Special Interests - Groups & Societies > Uberti, Pietta and other SAA Clones

A study of the Armi San Marco Hartford model Colt clone pistol

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The original bad bob:
Hi all, I think this form is a great resource for anything and everything old west related and I thought I would contribute by illustrating what I have learned about collecting the Armi San Marco (ASM) Hartford Connecticut Model pistols which are no longer ( unfortunately IMO) being manufactured.

I would encourage others who own these pistol to post photos of them in this thread so there can exist an illustrated , affirmative , documented source of information on them because there are quite a few misconceptions and inaccuracies on the internet about these.

I have attached a photo of some of these ASM pistols I have acquired over the past 10 years... when these were new and still being sold new I wasn’t of an age or financially able to buy them.. I just lusted  over them in ADs in shotgun news magazine and I thought there was plenty of time for me to acquire them later...Then I heard that ASM went out of business.. So these that I do now own I purchased used.

As to the subject of parts interchangeability with real 1st Gen Colts, here is what I have found to be true:

Real Colt saa barrels (1st and second gen) will screw into the ASM frames, Colt trigger guards and back straps will screw into ASM frames but the ASM frames are approx 30 thousands of an inch longer and wider than a real Colt frame so unless you were to sand down ASM frames the Colt SAA parts are going to sit back from edges of the ASM frames.. Colt trigger guards installed in ASM frames are 50 thousands longer than ASM trigger guards and a Colt trigger guard installed on an ASM frame will partially cover the ASM serial number because of this..... Colt 1st and 2nd gen cylinders won’t fit the asm frames unless you file approximately 10 thousands of an inch of material off of the Colt cylinder ratchet and the base pin bushing as well as file some material off of the ASM barrel forcing cone area..Colt cylinders are 6-10 thousands of an inch longer than ASM cylinders.. I have measured them with calipers to confirm this ( I own several real Colt s as well as spare Colt cylinders)I have fitted a real Colt 1st gen cylinder to one of the pistols in the photo I posted below...1st 2nd and 3rd gen Colt hammers will fit the ASM frames.. if the Colt hammer has a black powder cone shaped firing pin you will have to enlarge the firing pin hole in ASM frame...3rd gen Colt SAA horse eagle  grips will fit an ASM but the ASM backstraps are approx 40-60 thousands of an inch bigger than Colt saa backstraps so if you put these Colt hard rubber grips on an ASM the ASM bottom of the back strap will extend proud of the grips 40-60 thous...ASM frames do not have removable firing pin bushings like Colts do. most other small Colt parts will fit ASM with small modifications if necessary.

The most unusual ASM pistol I own is one that was made by ASM but imported by Cimarron.. it is marked on top of barrel:” Cimarron PT. FA MFG Co-New Model P-
And on under side of barrel it is marked:” CFA-Fredericksburg Texas- ASM Italy”
It is a US cavalry model and has a different profile front sight than the usual ASM Hartford model and the grips have the cartouche on the right side instead of the left side of walnut grips

The ASM seemed to have suffered from spotty quality control issues and here are some problems I have experienced with these pistols:

ASM hammers being too soft and hammer notches wearing prematurely or breaking.. the nickel plated pistol in my photo had a broken half cock notch when I bought it and it went off in my hand as I was loading it once because I touched the trigger.

Some ASM Hartford model pistols have ejector housing threaded studs brazed into barrels, some just have a hole threaded into barrel for ejector housing screw to engage.. I have had the brazed in bushing fail on one of my pistols so I had to buy a Colt saa Barrel stud bushing and peen-crimp it into ASM barrel to prevent the ejector housing assy from flying off during shooting.

ASM hammers have the notches machined a few thousands of an inch higher than the Colts... This results in having to manipulate the cylinders to eject spent cartridges to avoid them hitting the frame of ASM guns

ASM screws are very soft and prone to “buggering”

You can replace them with Colt screws but Colt back strap and trigger guard screws have smaller diameter heads by approx 10-15 thousands of an inch

Broken trigger bolt springs.. a Colt part or a Wolff will fit fine

Virginia Gentleman:
I thought some Pietta and Uberti parts fit the ASMs too?

Kent Shootwell:
I had a pair of Hartford models but I thought they were EMF guns. They were dandy pistols.

The original bad bob:
The problem with uberti saa revolver clones is that they kept changing dimensions and made proprietary hammers, bolts, hands and triggers that have smaller holes in them... for example the trigger and bolt frame screws on older uberti 1873’s are smaller than a Colt or ASM and are definitely not interchangeable.

The older Uberti hammers have that goofy looking built in safety in them , which I simply do not care for based on esthetics.

I will update this thread with photos of measurements of ASM cylinders and Colts as well as other differences soon.

Thanks for a very informative post,,,I’m just a bit disappointed knowing you are collecting ASM revolvers,,I don’t need anymore competition out there ! ,,I have a few ASM revolvers. All are the black powder frame with colt SAA barrels with the single action army polished off the side,But still have the colt address on the top.



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