Blackhawk v Vaquero

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Joined
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5,589
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Richmond Texas USA
Ok, I see and I agree 100%. I think Wyandot Jim is incorrectly saying 3 Screw Vaquero. I think he means to say 3 screw Blackhawk.
Nope a Blackhawk has adjustable sights. So yea these are fixed sight 3 screws :)
Now for the rest of the story.
A long long time ago in a place far far away there lived some fast draw guys by the name of Bob Munden, Sammy Davis Jr. and my friend Joe Bowman. These guys would modify their six shooters for real fast draw. The shooter of choice was the blackhawk BUT it needed a weeee bit of work done to it manly removing the rear sight. Geeeeee why not use a Colt you might ask well they did not hold up to the punisment, same as in SASS Rugers are the gun of choice. So that is how the fixed sight Ruger came about.
Now Joe comes along and decides that since SASS is getting popular there needs to be a Colt look alike so off he goes to see Mr. Bill Ruger to pitch his story and show him his Fixed sight Rugers. Mr. Bill likes them and the rest is histoy. Oh yea Mr. Bill also made a Joe Bowman Special Edition Vaquero. The story is a lot better when Joe tells it.
Joe and his lovely wife lived in Houston and came to many of our SASS events. In fact he was one of members that started one of the first clubs in the Houston area.
Sad to say Joe died on the way back from SASS End of Trail in a Motel in Junction Texas.
Alan Harton of Houston "Single Action Services" did many rugers for Joe, myself and quite a few Forum members.
More info on Joe and the Vaquero
So now you know how the Vaquero came about :)
 

whymhot

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
86
Location
CT
For average everyday use I'd take the Blackhawk. Better sights for a better sight picture. Adjustable for getting a good zero. Also for different weight bullets if you try some bear loads besides the standard 158 gr loading.

If rough service is coming into play then the Vaquero, Fixed sights not easily moved if it takes a hard landing, never get out of adjustment.

For either I'd go with the 4 5/8's barrel, full length ejector rod for clearing cases without fussing with it.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
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2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
All the reference, material I have and that I have found,state clearly, There was never a "factory' produced three screw "vaquero" or fixed sight Rugers. From the original Flat top on, they have always had sights. Only the Single six came with fixed sights. After 72/73 there were no more three screws made in anything. All Rugers after that are a NM. Just one mans opinion.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
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2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
You are correct. Read my post #41 and it will explain how and why the modifications were done by the fast draw and Joe Bowman.
In SASS, as you probably know, some categories require fixed sight guns.
Yes I read it, just wanted to be certain. You have an amazing collection of firearms. if you don't mind my asking, what does it cost to have that kind of work done? Whoever did yours was a true craftsman.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,589
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Richmond Texas USA
Yes I read it, just wanted to be certain. You have an amazing collection of firearms. if you don't mind my asking, what does it cost to have that kind of work done? Whoever did yours was a true craftsman.
Don;t mind at all. He cut the barrels from 61/2" to 45/8", machined black powder bevel on the cylinders, made Super Blackhawk Hammers which were made from new models and the exixting hammers, he also did the same for my Old Armys, , welded up and reshaped the back strap, added blade front sight, and reblue everything for $1500.00 for both which was about 10 years ago. I think I paid $325-$350 each for the Blackhawks.
Yes his work is outstanding. He was a machinist and welder before he started doing gun work. He is also a Colt and Ruger collector. I have known him for 20 years or so. He did a lot of work for the SASS guys around Houston and the guys on this forum after I started posting pictures of his work.


Worth Reading

There are many who hang out the shingle: "Gunsmith", but few who actually live up to the title. To me, a gunsmith is not the fellow at the local gun shop who can mount a scope and clean a rifle, but a true gunsmith is a combination of machinist, metallurgist, artist, mechanic, and welder, with perhaps a bit of magician thrown in. There are few who can be counted among the best, but recently I was introduced to the work of Alan Harton of Single Action Service in Houston, Texas, and he certainly qualifie

 
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Armybrat

Buckeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
1,083
Location
Round Rock, Texas
I bought this 3 screw .357 BH new in 1968. Gave it to my oldest son for his 50th birthday in 2018.
07109057-C56D-4DA8-8247-107A616F8D20.jpeg
 

hdrk1111

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
55
Well my old eyes have me leaving the Vaqueros in the safe most days and shooting the BH as I can see the sights (front ramp painted orange ) a whole easier . I love my Colt SAA’s and My Vaqueros. But again I’m have much better results with the BHsights
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
Well my old eyes have me leaving the Vaqueros in the safe most days and shooting the BH as I can see the sights (front ramp painted orange ) a whole easier . I love my Colt SAA’s and My Vaqueros. But again I’m have much better results with the BHsights
Yup, I am right there with you. These days I shoot my three screw BH's with reduced loads because my hands can't handle the pounding of full loads anymore. gettin old is a pita!
 

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NightSailor

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
54
Location
Connecticut
I am looking at buying a Ruger SA, SS, 4.75" barrel in.357mag. I am undecided about whether to get a New Model Blackhawk or a New Model Vaquero. I have neither one available at any LGS to look at and handle so I must go sight unseen with the internet.

Obviously, the Blackhawk has adjustable sights and the Vaquero has fixed. I understand the advantages of adjustable sights but I have both and I enjoy shooting both.

Other than that are they identical? Same balance and feel? Or are there some other differences?
I am no an expert, and dont’t own a Blackhawk. My understanding is the Blackhawk has a heavy frame like a Vaquero. The New Vaquero is lighter and slightly shorter and thinner. My preference is the New Vaquero. I prefer subsonic loads and some need the extra heft.

If you are using it for hunting probably a Blackhawk would allow you to dial in the ammo to the sights better and faster. A longer barrel for the same reason. Longer barrels will be more accurate.

I would try to shoot them both. Find a sportsman’s club. Chances are you will meet someone with both. People would love to let you shoot a few rounds.
 

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