Gun Review: Cimarron ‘Evil Roy’ Single Action Revolver in .45 Colt

Cimarron Evil Roy Single Action Revovler (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The Cimarron Firearms Evil Roy single action revolver by Uberti isn’t a “race-ready” revolver. It’s a win-the-race-ready revolver, right out of the box.

Gene “Evil Roy” Pearcey, is a well known Cowboy Action Shooting national and world champion. He’s one of the celebrities at Single Action Shooting Society affiliated matches, and runs a shooting school focused on cowboy shooting here in Texas. Cimarron Firearms has partnered with Evil Roy to incorporate the features he finds necessary for success in the game.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The Evil Roy revolvers aren’t dramatically different from the standard Uberti pre-war framed guns made to replicate the original single action Colts. And that’s good, because if they were, they wouldn’t be legal for competition. There are just a few differences that set these guns apart from the otherwise stock versions.

The most obvious are the grip. The Evil Roy guns come with what is often referred to as “gunfighter” style checkered grips. The butt of the grip is the same width as the standard model, but they narrow through the palm compared to my Uberti Cattleman Pre-War and my Old Model.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

When I got into Cowboy Action Shooting earlier this year, lots of people gave me advice on my guns.  Some of  that advice is good if you have a fantastic amount of money to blow on your hobby, and some of it is good if you want to shoot a little better.  Every shooter I spoke to that was a consistent performer at state and national matches said change the stock grips to this style.  In fact, many suggested this as the only change for someone new to the game.

What I have found is that the thinner grip does nothing to help with recoil, at least not with the power factor required for SASS matches. The thinned grip does provide a more consistent grip surface, helping to place the hand in the same manner on the gun each time. When you’re trying to go fast, consistency matters. It also tends to turn a bit less in the hand, as the narrow grip is necessarily more oblong than round, when compared to the original style.

As for wood-to-metal fit, it is very good, but not perfect. The wood is flush fit with the palm, a bit proud at the butt, and a teeny tiny bit of gap is left where the wood meets the frame. You’ll have to look pretty closely to find it.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The second change that’s likely to make some difference for the young, and a big difference for those of us whose eyes aren’t what they used to be, is the attention to the sights. The front sight on the Evil Roy models measures .1″ wide, as opposed to my Old Model Cattleman model at .055″. The rear sight on the Evil Roy is also squared off and widened to .125″, twice as wide as the more funneled shape of the standard model.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

This sight set up is great for the kind of fast target acquisition required for shooting fast, and generally just a lot easier on the eyes.

Cimarron says that each Evil Roy revolver also includes “improved internal parts to enhance reliability” and is smithed by Cimarron. The reliability of the standard Uberti guns is pretty impressive as is. I know of folks who have their standard models with nothing done to them which have over a decade of competition in them. There’s no telling how much dry fire that includes. Enough to make my thumb sore just thinking about it.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The US-made lightened hammer and  trigger springs are pretty obvious. I noticed them the second I pulled the hammer back. It’s actually lighter than the 17 lb. hammer spring I put in my Ruger guns. That improves both speed and accuracy on the shooting line, and also makes dry fire practice last longer.

The trigger weight averaged 1 lb. 8.3 oz. over five pulls on a Lyman digital trigger scale. The standard deviation was extremely low for these pulls. The extreme spread was .2oz. That’s awesome for precision shooting, but means little for the kind of shooting most CAS matches employ. After all, most folks hold the trigger down the moment they grab the gun, but maybe it makes a bigger difference for folks shooting in the Gunfighter category.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

The only purely aesthetic change on the Evil Roy guns is the “Evil Roy” signature roll engraved into each barrel. I’m not a fan of other people’s names on my guns but I know that’s some people’s thing.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

There are a few different types of cylinder base pins on the Uberti Cattleman guns. The Evil Roy has no transfer bar, but includes the Cylinder Base Pin Safety. This is essentially a slightly longer cylinder base pin with an extra groove in it.

