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).
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.