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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first time shooting, I shot a .22 revolver, levergun and a BEAUTIFUL Colt SAA .357. It was nickel, polished like a freaking mirror, had mother of pearl handles and has been drilled into my head as THE gun. So naturally now I want one. I have looked around at prices and I am not sure if it is because I have never bothered to look, or the panic buying and supply and demand price hikes, but are these guns really sold for around $1,200 give or take? If any of you folks know why, I would appreciate input. This is a gun that will be for nostalgia and fun. I am IMO an amateur (especially to many here) so in my feeble mind my 1911 Commander should have been considerably more expensive.

SCHOOL ME PLEASE!!!
 
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Colt Single Action Army models are among the most collectible of firearms, due to their history. I think $1200 is probably entry level, but I'll leave it to bcmcgilvray to post more informative comment on that.

The good news is that there are a lot of similar guns available that won't cost you an arm and a leg. The Cowboy Action shooting game has increased the popularity of single-action handguns so there are lots out there. The Ruger Vaquero is a pretty good start and "popularly priced."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Smitty. I figured history had a lot to do with it. A Vaquero may be in the future, but to steal a movie line I heard once "This one is personal!" Just one I need to have as it is historical to me. IT is well within my realm of acceptable amount of money to spend on a gun, as long as it is worth it. To me, it is definitely worth it. Just need to find one!

I posted this for a few people in particular and Bryan is one of em...so is another codger, where you at Gman? OD*, QK?!?!?!?!? :wave:

How do we tag people like FB? Kidding!!!!
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you sir! Of course that price is listed next to a sold out sign, but its possible they may come back!
 

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I have a few Colts laying around, and gasmitty is right. The Nickel finish or case hardening will set you back a few more bills.

The reason they are expensive IMO, is because they are more of a custom gun, not made in large numbers, and put together by hand for a lot of the process.

But, like gasmitty stated, the new Ruger Vaquero is hard to beat, and uses more reliable springs and is now properly indexed, and the frame is much closer to the original Colt frame in size and grip.

Of course you can carry a Ruger safely with six rounds, where the Colt or replicas have to be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber.

I carry mine quite often in a Mernickle PS6 holster designed to carry " big iron" concealed.

And don't let anyone tell you that you are not adequately armed with a SAA.

Once you fall for a SAA, you will never be the same, and others won't understand.
 

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...

Once you fall for a SAA, you will never be the same, and others won't understand.
So true. I was converted the first time that I shot a Vaquero. Suddenly I understood a level of ergonomics and balance that nobody else that's never shot one could ever get.
 

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"Once you fall for a SAA, you will never be the same, and others won't understand."

The Colt Single Action Army is pretty special in any of its guises. To me it feels unique, even when compared with other single action revolvers and Colt clones but that's probably just all in my head. Your going to have a difficult time finding one for even $1200, new or used, in any condition. There's an uglified Colt Single Action Army .45 Arizona Centennial on GunBroker right now with no floor but it's at $900 with a day or so left. Look for it to break $1000.

In general I don't much care for the Ruger Blackhawks or Super Blackhawks. There are a few exceptions though. There was a photo of a 4 3/4-inch Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertible in the Speer No. 9 manual I got with my reloading set-up back in the late 1970s. I've lusted after the revolver in that photo for over 35 years now. These new Ruger .44 Special revolvers with the great-looking black plastic stocks, reminiscent of the old Colt hard rubber stocks, have a lot of appeal, both due to size and because of the chambering. I would expect that either of these Ruger single action revolver models could happen along to be added to the menagerie at any time.

The only single-action revolver I have on hand is a Colt Single Action Army in .38-40. It's 108 years old, original and scroungy, yet still mechanically sound and gratifyingly accurate. The 1st Generation (read that pre-World War II) Colt Single Action Army revolvers in original, worn yet unmolested condition, start at $2000 and go up from there and $2000 will generally only get you the less popular chamberings such as .32-20, .38-40, and .41 Long Colt. As the degree of original surface finish improves, prices go up in large increments for remaining examples. Plan on adding at least $500 more for clean, sound pre-World War II Colt Single Action Army revolvers in .44-40, and .45 Colt. Original pre-war Colts in .38 Long Colt, .38 Special, .44 Russian, .44 Special, or any of a host of other minor chamberings that could be had in the Single Action Army are in the upper stratosphere of advanced and well-heeled Colt collectors. Martially marked originals, clean and unfooled with are also beyond reach of most folks these days.

Even junky, molested, customized, over-polished, refinished, built-up-out-of parts, mongrel 1st generation Colt Single Action Army revolvers will set you back a thousand to two thousand. To me personally, this is silliness but they're that popular.

In the summer of 1968 I got to shoot my first handgun. I can't now recall which one I shot first though. Both occasions were in the yard of our old lake cabin and both handguns belonged to my uncle. One was a Colt Single Action Army .45 Colt, the so-called "Artillery Model," and the other was a 4-inch blue Smith & Wesson Model 15 .38 Special.

The Artillery Model Colt that was my uncle's was an arsenal rework of the older 7 1/2-inch Colt M1873 .45 revolvers of Indian wars fame. In the mid-1890s, supplies of these were rebuilt by both Springfield Armory and through contact with Colt as a back-up supplement to the Colt double-action .38 (Colt New Army) revolvers recently adopted by the U.S. armed services. These single-action .45s were rehab'ed mechanically as needed with barrels cut back to 5 1/2-inches. They came in handy during the Philippine Insurrection when it was discovered that the Moro tribesmen didn't obligingly fold up for the .38 Long Colt cartridge as the Spanish and Spanish colonial troops apparently had in the recently concluded Spanish-American War. The older .45 Colt Single Action Army M1873s were trundled out and issued to general acclaim. Acclaim which has been aggrandized in the more-than-a-century since in an almost mythical manner, most likely all out of proportion to any actual stopping power differences observed. At least the military personnel of the day seemed happy with the .45 revolver.

