Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Rugers

In forming this new Cowboy Fast Draw club at the church, I've had to answer a lot of questions about guns, belts, holsters, rules and range etiquette.  It's not a problem, but some folks are not familiar with the subtle differences inn equipment that might make one revolver suitable for Cowboy Fast Draw.  Most people are visual learners, so lets take a look at two revolvers that are very similar and very different.  One is absolutely within the rules of the CFDA and one iss not.

Top Ruger Super Blackhawk
Bottom: Ruger Vaquero
On top, we have a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 Remington Magnum.  It''s a great handgun for lots of things, and one of my favorites.  That's the revolver I strap when I'm cruising the woods.  It's easy to shoot, in a heavy caliber, and is useful for everything from feral hogs to venomous snakes with the right loads.  Unfortunately, it's completely unsuitable for Cowboy Fast Draw, for the following reasons.  1) It's the wrong caliber.  In CFDA, we use .45 Long Colt only.  2) It has adjustable sights.  In CFDA, we use fixed sights only, of the type used in the 1880s.  and 3) it has a wide spur hammer.

Wide Spur Hammer isn't allowed in CFDA.
That big, lovely, wide spur hammer simply isn't allowed on a revolver used for CFDA shooting.   Some of the other sports allow them, and new shooters have to be cautioned to get a revolver with a proper hammer. As a sidebar, some of the companies are coming out with what they call a "short-stroke" action, in which the hammer is only cocked to about halfway before setting in the full cock notch. Short-stroke revolvers aren't allowed in CFDA either.  The hammer must exhibit the full cocking motion.

Vaquero hammer spur of the proper dimensions
The photo above shows the standard hammer spur from a Ruger Vaquero.  The hammer spur is the same width as the rest of the hammer, and is the type required for CFDA shooting.

A handgun is a substantial investment for many people.  I'd hate to have one of my new shooters buy something and not be able to use it in the sport.

The rules are found in the latest edition of the rule book, and say this  about acceptable handguns:
Single-action revolvers, factory chambered for .45 Colt caliber, with non-adjustable rear sights, such as: S.A.A. Colt, Colt Bisley, 1858 Remington Conversion, 1875 Remington, 1860 Army Conversion, 1872 Open Top, S&W Schofield, and “faithful reproductions” thereof. Plus, the following Ruger models; Vaquero, New Vaquero, Bisley Vaquero, CFDA Vaquero, and Short Spur Vaquero. Special Exception: Vaquero (Short Spur) hammers may be inter-changed with a New Vaquero, which is the basis for both a CFDA Vaquero and Short Spur Vaquero models. The exterior parts of the revolver must match factory stock contours and made of original type material: i.e. hammers must not be bent in anyway, no trigger shoes, no aluminum/titanium barrels or cylinders, no skeletonizing, no modifications to the trigger guard, or grip frame, etc. All external parts must match the manufacturer’s stock product, i.e. a Bisley revolver must have a matching Bisley hammer, a SAA must have a stock SAA hammer. Front sights are optional. Minimum barrel length is 4-1/2”, except in the Shootist Category (See Page 8), when measured from the cylinder to the front of the barrel. Hammer knurling may be smoothed or sharpened

I think I'll take the Ruger Super Blackhawk to the club meeting today.  It might help if I can show them what a wide spur hammer looks like


Old NFO said...

Great idea to take the Blackhawk, those subtleties are missed by a LOT of folks!

NotClauswitz said...

I've always like fixed-sight guns over adjustable ones, and with my eyesight the adjustability is no real benefit. I really like my 4-3/4" Vaquero in .44-40 - and the fact the cartridge goes in my Rossi lever gun is just peaches. I should get into Cowboy Action since I live up in the sticks now, and I even have my Grandpa's cowboy hat.