Cimarron Firearms and Uberti of Italy have well-earned the reputation for great guns at great prices. Head to any Cowboy Action Shooting match and you’ll undoubtedly find the guns from these giants of the industry very well represented. That goes doubly so for Cowboy Action Mounted Shooting.
For their newest release, the Pistoleer, Cimarron Firearms has created a budget-minded six-gun modeled closely after the Pre-War Colt Model P. I’ve reviewed several Cimarron guns now and the level of historically accurate detail they put in the guns is amazing, and much appreciated. Every one of their guns is a good looker and a good shooter, and this Pistoleer is no exception.
Cimarron Firearms is far more than an importer of Uberti guns. Those two companies have a partnership that spawns decades and generations. If you want to learn more about those companies, I’d highly recommend the Story of Cimarron Firearms on their Youtube channel.
The Pistoleer line will eventually have two different finish types and come in both .45Colt and .38/.357Magnum. One model will include a polished hammer and trigger guard as well as a nickel plated backstrap for a two-tone effect.
I received the more traditional version, with everything blued, including the frame and backstrap. Even on this fairly inexpensive model, Cimarron hasn’t forgotten to pay attention to the finish. With this all-blued model, the finish is subdued, with nothing particularly flashy. The black blued metal throughout the gun is polished to a shine, but not a mirror finish. It’s well done and even throughout the firearm.
The ejector nut is the new model half moon style as opposed to the larger full circle on the Old Model guns, which were more similar to the early Colt black powder cartridge frames.
Continuing in that same style, you’ll find a charcoal blued base pin latch. That’s a nice touch, and it’s carried on to all of the exterior screws. They are not bright blued nitre, but the more traditional blue found on the early guns. You’ll need sunlight or bright indoor light to bring out the colors.
According to Cimarron’s press release and my email conversation with them, the Pistoleer is currently scheduled to be in two finishes and two calibers, but so far only this one 4 3/4″ barrel length. Unless it’s a revolver specifically for hunting, this is very much my preferred barrel length. It’s long enough for a good sight radius, fast out of the holster, and is also simply aesthetically pleasing since it ends along with the ejector housing. The early originals had longer barrels than this, but we find people all over the West cutting these barrels to this length almost immediately after the old Colts were released.
The grip on the Pistoleer is two pieces of walnut that include Cimarron’s medallion logo. The walnut is stained in the slightly reddish hue we often see from Uberti. The wood-to-metal fit is adequate, but nothing spectacular. On this particular gun, the wood is flush on the left side of the gun where it meets the frame, but slightly proud on the right, maybe by half a millimeter.
Uberti didn’t skimp on the trigger of the Pistoleer. It breaks clean, with no take-up and little movement. Measured on a Lyman digital trigger scale, the average of five trigger pulls was 1 lb 9.2 oz. I would have guessed less. The trigger shoe itself is small, thin, and curved, in the traditional form. There is a minor bit of backlacklash as the hammer falls, but nothing to take you off target.
When this revolver is at rest, there is, as there should be, some amount of cylinder end shake and play. Shaking the gun in the hand will result in audible and tactile sounds of the cylinder shaking fore and aft, left and right. But there’s not much give at all, certainly no more than any of my Colts.
Upon full lock-up however, the rotational play and end shake completely cease. When it matters, the Pistoleer locks the cylinder up nicely.
I’m not sure what the hammer spring weight of the Pistoleer measures, but it is much less than my older Uberti Cattleman. I recently re-sprung a couple of Ruger Blackhawks with 17 lb. springs, and the Pistoleer feels noticeably lighter than those guns. It was so light and easy to cock that I was concerned that it would fail to ignite hard primers.
This fear was put to rest, as CCI Large Pistol #300 primers are all that I have available for my reloads. The gun set over 200 of these without issue. As CCI primers are about the hardest commonly available, if it sets off these, it will set off anything you are likely to run through the gun. The end result is an easy to cock, very fast and reliable firearm.
The Pistoleer includes Uberti’s floating firing pin safety. Quite simply, the firing pin isn’t rigidly fixed on the hammer, so it has the ability to move back a bit when the hammer is at rest. It’s always a good practice to leave the hammer of a traditional single action on an empty chamber, but this floating firing pin provides you some margin of error. Since the pin isn’t pressing hard against the primer when the hammer is at rest, it is less likely to provide sufficient force to cause an unintentional discharge. Still, load one, skip one, load four.
