Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Range Report: Eye-Talian SAA Clone

I still have all my fingers and eyeballs.  That's always a worry when you are playing with an inexpensive  Magnum-class handgun.  After teddybearing this around the house for a couple of days, I had some initial impressions:

Trigger was nice, not up to a tuned S&W, but serviceable. 
Lockup was solid
Sights were better than I expected, after seeing original Colt-style sights on some guns.
The fit and finish... well, that's where you save money on this gun.  The matte finish is- well, a finish.  The grips stood proud of the metal in several places, and the brass grip frame needs attention.
Handling of the SAA style gun is very nice.  My only other single action was a .44Mag Ruger Super Blackhawk, and that thing handled like a brick.  This thing is graceful.

Not to jump too far ahead, but I want to let you know this-  It shoots a lot better than you would expect for a sub-$400 thumbbuster.

I did a quick run to the range during lunch today, and ran a few cylinder loads of mixed bag .38 Spl and .357 Mag through the gun.  No failures, except ones cause by my own ineptness with the platform- more on that in the narrative.

$600 used versus $350 new
 First six shots in .38 Spl fired at 5 yards offhand, just to make sure it works.
It's an absolute puff ball to shoot with .38Spl
 Now a cylinder full of Magnums to see if that will work
Same POI at close range.
Now we have my human error induced failure.  On the 3rd .357 Mag shot, the hammer and cylinder locked up when I tried to draw to full cock.  All sorts of dirty words were floating about in my head as I inspected the gun and noticed the problem.  The base pin of the cylinder had come loose in recoil.  It took some fidgeting, but I realized the problem was pilot error pretty quick.  If you look closely at the pic, you will see two notches in the base pin.  Those need to be clocked to face the 6-o'clock position.  That got it to lock in place, and no more failures!
Should'a read them 'structions.

So, I ran a few more loads though the hogleg, and it was accurate and easy to shoot.  I understand now all the talk of the 'pointability' of the SAA, and why the design has been so timeless.  It's classy.  It points like it knows what to do.  It is a pain in the ass to reload.  Wait, that's not a plus....

Anyway, I need to take it back to the range and file the front sight down to make it hit somewhere in the vicinity of where I'm aiming.  This last picture is of the last 6 round group I fired offhand at 15 yards.  It's hitting well over a foot low and just a hair to the left. 
If I was aiming COM, I'd hit the right nut
To recap- Should you buy one of these?  If you need a single action in your collection and don't have the money for a Cimarron, get yourself to the nearest Cabelas and pick one up.  They are on sale right now, and a heck of a deal for a good little plinker.  Is it a faithful and artistic rendition of Sam Colt's masterpiece?  No.  The finish is wrong, and it has some safety crap added to get by the asinine ATF import regulations.  Is it a low-cost shooter that will introduce you to the world of single actions without requiring a second mortgage?  Yep.  I like it so far.  Look forward to shooting it more and really getting to learn the platform.

By the way, I am thinking of antiquing the finish like Boge Quinn did over on  That just looks cool


  1. Very cool. I was thinking the same thing about playing with the finish. Why not with that one?

    1. I have one more project to finish before I start screwing with this one. Coming soon...