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What is the lure to YOU of the cowboy gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Hokkmike, Nov 22, 2022.

  1. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Snack Capital of the US
    Have a Taylor "Outlaw Legacy" 6 shooter in .45(LC). I don't use it much. Was going to do SASS but gave up on that idea. Still, I can't convince myself to get rid of this revolver. To me, it is classic Americana. Especially, in .45. Wife and I watch a lot of rerun cowboy shows. Our favorite is Gunsmoke. I also enjoy Wagon Train, Rawhide, and once in a while (it gets silly) Wild, Wild, West. Pure escapism and reversion to my younger days growing up with these shows.

    I also have a Marlin JM .45(LC) Cowboy Ltd., which is part of the appeal to keep the pistol.

    What id the attraction to these western style 6 shooters for you? Thanks for sharing...
  2. Seedy Character

    Seedy Character Member

    Sep 6, 2021
    I LIKE them.

    Slow, methodic fire. Deliberate movements to aim and fire. They are simple design, STRONG, accurate and FUN.

    I have SA, DA and semi-autos. I like them all.

    I have noticed, when I take grandsons out; some gravitate to SA, others to semi-auto.
    The semi-auto shooters do mag dumps. The SA shooters HIT THE TARGET.

    A Single Six and a brick of .22LR is about as much fun as one can have.
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Deep in the Ozarks
    For our first Christmas, I was in Viet Nam, the wife was in the states. For our second Christmas (our first together), she gave me an SAA, in .357 -- because she knew I had carried and used one in Viet Nam.
  4. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

    Oct 8, 2020
    Exactly. Unless well trained, most of the bottom feeder crowd go for the pray and spray method of shootistry. The 1911 guys and revolver men typically aim with much delibritude in my experience, unlike the young bucks with their Blocks.
  5. 3Crows

    3Crows Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    I like them. We live in the era of the AR and the Block and anyone who prefers something not black is a Fudd. I guess that I am a Fudd and I like my SA revolvers, thank you. I only have a couple but they fit well with my other preference, lever guns and Marlins in particular.

    My favorite, 45 Colt Blackhawk. I bought it circa 1982 and gave it to my father. He had said he wanted a "Colt .45" and it was not that many years ago I realized he meant a .45 1911 by Colt! Oh well, when he passed recently I reacquired it.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022
  6. jar

    jar Contributing Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    I often carry my cowboy gun as a backup.

  7. entropy

    entropy Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    G_d's Country, WI
    I grew up shooting my dad's Frontier Scout, and later on his Bisley Vaquero in .44 Mag. I just picked up a Ruger Wrangler last week; I didn't have a .22 handgun, I liked shooting my son's, and they were on sale.
  8. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    I've always been a history fan, so there's that. I get a great deal of enjoyment, though, out of the fact that these old guns - even when loaded with blackpowder - often can offer performance similar to or even better than the newfangled contraptions. I'm no kind of show-off, but I do get a great deal of satisfaction from proving the performance of "obsolete" guns to people who previously had thought them incapable of hitting much of anything.
  9. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    A Colt SAA was a childhood dream, brought on by the countless westerns of my youth.

    I finally got one in 2014, 200 years after Samuel Colt was born.

    The most I've ever spent on a single gun and I haven't missed a penny for it.

    It's beauty incarnate in a revolver.
  10. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

    May 21, 2015
    West Virginia
    I loved and still love watching Westerns. As a kid I wanted a cowboy revolver when I grew up. My Dad and his friends were all about hunting rifles snd S&W DA revolvers.
    Anyway, when I was 36 I discovered SASS and Cowboy Action Shooting. I was hooked. I don’t shoot much CAS any more but I still have 2 of my “Cowboy guns”. :cool:
    I want a Blackhawk one day soon.

  11. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

    Jan 4, 2014
    To me there’s nothing more classy than a single action!
  12. captain awesome

    captain awesome Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    Glock perfection shmection. Give me a 45 Colt single action.

