Classic-Style (Cowboy?) Revolvers

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So, what some are calling "Buy A Gun" day is coming up, and I'm thinking I might do just that. I've long hated wheel-guns as dark-age technology, but since getting a 642, I've realized that they're pretty fun to shoot, and think dark-age might be exactly what I'm looking for.

To this end, I've been looking at cowboy-style revolvers, but I know little.
What should one look for in a cowboy revolver? I will likely not be shooting CAS with it, nor hunting, but I do intend to shoot it as a "fun gun".

I intend to shoot it, so is .357 the way to go (over the more expensive .44 or .45LC)?

Are there any cowboy-style revolvers I can load with a speedloader? Any that are double-action?

What about the Ruger Blackhawk? The Vaqueros?
 
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So, what some are calling "Buy A Gun" day is coming up, and I'm thinking I might do just that. I've long hated wheel-guns as dark-age technology, but since getting a 642, I've realized that they're pretty fun to shoot, and think dark-age might be exactly what I'm looking for.

To this end, I've been looking at cowboy-style revolvers, but I know little.
What should one look for in a cowboy revolver? I will likely not be shooting CAS with it, nor hunting, but I do intend to shoot it as a "fun gun".

I intend to shoot it, so is .357 the way to go (over the more expensive .44 or .45LC)?

Are there any cowboy-style revolvers I can load with a speedloader? Any that are double-action?

What about the Ruger Blackhawk? The Vaqueros?
"Cowboy Style" revolvers, as far as I am aware, are all single action. They usually feed through a port on the side of the cylinder, one round at a time, so speedloaders are out of the question.

Caliber is up to you, .45LC seems to be "traditional"

I've heard a lot of good things about the Rugers. Blackhawks are a little more "modern," with adjustable sites. The New Vaqueros are reputed to be tough. Some SASS events don't allow adjustable sites, if I recall, but I might be wrong there.

I don't have a Single Action Army style revolver, but I've shot some and I like them, definitely on my short list of things to get.
 
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John Wayne Edition Ruger Vaquero by TALO!!!!!!!

If I had the spare cash, thats what Id get. Its Beautiful, Accurate, Collectable, and a very cool tribute to an American Legend!

 

seanc

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A couple of things.... If you are talking sass, it is ALL Single action. Even though the colt lightning was a an 1800s double action it is not sass legal. If you can find a schofield revolver that is a top break and very cool.

While the 44/40 and 45lc are true old west cals. 357/38spl are a lot cheaper to shoot and sass legal.

It is advisable if you're going to do it, to get the pistols and rifle all in the same caliber..

The Rugers are great guns and you can do a lot of mods to them. A non adjustable sight is a lot more inkeeping with the whole feel of the gun..
 

jar

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If it's just a range plinker, take a look at the Ruger Single Six. (22LR + 22Mag) They're quite accurate and fun, and you can shoot all day for cheap.
 
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The fastest reloading single action would be the Schofield - really neat guns.
USFA makes some great guns here in CT http://www.usfirearms.com/
The remingtons by Hartford Armory are really unique as well.
Basically most are copies of the Colt SAA 1873, which of course are awesome (I have one in 45C)
I have 4 Ruger Vaqueros (2 in 45C 2 in 357) and I shoot CAS with the GF. They just run, bulletproof to say the least. Ruger also makes a single six (or used to)

I definitely recommend 45C as it is a very flexible cartridge. You can load it hot for hunting etc or light for fun shooting. If you load your own the 45 C with cast bullets will only cost slightly more than the 38/357.

One great aspect of revolvers is that you never lose your brass!

If you don't reload then 45C is very expensive.

A really high quality single action gun is a Freedom Arms - they make great revo's. Very tight tolerances, real works of art. Not CAS guns, just nice revo's.
 
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If it's just a range plinker, take a look at the Ruger Single Six. (22LR + 22Mag) They're quite accurate and fun, and you can shoot all day for cheap.
I just can't get excited about .22 pistols anymore.
 

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The 'cowboy gun' is pretty much considered to be a side/one at a time loader.

the Ruger is the way to go. If you don't want a .22 Single Six, here's a New Vaquero in .45lc:



Nice looking, nice shooting.

High Standard made a 'cowboy' looking .22 called the Double Nine, whick looks like a 'cowboy gun' but has a swingout cylinder. They're not expensive and shoot good. I've got 3 of them. They're DA nine shooters.

 
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As I own more than a "few" Single Action's, I'll add my .02.

How much do you want to spend? Both Colts and USFA are the most money. You will find some pre owned Colts but hardly any of the USFA's in MA. If you're not restricted my MA law they can be ordered. Figure on +$1300 in MA and a little less then $1200 in the free world. USFA has "low end" models but the finish is almost the same as parkerized. Those are not polished as well which helps with the price. Neither Colt nor USFA have a transfer bar safety and are only safe to be carried loaded with 5 rounds. and the hammer down on an empty chamber. The reason for not being MA legal.

Colt HAD the Colt Cowboy but they were mostly a poor clone of Sam Colts pistol but IIRC, had a transfer bar safety.

Ruger has offered two variations of the Single Action. The "old" Vaquero - based on the Blackhawk frame except fixed sights and now the NEW Vaquero. The New version is about 10% smaller and lighter than the old. You will never see the new offered in .44Magnum as it is not built up to the same TANK level as the old. This is not a shot at Ruger. They build a nice pistol. Both Rugers have a transfer bar and are safe to carry loaded with 6 rounds. Rugers can be had used for as little as $300 used to around $450ish new.

Next up would be the Import Clones. Colnes of the Colt 2nd generation. No transfer bar safety. The Load 5 rule as above. They used to be cheap at $350 - $400 because of the exchange rate with the Euro but not anymore. And you won't find a new one in MA.

All of the above are loaded through the loading gate on the right side of the pistol. No speed load possible.

If you can find a S&W Scholfield be prepared to pay for it. They are top breaks and eject all spend rounds when opened.

Cold did make both the Lightning and Thunderer Revolvers that were double actions but loaded through the loading gate but as they were the 1st double action revolvers they were on the delicate side and prone to breakage. And you might have to re-load as the calibers were 38 Long Colt, IIRC and .41.

.45 is the tradional favorite caliber but can be costly to shoot. I feel that caliber has the best balance in both the 4-3/4 and 5-1/2 barrel lengths. .357 would be cheaper to feed.

Hope that helps,
 

seanc

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Well, if you MUST have your handgun and rifle match...

.45-70 is the way to go!



(^_^)

OK, that might be a wee bit much.

My hand hurts just looking at it...

And to Jose's point. There is a reason that after apx 200years there are plenty of new revolvers on the shelves at stores. They work. They work well. So well that even after ~150 years of Sam Colt's 1860, not a whole lot has changed.
 

bfm

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I have a Ruger New Vaquero in .357Mag Mostly shoot .38 out of it. It is a fun afternoon at the range. Very acurate and smooth shooting. Also the single action nature both adds to the fun and gives a certain pace to the firing so I have a fun couple hours but go through a fraction of the ammo I would with one of my semi-autos.
 
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