Ruger Vacquero vs US Firearms

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writwing

Single-Sixer
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I held a US Firearms the other day in Cabelas. Man is that gun sweet, it was built like a Swiss watch. Other than price, is there any way a Ruger Vacq trumps a US Firearms SA?
 

xx78

Bearcat
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May 17, 2005
Messages
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I have a US 1873 clone and I will say it is a beautifuly made gun in every respect. And it shoots good too. However, it is twice the price of a Ruger. Would I buy another one? Yes.
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
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Other than price, is there any way a Ruger Vaquero trumps a US Firearms SA?
Unless you're one of those who has a 'thing' about carrying a sixgun with the hammer down on an empty chamber, none whatsoever.
 

29 Wheelgunner

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Let's see, a New Vaquero cost about $500 in these parts. A USFA Single Action Army goes for $1200, if you can find one.
Now the USFA is a work of art, no doubt about it. Yes, it is worth the money to the right person. Compared to a Colt SAA going for $1250, and I can find them all day.
It's all in what you want to spend your money on.
 

The Preacher

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South-Central PA
Well said Wheelgunner; USFA"s are supposed to be the best thing going in an "as like" Colt SAA. Better then the Colt most folks will say. I wanted a real Colt...so I bought one. Am I ahead? Doubt it... but I got me a genuine Colt SAA. Am well pleased.


The Preacher
 

gak

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Actually, the "regular" blued/CCH USFA SAs--or rough equivalent of the standard Colt--are going for less than stated, but not as low (generally) as their great sales prices 6-9 months ago. It's the Pre War model that's up in that $1200+ territory, or approximately that of the Colt SAA. USFA just announced a pricier-yet pinched-frame/smaller cylinder model they're saying is a verbatim copy of the earlier first gen Colts. The cylinder's been the one area where USFA's been slightly larger/beefier than Colt and other clones--not necessarily a bad thing, and otherwise almost imperceptible without a set of calipers. I've got both the Colt--a "4th" gen (recent/late 3rd) and USFA. Mine's an antiqued Rodeo, but same good innards as the pricier glossies. Don't have anything bad to say about either gun. I also have the Ruger NV and ditto, though it may be destined for a Bisley or early Vaquero hammer swap...although I admit there's nothing quite like the snick (snick, snick, snick) of the Colt designs. Also nothing like the anvil reliability of the Ruger or full 6 six shot capability.
 

CraigC

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29 Wheelgunner":1sy955lw said:
Let's see, a New Vaquero cost about $500 in these parts. A USFA Single Action Army goes for $1200, if you can find one.
Pay attention to Davidson's stock or the auction sites to find what you're looking for. Right now Davidson's has quite a few in stock. USFA's standard SAA goes for $750. So for $250 more you get a sixgun that is superior in every way. The premium Pre-War model is head and shoulders above a standard Colt SAA and goes for even money, around $1100.

IMHO, the reliability factor is greatly exaggerated, if it even exists. Lots of CAS shooters have found the transfer bar to be the a weak link in the Ruger design and in a lifetime of shooting traditional single actions, I have broken exactly one flat Colt spring. My pard's fairly old Colt Frontier Scout that has seen more shooting and holster use than most guns ever will.
 

mhblaw

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Maybe I'm ambivalent, but here's mine:
Rugers: NMBH's, 41mag, 38wcf, 32wcf, 44mag.
Flat tops, 357mag, 44mag, 41mag, 44spec.

USFAs: SA's, 45colt, 38wcf, 44spec. 32wcf
Rodeo II, 45colt
12/22, and a Shooting Master in 357mag on order.
All great guns, reload for all and shoot them all.
 

Bucks Owin

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Depends if you'd rather have a pair of Vaqueros with leather or one "high tone" USFA with box. I'd take the Vaqueros personally. (or a nice used Freedom Arms )....Dennis
 

ChuckS1

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Jan 21, 2007
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Stafford, VA, USA
Well, reading the Ruger quality issues that crop up regularly in this forum, I would say you get what you pay for. My USFA Pre-War and my Lipsey's .44 Special are worlds apart in terms of fit and finish, but then again I paid twice as much for the USFA.
 

