Vaquero or Blackhawk?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by berettaprofessor, Dec 8, 2014.

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Blackhawk or Vaquero? Which one would you get (and please note why in a post).

Poll closed Jan 7, 2015.
  1. 5.5" Blackhawk blued

    75 vote(s)
    64.1%
  2. 5.5" Vaquero blued

    42 vote(s)
    35.9%
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  1. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    I'm in the market for a SAA in 45 Colt. Which would you buy, Vaquero or Blackhawk, and why?

    I know the Blackhawks have adjustable sights and may be sturdier. The Vaquero is simply more classic to me. What else am I missing?

    And I'm thinking the 5.5" barrel model?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It depends.

    If you want to stick with standard pressure loads I like the smaller frame Vaquero.

    But if you handload and play around with more powerful loads, and different bullet weights, the adjustable sights and stronger gun make the Blackhawk the logical choice.

    rc
     
  3. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    Personally, I like to look of the SBH better but it is purely opinion. The Black Hawk, as RC mentions, is the only choice if you want to load on the heavy side.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    The Vaquero is very close in size, looks and balance to the original Colt SAA. The Blackhawk has adjustable sights, but the balance, weight and looks are all WRONG. Everything is just out of proportion. It is one of those things where you have to just hold both guns at the same time to see and feel. When you do it is obvious. If I needed adjustable sights and the ability to load hotter I'd go another route. If I wanted a traditional single action revolver it's be the New Model Vaquero.
     
  5. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    The Vaquero is going to probably feel a little more balanced in hand if you want something that points naturally. Like the others have said, the BH is going to be the way to go if you want to shoot warmer stuff and need adjustable sites.

    Now, if you were talking about .357, it might muddy the waters a bit.

    What you lose in balance with the heavier cylinder of the .357 Vaquero, you make up for having a pretty dang solid revolver that, in my opinion, may rival the tank-like qualities of the BH.

    The SAA feel just fits me better as i don't have huge hands. Don't get me wrong. My BH is awesome and accurate and probably won't be worn out by my grandkids. I just shoot my Vaquero better, and prefer it in .357 as I don't reload.
     
  6. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    I chose the BH. It is a great for hunting & S.D.! Even if you don't reload, it is stronger & you might have to use some heavy loads. This is a classic & is one of the top SA revolvers around. Eather one is a good buy, but I reload when I can so I will chose the stronger Blackhawk .
     
  7. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    I own a .45 convertible Blackhawk 5.5" so that's my answer. ;)
     
  8. grter

    grter Member

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    Is the older Vaquero able to handle the same type of stronger loads that a Blackhawk can.

    I ask because I don't know and the older Vaqueros which from my understanding are not made anymore were heavier than the current production Vaqueros.
     
  9. Ironman615

    Ironman615 Member

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    I prefer the Blackhawk because I like adjustable sights. Do I take advantage of the adjustability? Not very often, but I like knowing that I can. Too, I sometimes load to the high end. My caliber of preference is .41 magnum, and I even changed out the aluminum grip frame for a stainless version. Yes, I know the aluminum was strong enough, but I like the weight and look of the stainless. A lot of what I do is based more on personal preference than any real need. At least I admit it!
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, the old ones where the same size & strength as the Blackhawk.

    The new ones are scaled down to approximate Colt SAA size.

    rc
     
  11. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    My Blackhawk has big sights that are easy to use. My "channel groove" revolvers tend to have a more challenging sight picture.
     
  12. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Am I the only one that wants a vaquero (or any SAA) with adjustable sights?
     
  13. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    I think I see some of the old confusion with the 2nd gen Black Hawk in contrast to the 1st gen Black Hawk and/or the 3rd gen Black Hawk (NM).
     
  14. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    Of those two, Vaquero. I had a Blackhawk in .45 but it just didn't look or feel quite right. Even the old Vaquero which was the same size as a Blackhawk still feels better than that SAA glock of steel.
     
  15. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    If you really want a SAA, the Vaquero is a reasonable copy in feel, size and weight. The Blackhawk is just a single action revolver.

    The only reason I traded my Vaquero for a (flat top) Blackhawk is because I needed a convertible model. I've since gotten a new Colt SAA. Whether I keep the Blackhawk once I've shot all the lead .45 acp I had is up in the air.
     
