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View Full Version : BEST COWBOY SAA PISTOL


junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:16 PM
I''ve been flirting with the idea of getting a SAA Cowboy revolver. Which one's do you like.. for the money?

RealBarber
09-24-2011, 5:20 PM
like with 1911's, Id rather go with the original, the one who retains its value the best and to me the one with the best finish, Colt

junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:28 PM
I would love a Colt, but I heard their nickel finishes dont stand up. Is this true? Or is this typical with most nickel finishes regardless of maker

junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:31 PM
Here is my cowboy action gun..no safety so ya gotta be careful

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6165/6179803410_97eeb1c18e.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6179803410/)
toy_gun_exploded (http://www.flickr.com/photos/55963290@N08/6179803410/) by kaldi102 (http://www.flickr.com/people/55963290@N08/), on Flickr

shooterfpga
09-24-2011, 5:32 PM
get the uberti 1873.

junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:33 PM
The uberti Cody is the one I was looking at

Tenamaxtle
09-24-2011, 5:36 PM
Ruger Pre-safety or a Vaquero NM

smokinjohn
09-24-2011, 5:38 PM
Colt had a problem with that finish a decade or so ago. They have resolved it. I shoot Colts in 44-40 with black powder and have had no problems after 4 years and thousands of rounds.

USFA manufactures great single actions, but they are so behind on deliveries that no one wants to order them.

Ruger is stout, shoots well out of the box and Ruger will take care of any isssues you might have.

John

robcoe
09-24-2011, 5:44 PM
I would say the Ruger.

junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:44 PM
Ok. I will look into Colt. That was my first choice before I heard of the nickel issue.
I just love the look of the Colt 1873 Nickel finish with 5.5 barrel in 45 Long Colt

shooterfpga
09-24-2011, 5:49 PM
uberti or ruger. usfa overpriced, same with colt. i always laughed at usfa and their custom builds.

junkit_boy
09-24-2011, 5:54 PM
I like Uberti and Colt. I never took time to check out Ruger. I will do a side by side comparison when I shop for a SAA. But in the meantime, I'm paying off an Ed Brown and a Browning O/U.

scidx
09-24-2011, 6:01 PM
USFA makes a pretty decent gun. I can't say I've ever laughed at one.

The Ruger will last longer than any of the aforementioned. Although, It doesn't feel the same, by far.

The clones are good guns, but with mediocre QC from the factory. If you're considering an USFA or Colt, you've gone way past a spaghetti gun.

Might I suggest the Remington clone? In my experience, the Remington model 1875 (or Outlaw from Uberti) is a dream to shoot. It looks different than the hollywood cowboy gun; however, if you like the modern western "Maverick": Marshall Zane Cooper (James Garner) carried a 7.5" nickel Remington '75. It's quite a beautiful gun. More accurately in .44-40 chamber.

orangeusa
09-24-2011, 6:14 PM
I bought an OM Ruger Single Six, and it was cool as heck, but I HATED loading and unloading the thing. Same for any of the SA cowboy guns.

Sure you know this, but bringing it up in case you haven't shot them a lot...

.

sequoia_nomad
09-24-2011, 6:52 PM
That's a tough one. Uberti and Beretta are the same, I believe Ubertis are manufactured by Beretta? The Uberti is a very nice gun for the the money, very smooth, both mechanically and aesthetically, as is the Beretta. Dimensionally, historically more accurate to the original than Ruger. That said, I would rather have a Ruger than any of the others. Ruger makes a mighty fine SA revolver, nice and stout. If you are getting into cowboy action shooting or historical reenactments, I'd go with a Uberti or Beretta. If you want a tough shooter for carry, plinking, just cuz it's neat, etc., I'd go with a Ruger.

toby
09-24-2011, 6:57 PM
I am a Colt looney but the US firearms is a better gun unless you get a 1st or 2nd gen Colt. If money is tight get a Uberti.

bwiese
09-24-2011, 7:01 PM
Won't buy one unless it has a transfer-bar safety (meaning Ruger only, from what I hear).

It's not a six-shooter if you have to load 5 to be safe.

orangeusa
09-24-2011, 7:06 PM
Nothing wrong with the transfer bar safety. And Ruger designed (from scratch) a more reliable trigger spring (lasted longer and more linear than the Colt version).

As to Uberti - They were bought by Beretta in 2000. Beretta owns a lot of gun companies including Benelli, Stoegar.

