View Full Version : Bisley or regular Vaquero?

October 20, 2000, 10:18 PM
Just bought a Win 94 in .44 magnum. I've already got a Marlin 1894CS in .357 but wanted to add the big 44 because I'm a sucker for a good looking lever gun.

Now I've got to get me a .44 magnum revolver and I'm gonna make it a single action. I have had great luck with Ruger in other weapons. I love their Mark II, wouldn't have any other 357 than my GP-100, and thought that my P series automatic was the best buy for the money on the market.

So this .44 is gonna be a Ruger.

My question is Bisley or regular Vaquero? I love the look of the stainless (although I wish it was a brushed look instead of high gloss) and ivory grips. I also wonder about barrel length. I'm not a big fan of the long 7 1/2" barrel, but I'm afraid the 4 1/2" isn't enough to handle the magnum loads. Am I wrong? Do I go with the 5 1/2 as a compromise?

In addition, I've always toyed with the idea of joining the SASS and getting involved in CAS events. Is there a preference for the Bisley or the Vaquero in those competitions? Barrel length? finish?

Anything you've got to add would be appreciated...

Take the long way home...

David Roberson
October 21, 2000, 05:02 PM
I shoot a pair of 5-1/2 bright stainless Bisley Vaqueros, and love them. You'll see all sorts of SA revolvers at CAS events, including Bisleys. Rugers are the dominant type at events where I shoot.

Bill Mitchell
October 22, 2000, 08:04 AM

Whether you choose a Bisley or Vaquero depends on how you intend to shoot it. Bisleys were designed to be shot Duelist (one-handed) and are well suited to that purpose. That said,lots of folks shoot them using two hands,just as lots of folks shoot Vaqueros using one hand. If you can,try a Bisley beofe buying one. I don't really like the way the grip frame is shaped,but that's a personal thing.

A lot of the Rugers I see at matches are stainless. If the standard finish is too bright for ya,you can have it bead blasted. 5.5" barrels are easily the most prevalent.

Bellicose Bill

Ned Roundtree
October 22, 2000, 09:24 PM
Good questions! Simply a matter of preference. I shoot two handed Vaquero Bisleys, B/CH 5 1/2" barrel, stag grips. One of our cowboys has a set exactly like mine but in .44. He loves his. I also have shot both regular and Bisley. Quite frankly, I think the Bisley Vaquero is a very well thought out gun. Almost perfect. My two cents.

October 23, 2000, 11:51 PM
I like the bisley vaquero best and I have more of the regular Blackhawks than anything in my own collection. The bisley grip is just more comfortable. I shoot a lot of heavy loads in 4 5/8 barrel lenghths and I think they are very controllable I dislike longer barrels. Just my thoughts.

November 27, 2000, 09:21 PM
In spite of the good advice on the Bisley, I went ahead and ordered a Vacquero in stainless, 5 1/2", with the ivory polymer grips. I loved the handling of a 4 5/8" barrel, but... I figured for target shooting the extra sight radius would be better.

Not being a reloader, though, I worry about coming up with the cash for .44 magnums or specials. Maybe I should've went with the .357 and shot 38's. I guess I'll second guess myself all the way to the first shoot.

November 28, 2000, 02:10 PM
I hope you tried them out first. The Bisley just didn't feel right in my hands, yet others love them - just the way you're put together I guess. I shoot .44 mag, 5 1/2" stainless Vaqueros in Gunfighter class and am very happy with them.

Ned Roundtree
November 29, 2000, 08:36 AM
Gremlin, second guess ourselves, never. The first year of cowboy I shot 45lc, bisleys in stainless. Over the winter months, sold my guns and switches all to .357s , so I can shoot 38s. So my Ruger Vaquero Bisleys are 357s, shooting 38s in 5 1/2". I was torn between blue vs. stainless. Though stainless is much easier to clean, I went with blue. Reason, these old eyes prefer a dark sight picture for faster reaction. But both are great guns. Like the NIKE ad says...."Just Do It". Have fun...:)