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advice on .357 single action

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by woof, Sep 16, 2007.

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  1. woof

    woof Member

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    I would like to pick up a .357 single action mostly for plinking and HD. I would like barrel under 6 inches and would somewhat prefer ss but don't want to spend an arm and leg. Thoughts?
     
  2. ACP230

    ACP230 Member

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    Ruger Blackhawk.
    I have two. They are tough and accurate guns.
     
  3. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Ruger Vaquero Revolver
    KNV-35
    Caliber: .357 Magnum
    Barrel Length: 5 1/2"
    Grip: Simulated Hard Rubber
    Rear Sight: Fixed
    Suggested Retail Price: $ 609.00 (prob around $490 actual retail)

    Ruger Blackhawk Revolver
    KBN-34
    Caliber: .357 Magnum
    Barrel Length: 4 5/8" (also available in 6 1/2 inch as KBN-36)
    Grip: Rosewood
    Rear Sight: Adjustable
    Suggested Retail Price: $ 605.00

    Cimarron MP4504 - probably actual retail in mid 400s give or take - fixed sights)
    $557.70 .357 Magnum 5 1/2" Pre-War 1 Piece Walnut Stainless
    (no transfer bar - safest to load 5 only -fixed sights)

    Beretta lists Inox stainless version of the Stampede SA revolver in .45 Colt only - too bad.

    EMF firearms lists the Great Western II stainless 4 3/4 inch in .357 fixed sights at a sale price of $640 to $665 http://www.emf-company.com/cart/#2 Also no transfer bar, I believe.

    Uberti (owned by Beretta) lists only the .45 Colt in stainless.

    I think a Ruger Vaquero or Blackhawk would fill your needs admirably depending on whether you want fixed or adjustable sights. The Ruger Blackhawk is built on a larger frame than the Vaquero, the same frame they use for .44 Magnum. The "new" Vaquero is built on a slightly smaller .357 sized frame.

    Perhaps others will have other suggestions. Good luck in finding what you want.
     
  4. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Ruger just came out with a pair of SAs sized very close to the Colt SAA that are perfect for the 357. The quality of these new "mid-frames" is actually higher than in their larger-frame cousins...they're some of the best Rugers ever made period.

    The "New Vaquero" is the fixed-sight version while the 50th Anniversary edition Blackhawk 357 is the adjustable-sight variant. The latter gun is the ONLY mid-frame adjustable-sight Ruger made since 1972.

    Both the NewVaq and 50th357 have transfer bars and are safe to carry "six up" (fully loaded). Average accuracy on these is excellent, as Ruger came out with a new cylinder making process that's more consistent for this mid-frame series.

    Mine is a New Vaquero in 357 with sight mods that bring them partially up to Blackhawk spec :). I've shot some of the most powerful 357 ammo made (Doubletap 125gr at over 1,600fps) and it coped no problem.

    The 50th357 comes with a 4.68" barrel only. The NewVaq ships with that or a 5.5" in 357, and a 7.5" as well if you're into 45LC.

    In this size gun, there's more power available in 357 than in 45LC. Almost a third more energy. In the larger "44Magnum-class frames" you can hot-rod the 45LC+P out beyond most 44Mag ammo.

    The NewVaq can be had in stainless, the 50th357 is a blue-only proposition.
     
  5. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    There are other good SAs out there but my first pick would be a Blackhawk.
     
  6. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    There are three excellent choices out there.

    Blackhawk, Blackhawk, and Blackhawk....:D

    You got 1300 bucks for a Freedom Arms? I don't, but if I had the budget.......
     
  7. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Blackhawk...... I like the anniversary model alot, I would not mind a convertible though. If you could score a good price on the 9mm/357 convertible it adds a extra option. That being said my next gun is an Anniversary Blackhawk, have to fill the .357 void and my Puma carbine needs company. Bill
     
  8. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Ruger Blackhawk

    gets another vote~! I've owned an older, Ruger Blackhawk Convertible
    .38/.357 with the extra 9m/m cylinder (YES. I wish I had it back~!:(),
    and now own a NIB Ruger 50th Anniversary Blackhawk .38/.357. ;):D
    I opted for adjustable sights; over those of the fixed sighted Vaquero.
     
  9. woof

    woof Member

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    Thanks all. What is the current market range on really clean used Blackhawks (not counting special issue models).
     
  10. countryrebel

    countryrebel Member

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    Blawkhawk would be my choice and thats what we have.I think you could find a nice used one for $300 to $400 or maybe less if you got lucky.
     
  11. Neophyte1

    Neophyte1 Member

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    Ruger Blackhawk

    woof: Sir; Ruger Blackhawk, and if you load your own;:D
    If you do not load your own:D it'll work fine.

    Craig
     
  12. countryrebel

    countryrebel Member

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    Blawkhawk would be my choice and thats what we have.I think you could find a nice used one for $300 to $400 or maybe less if you got lucky.
     
