Uberti's Hombre .45 Colt

Hardest working gun in the safe
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With a basic load of six of those finger-sized .45 Colt rounds onboard the
Uberti Hombre carries quite a punch. If you’re carrying it, just load five with
the hammer down on an empty chamber.

The Uberti Hombre is the cowboy pistol for the Working Man. This no-frills rendition of Colonel Colt’s timeless Peacemaker is produced as cheaply as modern industry might facilitate. The pressure-bearing bits are formed from quality ordnance steel, but the backstrap and trigger guard are brass. The stained furniture is varnished, and the steel is finished in a pleasing, though historically incongruous, dull charcoal gray. For all its unremarkable plebeian attributes, however, the Hombre is a rugged, accurate and reliable all-around utility gun.

The Uberti Hombre is a low-cost, no-frills rendition of Colonel
Colt’s famed Peacemaker. It’s also a simply splendid rural utility gun.

Origin Story

Every gun in my collection represents some small conquest. I’ll set my sights on something old, black and oily and then scrape, toil and save until I can finally make it mine. I plan my ballistic acquisitions like Napoleon coveted Russia. Each new addition represents a fresh victory. There was one solitary exception.

Anyone who is a parent will understand. It was the magical few weeks preceding Christmas, and the kids were energized. Driving up to Memphis, Tenn., the nearest city of any significant size, to do some Christmas shopping was a cherished annual family tradition.

At the time, Amazon was still just a really big river in South America, so people did their Christmas shopping in actual stores. Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us and a clothing emporium or three usually set the stage followed by a decent meal and a proper holiday family movie. By the time we fired up the minivan and put Memphis to our stern we were all smiling and tired.

There was always one place we visited just for me. Sportsman’s Warehouse was my chance to pore over something other than action figures and winter scarves. A massive box store filled to the gunwales with testosterone-infused boy stuff, Sportsman’s Warehouse was Santa’s workshop for gun guys.

The pistol was nothing special: A non-descript Western sixgun with a 4 3/4″ barrel and the same unexceptional attributes described above. The Uberti Hombre was clearly made to throw bullets and do little more. What was indeed remarkable, however, was the gun’s garish yellow “Sale” tag.

Sportsman’s Warehouse was in the throes of a holiday sale. For a paltry $240 I could make that drab-looking smoke pole mine. I wandered the store a bit chewing my lower lip and cerebrating.

I had a little cash set aside from Christmases and birthdays past. I hadn’t come to Memphis this day to buy a gun, but the metrics were doable. Long story short, I plopped down the plastic alongside my driver’s license and concealed carry permit and walked out with the pistol and the cheapest box of .45 Colt ammo in the store. I had no idea at the time what a serendipitous happenstance it had been.

Ammo versatility is one of the gun’s greatest strengths. Cast lead slugs,
plated bullets, home-brewed loads or factory defensive rounds all give
the Uberti Hombre a different character.

Field stripping is painless and without tools.

The Anatomy Of A Working Gun

The Colt Peacemaker is one of the most extraordinary firearms ever contrived by mankind. We’ll dig deep into those particulars in another project within this hallowed tome. At a glance, the Uberti Hombre clearly has deep Colt roots.

The 4 3/4″ barrel ends at the ejector tube and seems to mumble the word “manliness” every time I glance at it. The massive fixed front blade sight interfaces with a simple groove atop the backstrap to keep the gun pointed in the right direction. Removing the six-shot steel cylinder is a simple chore. Just press in the spring-loaded retention button and pull the cylinder pin out to the front. Open the loading gate and the cylinder falls right out for cleaning.

The big single-action hammer rides right underneath your thumb. The four distinct clicks it makes when you manually retract it are what made John Wayne a household name. You would think having to cycle the hammer every time you fire might slow you down unduly. It doesn’t. I have no idea why, but the Peacemaker runs both quickly and well.

The firing pin is built into the hammer and shows when you cock it. Yes, more modern transfer-bar revolvers are indeed incrementally safer. However, the first click does represent a tiny tacit safety notch. If the action still leaves you queasy just do what the real cowboys did and leave an empty chamber under the hammer. If you really feel froggy roll up a $20 bill and stuff it in there for emergencies.

The real magic resides in the Peacemaker’s preternaturally comfortable grip. Modern plastic pistols festooned with finger grooves and grippy bits wish they were as comfortable and cozy in the hand as Sam Colt’s 145-year-old masterpiece. The Peacemaker grip just slides into your palm and establishes residence there. There is no more natural handgun extant.

The ample loading gate makes insertion and extraction fast and easy.
Muscle memory comes into play here.

The firing pin is rigidly affixed to the hammer, but the gun’s entrails include
a manual safety notch — but don’t rely on it alone to keep you out of trouble.

Will’s Uberti Hombre is a tool just like these others. It excels at its utilitarian mission.

The rear sight is a simple groove cut into the top strap meeting with a bold front blade.

Gunrunning

Loading and unloading is classic Peacemaker. Snap open the loading gate, set the hammer to half-cock and drop your rounds in place one at a time. Fresh cartridges drop into their chambers with a near-mystical grace.

The Colt Peacemaker was the world’s first real point-and-click interface. Face the target with your feet roughly shoulder width apart. Hold the gun outstretched in your dominant hand and let your weak hand hang idly by at a jaunty cant. Splay the fingers of that hand ever so slightly, perhaps even twitching your thumb randomly for dramatic effect.

Once properly oriented, aim the weapon in the general direction of something you dislike and manually thumb the hammer back. Now steady that big front sight on your target while settling it naturally into the top strap groove. If you’re really serious about the enterprise this would be a great time to squint a bit regardless of the glare. Here’s where the real fun begins.

