The name Uberti commands a certain respect and admiration. They are known for their Old West reproductions all over the world. This company manufactures weapons which are imported into the US by Cimarron, Taylor’s, and Stoeger. This is our Uberti review, but I don’t really think there is a review that would do them justice. In the case of firearms such as these, you just need to hold one and see for yourself.
If you are any kind of enthusiast or collector, or if you are simply into the nostalgia, the romanticizing, or the re-enactment of Civil War battles – this is one company you cannot afford to overlook.
These are traditional firearms in the fullest sense of the word – a great combination of archaic and modern. Also, I know there is a disagreement over the distinction between “replica” and “reproduction”, but for the purposes of this post, I will be using them interchangeably.
The Uberti company of Italy was founded in 1959 by Aldo Uberti, who died in 1998. In his youth, Uberti had an apprenticeship at the Beretta company, one of the most famous names in the business. Interestingly enough, Beretta bought the Uberti company in the year 2000, so the thing sort of came full circle at that time.
Officially titled A. Uberti, Srl., this company has the wonderful slogan “History Repeats Itself”. Uberti was fascinated with old-time 19th-century firearms, and he wanted to make sure that these obsolete weapons would not remain obsolete forever.
He went ahead and created reproductions which caught the attention of many shooters. He took the originals and brought them 100 years forward, using modern materials, techniques, and equipment, but also knowing when to use the hands of master craftsmen, as in the days of old.
Because of Uberti’s efforts, the company he founded is now a name well-known to competition shooters, battle re-enactors, hunters, outdoorsmen, collectors, and basically those who are interested in these nostalgic weapons.
There are reproductions of originals made by Colt, Remington, Winchester, Springfield, Smith & Wesson – all from the second half of the 19th century, and all made with the highest quality in mind.
The reproductions which Uberti manufacture are very close to the originals, and in some facets they even outdo them. The materials are tougher, the coatings and hardenings are more durable, and they are way more affordable than actual antique weapons.
Some of Uberti’s guns are for traditional black powder loads, and others have been converted to cartridge use. Black powder revolvers are messy, and they take some work to load and reload, but many shooters don’t mind putting in the time and effort to use the old cap and ball firearm. With cartridges, things are usually a lot smoother and more streamlined when compared to black powder.
Black powder revolvers
Models of the black powder revolvers are precise replicas of their originals but are built from higher quality materials. These include the classic police, Army, and Navy revolvers, plus the Colt Walker, Dragoon, and pocket revolvers.
These were all the rage back in the mid 19th century, and they are still managing to turn heads and wow those who shoot them. It’s so nostalgic, and it is not surprising why so many people are interested in purchasing such weapons – they are fun!
In this series, Uberti has the Buffalo Bill commemorative revolver, the 1858 Army Target carbine, and also the 1860 Army revolver. That last model is one of the most famous weapons Colt ever produced, and it was carried by US Army troops as their official sidearm for many years, until it was replaced by the 1873 Single-Action Army.
Here are the specs for Uberti’s replica:
- Model: 1860 Army Revolver, Steel
- Action: Single action
- Caliber: .44
- Capacity: 6-shot cylinder
- Barrel length: 8”
- Overall length: 13.8”
- Weight: 2.6 lbs
- MSRP: $389
Case-hardened with a blue finish, along with a steel backstrap and brass trigger guard, this model remains one of Uberti’s most popular items. There are also a brass and fluted steel model in the 1860 Army series.
After the 1870s came about, cartridges were replacing cap and ball revolvers, and fast. Seemingly overnight, those six-shooters became a thing of the past. But that isn’t quite what happened. Some of the percussion models were converted to cartridge use, and those replicas can be found today in Uberti’s catalog.
There is a plethora of cartridge-utilizing weaponry which is available from Uberti. In 2019, they introduced 2 new models to their Outlaws & Lawmen series. It is a line devoted to fine replicas of guns used by famous gunslingers, such as Jesse James and his brother Frank, and Doc Holliday.
There is also the series of 1875 top-break revolvers and Russian top-break weapons, which were engineered and designed by Maj. George Schofield to aid the mounted cavalry troops.