If the base pin is set all the way into the frame, as far as it will go with a push of the finger or thumb, the base pin will slightly protrude from the back of the frame. This will obstruct the hammer from fully falling, and leave a gap between the hammer and the frame.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

Don’t mistake this safety for a device that will fully protect your firearm from discharging with repeated hammer pulls or a drop directly on the hammer. It provides some protection, but is not foolproof.  Load one, skip one, and load four, always keeping the hammer over an empty chamber until firing.

In keeping with the pre-war style, the ejector is the solid, half moon type.

Unsurprisingly, I experienced no issues in terms of reliability at all. I shot just under 300 rounds total from this revolver over about a week’s time. In getting ready to restart CAS matches, I also dry fired the revolver as part of a 10 minute nightly practice.  That adds up to a whole lot of hammer drops. At no point did I experience any issues with loading, firing, or cases failing to fall free.

I shot mostly my own reloads (because ammunition is so hard to find), but I also shot a single box of commercial ammunition. I would be extremely surprised if any of these competition-focused guns failed, even after many years of use.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

For those who aren’t familiar, SASS matches tend to spend a good amount of ammunition (120-240 rounds per competition, plus shot shells) and a whole lot of dry firing for anyone who wants to be competitive at all. All of the primers used for this review were CCI No 300 Large Pistol Primers. It’s nice to know that, even with a lightened hammer spring, the Evil Roy still sets off the harder CCI primers.

The barrel, cylinder, and forcing cone on this gun appear just the same as the standard Uberti guns based on the Model P, but this one outperformed the quality guns I’ve fired from them in the past. Every once in a while this happens, and maybe I just found the right bullet recipe for this gun.

My .45 colt CAS load, a 180 gr round-nose flat point bullet from Rim Rock bullets, backed up by 4.8 gr of Clay Dot and lubed with Lyman Bore Butter prints an average of 1″ five round groups over four shot strings, when fired off bags at 25 yards. Oddly enough, so did a 255 gr cast coated bullet from Missouri Bullet Company, pushed to the limit with 5.2 gr of Clay Dot (I’ve got a lot of Clay Dot.)

The single box of Winchester White box .45 LC commercial ammunition I had shot at 1.8″, which is more along the lines of what I am used to. All shooting for precision was done on a well fouled bore, after 200 rounds had already been expended.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

It also shoots surprisingly well in hand. The above 2 3/4″ group is the result of two 5 shot strings of my  CAS load shot standing with a two-hand grip at 25 yards.  I am not a very good shot from this position, and this is about as good as I can do with any centerfire revolver.

There are a couple of finish options offered on the Evil Roy guns. This one is in brushed stainless. I prefer the look of a blued gun, but there’s no denying the pure utility of a stainless gun for competition.

I’ve only been at this a little while, and I’ve already shot two matches in the rain and mud. A finish you don’t have to worry about, especially for big matches that last a couple of days, is much appreciated.

Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com

You don’t need to change your gun at all to shoot and enjoy Cowboy Action matches. You don’t even need to change your revolvers to be fairly competitive. Heck, Matt Black has won just about everything there is with a pair of Ruger Vaqueros and all he changed were the grips. To be fair, he is an outlier there, and that dude has a whole lot of talent.

A complete action job, short stroke kit, lowered hammers, and all that is very expensive, and may be the thing that maybe cuts that last second per stage off your times. But maybe not. The real money should be saved to modify your lever gun, which, in my experience, makes a much bigger difference.

The Evil Roy series of guns comes right from the factory with the few changes that make a real difference for most shooters, especially those of us whose range glasses are prescription strength. The Uberti guns are extremely popular, and for good reason. They are good looking, relatively inexpensive, and very well performing firearms.

Cimarron has simply taken this already solid performer and made a “race gun” the new or experienced shooter can purchase and know they are shooting all the revolver they’ll need on day one.

Oh, but you’ll need a pair.

