Courtesy Wilburn Roberts
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[This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]

Wilburn Roberts writes . . .

Someone wrote in the comments under someone’s choice of handgun that they bet “someone is carrying a Colt Single Action .45.” Well hell yeah, a whole lot of someones are!

I carry a 4 3/4 inch barrel Single Action Army. It’s loaded with my own handloads. ( cast 260 grain SWC.) I load this heavy bullet to 800 fps. Sometimes I use the Buffalo Bore standard pressure load, 255 grains at 900 fps, but my handloads are a lot cheaper.

Running around Appalachia in search of antiques and places not often trod my men introduces me to some interesting people and animals. Sometimes I sleep in a sleeping bag with the Colt on my chest.

In the winter I carry the piece in a DM Bullard shoulder holster. It takes the weight off my tired old belt line. I am old and don’t look out of place with a jacket.

Colt Single Action Army
Courtesy Wilburn Roberts

When it is too hot to wear a jacket I stick it in my belt under my pulled out shirt. Nothing balances like this revolver and nothing hits like it either, considering its low pressure and velocity. It suits me just fine.

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      • Terrific movie. My brother had a small walk-on, nonspeaking part in it. Various scenes on horseback too. They hired a lot of locals who could show up with their own horse and period clothing.

        All the guns though, no matter how period-correct, were strictly supplied and controlled by the movie armorer.

        The sets and props were sold after the movie. A relative of mine has a pole barn built out of some of the materials he bought and hauled away on a large flat bed trailer.

  1. Hell yeah! Don’t carry it (very often), but my couch gun is my .44 mag Ruger Blackhawk 6-1/2″ 50th Anniversary model. A Peacemaker would still get you out of 99.999% of hypothetical defense situations you could encounter.

  2. The .45 colt has a lot going for it. For carry I think I would rather have one of the Rugers. But a real Colt will get the job done.

    • You, sir, win the Interwe… well…um…nevermind.

      You win this page today, for what it’s worth.

    • We’re living in strange times. The liqour stores are inviting folks wearing masks on their faces to come in and shop.

      • Silver lining is that it will be socially acceptable to wear face-obscuring masks for some time to come, giving us an opportunity to walk openly past facial recognition cams that are so prevalent in stores everywhere today.

        Shooters cap, nack/face gaiter, light shades, and cash.

        • Maybe I can wear a hat into certain banks now. Several years ago, my bank implemented a policy of no hats. I had a cap on as I walked in. I noticed the no cap sign, but I wasn’t about to take it off. The teller asked me to remove it. Right beside me was a lady wearing a hat. It was more of a dress hat, and mine was a simple cap, but should that matter? No one asked her to remover her hat. Sexism? Female privilege? I don’t bank there anymore.

        • Rumor haz it the ChiComms have facial recognition that can identify mask wearer’s. Maybe put some type of pattern with IR LED’s in it too to confuse it.

        • At my bank they are buzzing folks through the door wearing masks. We are living a strange life right now.

        • My Bank closed the lobby a month ago. Going to have to use the drive-up window on Friday.

      • It reminds me of old fashioned Halloween in a small town… where every single kid in a costume immediately recognized every single other kid in a costume, even when their faces were completely concealed.

    • As a CAS/SASS shooter,I never envisioned a time when I would be wearing my bandanas into stores or the bank, never in my wildest cowboy dreams.

  3. Nothing wrong with carrying one in my opinion. Classy choice. .45 colt is no slouch as far as pistol cartridges go. Now he just needs a .45 colt lever gun to go with it.

  4. Now that is serious old school.

    I too, would probably opt for a Vaquero for,themextra shot and ease of loading.

    But you are certainly far from un- armed.

    Nice holster

    • Lose a Ruger to the evidence locker hurts a lot less than losing a Colt. Both will get the job done. I just think about the aftermath.

        • Plus, how often is it that one has to shoot someone? Pretty rare. Not so rare that I don’t carry a gun, but rare enough that I’m not overly concerned with the price of the gun I would lose. But then again I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t look at handguns priced over $999 except as works of art or machinery.

      • Ha. I wasnt thinking of the price…just ease of use.

