Author Topic: Is it really USFA?  (Read 5444 times)

Online Professor Marvel

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Is it really USFA?
« on: July 24, 2019, 07:59:52 pm »

over on GB 17 hours left, no bids.

"MINT USFA Mfg Co. SAA 45lc Revolver"
https://www.gunbroker.com/item/817910244

B.P. frame, no boc. no doco
Does ser # 20316 put it as "Uberti Parts" ?

Only USFA mark is on barrel top, and the front sight and finish looks.... different...

seller has one short line of description and an entire page about layaway...

opinions?

for $1500 for Uberti parts , I think I'ld rather get a new casehardened Uberti...
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Offline Dave T

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2019, 12:33:57 pm »
Can't swear to this without actually examining the gun but based on the pictures I'd say this is largely a Uberti parts gun. The barrel may be from USFA but the cylinder, hammer, and grip frame profile look to be of Italian origin. May well be a fine shooter but it is not one of the much coveted "all USA sourced parts" USFA single actions.

My $.02 worth,
Dave

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2019, 03:44:40 pm »
Well there were no bids on this unknown revolver, so the seller just re-upped the auction for another 8 days!


Can't swear to this without actually examining the gun but based on the pictures I'd say this is largely a Uberti parts gun. The barrel may be from USFA but the cylinder, hammer, and grip frame profile look to be of Italian origin. May well be a fine shooter but it is not one of the much coveted "all USA sourced parts" USFA single actions.

My $.02 worth,
Dave

Thank you my Good Dave,

It *IS* a BP frame, which I find more desirable....

Your notes mirrors my uneducated thoughts ... the other two three several things that bother me are
 - the only good photo of any markings other than ser number is the barrel.
 - the finish
 - wood to gripframe fit seems ... less than I would epect
 - no box or doco, not even a reciept

To be honest, this example looks like it's been used, possibly refinished. Could it be a refinished Rodeo?
Is this ser number, 20316,  valid for a Rodeo?

There are slight nicks on the trigger guard, and a slightly buggered screw


Is there possible slight dishing of the right frame near the screw holes?


this image displays what appears to me to be a poor grip to backstrap fit


and I see some "waviness" in the left frame here (or am I too picky?) and less than perfect trigger guard to frame fit




The current crop of Piettas and Ubertis from my LGS are so well finished that I can waltz down and pick up
the exact barrel length, finish, grips,etc of my desire TODAY .... and even play with it and try the action etc before plunking down
money. And for $500-700 or so out the door that leaves almost $700-900 on the table to smooth the action,
(or do some fluff and buff myself and pay for that new freezer).

vs

bid on this guys unknown "maybe USFA "

tO BE TOTALLY HONEST, I fear, being the cheap barstictch  frugal fellow that I am, that I AM in pursuit
of an afforable USFA, but ....

yhs
prof marvel
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 03:52:26 pm by Professor Marvel »
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Offline Capt. John Fitzgerald

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2019, 06:58:03 pm »
"The barrel may be from USFA but the cylinder, hammer, and grip frame profile look to be of Italian origin."

Bear in mind that when USFA started out, back around 1994 with their USPtFA line of guns, ALL parts were Italian made.  This continued for several years, up until 2002 or so (and this is open to debate).  Prior to that any barrel marked "USFA" would have been Italian made and imported by USFA, unmarked and in the white.  USFA would take the imported barrels and stamp them either USPtFA or USFA prior to fitting and finishing them.  Anything you find that came out of USFA prior to 2002 (again, debatable - jump in here, Yahoody  ;D) can pretty much be classified as "all Italian."

That being said, there were three stages of USFA's production: 
(1)  All Italian made, imported in the white and fit and finished by USFA (1994-2000?).
(2)  A transition period where guns were comprised of a combination of Italian & US made parts (2000-2002?).
(3)  Finally, the all US made guns that we now covet (2002 to finish).

USFA was very deceptive in their advertising during those "transition years," wanting us to believe that their guns were all made here in the US when, in fact, they were mostly comprised of Italian parts.  Who knew at the time that this would later lead to the confusion that we now suffer!
 

 
You can't change the wind, but you can always change your sails.

Offline Dave T

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2019, 03:55:08 pm »
The Capt'n has it pretty much right on the nail head. I have read, or been told that USFA started having problems with out of spec parts coming from their Italian suppliers (mostly Uberti) and thus started finding local, USA sources for parts. As those transition years the Capt'n talked about passed the guns had more and more USA sourced parts until eventually the Italian parts were used up and the guns became all US made.

These "all US made" guns supposedly happened around serial number 23,000 or so. Since the gun in question is a 20,000 serial number I would say it falls into the mixed bag class. The contour of the front sight is what I've come to believe is an US sourced barrel, that's why I speculated the barrel might be made here. The longer and pointed flutes on the cylinder say "Uberti" as does the hammer contour and the grip frame configuration. The latter doesn't look like a Colt, which all the USA made USFA grip frames did.

