Uberti vs Ruger?


May 8, 2007, 07:06 PM
Please compare the two. I looked at these two (Cattleman vs a Vaquero) side by side today at the gunstore. The Ruger felt alittle more smooth, but beyond that and the whole transfer bar system, I couldn't tell much difference. The Ruger was rougly $100 more.

What is the verdict with Uberti? How is the fit and finish and quality and reliablity?

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May 8, 2007, 07:07 PM

May 8, 2007, 07:24 PM
The Ruger is of higher quality, stronger, and American made. You get a lot for that $100.

May 8, 2007, 07:42 PM
There was a recent thread on this:

I don't own a Uberti (yet), but I like their authenticity - 4 clicks when you cock the hammer. But not safe to carry 6 rounds, either. For that, I was told to go with a Ruger. Quality-wise, they generally get good reviews.

May 8, 2007, 07:57 PM
Uberti vs Ruger?
-Yugo vs Toyota.

May 8, 2007, 11:38 PM
The Uberti is a very close copy of the original Colt SAA. The Ruger is an entirely different gun. So, it depends on what you prefer...tradition, or a strong, modern gun that you can use hard (the New Vaqueros can't be used as hard as the old, however) and not worry about.

May 8, 2007, 11:53 PM
The only Uberti's I've seen weren't proofed for smokeless, so you had to load BP loads. Dunno if they make better guns than that or not.

Get a Ruger.

May 9, 2007, 12:11 AM
Uberti makes very good guns and all their cartridge revolvers are made for smokeless powder. They are just a different guns than Rugers.


May 9, 2007, 02:59 AM
The only Uberti's I've seen weren't proofed for smokeless, so you had to load BP loads. Dunno if they make better guns than that or not.


Here's a 10 shot group from my .357 Magnum Uberti Cattleman at twenty five yards off hand:scrutiny: .

May 9, 2007, 07:18 AM
Hmm-Ruger are durable and have the tranfer bar, but aren't much for looks or authenticity.
What will this gun be used for?

May 9, 2007, 04:03 PM
I have never owned or shot a Uberti, but have owned two Ruger SA's. I had problems with both.

The first was a Super Blackhawk that sent parts flying when I touched off a round. It apparantly was a faulty screw that held the plunger to the side of the barrel.

The second was a .357 Blackhawk that seemed to have one cylinder chamber a tad too big. It caused the case to expand and become very difficult to extract from the cylinder.

I used factory new ammo in both of these revolvers.

I have also owned a Ruger .22 auto with no problems, a P-95 with no problems and a GP100 with no problems.

I am not bashing Ruger SA's; just stating MY experiences with them.


Jim March
May 9, 2007, 07:19 PM
I really, really like the New Vaquero, above and beyond the previous generation Ruger SAs.

First thing: the Uberti SAs and New Vaq are both "size and ergonomic clones" to the Colt SAA, so they're going to feel very similar in the hand. Technically they are "slightly off" - hammer curves are a hair different, cylinders are a hair oversize for safety with the thin-walled 45LC cylinders, etc. But overall they're pretty close to their SAA roots.

Second: the New Vaq is a higher quality gun than any other Ruger single action, especially among those made post-1973. Ruger changed manufacturing processes. The biggest change was in how cylinders are made. Previous Ruger SA cylinders (and an unknown number of others?) were made on a machine with six drill bits going at once, one for each bore. Checking and adjusting these was complex and annoying and often didn't get done often enough, leading to cylinders with mis-matched bore specs.

The New Vaq cylinders are built on a machine with just one drill bit. The cylinder is precision-spun to each location, and all six bores are done in sequence with the same bit. I've not heard of a single instances yet of New Vaq cylinders shipping with variances between bores, in either 357 or 45LC. Better yet: because the one drill bit is easier to check, it seems to be getting checked more often so the cylinder bores aren't just uniform, they're GOOD.

Many other details are improved, including the ejector rod (nice crescent) and the cylinder indexing - clicks happen when each cylinder bore lines up with the loading gate, a HUGE welcome relief. Loading and unloading still happen with the hammer fully down instead of half-cocked, which isn't "SAA purist traditional" but the Ruger system is faster and arguably safer by a bit, esp. when compared to a non-transfer-bar-gun like the Ubertis.

Finally, the Ruger is a "modder's dream". Many parts from the larger series drop right in, such as replacement hammers/triggers, and grip frames made for the earlier guns can be adapted over too. The base pin is a part people often upgrade and the base pins from the earlier large-frame guns won't fit, but Belt Mountain is already shipping base pins for the mid-frame guns - so far the New Vaq and 50th Anniversary 357.

Add in one more factor: Ruger support versus Uberti. No comparison.

