At my local gun store, there is a VERY nice Ruger with 3 1/2 inch barrel, the "Birds head" [I think I got that right] style grip, and has excellent looking dark gray laminate wood grips. It comes in .45acp so I was wondering if it is a bad idea or not? I'm not a revolver guy. Always ran pistols, but thought about getting a revolver for my collection. I like the BIG 45 caliber hole at the end of the barrel, . . . but thought that .45acp would be a good choice because of the cost [over .45 Colt] and perhaps having a more mild recoil. I have no idea ON the recoil, of course, not having shot a revolver in .45acp, but guess it would be a kinder recoil than .45 Colt or even .44 Special.
Opinions and suggestions welcome!
BTW, I wanted to go with the "Cowboy Action" because of the greater "hands on" experience with loading and unloading each round seperately and being able to remove the cylinder when cleaning.
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May 6, 2012, 10:15 AM
Buy it. I use to be an auto guy now I shoot almost exclusively sa revolvers.
May 6, 2012, 10:23 AM
I am lusting after one of those Vaquero Birdshead in 45ACP!
I like the blued version...Over on Rugerforum.net, they have a great thread regarding that exact revolver....
How much can you get it for? Curious about pricing, because I am still saving for one, and have only seen Gunbroker prices....
May 6, 2012, 11:01 AM
Most of the cowboy action groups lighter loads than standard ammo with lead bullets only. I don't think my particular group rules will allow 45 ACP but I have a Cimarron Mod P with both a 45 Colt and 45 ACP cylinder. I shot matches using black powder 45 Colt and use the 45 ACP at the local indoor range with standard ammo.
May 6, 2012, 02:53 PM
If your club doesn/t allow use fo 45ACP then they are going against SASS rules.
45 ACP IS legal in SASS.
May 6, 2012, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the info, guys. This Ruger is just under the $600 mark. I may go ahead and get it then. It really is a nice looking revolver!
May 6, 2012, 06:06 PM
If the grip is VERY curved, almost a semi-ciorcle, then yes it is a "Bird's Head" grip. Shooting Budd has a .45 Colt Vaquero with the BH grip, and it is very comfortable to shoot, even with the "just this side of thermo-nuclear" loads.
The Bird's Head grip tends to roll back in the hand quite a bit, actually making re-cocking a bit easier for some folks.
For the fair-use disclosures, I copied this picture from gunblast.com
May 6, 2012, 06:36 PM
Years ago, I bought 4.6" SS BHG Rugers in .32 H&RM, .357 Magnum, & .45 Colt. The added length over the Sherrif's Model (3.75") meant the use of a standard ejector and base pin - not the flush cut base pin, which had a poor history of coming out under recoil. I wanted a SS 4.6" BHG in .44 Special - but had to make it with a QPR rough BH Gripframe and a new 4.6" SS SBH, the result shown below:
While I had the great feeling of accomplishment for fitting everything myself, including the Bisley hammer, the SBH, unlike the other BHG, has adjustable sights - a great plus with a Ruger (Vaquero was reknown for actually meaning 'shoots low and left', not 'cowboy', a common problem with the fixed sight Ruger Vaqueros.). Although a tad haevy, it was a fun .44 Russian/.44 Special launcher. I even loaded some bp .44 Russian loads - and soaked the whole SS gun afterwards! One day... I had to try 'real' .44 Magnums - after all, it was a real .44 Magnum SBH!
Ruger used some artistic license in their version of the BHG - it is pretty much ball-like. And... with the real Magnums, it really will roll - and that Bisley hammer will stop said roll by finding the top of the web of your hand, resulting in your muzzle resembling a duck gun. no, it is not ideal for real recoil. Of course, if that is the typical SA Ruger - it's mass will easily absorb the minor recoil of .45 ACP. I'd look for that shortened ejector rod as a negative - and the flush mounted base pin won't help matters, either. A full size 4.6" Vaquero BHG in .45 ACP would be better, in my mind. I started my revolver life with a new Ruger 5.5" .45 Colt/.45 ACP (dual cylinders/adjustable sights) Blackhawk - and it was only counted in the 'new revolver' SASS competition then - not typical 'cowboy' as it had the adjustable sights. Still, it was fun - I shot up a bunch of ball ammo - then had to try the .45 Colt cylinder... the fun began!
