information/identy of single action 1871

This is a discussion on information/identy of single action 1871 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Not sure if this is where to look for info or not. Please excuse my ignorance if my inquiry is out of place here. I ...

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Thread: information/identy of single action 1871

  1. #1
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    information/identy of single action 1871

    Not sure if this is where to look for info or not. Please excuse my ignorance if my inquiry is out of place here.

    I picked up 7 handguns and 4 long guns at an estate sale this week. One of the handguns is a single action revolver that I believe is a reproduction with poorly stamped/missing stamps identifying the manufacurer, caliber, etc.

    The only thing I see is the patent years of 1871 and 1872 with a US near them on the left side of the frame.

    Serial numbers are on the bottom of the frame in front of the trigger guard.

    The letters P.D.F.C. (as far as I can decipher) are stamped on the bottom of the barrel just in front of the cylinger axle, spindle, shaft? Not sure of the terminology.

    I'm not familiar with how to get decent readings with a caliper but from what I can tell the barrel inside diameter at the muzzle end measures 0.446 - 0.450 inches.

    Could anyone help me out or direct me where I might find information?
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    It's a clone of the 1873 Single Action Army, that might help.

    It kind of looks like a model made by Heritage, I'm gonna look around some.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Thanks for the reply Buckeye. I've been looking and haven't had much success. Sorry about the out of focus photos. My photography skills suck.
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    Is the spindle on it able to be pulled out, and if it is, is it like a plastic part?

    I would guess the caliber is .45LC, but someone smarter than me will be of more help with that.

    A lot of the SAA clones are made by a company called Pietta in Italy, and then brought over here under various other companies (Traditions, Heritage, Uberti, Cimmaron, ect...)
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Buckeye, after backing out the set screw I pulled the spindle and no, it's not plastic.

    The cylinder is 1.6 inches or 40.7mm long, if that helps with the caliber determination.

    The trigger action has 3 positions other than resting fully against the frame. Barely pulling it back to the first stop renders the trigger inoperable and the cylinder won't spin. (is this functioning as a safety? I know that I've read that SAA's should not be carried with a loaded chamber under the hammer.) Pulling it back to "half cock" allows the cylinder to spin, I guess for loading? The trigger can be pulled and hammer fall. Probably with enough force to cause a round to discharge. The there is the "full cock" position. The firing pin on the hammer protrudes directly through the frame to contact the primer. There is no transfer bar as far as I can tell.

    Also, the grip is two pieces, not one piece as I have seen on some models.

    Maybe these characteristics will help in identifying just what manufacture this gun is. And thanks for your time and effort, Buckeye. I really don't know too much about firearms and even less about revolvers.
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    I am currently separated from my firearms, or else I'd go pull out my SAA clones and be able to be a bit more help.

    As far as loading, that is what the half cock slot is for. Proper loading is put it on half-cock, open the gate, load one round, skip a chamber, and then load the last 4. That method should make it so that the hammer comes down on an empty chamber after you load the last round.

    Since you say it has a firing pin on the hammer and no transfer bar, I don't think that it is a Heritage Arms.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Thanks for the loading tip, Buckeye. And yeah, I read on the Heritage site about the transfer bar after you had told me that this may be a Heritage. That's why I included that info. Also, no, the grips are not two pieces. I just pulled them and although there is a backstrap it is just running in a groove routered out of the back side of the grip. It is a one-piece grip. ........I guess. Heck, I'm learning as I go here and I appreciate your assistance. You've been more than patient. Thanks.

    I've been searching for info online for a few days now off and on. It gets a bit frustrating not knowing more about this.
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    I would think that either OD, or bmcgilravy will hopefully stop by, as they are two forum members who come to mind when it comes to knowing a lot about older revolvers. So hopefully one of them will see this and be able to help you further on your quest for knowledge.

    The only other things I really notice about it that stick out looking at the pictures more, are the hammer, which looks to be stainless, while the rest of the pistol is blued. It looks like a 5.5" barrel, which doesn't help as that is pretty common for that pistol. It looks to be all steel, as opposed to brass and steel, the all steel guns are usually a bit pricier in my experience. The screw in the front of the receiver is something different, I don't recall seeing that before, so I am going to look around a bit and see if I can figure out what company does that. But there are dozens of companies that have or have had SAA clones in their line ups.