If you MUST have a quality SA that lacks a transfer bar and can afford Ruger-level prices (only slightly above Uberti prices really) consider Cimarron. They take Uberties, tune them some stateside and support them at a higher level.

May 9, 2007, 07:38 PM

Why the upgrade base pin? Also the new models are not as strong or so I have read, but how much less? I was wondering as I reload everything and am wanting a new Vaquero 45 ever since I held one. How far below the Blackhawks would a guy need to load? Surely at least some more than the Colts, but by approximately how much?. I read the New frames are along the lines of the old model 357, 41 mag. strength wise, is this so?

Jim March
May 9, 2007, 07:58 PM
People put better base pins into Rugers first, because it's cheap (max $35 for fancy, $25 for plain), second because the Belt Mountain pins tend to tighten the action and third because if the base pin "jumps under recoil" it can screw the gun up. It's cheap preemptive medicine that also improves accuracy at least a hair for at least half the buyers.

The New Vaq is built on a "357Mag-capable frame" similar to the Colt SAA or pre-1973 Ruger 357 Blackhawk.

They can be hot-rodded to 41Mag levels, and some successful conversions to that caliber have been done. The Colt SAA is considered very borderline for the 41Mag, but the New Vaq's cylinder is a hair oversize from SAA spec.

In 45LC, the New Vaq cylinder wall thickness is almost frighteningly thin, same as the Colt SAA.

The "Old Vaq" and all prior "large frame" Ruger SAs are built on a 44Magnum-grade-frame. The cylinder is longer and wider and in 45LC can handle a LOT more horsepower than the New Vaq can. The difference is pretty extreme. Here are Buffalo Bore's loads for the 45LC+P in large-frame guns:


Here's their page on max loads compatible with the New Vaq:


If you're looking to max out what the New Vaq can do, I would start with a 357 and ponder upgrades to that. One choice I'm REALLY thinking about is to score a second cylinder in 357 and have it reamed to 356GNR - a wildcat based on the 41Mag, necked down to 357, shooting 357 bullets at less pressure due to the larger case volume. They should drop free easier due to the lower pressure, and the bottleneck shape speeds insertion.

May 9, 2007, 10:11 PM
get both heck get two of each.seriously they are both good guns the mellinium uberti I handeled was not near as smooth as my cimarron.but they are not much cheeper than rugers.I do have two of each and I have shot 4" 20 round groups with them

May 10, 2007, 08:14 AM
I just recently went throught the decision making process for a single action revolver. I have owned both Ubertis and Rugers in the past.

The new Rugers now have an internal lock. I don't know how you feel about those, but I absolutely hate them, and so I passed on Ruger. Another drawback on the Ruger is the large warning they stamp on the barrel.

I have owned Ubertis in the past and have had generally good results with them. However, while I was looking around I discovered and handled the Beretta Stampede. The fit and finish were very good, and the trigger was very crisp and light. The Stampede has a transfer bar safety, so its ok to load 6 rounds. It does not have an internal lock. I ended up going with it instead of a Uberti. I bought the 7.5" version, and had it out shooting earlier this week. At 75 feet, it will consistently hit the black center of a 50 foot pistol target, which I guess is around 2 inches in diameter, but I didnt measure. In any case, it was very accurate, and I love it. You might want to take a look at it also.

Jim March
May 10, 2007, 10:41 AM
The Stampede is a good gun. Not sure about long-term reliability when compared to the Ruger, and I *do* know the Ruger is the "modder's dream". Mine already wears a SuperBlackhawk lower-slung hammer for less thumb reach.

As to the lock. So far, unlike the S&W lock, there are zero reports of the Ruger SA lock accidentally engaging. And as the owner of a gun with such a lock that I have NOT disabled, I've been looking, hard.

As long as you don't drill one of the panels, it's impossible to even spot the lock. And it is MUCH easier to disable than the S&W or Taurus versions as the Ruger lock is out at the far end of the mainspring strut. It works by blocking the end of the mainspring strut, and hence blocks cocking. Since the Rugers load and unload with the hammer down, you can load/unload with the lock engaged.

It's the best and by far the most unobtrusive built-in lock out there, plus it's the easiest to dump if you want.

I don't think the Ruger lock is a good reason on it's own to give the Ruger a skip.

May 11, 2007, 12:25 AM
I prefer Ruger between the two. Give your money to folks who don't hate you.

May 11, 2007, 12:57 AM
I prefer Ruger between the two. Give your money to folks who don't hate you.

Italians hate me:confused: :confused: :confused: .

May 11, 2007, 01:11 AM
Jim March, you make good points, but on the long-term reliability issue, I believe the Beretta will probably do fine. I will be shooting 45 Colt at cowboy velocities... 725-800 fps. It will take a lot of shooting to wear it out with mild loads, but I don't doubt the Ruger would last longer. If this gun was going to be used for anything other than fun, i think that would be a bigger issue.