Killawhale415
09-24-2011, 7:10 PM
Any votes to ban "the best" threads?

osxgp
09-24-2011, 7:42 PM
Ruger New Vaquero. It is by far the most popular cowboy action gun because of the firing pin safety and you can safely load all six chambers. It has a stronger frame than the Colt or Uberti for +p ammo as well. If you want to shoot super heavy loads, look for the original Ruger Vaquero. Beretta makes a model (the Stampede I think) that will handle +p loads but it will cost much more than a Ruger.

trashman
09-24-2011, 7:48 PM
Won't buy one unless it has a transfer-bar safety (meaning Ruger only, from what I hear).


The Beretta Stampede guns (made by Uberti) have the transfer bar safety, and they are pretty damn nice; the electroless nickel finish wasn't as awesome as Colt's current production, but then again I coulda bought 3+ Stampedes for the cost of one Colt.

(For the record, I recently sold my Beretta Stampede and bought a Colt - but I don't shoot Cowboy matches - I was interested in the historically authentic action).

--Neill

Seen here in my El Paso Saddlery rig:

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/DPP_0006.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/northslope/DPP_0007.jpg

orangeusa
09-24-2011, 7:52 PM
Oh, man, don't post pictures like that, I thought I was happy with my current mess 'o guns. And then I see a trident on a Cowboy gun...

Seriously, fantastic looking gun. Wish I could get over the SA loading/unloading thing...

shinbone
09-24-2011, 7:57 PM
I am a Colt looney but the US firearms is a better gun unless you get a 1st or 2nd gen Colt. If money is tight get a Uberti.

+100 ^^^

I voted USFA, but read you wanted the best value, so...

I have a Cimarron, which is basically a Uberti that has been gone over a bit, so the quality is a tad better. I think the Uberti/Taylor/Cimarron guns are a huge value.

Here's mine (sorry for the dog hair): http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/2866/modelp.jpg

WINGEDSWORD
09-24-2011, 8:31 PM
If you want the best value for the money and still a fine revolver, Get the new model Vaquero. Stronger, safer and more durable than the others. And the New Model Vaquero is very close to the Colt in size and feel. I have an old model Vaquero that I like a lot. It feels better in my hand than the new model or the Colt. I don't know if the new model is available in polished stainless but if it is, that's the way I would go. If you scratch a nickel gun, there's no way to fix it. With polished stainless, just polish out the scratch.

dfletcher
09-24-2011, 8:47 PM
I have a Colt 3rd Gen, a beautiful gun. The USFA is as nice, maybe better in the case coloring. Whichever SA revolver is my "next gun" I'm going to stick with the old fashioned "4 clicks". Transfer bar is fine I suppose, I like the traditional though.

PRCABR4Christ
09-24-2011, 8:59 PM
I love my Colt's case coloring, but the Rugers are quality built machines :)

1JimMarch
09-24-2011, 9:10 PM
If you're into modifying your hardware to exactly fit your hands, the Ruger is THE ONE and only.

The Ruger New Vaquero is actually very similar in size and heft to a 2nd Gen Colt SAA, the Beretta Stampede or most Uberties and Piettas.

Multiple sizes and shapes of hammer are available - generally the "standard", "SuperBlackhawk" (lower) and Bisley (lowest). SBH will basically drop in, the Bisley hammer needs to be modified to fit a non-Bisley grip frame but it's not a high-tolerance-fit situation and one of the few times a grinder or dremel tool makes sense. The Bisley hammer is NOT legal for SASS competition unless you also have the Ruger Bisley grip frame and trigger. The SBH hammer is legal stock or modified on any Ruger.

You also have grip frame options, including stock plowhandle (similar to a Colt SAA, what Ruger calls the XR3), oversize plowhandle (XR3-RED), way oversize plowhandle (SuperBlackhawk), Bisley, Bird's-Head. North Carolina Ordinance also has a Thunderer-type grip frame.

*Nothing* else compares with this kind of flexibility.

My NewVaq357 wears an SBH hammer, grip frame is stock, grip panels are rounded-at-the-bottom for a pinkie-under hold.

Then again, I'm also running prototype sights used under a non-disclosure agreement, and a gas-eject system where it spits empties out as I shoot it :). And a magazine feed mod is in the works :D. I intend to have the most hilariously tacticool cowboy gun *evar* :D.

And this is my daily carry piece (Tucson AZ).

hanover67
09-25-2011, 8:23 AM
I don't do Cowboy Action Shooting, but I recently got a USFA Single Action in .44 Special, 4 3/4" barrel, all-blued (no casehardened frame). I had always wanted a single action in this caliber/barrel length.

