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Should I try an ugly modern SA?

This is a discussion on Should I try an ugly modern SA? within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; OK here's the deal, I love SAA's more than you know. I spent decades in the Marines and the Army National Guard carrying and using ...


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Old April 17th, 2017, 04:46 AM   #1
 
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Should I try an ugly modern SA?

OK here's the deal, I love SAA's more than you know. I spent decades in the Marines and the Army National Guard carrying and using a semi-auto (insert 1911's, M9's) whatnots. I am a Texan by birth with a family heritage of men who lived by their SAA's and wits in the Cavalry(Union and Confederacy ) and in working the land to survive. So it's a deep down rooted feeling of being connected to my family to be open carrying any one of my SAA's all day.

You guys are more expert in what to carry(maybe) and my interest in trying a modern adjustable sighted SA with those honking huge sights that stick up and out like a sore thumb is a concern.

How much trouble is drawing from a holster with them? Is it just a non issue? I'm pretty sure it is since LEO's have spent decades using those ugly revolvers for carry duty anyway.

What say you experts?



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Old April 17th, 2017, 05:22 AM   #2
 
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I'm not in any way an expert, but I feel your pain about the looks of the sights on modern single action revolvers. Still, I own a Blackhawk flattop, and the looks definitely grow on you.

To me, it looks really nice- just different from a Colt or a Vaquero. And yes, the adjustable sights are a very nice thing to have for shooting. As for drawing from a holster, I've not tried that yet. I suspect it's worth noting, however, that older police officer guns like the Model 10, or the Ruger Speed-Six didn't have adjustable rear sights. There was a reason for that.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #3
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The rear sight doesn't come into play for drawing the gun and in a properly fitted holster neither does the front sight because a quality holster will have a channel molded into it specifically for clearance of the front sight. It will draw just as easily as a semi auto pistol. The key being a quality holster.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:05 AM   #4
 
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Yes, a SAA is a thing of beauty, but truth be told the front sights are typically not high enough, and thus the 6 o'clock or lower hold on target, maybe even using lighter weight bullets to lower POI.

I don't believe it was in any way common for LE to carry a Ruger Blackhawk. Is that a Texas thing?

What I would suggest is a Ruger New Vaquero, since it can be carried safely with a round under the hammer (6 instead of 5 shots). It is fixed sight, appearing very much like a Colt SAA. Adjustable sights for use out to 25 yards won't get you much unless you want a target gun for precision and maximum score. With fixed sights you just find where the gun groups and adjust your POA accordingly.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:09 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by Bonk View Post
The rear sight doesn't come into play for drawing the gun and in a properly fitted holster neither does the front sight because a quality holster will have a channel molded into it specifically for clearance of the front sight. It will draw just as easily as a semi auto pistol. The key being a quality holster.
Without sufficient forward cant or carrying cross draw, the front sight blade will hook on the holster at the end of the draw if carrying a barrel longer that 4-5 inches. We don't usually get to carry a gun low slung and gunfighter style.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:11 AM   #6
 
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I used to dislike that "shark fin" look but developed and eye for it and now own 5 Blackhawks.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:42 AM   #7
 
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As all things in life, it depends.
Are you only going to carry one load? Never change it?
Are your accuracy requirements Minute of Cavalry Horse or Minute of Squirrel?
Are your eyes good enough to use the shallow fixed rear/thin front common on SAA revolvers?

Some learn to shoot the classic SAA sights very well but they aren't as efficient as adjustables. I did manage to break the rear blade on my SBH sights half way thru deer season last year. I called Ruger and they sent a replacement but the gun was sidelined till I could get to the range and sight it in. A new Simply Rugged holster now protects the gun better and the draw is as quick as any other gun in a field or concealment holster.

My favorite SA revolver is my 1860 Army Colt clone, now those are sights. But I only shoot paper or steel with it.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:44 AM   #8
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Holster selection is critical

The construction of the holster is much more critical with the adjustable sights. I have an old safariland with a plastic track for just that reason, after 50 years , still fits even the newest blackhawk.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 06:47 AM   #9
 
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I carried a 3.75 inch Super Blackhawk and then the New birdshead for quite some time loaded with 44 special critical defense or my handloads for bear protection and whatnot. In a Simply Rugged pancake they would disappear under a shirt. I could go cross draw if so desired. I used the same holster for both and the adjustable rear sight on the SBH was completely covered. I worried more about me breaking it than anything else. I will say I like the fixed sights better on the Talo Birdshead 44 mag I traded it for. They were a little harder to see, but I like fixed sights. I wish my gp100 in 44 spa had the Novaks like the Wiley Clapp models.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 07:28 AM   #10
 
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The revolver is a Ruger Blackhawk, 4 5/8" barrel, caliber .45 Colt. The holster is my design made for me by Graveyard Jack Gunleather. It one fast rig to get into action. Usually carry it under a vest of sport coat.

