Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army Part 1
This new rifled barrel, pellet-firing Peacemaker is your Huckleberry!
by Dennis Adler
Since 1873 there have been many variations of the legendary Colt Peacemaker but never a cartridge loading CO2 BB or pellet model until Colt and Umarex teamed up last year to build an authentic, Colt branded, .177 caliber Peacemaker. The Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army is accurate in virtually every detail, right down to the SEPT. 18. 1871 JUL2.72JAN.19.75 patent dates stamped on the left side of frame and the Rampant Colt emblem.
The first time I saw the Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army I was not only amazed at the engineering that had gone into making this all-metal six-shooter, but how well all of the famous Colt features had been duplicated including an authentic-style, ejector housing, hammer spur, triggerguard, and grip contour. It’s as close to the real deal in appearances as you can get without loading .45 Colt cartridges.
For those of us who grew up in the golden age of the television western this is the best thing to come along since those wonderful old Mattel “Fanner 50 Shootn’ Shell” SAA cartridge loading cap pistols of the 1950s. Only this one shoots .177 caliber BBs or 4.5mm lead pellets. Powered by a 12 gram CO2 cartridge, instead of a spring-loaded plastic bullet powered by a Greenie Stick-em cap, the Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army is a page right out of the past, only better!
With an overall length of 11 inches and weighing 33 ounces, it’s 4-ounces lighter than a .45 Caliber 5-1/2 inch barrel length Colt Peacemaker, but the Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army has the same looks, except for the addition of a manual safety discretely hidden under the fame and just forward of the triggerguard. It blocks the action from working when set; in the fire position a red dot appears on the safety switch. It’s barely noticeable unless you turn the gun over. The nickel pellet-firing version is a dandy of a gun that will open up whole new avenues for Cowboy Action Shooters to practice quick draw and shooting from the hip, pistol handling and target shooting at close range, and all without the expense or cleanup of black powder or smokeless powder .45 Colt (or other caliber) rounds or wax bullets.
The airgun’s rebounding hammer feels different, it’s lighter because there is no actual Colt-style mainspring needed, and the hammer sits slightly back from the frame at rest. Instead of four clicks when the hammer is drawn back, you only get two. But cocking the gun is still the same, solidly rotating the cylinder to the next chamber.
The 12 gram CO2 capsule is stored inside the grip fame and powers the 4.5mm pellets downrange at an average of 410 feet per second. To load the CO2, just remove the left grip panel, insert the cartridge and tighten the seating screw using the hex-head tool built into the bottom of the grip. Snap the panel back in place and the gun is ready to load and fire.
Unlike some of the BB cartridges in use, the Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army loads the BB or pellet into the base of the cartridge, where the primer would usually go on a real .45 Colt round. The brass BB and silver pellet cartridges are pretty authentic looking, though not .45 Colt in size, more like a .32-20 Winchester round, which Single Actions were chambered for beginning in 1884. The best part is the airguns fit into any SAA holster.
In Part 2 we skin this no-smoke wagon and put some lead downrange.