how I "discovered" the SAA

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J. Yuma

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2024
Messages
63
Location
north carolina
Somewhere in the winter of '23 I made my first ever visit to a range at the suggestion of a friend who thought I would enjoy shooting sports. I had my dear departed father-in-law's Stevens 87N .22 rifle, and an ominous looking Glock 21.

I followed the range officer's instructions, watched the other shooters, and started pinging away with the .22. Having burned through a 100 rounds of LR, I timidly picked up the Glock, racked it, and pulled the trigger. It seemed as though the booth exploded. The noise and recoil was surprising. I quickly burned through 50 rounds of .45ACP. I was pleased with myself. Never having fired a handgun before, and here I was, grinding away with what I thought was a cannon.

After a few more range trips, I began to take note of how quickly those semi-autos devoured ammo.

My modus whenever I take up a new hobby was to figure out how to do it as often as possible and as cheaply as possible. I was hooked by now on pistol shooting, and I began scouring the internet looking for ammo. I soon discovered "remanufactured" ammo.

I also read internet horror stories about the dangers of reman. ammo, saw photos of mangled hands and blown up pistols. Somehow, the lure of cheap ammo overcame my fear, and I purchased and shot several hundred reman. rounds from various vendors (the night before the first planned session with remanufactured ammo, I barely slept, all I could think of was losing my hand, or at least a few fingers).

The remanufactured ammo performed great,

But I was still burning through ammo too fast.

My internet research led my to a new discovery, the Single Action Army!

This was the ubiquitous "six shooter" that was seen in so many westerns. I didn't know, but was delighted to find out, that you had to cock a SAA before EVERY SHOT!

This would certainly slow down the operation.

By March, after having purchased a Heritage Roughrider, I couldn't wait to try it! My first session was exactly what the doctor ordered. Not only was the rate of fire slowed, just loading the little thing was slow.

Soon, I decided that a SAA would be my style of shootin' iron. But the .22 was a little tame, even for a new shooter. So, by June, I purchased a Pietta 1873 convertible with an .45 ACP cylinder, and relegated the Glock to "home defender" duty. The .45 SAA was as fun to shoot as the Glock, but it was slow to shoot, and slow to load. All was good with the world.

Of course, things change.

I had read quite a bit about the history of the SAA by now, and about the offerings of various SAA calibers, and of a certain Elmer Keith. I read about the work he had done in the development of the .44 magnum. I really didn't know anything about the Dirty Harry movie series, and thought that the "magnum" thing was just a cool name for the Tom Sellock tv show.

But the more I read about .44 magnum, the more I wanted to know.

One day, I was visiting a small local gun shop, looking for ACP ammo. I asked the proprietor my usual slew of novice type questions, then thought I might as well ask him if he had anything in .44 magnum.

He looked at me for a quick second, then bent down behind the showcase. When he stood up, he was holding a SAA, but it looked bigger and more ominous than the Pietta. He told me it was a "Bad Boy," (but I later found out it was a Ruger Super Blackhawk), and it was a .44 magnum.

I was struck by the thing. It looked like something that Darth Vader would carry, with a 10.5 inch barrel, and that distinctive unfluted cylinder.

He held it out for me to hold, and he told me the price. Now this, I thought, was a real "cannon." I held it like Gollum, then I reluctantly gave it back to him, and told him to hold on to it, that I had to go to the bank. He put it back, and I sprinted to the bank to get cash, (cause I knew that a credit card would result in my getting an ear-ache from my better half). When I got back, I said to the owner; I bet you didn't think I was coming back, to which he replied that he absolutely knew I would be back. We did the paperwork, and I took the thing home. This was in August.

So I went from a .22 rifle to a .44 magnum in the span of about 6 months.

I'm now the owner of that Super Blackhawk, and a Super Redhawk. (I almost never shoot it double action)

After a couple of $50-60 ammo days, I decided to start reloading .44. I began with a Lee Loader, and progressed to a Lee Single Stage press. I'm now familiar with weighing gunpowder, bullet seating depth, and hunting for large pistol primers.

I manage to go to the range once a week, sometimes twice. As far as my shooting skill, as Teddy Roosevelt once said; I'm not a very good shot, but I shoot a lot.

I see target shooting as a sport, and shooting skills are as demanding as golf.

I look forward to shooting better. I've learned a lot about handling guns.

I've come to believe that everyone should be confident about how to use a gun, especially women. And now I know how to use guns safely.

But mostly, I love shooting that SAA.
 

Pál_K

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 30, 2023
Messages
584
Location
Gig Harbor, WA, USA
Wonderful story. You've taken a nice path with the single-action revolvers. It's great you are even now reloading.

Soon you will discover there is a vast universe to explore in the shooting hobby. All sorts of revolvers, semiautos (especially back when they were all metal), plus many types of wonderful rifles and shotguns. If you ever get interested in Sporting Clays - sometimes called "Golf with a Shotgun" due to its psychological effects, you may never recover.