My dad and my uncle were on a fishing trip in southern Oklahoma in 1948 and my uncle picked up the Artillery Colt for $5. It was shot with all manner of heavy Unique-fueled handloads to no apparent detriment. It offered more recoil than a skinny 11-year-old could really manage then in 1968 but it was glorious to fire all the same.

My uncle suffered an untimely death due to being struck by lightening while on a fishing trip in 1971 and the Colt ended up in my aunt's possession as her home-defense weapon. My uncle had previously left it on hand for her use back when he worked nights. The cousins borrowed it on occasion for more shooting fun in which I occasionally got to participate but she adamantly wanted it returned when they were finished. Sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s she returned home one evening to find her house being burgled. She retrieved the Colt and cleared the house, chasing the miscreant away. A call to the police brought out officers to investigate. They lauded her for her actions though one officer did politely request that she allow him to lower the hammer on the Colt which he had observed lying still cocked on the kitchen table.

The Artillery model in this link looks very much like the condition of the revolver my aunt still has.
Item:9465723 Colt Colt SAA Artillery type 45Colt With Colt Letter For Sale at GunAuction.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As always Bryan, enlightening. Smitty, I am really worried what is going to happen when I click that link, specifically in the area of my wallet and my in home sleeping arrangements.

Oh NEVER made, good
 
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Oh, another thing; I love my .38-40 Colt dearly and admire the cartridge but, for the best balance of all, get a .44 or .45 caliber Colt Single Action Army. The larger bore makes the barrel balance just right, especially in 4 3/4-inch length. The .38-40 feels ever so slightly different with the slightly smaller .40 bore diameter leaving more "meat" in the barrel. Go down to .38/.357 and the combination of the smaller bore and the smaller chambers adds appreciable steel to the revolver, further changing balance dynamics. Get a Single Action Army in .32-20 and extra meat abounds with the small bore and chambers housed within a cylinder and barrel large enough to have once been optionally produced in .455 Webley and .476 Eley for the British trade. A Single Action Army .32-20 with a 7 1/2-inch barrel is downright weighty.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have Single Action Army revolvers in several different cartridges but the .44 Special, .44-40, and .45 Colt models just feel "right" somehow. The longer barrels are neato but that 4 3/4-inch barrel seems to just "point itself" when the bore is suitably large. Try to make an opportunity to pick one up and hold it sometime. It'll suck you in for sure!

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I initially wanted .357 as that's what I shot however I think the .45 colt is the way I'd go, so that is good to hear. Grabagun has the 4 3/4 inch nickel in 45lc listed at $1,2xx, but out of stock. That is the one I will be keeping an eye out for. Availability mamay change my mind, but thats the goal for now.
 
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Bryan, I second that notion. Anything that starts with a 4 in the 4 3/4 configuration is tops for balance.

The USFA guns are probably the best there is, but for the money, minus depreciation, might as well get the Colt.

Now, I jumped on a sweet Ruger special limited production of the new Ruger Vaquero in 44 spl. It is quickly becoming a favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well crap, maybe ill get a vaquero in the meantime, lol what a horrible decision to have to make, ha!

I remember watching a history channel show and a cowboy trick shooter used a modified vaquero. Seem to remember seeing many nickel ones before the panic.
 
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Yeah Gman. I met a fellow at the Tulsa gun show a year ago who had just picked up one of those Ruger .44s and wanted some fancy stocks to adorn it. He got some dandies to dress it up nice but I was drooling over it just as it was with the factory black hard rubber stocks on it. Nice and smooth the revolver was too. Wouldn't be surprised at all if he drove all the way to Tulsa from his home in northwestern Oklahoma continually cocking the revolver but it was great.
 
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There aint no flys on the new Vaquero. First time shooting it from 15 to 25 yards. The lone shot on the right was for fun, a little 10 yard "quick draw".


In the world of hi caps, I look at it like this; you may have more bullets, but all I have to do is hit ya once, first, with that 250 grn 44 slug, and you aint goin nowhere.
 

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Yessir! Hit 'em with heavy lead!

That blued model with those stocks is the exact variation I'd get too. The fellow at the Tulsa show had a bright stainless version and it was eye-catching, especially with his custom horn stocks installed.

While we're at it, I like that belt and holster too. Don't really go for the "old west" lookin' rigs.
 
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But...then someone goes and puts up a nicely tooled holster like that one.

I guess the ones I really don't care for are the buscadero rigs, slung low and tied to one's leg.
 

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Yessir! Hit 'em with heavy lead!

That blued model with those stocks is the exact variation I'd get too. The fellow at the Tulsa show had a bright stainless version and it was eye-catching, especially with his custom horn stocks installed.

While we're at it, I like that belt and holster too. Don't really go for the "old west" lookin' rigs.
That holster is a Bianchi Lawman, and the belt is an old Bianchi reversable that I have had for almost 20 years. It does double duty as my dungaree belt, and occasional gun belt for the 1911 holster, or other holsters.

Its a handy rig, although I have thought about getting the "Duke Rig", if I can find someone who makes a true variation with the forward cant on the holster, sans the suede belt they used on the original, as I prefer cowhide.

Or, I may just have El Paso Saddlery make me a belt slide cartridge billet for this rig and call it good.
But when I go knocking around in the woods, or take a ride on 4 legs or 4 wheels, its a handy, comfortable way to go, and enough gun to feel confident with regardless what the problem may be.
 
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