        But it would less painful to replace a Vaquero than a model P.

        I should’ve bought one of those 44 Spl Sheriff Model Vaqueros when i had the chance.

        I’m hoping Lipseys is going to do a run a of Flattop Sheriffs Models in 40 or 45 ACP. I put in my wish list and they wrote and told me I might be happy with some upcoming guns.

        I can dream.

    • This Colt is about a year old. Traded several in on it. The dealer told me he had to wait a year to get this one, doesn’t make much on the Colts, and probably wont order another one. He had a SAA .357 at the same time. Doesn’t balance right, heavier.
      The rig is also just under a year old. The holster component will detach and may be worn as a belt holster.
      I have to admit I am careful with this handgun and keep it well oiled.
      If you reach 62 plus this kind of thing has great appeal——

      • Sounds like someone who should be owning such a nice piece. Nothing like a nice firearm and an owner who appreciates it. Or a nice anything and someone who appreciates it for that matter. I can’t stand people who have the nicest things and don’t know a bit about them besides someone said it was the best and they had money to burn. Life is too short to not get caught up in the beauty of things.

      • My Pietta 4 3/4″ SAA in .45 Colt is one of my favorite handguns. Came out of the box slick, and I slicked it up some more. Shoots to point of aim. I accessorized with faux ivory grips from Tombstone Gun Grips (these are unfinished kits, so you get pride of craftsmanship in addition to great looking single or two piece grips). I haven’t opted for a shoulder holster rig, but the Sheriff wouldn’t let me CCW it anyway. So it serves as a great night stand gun loaded with either 250 gr lead RNFPs or Hornady FTX rounds over 9 grains of Unique.

        Plus I have an 1892 Winchester with a 24″ barrel (13+1 rounds) to go with it.

  5. Nice gun! As a long time antique dealer I get his passion. Appalachia sounds interesting but I doubt the natives are clueless in 2020(everyone has a smart phone!). Good luck dude…

  6. Maybe you could trade that in for a plastic gunm that loads from a hole in the bottom. and get a plastic holstered too. You’d be way cooler

    • LOL
      I own some of those, but mostly steel frame Colt 1911s.

      Have a Glock 19 and CZ P10. The Colt SAA suits me.

      It isn’t that old btw is is a new SAA About a year old. The holster is almost a year old.
      Had a Ruger Vaquero, it was part of the trade for the Colt. Ruger is first class it just doesn’t quite balance like this one.
      Good bunch of guys thanks for commenting

  7. I have a Smoke Wagon, it’s the Taylors 4109DE in .45 colt. I thought about carrying that but to be honest, I don’t have a holster for it. I was just outside talking to the guy across the street who works at grocery store in Coeur d Alene, ID. He said there was a guy was in the self check-out lane today carrying an AK on a sling. LOL. That’s a bit much in my view. I asked if it was a full size rifle and not an AK pistol and he said it was an AK rifle.

    • Try WolfEars Leather. Solid and well made, classic styled western holsters, most for under $100.

  8. Looks like we’ll be seeing you down low on the AT packing ginseng partner. I would round that rig out with Bullards excellent cross draw rig for folding hunters. And, as a practical matter, make sure to rinse with water after quaffing mountain dew.

  9. Not long ago I gave a friend a mine a 2nd gen .44 Spl. You should see the pic he sent me of the carry rig. Not long after another friend bought a Colt SAA Sheriff’s Model .44 Spl. w/Ivory. I sent him an Old Paso Saddlery shoulder rig. Same one John Wesley Hardin used. Had border trim. Both will carry without hesitation. Too cool to critique.

  10. Not tactical enough… J/K.

    But living in the Appalachia area, that’s good enough for black bear and wild hog, and a social work if needed. I for one wouldn’t F with an old guy with a big SAA iron.

  11. That’s a helluva nice shootin’ iron. Only issue I have with the SAA and it’s clones is the sight trench, but that’s why the Black Hawk is a thing.

  12. My hat is off Sir. While I carry revolvers from time to time I have never owned a single action wheel Gun. As a result my lack of experience caused me to cringe, but I respect anyone who takes the time to run their guns with confidence. Well done indeed!

