Blackhawk vs. Vaquero MSRP

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ndcowboy

Blackhawk
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Jan 24, 2005
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Just glancing through the 2010 catalog and can't for the life of me figure this out:
Vaquero Blued MSRP - $679
Blackhawk Blued MSRP - $557
Blackhawk Convertible MSRP - $636.

So a regular Blackhawk is over $100 less than a Vaquero, and a convertible with two cylinders is still $40 less than a Vaquero.

Any idea why?
 

mattsbox99

Hunter
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Stainless BHs have an alloy steel grip frame, blued BHs have a aluminum alloy gripframe.

I have no idea why such a vast difference in price. Real world prices are about $50-$70 difference.
 

BlkHawk73

Hunter
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Demand perhaps? The Vaqueros attract a specific market and thus can support a slightly higher price.
Regardless, those are Suggested Retal Prices. :roll:
 

c.r.

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It's not only the difference in the cost of materials between an aluminum grip frame and a steel grip frame..............there is also the add'l labor cost of fitting the steel grip frame to the cylinder frame. Aluminum grip frames are not fitted to the individual cylinder frames like a steel grip frame is.

I'm also going to suggest there is possibly a higher labor cost to prep steel to be blued than it is to prep the aluminum grip frame and then have it anodized.

just something to consider.
~c.r.
 

tomiswho

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I'll bet... different departments..... not enough coordination in the marketing department. The Vaquero guys have more recent set up and tooling expenses to amortize - and they are expecting the new buyers to pay now. The Blackhawk guys paid off their tooling and setups long ago and just mark up production costs. I spend a long time in the marketing end (of the furniture business) and I can tell you that a lot of what we did didn't really make any sense...
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
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Forgot the "new" in New Vaquero ??? Ruger did too. For sure you are not paying for strength or the adjustable sight. :shock: :D

...Jimbo
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
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c.r.":17i7an7u said:
It's not only the difference in the cost of materials between an aluminum grip frame and a steel grip frame..............there is also the add'l labor cost of fitting the steel grip frame to the cylinder frame. Aluminum grip frames are not fitted to the individual cylinder frames like a steel grip frame is.

I'm also going to suggest there is possibly a higher labor cost to prep steel to be blued than it is to prep the aluminum grip frame and then have it anodized.

just something to consider.
~c.r.


I think part of the problem is old fashion greed. Aluminum is more expensive than steel so Blackhawks should be more. Steel shrinks less than aluminum so fiting should faster. The latest Blackhawk frames are spray painted not anodized. While prep work for spray painting is less than anodizing it is still more than bluing.
 

piratedude

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Jan 7, 2008
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tomiswho":r8fk0q5b said:
I'll bet... different departments..... not enough coordination in the marketing department. The Vaquero guys have more recent set up and tooling expenses to amortize - and they are expecting the new buyers to pay now. The Blackhawk guys paid off their tooling and setups long ago and just mark up production costs. I spend a long time in the marketing end (of the furniture business) and I can tell you that a lot of what we did didn't really make any sense...

I remember 10 years ago when the BH and Vaquero used the same frame that the Vaquero was more expensive even then. I think its just a marketing thing.
 

c.r.

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lfpiii":311m53ir said:
I think part of the problem is old fashion greed. Aluminum is more expensive than steel so Blackhawks should be more. Steel shrinks less than aluminum so fiting should faster. The latest Blackhawk frames are spray painted not anodized. While prep work for spray painting is less than anodizing it is still more than bluing.

I still believe there is quite a bit more labor cost associated with the fitting of the steel grip frames to the cylinder frame than with the aluminum grip frame.

take a look at an aluminum grip frame gun. the ears aren't flush with the cylinder frame, there will be overhang on the sides. the way it's been explained to me is the grip frame comes from the mold, it's finished (prep'ed, anodized/painted or whatever)is attached, tested for function and then sent on it's way.

A steel grip frame falls from the mold, is fitted to a particular frame.......ears are leveled and contoured with the grip frame. sides are made flush with the cylinder frame. (You can usually see the last few digits of ser # stamped on steel grip frames. showing it was made to fit a certain gun, similar to the cylinder) then the grip frame is prep'ed for bluing, and blued, or the stainless i guess is polished or whatever, then comes back and gets put on the same gun it was fitted for.

i'd guess both grips frames go through some "semi-finish" step imediately after falling from the mold...........but in a nut shell, a bit more effort/time is made to fit a steel grip frame than is done with an aluminum grip frame.
 

ShakyJake

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I spend a long time in the marketing end (of the furniture business) and I can tell you that a lot of what we did didn't really make any sense
+1
TaKe CaRe
Ted
 

maxpress

Buckeye
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i would think it would just be alot more work getting that top strap milled and polished on the vaquero. the blackhawk has a pretty easy top strap and screw in sight comparativley.
 

BIgMuddy

Blackhawk
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Linn Creek MO
What C.R. said...

When I said I thought it was the different material, I was also referring to the cost/labor for fit and finish.

Vaqueros have always had steel grip frames, and Blued BH's have always had aluminum.

Go back to the pre-Vaquero days. Stainless steel guns when first introduced were always a little more expensive. The difference between a Stainless BH and a blued BH were substantial. The reason...all steel vs. aluminum.
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
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The Vaquero goes through an extra polishing step, that costs money. The Vaquero goes through more machining steps to produce its hog wallow top strap, that costs money. The Vaquero features a FITTED steel grip frame, that costs money. The standard blued Blackhawk features an aluminum grip frame that is NOT fitted to the receiver.
 

ndcowboy

Blackhawk
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Jan 24, 2005
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855
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Washburn, ND USA
Sounds like some logical answers.
One more thing to think about - the new .44 special is going to have a steel grip frame (if it is just like the Lipseys), but is priced at the regular Blawkhawk price. So that seems strange.
 

Rex Driver

Bearcat
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Colonial Heights, Va.
I believe that the Vaquero cost more because of the Cowboy Crowd (Which I happen to be a part of). Ruger knows that they have a somewhat captive audiance and ready made market in a group of old guys who always did want the reliability of a ruger with more of a colt like feel and size. I know I bought two of the New Vaqueros to go along with my three original Vaqueros because of this reason. Ruger might have cut back on the number of calibers they make for the Cowboy Set, however, they still covet that market and lead all others by a (pardon the pun) longshot.
 

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