    I own far more single actions than I do poly pistols, let alone Glocks. They are all more accurate than the plastic fantastics, or me for that matter. They also have a feel to them you just don't get with anything else. Hard to explain. Something about working the action manually, hearing and feeling the clicks, watching the cylinder turn, the fantastic trigger, the balance and recoil characteristics, the pleasing look of the finished steel, the grips made of something more natural than plastic(at least on all of mine) yeah.....I am going to go open up my safe and spend some quality time now.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2022
  13. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Apr 21, 2021
    Cecilia, Ky
    I’m not sure what really is the reason. I grew up watching westerns and also stuff like lethal weapon and terminator. So it isn’t just nostalgia of tv shows.

    I guess it is a simplicity. I can look at my Ruger new model Blackhawk and see if it’s loaded from the cartridge rims seen at the rear of the cylinder.

    I can tell it’s safe to handle by the hammer being at rest. With the hammer down there is absolutely no chance of an accidental discharge.

    I reckon part of it is history. I like the history of the west, and even into the depression and after ww2. Farmers and ranchers and explorers used them.

    I’m interested in hunting with a handgun, which means a revolver. Why? Well power, and ease of handloading. Never chasing brass.

    And revolvers are better suited to handloading because they ain’t dependent upon bullet size or shape or power level to function.

    One thing that some will scoff at, aesthetics. Guns of the single action and lever action variety look better to me. Guns that are wood stocked look so much better. Though I like stainless as well as blued, I must have wood and not plastic.

    I don’t judge my gun purchase by some chart or paper that gives all the specs of each one. I generally pick one by looking at them and saying man that one looks good. Then learning about it and the cartridge. Does that gun and cartridge lend itself to handloading, to usage without constant maintenance.

    No springs to replace every 1k rounds? Yep I said it. No extractor to break though I got to keep an eye on my ejector rod housing screw.

    I don’t exactly know why I prefer cowboy guns, but I sure do prefer them.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
  14. Risky buisness

    Risky buisness Member

    May 25, 2007
    Spent 50 yrs doing cowbow things, all the men I knew in my youth were cowboys/ rancher types, so the ' lure ' to me is that I started out with them, and continue to use them. Cowboy guns work. They can, have, and will continue to do exactly what they were designed to do for the foreseeable future. Are their
    'better' firearms? Perhaps should define better first,
    Is plastic, better? Is 17 rounds better? Does everyone require a sub mini itty-bitty pocket
    roscoe, are they better?
    All of these things are subjective, owing to the preferences and biases of the observer, those folks shooting " cowboy " guns are not particularly handicapped by their use and probably have gauged the up side vs other considerations when using them. So, old westerns aside, it may be that folks want some reconnection to the past, much like muzzloading folks do and find it with a colt, or a uberti, or an old smith, iver johnson or remington 1858. Personally, my 1860 army cartridge converson is as close to perfect as I've found.
  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    on Puget Sound
    For those of us who grew up in the era of The Lone Ranger and Roy Rogers on Saturday mornings, then segued into Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Death Valley Days, The Big Valley, The Virginian, High Chapparal and the others... these were the revolvers that were our first love.

    The Lone Ranger SAA (yeah, not mine, but wish it was)
    Lone Ranger gun 2.jpg

    How could you not want a matched pair of these?

    As a history buff, a fan of all things "Old West" and a guy who loves old-style craftsmanship, color-case hardening, I find I appreciate the SA revolvers as artwork and historical artifacts. Still like shooting the single-actions, but for me, they're mostly symbols of this country's rich heritage.
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Florence, Alabama
    I shot SASS for a good while and had guns to suit. I still have my basic "set" of two SAA, Lever action PCC, and DB shotgun, but have not shot them in some time. An odd cartridge conversion and a Ruger remain on the shelf, but all the Big Smiths and side match guns sold off. I have no particular philosophical attraction to the type.
    gunmechanic and J-Bar like this.
  17. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Apr 21, 2021
    Cecilia, Ky
    Another aspect, and one I don’t talk about much, is prepping. I’m not a huge prepper in that I put lots of money into it. But I do think that a social collapse may happen and we may end up living more like 1820 than 2020. What type of guns lend themselves to a frontier style life? In my mind, lever guns and single actions. Though bolt guns are mighty simple too.