    • You need to at least pick up a single action.22lr. The Ruger Wrangler and the Heritage Rough Rider are both fun and cheap options.

      I bought the Heritage about five years ago. It is a hoot, and rolls nicely with my Henry .22 lever action.

      I’d love to pick up a .357 Single action and lever action, but the 22s at least temporarily scratched that itch.

      • My boy has a Heritage and it’s an absolute hoot to fire, especially with the .22mag. 😁

        I have a Uberti SAA clone, in .45 Colt, I got from my father and it is a lovely weapon. Balanced, perfect feel in the hand and just gorgeous to look at. It’s probably my oldest son’s favorite gun to shoot but unfortunately, .45Colt is an expensive round.

        • Save your brass, get a single stage press and some titanium carbide dies, and reload. Saves a bunch of money. Many many choices of bullets and powders for whatever you want to do with it, and new cases are easy to come by. I don’t know how long the cases last, but since it is a low pressure round, it is quite a while.

    • Multiple discharges on one trigger pull…that makes it a *gasp* MACHINE GUN…and it’s black’ish with handle thingies to boot!

  13. Single action? That’s like carrying an autoloader without one in the chamber, except worse.

  14. class rig. accurate and powerful. The mountains of ky have a lot more black bears there than when I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. until recently they had no bear season, so they had very little fear of humans. I remember visiting a cousin and going for a hike. we saw 2 bears in one day. then of course there is the real danger, grow plats and labs. also rare, but theres a few out there and the owners can be impolite if disturbed .

  15. Do y’all forget the series ‘McCloud” ? Yes I am old. Dennis Weaver is the New Mexico Sheriff who goes to NYC to help with something. Complete with a thick sheepskin coat. The NYC detective who he is assigned to trys to implore to him out antiquated is his single action Colt vs. his Chief Special. Then they went to the range. Uh-huh. And McCloud had apparently fired under pressure before…

    My first choice. Probably not but under gunned? No way…

    Waiting for Pwrserge to lecture us all about the failings of revolvers haha! Yes sir I hear what you are saying but sometimes…

  16. About 15 years ago, I acquired a stainless Ruger Birdshead Vaquero in 45 acp. I carried it in a pancake style belt holster under a shirt or light jacket until the weight (>40oz.loaded) became a problem for my back. I never felt “undergunned” or at a disadvantage compared to a double action revolver or compact semi auto. Even though it would now be a safe queen/range toy, I wish I’d kept it.

    I’ve read of timed competitions between expert shooters using the 1911 vs the Colt SAA. Other factors being equal, the SAA shooter was often faster for the first five rounds. I haven’t looked for this on You Tube, but I’m sure it would be interesting.

  17. Remember on January 20, 2020, in Richmond, VA, they arrested a woman for wearing a mask? It was cold enough that day to wear one too.

  18. I like carrying my Ruger single actions, and use a Mernickle high rise holster on a comp tac gun belt. Conceals very well even with a loose shirt. Of course im going to die in a gunfight with the tacticool types, butt, at least i;ll look good….

  19. About the balance, OP – does the .357 just have more metal in the barrel while the .45 is “bored out?”
    My own GP100 is only slightly longer w/ a full underlug. Using it in single-action seems to be just about right.
    If I ever meet you in the hills, I will know you by that pistol. Happy trails.

    • I am reasonably certain that all of them have the same diameter cylinder, otherwise each would have to be built on different frames. So yes, the .357 will be a tad heavier.

  20. Big iron… big iron… and the rangers aim was deadly with the big iron on his hip… big iron on his hip….

  21. Just for fun when I was still active law enforcement we had our off duty qualification, I showed up with my Ruger New Vaquero in 45 Colt (5.5″ barrel). Other officers couldn’t believe how fast and easy the first shot was. Not to mention how effective a big 250 grain slug is.

  22. This was one a the best ones yet and I really enjoyed it. I’m just getting into reloading and would love to get a single action revolver and cast my own bullets for handloads. I feel like that would be super satisfying. I have a single action revolver that’s a German knock off of a colt scout, my dad taught me how to to shoot with that gun.