  13. Neophyte1

    Neophyte1 Member

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    Ruger Blackhawk

    woof: Sir; Ruger Blackhawk, and if you load your own;:D
    If you do not load your own:D it'll work fine.

    Craig
     
  14. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I have seen the new Anniversary for as low as $429. Used or plain jane .357's go for around as little as $300 to $350. The convertibles are not as common and go for $25-50 more. Ruger MSRP and the market are two different things all together. It is very uncommon to visit a gun shop and not see a Ruger single action in the case. Bill
     
  15. raginrednek

    raginrednek Member

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    Cimarron, Had The Ruger Vaquero, Not A Good Choice Imo
     
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I bought a stainless steel Taurus "Gaucho" .357 a few months ago. I paid about $300 for it (new in box) on Gunbroker.com.

    I like it pretty well, but it leads worse (even with .38 Specials) than my S&W 15 or any of my Rugers. I should probably fire-lap it, but I'm just shooting mostly jacketed bullets and cleaning it a lot for a while until the barrel gets a little smoother. (No, I haven't miked the chambers)

    Bob
     
  17. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    Take a look at budsgunshop.com, they've got a TON of different blackhawks for as cheap as you can get. I'm gonna order one myself in a few days. :)
     
  18. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    +1 on the Gauchos, they are alright SAA clones, but the Ruger Blackhawk would be my first choice.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Smith & Wesson M66 or 686. Cock the hammer and it's a single action.
    .357 SAA and copies are heavy and poorly balanced due to small holes in barrel and cylinder meant for .45.
     
  20. woof

    woof Member

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    Question on Blackhawk convertible

    The 9mm cylinder - will it fit any Blackhawk or is the convertible model different other than including the extra cylinder? I'm talking about the new ones her but does the same old true for the ones from the 70s? And last, are the cylinders, 357 and 9, exchangeable between the old and new models? Thanks
     
  21. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Fixed sights...Ruger Vaquero
    Adjustable Sight...Blackhawk

    I have the very short barrel (3-1/2" or so) Sheriff's Model Vaquero and the 50th Year Blackhawk with the 4-5/8" barrel. My budget doesn't have room for a USFA revolver, either.

    IIRC, Ruger fits the second cylinder to each individual revolver. I don't have a center-fire convertible, but my Single-Six manual says something about that, including that the cylinder has the last 3 digits of the serial number 'electro-penciled' on it to match the frame.
     
  22. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    "are the cylinders, 357 and 9, exchangeable between the old and new models? Thanks"

    I talked to a Ruger rep at their display at the NRA show in St. Louis last year and I thought I understood him to say that the "new" convertibles incorporate the smaller XR3 grip frame of the Vaqueros and 50th Anniversary models, including the lock, but that the frames are the same larger frames they have been using. I could be wrong in my understanding and have not seen them side-by-side but that's what I understood. Ruger's website shows 4 versions of the convertibles. 4 5/8 and 5 1/2 inch 357/9mm convertibles with the newer "Vaquero-styled" XR3 hard rubber grip incorporating the internal lock (Revolver BN-34XL and BN-36XL) and the same barrel lengths with the older XR3-RED Rosewood grips and no mention of an internal lock (Revolver BN-34X and BN-36X). Also the same options are shown with 45/45acp convertibles.

    As a further note: clicking on the link "Order Now" takes one to Davidson's website where they only list the newer XR3 version with lock. Lipsey's shows that they have some Rosewood gripped XR3-RED w/o lock in stock. As far as I can tell the frames and cylinders have not changed but I'm not 100% sure.

    My current interest is a revolver to shoot .45 acp, so if I got one on a smaller frame, it wouldn't bother me at all and might even be an advantage. I'd love to see both versions side-by-side.
     
  23. woof

    woof Member

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    I recently bought a replacement .22mag cylinder for my single six and it fits fine. I don't really know that I care about shooting 9mm but just wondered if I bought a Blackhawk now, new or 70s, if I could then add a 9mm cylinder later. BTW, the best price I found for the new Blackhawk with 9mm was $360 and without 323. So that's only $37 for the 9mm cylinder, maybe too cheap to pass up.
     
  24. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    Hmmmmmm...

    I'm gonna take a good look at the cylinders/frames of my "Old, New Model Vaquero" 2003 model, vs. my 50th Year Blackhawk. IIRC, the 50th Year Blackhawk cylinder was just a fraction shorter than the Vaquero.
     
  25. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I don't see why I'd want a 9mm cylinder for my .357. I'd never use it, rather shoot .38 for light loads. Ammo cost is the same for me, a little under 2 bucks a box. Only reason I can think of is I find a lot more free 9mm brass at the range. Nobody tosses .38 brass. But, I've got a P85 if I wanna shoot 9mm. I'm quite sure a 9mm cylinder in a .357 revolver would not set any world accuracy records. OTOH, my blackhawk is amazing with .38 wadcutter.
     
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