Best value in SA revolver for carry


February 28, 2011, 01:17 PM
For someone on a low budget (I'll have to save up for it, no matter what, and the sooner I can get something, the better), who feels most comfortable with an SA revolver, and feels that they could carry one in absolute confidence: what might present the best value in single action revolvers for carry?
I would like it under 500, or even 400 if possible. Preferred calibers is .45 Colt (it's the only thing I've shot through a SA). Five or Six rounds. It doesn't need to last me forever, but I'm a student, and I would like it to last me for some years, so I need it to be affordable, but not cheap. Are offerings from Uberti acceptable pieces these days, or do I want to hold out for something more along the lines of a Vaquero? Any advice is helpful, but one does not need to waste their time telling me not to carry a single-action - I am far too comfortable with shooting them not to want one for carry.
Aside from that, I am open to any and all suggestions.

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February 28, 2011, 01:19 PM
Of course, if anyone knows of any 400 dollar USFA guns floating around, please let me know :D

February 28, 2011, 03:21 PM
I picked up my Blackhawk for $430, brand new, a few weeks ago. Mine's in 45 Colt, and I like it, but you may consider .357 as well. Nothing wrong with the Vaquero either, I just preferred the sights on the Blackhawk. The Beretta Stampede is reportedly a well made piece, and I've had good luck with their products in the past. It has a transfer bar, so you can safely carry six, and for about a hundred dollars extra, you can get the Marshall version, which has a 3.5 inch barrel and a bird's head grip. The base model Stampede should be $500 or less, so you might have to save a bit longer for the Marshall, but it would be easier to conceal, if necessary.

There's nothing wrong with the Uberti line from what I've heard, haven't shot one in person, though. They also have a 3.5 inch barreled bird's head model, which isn't surprising, since Beretta is their parent company, though in the pictures it appears to be a different grip. No transfer bar, so it's the John Wayne load if you don't want to shoot yourself.

I don't know if you're concealed carrying or open carrying, if open is the case, I'd go for a 5.5 inch barrel and the standard "plow handle" grip.

Some people say single action revolver is a poor choice for concealed carry. I say there are no varying degrees of dead. Six rounds is plenty for a civilian out walking around, and single actions come in .357 Magnum and .45 Colt, both of which are stout enough for humans and most wildlife in the lower 48 states.

If you select a .45 Colt, Buffalo Bore has a 200 grain hollowpoint standard pressure load that would be well suited for defensive use, as is Speer's 250 grain Gold Dot, and Hornady offers a polymer tipped 180 grain round in their Critical Defense line that won't clog like a conventional hollowpoint in denim. There's also no shortage of good defensive ammo in 357.

February 28, 2011, 03:29 PM
My Uberti Cattleman in .357 is really great. Only problem was that I broke the (notoriously easy to break) leaf bolt/trigger spring and replaced it with a Wolfe wire spring. Shoots POA/POI at moderate range with my light .38s and full-house .357s. Ubertis do not have a transfer bar system and as such should only be carried with 5, hammer on the empty chamber.

However, for daily carry I would recommend a Ruger. Probably going to be cheaper, adjustable sights, can carry 6 safely, and will last a lifetime and then some.

The Berretta 1873 clones are pretty, and do have a transfer bar, but again, you'll be just as well off with a Ruger.

February 28, 2011, 04:36 PM
Uberti's are good guns and getting better all the time. Importer is not really important, at least not more important than handling before purchase. Cimarron is a good choice but I get most of mine from Dixie Gun Works these days because I can drive two hours to their shop and handle anything I want before putting money on it.

That said, you're a couple months late for new USFA's close to your price range. Prices just went across the board and the Rodeo II .38Spl that cost me $540 before Christmas is a hundred bucks higher now. However, a finer SAA is not made today, even those with the rampant pony. I did only pay $420 for a used all blue US"P"FA complete with two C.O.W.S. leather rigs but that was several years ago.

Arkansas Paul
February 28, 2011, 05:00 PM
Single action, less than $400 = No brainer

Ruger Blackhawk baby!

Gary A
February 28, 2011, 05:22 PM
I agree with others. If adjustable sights are not a problem to you, a Ruger Blackhawk, blued, is what you want. You could even get on in .45 with an extra cylinder in .45acp at around the upper limit of what you want to spend. Blued because it's lighter with the alloy grip-frame.

February 28, 2011, 05:30 PM
Hard to beat a Ruger Blackhawk for just a touch over $400. Picked up a brandy new one just before Thanksgiving for $410.

Not bad at all to carry either with a quality holster and belt.

451 Detonics
February 28, 2011, 05:43 PM
Ruger Flattop 44 Special 4 5/8" can find these for around $430, the are made using the older smaller 357 frames and handle every bit as nice as an original Colt.

Mine has had a bit more work done to it....

Trad Archer
February 28, 2011, 08:08 PM
My vote would be for a Ruger.

I'm not a big fan of Italian guns.

Lucky Derby
February 28, 2011, 08:27 PM
I would look for a used Blackhawk or Vaquero, depending on which sights you prefer.

February 28, 2011, 09:25 PM
For a carry gun, the New Vaquero with short barrel. Maybee the Sheriffs model. Thye New Vaquero is smaller than the Blackhawk. Im thinking of using one in 44 Special.

February 28, 2011, 09:42 PM
I picked up a spotless used 4 5/8 Blackhawk convertible 357/38 with an 9mm cylinder on the side for $400 a year or so ago at a gun show. Kinda beefy for carry but meets your price and reliability desires with a wide wide range of load possibilities. Accurate even in 9mm mode.

March 1, 2011, 04:47 PM
I have two them. One is the U.S. Firearms Rodeo II sheriff with a 3" barrel , used , I recently bought at gun show in very nice condition in 45 Colt, weighs 34 Oz . I paid $500 for it. Another is Ruger birdshead Vaquero with 3.75" barrel , but this one has an ejector rod, also in 45 Colt for $450. This gun is no longer made but the new Ruger Sheriff's models from Lipseys are a fine gun in 44 special you might want to consider as well.

March 1, 2011, 08:45 PM
A used Vaquero or Blackhawk is certainly one way to go. Last year I picked up a NIB Beretta Stampede for around $400 at a local gunshow. Nothing fancy but a very nice revolver with good fit and finish, and capable of some decent accuracy.

March 2, 2011, 12:28 AM
Just look for a decent used Ruger. You should be able to get one for less than $400 if you shop around.

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