So why buy anything other than a Vaquero...


July 16, 2003, 01:01 AM
...when selecting a traditional single action cowboy-type pistol? There are several Colt clones out there in addition to the SAA, and none of them can hold up to the abuse a Ruger Vaquero can handle. Why buy a Colt clone for more money than Ruger Vaquero?

It would seem that the Vaquero can handle all your needs: Cowboy action shooting, back-up hunting pistol (high-power loads), etc...All at a similar or lower price than the clones.

I'm really asking this question because I'm on the verge of buying a Vaquero, and am looking for somebody to play devil's advocate. :D

Thanks in advance to all who can set me straight on this.

If you enjoyed reading about "So why buy anything other than a Vaquero..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 16, 2003, 01:49 AM
I agree with you that the Ruger Vaquero is one stout revolver. And for cowboy action shooting it is probably the most economical and smart choice. But the Italian SAA clone pistols have the classic "feel" of a Colt SAA. Its hard to explain its just something you just know. The clones also work like a SAA and looks more authentic as a period firearm. Vaqueros are the most reliable but for some of those into cowboy action shooting or just for the fun of it thats part of the charm.

July 16, 2003, 07:13 AM
Some people pay more to have original style colt springs, a loading gate that's locked until half-cock, firing pin visible on hammer, etc.
The average vaquero weighs a little more than a clone, that affects draw and feel.
Also, the transfer bar is said to mess up the trigger pull a little.
I don't know, I learned on a NM blackhawk.
Cowboy action types typically don't care how it handles higher power loads, anyway.
I prefer vaqueros, but if I had learned on a colt, that may be somewhat different.

July 16, 2003, 09:10 AM
The Vaquero (sp?) is a good gun. Its stronger, more dependable, and safer than a colt clone. The downside is that it isn't a SAA.

Put a vaquero next to a SAA and you will notice the difference. The Vaquero is heavier and has a different balance. Its manual of arms is different. Its lockwork is different.

The vaquero is a great, sturdy, do-anything gun. But it is not historical correct and that matters to some people. If it doesn't matter to you then shoot and enjoy.

July 16, 2003, 09:17 AM
I have a Vaquero and it is a very very impressive firearm. It looks great, is put together weel, shoots straight and would make a handy club or hammer should the need arise. The fact remains that it is NOT a true SAA.

Somebody else make the comment that it is all about the balance and weight and that is really the big thing for me. As far as the hammer bar I, personally think the trigger is still great and I like being able to carry 6 in the cylinder.

You cannot go wrong with the Vaquero as long as you are not looking for the nostagia of a true SAA. If you are check out AWA. Colt sued them for being too close to Colts and if that isn't good advertising I don't know what is.


July 16, 2003, 11:37 AM
They usually shoot low and left but its possible to find one that is on windage wise but its a matter of luck. I suspect the clone sights are pot luck too.

the front sight can come off a bit easier than some other designs. You will see one with the front sight missing every now and then.

Other than that, they may not feel like a colt but they have a great feel and balance all their own. You do not need a comprehensive spare parts kit -a complete necessity with the colt lockwork the trigger pulls are a bit long and squashy but adjusting the trigger return spring will usually improve this alot. Even with the factory trigger pull, they hang on target so well that good shooting is available.

July 16, 2003, 12:22 PM
If you are after the true "Look and Feel" of the period, then the SAA & Clones are the choice. For a modern design single action, for use with the most insane of loads, the Vaquero all the way.

My humble 1/50th of $1. Your mileage will vary.

Billy Sparks
July 16, 2003, 12:26 PM
I owned two Uberti's and both of them had problems. The first one the
firing pin was off center for the hole. The second one, I don't remember the problem but I remember there was a problem. So far 3 Vaquero's with out a problem. You are absolutly correct they are not true SAA and they balance different but I prefer them.

July 16, 2003, 05:47 PM
Colt sued AWA?

Since when?

The design is well over 100 years old, not to mention a US Service pistol which means ta-dah! It's public domain, which is why you can have clones in the first place. (The same applies for the 1911)

Many clones are fully compatible (you can swap parts) with original Colts, how's that for 'close?'

