about your first SA being the only exception, I thought I'd throw something out there and see what others think about it.

Ever since I discovered black powder Colt SAAs and shot them for close to 10 years, I've had a prejudice for the BP framed versions of the venerable SAA, even those made by USFA. I've owned several and still have two, plus a 44 Special Rodeo. The 44 doesn't have a BP frame but that is appropriate in my mind because the cartridge was introduced in 1907.

My preference for the BP framed USFAs is a real obstacle to acquiring any more. They just don't come up for sale that often and many that do are the early parts guns - I've learned to identify them - as apposed to the later US made USFAs.

Anyone else out there prefer to use a screw driver to take the cylinder out of your SAA, be it a USFA gun or someone else?

Dave  
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 12:01:35 pm »

DaveT, I prefer the ,as I prefer, the ORIGINAL Colt frame style as well, as opposed to the MODIFIED frame that followed. I bought a pair of the BP frame USFAs from Turnbull back when he was finishing up the original DTXXX serial number run around 2011 or so. 7 1/2" 44 WCF blue and case, consecutive numbers. Amazingly only $1200 a piece, don't we wish we could get them for that now. After USFA stopped making their guns, I managed to acquire around a half dozen old Colts, all 44 or 45, made before the change over, mostly beater guns, but all there and unmodified, all for around $1000 or less. Even managed to grab 4 of the cross pin guns for a pair of 38 and 32 WCFs to round it out. Nowadays it seems if it has a BP frame you can automatically figure almost $2000, just because its old and a Colt. Never mind what the prices are on the USFAs, when the price of a Rodeo is more than I've paid for most of my Colts, I just can't justify it anymore. I like to be able to shoot what I own, not admire it.
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Dave T
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 03:29:30 pm »

Pathfinder,

In the mid 1980s I go bit by the black powder cartridge bug, wanting to shoot the guns and loads the "cowboys" shot when I competed in CAS matches. I searched out old junker Colts (most I ever paid for one was $750) and had an old time gunsmith I knew back then restore them to shootable condition. They still looked like used guns but they worked fine. At one point I had all three standard barrel lengths, plus a 3.5" Sheriff's Model in 45 Colt, and a 5-1/2" 44 WCF. I shot them all with BP and loved every minute of it.

In 1994 I started my own business and needed money to get it going. I didn't have time to shoot CAS and perhaps foolishly sold all the original 19th Century firearms I had to get my business going. It lasted 10 years and helped get us through some hard times so I can't regret doing it but I sure do miss those old Colts.

I recognize most people disagree with me (except maybe you - lol) but I've always thought the BP frame had a superior method of retaining the cylinder pin. I used to shoot the pins loose in the Ruger collection I once had and I've seen any number of CAS shooters have the cross pin in the smokeless frames come unscrewed and drop out of the frame, then their cylinder pins eventually fall out, usually in the middle of a stage. So even shooting smokeless powder I still prefer the PB framed SAAs.

Dave
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Dave T
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 06:12:16 pm »

No body else has anything to say? Well I tried (LOL).

Dave
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Buckaroo Lou
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 08:57:15 pm »

I understand the appeal of the black powder frame because of the clean appearance of that particular part of the frame when there is no cross pin sticking out on both sides and if for that reason alone I find the appearance of the BP frame slightly more appealing. With that being said however, I would not pass up a truly nice SA whether USFA, Colt, or import if it were a firearm I wanted even though it has the cross pin cylinder pin retainer. I have some of both and honestly I appreciate them equally. I guess that didn't really make a lot of since.
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LonesomePigeon
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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 01:20:46 am »

I like the bp frame mainly because it was the original, starting in 1873. The crosspin frame was available as early as 1892 but really wasn't common until 1896. Hence the bp frame seems more "Old West" to me.
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Dave T
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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 08:46:05 am »

Lou, I get what you're saying. Lots of folks agree with you.

I not only like the clean lines and traditionality of the BP frame, as I said above I've experienced and seen the spring loaded cross pins fail. In nearly 10 years of shooting full power BP 45 Colt loads, in 4 different 1st Gen Colts, I never had the screw retention of the BP frame fail or even come loose. I think it is a more secure way of retaining the cylinder pin. The spring loaded cross pin is more of a convenience than an improvement. Of course YMMV!

Dave
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The Pathfinder
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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 01:29:42 pm »

Lou, I agree. I have at least as many cross pin first gen guns as I do BP frames.  I have about half and half cross pin to BP in my 2nd gen guns and more BP than cross pin in my third gen ones. Except for two Rodeos, all my USFAs are BP frame. My clones, Uberti Pietta ASM are around half and half. While I like the BP frame better, my own preference whenever possible, I have nothing against the newer design. Let's face it, we all LOVE our single actions. Now when you get as crazy as I seem to have is when you go looking for the Replica Arms 1875s with the original style frame as opposed to the cross pin, now those are a bear to find. So far I've got three. Grin 
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yahoody
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2018, 11:52:51 am »

I have Colts and later USFA guns in both frame configurations.  When I really got the SAA bug I wanted BP frames but the more i shot them and the more trouble I had with the BP frames the more I found myself shooting cross pin frames.  Just not worth the hassle to me to have to use a screw driver on a gun  after a couple hundred rounds and having a tight screw.

I do have a NIB 4 3/4" BP with Armory blue sitting in the box and the same with a cross pin frame.  If I were going to pull one out to shoot it...I'd take the coss pin frame.

