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Relive Old West Gunplay and Period Dress, with Your Own Cowboy Alias

Colt SAA and Other Six-Gun Replicas Used in Cowboy Action Shooting

The wholesome family sport of cowboy action shooting (CAS) has got its members wearing period costumes, and shooting at metal targets using original six-guns of the period or replicas. CAS has not only introduced the Cowboy Culture to all its members, it also revived the love and respect for the Colt SAA and other period six-shooters.

While there are many 19th century cowboy revolvers in the hands of collectors, those that are available for sale come with exorbitant price tags. This prompted gun manufacturers to come up with replicas, many of them having  the looks and feel of the original firearm. Italian brands like Armi San Marco and Uberti are retailed by Cimarron and other firearms importers.

colt saa


No other Western revolver gained more recognition than Colt’s Single Action Army revolver,  more popularly known as The Peacemaker. While every gun aficionado would like to be packing one, not every one would want to be shooting with identical-looking guns in a competition.

Here are various six-gun replicas, including a Colt SAA, that embody the Wild West spirit and are an outstanding favorite in cowboy action shooting events.


Colt Single Action Army Revolver (Colt SAA)


colt saa p1870


Manufactured by Colt in 1873, the Single Action Army Revolver is generally known as The Peacemaker. Its availability, durability, and inexpensive price gave it a wide advantage over its competitors. The first generation Colts sold for only $16.50 in those days. The .45 Long Colt was the most popular of the 36 assortment of calibers available.

When the production of the Single Action Army was stopped in 1941, the demand was so great that Colt had to re-manufacture it in 1957. Today’s third generation Colt SAA retails for about $1,700, which make many consumers look to lower-priced ($350 to $600) alternatives in the replica market.


Cimarron Bisley


Cimarron Bisley Single Action Revolver

The 1895 Bisley Target Model was highly popular for its accuracy. However, one will need to fire it on the range to fully understand and appreciate its unconventional grip design. An exact replica of this classic single action firearm is manufactured by Cimarron Firearms, as well as other brands. The Cimarron Bisley comes in standard blue finish Single and is available in different calibers and barrel lengths.


Ruger Vaquero


colt saa clone

The Ruger Vaquero, manufactured in 1993 by Sturm Ruger, is based on the 1973 Ruger Blackhawk .357 magnum. Still, Colt’s Single Action Army influence can be seen in its design. While it relies heavily on the classic SAA look and feel, the Ruger Vaquero packs quite a punch by today’s standards. This new single-action six-shooter comes in blued steel in gleaming stainless finish, much like the Old West pistols with nickel-plated finish.


Uberti 1873 Cattleman El Patrón Revolver


Uberti El Patrón revolver

The Vaqueros of the Old West referred to this classic revolver as El Patrón or “The Boss”. Its features were originally based on Colt’s classic Single Action Army Revolver. The 1873 Cattleman single-action shooter was designed for smoother operation as well as light, fast, and easy handling. No wonder the gunslingers in those days relied so much on it. Uberti’s hand-tuned edition of the Cattleman comes with a slew of features and functionalities that work great for cowboy action shooting and mounted shooting competitions.


Cimarron Model P Old Model


The Cimarron Single Action Model P is inspired by the Model ‘P’ Old Model revolver’s design which, in turn, was based the 1873 Colt Peacemaker. Although it was manufactured for the U.S. Cavalry, it soon became the precursor of the classic Wild West six-gun.

The Model P outsold other revolvers of its kind because it is very powerful, durable, and well-balanced. Cimarron made a lot of impressive improvements on its new version by eliminating all the imperfections of the original gun. Cimarron’s replica of the 1873 Colt Single Action Army Revolver is considered as the most accurate and of outstanding quality.


Taylor’s & Co. 1875 Army Outlaw Revolver


The Taylor’s & Co. 1875 Army Outlaw Revolver’s design is based on the classic Remington 1875 Single Action. This Colt SAA knockoff as well as other counterparts has been accurately cloned by Uberti and retailed by Taylor’s & Co. The 1875 Army Outlaw Revolver is available in 5-1/2-inch and 7-1/2-inch barrel lengths.





  1. I am just getting into SAA revolvers and trying to decide which one to choose. There are so many choices!!

    I love the Classic SAA revolvers, but just don’t know which manufacturer to go with.

    Any thoughts?

    Joel Lucks
    Smyrna, TN

    • Most are good. I have two Colts second generation, but they are quite expensive. You can’t go wrong with Ruger.

      • My wife and I both use Colt SAA revolvers. We did start CAS with Ruger Vaqueros and they are a workhorse and very dependable. But they are also a bit heavier that the SAA. WE also have set of Uberti El Patrons for practice sessions. Good guns, no problems. The majority of CAS shooter use Ruger Vaqueros in our area, probably price and dependability. Lot to choose from.

    • It can be mind boggling trying to decide. But with that said I’d highly recommend a Cimarron model P or an Uberti Cattleman 1873. You can’t go wrong with those and they’re new in the $420-475 range. Great quality and as close to the real deal Colt as you can get.

  2. Army San Marco Hartford model is an excellent copy but needs 8# main spring.

  3. Are there any calibre restrictions/requirements in SAA? For example, do you have to shoot 45 long colt or is a more modern calibre like .357 acceptable?

    • .357 or .38 are acceptable. But .45 ACP (45 auto) isn’t acceptable.

    • The .45 Colt is an awesome cartridge. I don’t know what the .45 LONG Colt is. No such thing.

      • The .45 Colt was also referred to as .45 Long Colt, .45 LC, or 11.43×33mmR. It is a rimmed straight-walled handgun cartridge dating to 1872. It was originally a black-powder revolver round developed for the Colt Single Action Army revolver. This cartridge was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1873 and served as an official US military handgun cartridge for 14 years. While it is sometimes referred to as .45 Long Colt or .45 LC, to differentiate it from the very popular .45 ACP, and historically, the shorter .45 S&W Schofield, it was only an unofficial designation by Army quartermasters.

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