Selecting a Single Action Revolver

The second handgun I ever purchased – and the most accurate I’ve ever owned – was a replica single action revolver made in Italy. It was chambered in .45 Colt and a blast to shoot. There are many varieties of single action revolvers available now, and many are made by the Italian manufacturer Uberti.

While at the IWA trade show, I tried to give a brief rundown of the major difference between many revolvers that you might see in a case at your local gun store. Also, I had a chance to examine some of the minor differences in hammer shape offered by Uberti. These revolvers are very popular in Single Action Shooting Society events, but even if you’re not interested in organized competition, they’re aesthetically pleasing and fun to shoot.

Selecting a Single Action Revolver


Andrew Tuohy

Andrew Tuohy was a Navy Corpsman with the 5th Marine Regiment. He makes a living by producing written and visual content within the firearm industry, and he also teaches carbine courses. He prefers elegant weapons for a more civilized age, and regularly posts at Vuurwapen Blog.


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  • Mr. Fahrenheit

    Load one, skip one, load four, return the hammer. In my opinion, there are few experiences beat the feeling of a single action.

  • SpudGun

    You can’t go wrong with a decent single action wheelgun, one of the first handguns I ever shot was a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. In this age of double stack plasticool goodness, it’s easy to forget just how much fun these revolvers are.

    The Pinkerton revolver looks fantastic.

  • Chris

    This video was awesome. I’m on the Uberti sight right now!

  • F Dog

    Those are some very nice looking guns, I like they way they are critiqued from the point of view of someone on horseback 🙂 brings to mind spaghetti westerns for more than one reason

  • My second gun was also a Single action, a Ruger Vaquero in stainless firing 38/357. I enjoy it immensely and usually spend twice the range time with it than any other fire are I own (and that is not just because it takes longer to reload).

    When I was shopping for a single action I went with the Ruger for a couple of reasons, First was that they used the transfer bar design, and second was that all of the SASS guys I talked to said that the Ubertis were good, but the Rugers were better and needed less mods for competition. I wasn’t looking to compete at that point, but I figured I might as well take their suggestion in case I changed my mind later.

    I have since fired some of the Uberti Singles and I have to say they are nice guns, but I still prefer my Ruger, but that may be because it is stainless and heavier than the Ubertis were so it just felt more steady in my hand.

    All and all single action shooting is a blast and I recommend it to anyone who likes to shoot handguns.

  • JM

    I have an Uberti, and I love it.

  • I don’t like all these videos. Text and pictures is how I prefer to read content, I seldom watch the videos.

  • AK-Adventurer

    Nice.

    Even with all the new plastic guns, and DA options, the good ole SA is still a fine choice!

    My current CCW/hunting side arm/all around firearm is a SA revolver, the stampede sheriff by Berretta. (.45LC, 3.5” barrel, “safe to load all 6” transfer bar action.) i can empty it into a human size target at gun fight range and farther, faster and in most cases more accuratelly, than guys firing DA “modern” revolvers… Something that most will tell you is not possible.
    The SA revolver is THE culmination of all that is necissary in a handgun to me.

    But, I am biased by being an American west, western, and cowboy lore nut. 😉

  • fw226

    I like both videos and text. I’ve enjoyed the recent videos of Andrew, and particularly the factories.

    Not everything lends itself to a video, but I think videos like this one add something to the experience. I suppose there’s the option to write a transcript of the video and post pictures so that someone who doesnt want to watch the video can still get the does of tfb.

    My only issue with some of the pictures is that they don’t always link through on click to the full picture, which makes them totally unviewable on a phone.

  • For single actions, stay with Colt, Ruger, or USFA.

    If you go for an Uberti, get one directly from a Cowboy gunsmith, I know too many people who have had problems with Uberti revolvers right out of the box, myself included.

    There might be good ones right out of the box, but the odds are totally against you.

  • Oswald Bastable

    My four have all been fine.

  • Laftrick

    For the money, USFA. Better fit than current colt

  • loved the comments. had 357 and a 44 blackhawk years ago when I rode horses. Kids grew up, sold guns and horses and now I am back in them again. bought the raging judge for protection and a little hunting. but now I am looking at getting into the the mounted shooting. So I am back looking at the various options. I am thinking of the 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 barrell. seems to hold thre pattern a little tighter and the outside of your range but not to muvh sacrifice at close range. Grips, hammer styles. need to feel a few before i put down the bucks for a matching set. Love any advice