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Those of us who grew up in what society calls the “Baby Boom” generation were entertained in our childhood by the best western movies and TV shows ever made. So, the old cowboy guns and gear have a near and dear place in our hearts not only because of the great old guns but memories of a much simpler time.
Duty, honor and a clear sense of right and wrong were central to these old shows. The good guys always won! Most of us who grew up in this time have a special fondness for the 1873 Colt Peacemaker and Winchester lever action rifles. In recent years our generation has embraced “Cowboy Sports” using replicas of these classic guns.
My favorite replica 1873 is made by Uberti. They are made in Italy as are many western guns imported to the US. Uberti is a
leader in the sport of Cowboy action shooting. With this custom shop Peacemaker Uberti has raised the bar for factory made single-actions.
Uberti offers the custom shop “El Patron” in 357 magnum and 45 Colt. Barrel lengths are available in 4 ¾, 5 ½ inches and the new mounted Cowboy competition CMS version with a 3 ½ inch barrel . The “El Patron is offered in stainless steel with a highly polished finish as well as the blue/color case hardened frame I chose.
With the release of the “El Patron” Cowboy action shooters have an off the shelf revolver ready for competition. Most Cowboy action shooters spend a good deal of money bringing a standard single action up to competition standards. They have the action tuned and many other improvements by the best gunsmiths specializing in cowboy guns. What makes the “El Patron” or in English “The Boss” unique is that all the enhancements shooters desire are already done by the custom shop in Italy.
When Uberti decided to create a competition single action revolver for SASS matches the best parts were chosen and sent to the Uberti custom shop where the cylinder and frame are stamped and reserved for each individual revolver. One artisan hand fits each revolver from start to finish according to Uberti. The cylinder chambers are numbered 1 thru 6. Uberti contracted with Wolff gun springs to provide springs for the trigger group, hammer spring as well as numerous other internal springs.
Patent numbers on“The Boss” are placed in the same location as the original Colts. The finish is deep blue on the barrel, grip frame and cylinder with the hammer and upper frame case hardened. Those familiar with case hardening know this is not the easiest finish to get right. Uberti obviously takes great care in finishing these pistols they are beauties!
The front sight is 1/8th inch in width.The top of the frame is notched deeper and wider to accommodate the wider front sight providing a much improved sight picture while still preserving the traditional look. The rear sight is also machined deeper in the top strap to match the front sight.
The trigger is tuned to match standards. Mine has a trigger pull of right at 2 pounds. The trigger is crisp with near non-existent take-up. The trigger is excellent and certainly contributes to small groups when the shooter does his or her part.
The grips are walnut and checkered by hand. The grip to frame fit is perfect with no unsightly gaps anywhere along the grip frame. The front of the cylinder is beveled with no sharp edges to cut your hand. The cylinder rotation is also very smooth. The timing on this revolver is also very well done.
I started at ten yards loading five rounds per cylinder for safety considerations. It’s always best to leave the chamber under the firing pin empty on those 1873′s true to the original design. Dropping a single action on the hammer can cause the firing pin to strike the primer resulting in an accidental discharge.
I used a variety of ammo brands for this test. Ammunition from Winchester, Magtech and PMC was used for this range session.The target pictured above was my first target fired slowly to establish a good reference group. Pictured are all five rounds on a Birchwood Casey 3 inch target. This first group measured 7/8th inches which is excellent by anyones standards. The sights were right on the money with no adjustments needed.
A word on ammunition. Before the advent of Cowboy action competition all the ammunition companies loaded 45 Colt fairly hot for use in the S&W model 25 revolver which is an N frame revolver that can handle higher pressure loads.When Cowboy action competition started and really took off the ammunition companies backed way off on the loads they sold for the 45 Colt chambering since the single action clones and original Colts couldn’t handle the hotter loads without the possibility of damage or a failure of the gun. These days about the only company that makes hot loads in this caliber is Cor-Bon and Buffalo Bore. Never shoot these +P loads in a replica Colt under any circumstances. These loads are made strictly for modern revolvers of a different type. When shooting your cowboy gun use only the loads made for this gun.They are designated as cowboy loads and are marked as such on the box. PMC, Winchester as well as Magtech and a few others make these reduced power loads. The Winchester loads are mild at approx. 735 FPS whereas the PMC load clocks in at 820 FPS.
The “El Patron” is a fine revolver without a doubt. I’ve spoken to many local SASS (single action shooting society) members that have switched from other brands to the Uberti.
Accuracy is better than any other single action I have experience with. There is no doubt the trigger is the best of any single action from the factory. The balance and handling is extremely good. Uberti has done an excellent job creating a revolver true to the original Colts in just about every way.
With most any handgun I find something I believe could be improved on or an outright design change. This custom shop Uberti is the exception in every way. I just couldn’t find anything about it that the custom shop at Uberti failed to address. There’snothing about “The Boss” I would change.
No matter if the “El Patron” is used for casual shooting or competition you won’t find a better “Peacemaker”! This Uberti retails for $589.00 and may be seen at http://www.uberti.com/firearms/single-action-cattleman.php