Revisiting the Peacemakers Part 4

Revisiting the Peacemakers Part 4

Rethinking the Ace in the Hole

By Dennis Adler

There are three ways to do things; the right way, the wrong way, and the way you have to do them, right or wrong. From my standpoint, the Umarex Legends Ace in the Hole was a mistake, although it has continued to sell well within the market it appeals to. This is divided between fans of the Sylvester Stalone Expendables films, and Cowboy shooters willing to overlook the modern alterations to the SAA movie gun, the fanning hammer, faux ported barrel and drop-in plastic front sight (added by Umarex so the guns could actually be aimed). The Ace is an oddity, but the bottom line is that for a short barrel pellet pistol, it shoots darn well!

Even though the cat is out of the bag, seeing the 3-1/2 inch nickel modified Ace in the Hole built on the standard nickel Peacemaker frame is impressive, even with the drop-in front sight. Draw!
Looks like a regular nickel Colt with a shorter barrel, and from almost every angle it is way better than the original Ace in the Hole for looks and handling!
Loaded up with pellet cartridges the rifled barrel 3-1/2 inch will shoot very tight groups.

Making things right…almost

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What the Ace needed was a different hammer and barrel. We’ve got one out of two issues corrected now, plus a choice of finishes, including the example shown here, an all nickel model with correct Colt-style hammer. The 3-1/2 inch barrel is still burdened with the faux porting and drop-in front sight, but this version, which can be created with the new Pyramyd Air “Airgun Builder” for Peacemakers, leaves us with a far more interesting gun. (I can hear people shaking cans of silver spray paint to make the plastic drop-in front sight less obvious…)

The Ace in the Hole, in my opinion, was a mistake for Colt enthusiasts who would have preferred a regular 3-1/2 inch barrel, but the inspiration for the design came from the fairly successful Expendables movies, and that has had a lot of appeal as well. That’s the movie gun at the top in .45 Colt. It was and remains a curious design of classic Colt and movie mythology.
A little silver spray paint helps blend the plastic sight into the barrel. Not perfect, but better.

To build this combo you don’t use the “Ace in the Hole” selection, but rather go to the Nickel Peacemaker (pellet models) builder and select all nickel parts, nickel 3.5 inch barrel, and your choice of grips. I went with the ivory medallion. (If you don’t like the medallion, plain white grips are still offered if you scroll through the regular Peacemaker menu.) This is what your order page should look like.

If you order this version using the pellet Peacemaker Airgun Builder, your screen should look like this after checking all the boxes. And it’s not a bad price either!

Every gun you design can also be saved and shared, (at the top of the section at the right that ends with Order my Build), so you can download and review different combinations before actually placing an order.

So here it is in nickel with a proper hammer and it is a far more attractive and almost authentic looking 3-1/2 inch Peacemaker.

Within the “Ace in the Hole” menu are a variety of combinations and barrel lengths, so you can create some interesting looking guns all based around a weathered frame. The only way to start with a weathered frame, however, is with the Ace model. This particular “Airgun Builder” is going to be updated as soon as 5-1/2 inch weathered barrels become available, to create guns like the example below, which I have named “The Duelist” (or “Dualist” because it is two colors) combining weathered and nickel parts. Presently, you can already build this same color combination using a 7-1/2 inch barrel, which is a pretty good looking sixgun, and not unlike a few that came out of Colt’s with blued frames and nickel cylinders. Pietta also make a .45 Colt model in this same combination, so it is pretty well established.

This combination is made starting with the Ace in the Hole. I have named it The Duelist. It’s a pretty sharp combo that has its roots firmly planted in original and reproduction Colt models with the same combination using a nickel cylinder and hammer.

Wednesday, I’m going to put the all nickel 3-1/2 inch model to the test since its handling will be far more traditional than the test I did a couple of years back with the Ace in the Hole, and Friday I reveal the rest of my personal favorite combinations.

Beauty and the Beast? It’s a preference. And there are many more combinations that can be built.

Win the Nickel 3-1/2 inch model by answering these 10 questions

Between now and this Thursday night the first person to answer all of the following questions correctly will win my all nickel 3-1/2 inch Peacemaker! Just post your answers in today’s article’s comments section by 11:59 PM Thursday. The first person to get them all correct (or has the most correct answers) will win the gun. You will find most of the answers to these questions in my previous Airgun Experience Peacemaker articles; so time to go back read them again.

Good luck!


Who designed the Colt Peacemaker?


In what year was the first patent for the Peacemaker (Single Action Army) granted?


In what year did Colt’s build its first Sheriff’s Model without an ejector?


What was the barrel length on that first Sheriff’s Model?


In what year was the Transverse Cylinder Latch design introduced on the Peacemaker?


We know the first caliber for the Peacemaker was .45 Colt. What was the second caliber introduced in 1875?