May 6, 2012, 09:09 PM
I have a blackhawk .45 colt/.45 acp convertible. I mostly shoot .45 acp through it. Very nice gun, comfortable, makes big holes in things.
Also, it'll happily eat all the oddball ammo that's too fussy to feed through your auto pistols.
May 6, 2012, 09:34 PM
I have that Ruger (.45 ACP only, bird's head grip, charcoal laminate grips) and love it.
I was already reloading for my 1911s and was very happy to get a revolver chambered in the same round, at a reasonable price. I was looking at DA revolvers in .45 ACP and they are much more expensive.
May 6, 2012, 11:45 PM
I would absolutely. I am peronally looking for a 4-5/8, 45colt, birdshead. Will probably end up reshaping a grip frame to get it. I reload my 45 colt brass, so cost isnt a concern. If i didnt have access to reloading, Id be all over it in 45acp for cost.
May 6, 2012, 11:46 PM
Stainz, I love your birdshead with non fluted cylinder.
May 7, 2012, 03:01 AM
Found same gun. Liked it. Bought it. Glad I did.
May 7, 2012, 10:23 AM
I think I have about been talked into it. Just that side of faling off the fence.
May 7, 2012, 12:59 PM
I'd be on it.
Wonder if it could handle rechambering to .460 Rowland? :evil:
May 7, 2012, 01:38 PM
I'm having the owner hold it back for me. Didn't really want to get into a new caliber, . . . but figured if I DID, . . . it would be something with a BIG hole.
May 7, 2012, 01:41 PM
Wonder if it could handle rechambering to .460 Rowland?
Considering that the 45 acp Birdshead revolvers are built on the smaller New Vaquero frame with its smaller cylinder, I would venture the answer to that is an emphatic "NO".
May 7, 2012, 02:19 PM
If your club doesn/t allow use fo 45ACP then they are going against SASS rules.
45 ACP IS legal in SASS.
I don't shoot SASS rules we shoot NCOWS rules which not only don't allow 45 ACP they don't allow the Birds head grips or short stroke kits on lever rifles. Different game in many ways and as stated here in another tread their is a game for every one regardless of what one shots. This was due to the fact it wasn't available as a choice until the 1900's. Our group stops with those that where available no later than 1899.
May 7, 2012, 03:47 PM
I think it is a good idea that I have it on hold. From what I understand, these are Talo exclusives with the .45acp run of 300. I think that's what I am seeing. If I'm going to get into revolvers, . . . best go in with a [pun intended] bang. ;)
May 8, 2012, 12:59 AM
I have a few 5.5" SA revolvers and the next one I'm thinking of buying is either a 3.5" Birdshead or a 7.5" open top revolver. I'm leaning on the side if the Birdshead right now.
If I had the gun available to me like you do I would probably buy it right now.
May 8, 2012, 08:53 AM
It is on hold and will be picking it up this afternoon. I'll post pictures on this thread when I get good images of it and after I can get to the range, I will post about the firing experience. :)
But yeah, if it is true that this one is a run of only 300, I would be well advised to pick it up.
May 8, 2012, 11:11 AM
Good to hear you are picking it up. Waiting for pictures.
I'm not sure I'd get too excited about the 1 of 300 thing though. I got the impression that Ruger had x number of grip frames on hand and made a deal with one of their big distributors to make a "special run".. or in other words, buy us out of this on hand stuff. If demand increases, Ruger will probably "re- introduce" the birdshead to their line up.
May 8, 2012, 11:13 AM
Get it! get it get it get it get it!!
Sorry, I'm really into .45ACP revolvers - they make a great backup to my 1911 :P
May 8, 2012, 11:45 AM
Could be, Greg. And if that is the case, I will still have a really nice revolver. I love the looks of it and the use of .45acp for a [slightly] cheaper shooting experience over the .45 Colt round. But I can hope that only 300 ARE done and it ends up being worth more money in the future. I can dream! :)
May 8, 2012, 11:47 AM
Rail Driver, I currently don't own any .45acp pistols, . . . but kinda thought about getting either a Rock Island or Springfield Armory G.I. for that "original 1911 look". Maybe I would even look for some dark grey laminate wood grips for that 1911, should I get one. A matching set, so to speak.
May 8, 2012, 12:33 PM
Maybe I would even look for some dark grey laminate wood grips for that 1911
I think that would be a great combination. A rough riders set.