    If that societal collapse does happen. I’d rather have a gun that is built for the long haul. Single actions were built for the frontier and still have that rugged reliability. How many threads have we seen asking if magazine springs go bad from setting loaded? Or at what point do you need to consider changing the recoil spring?
  18. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    Willie said it all:

  19. Targa

    Targa Member

    Oct 22, 2019
    To me it’s like comparing a 66’/67’ Chevelle (cowboy action revolvers) to a new Subaru WRX (todays run of the mill, high capacity autos).
    gunmechanic, CraigC, Dave T and 4 others like this.
  20. Brutus54

    Brutus54 Member

    Mar 22, 2022
    Middle of nowhere, but close to the edge
    For me it is the mechanics of all the moving parts. I have a recently purchased Uberti 1858 New Model Army W/ adjustable sights and have a Howell 45LC cylinder. I was impressed with the accuracy (less than 3"group at 35yds) and it will accompany me deer hunting for a close shot at a doe.
  21. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

    Apr 21, 2021
    Cecilia, Ky
    Sounds pretty awesome. Good luck on that doe.
    gunmechanic likes this.
  22. 357smallbore

    357smallbore Member

    Feb 14, 2015
    Custer SD
    Nastalga. Grew up on Gunsmoke, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Clit Westerns. Cut my teeth on a 7 1/2 Ruger Super Blackhawk in 44 mag back in 81 I bought.
    The Single Actions are a thing of beauty to behold, own and shoot
    halfmoonclip, gunmechanic and qwert65 like this.


    Dec 30, 2007
    Nostalgia, or time travel as I like to say. I bought an M1875 Remington "Outlaw" after reading about Frederick Russell Burnham. Like riding a vintage English 3-speed bike, or riding in a 1957 Chevy, lets you go back a few decades.
    gunmechanic likes this.
  24. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Land of the Pilgrims

    I think it goes back to watching Gunsmoke as a kid on Sunday nights. I always loved that opening scene where Matt Dillon shoots down Arvo Ojala. It wasn't until years later that I learned Ojala was a shooting instructor and taught fast draw to lots of Hollywood actors.

    (See if you can identify the voice on this video)

    It wasn't until years later that my Dad told me that nobody really carried guns anymore in the modern West. At least not very many. And of course, I did not learn until much later that shootouts like that were extremely rare in the Old West, the only one ever documented was the shootout between Wild Bill and Davis Tutt in Springfield Missouri in 1865. Ambushes and bushwhacking were much more prevalent.

    I bought my first single action revolver in 1968, a 44 caliber brass framed knock off of the Colt Navy Cap & Ball revolver. No, I did not know back then that the Navy was never chambered in 44 caliber. Nobody was telling us back in 1968 not to put 30 grains of powder in the chambers of a brass framed C&B revolver. The frame stretched and now my old pistol is a wall hanger.


    In 1975 I bought my first cartridge single action revolver, a Ruger Blackhawk convertible chambered for 45 Colt with a conversion cylinder for 45 ACP. I wasn't into reloading yet, but I was buying relatively inexpensive 45 Colt reloads at a local shop. I sure put a lot of lead down range with that Ruger.


    Then about 20 years ago a friend at work told me about Cowboy Action Shooting. I brought my Blackhawk to my first match. The match was at a club where we only needed one pistol, so I was all set. I brought an antique 44-40 Marlin Model 1894 with me for my rifle.


    And an old 16 gauge Stevens Model 311A with me to the match.


    Then I was hooked.

    A pair of 2nd Gen Colts which are my usual Main Match revolvers.


    A couple more 2nd Gen Colts.


    Ruger New Model single action revolvers.


    Ruger Three Screws


    Antique Smith and Wesson 44 Russian New Model Number Three revolvers.


    Antique 44-40 Merwin Hulbert Pocket Army


    I'm not even going to get into all the lever guns I have now. Or my sweet little Stevens Hammer gun.

    Nor how much fun it is blasting cartridges full of Black Powder.

  25. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    South Eastern Illinois
    The history
    The balance
    The simplicity
    The satisfying look
    The great trigger
    The streeetching of a box of ammo
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