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Italian Peacemakers?

Wait, a gun company is producing Italian Peacemakers?

There are a few firearm designs that are simply iconic.

A gun might be raised to this status because it is the first of its kind or because it’s such a solid concept. The 1873 Colt revolver can make both claims to fame.

The 1873, or the Peacemaker, as it is commonly known, was the first really successful cartridge revolver, and proved itself time and again as a durable, die-hard, reliable firearm. Its outline is so readily identifiable that even those who’ve never handled a firearm can tell you that it’s a Colt, even if it’s just from watching westerns.

The 1873, or guns closely mimicking its design, have been in production for nearly 150 years now, with no sign of the market losing interest in them.

For a while Colt stopped producing Peacemaker revolvers, but their mantle was quickly picked up by a variety of manufacturers, including several Italian firms. Ten years ago I would have told you that a Peacemaker that didn’t bear the Colt name wasn’t worth bothering with, but I’ve since matured and grown to respect both the workmanship and price tags of many Italian firearms.

The one that has recently caught my eye is the Horseman line of single-action revolvers from Uberti. These six-shooters stick very closely to the lines and feel of the original 1873 revolvers while utilizing modern steels and a few other niceties.

For starters, the Horseman line features a transfer safety bar, which allows the owner to load all six chambers without the risk of putting a hole in their foot. Sure, the transfer bar looks a little strange sitting in the frame at first glance, but you come to appreciate it as time goes on.

Other improvements include a widened trigger and a trigger pull that’s a vast improvement over many previous 1873s.

RELATED: Time to Start Practicing Handgun Hunting

Perhaps the most interesting development with the Horseman is Uberti’s choice to now offer their revolver chambered for the 44 Remington Magnum and 22 Long Rifle. Peacemakers are always fun, but when chambered in 44 magnum, this 1873 could have a whole new career as a deer hunter.

Like any Peacemaker, the Horseman in 44 Mag is probably a real handful with full-power loads, but nothing says you’d have to feed it the hot stuff. Some folks might also think that a pistol with fixed sights doesn’t have much utility for hunting, but fixed sights are just as accurate as the alternatives once you figure out where they hit, and they’re a lot tougher to knock out of position.

If small game is more your thing, then the Horseman in 22 Long Rifle should be just the item you’ve been looking for. The frame and cylinder of the 22 caliber model is the same size as its larger-chambered counterparts, which should make for an especially well-balanced and low-recoil revolver. Chances are you’ll barely feel a kick when you pull the trigger.

The 1873 Colt is a design that will never be completely left behind so long as firms like Uberti keep coming up with new twists for it and that’s a great thing for the American shooter.

There’s nothing more American than a Peacemaker, even if it does come from Italy.


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Italian Peacemakers?