But  I shoot these on a regualr basis....






 

Never had a cross pin frame fail on me.  Never had a BP frame fail either and  both can get a stuck cylinder pin if you shoot them enough prior to cleaning.  Just don't like a range session that goes a couple of hundred rounds to turn into a issue getting the frame screw out which my BP guns do on a regular basis no matter how well they are treated.
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"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903
Dave T
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 04:10:39 pm »

yahoody,

In 10 years of shooting my 1st Gen Colts two to three matches per month I never had any trouble getting the cylinder pin screw or the cylinder pin out of any of the 5 guns I shot BP cartridges through. Either I was holding my mouth just right (LOL) or our experience is just different.

You say you prefer the spring loaded cross pin, and I say more power to you. (smile)

Dave
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yahoody
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2018, 04:52:27 pm »

Shooting SASS or COWS matches almost always means less than 100 rounds of pistol ammo shot through two guns.  So fifty or less.  I clean after every match and generally shoot smokeless.   But a fun day out for me might be as many as 300 or 400 or more, shooting that much several times through the same gun before cleaning.  Likely more than my forefathers shot in a year or more through a SAA.

Most expensive guns I own are BP frames.   When i am shooting a lot it sure is easier for the most part to just  push out the crosss pin and pull the cylinder.  Doesn't mean it is easy to push.  But having replaced the frame locking screw on my Colt BP guns and several of my BP clones, all in, I prefer shooting a cross pin frame just  for ease of maintenance.

You asked for an opinion.  There ya have it.   We vary on our preferences. 
 
"Shoot what ya like", is my motto Smiley

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"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903
willy
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 12:29:40 pm »

You're not alone  when it comes to the BP frame SAA..I only want the BP frame guns,,I figure if I wanted to shoot the same guns they did in the 1870-1880s then they had to have the BP frames..I even went so far as to replace the hammers on my SAA repros to the solid no safety hammer so I wouldn't have to look at the slot on the back of the hammer.. I even replaced the nickled hammer on an early U.S. Pt. FIREARMS with a stainless Uberti no safety hammer Wink
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Dave T
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 05:50:32 pm »

I get where you're coming' from willy! (smile)

Dave
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yahoody
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2018, 11:45:08 pm »

Quote from: Dave T

In 10 years of shooting my 1st Gen Colts two to three matches per month I never had any trouble getting the cylinder pin screw or the cylinder pin out of any of the 5 guns I shot BP cartridges through. Either I was holding my mouth just right (LOL) or our experience is just different.

I was rethinking your comment here Dave.  I do believe it was your guns (1st Gen BP Colts) that kept the guns running and knowing how to clean a BP gun.  But then you aint shooting 300+ BP loads at one go without cleaning them mid match either I suspect.  So we have a difference in preferences but I also believe we are talking apples and oranges here by comparison.   Never lost a cyl;inder pin or a cross pin latch or screw from any of them.  But like cleaning (BP or smokeless) I do it as required.

Modern 3rd Gen Colt compared to 1st Gen BP framed Colt (no comparison to fit/finish and quality there)
BP ammo verses smokeless
100 rounds of BP with cleaning in between or 300+ rounds or more of smokeless with no cleaning
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"time leaves tombstones or dry bones"  SASS #2903
Dave T
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2018, 01:36:02 pm »

Guess I was a cleaning fanatic (lol). This was back in the days when nothing was available but GOEX. I lubed with the new stuff (SPG) but still got a fair amount of fouling. Between stages I would run a wet/soapy patch though the bore and chambers, then use it to wipe off the cylinder face.

As for running 300 round through a single handgun, I don't think I ever did that except for training seminars and schools, and that was with a 1911 of some persuasion. Still a 45 of course! (smile)

Dave
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yahoody
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2018, 03:13:09 pm »

Just so the record is straight  Grin  Someone might read your comments and  get the impression that BP frames are "better".  Roll Eyes

I find the two frame styles different, not better or worse.  Both frames,  the style of sights  and  the different types of ammo require different knowledge, skill and care.   Easy to find what you prefer.

I've not done any 1000 round days with a SAA like  I suspect we both have with a 1911.   But  I am lucky enough to load on a Dillon 1050 I bought 20+ years ago.   One of my "better" gun purchases.   When you make a mistake on a 1050 things happen quick with @ 1000 rounds an hour production rate.

Had a bit of paper from the powder can cap seal drop into my powder measure the other day.  Dropping almost 10gr of powder per case the powder hopper drains fast.  Took me a moment or two to realize that powder bar was working but it wasn't dropping anything.   Luckily I had just dumped 500 new loaded rounds in the ammo can and was working on another five hundred when this happened.    Some where around the 350 mark was where I noted it and knew I now had some duds in the bunch.  Nothing to do but take a rod and hammer to the range and shoot them all up!    350+ rounds of 240gr lead SWC shot from my 4 3/4", 44 Special in short order.  4 duds total, so a quick catch, luckily.  And not much work to clear them in the gun with hammer and rod ready.

Hard to get up to that kind of round count and still have good practice going down range.  The 1050 makes it possible.  I generally shoot 200+ every range session.   I'll likely do a couple of range sessions prior to cleaning my guns depending on the powder being used and how clean it is burning.

I'd like to shoot black.  Easy enough to reload for it.  Just harder and more effort than I like  getting everything cleaned up again.  Keep thinking I am going to  but haven't yet.
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