Which SA to start with??

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Curio Bill

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
26
Location
Tennessee
PLease help me choose which SA Ruger to start with. I have recently gotten the bug to get a single action and I have never owned one before. I have gotten to handle a few rugers at the last couple of gun shows & I have developed a short list (I will probably own all of these eventually, but I have to start somewhere), but I am having trouble deciding which one to start with.
From these choices, which one should be 1st (and 2nd) and WHY??
New Vaquero SS 45lc w/4.63 barrel
NM 50th Aniv 44 mag flattop
NM 50th Aniv Super Blackhawk
NM blue 44 special Blkhwk w/4.63 barrel
Davidson's SS Bisley 5.5 inch barrel
NM SS Hunter 44 mag (regular or Bisley)

Thanks, Bill
 

NorEaster

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
554
Bill,
It's really a matter of personal preference. You may get a variety of answers.
All are great choices.
I would consider what your initial plans for the revolver may be and then consider which would be the hardest to obtain over time.
Leave the more frequently found models for later.
JMHO
 

Cherokee

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
472
Location
Medina, Ohio, USA
Just a thought, if you don't reload, you'll usually find 44 mag ammo easier than 45 Colt, and maybe cheaper. Me, I really like 45 Colt.
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
Bill, I will only comment on the ones I am familiar with. For hunting, the Super Blackhawk or Hunter .44 magnum is hard to beat. (All of the anniversary models have such nice finishes that they should have an extended hammer plunger made up and installed before shooting to prevent cylinder ringing.)

The short barreled .44 special is a great woods carry gun and can be hand loaded to high performance levels. The same goes for a short barreled .41 mag or .45LC.
41MagA.jpg


For me, the Bisley has a bad case of the uglies.

The Anniversary .44 flattop grip sucks for full power loads. I fixed this by installing a NM Super gripframe.
44AnawithSBHKGripjpg-1.jpg


A little trigger work goes a long way in improved shootability.

I like the fact that all of your choices are in calibers which start with the number 4.

I own about 12 Ruger Single Action revolvers. Only two are new models. If I had to do it all over, none would be new models.

John
 

Curio Bill

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
26
Location
Tennessee
SAJohn":s9qe4dyg said:
Bill, I will only comment on the ones I am familiar with.
I own about 12 Ruger Single Action revolvers. Only two are new models. If I had to do it all over, none would be new models.

John
I forgot to list an OM 45lc Blackhawk to the list because apparently they are somewhat scarce in the shorter barrel. I held a short barrel 357 OM blkhwk yesterday and it was a really nice one, $525. I would just rather have a 44 or 45.
 
Joined
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of that group you list, I'd go with the Davidsons 5.5 SS Bisley...most "practical/useful......" no other reason...' 'noticed you didn't say which caliber either, no matter to me......just my .02 cents
 

Hawk-in-Wi

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 9, 2006
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Wi USA
since you don't say what you plan on using it for , i would go with the 45 Vaquero , just becase they are alot of fun ( puts a little cowboy in ya ) and you can use them for short range hunting ,
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
NM SS Hunter 44 mag (regular or Bisley)

Bill,

You didn't give us enough information. Just kidding. Don't you hate it when you ask for some help making a decision and somebody gives that as an answer? I mean what if I said that you should get a 22 lr. Would you take it elephant hunting or would you probably shoot what the entire world shoots with a 22? Give me a break guys. I can kind of see why people say that but you could obviously go with any of the ones that you mentioned (each for different reason/uses). Otherwise, you wouldn't have listed them, right?

Anyway, to answer your question I would say go with a NM, SS, SBH, Hunter. I would get it in the bisley if you can find one. Here is why I chose this model: Easy on and off scope mounting, adjustable sights, stainless is easier to keep nice compared to blued guns, 44 mag is easy to reload for, 44 mag is good for tons of big-game hunting, 44 specials can be used with this gun, the 7.5" barrel is legal in most areas where you can hunt with a handgun, high resale value if you ever want to flip it and this gun will handle long range target stuff too. I would get the bisley due to the comfy grip and hammer. You can't go wrong with this model.

