Is it Real or is it Parts?
The more I know about USFA the more I realize that how the guns were built often follows no rhyme or reason for parts or serial numbers.
Don't get me wrong I think the 100% USA made USFA guns are some of the finest SAA hand guns ever built. But not every USFA gun is of the same quality either.
Much of the famed quality built into the USFA guns from the very beginning, is without a doubt in my opinion, based on the exceptionally skilled craftsmen that put them together. That despite the quality of parts used at different times in the company's short history. I wish I had a list of the very skills craftsmen that put the guns together.
I'd like to thank them personally for the guns that I get to shoot and pass on to my family.
Hopefully this info will help others find value and a lttle of the history in their own USFA guns.
There are a number of things I put on a check list to tell a Uberti frame from a USA made frame, and a "parts gun" labeled USFA but built on either frame with a mismatch of parts. None of these "checks" how ever are a full proof means of identification on a "parts guns". A check of the frame at the loading latch, with the cylinder out of the gun is the only known definitive test for a Uberti frame compared to a US made frame. And even with that I would not ignore the obvious if things don't jive. One thing I have learned with USFA..."never say never!"
As a start. "Uberti parts were still used up through the 20XXX and 21XXX serial range."
Credit must go first to past employee of USFA, Gary Granger, for giving us all a look inside USFA while he was working there. He was the "face" of the company for may of us originally. And has continued to help the USFA owners long after the company was history.
The frame hole at the pivot pin bottom/recoil plate, bottom left of the picture on a Uberti frame.
The lack of frame hole on the pivot pin, recoil plate, bottom left on a USFA frame
Other details I now look at /for.
USFA marked on the barrel. Not USPFA.
Front sight profile? Uberti is generally more rounded and ramped on the front side. USFA are generally more vertical on the front side or even slightly over hanging and less curve across the top and back down to the barrel.
Classic USFA profile front sight
and the classic Uberti profile front sight
As Gary Granger has posted for patent line roll marks: