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Uberti, how good?

brummiejimbrummiejim Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭
edited January 2015 in Ask the Experts
The Uberti old west style replica revolvers sure look good. Anybody have an opinion about how good they are, i.e., how well do they function, how good is the fit and finish, are they safe to shoot with modern ammo? Any info. would be greatly appreciated. If this has been covered in earlier posts, I missed them. Thanks Jim

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    A guy I know is a top rated quick draw contestant. I think he prefers to sell worked over Pietta's than Uberti's. It could be the other way around. One of them the color case hardening washes off with solvent.

    Go to a SASS event and ask around.
    http://www.sassnet.com/
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    dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    All the parts interchange with a Colt, if that tells you anything [^]
    I've got one that Navy Arms brought in years ago, and will put it up against any other brand out there [^]
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    beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:The Uberti old west style replica revolvers sure look good. Yes they do.

    quote:Anybody have an opinion about how good they are, i.e., how well do they function, how good is the fit and finish, are they safe to shoot with modern ammo?Fit and finish are good, though there have been quite a lot of these made, with many different importers, in many different configurations, over many years. So you're going to see some variance there between individual guns. Trigger pulls are usually excellent, under 3lbs.

    As already mentioned, there are a few small differences, but these are effectively Colt clones. . .they're dimensionally the same as Colts, use Colt-spec parts, feel and function like Colts. If you want something like a Colt, but don't want to break the bank buying a real one, this is one on a short-list of options.

    On ammo, .38 special and .45LC are both 19th century blackpower era rounds. These guns are MORE than strong enough to handle either one and hold up to lots of shooting with them.

    If you're asking if these guns can handle safely .357 magnum (which, at only 80 years old, is a "newcomer" [;)]) the answer is yes, absolutely they can. The guns themselves are made from modern steel with modern manufacturing; they're rated for .357 magnum, and they're not going to "blow up" with normal .357 rounds.

    The only caveat is that this gun is a 19th century design, and at the time they were designed, there were no high-pressure smokeless powder rounds. The guns simply weren't designed to handle high pressure levels, and they aren't the strongest revolver designs out there. Knowing what I know, I'd question the durability of these guns, or indeed ANY original Colt pattern SA revolvers to handle a lot of pounding with high numbers (ie thousands) of full power .357 loads. Again, you're not going to "blow up" a gun, but if you do shoot 357s in high numbers I think you'll see faster wear and tear to the gun, eventually resulting in loose actions/timing issues, and possibly barrel/frame damage over time. . .more so than more contemporary DA .357 designs.

    If you really want to fire a lot of high-power rounds, or try to push this to max power, I'd take a look at the Rugers instead.

    FWIW, I think most of the CAS/SASS (Cowboy competition) guys like Rugers, just because they're built like tanks, but some do like Uberti and its a viable choice. Usually these guys are shooting low-power .38s.

    I wouldn't put any of the ".45LC+P" loads through one of these. Those guns run at nearly .44 magnum like pressures, and they are most definitely NOT safe for original Colt type SAA clones.

    Edit: Forgot to mention, Uberti has been in business making Cowboy-era replica guns for over 50 years. They have all modern machinery and tooling, and the company has been owned by Beretta for over 10 years. IE its not some "fly by night" company!
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    brummiejimbrummiejim Member Posts: 324 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the feed back, guys. Special thanks to beantownshootah for the analysis of "safe" ammo for one of these things. I'm seriously considering buying one and I'll post the results if I do. Thanks again ... Jim
    P.S. As you point out, this looks like an option if you can't afford a first or second generation Colt SAA (who can these days?).
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    machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    Over the last 30 years, I've purchased - and shot extensively - Colt SAA's in 44-40, 44 special (2), and 45 (2). I've also bought and shot a dozen Uberti's of which I currently shoot six, three Open Tops in .38 and 44 Colt, and three 1873's, one in 38-40 and two in 45.

    The general quality of the Cimarron and Taylor-marketed Ubertis, seems to be better than the Colts. I had problems which were warranty issues with three of the Colts, which were all purchased new. The Colt's in 45 also bulged their chambers into the locking bolt cuts - not by much, but noticeable, though not enough to give extraction problems. The dimensionally identical Uberti's have not done that, leading me to believe that the Uberti's are made of better stuff.

    The case hardening on Uberti's is very real, and quite deep. Slight frame modifications have required the use of a Dremel with a cutoff wheel, as I found out that Uberti frames will destroy new (Nicholson) files. It is worth mentioning that, regarding case colors, there are certain solvents, including compounds that are impregnated into some 'gun-wipers', that will blanch case colors very rapidly.

    It is true that the 1873/SAA design is not the beefiest out there, and that while they will hold some stiff loads (Uberti has made their 1873's in 44 Mag for a long time, the latest incarnation being called the 'Callahan'), steady use of such loads will surely accelerate wear.

    I've fired a lot of factory ammo through these revolvers, but I shoot mostly handloads. I like the Lyman manual because it has always been the most conservative, and I keep my powder charges at 10% under what Lyman lists as maximum. These are more representative of what cowboys really shot [:)], and it could be noted that the Lyman maximum for the 38-40, for example, while generating only black-powder pressures, starts putting the 40 S&W in the back seat.
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    spasmcreekspasmcreek Member Posts: 37,724 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    economical single action clones are the Arminius...well made, and many parts interchange with 1st gen colts...no collector value just OK shooters if you can find any...i have bought a bunch last few years NIB from $175 up
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