Let’s face it: it is much easier to engage the enemy with a top-break action, certainly on horseback! Here are the specs for one of the 1875 No. 3 models:
- Model: 1875 No. 3 Top Break Revolver, 2nd Model
- Action: Top break, centerfire
- Caliber: .38 Special
- Capacity: 6-shot
- Barrel length: 7”
- Overall length: 10.8”
- Weight: 2.9 lbs
- MSRP: $1,179
Blue steel frame and blue steel backstrap, it comes with a case-hardened trigger guard. Other chamberings for this particular model include .44-40,.44 Russian, and .45 Colt. The 1873 Cattleman model is a cartridge revolver which deserves its own section, and that is coming up later in this article. For now, let’s talk a bit about the company’s rifles.
In the list of rifles which Uberti manufactures, you can find the 1860 Henry, the 1866 Yellowboy, the 1873 and its competition-ready 1873 counterpart, as well as lever-action rifles and Springfield trapdoor models. These are available in different chamberings, barrel sizes, and finishes, and the prices vary accordingly. There is also the 1873 Limited Edition Short Rifle Deluxe, spanking new for 2019, chambered in .45 Colt with a 20” barrel.
Some of their best-sellers:
- The 1860 Henry Brass with a 24¼” barrel, chambered in .45 Colt
- The 1866 Yellowboy Sporting Brass with a 24¼” barrel, chambered in .45 Colt.
- The 1873 Short Rifle Steel with 20” barrel, chambered in .357 Magnum
One of their more curious weapons is the 1876 Centennial. It is a replica of the Winchester with the same name, but it is constructed in a way which surpasses the original in terms of durability and accuracy.
- Model: 1876 Centennial
- Action: Lever
- Caliber: .50-95
- Capacity: 11+1
- Barrel length: 28”
- Overall length: 48”
- Weight: 10 lbs
- MSRP: $1,709
This rifle also comes in .45-60 and .45-75. The frame and lever are case hardened, and the buttplate is blued. Adjustable rear sight and blade front sight, with a side-loading gate. The 1876 Centennial was designed for hunting buffalo and other large game, and concurrently its caliber is a powerful and deadly one.
Uberti boasts over 100 distinct models of the classic 1873 Single Action Army. It is manufactured in a wide variety of configurations, chamberings, barrel lengths, grips, finishes, engravings, and of course prices. There are also special editions and matching sets of the Cattleman, and even a carbine version or two.
The Cattleman model was issued to troops of all military branches, starting with the cavalry, and it was quick to be picked up by outlaws and renegades. Dubbed the Colt “Peacemaker”, it came with a 7.5” blued barrel and cylinder, along with a case-hardened frame and grips of quality walnut. A model plated in nickel was issued to scouts, apparently, and other variations could be seen on the scene in no time.
The 3 main calibers used in this series are .45 Colt, .357 Magnum, and .44-40. There are also a few models chambered in .38 Special and .22 LR. The Colt Single Action Army is a revolver which seemingly epitomizes the Old West, and incidentally, I also feel the same way about old Winchester levers. The Cattleman simply oozes frontier glory, it is fun to handle and shoot, and it’s a popular replica used in cowboy action shooting competitions.
Here are the specs for one of the best sellers from the older Cattleman line:
- Model: 1873 Cattleman Old West (Old model)
- Action: Single Action
- Capacity: 6-shot cylinder
- Caliber: .45b Colt
- Overall length: 11”
- Barrel length: 5.5”
- Weight: 2.3 lbs
- MSRP: $709
This model comes with a steel backstrap and steel trigger guard. That’s all well and good, but honestly, it’s the finish which makes this gun so irresistible. With a walnut grip and that antique Old West finish, it is a real stunner. Definitely not saying everyone should own this replica since it is really a matter of preference, but I would love to get my hands on an original someday!
So there’s Uberti at a glance. Their rifles and revolvers are accurate and well-built. It is no wonder they produce weapons for several of the United States’ finest importers. These are guns which are not just for show. They work, and they work well. If you get through firing one of these for the first time or two, and you don’t have a big grin on your face- well, I daresay you’re doing it wrong!
Get out there and have a good time; that’s what these models are for, after all. Whether it is at an official competition or a lazy afternoon of plinking (those .22 LR models are perfect for the latter, by the way), go outside and get your shot on. Some people will buy Uberti firearms and never use them. But it’s important to remember that these are not antiques, they are replicas. So yes, get yourself an old-time revolver or rifle, move on out, bring along a buddy, and shoot to your heart’s content.