J Miller

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Not in IL anymore ... :)
The USFA's are not works of art. The Mona Lisa is a work of art, a manufactured revolver is not.

They are nicely made quality products and that is all.

Would I prefer to buy a USAF over a Ruger New Vaquero?
Every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But I'd buy a real Colt SAA before I bought the USFA.

Joe
 

writwing

Single-Sixer
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I was just on Davidsons and a blue USFirearms can be had for 545 and CC for 786!!


Now the question is which caliber, 45, 44 SPL or 44-40 and why?.


BTW how available is 44-40 ammo? Does anyone sell it in a self defense platform?
 

gak

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By "blue" you must mean the flat finish Rodeo. To me they're difficult to "behold" the 95% of the time it's not being shot, but makes a great platform for an antique job. That said, if you don't care about the cosmetics, it's got the same stellar innards of the glossier (CCH or pricier yet Pre War) ones. That's a vg price on the CCH one and in keeping with what another poster said, though their MSRP has gone (back) up this year...so grab one of those while you can! I've got the Colt as well with zero complaints, but can't argue the price of the USFA as you've found it. Caliber you'll hear all over the map. I lean toward (and have) a .44--just love the round and theoretical margin for "warming" it up reloading wise. I say theoretical as I don't presently reload. Others will extoll the virtues of the good 'ol .45 and hard to fault their choice either.

The .44 hasn't been catalogued for the Rodeo for a year or two..so if they have one (like I lucked into), it's gotta be NOS. Otherwise, I imagine their Rodeo selection is the standard .38 and .45 (USFA doesn't chamber a .357). The .44 Special is a regular offering in virtually all their other guns except "specialty" ones--Cavalries, etc--that weren't historically offered that way.

I had a .44-40 lever gun and loved it, but unless you're super into "old west" historical accuracy (vs the .44 Sp which was an early 20th Century invention), the .44 Special and .45 are more practical rounds to me--the former being able to be shot out of .44 Mag levers as well--with little niceties like snake shot available for them, and reloaders say easier, or at least more "conventionally" reloaded with their straight-wall and typically thicker cases.

Later Ed. - Unless I'm reading Davidson's pages and instant quotes wrong, of the ones they say are actually available, I only see a 7.5" among the .44 specials. For all around duty, I prefer shorter/handier. I'd say if you're going to get the CCH Single Action model, and if you "gotta have it now," get a 5.5" .45LC--and that's coming from a tried 'n true .44 guy! If you shoot ACP, later you can have a .45ACP cylinder fitted for more economical plinking. Of the Rodeos, hard to go wrong with a .45 (traditional) or .38 - low recoil (but capable of +Ps by the way) and cheaper shooting. I'd get a 5.5 in the .45 - just because - and a 4.75" in the .38, the latter to keep the weight down (littler holes) if no other reason.

You asked about ammo availability. This past year, everything's been very spotty. Otherwise, I've maybe seen more .44S (as the round has always been niche popular for SD as well as seein a resurgance in popularity - such as with the Lipseys Ruger BH/Flattop, or at least recognition),...then .45LC then .44-40. Can't say for the future. That's not to say there's been much of anything, including .38 Special.
 

writwing

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Connecticut
gak: Thanks for the very informative post. I held a CCH USF at Cabelas and man it is absolutely beautiful. I am a 45C man, have 3 revolvers in the caliber as I write this, however I am willing to consider other types of brass.
 

LightningMan

Bearcat
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Apr 19, 2008
Messages
69
Location
midwest
I have owned several SAA's including Colt, USFA, Uberti, & Armi SanMarco's for CAS and other than the Rugers, I have broken numerious springs/parts in traditionial style/built SAA's. Like the old Timex ads used to say; Takes a Lickin' & Keeps on Tickin'. In the Rugers case, keeps on shootin'. My opinion, yours may vary. LM
 

29 Wheelgunner

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Dec 22, 2007
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112
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N. Georgia
My statement was for local prices for a new USFA SAA. I'm sure that one could be ordered at a lower price but if you hit the shows and the local shops, around here the going rate is $1200. I know because about three years ago I set out to buy one. Mine has True Ivory stocks from USFA and the cost was $1250. Worth every penny I might add.

