Gun Of The Week: Davidson’s Exclusive Pietta 1873 Convertible

posted on December 22, 2023

Welcome to another American Rifleman Gun Of The Week video, and this time, we’re on the range with an incredibly versatile single-action revolver built by Pietta. This Davidson’s Exclusive version is not only offered in a bunch of barrel lengths, it’s also available in multiple calibers and can be easily converted between several chamberings with a simple cylinder swap. Watch the video above to see this latest Davidson's Exclusive revolver in use on the range.

GUN OF THE WEEK title screen text box overlay right-side revolver single-action pietta 1873 davidson's exclusive offering on stand with convertible cylinder

As one of the largest firearm distributors in the country, Davidson’s brings unique designs to market that you just can’t find anywhere else. Davidson’s works with manufacturers across the world, and one such maker is Pietta of Italy, a well-known producer of classically styled revolvers harkening back to the Wild West. In this instance, the collaboration between the two companies has produced an extensive line-up of guns that give revolver enthusiasts a bunch of options.

Tying together most of the models in the Davidson’s Exclusive collection of Pietta convertible wheelguns is the brass grip frame and trigger guard, though there is at least one convertible model with an all-black grip frame, too. All of the steel revolver frames are treated with a color casehardened finish, and the cylinders, barrels and ejector-rod housings are all blued. The classic package is finished off with a set of smooth, well-shaped walnut stocks.

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The key feature of these Davidson’s Exclusive models is the easy caliber-conversion. Models are offered in two caliber pairings: .357 Magnum and 9 mm Luger make up one pairing, and .45 Colt and .45 ACP make up the other pairing. The guns ship with two six-round cylinders, one for each chambering. To swap between these options, simply loosen the cylinder base pin screw at the front of the frame, remove the base pin, remove the installed cylinder, replace it with the other cylinder, and reinsert and re-secure the base pin. It couldn’t be easier.

Pietta 1873 convertible single-action revolver in hands extracting spent cartridge brass case

What’s more, because the cylinders are all headspaced at the case mouth, no moon clips are required to run the rimless cartridges like 9 mm Luger and .45 ACP. Simply load, shoot and eject these rounds like you would with the rimmed .357 Magnum and .45 Colt cartridges. The key benefit, of course, is that 9 mm Luger and .45 ACP are both easier and much more affordable than .357 Magnum and .45 Colt, though the latter classic calibers really give you the truly authentic shooting experience with a classic single-action revolver.

Davidson's sign over door concrete block brick building

While Davidson’s offers a full range of these Pietta revolvers, our experience was limited to the .357/9mm model shown here. Outfitted with a brass frame and 5.5" steel barrel, the gun balanced well in the hand and was a true shooter. We especially appreciated the attention to detail when it came to the hammer feel. Four clicks gives shooters an authentic experience of thumbing back a Colt-inspired revolver, and peering down the groove in the top strap at the broad front sight blade gave us a taste of the Old West on the range. Truly, shooting a classically styled, single-action revolver is one of the must-dos for any firearm enthusiast, and Davidson’s makes it a whole lot easier and more affordable with its convertible revolvers from Pietta.

Davidson's Exclusive Pietta 1873 Convertible Specifications
Action Type: single-action, centerfire, convertible revolver
Chamberings: .357 Mag/9 mm Luger, .45 Colt/.45 ACP
Barrel: 5.5" blued steel
Receiver: color-case-hardened steel
Frame: brass
Cylinder: six-round capacity
Stocks: two-piece walnut
Overall Length: 11"
Weight: 36.8 ozs.
MSRP: $700


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