I have two colt clones, one is a Cimarron Arms, the other is a Navy Arms. Both are made by Uberti. Overall I am very pleased with them. The fit and finish is good and they shoot very well.
The only thing that I've done to them is replace the springs with Wolffe springs. They made a HUGE difference, and at less than $15 for the whole set it's deffinately worth while.
I've had the one for about 10 years and the other for 3 or 4. In that time I've had 3 hand springs break between the two, but they're inexpensive and pretty easy to replace (the whole hand must be replaced, and it requires some minor fitting, but it's not a big deal). Other than that they've held up rather well.
I will say that a real Colt, or the American made clones (like AWA) are made from a better grade of steel and just feel more solid to me. Of course these are much more expensive than the Italian clones.
One last thing. I'm not sure how readily available these are, but while at a gunshop last night I saw a gun made by KBI (I'd never heard of them before) that really impressed me. The shop owner said that KBI bought a bunch of rejected parts from AWA and put them together. The guns work flawlessly, but have machine marks, scratches, or similar defects. Basically it's just cosmetic problems. He's only asking $325, which is less than the Italian clones, but these are better guns in my opnion. I'm going back in a week or two to pick one up.
CowboyGunNut, thanks for a very informative post. I have heard good things about the Colt clones, and much of what I have heard is identical to what you have written. Most of the Colt clones I have seen are really nich and "pretty". Of course, looks does not equal functional capabilities Nonethess, I have heard that AWA makes an especially great firearm, particularly the .44 Special revolvers. They are light weight, have little recoil, are generally accurate, and actually make great personal carry weapons for those who don't trust the reliability of semi-autos.
A forum community dedicated to Sport shooters, owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about optics, hand casting bullets, hunting, gunsmithing, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!