The Cimarron Firearms Evil Roy single action revolver by Uberti isn’t a “race-ready” revolver. It’s a win-the-race-ready revolver, right out of the box.
Gene “Evil Roy” Pearcey, is a well known Cowboy Action Shooting national and world champion. He’s one of the celebrities at Single Action Shooting Society affiliated matches, and runs a shooting school focused on cowboy shooting here in Texas. Cimarron Firearms has partnered with Evil Roy to incorporate the features he finds necessary for success in the game.
The Evil Roy revolvers aren’t dramatically different from the standard Uberti pre-war framed guns made to replicate the original single action Colts. And that’s good, because if they were, they wouldn’t be legal for competition. There are just a few differences that set these guns apart from the otherwise stock versions.
The most obvious are the grips. The Evil Roy guns come with what is often referred to as “gunfighter” style two-piece checkered grips. The butt of the grips is the same width as the standard model, but they narrow through the palm compared to my Uberti Cattleman Pre-War and my Old Model.
When I got into Cowboy Action Shooting earlier this year, lots of people gave me advice on my guns. Some of that advice is good if you have a fantastic amount of money to blow on your hobby, and some of it is good if you want to shoot a little better. Every shooter I spoke to that was a consistent performer at state and national matches said change the stock grips to this style. In fact, many suggested this as the only change for someone new to the game.
What I have found is that the thinner grips do nothing to help with recoil, at least not with the power factor required for SASS matches. The thinned grips do provide a more consistent grip surface, helping to place the hand in the same manner on the gun each time. When you’re trying to go fast, consistency matters. These grips also tend to turn a bit less in the hand, as the narrow grips are necessarily more oblong than round, when compared to the original style.
As for wood-to-metal fit, these are very good, but not perfect. They are flush fit with the palm, a bit proud at the butt, and a teeny tiny bit of gap is left where the wood meets the frame. You’ll have to look pretty closely to find it.
The second change that’s likely to make some difference for the young, and a big difference for those of us whose eyes aren’t what they used to be, is the attention to the sights. The front sight on the Evil Roy models measures .1″ wide, as opposed to my Old Model Cattleman model at .055″. The rear sight on the Evil Roy is also squared off and widened to .125″, twice as wide as the more funneled shape of the standard model.
This sight set up is great for the kind of fast target acquisition required for shooting fast, and generally just a lot easier on the eyes.
Cimarron says that each Evil Roy revolver also includes “improved internal parts to enhance reliability” and is smithed by Cimarron. The reliability of the standard Uberti guns is pretty impressive as is. I know of folks who have their standard models with nothing done to them which have over a decade of competition in them. There’s no telling how much dry fire that includes. Enough to make my thumb sore just thinking about it.
The US-made lightened hammer and trigger springs are pretty obvious. I noticed them the second I pulled the hammer back. It’s actually lighter than the 17 lb. hammer spring I put in my Ruger guns. That improves both speed and accuracy on the shooting line, and also makes dry fire practice last longer.
The trigger weight averaged 1 lb. 8.3 oz. over five pulls on a Lyman digital trigger scale. The standard deviation was extremely low for these pulls. The extreme spread was .2oz. That’s awesome for precision shooting, but means little for the kind of shooting most CAS matches employ. After all, most folks hold the trigger down the moment they grab the gun, but maybe it makes a bigger difference for folks shooting in the Gunfighter category.
The only purely aesthetic change on the Evil Roy guns is the “Evil Roy” signature roll engraved into each barrel. I’m not a fan of other people’s names on my guns but I know that’s some people’s thing.
There are a few different types of cylinder base pins on the Uberti Cattleman guns. The Evil Roy has no transfer bar, but includes the Cylinder Base Pin Safety. This is essentially a slightly longer cylinder base pin with an extra groove in it.
If the base pin is set all the way into the frame, as far as it will go with a push of the finger or thumb, the base pin will slightly protrude from the back of the frame. This will obstruct the hammer from fully falling, and leave a gap between the hammer and the frame.
Don’t mistake this safety for a device that will fully protect your firearm from discharging with repeated hammer pulls or a drop directly on the hammer. It provides some protection, but is not foolproof. Load one, skip one, and load four, always keeping the hammer over an empty chamber until firing.
In keeping with the pre-war style, the ejector is the solid, half moon type.
Unsurprisingly, I experienced no issues in terms of reliability at all. I shot just under 300 rounds total from this revolver over about a week’s time. In getting ready to restart CAS matches, I also dry fired the revolver as part of a 10 minute nightly practice. That adds up to a whole lot of hammer drops. At no point did I experience any issues with loading, firing, or cases failing to fall free.
I shot mostly my own reloads (because ammunition is so hard to find), but I also shot a single box of commercial ammunition. I would be extremely surprised if any of these competition-focused guns failed, even after many years of use.