The first Limited Edition John Wayne Shootist CO2 model (blued and hand engraved gun with presentation box) was based on the guns Wayne used in his last film, The Shootist. Who built those engraved .45 Colts for John Wayne? Here’s a hint, it wasn’t Colt!


In what year did Colt’s introduce 4-3/4 and 5-1/2 inch barrels?


When did Colt suspend manufacturing of the Peacemaker?


When did Colt reintroduce the Peacemaker?

19 thoughts on “Revisiting the Peacemakers Part 4”

  1. Looks like the start of a new era in airgun Single Actions. The nickel version is a vast improvement, although the front sight is a de traction. Still once covered up to blend in , it looks less like a grill. Have an ACE, and do not find any utility in the fanning hammer. I can fan a shot just as fast with the more aesthetically pleasing standard hammer. Have my nickel 3 incher in order. Will fit it with a plain ivory pair of grips. For medallions , would like to see actual Colt medallions, silver , placed in the upper grip frame like a Colt firearm. With the minor gripes , it still looks great, and when in a holster looks even better. I have found that the ACE shoots surprisingly well. Next up would like to see high polish blue Paladin, 7 1/2 barrel with silver Knights head grips, yeah it should be on the holster but this is fantasy time.

    • There is a question about high polish blue that I have asked Umarex. No answer yet, but this was the question. The only CO2 model they have today with a high polish blue finish (more blue black actually) is the old Walther P.38 model. How did they get that finish on the P.38 and not be able to get the same on a Colt? Obvious answer is different factories building them, but still….

      More to come on this I hope.

  2. I have seen pictures of bright blue versions for the European market , so it seems possible. Another would be a finish like theASG bright gray-blue on the 715 revolver

  3. It’s been an interesting journey through your historical comments about Peacemakers. For what it’s worth, here’s my answers.

    1. William Mason
    2. 1871
    3. 1888
    4. sub-4-inch
    5. 1982
    6. .45 Colt Army
    7. Great Western
    8. 1875
    9. 1940
    10. 1955

  4. I’d like to see an 18″ Buntline barrel in weathered and maybe nickel, and the checkered-&-Eagle grips in either matte-black or ivory.
    I have an engraved “gold” 1851 Navy with ivory, and an engraved brass & black SAA with matte black.

    It would be really nice if the foundation for customization were a stripped-down “bare-naked” frame, with everything else an add-on. I hope it would be cheaper than having a fully decked out frame+.

    • Richard:

      I would like to see a 12 inch Buntline, more practical and there are holsters made for it. The longest barrel Colt offered was 16 inches and usually sold with a detachable metal frame shoulder stock. Terrific looking 1851 Navy. Who did the engraving? Guns in the white (no finish) would be great!


      • Dennis:
        Thanks for the correction. I was thinking of Uberti’s 18″ Buntline. That one is more like the long-barrel revolver used by Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman, but without the “bang” flag. From a google search, it looks like a S&W.

        I agree with the 12″ model because of holster availability; even the Joker needed to stuff it into his pants and hold it up with his pants belt. Here is a photo of my 12″ Buntline replica (shoots caps, not an air gun) along with my 7.5″ Umarex nickel and gold.

  5. Ok here it goes1,Willam Mason and Charles Richards2,First patent Year18713,1882 was the first Sheriff model4, ,barrel length was 2 1/2. Inches5Transverse cylinder pin latch 1896. 6, the second caliber was 44-40 7 John Wayne’s Shootist Colts were Great Westerns fitted with Colt hammers. 8 1875, 9, 194010,1955

  6. OK. Here’s attempt #2.

    1. William Mason
    2. 1871
    3. 1882
    4. 2.5 inches
    5. 1892
    6. .38 Long Colt
    7. Great Western
    8. 1875
    9. 1940
    10. 1955

    #6 is a really hard one to find an answer for. I searched Airgun Experience for all “Peacemaker” articles and skimmed them going back to 2016 and did not find anything that definitively said what the second caliber introduced in 1875 was. I even tried a Google search and couldn’t find a definitive answer. The closest answer I found is not clear. It appears to suggest that the original 0.45 Colt caliber was shortened in 1875 and simply calls it revolver cartridge. However I found one other link to a caliber that is reported as having been introduced in 1875.

    “With the adoption of the Colt Single Action Army revolver in 1873, the service cartridges were Copper-cased .45 centerfire Benét inside primed “Colt’s Revolver Cartridges” loaded with 30 grains of black powder and an inside lubricated bullet of 250 grain. They were manufactured at Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, PA, through 1874. In 1875, the cartridge was shortened so that it would also function in the newly adopted S & W Schofield revolver. It was designated “Revolver Cartridge” and loaded with 28 grains of black powder and a bullet of 230 grain.”

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