And it can't be a Rodeo that's been re-done. The Rodeos all have letter/number combo serial numbers. And beware, some of the early Rodeos (A & B prefix for example) are parts guns. I don't remember what letter signals all US made Rodeos but perhaps someone who knows will join the conversation.

And be advised, the above is not carved in stone. It's just what I've picked up reading and talking to folks about the USFA single actions...which I happen to love owning and shooting. (smile)

Dave

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2019, 09:40:48 pm »
Ok, so almost certainly mixed bag of Uberti & US parts
Do you folks think the finish is original, or redone?

pf mvl
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Offline LonesomePigeon

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2019, 11:24:06 pm »
 I agree with DaveT. Definitely not 100% USA. You can see the slot in the back of the hammer which indicates it has a Uberti style hammer block safety. Plus all the other things DaveT said.

I do think it is the original finish because I think it's the "Cowboy Model". The Cowboy was polished full blue, as opposed to the Rodeo which was matte full blue. I don't know for sure but I suspect the grips might be replaced because I think the Cowboy normally had rubber two-piece grips.

I don't think $1500 is a very good deal for a mixed parts USA/Uberti USFA, especially one that doesn't even have case colored frame.

Online Professor Marvel

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2019, 11:30:15 pm »
Thanks Lonesome...


I don't think $1500 is a very good deal for a mixed parts USA/Uberti USFA, especially one that doesn't even have case colored frame.

And replacement grips that are not up to USFA par, and a knicked up guard, buggered screw...
If this is their idea of mint, i would hate to see a used pistol...

Yhs
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Offline markg44

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2019, 07:26:46 am »
I believe that the Cowboy had its own ser# designation , began with a C [ I think] and also came out much later.

Offline buttebob

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2019, 08:04:33 am »
Cowboys had a CB prefix followed by 3 numbers. The series started at CB500 and were all 3 digits.

Online Professor Marvel

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2019, 07:45:49 pm »
Thanks folks

Mrs Marvel saw me looking, and said
? instead of going for the cheapest thing you can find (like you always do)
Why not look for what you really want??

God bless her, now Im rethinking....

Yhs
Prof marvel
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Offline Mogorilla

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2019, 06:49:55 am »
Behind every man (if he is really lucky) is a smarter woman.   I am a very lucky man, obviously you are too. ;D
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Offline yahoody

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Re: Is it really USFA?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2019, 09:09:53 pm »
Funny enough I once bought this gun off GB and returned it to the seller.  Which in turn started my search for USFA info 6 or 7 years ago or more.  Same area of the country.  Not the same dealer.

This was THE gun....#20316.

Back story?  I had owned 4 USA made guns in various barrel lengths.  Was then diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and sold them.  2 years later I wanted another USFA gun when I was able to start shooting again.  But wanted one that was "cheap".  I paid $1200 for it on GB.

I made much  of the info I found public and have posted this here more than once prior.  The public source:

pistolsmith.blogspot.com

As a start. "Uberti parts were still used up through the 20XXX and 21XXX serial range.".   To be more precise...

Serial numbers and Models from USFA?

Cowboy                        starts with CB500
Gunslinger                    starts with 57XXX or 58XXX.  I've only seen 58XXX numbers
"7-1/2" 45 Colt Gunslinger is No. 58811."
"USFA Ser # 58988, .45, 4 3/4, BP frame, walnut grips. Ordered new from USFA around 2005/2006."
The aged finish of a "Gunslinger" model built on a BP frame.

Lightning rifle                2000
Buntline                        28XXX
Lend Lease 45ACP      357XXX
JW Red River D            RRXXX
Rodeo Sheriff               SKAXXX
Rodeo II Sheriff            SMBXXX
Cowboy Sheriff             SMCXXX
Sheriff SAA                   SMDXXX   
Sheriff Bisley hammer/old Ivory grips/ circled US/long fluted cylinder    US1XXX
Rodeo                           Serial begins with various single letter followed by 3 digits
China Camp                  CCXXX
Gunslinger  model        57XXX  or 58XXX


On the premium and Prewar guns these are what we have come up with so far.
Start at 21XXX and continue to the end of 28XXX and into early 29000 range..  Some of the late 28900 rage were Buntlines. 28958 and 28959 were 7.5" b/c engraved guns.

I'm unaware of any 29XXX but have been told there are some.

actual guns I have personally verified...

21213  parts gun Uberti frame
21215  parts gun Uberti frame
21651  parts gun
21785  one of  two known cross pin/V notch sighted guns I am aware of, cone firing pin, USA barrel
21857  and 21858 parts guns Uberti frame
22113  parts gun

22154  USA gun* cone firing pin, transitional guns by the # out of order?
22180  parts gun*  transitional guns by the # out of order?

22293  cone USA frame
22358  cone 4 3/4,  38-40 True Ivory aged 2 piece grips
22421  cone firing pin USA frame
22509  cone firing pin USA frame
22566  cone 7.5, 38-40 and fire blue screws
22934  cone USA gun

« Last Edit: July 31, 2019, 09:14:45 pm by yahoody »
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