    EDIT: I am still learning on this, but it would appear that that screw is part of what makes it a clone of a first generation SAA, as well as some other stuff like the trigger guard. Here, take a look at this: http://www.marstar.ca/gf-pietta/1873-SAA-1st.shtm
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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    Thanks for the link. I see a couple of differences from the Pietta but not too many.

    Steel parts instead of brass.
    The cylinder pin retaining screw is not knurled.
    The rear sight is of the "pinched" variety.
    The ejector head is circular with no "bullseye".

    As you can see this is very similar to the Pietta brand but not quite it. Maybe a couple of more photos will help you or someone with this.

    Again, thank you so much for your input.
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    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    Ok, so after much internet research I've still no idea who reproduced this 1st generation SAA. At least that's my best guess although the frame is not color case hardened. I was beginning to think that it wasn't so important knowing where it came from. Then when considering heading to the range with it, I couldn't do it. It bothers me that there is no manufacurer ID hence no means of researching build technique/material/reliabilty/strength. It's a reproduction of a black powder frame but if of modern manufacture should be good for smokeless powder. Then I look at the cylinder walls and see how anemic they look at compared to a Colt or Ruger. And of course there is no caliber marking. From the previously noted measurements am I making a safe assumption that it is .45LC without a stamp verifying it? Does that make a huge difference? As I stated earlier, I know nothing about these handguns except what I've read in the past few days. Perhaps it's time to take a ride to my LGS to see what he can surmise.

    If anyone else out there besides the ever so helpful Buckeye has any idea, please let me know.
    (or am I just being ignorantly anal about the whole thing? There's always that possibility also)
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    I wouldn't shoot it unless you knew for sure what caliber it is. The SAA has been chambered in .45lc, .44-40, and .44Mag/spl, among many other cartridges, I wouldn't just buy a round and hope it is the right one. A gunsmith may be able to tell you the caliber, I don't know.

    Maybe if you throw out a partial serial number (like 123xxx), someone will be able to give you more of an idea as to where it came from.
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    Yeah, I wasn't about to experiment with what caliber it was, that's for sure. I've detail stripped and cleaned this firearm just before typing this. (in fact its still in pieces on the bench) Removed lots of grease, powder residue and some rust that was mainly on the grip frame front strap, heavy tool marks/pitting. Hard to tell if there are any marks on the front strap. Here's what I've found.

    On the trigger guard to the rear of the forward screw hole. " 16XXX
    L " With the L centered like that under the number. Serial number?
    On the frame in front of the trigger guard. " 57XX "
    Under the trigger guard, in the frame, left of the forward trigger guard screw hole. " 10 " Right of the forward trigger guard screw hole " 6 ".
    Below the rear sight, above the firing pin hole. " C "
    On the barrel under the ejector tube near the frame. " 26XX "
    On the barrel under the ejector tube near the front screw strung vertically. " 0 "
    " G "
    "unreadable" (possibly a backwards 6)
    On the rear of the frame near the front strap screw hole. " t "

    The metal of the frame where there is no bluing like inside the cylinder housing is mottled/brass-colored. Is that case hardened coloring?

    Anyway, this has been painstakingly done. I'm sure many others here could do much better and quicker. Any help anyone can give would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    OK, if there is anyone who hasn't grown too tired of my going on in this thread.........is there any chance that this could be an original with the barrel address buffed off and blued over?
    Ruger MkII, Kel Tek P3AT, Hi Point JH45, SA XDm9, SA XD9sc, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded, SA 1911 MilSpec Loaded Micro
    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    Boy oh boy has this been an educational experience. Many of my initial statements and assumptions were erroneous. Is it possible to get another opinion? OD, are you here?
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    Life is fragile and is what we make it. Keep dear to your heart that of your loved ones and fellow man and by God don't try to take it from me or my loved one's.

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    It appears to be a Colt Model 1873, by the frames serial number, it was made in 1874. It also looks to have gone through the Government rebuild programs of 1890s through 1903. Standard 1873s were rebuilt for additional service, the 7 1/2" inch barrels were replaced with 5 1/2" inch (or cut back to 5 1/2"), and they were not terribly particular about what parts went with want guns, one possible reason your serial numbers do not match. Are you certain about the initials under the barrel? DFC (David F. Clark), was a Government inspector between the years 1861 and 1886. It also looks like the pistol was refinished on the commercial market at one time, it's slightly over buffed and then reblued. Anymore questions and I'd be happy to help if I can.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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