For those who aren’t familiar, SASS matches tend to spend a good amount of ammunition (120-240 rounds per competition, plus shot shells) and a whole lot of dry firing for anyone who wants to be competitive at all. All of the primers used for this review were CCI No 300 Large Pistol Primers. It’s nice to know that, even with a lightened hammer spring, the Evil Roy still sets off the harder CCI primers.
The barrel, cylinder, and forcing cone on this gun appear just the same as the standard Uberti guns based on the Model P, but this one outperformed the quality guns I’ve fired from them in the past. Every once in a while this happens, and maybe I just found the right bullet recipe for this gun.
My .45 colt CAS load, a 180 gr round-nose flat point bullet from Rim Rock bullets, backed up by 4.8 gr of Clay Dot and lubed with Lyman Bore Butter prints an average of 1″ five round groups over four shot strings, when fired off bags at 25 yards. Oddly enough, so did a 255 gr cast coated bullet from Missouri Bullet Company, pushed to the limit with 5.2 gr of Clay Dot (I’ve got a lot of Clay Dot.)
The single box of Winchester White box .45 LC commercial ammunition I had shot at 1.8″, which is more along the lines of what I am used to. All shooting for precision was done on a well fouled bore, after 200 rounds had already been expended.
It also shoots surprisingly well in hand. The above 2 3/4″ group is the result of two 5 shot strings of my CAS load shot standing with a two-hand grip at 25 yards. I am not a very good shot from this position, and this is about as good as I can do with any centerfire revolver.
There are a couple of finish options offered on the Evil Roy guns. This one is in brushed stainless. I prefer the look of a blued gun, but there’s no denying the pure utility of a stainless gun for competition.
I’ve only been at this a little while, and I’ve already shot two matches in the rain and mud. A finish you don’t have to worry about, especially for big matches that last a couple of days, is much appreciated.
You don’t need to change your gun at all to shoot and enjoy Cowboy Action matches. You don’t even need to change your revolvers to be fairly competitive. Heck, Matt Black has won just about everything there is with a pair of Ruger Vaqueros and all he changed were the grips. To be fair, he is an outlier there, and that dude has a whole lot of talent.
A complete action job, short stroke kit, lowered hammers, and all that is very expensive, and may be the thing that maybe cuts that last second per stage off your times. But maybe not. The real money should be saved to modify your lever gun, which, in my experience, makes a much bigger difference.
The Evil Roy series of guns comes right from the factory with the few changes that make a real difference for most shooters, especially those of us whose range glasses are prescription strength. The Uberti guns are extremely popular, and for good reason. They are good looking, relatively inexpensive, and very well performing firearms.
Cimarron has simply taken this already solid performer and made a “race gun” the new or experienced shooter can purchase and know they are shooting all the revolver they’ll need on day one.
Oh, but you’ll need a pair.
Specifications: Cimarron Evil Roy Single Action Revolver
Frame Type: Pre-War
Safety: Cylinder Base Pin Safety
Finish: Stainless (blued available)
Barrel Length: 5 1/2″ (4 3/4″ available)
Caliber: 45 Colt (.38SPL/.357Magnum available)
Overall Length: 11″
Cylinder: 6-shot, fluted
Number of Grooves: 6
Weight: 2.3 lbs.
Grip: 2-pc checkered walnut
MSRP: $1,014.26 (about $690 retail)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style and Appearance * * * *
The brushed stainless finish is done extremely well, as are the checkered walnut scales. The wood isn’t fancy, and almost perfectly fit.
Historical Accuracy * * * * 1/2
Overall excellent. Sight channels widened and front sights of all types were common throughout even the black powder era. The cylinder base pin is not historically accurate, but you’ll need to look hard to even see that it exists.
Reliability * * * * *
It started very good. It ended up great. This improved reliability, along with the stainless steel finish, will be especially appreciated by the black powder shooters.
Accuracy * * * * *
This is the only part of the review that surprised me. I expected good and I got 1-inch groups at 25 yards from rounds that don’t usually perform that well, as well as from rounds that do.
Overall * * * * 1/2
I hated not giving this gun five stars, but the wood isn’t perfect. If I didn’t already have Rugers before I started CAS, and if I had known these existed, I would have definitely bought a pair of these guns instead. It is very much appreciated that Cimarron didn’t waste money making a “race gun” that is all just cosmetic flash. Cimarron has put the things that make a real difference into a great, very affordable package. You can find a pair of blued Evil Roy .45 Colt guns for about $1,400 retail, and forget about having to do anything to your revolvers in order to score extremely well. These are the guns I would recommend any new cowboy shooter purchase. Save your customization money for the lever gun these revolvers are ideal as-is.