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Thread: Now I understand!

  1. #1
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Now I understand!

    Just picked up my first Colt SAA .45 today from a fellow forum member and all I can say is.........now I understand the hype!
    This is a 3rd Gen. NIB example and let me tell you that the fit, finish & action are superlative. I have not handled any factory Rugers that compare or even come close.
    I bought a Ruger New Vaquaero last year(supposed to be a Colt clone?). The action is like a marshmellow and feels much heavier. I was disappointed and decided to try the Colt SAA. IMO there is no comparrison at all. Apples vs. Oranges
    She is no longer NIB as I took her out for vetting today and early results are encouraging. For my tastes she handles like an extension on my arm and fits my hand perfectly. I am hooked.
    Own 3 Ruger handguns (2-SA, 1-DA) and like them a lot..................but they are not even close to the feel of the Colt. Puts my FA-93 .454 in its place.

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    Default Now for a S&W

    Now buy a S&W double action since you now understand what fit and finish are all about!

    As you say - It's apple to oranges.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  3. #3
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Already own two

    Not even close!

    One is a Lew Horton Special Edition .44 Mag and it has a fine SA trigger. It does not compare at all to the crispness of the Colt. Have owned others (Smith's, Tuarus, H&R) in the past and while they(S&W's) were very good compared to other brands, do not come close to the Colt SAA.

    Do you own a Colt SAA??????

    I didn't understand the hype before buying but now I do. Fit and Finish are WAY beyond S&W IMHO.


    Ed

  4. #4
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default A Little Harsh

    I should of been a little more clear.

    I really like S&W double actions and I'm actively looking for a couple more to fill various household needs. They rock but.......................

    Different beast altogether with the Colt SAA.

    It will not replace the S&W's in their role of self-defence, but they cannot replace the Colt for fit-finish-handling, buy-one and see for yourself

    Ed

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    Default Comparisons

    It's hard to compare a single action to a double action as to "fit" or even finish. The SAAs are a much simplier gun to fit and finish i.e. round barrel, no side plate, flat hammer, less parts, etc. The Ruger Single actions are much nicer finished and fitted than their double actions for that reason. A Colt SAA is also a fairly high priced gun - you really can' compare it to a gun that cost half as much. Putting everything aside the Colt SAAs are beautiful guns and excellent examples of workmanship.

    My comparison was really more of a S&W to a Ruger Double action - you will see a lot of the same fit and finish differences you see comparing the Colt to the Ruger SAs. Flatter surfaces, interior frame surfaces finished rather than rough castings, closer fitting frames to sideplates etc.

    Keep in mind that the Colt cost at least double what a Ruger would cost and the S&W DAs cost more than a Ruger DA.

    Since you now know what to look for and appreciate fit and finish try to find a S&W Mdl 27 or 29 from the late 50's early 60s and carefully check out the fit and finish. You will never look back at your Ruger DAs except as beater utility guns.

    Quote Originally Posted by e45colt View Post
    I should of been a little more clear.

    I really like S&W double actions and I'm actively looking for a couple more to fill various household needs. They rock but.......................

    Different beast altogether with the Colt SAA.

    It will not replace the S&W's in their role of self-defence, but they cannot replace the Colt for fit-finish-handling, buy-one and see for yourself

    Ed
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  6. #6
    Member e45colt's Avatar
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    Default Fit and finish

    1. S&W does not make a single action revolver. I carry a j-frame for EDC (and love it). It fills a different role.

    2. The fit and finish of a product (of any kind) does not depend on the type of action, but instead focuses of the quality of FIT & FINISH.

    3. Colt SAA's, 3rd generation are what my original post was about, and IMO are a clear step-up from any S&W's and several steps above Ruger either SA or DA for fit-finish.

    4. I took my first squrriel at 6 y/o, first deer at 11 y/o and have been hunting and buying guns since I can remember. I'm 43 y/o now and quite a few have passed through my hands over the years. I'm a retired Army guy and have had the priveledge of seeing some very fine arms from all over the world.

    5. AYA's, A.H. Fox's, Browning Superposed, Freedom Arms etc. are other examples of fine quality arms I have had the honor of owning. Some remain with me to this day. 3rd Gen Colt SAA's are an amazing example of quality fit & finish.

    6. I realize that I have not seen everything and I also know that S&W's early examples are highly prized by collectors. I hope to come across a worthy piece.

    Ed

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Default

    To see the biggest difference between the Colt and Ruger single action fire a few boxes of the biggest Grizzy or Buffalo Bore ammo through them both and decide which is smoother.We must remember the 3rd gen was corner cutting to 2nd gen but all good guns. Name brand mean little in the gun world and you should buy the gun not the name. Take the AYA mentioned below,yes they make some good guns but they also made the bottom basement SxS's sold by Sears and other outfits. Some AYA's are worth $300 bucks while their do indeed build some worth $10,000 bucks.Buy the gun not the name

  8. #8

    Default Again

    TVFinak says: "You will never look back at your Ruger DAs except as beater utility guns."