May 8, 2012, 12:58 PM
That would be pretty awesome, I think. If I do that, I will be sure to put up some pictures of them together. :D
May 9, 2012, 11:37 AM
Something weird happened yesterday. I took the money out of the bank, went to the LGS with my brother, . . . . . . held the Ruger, pointed it [safely, of course], worked it. . . . . . . . . but left without it. I'm not sure what happened. At [after taxes and a 50 round box of .45acp] ~$650, I couldn't commit to buy it. Beautiful revolver! A bit awkward to hold [being a semi-auto guy]. Nice trigger. But I started wondering if it was good to buy. Would I like shooting a .45acp revolver [recoil, expense, and starting a new caliber]? When you buy, it is yours. . . unless you can find another to buy it off you [usually at a loss to you]. Anyway, . . . very weird. I was excited . . . until I got there.
Comments? Not completely discounting the possibility of still getting it. I wish I could test fire one first.
May 9, 2012, 12:57 PM
If you have doubts, you probably did the right thing. Better than having buyer's remorse. The Birdshead .45 acp is definitely more of a niche revolver than a mainstream "must have".
May 9, 2012, 01:32 PM
I think I got caught up in the look [because it looks very nice] and the more "hands on, get to know your gun" type of thing you get with that style of revolver. But yeah, "buyer's remorse" came to my mind, yesterday, for sure. Part of me still wants it just because of how it looks, but that really isn't the best reason to buy something when other more important items could be purchased instead. I have an M&P Shield on order at the moment [have about $195 down on it so far], but really need to get a quality Quick Release scope mount for a rifle of mine.
For a while, anyway, . . . I dreamed of it, but it is probably best that I stick with what I know well, semi-autos.
May 9, 2012, 02:47 PM
Orion, do you reload for any of your present guns? Or are you considering getting into reloading in the near future? If you do or are then don't sweat the cost of the longer .45Colt. It costs no more to reload a .45Colt than it does a .45ACP round.
If you're only going to have one revolver (yeah, right. Like THAT will last for long :D) I'd also suggest that it be one with adjustable sights so you can load up a variety of ammo and still adjust the sights to hit at POA. I know the SA revolvers with the bulky adjustable sights are not as pretty to look at but they sure are nicer if you want to hit where you aim with a variety of load recipes.
So along that line I'm going to suggest you look at either a plain jane Blackhawk in .45Colt or maybe a Convertable in .45ACP/Colt. The Convertable keeps your options open for ammo and since they use the same bullet size you've even got commonality of bullets to justify buying more at a time.
As for recoil that's another excellent reason, besides saving money, to reload your own .45Colt "torpedoes". When you load your own you can load 'em up anywhere from soft mouse fart like loads up to full on max SAMMI pressure "wrist wreckers" or at any level between these two. With some rather enjoyable experimenting you'll soon zero in on a recipe for bullet, powder and velocity that results in an accurate and pleasant round to shoot.
May 9, 2012, 03:16 PM
BCRider, . . . loved the comments. :)
Anyway, no, I do not load, nor am I planning on loading anytime soon. I have a rather small apartment with no table to work on. So, the cost of ammo was one of my considerations. Later, should I find myself getting a house, I may look into the possibility of reloading. I think it would be a fun thing to do.
May 9, 2012, 07:32 PM
It IS very rewarding. But if you're stuck for room I can understand that.
If you're keen on a revolver in the meantime shop around for a good used option in .357. Or perhaps spend that money on a .357/9mm Convertable Blackhawk. Ammo for that would be cheap and you're still getting a clasic style revolver to enjoy. And later on once you have the room to reload you can sell it or trade it towards a different gun in .45Colt or .44Mag depending on which you like.
May 9, 2012, 09:50 PM
Well, I DO have a lot of 9mm. I'll have to consider something like that. Thanks for the suggestion.
Unfortunately, it won't look as good as that New Vaquero with those black laminate grips. Maybe I could find some aftermarket grips that would be similar. I suppose, if I'm feeling extra sporting, I could attempt to make my own grips.
May 10, 2012, 03:25 AM
If you can't afford the mess of reloading then you won't want to take on home woodworking in your apartment either. But if you have somewhere else where you have access to some tools and a bench then there's surely no reason why not.