New Evil Roy and ancient Uberti Cattleman Old Model(Image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Specifications: Cimarron Evil Roy Single Action Revolver

Manufacturer: Uberti
Frame Type: Pre-War
Safety: Cylinder Base Pin Safety
Finish: Stainless (blued available)
Barrel Length: 5 1/2″ (4 3/4″ available)
Caliber: 45 Colt (.38SPL/.357Magnum available)
Overall Length: 11″
Cylinder: 6-shot, fluted
Number of Grooves: 6
Twist: Right
Weight: 2.3 lbs.
Grip: checkered walnut
MSRP: $1,014.26 (about $690 retail)

Ratings (out of five stars):

Style and Appearance * * * * 
The brushed stainless finish is done extremely well, as are the checkered walnut scales. The wood isn’t fancy, and almost perfectly fit.

Historical Accuracy * * * *  1/2
Overall excellent. Sight channels widened and front sights of all types were common throughout even the black powder era. The cylinder base pin is not historically accurate, but you’ll need to look hard to even see that it exists.

Reliability * * * * *
It started very good. It ended up great. This improved reliability, along with the stainless steel finish, will be especially appreciated by the black powder shooters.

Accuracy * * * * *
This is the only part of the review that surprised me. I expected good and I got 1-inch groups at 25 yards from rounds that don’t usually perform that well, as well as from rounds that do.

Overall * * * * 1/2
I hated not giving this gun five stars, but the wood isn’t perfect. If I didn’t already have Rugers before I started CAS, and if I had known these existed, I would have definitely bought a pair of these guns instead.  It is very much appreciated that Cimarron didn’t waste money making a “race gun” that is all just cosmetic flash. Cimarron has put the things that make a real difference into a great, very affordable package. You can find a pair of blued Evil Roy .45 Colt guns for about $1,400 retail, and forget about having to do anything to your revolvers in order to score extremely well. These are the guns I would recommend any new cowboy shooter purchase. Save your customization money for the lever gun these revolvers are ideal as-is.

comments

  1. avatar Billb says:

    I have a Beretta (Uberti) Stampede like this (kinda). Stainless 45 Colt but has plastic grips and standard internals. Maybe I should do some upgrades on it. Cowboy guns are still very interesting and fun to shoot.

  2. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    So is it able to handle real hunting loads and not just lightweight cowboy action stuff?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Any SAAMI spec load. I have a first gen Colt SAA and the Uberti clones are tougher in every way.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      They are NOT rated for the hot loads for Ruger Blackhawks, but they can be pushed to about 1100 fps without a kaboom, which is roughly equivalent to the max black powder load of 40 grains over a 255 grain bullet. The CAS loads run between 650 and 750 fps, and most run 200 grain or 225 grain bullets.

      1. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

        Thx

  3. avatar NORDNEG says:

    I don’t know if it’s against the rules of comp shooting or not , but one of the best things I did to my cowboy gun was to put PAC MYER (probably not spelled right) grips on it, easy to grab & hold on to & stopped it from slipping & twisting when I shot, plus the cushion effect from heavy loads were dramatically effective. Did a red ramp on the front sight & Merrit adjustable rear sight. Made a world of difference in accuracy & quick to get on target.

  4. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    For reasons which I will not disclose on this unsecured forum, I absolutely have to acquire one of these!

    And if things turn around for me financially, maybe I can get a second one as well so that I have a matched pair!

  5. avatar William J Le Petomane says:

    I finally made the jump into Uberti revolvers and ordered the elusive 5-1/2″ bird’s head. I’ve been keeping an eye out for one of these for a couple of years now and this is the first time I’ve found the 5-1/2″. I have a feeling this might be the first of many and I still have several Vaqueros and Blackhawks on my short list. Now if I can only find a box of ammo…

    Good review.

    1. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

      Looks like a lot of fun to carry and pack while fishing, backpacking, hiking, camping, or trekking the outdoors, whether mounted on horseback, or while walking on foot.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      The 4 3/4″ barrels are pretty sweet. Plus the straight walled cartridges are easy to reload, and the brass can be reloaded a number of times since the pressures are so low. It is easier and much cheaper than trying to find anything anywhere in stock.