May 11, 2007, 04:52 AM
Aldo Uberti got his start making period correct movie prop guns for the Italian western movies - the so called 'spaghetti westerns', many with Clint Eastwood as 'The Man with no name'. They are now a very modern facility, making guns and parts on CNC machinery for several other companies. Their guns are good copies of the originals, including the actual finishes - CCH, blued, white, etc, are all as the originals. Ruger's blued guns look far worse - likely due to the poor prep of the bare metal - it should be quite slick, and you can see lines under even the Ruger 50th Anniversary models' finish I've seen. Sadly, their 'CCH' is an applied faux finish - a paint. I prefer SS anyway.

Parts procurement for Uberti's now is no more a problem than it is for Rugers. I actually think that the Uberti's parts may now be more easily interchanged than they were, due to the CNC production uniformity. I know of several folks with new Uberti's who have experienced zero problems - not so, unfortunately, with Rugers... they do have more QC issues. In fact, I consider them as 'works in progress' as delivered (That said, my last two revolver purchases were Rugers - and, yes, I got to work on them!). As Jim March said, they have addressed the variable nature of the chamber exit bores, but abandoned, at least for now, the .44 in their new Vaquero line. Sadly, the .44 Russian, the 'Original' centerfire metallic cartridge round, finds only the Uberti, etc, clone of the S&W #3 as a chambered example now.

I doubt you'll be unhappy with either... get the one that looks and feels good to you. Don't let a few extra bucks deter you... if you are like me, you'll keep it for a long time.


May 11, 2007, 04:21 PM
Another drawback on the Ruger is the large warning they stamp on the barrel.

On the New Vaquero, the warning is hidden on the underside of the barrel.

May 11, 2007, 05:51 PM
I would not say it is hidden, it is just on the bottom of the barrel. Turn the gun over and its just as easy to see as it used to be.

The bottom of the barrel is a better place to stamp the instructions, but I would rather they had left that off entirely.

Jim March
May 11, 2007, 07:39 PM
I won't argue regarding the Ruger's looks. The fake color case is just dumb. They've done a special run of all-blue distributor specials, and that's a positive step.


I would trust my life to a Ruger over an Uberti any day of the week. The New Vaq is simply a better design, from the coil springs out. I don't buy "fun guns", I buy a VERY small number of guns I trust and use...and then I modify those where desired to fit my needs. The Ruger is a modder's dream and most of the mods available are factory Ruger drop-ins such as my SBH hammer - just as reliable as stock.

May 11, 2007, 08:01 PM
I need to go take a better look at the hammer on the New Vaquero. I thought they were lower than the Blackhawk. Lower, wider and not as sharp edges, I must be wrong. We use to file the hammers a bit to be easier on the thumb, but would still get blisters without tape, been many years since I shot that much.
I have a OM 41 MAG using a Single_Six hammer. Story in it's self how it got that way, but I like the lower hammer so much better it has been that way over a decade now, with no plans of changing it.
Also I want to handle the new and first Vaquero's side by side. First time I picked up a new one I really liked the feel but the strength of the old attracts me also. Although a hot rod is not really what I am wanting.
I have had a revolver or two that was foreign made, I'll stick with the Ruger. Thanks for the good info Jim.

Hey Jim,
What about the hammer on the new Montado knv-453? Just saw that and it looks about right if they can be bought.

May 11, 2007, 08:40 PM
New Vaquero Montado - 1000 for Davidson's

I like the mods they made on these.

When I started CAS 12 years ago, I bought two Vaqueros in 45 Colt. I worked up a load that shot well in them and met SASS standards and turned the barrels and filed the front sights to make them hit to point of aim at 25 yards - the load is a bit hot by today's CAS standards - 250 grain bullets at 80 fps - laser cast bullets, win brass and primers and 7.0 grains of W231.

I haven't shot CAS for several years now but if I were getting back into it, I'd get a couple of these new vaqueros in .357 and adjust them for 38 specials - and I'd get a Marlin 38 special CAS cowboy to go with.

Jim March
May 11, 2007, 09:15 PM
I already have a Montado hammer. It's also known as a "SuperBlackHawk" hammer. Same thing.

The reason they're marketing the Montado to the HORSE mounted SASS crowd is that the rules on hammer mods are looser on horseback. And that in turn is because having a gun fit your hands is more important than "looking period".

I'll become interested in SASS when that level of sanity permeates the whole thing...unless they're willing to let me call my Harley a "horse".

May 11, 2007, 09:49 PM
unless they're willing to let me call my Harley a "horse".
Made me chuckle. I sometimes carry a small pistola clipped on the windshield bag on my Softail. you'd never think twice about it with just a casual look.