Second choice: A Vaquero or New Vaquero. If you get the SBH hunter first then you may want a Vaquero in one of the shorter barrel lengths (just to have some contrast). You may want to consider one in 357 as well. They are nice and mild to shoot with 38 specials out of them.

Let us know what you come up with. Good luck with your new purchase.

WARNING: Single Action Rugers are addicitve.....have fun!
 

Scott

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
296
Location
Missouri
Bill - you didn't list the single six, but that's what I went with for a first SA. I didn't have much experience with any of the big bore handguns, though. Worked excellent for me, 'cause I shot the heck out of it with cheap .22lr, and I hunt a lot with the .22mag. That got me real comfortable with handling a SA. Then moved up to the blackhawk in .45Colt - same feel as the single six with a lot bigger punch, but the ammo is crazy expensive unless you reload.
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
925
Location
Hamilton, Ohio USA
I have a STRONG preference for adjustable sighted handguns. I DO have a Bisley Vaquero (I bought it for specific matches that required fixed sights) and it is a GOOD revolver.

However, adjustable sights are really necessary if you shoot more than one weight and velocity of bullet. It will save you a TON of aggravation. Regulating fixed sighted revolvers can involve a LOT of frustration.

My choice would be the .44 Special. Then again, I cast my own bullets and reload. If you are going to shoot much, that is something you should consider. Unless you have VERY deep pockets, factory ammo is not something you should be planning on using much of.

FWIW
Dale53
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
5,519
Location
Richmond Texas USA
Well,
If it ain't got three screws a holding it together don't buy it. :lol:
Really you can get nice 3 screw for about the same price as the new ones. Just look on Gun Broker at the price of nice old model Supers.
Well I kind of like 3 screws. Why buy a copy when ya can get the real thing? IMHO
Jim
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
BearHawk 357":2c9apktp said:
Give me a break guys.
There's no way anybody can give a credible answer without knowing the intended purpose. Period. Otherwise you're just wildly stabbing in the dark.

What do you intend to do with it?

Do you handload?

Do you have any experience with heavy recoil?
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,200
Location
So. Florida
I would start out with a 44special, a 45colt or a 357mag gun. Those 44 magnums can really beat you up if the grip doesn't agree with your hand. ...or not. :D

...Jimbo
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
There's no way anybody can give a credible answer without knowing the intended purpose. Period.

I would have to repectfully disagree with this statement. Think about this in a realistic manner. The OP listed 4 guns that are either BH's or SBH's. Hmmmm....what all can you do with ANY one of those guns?

Collect....check
Show off.....check
Talk about....check
Take pictures of....check
Re-sell......check
Home protection....check
Customize....check
Tin cans......check
Reloads.....check
Factory loads.....check
Targets.......check
Hunting big game.....check
Hunting small game.....check
I'll stop listing things that a person could do with ANY of those guns, now.

He is not asking us to tell him what his intended purposes are. He already knows what he is going to do with his guns. He just wants to hear some good (or bad) things about the models which he has listed so that he can make a wise choice. For example what kind of a goof ball would go elk hunting with a 3 3/4" Vaquero for instance? I still say.....Give me a break.

I guess I have a lot of guns for the same reason that my girlfriend has a lot of shoes. She says, "each pair is for a specific individual purpose." I get it...we like to say this one is for this puropse and that gun is for that other purpose. I just think people go to far with having to know an OP's "intended purpose" when they ask for advice. He already knows what his intentions are. State some good (or bad) things about the models that he has listed and let him make a decision based on how the thread plays out.