    Compare the newer S&Ws, even from the 70s with the older guns and you might call them 'beater utility guns."
    But then again, start shooting max safe loads through a new S&W and Ruger of the same caliber and see which one is still standing solid at the end, the S&W will go down first. I know you will argue that you were comparing old S&Ws with new Rugers as to fit and finish, but anyone on this forum who has seen your previous threads will know you jump at any opportunity to knock Rugers. I used to love Smiths until they started declining in the early 70s. They are very fine guns, but Rugers were meant to fill a role and they do it well. There is nothing "beater" about them. If you like Smiths or you like Rugers, fine. Be nice to just let it be, but you won't. Not trying to flame your obsession, but there it is.

  9. #9
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by e45colt View Post
    1. S&W does not make a single action revolver. I carry a j-frame for EDC (and love it). It fills a different role.

    2. The fit and finish of a product (of any kind) does not depend on the type of action, but instead focuses of the quality of FIT & FINISH.

    3. Colt SAA's, 3rd generation are what my original post was about, and IMO are a clear step-up from any S&W's and several steps above Ruger either SA or DA for fit-finish.

    4. I took my first squrriel at 6 y/o, first deer at 11 y/o and have been hunting and buying guns since I can remember. I'm 43 y/o now and quite a few have passed through my hands over the years. I'm a retired Army guy and have had the priveledge of seeing some very fine arms from all over the world.

    5. AYA's, A.H. Fox's, Browning Superposed, Freedom Arms etc. are other examples of fine quality arms I have had the honor of owning. Some remain with me to this day. 3rd Gen Colt SAA's are an amazing example of quality fit & finish.

    6. I realize that I have not seen everything and I also know that S&W's early examples are highly prized by collectors. I hope to come across a worthy piece.

    Ed
    e45colt........i shoot a 2nd gen colt and it is the best! the fit and finish are great, and it functions like no other. you really have to feel a colt to know the difference! my revolver shoots well, and points like radar. snap shooting is easy and arial targets possible.

    i tried to pull a picture from my "album" but can't make it work. when i figure that out i'll send it along. way to go on yours.....it's a find.

    if you want a cheap "tune".......most hammers fall too hard, so if you put a small leather washer behind the mainspring it will result in a much improved trigger pull & hammer fall. i've used that trick for many years and have NEVER had a misfire or failure of any kind.

    happy trails.
    jh

    happy trails.
    jh

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Leather washer,works every time and most high dollar custom jobs will involve one

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    Default Fit and Finish

    The newer guns of any brand aren't what they used to be as far as fit and finish go. On the positive side durability and precision of manufacturing have improved considerably from CNC machining, better materials etc.

    Ruger double actions are undeniably strong and durable but for pride of ownership from fit and finish they are lacking - and fit and finish was the theme of this thread. The orginal comparison was between a Colt SAA and a Ruger SA. My statement was that there is a similar comparison in fit and finish between S&W revolvers and Ruger DA revolvers. A comparison between the sideplate fittings and the inside surfaces of cylinder openings in the frame are good places to start. The fitting of the crane to the front of the frame is another good spot for comparison of fit and finish. In fairness the Colt SAA and S&W do cost considerably more than the Rugers and a buyer should expect better fit and finish.

    I own and shoot a number of Ruger revolvers. They do an excellent job and are a very sound value for the price. However I don't recall anyone ever bragging about how well they were finished and fitted appearance wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    TVFinak says: "You will never look back at your Ruger DAs except as beater utility guns."

    Compare the newer S&Ws, even from the 70s with the older guns and you might call them 'beater utility guns."
    But then again, start shooting max safe loads through a new S&W and Ruger of the same caliber and see which one is still standing solid at the end, the S&W will go down first. I know you will argue that you were comparing old S&Ws with new Rugers as to fit and finish, but anyone on this forum who has seen your previous threads will know you jump at any opportunity to knock Rugers. I used to love Smiths until they started declining in the early 70s. They are very fine guns, but Rugers were meant to fill a role and they do it well. There is nothing "beater" about them. If you like Smiths or you like Rugers, fine. Be nice to just let it be, but you won't. Not trying to flame your obsession, but there it is.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Default Fit and Finish

    The fit and finish indeed does not depend on the type of action - what I was pointing out is that some guns are easier to fit and finish than others. It is much easier to finely fit and finish a SAA than a S&W Mdl. 29 with its fitted side plate, the yoke, the lugged barrel etc. The barrel of a SAA is a cylinder and the grip frame to frame fits are flat surfaces - relatively eay to closely fit and finish. I learned a lot of this fixing and re-blueing guns in high school and college - before you were born.