I'm in the middle of my new home renos aimed at making up my retirement workshop. Most of my tools are still packed in boxes awaiting the completion of my new shop area and the storage to unpack the boxes. Yet I still managed to make this set of new grips for my Ruger Super Blackhawk. This picture was taken after only one coat of tung oil. It's got two more coats since then and the wood has a lovely lustre to it now. It doesn't take much for tools to do wood grips.
Yeah, I would have to use a friend's place to do the woodworking. He has tools. As for what gun, I am just going the cheap route and getting a Heritage Birdshead in .22/.22mag and have fun with it. I can still try to work up some type of hand made exotic grips if the ones that come with it aren't that attractive.
May 10, 2012, 08:03 AM
Well, probably for the best if the gun didn't speak to you. For me, it was love at first sight, especially since I'm already a 1911 fan and reloading .45 ACP.
May 10, 2012, 09:35 AM
Don't get me wrong, gpjoe, it spoke to me, and still does. . . .as it is truly a fantastic looking gun. I just don't think it was right for me, considering the cost, recoil, not reloading, thus the cost of .45acp to run through it. It was a painful thing to walk away from, but was probably the right decision. I think the Heritage should satisfy my desire for that "hands on" Birdshead style revolver.
May 10, 2012, 10:15 AM
I think the Heritage should satisfy my desire for that "hands on" Birdshead style revolver.
For now! :)
May 10, 2012, 10:57 AM
The point is well taken. :)
May 14, 2012, 12:07 AM
Well, from my other post, Heritage wasn't going to cut it. AND. . . . today I am back on the "wanting that .45acp Birdshead" thing again. I should just buy it, enjoy it, and be done with all this. :(:o
May 14, 2012, 12:54 AM
There is, at least for the short time, a limited supply of those Birdshead Vaqueros. Although, it could be that their popularity will mean more of them to come, my point is that if you wait long enough, your choice will be made for you. If that happens, you'll get over it and find something else that catches your eye. If you do take the plunge, I doubt you will regret it, based upon my own experience, and would likely have little trouble selling it later if it doesn't suit you. It's a niche piece that not everyone would want to buy, but being a limited item, those who would want to buy it would likely want to buy it with some seriousness (not saying it will appreciate in value, just that it shouldn't be too hard to sell).
May 14, 2012, 09:49 AM
Well, if it is still there after work, today, I will buy it. I foresee it being something that I won't be shooting a lot, so it should stay in prestine condition, should I decide it best to part with it later. :)
I have a 1960's vintage Colt SAA in .45LC. In 2000, I sent it to the Colt Custom Shop and had it refinished with a .45 ACP cylinder fitted to the gun giving me the option of both calibers. Best money I ever spent. The ammo savings has more than paid for the work. To top it off, the .45 ACP in my gun seems to be the more accurate of the two.
In single actions, its a great working investment.
May 14, 2012, 09:49 PM
PRM, what difference was is there between .45 Colt and .45acp in the area of recoil?
May 14, 2012, 09:57 PM
I really have not noticed a lot. My .45LC were either standard factory loads or reloads with black powder. The black powder are the really fun cartridges to shoot.
Muzzle velocity is a little higher (maybe 100 FPS) on the LC depending on manufacture for the factory loads. I'm not a big fan of the hot stuff.
Remington 45 LC, SW 225 Grain 460 ft lbs 960 fps
May 14, 2012, 10:03 PM
Thanks for that. I was under the assumption that the .45acp would be noticeably less recoil than a .45 Colt round. I'm not sure what to expect the first time I pull that trigger. The most I've shot is 9mm in a semi-auto, so I guess I should be prepared for the big boom. The Birdshead is awesome. Just hope I'll be able to hold on! hehehe
May 14, 2012, 10:42 PM
I soooooooo want one of these....
thanks for sharing, and feel free to keep posting more pics!
May 14, 2012, 10:46 PM
Thanks! Will do [on the pics]. When I have a free morning and can take some good pics on my deck, I'll post more.
I'll also post my impressions whenever I get it to the range. Again, I won't be shooting it a whole lot. Cost for .45acp is a bit too high for "a day of fun". But a couple or three cylinders worth will be fun! I'm excited. LOVE the laminated wood on the grips. Not an "old fashion look", but awesome!
