Gun Report

AWA Ultimate 1873 38 Sp/.357 Mag, $600

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We liked the feel and performance of the AWA, but the all-blued look left our traditionalists in the lurch. Fitting and finish were outstanding, and the gun was, we thought, well worth a very good look. The grips needed some linseed oil, and the front sight needed a bit of attention.

AWA Ultimate 1873 38 Sp/.357 Mag, $600

Gun Details

Manufacturer
Model Name
Model Number
Surplus/Collectible
Recreational
Competition
Price
Caliber/Gauge
Caliber Plus Cartridge
Capacity
Weight Unloaded
Warranty
Overall Length
Barrel Length
Sight Radius
Overall Height
Front Strap Height
Back Strap Height
Maximum Width
Grip Thickness Max
Grip Circumference Max
Frame Material
Barrel Material
Grip Material
Trigger Pull Single
Trigger Span Single

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The base pin had the traditional Colt treatment and worked very well, with no lost motion or unnecessary frills to the action. The separate base-pin bushing was also traditional, as were the bevels on the fronts of the chambers.
The bottom edge of the AWA's grip looked great, but was too sharp for comfort (arrow). We'd take sandpaper to it. The Daly had the same problem.
As in days of old, the firing pin floated in a hole in front of the hammer, retained by a just-visible cross pin. This means the gun ought to be carried with only five rounds loaded.

Read Gun Tests Rating and Recommendation