You know, the old ones
Probably most interested in pre-WWII examples.
Which are the "Cheap" ones? Where are they commonly found? How much can you expect to pay?
Well if you're looking for old ones, they won't be cheap. If you're looking for modern reproductions they're very reasonable.
The confusing part is the manufacturers...of which there are relatively few. Beretta bought Uberti which in turn owns/runs Cimarron firearms. Most of the non-extravagant models sell for around $400 a pop.
Ruger sells Vaquero models which are similar to the Uberti Cattleman line which is a copy of the classic Cold Peacemaker. Beretta makes a line of old west guns which I would imagine are just a nicer version of the Uberti line that they bought?
I bought my buddy a Uberti Cattleman for a wedding gift just over a year ago, and I picked up an 1851 Navy Conversion for myself so we could do some Cowboy shootin' together. Mine was around $500, his was perhaps $390. What are you looking to do? Shoot or collect?
Gift for my dad. He's into "wild west" weaponry. But he'll be shooting it. Probably a lot.
Funny you mention the Vaquero - he just shot a borrowed one a few days ago and told me about it. Said he liked it but the grip was too small for his hands. I assume that's the case with most of these revolvers. He also said he'd still want an "Original" Colt. So I assume that means I'm in for the big bucks
Say $1,500 budget. Anything out there?
Looks like legit models are anywhere from $2,500-10,000
Meaning they'd be old enough to be dangerous to shoot...and you'd ruin the value if you did. I'd get him a couple of the remakes. They're awesome, fun to shoot. For $1,500 you could even get him a matching pair. Or I'd imagine some gunsmith out there takes the normal models and warms them over.
I you plan to shoot it, get a Cimmaron. They start with a Uberti, but then make it an (almost) identical copy of a real SAA.
THe Model "P" with case hardened finish is pretty awesome: