"One sure way of knowing if your USFA receiver is a Uberti or a “made in USA” USFA is to look at the pivoting area of the loading gate when the loading gate is open. The Uberti frame loading gate has a gap at the three o’clock position and the USFA loading gate pivot area completely fills the area without a gap.
The info you see here on the blog, could be organized better. But the basic info of what USPFA or USAF gun will be all Italian parts , a combination of USA and Italian parts or just all USA parts should be here and easy enough to find if you take a few minutes to look around. I have looked at and examined in person and well over 1000 USFA guns by now. And been lucky enough to have recorded the serial numbers and seen detailed photos of many, many more.
A pair of my early USFA guns, with carved ivory, that were mostly part Italian parts guns. (although I didn't know it at the time) Beautiful guns but nothing like USFA would produce later in their history.
My first USFA guns were purchased in 1999. My first USFA, USA made guns in 2008. I started gathering this info in 2009. Turned out as USFA was closing its doors in 2011 I suddenly had a lot of free time on y hands and started seriously collecting what I could on USFA info and guns. Later with the help of the CAS forum's membership and my own gun purchases I was able to put a extensive serial number catalog together. Much of what I found useful for my own USFA collecting during those years is documented here.
I didn't publish the info I had collected until 2013, which was after I had bought the majority of my own USFA collection, for obvious reasons. Prices were already going out of sight for my meager pocket book. And they continue to climb skyward to date. I finally made some of the info public by 2013 here on the blog and have updated that first info a number of times to what you see now in the 2015 post. I've also added other info as I found a sub topic interesting within the USFA and previous USPFA gun when I thought it might be useful to others shooters and collectors. Early on, after the end of production @ USFA I saw a lot of guns being sold for high prices that really couldn't be justified by the best of the USFA production quality. I had hoped that a little knowledge would save others some of the heart break I experienced buying guns that I shouldn't have.
As prices continue to climb on the secondary market here are a few things I have not found Italian guns to be at the level of a all USFA made gun. Please! Buyer beware there. The serial numbers pretty much tell that story if you bother to look and have the info. available. But there are other subtle details as noted within the text. If you have a question I am happy to attempt an informed answer.
USFA likely did almost as many "one off" guns as they seemingly did production guns. Not really but there are so many variations it might really pay to look closer and again..when you think you have something with the USFA logo. I have learned to never, say never. And that if anyone actually knows all the details or was at USFA and USPFA prior for the duration they aren't talking, let alone writing it down for public consumption.
(10/28/19) Much to their chagrin it seems Standard has taken on the mantel, CNC machines, skilled personal and CNC progams. I have one of the Standard guns in 45. It is a nice gun no doubt. But without question in my mind it is not, in my opinion, on the level of the best that USFA produced. Details are missing.
I think the easy comparison would be 1st, 2nd and 3rd gen Colts. Reverse the idea and you have some thing similar in current Uberti, Standard and USFA guns. Not a perfect comparison but you can get the idea if you are a collector or just a shooter of any of these guns. Make sure you are getting what you think you are paying for.
Current Ubertis (from Cimarron) in 44 Special and 32-20. (Spring 2019 production) Guns that are hard not to like. And frankly after rebuilding many Colts of all generations and a good many USFA guns I can say the Ubertis are typically better timed (and easier to fix if they aren't) and shoot to point of aim where a Colt seldom does either very well. You want a gun to shoot? Buy a Uberti or the Pietta. The Pietta is more keeping with a traditional Colt for parts and size. Colt comparison? Uberti, USFA and Standard are not a traditional Colt for parts or size of the guns. Parts are for the most part interchangeable (might not be perfect but you can get a working firearm again) between the last three mentioned.
I know this..…. having done just that on the guns.
Three Uberti 44 Specials.
One of my favorite USFA guns which started life as a USFA made Rodeo. Matte blue Rodeos are the perfect basis for a engraving project. I've only owned own USFA USA made gun that didn't shoot POA/POI. They are generally exceptional shooters. I have one I call the "Cutter" for its ability to cut playing cards at any distance I can see the edge of a playing card.
A classic pair of special order, USA made Rodeo II guns, NIB, with Nutmeg ivory
And a pair of classic Colts being used as intended :)
I hope the info offered here helps the next guy! Keep it on target and your powder dry :)