    • I’m getting into reloading too. Starting with my 45-70 single shot project. I unfortunately don’t have powder or primers yet, I am starting with the lee classic and some loaded Hornady for the brass, after I see what bullet weight my old single shot prefers I’ll be ordering some cast bullets.

      If I had a shop I would cast my own, but my Condo Association doesn’t allow deep fryers, so I don’t think they’d be happy with me smelting and casting my own lead.

      • I reload .38/.357 and am looking to branch out into 45-70 as well, just gotta find a good rifle to start with.
        I’ve been eyeing a CVA single shot, I carry a CVA .50 muzzleloader when I hunt and it’s a fine rifle.

        • Depending on what you are hunting, there are lever action rifles in .45 Colt, e.g., the Winchester 1892, the Marlin 1865 (I believe) and I am pretty sure there is a Henry as well. The round is effective out to at least 100 to 150 yards, and there are heavier jacketed soft point rounds up 265 grains, and lead rounds up to 300.

  23. I carried a 4 3/4″ Colt SAA 45LC for years. Great guns. I highly recommend Bob Mernickle’s PS6SA holsters. They carry the gun high and very close to the body. Also very comfortable. Best concealed carry holster I found for the SAA. I tried a shoulder holster but that didn’t work well for me, too bulky and didn’t conceal well at all. Also had a Ted Blocker IWB that worked well but I’m not an IWB guy and sold that one.

    • At least I don’t carry a fucking piece like that in a shoulder holster. Call me whatever you want, this is some tool shit. Willing to bet he dresses like Marty McFly on BTTF3 before he does the time travel.

  24. Class act! Bullard does good work, but it looks like the holster need some seasoning.

  25. When I was a LEO back in the 70s In NY, I had a great LT, who invented the first western casual Friday! Every time our squad worked Friday we would all carry SA handguns in western rigs and carry either a lever action or exposed hammer double barrel. It was breaking all the rules, but that’s what made him a great leader. If you asked him where he was going and he answered “to hell” there would be twenty guys fighting for their place in line behind him!

  26. Absolutely beautiful my friend!
    As tough and reliable as they come, congratulations! I was reluctant to post, because it brings up a bad memory between my dad and I or anytime I see a single action revolver and a western rig.
    My great great grandfather homesteaded 160 acres back before the Sioux took Custer out in his egotistical attempt to attack 4000 camped out indians with a handful of men. So I have a few neat hand me down true stories that my kin and relatives passed down even a meal with the James brother’s on their way back from Minnesota trailing along the Big Sioux river. So, farming, livestock, hunting, guns, trapping an fishing were a huge part of their lives from 1863 up until 1957 when they auctioned off the farm. Grandpappy decision, but its all gone now, nothing there, but a state official homestead sign by the road and the rest is corn or beans every year, sad. I even have inlaws that are direct decendants of Bill Cody. Anyhoot, grand pappy taught me everything starting out on singleshot guns. Then my dad moved us to AK and he started making good money after going reserve in the Navy and working for a big oil company. So, he was handing down guns to me and my little brother all the time in the mid to latter seventies, as he was buying new ones and hunting big game in AK. Grand pappy passed and dad forced us to move back to the lower 48 in the early 80’s. I cried.. Alaska changed me forever for the better and we regretted the move back for sure. I’d been out in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana hunting for a few months and took my girlfriend with. Took a hatchback car instead of a truck or 4X4, big mistake. The car broke down several times. We had to hitch a ride with a trucker to an auto parts store near Yellowstone for parts, so I could fix it. I had the vehicle way off to the side, but some gungho ticket writer not only wrote a ticket, but had it towed way far away to some small town sleezeball towing company that damaged the vehicle even worse, removed the driveline and lost the u joint caps ta boot! Sob! He was a “creep” right out of a movie, cash only and refused my AAA card, so I never have used AAA since. I gave him all our cash and it wasnt enough, so I gave him the latest version of a Pioneer supertuner $350 out of the car, as collateral, that he kept anyway, cassettes had just been out ya know. He had no use for it, so he said, cash is king. So, we had to hitch back again to the Yellowstone tourist town, found a pawnshop and hocked my 870 Wingmaster and a Ruger 357 Blackhawk with old school leather swing hip holster with the thigh tie, tooling and all, both in pristine condition along with a couple of vintage single shots. I had no choice, but looking back, I should have called the law in, but I think they were already on his take or he never would have got the car locked up so fast, he shook me down to my teeth.
    I purchased more parts and hitched back 300 miles to get the car from this piece of shit of a human being. A friend gave me a couple of 44 mag da’s, snubby and huge Dan Wrsson after that, but traded towatds rifles. Later on in life, dad asked me about my guns that he passed to me earlier and I told him the truth. Unfortunately, he never forgave me, to his death. Dad said I should have shot the sob for highway robbery. My sister ran his will when died and she’s a gun hater, because she has a messed up full growed son living in her basement that cant decide what sex he is and all the bs that goes with it, if you catch my drift. So she sold what he had in his house for pennies on the dollar, antique and even one handmade sniper rifle built by a sniper vet for my dad up in Tok, AK that was still supposed to go to me, a hand load that no one knew except me and there were six rounds left in the case sold with the gun. Can you say OUCH?! Her attorney is the typical slime bag too, so no help there. Who knows where it is today?
    I love old school revolvers, especially the 45 Colt, nothing sounds like a 45 Colt, has that “whistle” to it, especially out of a lever rifle. Ive been wanting a matched pair for years, but havent been able swing it yet. The Vaquero is real nice, but like previously mentioned, I keep reading that the Colt’s feel or balance better. Idk? Brings back hard memories, as you’ve just read.
    She wouldnt even give me his Caribou horn rifle rack that he killed up in AK. “Hell hath no fury like the scorn of a woman”. God dont lie..
    I’m a sentimental basturd that slept with a single action revolver for many years..
    I’ll dish out the James brothers story sometime when it fits.

