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Seeking advice on high-end SAA | USFA (USA) vs. Standard Mfg.


Wade Butcher

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Hello, everyone.

 

I'd like to add a high-end SAA to the stable, and I'm torn between a late model USFA (100% USA made) and a brand new model from Standard Manufacturing. (I'm skipping the Colts for now.) I've read that the USFA may be a little better quality, but that's arguable since Standard now employs all the old USFA CNC machines, programs, master gunsmiths, etc. Regardless, I'm willing to splurge a bit on an old stock / NIB USFA pistol, since that seems to double as an investment piece.

 

My main concern with buying the USFA is the lack of warranty. Honestly, I don't really mind paying for repairs and maintenance, but I do worry that high quality, USFA-worthy parts won't be available if/when needed.

 

Is the lack of warranty (the replacement of genuine NOS USFA parts or the same quality aftermarket) anything to worry about, or am I just being paranoid?

 

Thanks in advance for helping me make this decision.

 

 

W.B.

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It depends on what you think you will need.  USFA guns were made to the same specs as Ubertis.  My USFA pistols started out as 7 1/12 in. 45 Colts.  They are now 44-40 with 5 1/2 in. bbls.  The parts came from VTI and are blued instead of in the white like the original configuration.  The original grips were changed to 1860 Army configuration.  Those are obvious differences, although they are cosmetic and don't affect the function of the pistols.  I can return them to their original condition, if I choose.  As far as internal parts go, there shouldn't be any real difficulty getting Uberti replacement parts. 

 

Out of curiosity, which USFA model are you looking at?

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USFA made the finest quality SAA's ever with their later all USA parts revolvers.  Sadly they went out of business a few years ago and NIB ones are almost non-existent. The used ones bring premium prices because of their quality. 

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Warranty?  The USFA and Standard are both basic Colt copies.  The entire action consists of four parts, the hammer, the trigger, the bolt and the hand.  A three toed tree gorilla can fix a SAA. 

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1 hour ago, Tex Jones, SASS 2263 said:

Out of curiosity, which USFA model are you looking at?

I was thinking of one of the matte nickel Rodeo II models. (I've read they were 100% USA-made.)

 

47 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Warranty?  The USFA and Standard are both basic Colt copies.  The entire action consists of four parts, the hammer, the trigger, the bolt and the hand.  A three toed tree gorilla can fix a SAA. 

LOL That's good to know. Now I just need to worry about parts availability. :)

 

W.B.

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2 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Warranty?  The USFA and Standard are both basic Colt copies.  The entire action consists of four parts, the hammer, the trigger, the bolt and the hand.  A three toed tree gorilla can fix a SAA. 

 

But where can you find a three toed tree gorilla now days? 

:D:D

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Depends.  Yep those come in a plastic baggie.  
 

whatcher gonna do wind it???  If your going to play.CAS wit it, it’s going to need some work.  Price of the work on top of purchase price.  Becomes expensive really quick.

 

warranty is the least concern.  You can source up three of the most popular SA replicas and some springs for the same money as a single high end SA replica and the high end gun won’t be any better made in the long run.

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I've owned a bunch of USFA's and the US made ones, are absolutely the best SAA ever made, bar none!!

 

Standard Manufacturing well my mama said if you can't say something nice don't say anything!!

 Besides I'd get banned from the wire if I did.

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I would not buy a Standard if for no other reason than the name.  For $1,900.00 I want at least a Deluxe or some name that does not sound so cheap.  Heck my toilet says Standard on it.

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Don't forget the STI Texican.  The finest, tightest, single action ever made!  At least that is what their ads said.  High priced, low production and now out-of-production.  If you want the very best look for a Taurus Gaucho.

 

 

img.axd.jpeg

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14 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

If you want the very best look for a Taurus Gaucho.

Thanks for the advice, Pettifogger. I just bought a matching set of NOS Taurus Gauchos on GB, and I got them for a steal! Only $1000 for the pair! =)

 

W.B.

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14 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Don't forget the STI Texican.  The finest, tightest, single action ever made!  At least that is what their ads said.  High priced, low production and now out-of-production.  If you want the very best look for a Taurus Gaucho.

 

 

img.axd.jpeg

I think folks will take your post seriously...:mellow:

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I had a pair of USFA's 7 1/2" in .44WCF I shot SASS with for several years then my son started shoting SASS and they disappeared!  They have 9025 rounds each through them from my books, without any problems.  About the only thing to break would be the springs and they are nothing to replace. If a gunsmith can't repair a SAA if it breaks he isn't someone I want touching any firearm I own.  Between the parts out there for Colt, Uberti, and Petta you can find a part that is cloce enough to use some file work on to make work.  

 

 

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I have a USFA pre-war, two Colts and an "Old Model" Dakota (the one with the "safety" on the base pin). The USFA and the Colts are about equal in terms of quality, fit and finish etc. The Dakota was never a high-end gun but I've been shooting it for 30 years and I have to say it has been a good one. Unfortunately, I haven't encountered theStandard yet. All of mine are 5 1/2-inch barrel -- the so-called "artillery" length as that is what I've always preferred.

Having dispensed with all that, if I were getting into CAS for the first time, today, I'd still want all the guns I just listed. But I'd buy a pair of new, 5 1/2 Ruger Vaqueros. The sport is rough on guns, and they can take the roughness. It looks like I can retire in the next two years, and a pair of those may be a retirement gift to myself, as I ease my way back into CAS.

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23 hours ago, Wade Butcher said:

(I'm skipping the Colts for now.)