The very first handgun I ever bought was a Smith & Wesson model 29 - a .44 magnum with 8-3/8" barrel. That was about 35 years ago. It's got thousands of rounds through it because I got involved in the sport of IHMSA Silhouette. Knocking over a 55-lb steel ram at 200 meters is addicting; I'm still at it.

Welcome fellow shooter; I'm glad you're with us.
 

Johnnu2

Hunter
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
3,025
Location
NYS
Great story.......Welcome
p.s. I started as a very young child and always loved Single Actions.

J.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,904
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Ok neighbor,, we need to talk.

You are in NC.

You have not mentioned getting any proper & formal instruction into HOW to shoot a Single-Action handgun. Unless you get proper & correct instruction, you can EASILY develop bad habits. It's MUCH harder to break a bad habit than it is to do it right from the beginning.
This can affect accuracy. (You did mention you weren't a good shot,,,,,,,,, yet.)

You need to come & visit me. I own a range. and I'm a SA aficionado. I can walk you through the proper shooting techniques, and use different calibers to walk you up to enjoying the .44 mag & even a .480 Ruger. And I can show you how you can hit targets at 100 yds. I have steel that gives immediate feedback on hits.

CONSIDER THIS AN INVITATION!

BTW; Many of us are also "cheap" and don't like wasting ammo or such. :D
 

JAYDAWG

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 17, 2024
Messages
240
Location
Olympic Peninsula
Ok neighbor,, we need to talk.

You are in NC.

You have not mentioned getting any proper & formal instruction into HOW to shoot a Single-Action handgun. Unless you get proper & correct instruction, you can EASILY develop bad habits. It's MUCH harder to break a bad habit than it is to do it right from the beginning.
This can affect accuracy. (You did mention you weren't a good shot,,,,,,,,, yet.)

You need to come & visit me. I own a range. and I'm a SA aficionado. I can walk you through the proper shooting techniques, and use different calibers to walk you up to enjoying the .44 mag & even a .480 Ruger. And I can show you how you can hit targets at 100 yds. I have steel that gives immediate feedback on hits.

CONSIDER THIS AN INVITATION!

BTW; Many of us are also "cheap" and don't like wasting ammo or such. :D
Dang,
Yuma, you had better take advantage of this invite!!!
Most of us would jump at this opportunity.

Cheers,
JAYDAWG
 

J. Yuma

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2024
Messages
63
Location
north carolina
Ok neighbor,, we need to talk.

You are in NC.

You have not mentioned getting any proper & formal instruction into HOW to shoot a Single-Action handgun. Unless you get proper & correct instruction, you can EASILY develop bad habits. It's MUCH harder to break a bad habit than it is to do it right from the beginning.
This can affect accuracy. (You did mention you weren't a good shot,,,,,,,,, yet.)

You need to come & visit me. I own a range. and I'm a SA aficionado. I can walk you through the proper shooting techniques, and use different calibers to walk you up to enjoying the .44 mag & even a .480 Ruger. And I can show you how you can hit targets at 100 yds. I have steel that gives immediate feedback on hits.

CONSIDER THIS AN INVITATION!

BTW; Many of us are also "cheap" and don't like wasting ammo or such. :D
Hello!
I went to the range yesterday. I always shoot at 75 feet with iron sights.
I use a rest.
reloads 240 grain Elmer style hi-tek
Win 244, 9.2 to 9.4 grains
I'm not sure if I can direct message you yet.
Appreciate the invite, still resting up from the hip replacement.
No instructions, just walked in and started shooting. I'm sure I've got plenty of bad habits!
 

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Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
699
Location
Nevada
Howdy Pard!

Look into getting some 44 special brass and then you can make some nice easy shootin' rounds for those two hand cannons!
(You can also load those 44 mag cases to cowboy action shooting levels; also nice and easy to shoot!)
Single actions can be real addictive!
 

J. Yuma

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 4, 2024
Messages
63
Location
north carolina
I kinda like a little "kick," actually thinking about another pound of Ramshot Enforcer.

The thing about the H110 is the one grain spread, and the concussions.

The WIN 244 is just about right, Not dirty either. I managed to do 60 rounds
yesterday, but went home with 12 in the ammo box.
I ran outta gas.

I'll think about the cowboy loads, have some HP 38 that I think you can load down to 5.5 grains and 800 fps
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,904
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Ok neighbor,, if you want to direct message me,, or as we say here,, "PM" me,, it's easy. Put your cursor over my handle. It'll bring up a few things. The one that says; "Start a conversation" is where you click. It'll take you directly to the PM section, and you can send me messages. Put in a title,,, then type a message in the box below that. Hit "send."

I understand the need to recover from any surgery. By all means,, take care of yourself, and do it RIGHT!

But my door is open, and I'm sure we can have some good powder burning fun!
 
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