The gun is beautiful. fit and finish are excellent. It was originally a special order Rodeo II, so I had to pay an additional $150 to get the .44 as than model was only made in .38 Spl and .45 LC. But, there was a very long delay...USFA first said they didn't have any .44 barrels. Then, when this problem was solved, after about 8 months, they said they could no longer do the type of nickel plating, a sort of matte finish, I had ordered. They offered me a Single Action with an extra .44-40 cylinder as a substitute. I agreed, but when they told my dealer they were about to ship the gun, it had the wrong barrel length - 5 1/2". At that point I told the dealer to cancel the order and I got a call from the factory asking what I wanted. We agreed on an all-blued Single Action, .44 Special, 4 3/4" barrel, with the barrel roll-marked "S & W Special, Russian 44" and that is what I got about 2 months after their call, and a year and 2 months after my original order.

All of this was aggravating, as anybody waiting for a new gun can imagine. The good news is that even with the "special order" charge, the gun cost $775 plus the usual California tax and state registration fees. Now, the list price of a USFA Single Action is about $1,100, so I consider my money well spent.

Fishslayer
09-25-2011, 10:29 AM
Any votes to ban "the best" threads?

If it's a topic of no interest to me I just don't click on it.

You might try that... ;)

junkit_boy
09-25-2011, 5:29 PM
Quick question: What is the difference between 45 long colt and 44-40?

Casual_Shooter
09-25-2011, 6:38 PM
Won't buy one unless it has a transfer-bar safety (meaning Ruger only, from what I hear).

It's not a six-shooter if you have to load 5 to be safe.

Stumbled onto the Heritage Manufacturing Rough Rider (http://www.heritagemfg.com/site/department.cfm?id=52). They also have the transfer bar.

Casual_Shooter
09-25-2011, 6:39 PM
The Beretta Stampede guns (made by Uberti) have the transfer bar safety, and they are pretty damn nice; the electroless nickel finish wasn't as awesome as Colt's current production, but then again I coulda bought 3+ Stampedes for the cost of one Colt.

(For the record, I recently sold my Beretta Stampede and bought a Colt - but I don't shoot Cowboy matches - I was interested in the historically authentic action).

--Neill



Wow... that Beretta is really nice!

Kodachrome
09-25-2011, 7:01 PM
EMF were traditional type pistol with no transfer bar, thats why I bought two.
The newer Vaqueros use the smaller XR3 frame from days of yore, not sure about others saying +P rated.
Take a look at the Bisleys, different style grips.
Also have Chrome 3rd Gen Colt SAA w/box.
Good Luck

Pantheragem
09-25-2011, 7:28 PM
I have an EMF Californian Deluxe. Of the five pistols I own, it's my favorite. I like it enough that I'm now waiting to get a Colt SAA, as soon as one becomes available in my area (new ones are scarce right now). .45 Colt is now also my favorite round.

EMF is also a fantastic company to deal with. I needed the timing adjusted on mine and took it into their office in Santa Ana and they serviced it while I waited. I also picked up a .45 ACP cylinder for it while I was there. A month later they called me to see if I was happy with the repair and the new cylinder. Not often I've come across customer service like that. I'll be getting a Colt but my EMF will not be going anywhere. Very fun to shoot, and nice lookin' too.
http://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e252/Pantheragem/081310-2-1.jpg

1JimMarch
09-25-2011, 7:31 PM
The 44-40 is a weird one, because the standard bullet diameter is .427. The .44Russian, Special and Magnum family are .429. A *lot* of "44-40s" got made with .429" barrels (including all the Ruger 44-40s, the few they made anyhow) and a fair amount of the factory ammo is "mutant" 44-40 with .429" bullets in 'em. So unless you plan to handload every round, and you know which kind of throats/barrel you have, you don't want to get involved in the .44-40.

It's a bottleneck cartridge as well, which is at least a little bit harder to handload for than a straight-wall shell like the .45LC, .357, etc.

Power level is in the same ballpark as the 45LC.

If you're going to go with a big-bore cowboy gun, the 45LC is more practical. Easier to handload, much more ammo available and all of it is supposed to be set up for the same width bullets. And many of the 45LC guns can be had with a second cylinder in 45ACP, which is supposed to use exactly the same width barrel so accuracy in 45ACP tends to be very good. And while it ain't "period correct", thumbing 45ACP rounds into an SA wheelgun's loading gate out of a semi-auto's magazine is way cool :). The 45ACP is also fairly cheap to shoot if you're not a handloader.

