I am a shooter rather than a collector. A few months ago I decided I would like to have my own engraved single action revolver- shooter grade. Attempting to keep some semblance of a bank account wasn’t thrown out of the window as I searched. I have been very happy with the Pietta Single Action Army/1873 type revolvers, and when I saw the looks and price of the Traditions Liberty the decision was made. The Liberty features a beautiful blued finish that gives it an old-world feel. The engraving is nicely done with an appearance similar to acid etching but laser engraving is not as deep as old type German style engraving. The style is similar to vine scrolls with border work that is simply amazing. You can spend a pleasant evening simply looking over the coverage.  I am not an expert on the differences between Banknote, American, English and Nimschke engraving, but the mix of the Pietta is excellent. The barrel, ejector, frame, cylinder and back strap feature coverage.

The 4 ¾ inch barrel length is ideal for all day packing. The revolver also features a modern transfer bar ignition system. The hammer does not contain the firing pin but the spring loaded firing pin is housed in the frame. When the hammer is at rest the hammer cannot touch the firing pin. When the hammer is cocked the transfer bar rises to a position that allows the falling hammer to strike the transfer bar and the impact is transferred to the hammer. This makes for greater safety.  The price is fair, little more than a standard revolver and much less expensive than custom engraving.  When choosing a caliber, the .45 Colt had great appeal but I climbed the logic ladder and chose the .357 Magnum.  The easy shooting .38 Special cartridge, which may be used in .357 Magnum revolvers, made the chambering ideal for Cowboy Action shooting. When loaded with the proper Magnum loads there is no cartridge with better wound ballistics. In a pinch a heavy loaded Magnum is useful for defense against bears and big cats – perfect for outdoor use.

It isn’t harmful to dry-fire a transfer bar ignition system and this was undertaken before any range work. The trigger is crisp at 4 pounds with a clean break. Since my initial purpose I have fired perhaps 2500 trouble free cartridges in the Pietta with excellent results. About ninety percent have been .38 Special loads. One of the most accurate loadings I have fired is the affordable Black Hills Ammunition 158 grain cowboy load. This is a great resource for informal plinking, target practice, and cowboy action shooting. I have also used quite a few Magnum loads. One of the standouts is the Black Hills Ammunition 125 grain JHP loading. This is a good load that breaks almost 1400 fps from the Pietta Liberty. Control is good as the plow handled SAA revolver makes for comfortable shooting.    It’s perfect balance lends itself to a smooth draw from a holster.  The more I fire the short barrel SAA in .357 Magnum, the more I am certain I made the right choice.

For more information on Traditions Performance Firearms please visit https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/


Bob Campbell holds a degree in Criminal Justice and has authored over 10,000 articles and fourteen books for major publishers. Campbell has served as a peace officer and security professional, has taught the handgun professionally and is a competitive shooter. He is currently teaching his grandchildren not to be snowflakes.

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