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I'm Torn: Blackhawk, Vaquero or Stampede?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Dirty Dawg, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    I thought I had this pretty well figured out. I've had the bug for a revolver and was convinced that the Blackhawk was the gun for me. Then I got to lookin' at the Vaquero and today I got to handle a Stampede. I like em all but haven't got that kinda dough so I'm torn. Would some of you more knowledgeable folks mind giving me the pros and cons of each? I'd be mighty grateful.

    There's a gun show this weekend and I hope to go into it with a better understanding of these guns, as well my feeler gauge and a printout of the revolver checkout sticky. :evil:
  2. Reddbecca

    Reddbecca Well-Known Member

    It depends on what you want to do with it.
  3. Gary A

    Gary A Well-Known Member

    Tough to say. I have all three and like all three very much. The Stampede is a bit more "traditional", though it does have a transfer bar system. If I could have only one, I would get the Ruger for its all coil springs and (I think) better transfer bar. Then it would come down to whether I wanted fixed sights or adjustable. Even if you're on a budget, I doubt that your first single-action revolver will be your last. They're all good so it comes down to what you want it for and which one you like the most.
  4. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Well, I have to say that it would likely spend most of it's time knocking cans off split rails or tearing holes in silhouettes. I might try knocking down the occasional varmint and would probably carry it in the woods on occasion as well.

    I have to say I really liked the feel and action of the Stampede.
  5. Gary A

    Gary A Well-Known Member

    Dirty Dawg, I have to say I like my Stampede very much and it is prettier than my Rugers. (Glad my Rugers can't read...I don't think.)
  6. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Thanks Gary. I've just been looking at the Stampede Bisley and am thinking with my big hands that might also be a good choice. Too many choices but like you say I don't imagine this will be my last revolver.
  7. Reddbecca

    Reddbecca Well-Known Member


    For what you want, I'd recommend the Blackhawk. The adjustable sights will make it a better choice for hitting small targets and you'll be able to adjust them to whatever load you'd prefer to use.
  8. Zip7

    Zip7 Well-Known Member

    I'm sort of in the same market right now...

    The main difference in those guns is that the Blackhawk is a larger gun overall, and has adjustable sights.

    The New Vaquero and the Stampede are a bit smaller - on the scale of the Colt SAA. Grip shape is a bit different too. The Stampede is more like the Colt than the NV is.

    At a gun show you are likely to see old model Vaqueros too - they are the size of the Blackhawks, and really are blackhawks with fixed sights. New Vaqs have "New Vaquero" on the frame.

    I have some blackhawks and like them fine - have shot them a lot. I really prefer the Colt-ish size frame and grip structure, and so I am yearning for a 45 in one of those - for me it will most likely be the USFA Rodeo.

    As mentioned, the Stampede has a transfer bar - you will probably see some other Colt clones that don't, and have to be carried with the hammer on an empty chamber. That's something to consider. Rugers have the transfer bar too. If I were choosing between the guns you mentioned, I like the Ruger New Vaquero best.
  9. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

    If you might ever want to hunt, like adjustable sights, or might one day load your own ammo I'd check into the Blackhawk more carefully.

    Otherwise, if you just loking for cowboy style shooting fun, any of the 3 will do.

  10. Gary A

    Gary A Well-Known Member

    LOL, that's the way it goes. Everyone is giving you good information and good reasons for any of the possible selections. It would be nice if there was a slam dunk answer but it still comes down to the one you like best. I've been messing with these things for a little while and I still go through the debits and credits, pros and cons. I try to hold to a budget also. Unfortunately, sometimes the only way to know for sure is to buy something and find out, so there seems to be a certain amount of trial and error over time. Thank goodness for forums like this. Drives me crazy, but it's part of the fun.
  11. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your opinion Zip but you're killin' me! Now I have to throw the USFA revolvers into the mix. I've only seen pictures of them but really like them too. My head is spinning. I wonder how much I can spend before my wife goes through the roof? I'm with you Gary, it's driving me crazy.

    I guess in the end it's going to come down to which pistol I can find and at what price. I'm not made of money so the bottom line is going to be a factor. Hopefully there'll be some selection at the gun show this weekend, otherwise, the Stampede is ahead of the crowd.
  12. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Well-Known Member

    To my mind a big part of the choice between fixed and adjustable sights is how much the ablility to use different loads and the ablility to place them on my precise POA factors into how much I want/need it for most in of the things I plan to use with it most.

    It's no biggie to regulate fixed sights for a particular load, but it's rare for them to put anything different into the same place on target.

    If you reload to a standard formula in a particular cartridge for general use, you can regulate them for that. Or you can work up the most accurate combo in a piece and set 'em for that.

    But either way most anything else is going to require either re-working or "Kentucky Windage/Elevation" to hit where you want them.

