I took the plunge yesterday and picked up my first cartridge gun. Those that have been following along here know I started shooting black powder earlier this year with my Colt 1851 in .44 and my Remington 1858 also in .44, both by Pietta. This Ruger is my first step further in to the world of cowboy shooting. I must admit I miss the smoke and smell of the black powder, but BOY HOWDY are these cartridge guns quick and easy to load. No wonder the wild wild west was won with these guys forefathers’. This Ruger is based on the original Colt peacemaker, Colt re-introduced the SAA (Singl Action Army) a while back with the popularity of Cowboy action shooting and a number of other manufacturers have jumped in. The new Colts list in the $1200 range…a bunch of the others are way more reasonable.
At first I was thinking about an Uberti 1873 cattleman with case hardened frame, blued barrel, brass backstrap and trigger guard. I have to say it is still one of the most attractive looking single actions out there. I also was thinking about getting it in .44-40 as this was the orginal caliber of the Winchester 1873 rifle. Which, hands down, is still the coolest rifle ever. The Uberti version of the Winchester 1873, in their sporting model with the 24″ octagonal barrel is what is at the top of my wish list (in case there are any philanthropic persons out there looking to buy one for me). I picked up my Vaquero at a shop in Boulder and they have a few of the Uberti 1873 rifles in .45 colt in both the 20″ and 24″ models. I can provide details if you need them.
Research into the robustness of the Uberti pistols and the all arround shortage of ammo in .44-40. Led me to decide to go with the Vaquero in .45 Colt, its still VERY cowboy, and I got a good deal on this used one in Stainless steel. So today, less than 24 hours after I took it home, I got out to test fire it. Granted, the weather was for shit with cold wind and blowing snow but with the speed of reloads (compared to the cap and ball muzzle loaders) it was not too bad really. The “sight picture” is a little different than the others but I think it is something I could get used to. After about 3 rounds of reloading I was into the “black” at about 30 feet or so. The kick of the .45 cowboy loads was bigger than I had anticipated so I think it will continue to be as much fun as the black powder. Down the road a bit, with its stainless construction when I start shooting black powder cartridges now and then it should clean up easily.