American Western Arms Co is known to history as the "Peacemaker clone that was so close to the original, that Colt sued them". American Western Arms (AWA) began importing single-action pistol parts from Italy around 1998-1999. They then finished assembly in the U.S. with rich blueing on the barrel and cylinder, case hardening on the frame, and a highly tuned trigger.
Additionally, purists liked them because they did not feature the same "hammer block" safety that the other Italian copies had, making them much closer to Colts than any other replica by default. Colt wasn't particularly pleased with the high quality historically-accurate finishes that came standard on the AWA SAA's; with many reporting the quality of the color case hardening to be superior to that of Colt's custom shop. Nor was Colt particularly thrilled with how close AWA hammers looked in comparison to theirs. But these in themselves didn't give Colt grounds to sue. The story goes that it was AWA's "Eagle Shield" black plastic grips that were the final straw for Colt, as they were nearly identical to the grips used on Colt's "3rd Generation" series of 1873s.
Colt's legal department sued on a point of trademark law called ‘Trade Dress,’ in which the copy is deemed too close in appearance to another company’s offering to the point that the aggrieved party can claim that the copy intentionally misleads the buying public or trades off the good name of the plaintiff.
Colt won the suit and the company switched to one piece wood grips to satisfy the settlement terms. However, with their operating fund largely depleted from the costs associated with their legal case, the company went bankrupt in 2003.
The legacy of the AWA 1873 clone remains almost mythical with many shooters reporting them to be the finest looking, finest shooting Single Action Army's ever produced; on par with both Colt and USFA. For this reason, most of the AWA guns that exist today have seen a lot of use, which is why we are proud to present this unfired AWA Peacekeeper in .45 Colt with its original box and paperwork.
This revolver is in excellent, unfired condition! It is a "post lawsuit" gun made shortly before the company went out of business in 2003; as indicated by its one-piece wood grips. It is in near perfect unfired condition. With only a few minor blemish from storage and handling.
Mechanically, this AWA is perfect with a buttery smooth action and perfect timing. The bore and chambers are perfect with no rust or pitting. This gun is a true collectors item.
This revolver comes complete in its original hard case, which is in great condition with a few scuffs in the finish from storage.
*This weapon was made after 1899 and/or fires a modern cartridge. MUST be shipped to Federal Firearms License holder for transfer. Never bought a gun through an FFL before? Give us a call at (262) 473-5444 and we'd be glad to walk you through this simple process!