The European Connection

Meanwhile over in Europe, and mostly in Italy, the replica industry started first with percussion sixgun copies and then cartridge firing duplicates. These early copies were lacking in authenticity and they were easy to spot in the Spaghetti Westerns, as many of the Colt Single Action copies had something never offered by Colt — brass grip frames. The bluing was also substandard and the case coloring followed the same pattern.

Mike Harvey worked exceptionally hard to convince the Italians to turn out quality firearms. He has definitely succeeded, as over the years the bluing, the case coloring, the quality of steel, the fitting and the dimensions have all improved to the point at first glance, it’s difficult to tell Cimarron Firearms offerings from the originals.

Harvey didn’t stop there. The next step was offering authentic looking replicas appearing to have a finish looking a century old while the action, cylinder, and barrel remain in pristine condition on the inside. Many of the actual Colt Single Actions found with a well-worn finish will often have a cylinder and barrel which have been pitted with much use from black powder and improper cleaning. Cimarron’s replicas of well-used Colts have a very authentic looking antique finish which they call “Original” — while being brand-new in all other aspects.

Cimarron went one more step and now offers stainless steel Single Actions as well as blued/case colored and Original finishes. The stainless version is especially appreciated by those who prefer to carry a traditionally-styled sixgun on a daily basis in all kinds of weather. Cimarron’s offerings today are so extensive it would take several chapters in a large book to cover all of them. We’ll just take a peek at a couple of their latest offerings as well as some of those I’ve been shooting for several decades.