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Old March 30, 2011, 05:55 PM   #1
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Beretta Stampede Bisely vs. Ruger Vaquero Bisley

Last year I bought my dad his first new gun in about 30 years, a Glock, which was what he wanted. He's had the same three guns my whole life, a 30-30, a .22 bolt gun, and a 6" SW 66. I was proud to be able to buy him what he wanted, and hes a pretty good shot with his new pistol. So now my dad wants a revolver "like your fancy John Wayne one", which is a Ruger Bisely Vaquero .357 with the 5.5" barrel and the fake pearl grips. I'm a little broke and I figured I could sneak a Beretta Stampede Nickel plated 5.5" in on him, as it costs a couple hundred bucks less. Am I sentencing my dad to blow his hand off or are these ok?
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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I have never shot the Stampede but have several Ruger Vaquero. They are worth the mony. They will be shooting long after you and yoyr dad are gone. They are the strongest revolvers I have. I would shoot any load thru them. Just my 2 cents Ruger
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Old March 30, 2011, 06:28 PM   #3
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The Beretta is actually made by Uberti, IIRC, and are decent shooters for the money.

The Ruger Vaquero is built like a tank and will last a lifetime, and IMO is a slightly better revolver in all the areas that count to me - fit, finish, trigger and accuracy.

Nothing against the Beretta, but I'd choose the Ruger.

Bisley Vaquero in High polish, and pearl grips:
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
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Old March 30, 2011, 07:32 PM   #4
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I've owned new model Ruger Blackhawks and have shot Beretta Stampedes (neither with Bisley Grips but that doesn't change my opinion.) I prefer the feel and operation of the Beretta to the Ruger (but I have not handled the new "Colt size" Ruger that aligns the cylinders for loading, my primary objection to the original new model design.)

I know that the internal mechanism of the Ruger is superior to and much longer lasting than the original Colt design, but the only schematic I've been able to find for the Beretta LOOKS like it has picked up most of the Ruger reliability improvements (wire and coil springs). The Beretta retains a flat mainspring (Ruger's is a coil) but many prefer the feel of a flat mainspring, and they are pretty durable - my Bisley Model Colt's mainspring lasted 105 years before going too limp to work properly.

That said, though, the real plus of the Ruger is that it has been around for ages and presumably will still be around years from now, with an unimpeachable reputation for durability and reliability. In contrast, the Beretta has been available for several years at closeout prices from CDNN, which may not reflect much acceptance in the marketplace. Then there's this comment from another thread on this forum:

The Stampede does NOT have a "fine reputation" among people in SASS who shoot 'em a lot.

The Berettas have transfer bar hardware and other internal changes that make them more complex than Uberti/Cimarron guns that are more traditional/simpler inside. The Berettas are not holding up to high round counts. They look good, but they're not near as tough as a Ruger. Go search the SASS wire forums if you don't believe me.

Customer service is another place Beretta falls flat compared to Ruger.
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Old March 30, 2011, 11:22 PM   #5
Jim March
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CDNN has that 7.5" barrel NewVaq45 on sale for $399. It's in high-polish stainless. That might do nicely. If the barrel is too long, any local gunsmith can do a chop/recrown/re-sight job very easily.
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Old April 1, 2011, 01:32 AM   #6
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While the Beretta/Uberti is more faithful in external design to the original Colt, especially regarding the Bisley grip profile, I'll +1 on the Ruger in terms of durability/longevity, as well as reports of the Berettas not standing up as well (as traditional Uberti or Ruger) to high round counts. Want a looker and fondler? -- especially mimicking well the old Colt external design--get the Beretta (or other Uberti, etc). Want something that will last under hard use? Get the Ruger.

Btw, if it matters, most of the John Wayne guns were of the traditional Colt SAA "plowhandle" grip design and not the Bisley shape. Cimarron (also Uberti) and others like USFA and Ruger have or had "John Wayne" repesentative guns. Ruger's is the least JW-looking of these IMO, especially in the specific grip type/finish, and is strictly a commemorative (with regard to anything particularly "John Wayne" about it).

Later edit: if looking at the Ruger Bisleys, but in .357, get the slightly smaller framed New Vaquero -- vs the old/original. Not only the better cylinder/indexing, but IMHO in that caliber, the NV's mid-frame is more than sufficient for the caliber and the older design a pretty hefty piece and overkill for the caliber/cartridge--due to lots of metal left by the small-ish holes (the NV's still no lightweight). 45's a different matter, and I'd stick with the large frame--especially if contemplating particularly heavy loads. The NV's fine with "normal" factory fare.

Last edited by gak; April 1, 2011 at 02:01 AM.
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:21 AM   #7
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Jim March said:
"CDNN has that 7.5" barrel NewVaq45 on sale for $399. It's in high-polish stainless. That might do nicely. If the barrel is too long, any local gunsmith can do a chop/recrown/re-sight job very easily."

That depends on what part of the country you live in, Jim.

A few years ago I decided I'd like my Blackhawk better if it had a 6" barrel so I took it to a local gunsmith (the only gunsmith in a 75 mile radius) to have the barrel cut down from 7.5" to 6".

He absolutely ruined the gun. I could have done better out in the back yard with a hacksaw. The end of the barrel flares out like a musket ... seriously, the barrel is at least 1/16th to 1/8th bigger in diameter on the cut end. Instead of silver soldering the front sight on, he drilled and tapped the barrel and screwed the front sight on ... didn't even use thread locker.

Before I sent the gun out to be mutilated, I could put at least 5 of 6 rounds on an 8 1/2 X 11 paper at 100 yards; now I can't even hit paper with it at 20 yards.
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Old April 1, 2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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I own a Beretta Bisley Stampede and I will concur with the opinions expressed by the others. It is very pretty to look at, but I have found that this gun (as well as several other Uberti/Beretta guns I own) are made of relatively soft metal that I know will not hold up for the long run. My two Uberti/Beretta Smith & Wesson copies are already starting to "shoot loose" after less than 100 rounds each.

I do believe that you will be better off with the Vaquero, and I say that not really being a big fan of Rugers.
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