I switched out the factory grips for some Eagle Grips Gunfighter ones (in buffalo horn). They're beautiful and they make the gun easier to hold on to.
(btw it's nice to know there are some other MGS fans around here haha)
April 17, 2009, 08:41 AM
The Ruger Vaquero would be my first choice if I wanted a Birds head grip. You can find them in 3 3/4" lengths more commonly although I found a picture of a 5 1/2" one (which someone created by adding the grip frame and handle to the standard model) for you as well.
Cimmeron has a birds head model as well but its finish and action is horrid compared with the Rugers. The Ruger is only available new in the old Vaquero if I am not mistaken. That would make it harder to find. The Cimmarons seem to be everywhere.
I'd venture to guess that in any case, you'd find them more comfortable and accurate to shoot when loaded with .38 than .357 rounds. The grip comfort at the showroom vs on the range can be two different things.
April 17, 2009, 09:54 AM
I had wondered about the cimmaron as it had everything I was looking for, however the price led me to believe the quality may not be that great.
also has anyone seen or shot a baretta stampede? how are they?
April 17, 2009, 10:22 AM
You'll need to actually check out the Baretta and Uberti stuff as well. I find they are all about the same. They all are produced in Italy and the quality of the fit and finish is not nearly that of the Colt from what I have seen. The actions are different too and they don't feel the same when cocking and firing dry, but catching the hammer. Actual shooting will change your perception as you'll be overwhelmed by recoil and be concentrating on the target. Some changes have been made to these over the years and so there may be some models and individual pieces out there that are nicer than others.
I believe that you are correct about getting what you pay for. You'll get lucky indeed if you find a SAA style gun that actually handles like the real McCoy.
If I were you, I'd expand the range by not insisting on the birds head grip. That severely limits your options. If you can get past that, I'd also look at the German made EAA Bounty Hunter. I was hoping to get to handle one of those at a gun show and perhaps even purchase it if I liked it but I never found one. After my disappointment with the average Italian jobs from first hand inspection, I wouldn't want to buy one without checking it out. I bought my AWA by mail only after handling a similar unit locally. The local one had excellent action but had several features that I didn't want, such as a longer barrel, nickel finish, and a significantly higher price.
April 17, 2009, 10:53 AM
Colt has that birds head grip now to.
As to barrel length; for useful sight radius I wouldn't go shorter then either the 4 3/4" Colt SAA length or Ruger's 4 5/8" length. Longer is better, just depends on ease of carrying and holstering it. Sitting down in a vehicle and how tall you are. I've had just about all makes and prefer the Colt. Ruger is the best by far.
April 17, 2009, 11:37 AM
I have a Stampede Marshall, though in .45 Colt. It's got a transfer bar system, so you can carry with all 6 chambers stuffed if you prefer. It's a short barrel, but the birdshead grip makes recoil very mild, at least for me. I don't know about many other examples of this model, fit, finish, action was exceptional. I will say finding one was very difficult.
Mine shoots about 6" low at 25 yards, but I don't have the heart to file down the front sight and it really doesn't make that big of a difference at defensive ranges anyway.
Here's mine with a Baer.
April 17, 2009, 11:43 AM
+1 on a Ruger.
April 17, 2009, 11:56 AM
the birds head is the last on the list in terms of importance, besides i could probablly find a bird's head grip frame or have one modified for most guns if I just had to have it.
eaa bounty hunter is also pretty low on the price scale, is it good quality for the price?
April 17, 2009, 03:46 PM
From what I gather by reading, they are not bad for the money. Unfortunately, I've not been able to verify that first hand.
April 19, 2009, 11:29 AM
how about uberti?
April 19, 2009, 04:10 PM
Uberti, as does all of the Italian makes, seems to have a hit or miss quality reputation. Guns marked with their name seem to fair better but they do make guns under other names. I was just commenting about it on another thread here. They must have a tiered quality level system by offering several models (as in good, better, best quality) at varying price points. perhaps even several brands with the same intent. In that way, their premium products would be reliable and accurate, yet you'll be paying for that. If you wanted a bargain basement gun, then the entry level model or brand would allow that as well. They are claiming the El Patron model to be an enhanced version of the Cattleman.
Also some speculation has been made as to the quality improving over the years. That may help to see why there is a mixed review of them. Still, based upon my personal experience when searching for a SAA style revolver, which included handling a few new Ubertis, my advice of checking each one out stands. That's the only way that you'll know if they meet your expectations.
Mat, not doormat
April 19, 2009, 11:17 PM
The simple fact is that there are only two brands which will reliably work out of the box. USFA and Ruger. All the rest, INCLUDING Colt's, need an action job first, to properly fit the internals and prevent them self destructing. All the Ubertis, be they Navy, Cimarron, Taylors, or Berettas; and all the Piettas, including the Great Western II, fall into that category. Ruger and USFA will still benefit from action work, but will survive without it. The rest will benefit from it, but tear themselves apart without it.
If action work is a given, then the choice comes down to whether you prefer transfer bar or original style action work. With a transfer bar, you can carry all six chambers loaded, without one, safety requires the gun be carried hammer down on an empty chamber.
That established, the next choice is based on the quality of the metallurgy. In the original style, Colt's and USFA rank about even, with the Italian stuff being about like warm butter by comparison. In the transfer bar stuff, Colt's cowboy is probably number one, but hard to find. Ruger is fairly close behind.
On the other hand, one does have to pay for that hard steel, as the Colt's and USFA run about double the price of the Italian guns. Ruger definitely wins the bang for the buck competition.
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