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Thread: What to buy Ruger Blackhawk or New Vaquero

  1. #1

    What to buy Ruger Blackhawk or New Vaquero

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    Hi all, I'm looking to get either a Ruger Blackhawk or New Vaquero in .45 Colt. I am familiar with both, but have not had an opportunity to handle both guns back to back and was just wondering if anyone had some opinions/experiences with either or both. I REALLY like that the New Vaquero is closer to the size of a Colt SAA, but I also like the adjustable sights on the Blackhawk. I tend to shoot guns I buy a LOT, but I'm not in any kind of Cowboy Action shooting club or competition so having to meet any form of competition rules is not an issue. Also I currently don't reload but would like to in the future. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Either one is a fine firearm.

    The Blackhawk with adjustable sights will allow for the use of different ammo loads.

    The Vaquero with fixed sights means that you might want to find a load it likes and stick with it or learn where it's going to print with each load change.

    I'm curious, why .45 LC and not .44?

    I don't think the Vaquero can handle .44 Mag, but .44 Special is such a joy to shoot. The Blackhawk can use both, just an option you might want to consider.
    Ku'u lei Aleka ~ Ko aloha makamae e ipo...
    Doug C was my friend...

  3. #3
    I forgot to mention, I'm considering the .45 Colt/.45 ACP models. Around here .45 ACP is very easy to find and .45 Colt is hit or miss, .44 Specials I would have to order. I know I could just get a .357, but there's just something special about .45s.

    What I'd really like to know is how different a 230gr .45 ACP prints compared to a 225gr or 250gr .45 Colt, if the point of impact of those three are near identical I'd probably lean more toward the Vaquero.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    I would highly recommend the Blackhawk over the Vaquero. The adjustable sights are well worth it.
    I believe you can find the "Flattop" Blackhawk in 45Colt/45ACP in the "small" frame.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Seattle wa
    I've always had a thing for the Ruger Vaquero with the Birds Head grips. A fine looking pistol.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Dallas, TX
    There is a size difference between the large Blackhawk and the new Vaq. This means that the Vaq. is limited to standard .45Colt loads, but the larger Blackhawk can handle much stouter .45 Colt loads which brings the .45Colt equal to or beyond the .44magnum. For plinking and not hunting, the Vaq. would be fine. I prefer the larger Blackhawk because of its adjustable sights and its greater strength and versatility.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    I love my Vaquero in 45 Colt. I'm only shooting off the shelf ammo and I havn't had any problems hitting my targets. The gun just points well for me and has a very natural aim to it.

    I just purchased a Super Blackhawk in 44 Mag this month and it is and feels much larger but side by side it's hard to tell. I'm having a much harder time getting a holster for it because of the adjustable sights. Most holsters I want are cowboy style that don't fit it unfortunately.

    A pic of my Vaquero and Bagwell

  8. #8
    That's a nice looking Vaquero crossada

  9. #9
    Chris Pierce, here are my .45 Colt Birdsheads;

    OP, have both..suggest a Blackhawk for the adjustable sight feature. I have a pair each of regular grip and Bisley Vaqueros in .44 mag...all good.

    "Remember the men from whom you are sprung"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Fort Benning, GA
    I've got a Vaquero with a 3.75" barrel in 45 Colt and love it. I have both and IWB and OWB holster for it and love the way it carries. Don't have much use for adjustable sights.

  11. #11
    Oh man, two birdsheads?

    Very nice!


  12. #12
    I don't own either, but I have been considering a Vaquero. Got to fire one years ago at a Cowboy event and have admired them ever since.

  13. #13
    I had one of the old Vaqueros in .45 Colt and loved it. Great gun, though a bit of a brick. It shot great. The new ones are even nicer, I hear.

  14. #14
    I like the vaquero but I own a blackhawk and it's a stronger action too if you do want to reload for it. If you do decide to get into reloading you can easily hunt with a Blackhawk in 45 colt.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I've always loved the Blackhawk. Don't know much about the Vaquero. You'll probably be more than satisfied either way. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Always nice to get a new gun.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Hoquiam, WA USA

  17. #17
    The Vaquero balances well, feels really good in the hand. And it looks good. If your primary use will be as a plinker/range gun, it is a good choice. Unfortunately, the Vaquero may or may not shoot to the point of aim with a given load - or with all loads for that matter. Most do shoot pretty close to point of aim, but not all. This can be corrected but what casual shooter wants to go to the trouble. I have a Vaquero with a .45 acp cylinder and it is right on the money at 25 yards. I've seen others that were off by several inches.

    The Black Hawk isn't nearly as pretty as the Vaq, but it is strong and it has adjustable sights. So if hitting your target matters a lot, obviously, the Black Hawk is the sensible choice. You probably think there is little to be gained from an action job on a single action, but believe me, it will make a big difference. If you don't want to spend for an action job, then at least put in a set of Wolfe springs. You can do it yourself. Remove a tine from an old fork to make a handy compression tool.

    I have twenty single action revolvers. A dozen are Colts; the others are six Rugers and a pair of Uberti conversions. The ones I use for hunting are all Black Hawks and Super Black Hawks. However, the others are the ones that get most of the use. They are for entertainment. The Vaqueros are great entertainment pieces because I don't mind abusing them. I do things to them that I wouldn't think of doing to the Colts, fanning and that sort of thing. So either gun is a good choice depending upon what you want the gun to do.

  18. #18
    The Super Blackhawk is an awesome a Colt.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    U.P. Michigan
    I would suggest the Super Blackhawk.I own 2 super Blackhawks both in 44 magnum and I use them for hunting whitetails and black bears.My other single actions are Ruger Single Sixes. I seem to prefer shooting the 22 magnums out of both of them.

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