  16. Upstater

    Upstater Member

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    I have a new Vaquero in .357, it is a really nice shooter. I liked it so much I just picked a nv in .45 acp 3.75" bbl with the most awesome bird's head grip, I have yet to receive it, but I am sure it will be a blast.
     
  17. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    Love Ruger SA's. I have a pair of Vaquero in .45 Colt-4 5/8", 5 1/2" that are older, a Vaquero .44 Mag. 7 1/2". a BH .41 Mag. 6 1/2", a .45 Colt 3 1/2" Birds Head Vaquero, and a pair of Vaquero 5 1/2 " .357's.

    In cowboy action competition I prefer the Vaquero. They can be fired fast. I have used the .44 and the .41 with loads of about 900fps. for the long range pistol competition at shoots. Either one was a long range winner. All depends what you are looking for. I prefer the Birds Head Vaquero in cross draw for cary in the woods.
     
  18. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Blackhawk if you can only have one. But the Bird's Head Vaquero?

    I'll have to get me one of those someday. I have a 3 screw Blackhawk in .357 and it's a fantastic single action.

    VooDoo
     
  19. rswartsell

    rswartsell Member

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    Blackhawk,

    Adjustable sights and +P .45s. The +P is what I wanted a SA .45 Colt for from the beginning.
     
  20. 35 Whelen
    • Contributing Member

    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Pretty simple answer...sort of...do want adjustable sights or no. BUT, there are TWO Blackhawks in 45 Colt. The standard Blackhawk is the same frame as the .44 Magnum so it will handle the "Ruger Only" loads that everyone seems to think are necessary.

    The other is the convertible model offered by Lipsey's which is the same frame as the Vaquero and the Flat Top .44 Special. Contrary to common belief, this particular model is NOT limited to factory spec 45 Colt loads and will handle loads in the 22,000 psi range (see Handloader #234, pp. 40)

    I own a 4 5/8" NM Vaquero in 45 Colt. I wanted SO bad for it to be my day to day "utility" revolver.
    Pro's- Accurate after having the cylinder throats reamed, fire-lapping the bore and working on the trigger.
    Tough as nails.
    Cons- The ridiculously high hammer spur.
    Inconsistent throat diameters.
    The common thread choke in the barrel.
    A front sight that's too narrow.
    I keep thinking I'll buy one of the convertibles and hope it'll shoot as good as my Flat Top .44 Special.

    Soo...I'd have to vote for the Blackhawk in the lighter convertible model.

    35W
     
  21. 7mmb

    7mmb Member

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    I voted Blackhawk. I have the 5.5" convertible. Large frame lets me handload whatever I want. The adjustable sights give a better sight picture than the fixed ones on the Vaquero. If you're not in the cowboy game the Blackhawk is the way to go.
     
  22. kevin g

    kevin g Member

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    If your in the market for a SAA, the new Vaquero will get you closer to the colt SAA feel.
    Best thing to do is go to the store and feel them in your hand.
    Years ago I was in our local store and he had a Bisley Stainless Vaquero in 45 colt, I picked it up and just loved the feel of it. Came back a couple days later, and handled it again and it came home with me.
    I also have other blackhawks and love them all, you can't have too many.
     
  23. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Contributing Member

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    New Model Vaquero - it simply feels better. I have both in the safe - bought the BHs because I wanted convertibles - but I actually shoot the Vaqueros more, and shoot them better and enjoy them more.
     
  24. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    I have a BH 45LC/ ACP Convertible 7 1/2 inch barrel it is an old 3 Screw, that I bought back in 1971. I have shot 1000`s of rounds of both LC & ACP threw it over the years, and it is very accurate. This is my favorite SA RUGER and I have several, and I use it for just about everything from Hunting , Plinking, or just Targets shooting at the range. Now don`t get me wrong I have a few 45LC Vaquero`s also, all the Old Model Vaquero`s, and like them very much. I use them for Cowboy Action Shooting which I really enjoy. But if I was going to have just one I would chose my Old Model RBH in 45LC / ACP. Barrel length is up to You.
    ken
     
  25. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I have 2X New Vaqueros in 38/357 (bottom 2) and I have an original Bisley Vaquero in 45 Colt, all with 5.5" barrels. The original frame is noticeably larger and stronger but the New Vaquero feels great in my hand. I like them both and I have never seen the need for a Blackhawk. (not that I think there is anything wrong with a BH)

    Three_SA.jpg
     
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