      1. avatar William J Le Petomane says:

        I’ve been watching GunBroker. There’s always ammo available there if you’re willing to take out a second mortgage.

  6. avatar RGP says:

    Incomplete without mention of the original Evil Roy, specifically, Evil Roy Slade, from the 1972 film starring John Astin. Folks still sit around the campfire singing about how evil he was… that, and the stubby index finger song.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      You can expect a child to turn evil when he has to change his own diapers.

      1. avatar RGP says:

        Being raised by buzzards probably didn’t help, either…

  7. avatar Gerald W. Zirnstein says:

    If they ban some of my favorite rifles I intend to buy more of these for fun. Also, any evil SOB with bad intentions can fill a vest full of these 6 shooter or 8 shooter revolvers (multiple New York reloads like many cops use) and wreak nearly the same Hell on innocent people as rifles with a clip. They do not watch enough old Westerns. Semi-auto vs revolver will not slow down someone whom is evil, practiced and wants to commit evil.

  8. avatar Virgil Caldwell says:

    I am never happier than when firing these old guns. As a note– most .45 ACP 230 grain JHP loads do 855 to 870 fps, penetrate 16 to 18 inches of water, and expand from .68 to .76. That is very good. A 250 grain Hornady XTP at 780 fps will penetrate 42 inches of water. So will a 255 grain SWC. While these revolvers will not take Magnum loads if you load a 255 grain SWC to 900 fps well you have something.

  9. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Know what you mean about another’s name on your firearm. Just bought my first one. Fortunately:
    1. It is very subtle.
    2. With the finish you have to hold it in the
    light just right to see it.
    3. I respect the guy.
    So I can live with it. Besides you have admit. You do usually get some nice extras with those names.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      a hubert cumberdale curve or a hogarth hughes red ryder?

  10. avatar Jim from LI says:

    I don’t see any screws in the grip panels. Wouldn’t they have to be one piece grips?

    I still prefer my Alchimista II with its Army-size grips.

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Dang it! Solid derp. Thanks.

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        So, what secures the grips, if not a screw?

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          A screw on the bottom. It’s one piece. Like this. https://www.coltforum.com/attachments/dscn0585-jpg.431410/

  11. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Nice review. Thanks.

    I did not know they made it in stainless…..makes it more desirable to me here in NW Florida.

    I think I still lean toward Ruger to get a full load. I have several clickety single actions.

    The single action is pinnacle of handgun technology. I am waiting for Lipseys to build a Vaquero with flat top sight like the single six had back into the day. My favorite sight picture.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      let me axe you sumpthin’ pacific. my (3screw) s. blackhawk was updated by the original owner, ie, transfer bar and a yellow box (so the white ones are worth more than the gun).
      i like the magnaporting he had done, but am i wrong for wanting to restore it to original lockwork? someone told me it would make nicer clicks and have better trigger feel…

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        The NM Blackhawks and the transitions (like yours) are some of the more difficult single actions triggers to make very good. Hamilton Bowen’s book goes into detail as to why he thinks they are the hardest single actions to get right.
        But, if someone knows what they are doing, they can be just as good as any other single action.

  12. avatar Mark D says:

    I was really hoping for an “Evil Roy Slade” edition. I’ll keep waiting.

    1. avatar The Rookie says:

      Doh! I should have read the forum before I made my post. Good to see I’m not the only one who remembers Evil Roy Slade.

      And Marshal Bing Bell.

  13. avatar The Rookie says:

    Purty gun, but I’m holding out for an Evil Roy *Slade* model.

    “Never trust a pretty girl, or a lonely midget”

  14. avatar Hoyden says:

    Are the lower hammer spurs of Cowboy Mounted Shooter or Bisley style allowed in CAS?

    Seems if you’re going to hold back the trigger and double action the hammer a lower spur would be faster. I’m guessing that fanning the hammer is verboten?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Lowered hammers are allowed and extremely common. Fanning is not allowed.

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