Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army pellet model

Umarex Colt 1873 Single Action Army Part 1

This new rifled barrel, pellet-firing Peacemaker is your Huckleberry!

by Dennis Adler

For Old West shooting fun at just pennies compared to live ammo, it’s hard to beat the new Umarex pellet-firing, rifled barrel Peacemaker. Hard to tell at a glance, this Colt Single Action airgun with 5-1/2 inch barrel, loads six pellet cartridges, and handles just like a real Colt. (Holster by .45Maker)

For Old West shooting fun at just pennies compared to live ammo, it’s hard to beat the new Umarex pellet-firing, rifled barrel Peacemaker. This Colt Single Action Army airgun with 5-1/2 inch barrel, loads six pellet cartridges, and handles just like a real Colt Peacemaker. (Holster by .45Maker)

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 Colt and Umarex association allows using the official Colt emblem and even stamping the original Single Action Army patent dates on the left side of the airgun frame just as they appear on the cartridge models.

The Colt and Umarex association allows using the official Colt emblem and even stamping the original Single Action Army patent dates on the left side of the airgun frame just as they appear on the cartridge models.

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!

For Cowboy Action shooting practice (drawing, aiming and firing) the Umarex Colt SAA provides the balance and action of working with a cartridge-firing .45 Colt.

For Cowboy Action shooting practice (drawing, aiming and firing) the Umarex Colt SAA provides the balance and action of working with a cartridge-firing .45 Colt.

The Details

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.

One of few noteworthy physical differences between a .45 Colt SAA and the Umarex Colt SAA airgun is the addition of a manual safety which is discretely added just forward of the triggerguard. Also note the authentic-looking transverse cylinder pin release.

One of few noteworthy physical differences between a .45 Colt SAA and the Umarex Colt SAA airgun is the addition of a manual safety which is discretely added just forward of the triggerguard. Also note the authentic-looking transverse cylinder pin release.

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 new Umarex Colt licensed Peacemaker has a 5-1/2 inch rifled barrel and loads six silver pellet cartridges. Just like in the Old West, you have your six and then you reload. An extra dozen pellet cartridges are a good idea, they cost $10 for six reusable rounds.

The new Umarex Colt licensed Peacemaker has a 5-1/2 inch rifled barrel and loads six silver pellet cartridges. Just like in the Old West, you have your six and then you reload. An extra dozen pellet cartridges are a good idea, they cost $10 for six reusable rounds.

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.

The CO2 loads inside the grip frame by removing the left grip panel. The grip also has the octagon wrench built in, to tighten the screw in the base of the grip and seat the CO2 cartridge.

The CO2 loads inside the grip frame by removing the left grip panel. The grip also has the octagon wrench built in to tighten the screw in the base of the grip and seat the CO2 cartridge.

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.

The SAA pellet cartridges are about the size of .32-30 Winchester round. Tests were done with Meisterkugeln 4.5mm lead pellets. These are a traditional wad cutter design ideal for target shooting. The pellets load into the back of the shell where the primer goes on a real cartridge.

The SAA pellet cartridges are about the size of .32-30 Winchester round. Shooting tests were done using Meisterkugeln 4.5mm lead pellets. These are a traditional wad cutter design ideal for target shooting. 

In Part 2 we skin this no-smoke wagon and put some lead downrange.

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