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I fired my first Single action pistol this past weekend and fell in love! A friend of mine had a 3rd gen colt, 7 inch barrel in 45lc. He also had a Cimarron, 5 inch barrel in 38/357. I would like to buy a nice Single action for plinking that would also have value? What is the best caliber? I do not reload.

Thanks,

James
 

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Likely the most "historically correct" cartridges would be .45 Colt and .44-40 Winchester .... but they can be pretty pricey to buy over the counter. Most economical commercially available cartridge would likely be .38Spl./.357Mag. Not a historically correct chambering (at least for the 19th Century) but there was a .38 Long Colt cartridge back in the day, and the .38 Special was actually developed from it ....
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_Long_Colt
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_Special

My own Cowboy Action Shooting single action revolvers (7 of them) are all chambered in .45 Colt, because that's what I started out with .....
 

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Everything that isn't a Colt is just a copy. If I didn't already have 5 single actions, I would buy a Colt SAA in 45 LC with a 5 1/2 barrel. Sure they cost more, but they will always be worth more. I grew up very poor, my father taught me, if you have to buy tools, buy the best tools you can.
 

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Colt quality has gone to pot in the past 20-30 years in comparison to the 1st and 2nd generation.

The best colt SAA are pre 1980s . Just go over to the colt forum and you will see many a example of what i speak.

I have a colt generation 3 44-40 made in 1986.. appearance it looks great but the fit of the back strap to the frame is poor.. my uberti has a better fit and alignment. Trigger is better on the colt, as is the case color.. but its 3x the price of a uberti.. so..

Right now you can't go wrong with a Uberti cattleman.. or if you want a classic look with a modern safer action the Ruger New Vaquero is a great choice.


My colt is in 44-40 to go with my Winchester 1873. Which is historically correct.. no Winchester was ever chambered in 45 colt during the period in question (19th century).

My uberti and Ruger are in .38/.357 just for economic purposes. 44-40 50rds = $35 + 45LC 50rd - $40+ .357 mag 50rds - $22-24 , 38 spc 50rds 16-18. Pure economics.










I think you can see.. you can't go wrong with any of them. It all comes down to

1. Budget

2. Authenticity

3. +/- s

Prices general market

New Vaquero Brand new : 525-550

Uberti Brand New - 425-500

Colt 1st Generation 2500+

Colt 2nd Generation 1800+

Colt 3rd Generation 1100+

Some side information:

Ubertis are made on old colt manufacturing equipment. They are forged and color cased just the originals; and are almost handmade surprisingly after watching the video below... i have no idea how they can sell them for only 4 or 5 bills. It should be noted that the Ruger is Casted just like all rugers are.

 

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If you don’t reload and this is your first one I would highly suggest the Ruger New Vaquero in 38/357. If you can, handle several different barrel lengths and see which one feels the best for you.
 

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Of the two you mentioned, go for the Cimarron. For your purposes and situation, better cartridge. Made by Uberti for Cimarron. You should be happy with it. Has the Colt weaknesses - uses flat springs a lot, vs the Ruger's all coil springs.
 

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if you are not going for a historical caliber - my thoughts are just go .38/357. But boy there is nothing like shooting a replica Single action in its historical caliber of 44-40 / 45 colt. Nothing like it..

Was having a blast today with a Model 3 in 44-40.
 

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.44 Special is in a number of ways a better round for shooting than .45 Colt. And it is historically available in the SAA (though not during the old West days; introduced c.1913 in the SAA).
 

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I have two old-model Ruger Vaqueros in 44 mag, 4.75" barrels. Shooting them with 44 Special cartridges, they shoot horribly, very difficult to keep 6 rounds within a two-foot square @ 20 yards. They don't shoot any better with 44 magnum loads, and with those my hand comes up bloody. I consider them just plain JUNK.
I have two Uberti SAAs in 45 Colt, one a Uberti Cattleman and the other a Taylor Ranch Hand Deluxe. Both shoot very well, about a 2.5" group @ 25 yards at point of aim and both are beautiful guns.
 
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