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Best Single Action Revolvers...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by sprice, Dec 5, 2009.

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  1. sprice

    sprice Member

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    I'm looking for a single action revolver in .357 mag/.38 spc. What is the best kind? I don't want a colt (to expensive) and I'm not sure I'd want a ruger (just don't like 'em and they have a funny safety), but please tell me about them anyway. So what is the best single action .357 for about $500 ($0-$800), if it has adjustable sights I'd like that a little better by the way.


    Actually I'm starting to rethink my ruger hatred... This one looks like what I would want: http://ruger.com/products/newModelBlackhawkStainless/models.html. Can I get one with a 9mm cylinder to switch out so I can shoot .357,.38 and 9mm?! That would be perfect! :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2009
  2. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    I think you are looking for an OLD MODEL (called a three screw) Blackhawk Ruger. Quality, adjustable sights, .357, NO transfer bar, and priced between a Colt and a newer Ruger. Be sure the gun you are buying HAS NOT been modified by Ruger (they offered this "service" to the older guns, to make them safer) with replacement parts. Probably get a nice one in the $500-$700 range.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There is nothing "funny" about the Ruger transfer bar safety.

    It works perfectly all the time, and you won't even know it is in there.

    It allows you to safely carry 6 rounds in the chambers instead of 5 rounds like a Colt or early three-screw Ruger that must be carried with an empty chamber under the hammer.

    rc
     
  4. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    You asked for the best and then disqualified it in the next sentence, like RC said you will never even notice it and being novice enough to ask this question you probably wouldn't know the difference.
     
  5. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Member

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    Ruger blackhawk can be had in various cals. Great revolver
     

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  6. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    There are plenty of single action revolvers, but all the imports have some kind of "funny safety" because of the import laws. The Rugers are nice guns, but the actions are not "traditional". If Colts are out, the only reasonably priced guns that come to mind are the USFA guns. IIRC, they make the Rodeo in .38 Special. Freedom Arms makes a nice SA, but they are expensive (close to $2000) and also have a safety.

    I have owned Colts in .38 and one drawback of the regular size SAA type (by any maker) in .38/.357 is the weight. The cylinders and barrels are sized for .44/.45 and the smaller hole means a lot more steel and a lot more weight. I bought a 50th anniversary Ruger BH in .357 with the steel backstrap and traded it off; just too heavy, bigger and a lot heavier than the original model.

    Jim
     
  7. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Except, rcmodel, when you go to load it or remove the empties. Colts and the old Rugers were timed to the loading gate. I have both (newer Ruger). I would much rather load my Colt in the dark then the Ruger. You don't have to be lookin' at your gun when you load the Colt or older Ruger SAA...
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    They fixed that with the Reverse Indexing Pawl.
    At least on the Vaquero and 50th Anniversary Blackhawks.

    http://www.ruger-firearms.com/products/vaqueroSASS/features.html

    Don't get me wrong. I love old Colts, and own a few.
    I no longer own any New Model Rugers.

    But for a first timer who has to ask, it is a heck of a lot safer gun then any Colt or Colt clone.

    rc
     
  9. sprice

    sprice Member

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    Don't the colts have a half cock?! That's really as safe as I need a revolver to be.
     
  10. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    HELLO -OH! Wlhat's wrong with steering him towards the original Blackhawk? It's a SA, in the right price range, .357, a quality gun, and holds it's collectors value. A USFA is just as expensive as a Colt. Yeah, one would have to keep the hammer on an empty chamber, like Colt's, but we all learned how to do that, right?
     
  11. sprice

    sprice Member

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    I'm only going to use it camping and at the range so I see no reason why it has to be overly safe.
     
  12. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    "I see no reason why it has to be overly safe. "

    there is no such thing as overly safe, friend
    If Bill Ruger was still around, he might explain why new models have transfer bars (real expensive lesson in modern litigation)

    half-cock is NOT a safety, fact (common misinterpretation), not on any gun long or short, any/all make/model

    with all that said, in your price range, Ruger Blackhawk, yes, adjustable sights a plus, yes
    if older model, load only five
    if newer model, load six
    either way, be prepared to get happy
    shoot well, be well, be safe
     
  13. ruger700

    ruger700 Member

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    I'm only going to use it camping and at the range so I see no reason why it has to be overly safe

    That is a horrible statement. Be SAFE and you will have an enjoyable life. If you think there is a thing as "too safe" with a firearm; an "accident" will happen. However, it won't be an accident; it will be a simple matter of not following the rules of safe gun handling.
     
  14. MovedWest

    MovedWest Member

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    This is my biggest pet peeve about the new models. Loading on the old models was timed like a master clock. The new models require fiddling with to load. It's the kind of nuisance that Ruger should've accounted for from the beginning.

    RC - you say the newer new models have fixed that? Do you know when they did it and do you know if they do it on the current run of super blackhawks?

    -MW
     
  15. sprice

    sprice Member

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    true I guess the overly safe thing I said was stupid; what I meant was why have more parts wich makes the gun more complex and leaves more room for malfunction- and all in the name of safety? I think the more simple the gun the better it is. I'm pretty sure john browning said something like that, and that's all I meant.
     
  16. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    In a real Colt or clone, the tip of the trigger in the safety notch is all that stands between you and a blow to the hammer putting a new hole in your hide.

