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44-40 vs. 45 & Custom Shop SAA Choices

1988z011988z01 Member Posts: 602 ✭✭✭✭
Hello Folks:

I had a 3rd Generation 4 3/4 blue SAA in 45, but never really got to shoot it enough to know if I liked the caliber. I was offered more than I paid for it and let it go like a fool last year.

Now I have an opportunity to order one from the Colt Custom Shop, and I'm like a kid at a toy store having to narrow my choices down. This gun is to be a keeper to be enjoyed and handed down. I plan to shoot it, and possibly get into some SASS competitions. I'm also an old reloader. I want a 4 3/4 nickel gun with the Fire Blue Package, but here's whrere I'm stuck:

[?]44/40 or 45 Colt (accuracy, power, value?)- HELP!!
[?]Buffalo grips vs Eagles - REALLY Worth it?? - I don't want to end up with a brown set
[?]2 line or 1 line address @ $0 - What's the REAL difference?
[?]Bulls Eye Ejector Head vs Standard - Preferences??
[?]Model "P" Single Action Tune - Worth it??

Please excuse my ignorance on much of this as I am still relatively new to the SAA. I just want to make informed choices. I welcome ANY information you can provide as far as PROS and CONS with the information I have provided.

I'm going to go with the "votes" here as I've been struggling for days.

Thank you in advance


  • Layne12gunLayne12gun Member Posts: 178 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well That is a lot to think about but here is my 2 cents.

    If you are a reloader and going to shoot conventional powder then the .45LC is what you want .. Black powder shooter Id go with the 44-40 the original black powder cartridge.

    Buf grips Vs Eagle are strickly up to the individual.. Both work and look auth. If you like the old west grips and not original Colt, I prefer Stag or a horn grip material..

    If the gun is going to be a shooter and not a collector then any address format is fine. Collector I'd get one line.

    An action job is ALWAYS worth the money if you are going to be a serious competitor. You will need two guns with actions cut alike and to shoot CB action, don't forget you will need a shotgun and rifle.

    Hope this helps.
  • eastbankeastbank Member Posts: 4,215
    edited November -1
    i like the 44-40, but shoot it mostly in old winchesters with 8-10grs uqu. and 200 cast bullets. once you get the hang of it you will not lose any more cases loading the 44-40 than the 45 colt. if its black powder the 44-40 tapered case seals the chamber better,keeping black powder fouling out of the action better. the 44-40 cylinder throuts must be larger than the bore for accurrcy. eastbank.
  • tomh.tomh. Member Posts: 3,812 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Congratulations on your purchase. I'm sure you'll like it either way. You know what they say about opinions. But you asked, so here's mine!

    I'm a fan of 45 Colt but you can't go wrong with either of these choices. Since you relaod, you can make either cartridge do whatever you want.

    My preference on a shooter is a checkered grip. I like the feel of the Eagles. They're not as pretty as some other materials, but they're not bad looking while still functional.

    Regarding the address and ejector head: Look at some photos of first generation SAA's. I think the beveled cylinder is a nice detail. Peacemaker Specialists used to rework modern SAAs to 1880's specs. Beveled cylinder, different rollmarks, etc.
    You may want to consider something like that if the Custom Shop has such a package.

    From the Peacemaker Specialists website:
    Gives your modern Colt that vintage 1880's look, choose any or all options:
    1.Remark Barrel, 45 Colt, etc...$150.00
    2.Remark 2 line address (4_"barrels only)...$150.00
    3.Reflute Cylinder...$150.00
    4.Bevel Cylinder...$150.00
    5.Recontour Front Sight (not advised with short sights)...$100.00
    6.Bevel Ejector Tube End...$40.00
    7.Bevel Heel and Toe of Grip Frame...$100.00
    8.Checker Hammer Spur like 1880's w/Border...$125.00
    9.Color Case Hammer or Frame...$125.00 or $350.00
    10.Rust Blue Revolver...$350.00

    As long as its correctly done, a smooth action always makes a revolver more enjoyable.

    Hope I didn't just make it worse! [;)]
  • machine gun moranmachine gun moran Member Posts: 5,198
    edited November -1
    I'd go with a 45 Colt. I shoot that and the 38-40, and I went with the 38-40 over the 44-40 because new 38-40's use a .400 groove and compatible throats. 44-40's often come with 429 or 430 grooves (made on standard 44 Mag rifling equipment), not the best thing to use with bullets (or chamber throats) made to 426-427.
  • v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I like shooting the 44-40 over 45 because of much easier loading and ejection of the necked down cases.
    The 44-40 can be loaded pretty hot to be flatter shooting than the 45.
    Also, a 44 Spl cylinder should be fitted for a real performing gun.
    Handloading the 44Spl is fastest of all in carbide dies.
    Get a .429 barrel.
    Ivory grips having a longhorn cattle head as a palm swell on the right grip would be my first choice followed by plain one piece ivories followed by one piece Redwood.
  • andrewsw16andrewsw16 Member Posts: 10,728 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It looks like your best bet would be to get your guns in .45 Colt.

    If you plan to get into CFDA (Cowboy Fast Draw Association) their competitions are restricted to that cartridge. It's a good cartridge that will serve well for just about all uses. [:)]
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