They are practical working guns that are precision made. They probably have just about the closest chamber to bore tolerence of any moderately priced C&B revolver made. I don't know if that's because it's American made or not. But unlike any of the Italian guns, it wasn't reverse engineered in order to produce them. It's an original design and not a direct clone of any other previously made gun that required that it be reverse engineered.
In that respect, it's the only original C&B revolver gun on the market that was recently made that wasn't reverse engineered. The only other alternative for owning an original C&B revolver is to buy an original C&B revolver. And many of us aren't interested in shooting those old guns or want to spend all of the money that it would cost for one.
Too many of them have been socked away as collectables to satisfy everyone's desire to not shoot a reproduction.
I believe that most people are proud that the Old Army isn't a reproduction, but rather represents the modern evolution of what a C&B design could have been had the C&B era not ended due to the invention of primed cartridge cases. The evolution of C&B revolvers seemed to come to a stand still at that time until Bill Ruger decided to design his Old Army C&B revolver which he introduced in 1972.
Just like a lot of his guns it has garnered semi-classic status in a relatively short amount of time.
Asking what folks like about it is a lot like asking why do folks like their favorite Ford Mustang model, Corvette Sting Ray, Chevy Camaro, Dodge Charger or Oldsmobile 442.
All I know is that folks love them for whatever reasons that there are. They're strong, powerful, well-built, good handling and fairly affordable.
I can't say that the originals were any better or worse, it's all a matter of personal taste and folks vote with their wallets.
The world-wide popularity of the Ruger Old Army certainly can't be denied. That doesn't mean that everyone needs to like them, or like them enough to buy one. But I think that there are certainly more folks that admire them than own them. And I think that among C&B shooters, that there are more folks that like them than don't like them. Unless a person is only interested in historical re-enactment or shooting original guns, then what's not to like?
We all know that the Italian reproductions aren't originals and not the same as originals. Yet not many folks insist on only shooting originals.
I look at it as it's just part of the evolution of gun design.
Just like major league baseball has undergone changes and evolved over time. The pitcher's mound isn't the same height in either league as it used to be. And modern baseball gloves don't look anything like the designs that they used to be. Or catcher's equipment, or batting helmets, or the dimensions of the ball fields or artificial turf or the use of night lights. But I can't recall anyone ever saying that they don't like baseball anymore because of the modern evolution of these changes.
I think that only liking reproduction guns is mostly due to the organizations that promote historical correctness and only allow the use of historically acceptable guns in their competitions and events. But for those of us who aren't members of those groups or ever have been, then all C&B's are created fairly equal and are made to work reliably, shoot well and to have fun with.
I like watching baseball, I like both old and new cars, and I like all C&B revolvers. That doesn't mean that I would buy them all. But each individual likes what they like. It's just like picking out a spouse I guess. Love and emotions is what makes people tick. Not much else that I can explain about why I or so many other folks like the ROA.
Last edited by arcticap; December 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM.