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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


I recently picked up an Uberti 1873 Cattleman in 45Colt along with a 22LR drop-in conversion kit. Honestly, I wasn't planning on buying any new firearms for a while but the 2014 prices were too good to pass up. Originally I wanted the El Patron which was $15 cheaper (not a typo!) but I sat on the fence too long (about 6mts too long) and someone beat me to it by a day! Mea culpa!

Here's my take on the Cattleman so far.

The Pros
After opening the box and removing it from the plastic bag, it sure is a sight to behold. That colourful, mottled patina of the case hardened frame and the rich charcoal blue of the barrel, grip frame, trigger and cylinder just jumps out at you. It's just beautiful.

The Uberti Cattleman are well-built for the most part. I mean, they just feel solid in your hands and nothing rattles around. The grips are a little on the wider side and smooth compared to the slimmer, checkered El Patron grips. I have slimmer, medium sized hands and I don't mind the size of the stock grips. I just figured the checkered grips would be nice and offer better grip and I have no clue on where to purchase the El Patron grips.

Seeing that it's a Colt clone, I'm assuming that any Colt grips should technically fit? Hogue doesn't make grips for Uberti/Taylor/Pietta. Anyhow, I digress...

Cocking the 4-stage hammer sounded cool. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK... or C-O-L-T. As cool as it sounded, it was a little on the gritty side but not terrible. The cylinder timing on my gun is bang on as the locking notches on the cylinder lined up perfectly with the locking lug. The trigger had a very tiny amount of creep but broke pretty crisp at 3.5lbs with THE tiniest amount of grit. It felt more like 5lbs but the trigger scale insisted it was 3.5lbs.



The Cons
If one was to nit-pick, here are the things that might bother some folks. I wasn't expecting a $600. gun to be anywhere like a $1500 Colt original but I figured I should mention them.

The frame has some sharp edges to it. You won't normally notice it with the cylinder in place but if you rub your finger around the cylinder opening on the frame, it almost feels like a knife edge.

Working the ejector rod was not smooth out of the box. It would hang up consistently in either direction. I thought I noticed slight rusting in the ejector rod housing but that was just discolouration. The edge of the barrel, the cylinder and ejector rod holes were all sharp with light burrs on the latter. I discovered the burr on the frame too late and I'd already scraped the charcoal bluing off one side of the ejector rod. Not a biggie since it would eventually wear down on its own and not like it's noticeable.



Next is the finish. As gorgeous as that charcoal blue looks, I've read that it is not very durable and prone to wear, not to mention, it's only temporary as the heat from shooting will eventually darken it. That said, out of the box, there were some scuffs around the cylinder face and side and some minor ones around the barrel as highlighted in the pics. Again, not a deal breaker for me but I know some folks are picky about these things.







I'm not a big fan of the rounded trigger. It just doesn't "feel" right to me. I guess having shot my Ruger New Vaquero for the last 3yrs has me conditioned to a slightly wider, flatter trigger.

The hammer style is one with the high spur and if you have somewhat medium sized hands, I find it difficult to side thumb cock the hammer if shooting one handed. I may order a shorter hammer like the ones on the El Patron Competition model which is like a Montado or Super Blackhawk hammer.

Not so drop-in 45LC to 22LR Conversion kit

Well, it turns out that my drop-in 22LR conversion isn't really a drop-in. Heck, I didn't know they even made 22LR conversion kits until I happened to stumble on it by accident on Wolverine's site. The only two mini-reviews I found on Google claimed they worked fine and were true drop-in and shoot. Well, not so much drop-in for me. The cylinder was a snug fit to get into my frame and was stiff to begin with but cycled okay after that. My hammer can go to the quarter cock and half-cock fine but it will not go to full-cock and engage the sear ie, the hammer will not stay fully cocked and will drop back to half-cock.

I'm not that adept at SAA pistols to diagnose the problem but from the very little I can find, I think the cylinder locking lug is not being depressed enough to allow the sear to be engaged? Just my wild guess.

When I removed the cylinder, I noticed some wear on the bluing on the back of it and I realized that the gunsmith who worked on the frame did an ever so slightly uneven grinding on the front right side of the recoil shield by the loading gate. I could file down the high spot but doing so, I'll end up removing the finish. GRRRRR!!

Well, the conversion kit is officially no longer new so I can't return it. I'll see if I can get it going, else it may end up flipping it or it'll end up at the back of the gun cabinet.

Conclusion
The Uberti Cattleman seems like a good pistol for someone looking to get that nostalgic feel of the old cowboy era without breaking the wallet. Unlike the Ruger New Vaquero, the Cattleman SAA replica is closer to that of the real Colt. However, there are a few Cattleman models that incorporate the safety transfer bar like the modern Vaquero. Nothing takes you back to the old spaghetti westerns than the distinct four clicks of a Colt 1873 hammer being cocked.

Having spent the last couple of nights playing with the pistol, the grittyness of the hammer and trigger has diminished a bit. I've carefully dehorned the sharp edges/burr from the cylinder and ejection rod holes on the frame. The ejector rod now no longer gets hung up when worked, if anything it's partially the spring that's causing some very minor binding.

The rich charcoal blue and case hardened frame finish are gorgeous except for the odd blemish that makes for a bit of an eyesore for anyone looking for perfection. The blemishes doesn't really bother me because I know I'll probably impart my own after a few range visits. If blemishes do bug you, I'd suggest looking at the Stainless Steel model or the regular non-charcoal blued ones. It's a shame that the frame was not fully dehorned before the case hardened finish was applied. Keep in mind that this is a $600 pistol and not a $1500. original Colt. I guess that's one way how they keep their costs down. I wonder if the El Patron series or Piettas are fully dehorned...

I've been told on another forum that their regular blued finished Uberti was flawless and the trigger was crisp with no grit out of the box. Maybe I got a lemon that was assembled at 4:59pm on a Friday.

I have a Wolff reduced power spring kit and the slightly wider target trigger ordered. I'll also do some polishing and dehorning of some parts when I open her up and I'll post my findings when I do.

Found out the local Cabelas store carries the El Patron in 45Colt for $40. more than what I paid for the Cattleman. FFS! In the 6mts I've been procrastinating, I thought I'd done all my homework... guess not. BUT at least now I've got another new project gun and she ain't gonna be a safe queen. :)
 

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Thank you for the interesting and thorough review. Not quite apples to apples, but close, Mike Beliveau on YouTube (Duelist1954) has some excellent videos on what he does to new Uberti and Pietta cap and ball revolvers to slick them up. His procedures would work fine on your SAA clone.
 

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That's a good looking revolver. Personally I think Uberti-made SA's are great guns for the money. The Colt's tend to have nicer case hardening and fit/finish but I think the Uberti's have better cylinder lock up than the Colt's ever did.
 

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I had to read your post a couple times and I'm lost. I can see swapping out the cyl. with the 22lr but what about the bore of the barrel. Do you have to screw a different 22lr barrel to the frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the interesting and thorough review. Not quite apples to apples, but close, Mike Beliveau on YouTube (Duelist1954) has some excellent videos on what he does to new Uberti and Pietta cap and ball revolvers to slick them up. His procedures would work fine on your SAA clone.
No probs. Thanks for the tip. I'll go look him up on YouTube. :)


I had to read your post a couple times and I'm lost. I can see swapping out the cyl. with the 22lr but what about the bore of the barrel. Do you have to screw a different 22lr barrel to the frame?
Yeah, I had zero idea they even existed until I accidentally stumbled onto it when I was doing my online purchase.

Basically it comes with a 22LR barrel sleeve that you insert from the front of your barrel and attach a special nut with a 22LR rear sight notch on it at the breech end of the barrel. The front of the sleeve is in the shape of a hex nut that you snug down with an included wrench. Then you install the 22LR cylinder to start shooting 22s. The downside is that the holes of the 22 cylinder does not align with the ejection rod so you need to use an included rod to push the spent cases out.

The barrel sleeve has two rubber o-rings on both ends to prevent any damage to your barrel's rifling.

Figured I'd buy it for sh!tz & giggles but it's a paper weight to me for now.

I'm looking at picking up a 45ACP cylinder for it. :)
 

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Sorry the drop in .22 LR conversion didn't work out. Nice looking revolver though. Uberti is currently the only company that makes a BirdsHead .357/.38 Special!!! Cannot figure Ruger out on this one!! My take on the Italian made Colt SAA 1873 Clones very good quailty very nice looking. I have the Pietta 1873 Colt SAA in .22LR/.22 Mag 10 shot! I really like this gun and I would easily buy another Pietta or Uberti great product!!!:D;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Sorry the drop in .22 LR conversion didn't work out. Nice looking revolver though. Uberti is currently the only company that makes a BirdsHead .357/.38 Special!!! Cannot figure Ruger out on this one!! My take on the Italian made Colt SAA 1873 Clones very good quailty very nice looking. I have the Pietta 1873 Colt SAA in .22LR/.22 Mag 10 shot! I really like this gun and I would easily buy another Pietta or Uberti great product!!!:D;)
Ya, kinda kicking myself on that 22 conversion kit. I could have put that money towards a used Ruger single six or dedicated Uberti/Pietta 22 shooter. It was an impulse buy that set me back $170. I've got a buddy who has a couple of Pietta 45Colt so I'll bring along that 22LR kit to see if it works on his pistolas.

Mmmmm, Birdshead.... what's not to love? I'd love to own one as well.
 

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Awesome review buddy, I like the uberti as well. I had one cosmetic issue with the grip on my cimmarron man with no name 45lc, but to most its unnoticeable. I do like the distinct 4 click of the action, something you don't hear everyday, in my eyes as distiguishable as the sound of a pump shotgun being shucked. Enjoy that wheel gun.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome review buddy, I like the uberti as well. I had one cosmetic issue with the grip on my cimmarron man with no name 45lc, but to most its unnoticeable. I do like the distinct 4 click of the action, something you don't hear everyday, in my eyes as distiguishable as the sound of a pump shotgun being shucked. Enjoy that wheel gun.;)
Thanks bud. Yeah, that Pietta Man With No Name or the Holy Smoker (3:10 to Yuma) were my next options. Those grips looked cool and nostalgic.
 

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Thanks bud. Yeah, that Pietta Man With No Name or the Holy Smoker (3:10 to Yuma) were my next options. Those grips looked cool and nostalgic.
Yeah the holy smoker was cool, but I was torn between Clint's wheel gun of choice, or Wyatt Earp's Buntline. The man with no name won,(me being a die hard eastwood fan) however I still plan to snag a buntline, as seen in the movie tombstone.
Not to steel your thunder, but i had to post my cimmarron. :D

 

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I've got 2 of the Cimarron/Uberti revolvers, both birdsheads. A .38 Lightning and a .44 spl Thunderer.

They are fine guns, well-made and very accurate. About 3 lb trigger pull on both of them right out of the box. I've had no complaints, other than you actually have to read the directions on the Lightning before putting the cylinder pin back in place after cleaning.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah the holy smoker was cool, but I was torn between Clint's wheel gun of choice, or Wyatt Earp's Buntline. The man with no name won,(me being a die hard eastwood fan) however I still plan to snag a buntline, as seen in the movie tombstone.
Not to steel your thunder, but i had to post my cimmarron. :D

That's the one. Looks awesome. Clint Eastwood always wins when it comes down to a draw. :)

I've got 2 of the Cimarron/Uberti revolvers, both birdsheads. A .38 Lightning and a .44 spl Thunderer.

They are fine guns, well-made and very accurate. About 3 lb trigger pull on both of them right out of the box. I've had no complaints, other than you actually have to read the directions on the Lightning before putting the cylinder pin back in place after cleaning.

Those birdsheads look awesome. I see one has the more original cylinder takedown lock. We can't get those short barreled ones up in my neck of the woods unless we've got an old grandfathered prohibited lic because our Gov't thinks a 3.9" barrel gun is more dangerous than a 4.1" one. GRRR!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just thought I'd toss this out there...

Uberti discontinued selling the 45ACP cylinder under the Uberti name. Turns out the parent company Taylor's & Co still carries it and the cheapest of all the places I've checked.

I've ordered a 45ACP cylinder (part #U0402005) and a cylinder bushing (part #U0400187) for my Cattleman. From what I've read, there's only a little bit of fitting required to get that 45ACP cylinder working. I've also found an ebay seller that sells the "Man With No Name" snake inlay so I ordered an unfinished wood grip (part #U0000011G) and I'll make my own. :)

I'll post an update once I get the parts. Fingers crossed they have the parts in stock.
 

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Just thought I'd toss this out there...

Uberti discontinued selling the 45ACP cylinder under the Uberti name. Turns out the parent company Taylor's & Co still carries it and the cheapest of all the places I've checked.

I've ordered a 45ACP cylinder (part #U0402005) and a cylinder bushing (part #U0400187) for my Cattleman. From what I've read, there's only a little bit of fitting required to get that 45ACP cylinder working. I've also found an ebay seller that sells the "Man With No Name" snake inlay so I ordered an unfinished wood grip (part #U0000011G) and I'll make my own. :)

I'll post an update once I get the parts. Fingers crossed they have the parts in stock.
I am gonna have to look up the 45acp cylinder, see if it will work with mine. Gotta link? Couldn't settle without a set of man with no name grips aye?:D
 

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Beautiful pistol. I have one with the same finish, and you are correct that it's not very durable. Pretty, though. I sent mine to Oglesby and Oglesby for an action job, and it came back feeling like oiled ice. I recommend them highly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am gonna have to look up the 45acp cylinder, see if it will work with mine. Gotta link? Couldn't settle without a set of man with no name grips aye?:D
Buddy, I shouldn't have watched your pic. Got to get my Clint Eastwood on! lol




Beautiful pistol. I have one with the same finish, and you are correct that it's not very durable. Pretty, though. I sent mine to Oglesby and Oglesby for an action job, and it came back feeling like oiled ice. I recommend them highly.
Damn! Well hopefully my parts come in this week and I can get working on her. I'd send it out but I'm in Canada and the US ITAR don't make it easy for sending guns down south of the boarder, not to mention getting 'em back north of the border with out a stack of paperwork from both Gov't. Ughhh!
 

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Buddy, I shouldn't have watched your pic. Got to get my Clint Eastwood on! lol






Damn! Well hopefully my parts come in this week and I can get working on her. I'd send it out but I'm in Canada and the US ITAR don't make it easy for sending guns down south of the boarder, not to mention getting 'em back north of the border with out a stack of paperwork from both Gov't. Ughhh!

Those are purdy, once again I am a good influence twisting arms again.:D
 

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Does yours include the OWA inspection markings?

I have the 7.5" barrel version and love it. I've only had one difficulty... A broken firing pin and that was an easy fix... Brownells sells them cheap and ships fast. (I'm a fan a Brownells since I'm from Iowa)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You mean like the photo below? Not on mine.



Got my inlays from ebay. They're not exactly like the Pietta ones but close enough.

 
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