As far as art, let's split some hairs.
 

victank1

Bearcat
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Mar 5, 2009
Messages
35
Location
central al
If your looking for a six gun that will be handed down after a life time of use, buy the Vaquero. If you want something to put up and collect and not shoot buy a USFA, But I cannot see buying a USFA for $1250. When you can buy a real Colt for around $1200. Do you folks really like the USFA Clones better than a real Colt? I had rather buy a Uberti for $429 and replace all the springs and have a decent tuned shooter, then pay $1250 for a USFA and put it in the safe for a keepsake. Just a thought ,MY2 . And yes I have owned two USFA and bouth shot low and left with 250 grain Winchester Cowboy loads. I still have 8 Ubertis' 14 Rugers and even a consecutive set of American Westerns with Turnbull Bone Case finish but these are safe Queens and not shooters. It is a matter of just what you as a buyer wants..Vic
 

DGW1949

Hunter
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Apr 10, 2005
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Texas
writwing":2mjtjtsl said:
I held a US Firearms the other day in Cabelas. Man is that gun sweet, it was built like a Swiss watch. Other than price, is there any way a Ruger Vacq trumps a US Firearms SA?

It aint a big secret that an RV is bigger, heavier-duty, and has a stronger lock-work than any SAA. They also have a bit different grip shape which suits some folks better.
That said though, it aint everyone that has a need for one. To some folks, the handier-sized SAA does just fine....so I guess it's all in what you like.

On the other hand, if we're talking RNV, the size/strength part aint much different, nor is the grip shape....so now we are down to considering a modern design VS a traditional design, which also gets down to being whichever it is that you like.

Interesting thread.

DGW
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
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Mar 11, 2009
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691
Location
Kentucky
I've got a 'New' Vaquero in .45 LC and was pleasantly surprised at the finish. At $450 it was a good buy. Below are some of my efforts to make it better. I've no experience with that higher priced gun however, and offer this view of a typical over the counter Ruger in .45 LC.

I didn' t like the grips as furnished (the new black plastic ones) and replaced them with home built ones of Crab Apple to a slightly thicker profile.

The sights were off when I got it...about 3" to the left (I'm a rt handed shooter). A little work on the rear sight notch with a fine jeweler's file and some cold blue fixed that problem. It shot about 3" low as well and I shortened the front sight and applied the same cold blue fix to move my impact point up 2" above pt of aim at 25 yds with 250 gr bullets.

The trigger out of the box was heavy with creep and a gritty feel. Using the 'one leg of the trigger return spring off the peg' method, the pull is now about 3#. The gritty creep smoothed out with some dry firing, using the 'thumb assisted hammer fall' method to speed up the smoothing process. About 20 dry firing's did the trick. It still has creep to some extent but it's smooth...about like a 2 stage military trigger on a good '03 but with less initial movement. I like it that way as my rifle shooting is predominantly with older US military arms.

Cylinder throats on a lot of the current crop of Rugers can be undersized in .45LC. Mine were .002" smaller than the barrel groove dia. This resulted in leading and accuracy on the order of 3+" at 25 yds. I sent the cylinder off to "Cylindersmith.com" to have them opened to .4525". Two weeks turn around and a superb job of machining for cheap! He's a great guy to do business with...

Accuracy now, with all of the above accomplished is 2" or less at 25 yds sitting with a back rest position. Standing offhand it's about the same from 50 ft...as good as my 63 yo eyes can do with the sights as issued.

Overall, I'm well pleased and count it as my 2nd favorite Ruger...the Lipsey's .44 Spl is my #1 pick. The work involved to bring it up to the mark took less than an afternoon and was fun to boot. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Here's a pic if I can get it to post.

Regards, Rodfac

By the way, I do own a 7.5" bbl Colt in .45LC as well. It's a 1970 vintage one and the blued finish part is no better than the Vaquero, but it was also $850 when I bought it in 1995 with a 100% finish on it...virtually as new. It shoots as well, even with a .45 ACP cylinder I fitted later on, but the trigger is nowhere near as good. Last weekend's gunshow here in Ky saw the same Colt going for $1200+ in 95% condition.

Vaquero.jpg
 

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