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Which Company Manufactured The Best Replica Gun Ever Made?

Was it Eberti or some other company?

Tags: collect, figurines, poster

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Howdy Robert!!

When you say (replica), I assume you mean a replica of the Colt 1873 single action army revolver commonly referred to as the Peacemaker. Well, here goes!! The closest replica to this gun was made by a now defunct company called Great Western, back in the 1950's. Not to be confused with the foreign owned company of the same name today. This came about because Colt stopped production of the Peacemaker in 1941, due to WWII and the demand for .45 autos. By the time the war ended, Colt Peacemakers were getting a little scarce. Colt only manufactured about 300.000 of them between 1873-1941. This American owned company put their revolver into production around 1950. These guns were so close to the Colt, you could actually interchange parts. If you've ever watched The Shootist,(John Wayne's last movie), the guns he used in this film were presented to him by Great Western in the early 50's because he was a spokesperson for them. He achieved the antiqued ivory look by soaking the ivory grips in cups of tea. These 2 guns WERE on display at the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma, but I think they have been returned to the Wayne family and sold. The gun that you saw hanging on the peg, with the stag grips in the Arvo Ojala holster, at the end of every Gunsmoke episode was also a Great Western. I understand it is now in a private collection. When Colt put the Peacemaker back into production in 1956, Great Western folded it's tents and went out of business. These Great Western guns are somewhat of an antique now and have some value as such. On the down side, there were some production problems. I remember reading about a Great Western that had the chambers in the cylinders bored directly under the flutes in the cylinder instead of between them. This means if the gun were ever fired, it would explode due to the lack of metal between the cartridge and the outside of the cylinder, so if you ever lay your hands on one, be sure to check this out before firing!! Other that this particular gun, I know of no other that you could actually interchange parts with the Colt!!
More recently, American Western Arms produced two clones of the Colt SAA. They quit production after Colt sued them. I have been told that the parts are interchangeable with genuine Colts, and even though I do own an AWA Longhorn, I have never tried this. The action on the AWA is one of the smoothest you will find on a regular production gun.
check out USFA made in Hartford,CT

When Colt 'reissued' some of their percussion revolvers, back in the '70s & '80s, Colt didn't actually manufacture the weapons.  They bought parts 'in the white'--unfinished--from the Aldo Uberti firm in Val Trompia in Italy, brought them to the US, & finished & assembled them over here.  I'd guess you'd have to say, considering Colt sold those guns under the Colt trademark & was very quiet for a long time about where they were actually manufactured, that Uberti makes the best replicas.


Ruger did not make 'replicas' of the Colt SAA.  It made 'look-alikes.'  A Ruger is entirely different from a Colt inside the grips.  Colt used--& uses--flat springs.  Ruger uses coil springs.  The late Bob Bowman, who was probably the best of the 'fast-draw' showmen of the 1950s  & '60s, used Rugers.  He was also a custom gunsmith.  He altered his Rugers to look exactly like Colt SAAs.  When he told Bill Ruger he was using one of his products, Ruger didn't believe it.  Bob had to take the grips off one of his sixshooters & show Ruger the coil spring driving the hammer before he'd believe they came from his factory.

Howdy Charley!!

Yep, the Ruger has a better and more durable spring action than the ole Colt. Thankfully, they're are now many gunsmiths that will install the Ruger coil springs in a Colt for you, if you like. The Ruger Vaquero is a little heavier and not as well balanced as the Colt Single Action Army, but if you're a handloader, it's a stronger and more durable frame. The Vaquero will also allow you to load and unload by simply opening the loading gate, whereas the ole Colt requires that you pull the hammer back to half cock and open the loading gate before loading or unloading. The ole Colt Single Action or(Peacemaker) is no longer manufactured on an assembly line in mass, but are now turned out by the Colt custom shop. Since Colt sold out to a consortium of bankers, the Colt Peacemaker is now designated a CLASSIC FIREARM and is now priced about 3 times the cost of a Ruger Vaquero and this doesn't include any extras like pearl or ivory or even wood handles. It still comes with plastic grips and standard case hardened frame, midnight blue barrel and cylinder. Everyone has their own opinion and tastes, but to me, a Colt Single Army with one piece ivory grips(no screw through the grips) is hard to beat!!

Mine was made in 1906.  Some idiot had it converted to .357 by Christy sometime in the '50s, so I had to re-convert it.  It's now a 7½" .45 Colt with original gutta-percha grips.  Bought it for $75 in '71. 


Missed a jewel much earlier & have been kicking myself for it ever since.  When I was in the army I was stationed at FT Knox.  In a pawnshop in Lexington, KY, I spotted a factory-nickel 5½" New Service with RCMP engraved on the backstrap.  It was .455 Eley.  The price was $65.  It would bring a small fortune from a collector these days.


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