Same story, but in .44 Special:




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Old April 17th, 2017, 07:40 AM   #11
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For range and target work as well as hunting (back in the day when I still hunted), I much prefer adjustable sights and most of my Ruger SAs wear them. These are guns where I will typically use a wide variety of loads, so the adjustable sights are a blessing. With the correct holster, drawing the gun is not a problem.

However, for actually carry purposes, as in self-defense, I still prefer traditional SA gutter sights. I only use the front sight for that kind of shooting, anyway and with these guns, once I find a load that matches the sights, I stick with it.

One thing I would like to add is that not all traditional SA fixed gutter sight setups are the same. The exact Colt 1873 reproduction versions are pretty marginal, true, but others, such as my Pietta Frontier 357 and my USFA Rodeo 45 Colt have deeper and wider gutters matched with easy to see front sights. These actually make decent range guns and, for carry, I have no problem carrying them loaded with only five. Colt style SA grips actually fit me better, too.

I find the Ruger Vaquero gutter sights to be somewhere in between, in other words still quite useable, though I usually add a touch of paint on the front sight on stainless versions. That stainless front sight on the VQ can be a real bear to see under some lighting conditions.

Also, let me add that I do practice SD kind of shooting with single actions, because that's what I carry for woods guns. As long as I can use two hands, cowboy/girl action style, my follow up speed and, especially accuracy is actually better than my shooting a double action revolver in DA mode. I'm not recommending carrying a single action for bad guy work - that's a personal call - but single actions are still quite useful for my SD needs for toothy critters.

Last edited by North country gal; April 17th, 2017 at 07:54 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 07:42 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditto1958 View Post
I'm not in any way an expert, but I feel your pain about the looks of the sights on modern single action revolvers. Still, I own a Blackhawk flattop, and the looks definitely grow on you.

To me, it looks really nice- just different from a Colt or a Vaquero. And yes, the adjustable sights are a very nice thing to have for shooting. As for drawing from a holster, I've not tried that yet. I suspect it's worth noting, however, that older police officer guns like the Model 10, or the Ruger Speed-Six didn't have adjustable rear sights. There was a reason for that.
Two, cost, and having some officers who really had no idea what they were doing. I owned a blackhawk about 4 decades ago, it was spot on so the sights didn't mean much, never affected how it came out of the holster. Today all my SA revolvers are fixed sighted, and close enough I do not feel at a loss for not having adjustable.

I believe, may be wrong, that the blackhawk is less expensive than the vaquero.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 07:44 AM   #13
 
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I love my New Model Blackhawks. 357's with 4-5/8" barrels.
I recently bought a Mernickle High Rise holster with the intention of carrying strong side at about 4 o'clock in the cooler months here.
The holster is very nice. It is, however, very difficult for me to get the gun out of the holster on a draw. It rides too high and I run out of room with my upward pull before the barrel clears the holster. The holster is capable of wearing cross draw which is what I will probably do.
I believe if you carry strong side, you'll need a lower slung holster. Just my 2 cents.
There's nothing like carrying a SA. I love to when I can.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfc rick View Post
OK here's the deal, I love SAA's more than you know. I spent decades in the Marines and the Army National Guard carrying and using a semi-auto (insert 1911's, M9's) whatnots. I am a Texan by birth with a family heritage of men who lived by their SAA's and wits in the Cavalry(Union and Confederacy ) and in working the land to survive. So it's a deep down rooted feeling of being connected to my family to be open carrying any one of my SAA's all day.

You guys are more expert in what to carry(maybe) and my interest in trying a modern adjustable sighted SA with those honking huge sights that stick up and out like a sore thumb is a concern.

How much trouble is drawing from a holster with them? Is it just a non issue? I'm pretty sure it is since LEO's have spent decades using those ugly revolvers for carry duty anyway.

What say you experts?
I would suggest that as long as you already think they are ugly that you just stay away from them and leave them to us guys that appreciate their beauty.
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Old April 17th, 2017, 10:27 AM   #15
 
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I first think you need to decide if you want fixed sights or adjustable sights. Ruger Blackhawk gives you adjustable rear sight. Vaquero fixed sights. If you opt for fixed sights then you can also look at Uberti made Colt single action army 1873 revolver's also Pietta makes nice ones as well. Also decide on caliber's etc. Good Luck!!!
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