  27. Every time I hear someone talk about how the .45 colt is obsolete and underpowered I just give them the ol’ “look at this guy trying to sound smart bless his heart”.

    For y’all not from a southern or otherwise cowboy state, “bless his/her heart” is code for poor thing has no idea he or she’s dumb as a stump.

    A .45 caliber 255 grain lead flatnose bullet @ 800 fps is extremely effective at ending bad guy behavior. Five or six of them is enough for a party. I don’t carry my New Vaquero Bisley .45 Colt because I have guns that are better suited but I wouldn’t feel undergunned if I did.

  28. I’ve open carried a double vaquero rig on occasion .
    As a matter of fact, just a few days ago.
    A local advisory to wear facemasks was issued, and my only choices were a gasmask or a bandana.
    I went with the bandana, and that just didn’t look right without the hat and six guns.

    I did spark some good natured smalltalk during my polar pop run.

    strange things were afoot at the circle k

  29. When the wife and I go camping or hiking, my SIG P365 stays home and my old Interarms Virginia Dragoon in. 357 Mag goes on my hip. Where we wander, four legged critters are a lot more common than two legged ones.
    I’m jealous of your Colt

  30. Holy shit the age group of this forum really shined through in this post. I get it, it’s cool. It’s nostalgic. But for real? A fucken EDC, and to top it off in a shoulder holster? Cringe. He’d flag the whole stagecoach just trying to get on target, 6 seconds later… it’s biff tannon vs. marty mcfly. I wonder if this guy works at Frontier City during the summer.

  31. While I’m mostly stuck at home, I just started refurbishing my old cheap HR 9 shot 22 revolver that I inherited from my grandpa. It has a thin, light 6 inch barrel, but it’s the most accurite pistol I’ve ever shot. I figure it’s time to handmake new wood grips and reblue it. Sadly, I think I’ll have to retire its 100 year-old leather holster.
    By the way, as to earlier posts about doing business at banks and around town, I’ve been getting more spare folding cash, so I can say keep the change and give a good tip at the drive-through windows. I don’t want to have to handle any change anyway, and those people could use the help right now.
    Listen folks, keep trusting in God; He’ll help us through this.

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