Just out of curiosity why are you choosing to skip Colts?  Current production 3rd Gens are very high quality, beautiful case colors, nice fit and finish.  The actions are stiff for SASS use, but all of the ones I have handled are properly timed and function properly. 

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5 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

yeah, but they're not Colt clones (which I believe the OP wanted) and who uses those for CAS?

No one I ever heard of. They are great SAs though.

Really???

 

Ever hear of the World Famous Billy Boots?

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Well, I'm very sorry (sorry to you, Billy).

I know of him but I do not know what he shoots.

I (me, myself, no one else) have never seen anyone using them. 

Now I have heard of one...

Been around a couple minutes. :blink:

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4 hours ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

I think folks will take your post seriously...:mellow:

 

I hope not.  The STI was a great gun.  The Gaucho was an interesting entry level gun but no longer made and no parts.  Sort of a Brazilian version of the Colt Cowboy.

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7 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Well, I'm very sorry (sorry to you, Billy).

I know of him but I do not know what he shoots.

I (me, myself, no one else) have never seen anyone using them. 

Been around a couple minutes. :blink:

I may have been born at night, but it wasn't last night.

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1 hour ago, July Smith said:

Just out of curiosity why are you choosing to skip Colts?  Current production 3rd Gens are very high quality, beautiful case colors, nice fit and finish.  The actions are stiff for SASS use, but all of the ones I have handled are properly timed and function properly. 

Same here.  I have an early run 2nd generation Colt SAA, and it's very nice. 

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If you are buying the firearm as an "Investment" piece - then the lack of warranty is immaterial because you don't abuse "investment" pieces by their use in cowboy action events.

If you are buying it for cowboy action - then there is truly not enough difference between a "high" end single action clone and a good quality "entry" level gun.

i.e. USFA versus a Pietta (as both will require some work to be competitive and neither is going to wear out to the point of unrepairable in our lifetimes).

Now if you just "want" it - there is nothing wrong with that - but understand blue wear and function wear will affect value and at a certain point; a used guns value becomes linked to its function - not just its branding.

 

Lastly as an investment - no matter how nice the gun or its slick marketing brochures - everything except a Colt is (just) a clone.

The number of folks interested in giving you a return on investment is much MUCH broader on a Colt than on a clone (any clone).

 

As for high end - my honest belief is the take over of Colt by CZ will produce some of the best Colts made in quite a while (in other words - I might consider waiting).

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Creeker, SASS #43022 said:

As for high end - my honest belief is the take over of Colt by CZ will produce some of the best Colts made in quite a while (in other words - I might consider waiting).

 

 

 

That's an interesting thought.

 

I purchased a new 2020 Colt Python earlier this year, and I sent it to Heffron Precision for a really good action job. (Mike Heffron has been the authority on Colt Pythons, old and new, for decades now. In fact, as I understand it after speaking with him at length, the older Colt Pythons that come back to the Colt factory for work are sent to Heffron Precisio, because no one at the Colt factory is as knowledgeable about these particular handguns as ol' Mike.) Anyway...

 

Mike has posted several places online about the proprietary new steel that Colt has been using for the past couple years on their Pythons, Anacondas, etc. (And I imagine they might use the same steel on their SAAs too.) Mike says the new steel is HARD! Like, harder than hard. Ridiculously strong. Their tolerances (again, on the new Colt Pythons, Anacondas, etc) are extremely tight, and everything works like clockwork.

 

I've heard deeply mixed reviews on 3rd Gen Colts. However, if Colt's new wonder steel has found its way into their SAAs, then I'd be very interested in giving Colt a good consideration. Until then, I'd rather stick with Standard or USFA.

 

W.B.

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I'm a big Colt fan, I've had .45's. .44-40's and now .357's. I've had one problem with a Colt in 25 years, a broken trigger return spring, the flat one, replaced it with the wire one, which all my Colts have and no problems.  MHO is buy a Colt you won't be sorry.;)

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If you want Snap- on ... don’t buy Mac , or Matco !

And no - I am not fast , or clean .  It’s said looking good is very important.........

I DON’T EVEN LOOK GOOD , but both my boomsticks say NEW HAVEN , and my six shooters say HARTFORD.

I have fun and can only get better .If you are spending two thousand dollars , why not buy the best ?

 

90D39C3A-C4AA-487B-BBB5-56C662EEB49C.jpeg

114EB6B9-E13C-4750-BEF4-A679A6268382.jpeg

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On 11/4/2021 at 1:20 PM, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

yeah, but they're not Colt clones (which I believe the OP wanted) and who uses those for CAS?

No one I ever heard of. They are great SAs though.


That's odd....   To the above, I meant to reply something like...

I use real Colts. 

But in truth, I have just as many clones as I do Colts, and enjoy shooting them all.  But what is intriguing is how many different clone makers there have been over the years, many of which are no long with us.   (Hmm...)

And one aspect of the clones that is fun to look at is the varied and different safeties that they slapped onto the gun.

And THEN I was going to say something like, here's a pic of one of my Colts, and post the pic of the gold one that's above.


Where the text of my earlier post went without taking the picture with it, I don't know.


An NOW, after reading Rainmaker's initial post again, I now seem to realize that he was saying that no one uses clones.   Not no one uses real Colts.   Either way, I know he was being not serious, but man, my response must have made no sense!

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10 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

No, what I meant was, I do not know of anyone (other than Billy Boots now) that uses a Freedom Arms for CAS.

Heck, most people use clones or Rugers. I know not all, as I ran a pair of Remingtons for a long time.

Ah, okay.

Well, no matter what, my response made no sense.  :)

I'd love to have a pair of Freedom Arms chambered for the Spencer round...

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