Lighter and Lighter SAA

The evenings have been starting to stretch-out as the giant glowing ball of fire has moved out from behind the pine and is now setting over the ridge in a blaze – unless it’s hiding behind the fog-bank. Enough of this, I need to get out of the house and up to the Fun Show in Auburn.

UPDATE: FunShow at the Fairgrounds off Auburn-Folsom Road was small and quiet. I wandered the tables not knowing what to do except bugged by a persistent itch for a Single Action. There were only few pistols but many more rifles in attendance. I talked with a young knife-maker with burly arms who made knives hammered out railroad-spikes and files – and also made his own denim-layered micarta scales. I bought a sharpener and next to him came across a nearly-new Aker Leather shoulder holster for a K-frame with generous wide straps and an opposite-side duplex speed-loader holder (eg: counterweight) that only needed a “chicago screw” and a belt-loop tie-down thingy. I have the 4-inch Model-10 Smith on my CCW, so this is ideal and the price was much-much less than retail, instead of, “add-a-zero” it was, “move the decimal the other way.”
And then there were rows and rows of brass-framed lever actions, with and without shiny commemorative medallions. Still not enough to get me to bite. And there were the proverbial Mosin tent-stakes arrayed on a four-table circle like a fan. And more 30-40 Krags than I had seen in a long time, many butchered and shortened with peep-sights, but one appeared to be a “real” carbine with integral front sight. And then more lever guns with prices beyond my ability or reach.
Further down was an older gent and his wife, up from Hangtown with a number of rifles and a couple pistols in a case – one being a Pietta (?) SAA .45LC with a spare .45ACP cylinder – for four bills… Hmmm…
I need to digest this overnight, or get-over the itch – or see him next Friday at the Hangtown FunShow and see if it’s still there. Anyhow I don’t know the ups and downs of the Italian SAA clones or their various breakdowns and fail-rates. Uberti and Pietta? Nod goes to Uberti, but at a FunShow you’re maybe/likely to run into even older stuff: EMF, Armi San Marco, Hammerli, or Great Western. And then there’s the distributors’ impact: Cimarron and Taylor’s reportedly are Uberti’s that are finished to a higher standard, and then there’s the Stoeger guns… Or the Beretta (Uberti), or Ruger Vaquero…

About NotClauswitz

The semi-sprawling adventures of a culturally hegemonic former flat-lander and anti-idiotarian individualist, fleeing the toxic cultural smug emitted by self-satisfied lotus-eating low-land Tesla-driving floppy-hat wearing lizadroid-Leftbat Califorganic eco-tofuistas ~

10 thoughts on “Lighter and Lighter SAA

  1. I shoot a pair of Cimarron SAA clones in .45 Colt, along with a ’92 Win clone in the same cartridge. They shoot fine, and I shoot frontier cartridge, ie black powder. It’s a hoot. The winners mostly shoot mouse fart .38 and even .32s, as light as they can get away with so t’s “pot-tink, pop-tink” then someone comes up to the line with the real thing and it’s “BOOM-CLANG!, BOOM-CLANG! and the mousefart shooters think the end has come.

    Choose your cartridge, the real speedy shooters go with the smaller calibers, the warthogs go with any caliber beginning with .4 and us soot hogs go with .4 and with The Holy Black to push out boolits. You can’t go wrong. Warning, though. For CAS it takes to revolvers, a “handgun cartridge chambered rifle and a shotgun to play CAS, NCOWS only takes one revolver I think.

    • Hi Peter, thanks for the input!! I want to play a fun game where my speed and accuracy improves, not necessarily to “win” or go fast, so I need to shoot the guns I’m familiar with and that kinda rules-out .22’s pretty much. 😉 I think my old M1909 New Service might not qualify since it’s a double-action and the cylinder rolls out the side to reload? But it is a .45LC pistol, so I need a rifle for that. I have a 12 gauge… I reload, but not for black-powder – yet. I need to go watch a match and talk to the locals!

  2. My wife likes the 44 Magnum lever when we put 44 special ammunition in it. She hates it with 44 Magnum ammunition in it. She loves everything we shoot in the 357 lever. As far as the SAA, it would be a toss up between 45 LC and 38 / 357, especially shooting cowboy loads in both. A friend of mine has a new Vaquero in 45, and with field or hunting ammunition it’s not particularly fun to shoot but not painful. Anything not a full size 44 Magnum will be fun to shoot.

    My wife is a little strange when it comes to Recoil though. As long as I work her up to have heavy stuff slowly she gets used to a lot of recoil pretty easy. When we were getting ready to go hunting in Africa I got her used to shooting my 458 Lott with light loads and then eventually with full house dangerous game ammunition. Then she shot my best friends double rifle in 470 nitro and wanted to know why we didn’t just get one of those because she had a blast. I pointed out that it cost more than both of our cars put together, and she said ok your 458 is fine.

    • Thank-YOU for all the valuable feedback! My wife hasn’t shot rifles much, still want her to shoot the AR – which will happen, but in Beginner’s pistol class she pooh-pooh’s my .38spl for the zing of the .357magnum, wile I prefer the .45ACp and .45Colt over any magnums… A friend had a big old Blackhawk .44 mag with a scope, and it was really kinda over-the-top and not really fun (for me) to shoot either.

  3. I’ve ever owned a lever action in 45 LC, but I have them in both 44 and 357. The 44 snaps pretty good With full magnum ammo. The 45lc I’ve shot were much more comfortable to shoot. My hands down favorite though it is a lever action 357. No noise, no recoil to speak of, and you can almost get 30 30 ballistics out of it using the right amunition. I’m looking at one of Rossi model 92 stainless right now, figuring that would be a nice companion piece for a new Vaquero.

    If you already have a 45 lever then the 45 Vaquero makes a huge amount of sense. I really like 38 / 357 though because that’s always been one of my favorite cartridges to reload, and it has enough power with the right loadings for anything in North America.

    No bad choices here, really.

    • I shot a friend’s IMI Timberwolf, pump-action .357/.38spl rifle – and it was sweet! It had a scope and I managed to use it, but we were only at a 50-yd indoor range. My only .45LC is a M1909 Colt. I have a couple .38 Specials and the rest are .45ACP – and a .22LR conversion for the Sig P220.
      Ideally I’d get something my wife could feel comfortable shooting also.

  4. I have had Blackhawks and a Cimmaron and a couple of assorted Italian SAA copies. Then about 15 years ago I bought of a Vaquero and love it. It’s not “correct”, and it’s a Ruger Blackhawk inside, but it runs like a top and feels great in the hand. It has become my most commonly carried Alaska bear gun, mostly because there’s nothing to break or rust. It’s an all stainless steel 44 Magnum, which they don’t make anymore, but I’ve been thinking very seriously about picking up one of the new models in 357.

    Having dumped a fair amount of money into keeping the Colt SAA clones working, and becoming good friends with my gunsmith because of it, I can really say I don’t miss that part of shooting SAA clones. I’ll stick with my Vaqueros.


    • Thanks! The New Vaquero is supposed to be the closer-copy, slightly smaller frame, with better internals. I shot a Vaquero in .357mag at the rendezvous and it’s like shooting .38.spl in a (medium/small) K-frame. Here’s where I get caught between .38/.357 and .45Colt…because lever-gun!

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