While I would love to have something with a rampant Colt engraved on the grips or frame at the moment the closest I can come to that is with my Ruger New Model Blackhawks in .357 Magnum. I also have a Uberti Hombre in the more traditional .45 Colt caliber but being an Hombre with it's matte black finish it doesn't even look like a Colt with the Color Case Hardened frame and parts and that drop dead gorgeous blue finish. The Ruger New Model Blackhawks are a tried and true design that most everyone is familiar with. Using their transfer bar ignition system allowing for filling the cylinder up safely with 6 rounds, adjustable sights as on the New Frontier Model Colts and in the case of both of mine, nice wood grips, they have a lot going for them.
The 4 and 5/8" barrel version came to me free. A buddy who is involved in the Veteran's Organization that helped get me into my current mobile home and also lives in the same park had a room mate who was an older gentleman. He passed away and among all the stuff that was left behind was this Ruger New Model Blackhawk without a cylinder. Lon looked high and low for it all to no avail and not being very interested in what he considered a "partial" firearm he brought it over to me, the only "certifiable" gun nut he knows. I was plumb tickled to get it. I called the New Hampshire Factory where they assemble and work on these revolvers and asked if it would be possible to fit a new cylinder and replace a couple of minor missing parts, the cylinder pin release spring and nut. They told me to send it to them and they would give me a call back to tell me how much it would be total.
I boxed it up in a USPS shipping box, addressed it and enclosed a letter with my name, address, phone number, and all the particulars concerning the revolver. About a week later I got a phone call from a nice young lady who told me that for $175 they would refit a new cylinder and the missing parts, test fire it and ship it back to me. I was rattling off my credit card number so fast she had to have me repeat it for her!
While I was waiting for my newly refurbished Ruger to get repaired and returned to me I happened to go up to a little gun shop up in Henderson that I go to for reloading supplies. They have better pricing than most other places on primers and powder in the area and I like to support the little guys, well in this case, gals when I can. After picking up a box of CCI Small Pistol Primers I browsed around the gun cases in the back part of the store where they have the revolvers. The front display cases are mostly all semi autos and the three of those I have are sufficient to my needs. In the furthest back case rested a 6 and1/2" Ruger New Model Blackhawk .357 with a spare 9MM cylinder in a little red cloth bag. It was used, but hardly looked it and the price was right at $300. I asked to look at it, checked it out closely, noticed that while it had been shot some to all intents and purposes, it might as well have been a new revolver. Temptation got the better of me and after filling out the paperwork and giving up the plastic it followed me home.
A couple more days later the big green UPS truck rolled up to my place late in the day and the driver was pounding on my door. He had a box marked with a Ruger in big red letters on the side of it. The box was big enough that you could have stuffed a 7 and 1/2 inch barreled revolver in it. Admittedly I was a little curious about that as I signed for my box and took it inside. As soon as the door shut, the Buck was out and I was slicing at the paper tape that sealed the box shut. Inside was my newly refurbished New Model Blackhawk in .357 Magnum with it's 4 and 5/8" barrel. They had stuffed some cardboard and paper inside to absorb the extra space the much larger box had over the size of my short barreled revolver. When I had sent the revolver in the bottom edge of the housing that held the cartridge removal rod and spring had been scrapped clean down to the aluminum by the cylinder retaining rod for a good 1/8" along most of it's length. Careless handling by the previous owner had accomplished that. The factory tech who had refit the new cylinder had taken care of that, it was now a uniform black overall. The missing parts were replaced and the cylinder was just as if it had been the original. I was tickled! So now I had a pair of New Model Blackhawks, okay so one was longer in the barrel than the other, so what.
Taking them out to the desert with an assortment of hand loads that I like I soon discovered that they both shot great. At 25 yards they both shot a little high so it was necessary to hold at the bottom of the number 8 ring on the 100 yard small bore rifle targets I was using to put them in the bull. At fifty yards a little higher hold was okay and at 75 they were right on the money. Trying out the 158 grain Semi Wad cutter's with gas checks showed that the 6 and 1/2" barreled on like them best when pushed to about 1350 FPS. The shorter barrel liked them as well but seemed to do a bit better with a Lyman 150 grain semi wad cutter design at almost that speed. The 150 grain version did not have a gas check either. The best groups I was showing with their preferred bullets was hovering right around 1 and 1/2 to 1 and 3/4 inches if I did my part on the other end off a rest. Standing up in the breeze, 2 to 2 and 1/2 inch was the normal grouping off hand. I would like to try a heavier weight with them to see how that goes, I haven't even bothered to try anything but cast lead as it is my preferred bullet material. Although it would be interesting to see what they would do with some zippy light weight jacketed hollow points.