American Rifleman - August 2021 - 80

I HAVE THIS OLD GUN ...
UNITED STATES PATENT FIRE ARMS
" TOMBSTONE " BUNTLINE
GUN: UNITED STATES PATENT FIRE ARMS SINGLE ACTION ARMY (BUNTLINE)
CHAMBERING: .45 COLT
SERIAL NO: 13XXX
MANUFACTURED: 1995-1996
CONDITION: NRA EXCELLENT (MODERN GUN STANDARDS)
VALUE: $2,750 TO $3,500
(STANDARD B&CH 4¾ " , 5½ " AND 7½ " BARREL LENGTH VERSIONS IN
THIS CONDITION TYPICALLY SELL IN THE $2,000 TO $2,250 RANGE)
NOTE: A LIMITED SUPPLY OF USFA CYLINDERS, BARRELS AND STOCKS
ARE STILL AVAILABLE FROM TEN-RING PRECISION (TENRING.COM).
N
ormally, 19th century fi rearm replicas never come
close to achieving the value of the originals they emulate.
One of the few exceptions is the Single Action
Army replicas built by the United States Fire Arms Mfg. Co.
Founded in 1993 as the United States Patent Fire Arms
Mfg. Co. (USPFA), it was the creation of Douglas F. Donnelly,
an entrepreneurial Californian who was its sole owner until
the company folded in 2011. As a former member of the
U.S. Shooting Team, Donnelly envisioned getting into the
fi rearm business, even though he had no experience in that
endeavor. Undeterred, he rented 5,000 sq. ft. in the historic
1855 Hartford, Conn., Colt factory, which had become Colt
Industrial Park after the company relocated its operations.
Donnelly obtained a federal license as a fi rearm
importer and dealer, and later, as a manufacturer.
Purchasing parts from Aldo Uberti in Italy, USPFA assembled
and marketed replicas ranging from 1847 Walkers to
versions of the 1873 Peacemaker, and offered " Old Armory
Custom Shop " engraving, all performed " Under the Blue
Dome, " referring to the factory's celebrated architectural
feature. With no shortage of skilled labor in Hartford, the
80
AUGUST 2021
guns were superbly crafted, with Turnbull Restoration
Co. (turnbullrestoration.com) doing the casehardening,
charcoal bluing and black-oxide fi nishes.
To prevent confusion among its customers, in 1995, Colt
requested that Donnelly stop using " Patent " in his company's
name. Donnelly responded by suing Colt for false
advertising, as its guns were no longer made in Hartford.
Nonetheless, by 1997, Donnelly had re-named his company
the United States Fire Arms Mfg. Co. (USFA) and was
stamping his guns accordingly.
By 2001, USFA was crafting all of its fi rearms inhouse
and was touting a wide range of single-actions,
early semi-automatics and Lightning slide-action rifl es.
Unfortunately, many of these guns were never seen
outside of trade-show exhibits. Non-delivery of promised
products, coupled with mismanagement, eventually forced
USFA out of business.
Today, the single-actions in particular are highly coveted,
with many favoring those with the " Patent " trademark-
which were only produced for two years-while others prefer
the later guns, which used all U.S.-made parts. Quality-wise,
there is little difference, as exemplifi ed by this 98-percent
condition, blackpowder-frame " U.S.Pt.F.A. " Buntline made
in 1996 as a duplicate of the gun used by Wyatt Earp (Kurt
Russell) in the 1993 movie " Tombstone. " Even the stock
medallion was engraved and inset by John Ennis, who
did the movie originals. With its custom 10 " barrel,
honed action, original box and paperwork, it is worth
$2,750 to $3,500.
-RICK HACKER, FIELD EDITOR
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
Photos by author
http://www.turnbullrestoration.com http://www.TENRING.COM

American Rifleman - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - August 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 8
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 11
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 18
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 25
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 26
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 27
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 28
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 29
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 30
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 31
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 33
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 34
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 35
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 38
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 39
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 40
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 41
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 42
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 43
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 45
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 46
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 47
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - 49
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 50
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover3
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover4
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