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Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by usmcdowney, Apr 2, 2010.
I am looking for a single action .45 long colt and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?
The Colt SAA is hard to beat however, rather exspensive, a Ruger Blackhawk would be an an excellent choice and much less costly than the Colt.
+1 on Fred's advice. The Blackhawk is tougher than nails and will last several lifetimes, and readily available at a fair price. The Colt is a great pistol, just much more expensive and hard to find.
I like the Ruger BlackHawk and Ruger Vacquero. Do you want it for Cowboy shooting (competitive), plinking, just cause guns are cool?
That would help us to make some suggestions.
I want it mostly because I think it would be cool to have a revolver and a lever action rifle that shoot the same round. I do not plan on doing any competative shooting with it mostly plinking.
Since you're not planning to compete in cowboy action shooting I'd recommend a Ruger Blackhawk. The adjustable sights come in VERY handy so you can sight it in to hit exactly where you aim. Fixed sight guns can be "adjusted" but it's a LOT more involved and beyond most shooters' capabilities.
Thanks for the advice
I stand behind the Ruger Blackhawk hands down. I love mine. I recently added a Ruger Vaquero to the mix of revolvers though, so I am anxious to see how those stand up to the Blackhawk. It'll be here in a week, so we shall see. The Blackhawk I have is about 40 years old. Seasoned, but still just as reliable.
To go a little further, about a year ago my father added a Winchester model 1892 .45 lever action with 16" barrel that nicely compliments his Blackhawk. They both perform well when using the same ammo. Plus they look really good together (Just in case you were starting to shop for a rifle too)
You are going in the right direction since you have the rifle first. I went in the wrong direction myself with the pistol then got the rifle, then got into reloading and realized I had a pistol not strong enough for the ammo the rifle did best with. Wound up having to get more .45 pistols, oh the agony.
You don't speak of it, but if you hunt with the .45 Colt rifle sooner or later you will want to reload to improve performance over the anemic factory ammo.
Many of the rifles originally designed to handle 30-30 ammo chamber pressures but sold in .45 Colt variations are far stronger than a Colt SAA. I don't know what the limit is for those rifles, but I note at least one is available in a .454 variant and those can easily reach 100,000 PSI if one uses the original triplex loads.
Elmer Keith lists some .45 Colt loads in his many writings that are excellent loads, but they are way too stiff for the Colt cylinders (which is how he lost a finger when one burst). If you are using a Sharps or a Rolling Block type action the bullet type is of little importance. However, from a lever action you will probably be much happier with a rounded bullet design. In my own Winchester M 94 Trapper Carbine I use Hornady XTP bullets with Keith type 2400 loads. (Loaded up 450 of them, so I should be good for a very long time, possibly running out somewhere around age 98.) They feed as slick as if they were military hardball and at the indicated velocities hit Bambi like an AP grenade out to 100 yards (which is fine as 10 - 30 yards is the most common range around here).
I can't use those loads in any of my Colt products. The original BP chamber pressure was somewhere around 14,000 - 20,000 PSI and I am way, way, past those numbers. I found a website that claims the S&W M25-5 will handle such, and I have one of those, but am dubious about trying a steady diet of such in that gun. I have done a few, but I think it is near maximum for that gun. Since the .45 Colt loads I worked up are near the bottom end of .454 Casull pressures I went with a platform designed for that load. It is a little more weight to carry on my hip, but it gives me 100% ammo interchangeability. I primarily looked at two platforms, the Freedom Arms SAA and the DA Ruger Redhawk series. I did look at the Ruger Blackhawk, and the Vaquero. However I have a friend with a Vaquero and when he swore his Vaquero would take it, I gave him a cylinder full to try out. He reported a very violent recoil and said he only fired two of them and his hand stung for hours. Based on that, I went with a Redhawk as it was less expensive locally than the Freedom Arms Colt looks like. The Redhawk is a beefy pistol and the cartridges for my rifle are almost pleasant to shoot in it. I wouldn't want to run a 60 round PPC course with them two times in one day, but a quick cylinder full or two is no issue. Of course the (laughable) cowboy and normal factory ammo will also shoot in it all day. If I absolutely had to have a Single Action pistol design as my ride along my first choice would be the Freedom Arms pistol with the Ruger Blackhawk coming in as a second choice.
If however you don't and don't foresee reloading then a pistol like the Colt is a viable choice. With that criteria I would pass by on Colt for daily carry as being too needlessly expensive and choose a US Firearms looks like a Colt revolver (made on the old Colt machinery).
Thanks for the info. I do not yet have a pistol or a rifles in .45 long colt. They are toys that I want to collect just for fun once I finish my weapon colloection. So probably 3-4 years but I since I already know what weapons I want I needed another research project. After looking them all over I think I will probably try the Ruger Vaquero or the Freedom Arms Model 97. Thanks again for all your help.
For accuracy, I prefer the Blackhawk over the Vaquero. For fun and just runnin' and gunnin' I like the old model Vaquero's better. There's some great Marlin's out there as well as Winchester's for your long gun. You won't go wrong with any of them.
Have fun and enjoy your quest.
Here's a shot of my Ruger NM Blackhawk in .45LC, as rendered by Bowen Classic Arms...
The grip is slightly larger than a Vaquero, but I've got large hands and these grips feel good.
For the ultimate in cool try the Uberti top breaks
Uberti Top Break: No. 3 New Model Russian, No. 3 2nd Model
#3 S&W design. May not be as strong as the Blackhawk/Vaquero, but uber cool for sure.
I would recommend one of the Schofield copies in .45 LC. I have a Beretta Laramie and love it.
Single Actions only
Very nice Beretta Laramie. I've wanted one like yours for several years, but then Beretta doesn't seem to be making them anymore. All I've seen is their Colt clone.
This is a very good suggestion, I've been toying with the idea of getting a lever in 44 mag as a companion for my Redhawk. I've owned Blackhawk 45 LC SA's and they can't be beat for strength and accuracy. I appreciate the fact that Ruger has used "Nyloc" screws, they don't loosen up like some of the other SA's I've owned.
Many years ago I had the opertunity to get an original in 44-40, they are beautiful, I'm sorry I didn't get it as it was very affordable at that time.
Ruger Vaquero is a great gun, have one in stainless, though the sights are more suitable on a blackhawk, if I may suggest, unless your heart is set on .45 LC, get another caliber. Long colts are insanely expensive to feed when compared to .45 acp's. But again, your call.
I have a stainless Bisley Blackhawk with a 5.5 inch barrel. Great balance and fun to shoot. If you decide to go handgun hunting, there are some excellent high powered loads you can buy or work up your own handloads. The Bisley is much more comfortable to shoot than the regular Blackhawk...I know because I have had a 44 mag Super Blackhawk and the Bisley is much nicer to shoot! If you want to spend a little more, you cna get a convertible with the 45 ACP cylinder. if you get the New Vaquero, you can't shoot hot loads in it like the Blackhawk as they trimmed down the gun to Colt size and therefore Colt limitations. Recorded on my phone so excuse the quality!