Blackhawk hammer huh, thanks again. Fit your hands is what counts IMO.

Period stuff?? I hadn't a clue, so what is it "PC" cowboy action? LOL. I bet they allow "transfer bars" huh? geezzz..
Had a Great uncle that when he was a young man knew a fella fairly well that had been quite the rounder, and at one time was a Arizona Ranger 100 years ago or so. He had shot a guy that was, or so he said bothering his sister between the eyes with a 22. Told the judge " I figured he was tough enough a 22 wouldn't kill him". He wasn't a Ranger at the time I don't think, and did a couple of years in Yuma for it. Don't know a lot of the story but the guy musta been a problem or he would have got a stiffer sentence for shooting him. Different world back then. Like many of the time I kinda think he played both sides. Those guys did plenty to sidearms I do believe, PC wasn't invented yet . That Great Uncle is where I got the idea of filing the hammer, that and a few other ideas, I still think of and or use. I miss listening to him.

Jim March
May 11, 2007, 11:18 PM
Period stuff?? I hadn't a clue, so what is it "PC" cowboy action? LOL. I bet they allow "transfer bars" huh? geezzz..

Oh, it's a LOT worse than you realize.

OK. First, yeah they allow transfer bars, but you have to load transfer-bar guns five-up. Which I'm OK with, that way people can compete with something street-safe but don't get an extra round advantage.

But. The basics of the rules is "no external mods" - the gun has to LOOK period and stock condition.

You can do spring kits. You can do a $200 action job. You can do a drop-in Power Custom hammer/trigger set that give you basically a highly refined action. They allow a $1,000 line-bored barrel and cylinder set for God's sake. But HEAVEN FORBID you throw in a $35 lower hammer so the gun fits your hand better.

It's as if NASCAR allowed unlimited engine mods but everybody had to have the same seat and steering wheel bolted into the same place in every car, so if you were too tall or too short you're screwed.

It's just NONSENSE.

And what it leads to is just ugly. The worst offense is the rise of the off-hand thumb cocking. It's idiocy in terms of what will save your life in a REAL fight because you can't shoot one-handed if all your cocking practice is with your off hand. Off-hand cocking is an extreme compensation for guns that don't fit your hand, as it no longer really matters.

But what's happening is, the genuine art of the single action fighting wheelgun is being bastardized just to fit rules as dumb as anything BATFE ever came up with.


Ahem. Sorry 'bout that.

Revolver Ocelot
May 12, 2007, 12:14 AM
ruger you get what you pay for and I'm not sure of uberti's warranty but rugers is lifetime.

May 12, 2007, 01:02 AM
I am always amazed by rules made by costume dressed men (clowns)

Want to make equal rules? Only period firearms originals allowed. When you can afford the costume you can afford the gun.

Fastest growing sport with nanny rules IMHO.

P. Plainsman
May 13, 2007, 01:22 AM
[ Ahh, never mind -- digressive gripe about the use of "wimp loads" in CAS, and how I'd be much more interested in the sport if there were a reasonable power floor, deleted in the interest of staving off thread drift ]

May 13, 2007, 01:09 PM
It depends upon what you want, modern convenience or authenticity.

I was looking at getting a single action revolver earlier this year. I have no intention of doing anything other than casual target practice with it, so the inability to safely carry six in the cylinder is irrelevant to me. If you plan on carrying the gun with six, you're best off with the Ruger. My best friend has a Vaquero Bisley and it's a great gun, just not what I want in terms of authenticity.

Jim March
May 13, 2007, 05:10 PM
The Vaq Bisley is for sure NOT even remotely authentic. It's oversize, and Ruger's implementation of the "Bisley" is more or less authentic in terms of hammer and trigger, nowhere close in terms of grip frame. The Ruger "Bisley" is derived loosely from some early 20th century custom guns (notably the "#5" Elmer Keith owned and partially designed) but oversize from that.

The New Vaquero is much more authentic...close enough to a Colt SAA to fit in the same holsters. Only the transfer bar and loading drill with the hammer down are seriously "off" from turn-of-the-century Colt SAAs...well, plus coil springs and metallurgy of course.

Gaucho Gringo
May 13, 2007, 10:52 PM
Can I offer another option, Taurus Guacho ? It looks good, has four clicks plus transfer bar safety, action is silky smooth and has a lifetime warranty. I have one and I am very happy with it.

May 13, 2007, 11:20 PM
In Sportsmans today and took a good look ast the New Vaquero and a SBH side by side. That SBH hammer is the way a SA hammer otta be made. Going soon to compare the new and old Vaquero's side by side as I found a shop that has some of each but were closed on Sunday. I need to go to Boise and get some new BLM maps anyway so now I have two excuses to put up with that traffic..

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