As the Pistoleer is a model based on the original Peacemaker, it features the traditional fixed channel rear sight and simple front blade. The front sight on this particular pistol measures .094″ on my Browne and Sharp calipers, providing a good amount of light on either side of the rear sight while aiming.
Cylinder throats measure .455″, as does the forcing cone, and the barrel groove diameter measures at .451″. As far as the cylinder gap, a .01″ feeler gage can wiggle into the gap when the cylinder is pushed fully to the rear, which is a little more than I would hope for and is likely robbing the round of a little velocity. If this were a Ruger or Freedom Arms single action .45 Colt built for 20,000 PSI or more, I’d like to see that gap closer to .005″. As it’s not, I don’t.
At the range, I spent my last box of Winchester white box for this review (you ungrateful cretins). The only commercial round I had available shot reasonably well, landing an average of 2.2″ five round groups averaged over four shot strings at 25 yards.
The starting load I use in my New Original Henry and Uberti Cattleman Old Model is not appreciated in this particular gun. That round prints 5.4″ groups, and lands 15″ low of the point of aim at 25 yards. A classic Keith style 255 gr. coated bullet, pushed by 6.2 gr. of Titegroup gets the bullet right on target, with a 1.6″ average group. All groups were shot off a bagged rest and through a well-fouled bore.
I’ve had this gun for a little over a month, and in that time ammunition and reloading components haven’t gotten any easier to find. That means this gun has gotten a whole lot of dry fire practice, and not a whole lot of shooting. I put 260 rounds through the gun for this review. Two hundred ten of those were using various hand loads, 50 commercial Winchester rounds. Ten of the handloads were GOEX FFFg black powder, the rest were smokeless powders to include Clay Dot, Unique, and Titegroup. Most of the rounds were shot around 13Kpsi (estimated) pressure.
I wiped down the revolver upon receipt, ran a bore snake through the barrel and each chamber of the cylinder, and sprayed a little CLP in the gun. After that, I didn’t clean the gun in any way until all of the firing was done and it was time for photos.
The gun never failed in any way and showed no additional wear. I measured the end-shake and cylinder gap after the shooting was complete and, as expected, they remained exactly the same. Spent shells were pressed out easily by the ejector, falling with nothing more than an easy press and a tip up of the muzzle.
For folks just wanting a good single action for protection, light game, or target shooting, the Pistoleer would fit the bill just fine. But that’s not why I was interested in it. Ever since I got into Cowboy Action Shooting earlier this year, I’ve been trying to figure out how to get more folks involved. The biggest barrier to entry is the cost of four guns. And as soon as you get them, you generally want to start improving them.
Guns like the Pistoleer go a long way to solving that problem. This gun needs absolutely zero modification to shoot well at any match. Sure, you could probably do some work to it, but it wouldn’t make a difference to all but the top five percent of shooters. That means that Cimarron has put out not just a good gun, but a “race ready” pair of guns in the hands of shooters for about $1,000. Based on what I’ve seen from Cimarron and Uberti in the past, I’m not surprised, but I am appreciative.
Specifications: Cimarron Pistoleer Blued in .45 Colt
Original Manufacturer: Uberti of Italy
Caliber: .45 Colt
Barrel: 4 3/4″ shallow groove
Frame: Blued Steel
Cylinder: Blued Steel
Grip: Plow Handle, Blued Steel Grip Frame
Safety: Floating Firing Pin
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
There’s no case hardening or fancy wood. There is, however, a great dark blued finish with contrasting charcoal blued screws and accents.
Customization * * * * *
There’s no revolver in history that has as many modifications and customizations than the Model P and its clones. They cost money.
Accuracy * * * *
With the right round, it shoots great for any hunting or Cowboy Action Shooting.
Reliability * * * * *
Perfect reliability with any round and powder.
Overall * * * *
With a near $500 MSRP, this guns will sell, and for good reason. Cimarron and Uberti have made a relatively inexpensive Old West revolver with good look. A great trigger and outstanding action bumps it solidly over the average three-star rank. The action is far better than I would expect at this price, and it looks nice to boot. If I had a few hundred more primers, I’d have spent them shooting this gun just for the fun of it.