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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking into getting a SAA clone for myself. Not planning on getting into cowboy shooting competitions, just for something to take to the range every once in a while and maybe as home defence.

I'm also not looking to spend a whole lot of money, which is why I've decided to go with a SAA clone instead of the real deal. Here's what I'm looking for so far:

5 1/2" barrel
blued finish
.357 mag. caliber (but I'll mostly shoot .38 special out of it...cheaper and easier on my hand)

Looking at spending not much more than $400. Anybody got a suggestion on what company to go with? I've heard good things about Uberti, and the Ruger Vaqueros are nice looking but tend to be out of my price range. Any other suggestions?

Also, anybody tried out the bird's head grips? They look neat but I'm wondering how they feel in the hand and how they feel to shoot.


I've also read that you have to get a SAA tuned by a gunsmith or it tends to break after a few hundred shots. Anybody confirm or deny this?
 

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I think I've seen Ruger Vaquero single actions for about $400 but they may have been used. I've never heard of a SA breaking after a few hundred shots. I think that would be common knowledge if it were true.
 

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For what it's worth, the top cowboy action shooters have used the Ruger Vaquero for quite a few years now.
 

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Well, I bought a new Ruger Vaquero (old style) last winter for $350 on clearance so they can be found. The .357 mag versions were commonly found for this price though mine was .45 Colt. Ruger changed the frame on current Vaqueros to a bit smaller one to more closely match the Colt SAA and its clones. Because of this, the old styles have been put on sale in many places. I just sold an SAA clone imported by EAA that I had for about a year or so. I picked it up for $250 and now see the same model going for about $300. Used ones are often seen around the $270 mark and I sold mine for the $250 I bought it for. I had about 500 rounds through it which was just enough to break it in. I had no problems in that limited time though I have great reservations on EAA products, poor experiences with them in the past. The Uberti guns can be nice but there are different degrees of quality so one has to know what they are buying. They are all at least of good quality but some try to pass off the lesser models at the higher prices.
I haven't had to have a SAA clone brought to a gunsmith for tuning but some do to meet their needs/desires. I don't care for the bird's head versions as they are much too small for my hand and more importantly the shape of the front of the grip bit into my hand. I think the bird's head is an early attempt to be a "concealable" version of a full sized SAA. I don't think it does a good job.
 

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Unless you're dead set on a fixed sight revolver, you might want to look for a New Model .357 Ruger Blackhawk.
Adjustable sights make it a lot easier to shoot different loads to the same point of aim and nice used ones can frequently be purchased for around $275.
 

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Taurus & Cimmaron can be picked up for $250 or less. I saw a Ruger Vacquero (new stlye) for less than $350. A new Blackhawk ,at my local store, is around $400.

I'd opt for the Blackhawk. Stronger frame and those adjustable sights would make it my first choice.

HWD
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the great information guys. Went to a gunshow yesterday and had a chance to handle a few SAA clones, including one with a bird's head grip and I think I agree with uglydog...just didn't feel right.

Tried out a Uberti (with the unpolished brass on the frame) and it seemed like it had a really small trigger guard. The Rugers I handled felt good in the hand and seemed like fit and finish were better quality than some of the others I looked at so I'll probably end up with a Vaquero once I get some money together. I like the classic lines of the Vaquero, the Blackhawk just seems too squared off for me.
 

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I had a Vaquero that I really liked, just traded it one day when I was craving a Colt 1911 Officer's Model. A police officer friend of mine used to hand load some 45 LC rounds that would just about make the revolver jump right out of your hand; those Vaqueros (all Ruger revolvers) are built like a bank vault.

Still, there are so many to choose from now that I'd at least have to look at some of the others. Beretta's SAA clone in particular interests me. Uberti's are reportedly much higher quality than when they first were imported. There are a couple recent American made SAAs, one made in Florida, whose name escapes me now, that I've read good reviews on. Taurus is making one too and their reputation for quality continues to grow. I'd probably end up with a Ruger, but it would be fun shopping.
 

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Check out Taurus' new offering of SAA clones which look very nice and won't break the bank. I think the series is called the "Gaucho" line. There was an article in a recent American Rifleman about them and it contained only praise.
 

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lpcVT said:
Check out Taurus' new offering of SAA clones which look very nice and won't break the bank. I think the series is called the "Gaucho" line. There was an article in a recent American Rifleman about them and it contained only praise.
Praise is all the gun rags pass out. They are not going to find fault with anything that might cost them an ad.
 

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When I had the same urge, I did my homework and eventually decided on a Uberti. I haven't regretted that decision for a second, but I suppose most brands would have served me well.

Is Pietta distributed in the States? I didn't know about them back then, but they've started selling in Canada in the last year. They offer similar Italian quality to the Uberti's and you should see their great prices!

SS
 
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