This is a replica of the archetypal single-action revolver. It’s in the name — the Colt Single Action Army. While torqueing back the hammer might seem a bit of a mechanical investment, here comes the sweet payoff. Just give that spindly trigger the tiniest little squeeze.

My Hombre breaks at around 3.5 lbs. without even a hint of creep. I have had this gun more than a dozen years and cycled the action countless thousands of times. I honestly cannot recall what it was like brand new, but it is freaking phenomenal now. When the trigger breaks the gun rocks back more than snaps.

The .45 Colt round is nearly the size of my finger. I honestly cannot tell you why the gun remains so comfortable. Maybe it’s the grip geometry, or perhaps the ghost of old Sam Colt sprinkles a little pixie dust on every one of these revolvers before they leave the factory. No matter the underlying catalyst, the Hombre is one undeniably fun gun to shoot.

You’ll burn through the onboard ammo faster than you expect. Unloading involves opening the loading gate and cycling the spring-loaded ejector. Set the hammer to half-cock so the cylinder is free to spin. Pop out an empty, manually index to the next chamber and repeat the exercise. Practice a bit and you can reload the gun surprisingly quickly.

This basic unadorned leather carry rig is comfortable and fast.
If properly maintained it should last generations.

The spirit of the Old West rests in steel and gunleather. Add a proper
hat and duster and who knows what could happen.

Carry Gear

A no-frills, low-ride leather carry rig was a subsequent Sportsman’s Warehouse conquest. There is an ample leather thong to secure the holster to my leg, and the thick cowhide leather will outlive me. Unlike yours truly, a proper Western holster rig, when properly maintained, really does get better with age.

Once the holster and belt find its perfect spot on my hip it feels like a part of me. There is a leather loop snapping over the hammer so the gun won’t fall out during exertion or climbing. I like the simple unadorned look. I think it perfectly complements my no-frills Italian pistol. However, the internet will get you tooled gun leather as fancy as your checkbook will tolerate.
There are 25 shell loops. I have no idea where the number came from; I had expected some multiple of six.

The loops were originally just crazy tight. I spent an evening in front of a movie wrestling those big fat cartridges into place. Now a dozen years later the whole rig is aged to perfection. Shells slide in and out easily yet remain adequately tight to prevent their inadvertent loss.

The scary end of the Uberti Hombre just screams, “Don’t screw with me, dude!”
in all the world’s major languages.

The spring-loaded ejector is easy to use in a hurry. Watching someone
really run one of these is a symphony of clicks and whirs.

The backstrap and trigger guard are brass, but they have held up to
lots of sweaty use with minimal ill effects. The furniture is fairly no-nonsense.

Why So Special?

I have a lot of really neat collectible firearms I have not laid my mitts on in a decade. Just owning such stuff is often its own reward. However, my Uberti Hombre is nothing like that.

I leave the shell loops filled with nickel-plated cases that have yet to tarnish after a dozen years. I don’t actually store the gun in its holster, but I’m not convinced the Hombre would mind much if I did. The dull gray historically incongruous finish seems about indestructible.

When it is time to stroll about my rural farm, I snatch my holster off its peg, strap everything in place and fill the pistol with five rounds from the shell loops. Arming up takes maybe 45 seconds, and I can do it while I walk. Once in place I can honestly forget the gun is there despite its 2.5 lbs. of unloaded weight.

The real strength of the Hombre is its ammo versatility. I roll my own cast lead reloads just to keep my trigger finger properly conditioned. Blasting bullets in a gun like this is like a gas: The volume you burn expands to fill the space available. If I bring 50 rounds to the range I burn 50 rounds. If it’s 100 then I shoot 100. I suspect if I had a tractor-trailer load of .45 Colt I would just keep shooting until I starved to death.

Modern .45 Colt shotshells will reliably do the deed on water moccasins at close range. Ask me how I know this. These rounds are available commercially, or you can just buy the shot capsules and roll your own. Thank you Speer, if you can find them.

The pal who introduced me to this had an old handheld Lee Loader. He would array his components on the coffee table and make bullets while he watched a movie. As fidgety habits you do with your hands go, such a pursuit is wildly preferable to smoking.
Winchester offers its proven PDX-1 defensive rounds in .45 Colt as well. These massive fat cartridges push their high tech 225-gr. bonded jacketed hollowpoint bullets to around 850 fps. Offering reliable expansion, deep penetration and horsepower on par with the .45 ACP, these loads turn my cheap cowboy pistol into a reliable home defender.

At 15 yards from a simple rest the Uberti Hombre is plenty accurate.

Denouement

It’s been a few years since that fateful impulse purchase at Sportsman’s Warehouse. I have since launched countless .45 Colt rounds downrange through my cheap no-frills pistol and have fallen deeply in love with it along the way. The finish still looks new, and the gun shoots nice and straight.

In the interest of full disclosure I did have a broken spring in the gun’s entrails several years ago. A replacement from Gun Parts Corporation showed up in a week, and a little mechanical surgery in the gunroom left the old girl feeling spunky and refreshed. Along the way I got to learn the pistol’s innermost secrets. Sam Colt was indeed a pretty quick kid in his prime.

You’ll not find the Uberti Hombre on sale for $240 these days. The gun’s MSRP is $579 according to their website. For a little more, you can get the same gun with a more historically accurate charcoal blue finish. While hardly front pocket change, it’s still not bad for a tool that will rid your world of poisonous snakes, reliably defend your homestead and guarantee many a pleasant Saturday afternoon at the range.

I see some of myself in my humble Uberti Hombre. I’m not much to gaze upon, yet I am a reliable friend, a stalwart provider and fairly decent company. I also absolutely despise poisonous snakes. Everybody needs at least one gun like this. 

For more info:

www.uberti-usa.com

www.winchester.com

www.leeprecision.com

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