Now, about the two Vaqueros that he listed. Don't you think that if he picked one of those up that he would use it like most people use their Vaqueros? Probably so....to suggest otherwise borders on being an insult, IMHO. Who knows he might want to shoot skeet with a Vaquero......Again, give me a break.
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,190
Location
51st state of Jefferson
If you are just teeing off with a revolver, I'd pick a Single Six. But if a centerfire is a must, then a .357 mag. Cheap .38 Spl ammo for practice and the ability to step up to a potent load after you gain experience. I wouldn't start with something that may get you started flinching...eg .44 mag JMO :wink: (Worked good for my kids)
 

CraigC

Hawkeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
5,197
Location
West Tennessee
BearHawk 357":1h33727q said:
I would have to repectfully disagree with this statement. Think about this in a realistic manner.
Your logic is heavily flawed. I DO think about this in a realistic manner, all the time, it is what I do.

He listed several significantly different sixguns as possibilities. From a 4 5/8" .45Colt New Vaquero to a 54oz .44Mag Bisley Hunter and lots in between. Those are two very different sixguns with two very different purposes. Sure, you 'could' use either for anything but there are purposes for which one would be perfect but lacking in others. If what he wants is a beltgun for packing in the woods "woods loafin' as we call it, then the New Vaquero would be perfect. Loaded with Colt-level loads, it would have plenty of power for the purpose and its sleek fixed sights would be beneficial. The Bisley Hunter would be a lot of unnecessary mass. If what he wants is a dedicated hunting sixgun that he may eventually want to scope, then the Bisley Hunter would be perfect. The New Vaquero would be severely lacking as a dedicated hunting sixgun.

Whether or not he handloads is also extremely important. If he does not, then the .45Colt would not be the best choice as factory hunting level loads are cost prohibitive and availability is limited. The .44Mag would be the better choice because of widely available factory ammo suited for just about any purpose. .44Spl loads could be used for practice. If he does handload, then he can choose either.

If his needs are a little more general, then something in between may suit him better.

If hunting is not a need, then he may want to follow Bucks suggestion. If he has little or no experience with heavy recoiling sixguns and needs to build skill, then a .22 would be the best choice.

IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT HE NEEDS THE SIXGUN TO DO!!!

Sometimes you have to know enough to ask the right questions.
 

BearHawk 357

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
249
Location
Ohio
2 Vaqueros = pretty much the same purposes
4 BH's/SBH's = pretty much the same purposes

I could defend this all day long (and so could many others). I don't like it when others short change the versatility of firearms that are indeed VERY versitile.

I think that we pigeon hole the specific purpose of a gun into extreme levels sometimes. Sometimes I carry a Blackhawk with a 5.5" barrel for protection......GASP, that's not allowed. The latest gun magazines told me to carry a j-frame 38. Please. I'll do what I want.

I was watching Impossible Shots the other day on Outdoor Channel. Some guy shot a FA derringer revolver (22lr), with a barrel that looked to be about an inch long, at a balloon that was 200 yards away. I say....we need to have a little more freedom when it comes to what we should expect out of a gun. Do what you want to do with your guns, not what someone else deems propper.

Now, do I think that a 22lr derringer is the best selection for a long range target gun? Heck no. I'm just saying that we actually have the freedom from not being so closed minded when it comes to these issues. This thought process seems to be a lot more relaxing than the strict way of strangling out an issue with massive amounts of un-important details.

Again, we should also be able to respectfully express our views towards these things. So, if you don't agree with me then we are at an impass. No disrespect is intended here. I'm just defending my views, that's all.
 

Curio Bill

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
26
Location
Tennessee
Now you two, as I say to my kids sometimes....Do NOT make me come in there!!! 8)

My intended purposes would be to have some single actions that I have lusted over for some time that will allow me to learn to use a single action revolver. A grown boy's toy, Christmas gift to myself.
This gun(or guns) would be at best be a 3rd or 4th string home defense gun (I know it COULD do the job but I don't plan to retire the Glock just yet).
I also plan to learn to reload so I can afford to play with this gun.
Since making the original post, I am leaning towards a good shape 357 OM Blackhawk and an OM bearcat or single six. These should be easier on the wallet to feed while still teaching me how to use a SA, and I don't really plan on hunting with them anyway, at least not yet.
I do appreciate all the advice, Thanks, Bill.
 
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