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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hand gun that has the following markings on it. I am trying to find out information about the gun. Thanks for any help.

Top of barrel: A.UBERTI-ITALY EMF S.A. CAL
Left side of barrel: 38 COLT & S&W SPEC
Bottom near trigger: 171951

I have a picture of the left and right side, but do not know where to upload them.

1,805 Posts
You have an Italian made replica of a Colt Single Action Army revolver.

It was made by the Aldo Uberti company in Italy, the best of the Italian replica makers.
This one was imported by EMF (Early Modern Firearms).

The caliber is for the old obsolete .38 Long Colt, or the modern .38 Special.
The number is the serial number.

Uberti makes replicas of many old American firearms including various Winchester lever action rifles, black powder revolvers, Colt single action replicas and others.

Uberti will "flex" the quality of fit and finish of guns depending on what price point and importer wants to sell at.
As example, Cimarron Arms and Uberti USA sell the top quality, and companies like EMF sell the slightly lesser finish versions.
You have to compare these side by side to see any difference.

Here's Uberti USA's web site showing what they currently offer.
They sell the same guns to importers, with the flex in quality the importer wants:


Here's the EMF web site showing the current line. They've been in business many years so your particular model and caliber may not be shown.
Also, EMF sells lower quality replicas made by other Italian replica makers, like Armi San Marco.


4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the information, it was very helpful.
One more question concerning the gun. Do you know what the small rod under the cartridge ejector is? It has 2 indentions, and when pushed in to the last one will automatically go to the second one when the gun is fired.
Thank you.

1,805 Posts
That's the cylinder base pin.
That holds the cylinder in the gun.

Early single action base pins were retained by a screw in the front of the frame.
After about the 1890's this was changed to a push button sideways bolt in the side of the frame below the base pin.

Replica makers and Colt Firearms still offer both designs as Old Model or New Model (also known as the black powder or smokeless powder) frames.

The Italian imports had import problems because the single actions had no safety device to prevent the gun from firing if the user stupidly carried the gun with all chambers loaded. In order to import into the USA the guns needed some sort of safety system.
If all six chambers are loaded and the gun dropped or the hammer is otherwise struck the gun WILL fire.
This has been known about the Colt type single action since the 1870's, and everyone knew to keep an empty chamber under the hammer.

So, the Italian replica makers came up with several methods to make the gun safe and pass import restrictions.
The newest method is a lever on the bottom-front of the hammer that when the gun is put on the safety notch, the lever swings out and contacts the frame, preventing the hammer from moving forward if struck.

An earlier method was the base pin had two notches in it.
To make the gun safe the pin was pushed to the rear and it protruded through the frame and would press against the hammer, supposedly preventing it from moving forward and firing.
To see this, cock the hammer, push the locking bolt and push the base pin to the rear.
Look at the frame in front of the hammer and you can see the rear end of the base pin sticking out.
That was supposed to prevent the hammer from falling far enough to fire the gun if the hammer was struck.

Some points.......
The original design of single actions are NEVER safe to carry with all six chambers loaded.
BOTH of the Italian replica safety systems FAIL easily.
The lever on the hammer type is not very strong and a good hit will break it off and allow the gun to fire.

The base pin type is even worse.
When the base pin latch is pressed and the pin is pushed to the rear it sticks out the inside of the frame in front of the hammer and is supposed to prevent the hammer from moving forward.
This fails easily by simply pushing firmly on the hammer or bumping the hammer which pushes the pin out of the notch and pushes it forward, where the gun can fire if the hammer is struck.

If you push the pin to the rear, cock the hammer and pull the trigger, the dropping hammer will force the pin forward.
Not a very effective safety but it was enough to allow import.

You can safely shoot these single actions by loading all six chambers, but NEVER carry it fully loaded.
NEVER trust either types of these safeties.

In order to carry the gun safely, you need to have an unloaded chamber under the hammer, with the hammer all the way forward to lock the cylinder.

In order to do that, there's an old trick......
Load one chamber, turn the cylinder to pass the next chamber. Load in four rounds, cock the hammer and lower it.
The hammer will be resting on an empty chamber.

So, load one, skip one, load four, cock and lower.
In other words, when you put the fourth round in the cylinder, don't turn the cylinder any farther. As soon as the fourth round goes into the chamber cock the hammer and gently lower it all the way down.

Practice this with some empty cases until you get it figured out and can reliably do this.

Here's a schematic of a single action made to the original design.
Note the cylinder base pin part 7 and the locking bolt parts 8, 9, and 10.

In the earlier Italian Uberti replicas the base pin has TWO grooves in the front, and the pin is longer.
Press the locking bolt and slide the pin to the rear and it's "Supposed" to block the hammer...... It does but it's not at all reliable.


Here's a later Uberti owner's manual describing the later hammer mounted safety lever.

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