The famous Colt .45. The gun that historians said won the west was the most popular full sized revolver in the late 1800’s. The Peacemaker was also known as the Single Action Army (SAA), and the Frontier. The Colt Revolver had become the most popular sidearm in history.
The model 1873 had patents that were given to Charles B. Richards and W. Mason. Samuel Colt did not design the SAA due to the fact that he had passed away a decade earlier. The Colt was actually designed in 1872, and in 1873 the U.S. Army adopted this firearm and the black powder center-fire .45 cartridge to the troops. This new design replaced the outgoing Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Cap revolvers that were in service at the time. The U.S. Army contracted with Colt to produce an estimated 38,000 Colts in two models: The Cavalry Model that had a 7 1/2 inch barrel, and the Artillery Model which had a 5 1/2 inch barrel.
Commercial production ceased in 1941, and brought back into production by popular demand in 1956. The production that ran from 1873 until 1941 were classified as first generation SAA’s. They have serial numbers below 357860. Colt SAA’s again ran a production from 1956 until 1974 then stopped production again in 1974. These were classified as second generation SAA’s and they had serial numbers range from 0001SA – 73319SA. After 1976 a third generation production began until production stopped again in 1981. Modern Colt SAA’s are made to fire .38 S&W Special, .44Spl, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .22LR too name a few.
The Colt Peacemaker saw action throughout the Indian wars, The Spanish American War, The Range Wars, and others. Its use continued outside military use and became very popular with civilian use. As a matter of fact the Model 1873 was brought back into production several times because of public demand for the original type. It was not only popular in the United States but became very popular in Europe as well.
Today the Single Action Army .45 is as popular today as it has ever been. Enthusiasts of the Old West have a passion for not only the Peacemaker but of the Old west culture and dress as well. Today many manufacturers are producing clones of the famous Peacemaker. The popularity of Cowboy Action Shooting has caused an increase in continuing the manufacturing of these clones.
Cowboy action shooters dress up in attire that is reminiscent of the old west. they usually have two Single Action Army Revolvers or there replicas at each side. Added to that they must have a lever action rifle that shoots the same cartridge as their revolvers at their sides. Too top it off they need to have a coach gun (shotgun) that is preferably double barrel however not required. All firearms must be actual or replicas 1900 or earlier.
Using these firearms the Cowboy Action Shooter uses each one of their firearms in competition shooting scenarios. Each shooter has a registered alias name that He or She uses at all these events. Check out the CASS (Cowboy Action Shooters Society) to get further information on how to join and have fun re-living the days of the old west and getting a chance to shoot those famous peacemakers.
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