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Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Just Jim, Mar 27, 2015.
Love the Colt SAA...
So I take it there is no love here for the Colt SAA?
I love the Colt SAA but could never bring myself to buy one. The price tag was out of my reach when I was younger and I almost bought a Colt Cowboy but they disappeared before I got to it. I have several Ruger SA guns though and can probably blame my Father and John Taffin for loving them. Dad owned a Single Six that seemed to meet every need he had for a handgun when hiking and camping. I could not get used to the idea of only carrying a 22mag but I sure do appreciate the ruggedness and reliability of the larger caliber Rugers in Vaquero and Blackhawk forms. My current favorite is a stainless Ruger Bisley 5.5in barrel in 45colt. By choosing my ammo, I can plink all day or fire some big boomers for hunting and protection in dangerous game areas.
Funny how taste change in firearms over the years. Revolvers used to be the gun to carry and now only small revolvers are carried in general. The world has moved to semiautomatic and with good reason but there are a lot of fine revolvers out there.
I like Rogers too as they are a good sturdy weapon. I noticed over the years they have tried to make a single action revolver closer to the Colt SAA but the action of the Ruger is no equal. The new ones feel pretty good but when it comes to fit and finish they are not up to the gun that cost three times as much. My Rugers shoot very straight though and that matters.
The first firearm I ever purchased is still in the safe, still one of if not the best shooting wheel guns I've ever shot - a very early SN Ruger Redhawk in .44 Mag. I've loaded softball loads for it, and shot loads at the top end of the reloading guides. It's got thousands of rounds though it, never an issue, flawlessly accurate every time. It's one of the guns I'd never, ever part with. It's a fantastic gun that is a real comfort when I'm far away from civilization.
When it comes to perfect packing out in the sticks I like the revolver. More power than most automatics for the size and weight and better at longer ranges. No you don't have the firepower a auto has but most of the time it's not firepower you need. It's hits you need and long distance I find revolvers do better. That's just me though, I am sure lots of auto guys want to argue autos are better.
I love John Taffin and I love revolvers.
I don't think any revolver will ever fit the hand quite like the SAA does, but for me it is undone by the fact that you can buy about 2&1/2 Ruger BH's for the cost of a new SAA, not to mention that the Ruger will take as much horsepower as you can fit in the case. The BH made reloading manuals come up with a new listing for the .45 Colt.
My favorite packin' revolver is a custom-tuned Stainless New Model BH in .357 mag with a 4&5/8" barrel. With a Lyman 358156 and 14.0 grains of 2400 I can truly shoot @50yds. without trying and even get out over 100, though it can get shaky from there, naturally.
Maybe someday I'll actually plop down the cash for a brand new .44Spl. New Frontier or the 1st Gen .32-20 that has enough wear for me to fire it without constant concern.
If I could go back 60-100 years and know what we know now, my safe would have several Martial Colt's, Bisley Model's, Flattop Target Model's, etc.
My personal "Holy Grails" would be a true .22 Rimfire with a 5&1/2" barrel from 1891($25-50k), an Etched Panel .44-40 w/4&3/4" barrel($20-50k) and a NY State Militia 7&1/2"($15-30k).
SAA's are beyond wonderful, for real use and historical value. If I won Powerball, I could easily see myself dropping a couple million on Colt's. Too bad the Elmer Keith auction happened before I won.
Nothing is perfect.
No context is simple.
The "most useful" depends on the context.
I own both revolvers and semi-autos.
For defensive use against humans I prefer hi-cap semi-autos. More "firepower", more reliability, more durability and simpler than a revolver.
For "field" use (hunting, hiking, general time in the "field"), I prefer revolvers because they are more versatile in being able to use different ammo power levels from very light to very heavy. They are also often more accurate than a defensive semi-auto (although target semi-autos can often do better than a revolver).
So it just depends on the context.
Everything is a compromise.
As always your opinion is well thought out. What revolvers have you had the most experience with and how often did they jam?
The one revolver I have owned the longest was a High Standard Sentinel in .22LR:
I carried that and shot it a lot over the decades.
Gave it to my son-in-law a couple of years ago. I have several semi-auto 22 rimfires that I currently use instead, but I do intend to replace it with a S&W 317 Kit Gun.
With rimfire ammo being dirty, that revolver naturally had some issues, mostly with reloading. It did have some problems with function if I shot it a lot in a single session, which happens when shooting rimfire since it is so cheap and fun to shoot, but again, that is because the ammo was so dirty.
The only revolver I ever had actually jam on me was a Taurus .357 Ti Tracker. Right out of the box, after 50 rounds, the cylinder stopped revolver and the action locked up. This was due to the fact that it had a cylinder to barrel gap of less than 0.001" and just the little bit of powder residue from 50 rounds was enough to stop it.
Revolvers are relatively more complicated in their action than semi-autos. They may be "manual", but a lot more is going on inside them and they are more susceptible to contamination and rough handling. Any gunsmith who knows how to work on revolvers will tell you this is true.
Probably my favorite handgun is my S&W 329 PD, even though I don't like to shoot it very much due to the recoil. But it is very versatile, and it can handle anything from small game to dangerous game, while being light and comfortable to carry.
Got a friend who reloads and tells me when a semi auto will run on his reloads reliably or not. Never says his revolvers won't run on them but has gone through a number of guns that don't feed reloads. My revolvers will shoot anything I can get in the chamber but then I buy good quality guns.