    That tiny trigger tip is not much bigger then the end of a flat toothpick and can be easily broken by a blow to the hammer! Either by dropping the gun, or by something hitting it.

    It has been a well known fact for over 100 years that carrying a live round under the hammer on the "safety" notch is an accident waiting to happen.

    The other "half-cock" notch is only used when loading the gun so you can spin the cylinder to each chamber. It has nothing to do with the safety notch.

    rc
     
  17. sprice

    sprice Member

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    But extra parts in a gun and calling it safe when the design was safe in the begining ( if used right anyway- point in safe direction, hammer on empty chamber, ect.) seems pointless and overly complicated. Single actions have been used for years with minimal safety issues so I see no reason why there would be a problem with safety now. If I am safe with guns I don't think the safety should be the issue- afterall as said in hunter safety the safety switch is a mechanical feature and should not be trusted. What makes safe firearm handling is the user not the extra parts in the weapon; but that's just my oppinion.
     
  18. sprice

    sprice Member

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    I'm new to revolvers so thank you all for my ignorance about the revolver and half cock by the way- much appreciated information. :)
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    As long as you fully understand the safety implications of the original Colt design, and always act accordingly, you are right.

    But your first post asking the question, and following comments after some folks answered the question, made many of us wonder if you knew enough about single-actions to do that.

    If you understand the safety implications of the Colt design, then disregard everything I said and just buy whatever tickles your fuzzy.

    rc
     
  20. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    If you started counting all the possible deaths due to slowness in loading or malfunction due to the crossbar safety today you'd not hit the bodycount of AD's prior to the new model in a hundred yrs.
    Everybody knows that you are supposed to only carry 5 but there are still a pile of tombstones from those who have had them fall from their truck, off their horse, hooked on brush and hit the ground, you name it. When it happens the paper calls it a "Freak Accident".
     
  21. oldfool

    oldfool Member

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    "If you understand the safety implications of the Colt design, then disregard everything I said and just buy whatever tickles your fuzzy."

    ditto
    nothing else implied (yes, finger & mindset is always safety #1)
    enjoy !
     
  22. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Two "safe" positions on the Colt SAA...Hammer resting on an empty chamber or the hammer resting between loaded chambers. There is NO position of the hammer that is to be trusted as a safety. NONE...Except as stated above.
     
  23. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    sprice:

    The latest version of the .357 Blackhawk is made on a smaller Colt-size frame, is safe to carry fully loaded, and when you turn the cylinder to load the chamber, it will be indexed to be in line with the groove in the frame. Most of the things that users didn't like about the first "new" model have been resolved. Also some of the parts that were likely to break in the original Blackhawks – especially the trigger – are more robust in these newer ones.

    These have only been made (in .357 caliber) as a special extra-cost commemorative, but you will find them at a considerable discount if you follow this link. You will have to call their 800 number to get the latest prices, but take my word for it – they are VERY attractive.

    www.cdnnsports.com

    Why not an older Ruger Blackhawk that doesn’t have the transfer bar safety? Actually I prefer them myself. But keep in mind that those in mint condition are usually expensive, can only be safely carried with 5 rounds or less, and that (very important) Ruger will no longer provide parts to repair them.
     
  24. TargetTerror

    TargetTerror Member

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    To me, any sort of internal safety does NOT bother me in the slightest. In fact, I like them so long as there presence is completely invisible to me as the user. In normal use, you do NOT know that there is any sort of transfer bar mechanism at play in a Ruger. This is not like an external safety where it actually interfaces with the user.

    That said, I've had a few different Rugers in 44 magnum, (SBHs and SRH) and the only thing that broke was one of the springs connected to the transfer bar on my 4.5 inch SBH. Basically, it wouldn't clear the firing pin unless the gun was tipped back to let gravity do the work. Ruger fixed it for free.

    You could say to that "see, more parts = more likely to break." That is not wrong, but sh8t happens with any model of gun. The benefits of knowing the gun will NOT fire unless the trigger is all the way back greatly outweigh this risk in my mind. Especially if you are camping. You really don't want to accidentally blow a hole in any part of you (or your buddies) in the middle of nowhere. That will ruin your day fast.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    "pile of tombstones"? Wow! I am sure that some folks were killed or injured by having their SA guns fall on the hammer or having the hammer hit, but I don't believe the streets were littered with the bodies. I knew one man who was seriously injured when his early Ruger .44 fell from his holster while he was getting into his pickup truck and shot him, almost literally, in the a$$. But that was one man and I have not personally known of any others.

    The fact is that the half-cock notch was considered an adequate safety by none other than John Browning, who never put any other safety on his hammer guns until the Army made him add a grip safety and thumb safety to the 1911.

    The recent concern about not loading that sixth chamber is mainly the product of Colt attorneys, fighting off a law that would have forced them to put a safety on the SAA and thus killing of its "Old West" authenticity. (They invented the $20 bill story; darned few cowpokes ever saw $20 - equivalent to $1000 today - in one piece, coin or bill.)

    With single actions, for the most part they either used the safety notch or dropped the hammer between rounds, not unlike using the safety pins on the old Colt cap and ball guns, or the safety notches on the Remingtons.

    Jim
     
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