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Old May 7, 2013, 10:34 PM   #1
Join Date: February 4, 2012
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Used BH 45 Colt or Old model Vaquero 44 Mag?

Hi All,

Looking for a bit of input on what may be my next purchase. My LGS has a used 4 5/8" 45 Colt BH (blued) as well as an "old" Vaquero in 44 mag with CCH frame and a 5 1/2" barrel for the same price. I would estimate them both at probably 90%. I have a 44 Special Flat top new new model Blackhawk and a Lipsey's SBH in 44 mag at present but nothing in 45 Colt. I do not handload, unfortunately. All things being equal, which would you advise?

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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It does kind of depend on whether or not you want to take on a new caliber or simplify things and stay with the .44 special and .44 magnums.

The 'old' Vaquero might become something of a collector item, I personally kind of doubt it but it could happen, so it depends also on if you're going to buy it to shoot it.

For some reason (maybe all the cowboy shows I watched as a youth) I always wanted a .45 Colt so I got a BH in that caliber.

If you're buying it to shoot it and like both equally (i.e. they both fit your hand just fine) I'd go with the Vaquero but it would be a tough call. The good news is, you really can't go wrong with either one.

I kind of hope Bob Wright or some of the other real wheel gun expert chime in here with their opinions.
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Old May 7, 2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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My bad. I guess you can get Bob Wright's opinion right here:
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:02 AM   #4
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What's a CCH frame?
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Old May 8, 2013, 05:24 AM   #5
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CCH is color case hardening, like when someone show a pic of their SAA and it has a multicolored finish on the frame, that's CCH.
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Old May 8, 2013, 08:25 AM   #6
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For me, the choice would be a no brainer if choosing between the two caliber wise. Both are built on the 'large' frame....

Since you don't reload (.45 Colt is a reloaders cartridge), the .44 original Vaquero may be the ticket shooting either .44Spec or .44Mag. The only downside is it is a fixed sight, so realize the limitation there, On the other hand they don't make it anymore either and you would have a 'cowboy' gun . Everyone needs at least one fixed sight revolver....

Really it comes down to what 'you' want. Buy both if it really a hard decision .
A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.

Last edited by rclark; May 8, 2013 at 11:01 AM.
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Old May 8, 2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by silvermane_1
CCH is color case hardening, like when someone show a pic of their SAA and it has a multicolored finish on the frame, that's CCH.

I guess my problem is that I'm old enough to know that case hardening is an industrial process and the mottled color that results is an accidental side effect of hardening the steel. Case hardening is not a finish, so a SAA with a case hardened frame is not "color" case hardened, it is case hardened. Now that you mention "color case hardening," I remember that modern makers like Ruger use an applied finish that is intended to simulate case hardening. However, the Rugers are not case hardened, so calling them color case hardened is a misnomer, which I suppose is why I couldn't figure out what "CCH" might stand for.

Back to the question: If you already have a couple of .44s, I think the .45 Colt would be the obvious choice.
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Old May 8, 2013, 11:42 AM   #8
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I prefer adjustable sights. Not for adjustability but for a superior sight picture.

There is color case hardening and there is case hardening. Parts can be case hardened without colors or they can be intentionally case hardened in such a way that colors are imparted onto the part. Both are hardened.

The Ruger finish is neither but a chemically applied case coloring intended to imitate the real thing. They tend to be more rust prone than white steel and that is why it is no longer offered.
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:54 PM   #9
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The color was put into the casehardening process to "show" that the parts were case hardened. Visual proof of the quality right there for every one to see. and sometimes, counterfit..

Have or have had both guns, in 7.5", the Vaquero in .44 Mag was stainless. I'm a reloader, and have been into the .45 colt for 30 years. Not so much of a .44 Mag fan, although it do have some. My Vaquero .44mag went away in favor of a Super Blackhawk, because I wanted the adjustable sights.

Come to find out I'm not crazy about the feel of the Super Blackhawk, I think because of the very slightly, but noticeably different hammer and trigger. I've spent so much time shooting my Blackhawk .45 the Super feels ...funny. The Vaquero .44Mag felt the same as the Blackhawk. Hammer spur in the same place, smooth trigger, etc...The only real difference was the rounded edges o the frame and the fixed sights.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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