I own and have owned many 22lr revolvers and they don't jam when I shoot them alot, it's just harder to get the ammo into the cylinder. My center fire revolvers shoot any bullet shape they have come out with from full wad cutters to round nose and never jam. In all my years of shooting revolvers I have had one jam and that was when and it had to be taken to a gunsmith.
I own semi autos and some fine ones, most run very good but not always. I daily carry a semi auto that is clean and has good ammo in it so I am confident it will run when I need it. When I carry a revolver I never worry about it jamming, I have seen so many autos jam I can't say I don't worry about them.
Most people carry revolvers in relatively clean conditions and don't abuse them the way semi-autos get mistreated in military field conditions. There are reasons the military went to semi-autos, and one of them is because they are more durable and reliable in those kinds of conditions.
Try putting a revolver through some of the torture tests people have put a Glock through.
As I said, they each have their pros and cons.
Personally I would prefer a world where I didn't need a high quality self-defense semi-auto pistol or rifle and I could get by with something like my S&W 329 and a lever action, but that isn't this world.
Yep, but glock has a warning against using reloads as it voids the warranty. They run real good on military ammo but don't feed them reloads. Cops carried revolvers all the way up to the eighties when they found semi autos that anyone can run, ie as simple as revolvers.
Military used revolvers and bolt actions for many decades after the 1911 came out, still use the bolt guns. They worked back then and they would work today, they just don't have the firepower that is called for. Would I want a revolver in war, no but if it's all I had I could make do.
A nice Colt SAA packs really well, good feel and great balance and plenty of power. I can see why so many were sold.
Single actions, most of the grips don't fit my hand, at least not out of the box. Yes, I know Hogue makes good grips for them. Generally, except for the fact that there seems to be more of them that allow swapping of cylinders than DAs, I don't see that much advantage for them, especially not for defensive use.
My philosophy is that a defensive handgun is a last resort weapon, something you use to fight your way to your rifle, something you always have on you whereas you often have to put your rifle down to do something with your hands, something you use to take out an attacker when they come to finish you off because you've run out of rifle ammo or your rifle is otherwise out of action.
In that regard, I would rather have a Glock or SIG with a large mag than a DA revolver, but yes, a revolver is better than nothing. But if you are rolling around in the dirt/mud/etc., then IMO a Glock or something like it will be more likely to still function.
And yes, the military was still using revolvers well up until almost this century - but that was generally in non-military situations, like the military police who were stateside and dealing with more or less unarmed soldiers on base. Even that has gone away.
But it all comes back to my assertion; nothing is perfect. Everything is a compromise.
Reloads, yeah, I don't carry reloads for defensive purposes for a number of reasons; reliability and liability. I shoot reloads sometimes for the cost savings, but pretty much anymore I reload to get ammo that you can't buy; generally really light loads for taking small game with a high power firearm. Semi-autos simply don't adjust to low power ammo well, while revolvers will handle a much wider range of power levels in ammo. I can shoot 300 grain 1300 fps bear defense loads from my S&W, but to get the same kind of functionality from a semi-auto would require a much larger and heavier pistol.
Nothing does everything perfectly.
Caliber is the big deal in a revolver and bullet shape. Handguns are not reliable stoppers in the smaller calibers with round nose bullets but fail to feed the better bullets. In my revolvers I can shoot SWC or WC that take out game much better than the rounds it takes to keep a semi auto going.
The power in a revolver is much more than a carry auto. 357 or 44 will take fewer shots to bring down game, who hunts with a 9mm,40cal or 45acp? Why don't they hunt with them, cause they don't kill well but they carry them every day for defense.
How can you call yourself a gun collector without a SAA?
My Wife bought me one on our tenth anniversary. That was ten years ago!
Wait? Dose that make it hers?
Except for a past affliction for Mosins, I don't think I've ever owned more of a single type of firearm than that of the Colt SAA-type...and OM Single Six .22, a NM Single Six .22/.22 mag, and a NM Blackhawk .41 Mag all right around 6" barrel length. I'm looking for a nice .357 to round it all out.
I had a SW model 629 with a 10 3/8" barrel. I had a 4x scope on it as well. That one was my wilderness packin pistol. 44 mag could handle anything, and with the barrel length and scope, 100yds+ was no problem. I ended up selling it for more than I paid for it, but if I had to do it again, I would have kept it. I bought a fancy performance center 357 recently (below)
And it is nicely made, but I have to say, I have an old target model 19-4 that seems to be better made and has an unbelievable trigger (below)
Those 70's and early 80's era SW and Colts are pretty amazing. I like the old revolvers, but I realize they are outdated. One thing I've learned is that one of the best features on a handgun is a light. Probably the second is that it is lightweight, so something like this is probably my go to if I am not carrying concealed.
Some guns just have a natural pointing characteristic, SAA are that gun for me. Sights come right up like a fitted shotgun. They are light and handy plus plenty of power. Plus you learn to shoot straight without wasting ammo. I like em but they are not for everyone, the design doesn't fit the modern way of shooting.
I don't. I am a "gun nut" not a gun collector.
I have been tempted to get a convertible Ruger, usually one of the .22LR/WMR models, but then my research indicated that they are not very good with the LR ammo because of the slightly larger bore diameter for the WMR ammo.
I have shot SA revolvers and just didn't care for how they handled. They are fun to fondle, but for me they are not that fun to shoot.
I just prefer DA revolvers.