    If you want to be able to experiment with different loads a good deal or use whatever you've got with the minimum of fuss and fiddling, then adjustables might be the ticket, especially if you're only going to have the one in a particular caliber and/or don't reload.

    Just part of what I tend to think about when it's my money. YMMV.
  13. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    I have a Uberti Cattleman (same as the Stampede, but with a Colt-style hammer, no transfer bar). I'd consider that, if you want "traditional". With some Wolff springs for $20, it feels REALLY good. Shoots very well, too, as well as my Ruger does. It's a .357, and it's sighted dead-on with .357 factory loads, but a good bit off with .38 Specials. That's something to think about: fixed sights are fixed sights, whoever makes the gun. You won't be able to tweak 'em with a small screwdriver.

    My thoughts?

    If you want traditional, look at the Uberti (aka Cimarron Model P). Uberti is now owned by Beretta and makes the Stampede -- the Beretta-branded version has the transfer bar, the Uberti-branded version has an original-style action.

    If you want a transfer bar and the gun that's the most practical modern shooter, get a stainless Blackhawk.
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    For ME, the blackhawk is the only choice. I hunt, carry in the field, love the strength of the blackhawk and the adjustable sights for adjusting between light and heavy loads. If I did CAS, I might choose something else, only reason I can think of to not go with a blackhawk first unless you're just stuck on the cowboy look come hell or high water and disregard logic to that end.
  15. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Another thing... The Euro/Dollar exchange rate makes the Ruger more attractive by the day.

    My Cattleman was $265 new a couple years ago. It's the beadblast finish, a .357 with a 4 3/4" barrel. Got the gun, belt, holster and aftermarket springs for a tad over 300 bucks, with the intent of using it in the dirt. It shoots well, it's simple and durable. They're not so cheap any more, though.

    For all-around utility, I'm with MCgunner all the way, for all the reasons he lists.

    CAS shooters have to follow rules about guns; the New Vaquero was designed to fit within those rules; the Blackhawk, OTOH, was designed to be the most functional single action Ruger could build for a reasonable price.

    Believe me, when you shoot them, they feel pretty much the same, and equally rewarding. Shooting a single action is a special experience that I love. I have accumulated 6 plowhandle revolvers so far over about 25 years, including cap and ball, rimfire, and centerfire. Apart from loading, though, a stainless Super Blackhawk with modern sights feels VERY similar to shooting an 1858 Remington set up the way it was in the Civil War. The more things change, the more some of them stay the same.:)

  16. Zip7

    Zip7 Well-Known Member

    Another + for the Blackhawk is that at a gun show, you are very likely to find plenty of them at a fair price. There are a lot around.

    All of the arguments for the Blackhawk are good and if you don't already have one (I have 2) you should probably lean that way, but personally I think the Colt size guns and the slightly different grip fit me better and feel better in my hand, and that's why I am looking in that direction. Fixed sights are a minus to me...

    If I do end up getting another Blackhawk, it will be the Bisley version I suspect. The only thing I don't like about the standard BH is the grip, and I do like them alright with Pachmyr presentation grips on them, but those aren't that attractive to me. Ruger's Bisley grip feels right to me - more so than the standard BH.
  17. machinisttx

    machinisttx Well-Known Member

    Neither the New Vaquero or the Stampede will handle +P ammo.* If that's a concern, buy an old model Vaquero or a blackhawk.

    * I am specifically referring to guns chambered in .45 Colt.
  18. Gaucho Gringo

    Gaucho Gringo Well-Known Member

    You might want to check out the Taurus Gaucho as well. I really like mine and I have had it almost 2 years with no problems. I also have a Ruger Blackhawk in the same caliber(.357) as my Gaucho. The Gaucho has a better feel in my hand and looks better than the Ruger but the Ruger overbuilt and will last a lifetime and beyond. The Gaucho is also more accurate than my Ruger but then every gun is different.
  19. Dirty Dawg

    Dirty Dawg Well-Known Member

    Thanks again for all the input guys. The gun show is tomorrow so we shall see what we shall see. I'm taking my son along too so if a nice shotgun presents itself, something that he could comfortable handle, then I might has to pass on a revolver. But lacking that, I expect to find something that will get the job done. So many good reasons to buy the Ruger and that's the direction I'm leaning but someone mentioned being hooked on the cowboy look and I have to admit that style does play a role in this decision right along with all the usual influences. Sounds kinda funny to me saying that because style has never had a place in any of my previous firearm purchases but this one is "different" somehow.

    Anyway, if I come home with something interesting, I'll try to post up a pic.
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    Y'all "inspired" me.

    Was at the range/shop last night nosing around the display case waiting for a lane. Picked up a Blackhawk .357 6 1/2" blued for $315 in 95% condition.

    I hope I like it more than I miss the money.:)

    Ammo for the Super Blackhawk is pretty expensive, though, so I'll probably "make the money back" fairly soon shooting cheaper ammo through the
    "regular" Blackhawk...:uhoh:

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