Colt New Frontier and Peacemaker .22 Revolvers

By Chuck Hawks

Colt SAA
Illustration courtesy of Colt's Mfg. Co., Inc.

The Colt Peacemaker .22 and New Frontier .22 were introduced in 1970 to replace the earlier Frontier Scout .22 revolvers. They are also related to the centerfire Colt Single Action Army and SAA New Frontier.

One of the main criticisms of the Scout was its black anodized aluminum alloy frame. With the Peacemaker and New Frontier .22's, Colt addressed this and other complaints.

The .22 rimfire caliber Peacemaker and New Frontier were .22 LR or convertible .22 LR/.22 Magnum (WMR) single action six-shooters. Both are discontinued. They were built on approximately 7/8 scale, color case hardened steel frames. LR cylinders were fluted, and the .22 WMR cylinders were not. Barrel lengths were 4 3/8 inches, 6 inches, and 7 1/2 inches. There were also Peacemaker and New Frontier Buntline .22 models.

The Peacemaker .22 is the visual counter part of the regular Single Action Army. Its round top frame is similar in style and the front sight is a rounded blade. The barrel, cylinder, and ejector rod housing are blued steel. Grips are black plastic in the traditional Colt "American Eagle" pattern.

The New Frontier .22 is built on a flat top frame like the larger SAA New Frontier. It is finished in the same manner as the Peacemaker .22. The fully adjustable sights are a great improvement over the Peacemaker.

The Peacemaker and New Frontier have a frame mounted firing pin and a one-piece aluminum alloy grip frame. Operationally, they are traditional Colt single action revolvers and should be loaded and handled as such.

These guns are properly carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber. They should never be carried fully loaded with six cartridges, even with the hammer in the so-called "safe" (1/4 cock) position. Get into the proper habits of safe operation with all traditional single action revolvers. (See my review "Colt Single Action Army and New Frontier Revolvers" on the Product Review Page for further operational details.)

The Peacemaker .22 and New Frontier .22's were produced continuously from 1970 until 1977. Production of the New Frontier .22 resumed in 1982 and ran for several more years. These 2nd generation guns incorporated a superfluous cross-bolt safety. This was a response to the Age of Frivolous Litigation that had by then engulfed the firearms industry.

The .22 New Frontier's excellent adjustable sights are a big asset. They make this handsome .22 a serious small game hunting revolver. A New Frontier .22 Convertible with the shorter 4 3/8 inch barrel is an excellent trail, camp, or kit gun. And it would be hard to argue with the assertion that the Colt Peacemaker and New Frontier .22's are the prettiest single action .22 revolvers around.

Note: A complete review of these revolvers can be found on the Product Reviews page.

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Copyright 2003, 2016 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.