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Joined: Jul 2016
Posts: 190
Sidelock
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Sidelock

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Dare I post a picture of a double made in China? Well, there it is.. a Chinese replica of a Colt 1878. And a real Colt 1878 in 10 gauge.

Mary and I went on a road trip today to see some early fall colors and to hit a couple of gun shops that have been fruitful before. I took an old safe queen rifle along for trading. I ended up trading for a Cimarron 1878 coach gun - NIB.

I got to say, it ain't half bad. Not to say it's a high quality European shotgun by a long shot. No way near. But still I was shocked to see all the screws timed and fit and finish was equal to what I've seen on Remington made Marlin lever guns. The furniture is walnut with some figure.

I didn't realize it had 26" barrels instead of 20" that's more common. But it balances at the hinge nicely.

I had it figured for trading stock but I caught Mary trying it for fit and testing the lockwork. I asked her if she wanted it and she replied, "I might.", with an attitude that she may just take it.

I think some remodeling of the stock behind the locks to more resemble the Colt and also replicate the checking pattern would make the clone more pleasing. Winter is coming on.

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Originally Posted By: Bibbyman

I think some remodeling of the stock behind the locks to more resemble the Colt and also replicate the checking pattern would make the clone more pleasing. Winter is coming on.


No way to turn a sows ear into a silk purse

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Left to right, Colt 1878 10 gauge, Cimarron 12, Colt 12 gauge.

The Colt 12 and Cimarron 12 are nearly the same dimensions from firing pin to firing pin and across breach face - 1.125 pin to pin and 2.3 across face. The Colt 12 weighs in at 8.125 lbs and the Cimarron at 8.5.

The big 10 has a firing pin center to center of 1.315 and is 2.55 across the face. It's a big boy at 10.3 lbs!

Clearly, the Cimarron is a copy of the Colt 12 gauge. The the firing pins and retaining system is different in the Colt 12 and 10 gauge. The Cimarron has the same firing pin system as the Colt 12 gauge.



The buttstocks on both of my Colts have been replaced. I never noticed that the lenght of pull on the Colt 12 gauge was so much shorter than the 10 gauge. The Cimarron is shorter than the 10 but considerably longer than the Colt 12 gauge. The Cimarron has the same steel buttplate as the Colt 12. The 10 gauge has an original hard rubber plate. I think somewhere in the production history Colt changed from steel to hard rubber. Or maybe it was part of a grade level - the 10 gauge being grade 3 (I think).

Originally Posted By: HomelessjOe
Originally Posted By: Bibbyman

I think some remodeling of the stock behind the locks to more resemble the Colt and also replicate the checking pattern would make the clone more pleasing. Winter is coming on.


No way to turn a sows ear into a silk purse


You're right about that!

But the Cimarron 1878 has made a big following in the Cowboy Actions Shooting community. They have a good reputation for being dependable and holding up under the punishment conditions they are put to. Guns, expensive or cheap are shown little respect by Cowboy Action Shooters. Some go out of their way to create a distressed look on their guns! I don't feel bad about them beating the crap out of a new production Chinese made gun. Better that than a nice old one.

The only universal problem is that the firing pins have been soft and tend to mushroom. The aftermarket have new hard ones to replace the factory ones.

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Bibby, thank you for this informative post! As time goes by I'd love to hear how your Cimarron holds up. A couple of years back I had the use of a Remington Spartan 20 ga coach gun for jump shooting ducks. It held up to all the steel shot shells I could feed it. I don't have access to that gun anymore and I was thinking about buying a short barreled Cimarron coach gun for the same thing. Please keep us in mind.

Mergus


Duckboats, decoys and double barrels...
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I have a short barrel Cimarron .... I use it for Cowboy Action when I go on occasion..... skeet on occasion and works well with open chokes.... and home defense. Shoots slugs and 3 inchers too...etc. it has held well for 6 years so far.

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I traded a safe queen for it with the idea of using it for trade stock at Cowboy action matches. But Mary has been eyeing it so it may be her new cowboy gun. She shoots a Stoeger Uplander at the cowboy matches. She likes the longer barrels.

Until two years ago she only had passive interest in guns. But since taking up Cowboy Action Shooting she has collected two pair of Uberti Cattleman revolvers (one standard grip, the other birdshead), a 1911, a S&W Airwaight 38, and 5 Marlin 1894 Cowboy guns. But she only has the one Stoeger shotgun. So she probably thinks her shotgun count is low.

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Sidelock
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A couple more comparisons. The hinge pin on the Colt is screwed in and locked by a screw. The hinge pin on the Cimarron is just simple pin driven in. The top latch on the Colt is .4" longer than the Cimarron. The top tang is longer on the Cimarron.

The Colt has a plunger in the front lump that lifts when barrels open and hits against the locking bolt haunting the barrel opening. The Cimarron does not have this plunger.

This picture shows some of the nice figure in wood on the Cimarron. Not what you'd expect on an ugly duckling.

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The locks and guts thereof look real close. I made a soft attempt to put the Cimarron lock in my Colt and I suspect it could be fitted. I've not tried swapping parts but it looks possible. The Cimarron lock plate has an extra screw hole above the sear spring. I'm told the older guns didn't have this extra screw.

Parts for the Cimarron are as hard to find as those of Colt. When I was repairing the Colt 12 gauge I contacted Cimarron and they only had a few and couldn't tell me if they would work on the original. I've heard they had parts at one time but got them bought up by cowboy gunsmiths.

I have exchanged messages with a cowboy gunsmith that says he has some parts and has repaired original Colts with them. We didn't get into what parts he has or what parts will work.


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