The main advantage ruger has over SSA clones is the ability to sfaely carry 6 rounds loaded and handling stout loads. Ruger also has a nice glossy SS finish that is much more durable than nickel. Rugers can be had in biggercalibers as well. There is no such thing as a 44 mag SAA.

However, the clones come in some very nice case hardened versions, and those can be very very beautiful to the afficianado.

July 16, 2003, 06:24 PM
I am not sure of the details but I heard that not too long ago Colt attempted to sue or otherwise take legal action against AWA regarding their SAA clones.


Zeke Menuar
July 16, 2003, 06:36 PM
When shopping for a new gun, Ruger is never on the list. I bought a Ruger product a few years ago and was the victim of shoddy workmanship and non-existant customer service. When in the market for a SA revolver I shop for a Colt SAA clone.


Standing Wolf
July 16, 2003, 09:04 PM
Why buy a gun with a billboard-sized message for idiots stamped into the barrel?

July 16, 2003, 09:07 PM
As a Cowboy Action Shooter, I can tell you, the Ruger is a good pistol. It is durable and accurate. Most of the top CAS shooters use Rugers. I have used both the clones and the Rugers. I settled on the Rugers because of their durability and the fact they are available in stainless(I shoot black powder). The clones do feel more like the origionals, and the Rugers are bigger, but I have big hands and like the feel.

It was mentioned that most shoot low and to the left. If I were a betting man, I would bet that the shooter was a right handed person. Single actions handle different. Most right handed folks will shoot low and to the left, left handers will shoot low and to the right. It has to do with the trigger being offset, and a "pushing" away of the trigger. With care and practice, you can correct this.

I don't mean this last as an insult on anyones shooting skill, I had the same problem at first, and have know several non-CAS shooters who did this when they first entered the sport.

Jim March
July 16, 2003, 10:34 PM
Colt sued AWA over AWA's logo, which involved a horse pulling a wheelie just like Colt's logo :scrutiny:.

The Rugers feel...well, "wrong". Grip is too big, hammer reach is too much due to the taller frame. The Bird's-head Ruger grip is actually much better. Power Custom makes a Colt-SAA-sized grip frame for Rugers, if you have $200 laying around.

To me, the loading gate thing and safety are lesser issues.

I'm considering a Bird's-head Ruger (or similar Qualitas conversion) and then swapping hammers to the SuperBlackHawk type. Wouldn't be SASS legal, but the lower hammer should give good handling.

July 17, 2003, 02:03 AM
I also recently went through this same decision phase that you are going through. I got a Vaquero today and I have absolutely no regrets. A truly great gun at a great price.

July 17, 2003, 02:07 AM
Thanks, guys for the replies. If doing just cowboy shooting, I suppose I might look at some of the clones out there, but as this will be a hunting back-up, I think the Vaquero would best be suited for "bear-intensive" loads.

I appreciate it.:)

Jim March
July 17, 2003, 03:58 AM
For hunting? Absolutely. Don't look at anything else. Esp. as shot-to-shot speed won't be a big factor. And hey, if you have big hands it might fit you; if not, a lower-slung hammer and smaller grip are worth thinking about.

Speaking of which: new for this year, the 45LC Birds-head is available with the 4.68" barrel in addition to the original 3.75". If you have small hands, consider that long-barrel bird's head. It's also available in 357 and a 4.68" tube.

July 17, 2003, 04:12 PM
I just got my first wheel gun after years of semi autos.

I've read the reviews, visited all the chat boards re: the SAA alternatives and wound up finding a Uberti SAA clone with two cylinders, .45 ACP and .45 LC for $275 unfired with all the original paperwork in the box at a local gun shop. Seemed like a pretty good deal to me, but we'll see.

It felt good in my hand and I'm taking it to the range this weekend.

(Damn, now I have to start looking for a lever action and one of those big hat feather thingies to wear too I guess.)

Don P.

If you enjoyed reading about "So why buy anything other than a Vaquero..." here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!