    I've owned and tinkered with SAAs, and a lot of S&Ws and Colts plus other fine and not-so-fine guns over the years. I've learned that a gun doesn't have to be fancy to be finely made and finished and that all the fine fitting and finish isn't just on the outside. I have a Colt 1911 NM made in 1936 that is nicer finished on the inside than your SAA is on the outside. As you continue to learn more about guns you will learn to apprciate even more of the finer points of fit and finish and general workmanship. You are off to a good start with your SAA and other guns - enjoy!

    BTW- many many thanks for your service to our great country!

    Quote Originally Posted by e45colt View Post
    1. S&W does not make a single action revolver. I carry a j-frame for EDC (and love it). It fills a different role.

    2. The fit and finish of a product (of any kind) does not depend on the type of action, but instead focuses of the quality of FIT & FINISH.

    3. Colt SAA's, 3rd generation are what my original post was about, and IMO are a clear step-up from any S&W's and several steps above Ruger either SA or DA for fit-finish.

    4. I took my first squrriel at 6 y/o, first deer at 11 y/o and have been hunting and buying guns since I can remember. I'm 43 y/o now and quite a few have passed through my hands over the years. I'm a retired Army guy and have had the priveledge of seeing some very fine arms from all over the world.

    5. AYA's, A.H. Fox's, Browning Superposed, Freedom Arms etc. are other examples of fine quality arms I have had the honor of owning. Some remain with me to this day. 3rd Gen Colt SAA's are an amazing example of quality fit & finish.

    6. I realize that I have not seen everything and I also know that S&W's early examples are highly prized by collectors. I hope to come across a worthy piece.

    Ed
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  13. #13
    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    Default

    Through the years Colt has been famous for producing finely finished firearms. In the eastern "gunbelt" Colt had the knack of hiring the best gunsmiths and machinists and retaining them with the highest pay in the industry. There was a lot of pride associated with building and owning Colt firearms. Sadly all of the consumer products are phased out in favor of lucrative high volume government contracts and most of the old school Colt gunsmiths have retired or passed on. Like most manufacturers, the focus is now on lower manufacturing cost and higher volume products. Now, if you want an impeccably finished firearm, its a custom job that comes with a custom price tag. There is nothing built today in regular production to rival the old Colt Python or SAA.

    Still, there is no reason to bash Ruger. Comparing a Colt SAA from the past to today's Ruger product is to misunderstand Ruger's mission. I feel that Ruger offers the best value in modern revolvers. Ruger came into being after Colt and S&W had their heyday. Ruger offered an alternative to the DA side plate revolvers that were intricate, time consuming and expensive to build. Ruger uses modern manufacturing techniques that did not exist when Colt and S&W started building guns. Investment casting vs. forging, CNC vs. manual machine set-up, a few highly technical employees who hardly touch the product vs. hundreds of specially trained workers producing with high attention to detail. There is no comparison! Ruger offers a more rugged and more durable revolver for a few hundred dollars less than Smith & Wesson and Ruger's fit and finish is everything it needs to be. If you want to overachieve it, you can always send it out for some interior polishing, trigger work, etc. Personally, I find them very accurate and handy right out of the box.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    Default Not bashing Ruger

    Ruger's mission is like any other firearm manufacturer - to make money and stay in business. Ruger firearms offer a fine value and satisfy a large number of consumers. I hope they are making a lot of money and stay in business for a very long time.

    To a large number of consumers utility and cost is everything - most consumers just do not recognize or appreciate fit and finish and workmanship anymore. To some of us owning a finely crafted firearm is a joy and we are willing to pay for the experience. As an engineer I appreciate a smaller well designed forged and machined part that is lighter and less bulky than a cast part - but that is me. Most people do not recognize the difference and could care less - hence the sucess of Ruger.

    I own and shoot a number of Ruger firearms. If I go out in the boat I'll likely take my M77 - not my pre-64 M70 hence the term "beater gun" for the Ruger. Likewise I'll poke a Ruger .44 under the truck seat if I think it may get scratched up or stolen - the S&W stays at home. The M77 and Blackhawk are reliable and can get the job done - but I don't have the pride of ownership in the Rugers that I do in my S&W and Winchesters.

    Quote Originally Posted by WinMag_300 View Post
    Through the years Colt has been famous for producing finely finished firearms. In the eastern "gunbelt" Colt had the knack of hiring the best gunsmiths and machinists and retaining them with the highest pay in the industry. There was a lot of pride associated with building and owning Colt firearms. Sadly all of the consumer products are phased out in favor of lucrative high volume government contracts and most of the old school Colt gunsmiths have retired or passed on. Like most manufacturers, the focus is now on lower manufacturing cost and higher volume products. Now, if you want an impeccably finished firearm, its a custom job that comes with a custom price tag. There is nothing built today in regular production to rival the old Colt Python or SAA.