May 15, 2012, 12:24 AM
Orion - I'm glad for ya. Mine looks exactly like that. Recoil with standard pressure 230 .45 acp is not objectionable at all.
May 15, 2012, 12:30 AM
Good to hear that, Gary. I'm expecting the recoil to be more than my 9mm pistol, but know I can handle it. I think I must have missed that you have one of these too. I have to say, Ruger makes a fantastic revolver. Fit and finish is superb! And I like the way it is easier to remove spent casings with their patented system. Beautiful blued steel and wood grips. What's not to like?!
A question. Using 230 grain FMJ, about where is your POI compared to a POA where the front sight is centered with the rear slot? I'm sure mine will be a bit different and I will have to experiment to find where its POI will be.
May 15, 2012, 12:51 AM
Orion, you are right about POA/POI. Every gun is different and I am no Yoda when it comes to being a pistolero. I've been pretty lucky. My Birdshead, which is not very old, seems to be pretty much "on" when it comes to windage at around 15 yards and shoots just about right with a six o'clock hold. Mind you, I don't have many rounds downrange with it yet.
May 15, 2012, 01:29 AM
a loaded cylinder [minus the one behind the hammer, of course].
No need for that. It's a Ruger so it's safe with 6. And a it is one good looking gun!
May 15, 2012, 07:36 AM
I assumed it would be stainless steel, only becuase mine is stainless, but that blue steel is very cool.
Don't worry about the 45 ACP recoil. It is a big bore but not a hot, high velocity round. Compared to even my snub in .38 Special it's a joy to shoot and the bird's head is not awkward at all to handle.
I think it's a really fun pistol to shoot and (since I reload) it's also relatively cheap to shoot.
May 15, 2012, 11:23 AM
Micro, thanks for your reply. I wanted to leave that cylinder empty because I felt people would say "that is unsafe to take a picture of a loaded gun pointing at you". Plus, I still felt better about leaving it empty when looking right down the barrel when taking it.
Thanks for the comments!
May 15, 2012, 11:25 AM
gpjoe, . . . I have seen pictures of the stainless steel versions. I like them, but glad I got one in blue. As for the recoil, I will consider your words here. I've shot a 38 Special snub nose before, and the recoil isn't too bad with it. Looking forward to the first trip to the range [though, I'm not sure when that will be].
May 15, 2012, 12:07 PM
BTW, is there anything I should do to it before taking it out for the first time? Does it need oil? Did Ruger send it ready to go?
I'm not used to a gun that won't need a "break in period for functioning". :cool:
Also, I thought it had the Bisley hammer, but looking at the Ruger webpage, it doesn't. What style trigger does this Vaquero have? It is more "layed back" than the traditional hammer, . . . though not as much as the Bisley.
May 15, 2012, 03:09 PM
When I bought my Ruger Mark 3, I went straight from the gun shop to the area we shot. I don't think I hurt anything. When I bought my Vaquero, 45LC, I had a day or 2 before I went to the range and I just couldn't help but pull it apart and wipe it down with fresh oil cloths, bore, pin, cylinder etc. :)
May 15, 2012, 08:19 PM
I wanted to leave that cylinder empty because I felt people would say "that is unsafe to take a picture of a loaded gun pointing at you". Plus, I still felt better about leaving it empty when looking right down the barrel when taking it.
I know it seems unintuitive, but with a new model Ruger single action, safety is in leaving the next chamber up empty so if someone cocks the hammer THEN there is an empty cylinder under the hammer. ;)
May 15, 2012, 09:34 PM
Yes. . . . I suppose that WOULD be the case. :)
May 15, 2012, 10:58 PM
Oddly, . . . there are at least two of these [Blued, .45acp] on gunbroker with no bids. Are these actually not popular, . . . or just that people can't afford them? :confused:
May 15, 2012, 11:32 PM
That's cause I want one in Stainless, 45LC and 4-5/8" barrel. The birds head grip is a bit of a niche, as is 45 ACP. I think it is a great way to break into a big bore revolver though. Shoot pretty cheap.
May 16, 2012, 10:10 AM
I can see them being a niche type gun, as well as the .45acp, when it comes to the Cowboy Action. Definitely not a purist round. But I'm not a Cowboy Action person, so purism isn't my goal. Plus, . . . I MAY get a 1911 GI model at some point in the future, . . . have it done up with some similar looking black laminated wood grips. ;)