Ruger has a special run right now of New Vaqueros in 45 with dual cylinders, and they have a Blackhawk (adjustable sights) set up that way as a regular production item.

The 44Spl also works well in SA-type wheelguns, as does the 357Magnum although it's not very "old west" :).

Finally, Ruger has a large-frame stainless Blackhawk in 327 Federal Magnum, which is a lengthened .32Magnum shell and with horsepower surprisingly close to a lot of 357Magnum rounds. What's most interesting about this combo in the Blackhawk is that it's not a sixgun - it's an EIGHTgun :). Yet again, not period correct but way cool. It can also shoot 32Mag, 32S&W, 32S&WLong and weirdly enough, 32ACP if you wanted a zero-recoil gun :D.

1JimMarch
09-25-2011, 7:36 PM
The Heritage Rough Rider does NOT have a transfer bar safety. It has a manually activated safety on a separate switch(!). The Heritage "Big Bore" is a Pietta gun made in Italy with final fitting and finish by Heritage stateside and it's the only known Pietta variant with a transfer bar safety. I don't know much more about it.

Pietta however has been making very good guns of late, mostly imported through EMF - Pantheragem's gun is 99% certainly a Pietta. Cimarron has noticed that Pietta has made massive improvements and is also starting to import them. A lot of the SASS players are claiming Pietta is making a better gun than Uberti right now. Pietta's CEO competes in Cowboy Action Shooting in Europe under the name "Alchemista" and EMF has his personal setup available under that name...basically an SAA-clone with an oversize grip frame.

Cali-Shooter
09-25-2011, 7:37 PM
I would only go with either a Ruger or a Colt for a SAA revolver.

den888
09-25-2011, 7:41 PM
Ruger, would be my choice.

Pantheragem
09-25-2011, 7:44 PM
Pietta however has been making very good guns of late, mostly imported through EMF - Pantheragem's gun is 99% certainly a Pietta.

I should have clarified that. Yes, it is a Pietta. I've handled the Alchamista as well. I have smaller hands though and prefer the traditional grip and trigger. The trigger of the Alchamista is much wider, more like the trigger on my 1858 New Army.

bwiese
09-25-2011, 8:09 PM
Just remember, some of these SA cowboy gun mfgrs were associated with Kathy Lynch, SASS and the whole single-action revolver exemption - which helped get the whole "safe handgun Roster" passed thru lack of unity.

Ape
09-25-2011, 8:38 PM
Both of my Heritage/Pietta's are hard working well made guns that I'd test next to any other manufactuer's stock cowboy gun. Especially for the price. ;)

http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f385/Apeguy35/DSCF1496.jpg

jewboy929
09-26-2011, 9:11 PM
The USFA are works of art the case hardening is just beautiful.

Common
09-27-2011, 1:25 AM
I just bought a pietta that is similar to the uberti. Both are very nice. The pietta you can get under 350.00 it is a traditional 3 screw design with a safe cock position.

Longbow
09-27-2011, 3:20 AM
If you want to shoot in competition, Rugers are the only realistic choice, unless you are, or are sleeping with, a gunsmith.

Other than that - Colts have cachet, but the others are good, serviceable revolvers. Godd luck, getting a USFA. Try Taylor's, instead.

Longbow

chuckdc
09-27-2011, 5:54 AM
If you want to shoot in competition, Rugers are the only realistic choice, unless you are, or are sleeping with, a gunsmith.

Other than that - Colts have cachet, but the others are good, serviceable revolvers. Godd luck, getting a USFA. Try Taylor's, instead.

Longbow

I have one of the Taylor & Co./Uberti guns. 5 1/2" .45 Colt in case/blued. It's beautiful, but it DID need a little "tune-up" to be sighted in. I had it worked on by Alan Harton (Single Action Service) here in Houston. He does fantastic work at VERY reasonable prices.Getting mine sighted in, and checked out, plus a music-wire hand spring installed to make it THAT much more smooth, was a grand total of about 50 bucks and he had it done in a week. I think that might actually violate some law of gunsmithing (stuff done quickly..) but I can live with that. I got mine used off of GunBroken, and all said and done I don't have 400 bucks in it. I may get the .45 ACP cylinder so I can shoot it more cheaply. Cimarron is about 3 hrs away from here, and I might just go to them for that.