    Still, there is no reason to bash Ruger. Comparing a Colt SAA from the past to today's Ruger product is to misunderstand Ruger's mission. I feel that Ruger offers the best value in modern revolvers. Ruger came into being after Colt and S&W had their heyday. Ruger offered an alternative to the DA side plate revolvers that were intricate, time consuming and expensive to build. Ruger uses modern manufacturing techniques that did not exist when Colt and S&W started building guns. Investment casting vs. forging, CNC vs. manual machine set-up, a few highly technical employees who hardly touch the product vs. hundreds of specially trained workers producing with high attention to detail. There is no comparison! Ruger offers a more rugged and more durable revolver for a few hundred dollars less than Smith & Wesson and Ruger's fit and finish is everything it needs to be. If you want to overachieve it, you can always send it out for some interior polishing, trigger work, etc. Personally, I find them very accurate and handy right out of the box.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Lets not forget the short lived Colt single action built to compete with the Ruger.It still ended up costing more and was an insult to the Colt name.It basicaly compared to the worst of the imports from overseas and may have realy been built by them.The more expensive cheap Colt made the Ruger shine.

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    Member WinMag_300's Avatar
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    True, Ruger wants to make profit and stay in business. But beyond that they offer a unique product that out performs the competition in many ways. I think many consumers can appreciate fit and finish but they have to decide how much they are willing to pay for it. Besides, there's only so much room in the safe and I don't want to own two gun safes. I appreciate fit and finish but I appreciate high function even more. To that end, I own a few examples of fine craftsmanship from Colt, S&W, Winchester and Kreighoff. But I'm more of a gun user and less of a collector. As a non-collector, it becomes futile to own too many guns that I'm afraid to use hard. I know what you mean about "beater gun". We all have them and if you spend significant time in the outdoors, you need them. I keep a beater truck so I don't have to drive my new GMC in the brush. The great thing about the so-called beater guns is that they take a beating and keep on functioning they way they should. Most of us are too afraid to find out how a more expensive gun will work out as a beater.

    It is hard for me to imagine a situation where my Ruger SBH wouldn't go bang when I wanted it to. Guns like that have to be deliberately destroyed because they don't ordinarily wear out and a few scratches only lend them character. On the other hand, I have been foiled when a loose side plate screw caused FTF on a Colt DA and when a loose ejector rod locked up a S&W DA. The engineer in me understands that casting is as good as forging when done properly and I like a product that can go to hell and back then clean up and do it all over again with no side plate screws or ejector rod threads to worry about.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. - Henry David Thoreau

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    i posted a picture of my .44 ruger in my "album". the color casehardening is by tom ivanoff (did all the winchester work untill 2005) .....it is in a dandy holster by mernickle. this makes a great carry rig, and is handy when going back in for meat.

    happy trails.
    jh

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    Having a beautiful revolver would be nice but there are reasons I own Ruger's and BFR's. First, I can afford them, they are tough and they are accurate. I shot IHMSA for years and there were not many guns better. Now I hunt with them and they do what I want them to. As much as I would love to have a perfect fit and finish to sit and admire and to show off, beauty sometimes does not shoot to match the price.
    I have shot many, many $2000 guns that group worse at 25 yd's then my ruger's and BFR's group at 200 yd's.
    I can make no excuses for the guns I use because for the money, I get rifle accuracy.
    Most of you know I never shoot less then 50 yd's and shoot revolvers to 500 meters and clang steel shot after shot. I can't do it with a pretty gun!
    My friend recently bought a Ruger Hunter, I installed an Ultra Dot for deer and put a 2# creep free trigger job in it. The darn thing will hold 1/2" groups at 50 yd's with a 330 gr cast boolit.
    To me, that is beauty!
    I would love to have Colts and Freedoms but they would not be my working guns, in fact I might never shoot them. But on a fixed income, I can't afford them.
    There are two guns I have always yearned to own, the Colt SAA and the 1911, no two finer feeling guns ever made, but alas, I need working guns first. I had to sell 4 guns to get my BFR's, it hurts but I will never look back.
    Enjoy your Colt, I envey you!

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    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    i use all my guns for shooting........no safe queens for me! most of them have honest work marks (holster-scabbard wear) and those marks bring back memories of the hunt. i will admit they generally don't go under the seat of my pick-up, but they do get hard use.

    price and function don't have to go together...savage makes a great (and accurate) rifle. personally though, i like the winchesters with controlled round feed. a great rifle for a medium price is the kimber montana, it would be very hard to compete with all the custom features. sort of like a custom rifle on the cheap.

    happy trails.
    jh

  20. #20
    Member pinehavensredrocket's Avatar
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    this is a .44 ruger flattop. good shooter and a pleasure to carry.

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