Chapter 1.2 - Legally Non-Guns but Pieces of Art 

The Uberti miniature guns are scaled 1:2 ¼ or 47% of the real thing. 

Their barrels are rifled except for those made for Great Britain imports. They sport a smooth bore1). Like the full size replicas or originals the miniatures can be disassembled and assembled, cocked, cycled etc. 

Miniature Colt 1851 Navy #PM809 disassembled in major parts 

Quality and function compare nicely to their "fathers" of replica fame. That's what the full size replicas or their originals will be dubbed affectively in the comparative pictures, whereas the miniatures will be named "sons". 

The important difference, the miniatures are non-firing. Consequently, these little jewels are not proof tested either:

  • Percussion revolvers: Pistons are not bored through!

Pistons of Colt 1851 Navy #PM809 not bored through

  • Barrels of most cartridge revolvers, carbines and rifles are plugged at the breech!

Barrel plugged at the breech of Uberti miniature Colt 1873 SAA Old Model #1 from USHS-Classic Line (courtesy Erwin Gräber collection)

Some Uberti miniature guns imported to Germany before the turn of the century were stamped with famous BKA 142 diamond meaning non-gun like found on Colt 1847 Walker miniature #Z060 from HEGE subscription program (courtesy Erwin Gräber collection)

This non-gun categorization of the miniatures was discovered to have an unexpected downside, however. Because the interested collector is facing the unpleasant surprise when he or she attempts to figure out the "collectors' facts" of interest. No hard facts are available. Neither manufacturers nor dealers or auction houses handling this kind of "gun-art" are legally required to document their products like they are with real guns. For example, no detailed QC protocols or shipping records listing models and serial numbers etc. can be obtained from the factory. 

Hence, digging out such facts can turn out to be a drag. Therefore, creativity, flair, intuition combined with stamina and determination are condition sine qua non to find the answers to questions like 

  • when was 
  • which model in 
  • which variant or grade of embellishment completed? Or 
  • how many were made in the first place? Or 
  • who was the first owner and 
  • which specialist team of individual specialist at Uberti was involved in the making?

Two Colt 1873 SAA miniatures: "Sons" #3056 7,5" barrel Old Model (front) and #3388 5,5" barrel New Model (right) with factory engraved "father" #157734 with year code BL (1998; courtesy Wolf D. Niederastroth Collection)

References

1. Northmore, J.: UBERTI MINIATURES, Dec. 13, 2016, http://www.gunmart.net/militaria/reproduction-firearms/uberti-miniatures

2. WaffG Anl. 1, 1.6.3

 

July 17, 2020/WDN

 

No commercially available ammunition exists that can be loaded into the Uberti breech-loading revolver and rifle miniatures. 

 

Comparison of Calibers - Replicas vs. Miniatures

According to the gun legislations of most European countries like in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy or Switzerland, and also the U.S.A. these miniature guns are legally non-guns2).

But some are not see pictures of Colt 1873 SAA Old Model #Z057 below. They are "neutered" in a different way.

Uberti miniature of Colt 1873 SAA Old Model #Z057 from HEGE subscription program

While the barrel of #Z057 is unplugged the chambers are not bored through. They are just opened up by ca. 5,00 mm/.197 inch on their face and breech sides.

Chambers of #Z057 just a mite opened up on their face …

… and breech side

Another Uberti miniature guns imported to Germany stamped with a further BKA 148 diamond; mark found on Colt 1873 SAA Old Model miniature #Z057 from HEGE subscription program