Friday, December 30, 2005

THE GUN OF THE YEAR FOR 2005


Without further ado...

The SHOOTING GALLERY GUN OF THE YEAR FOR 2005...

...is the Taurus Gaucho single action revolver.

The Taurus Gaucho shares the legendary handling of a Colt Single Action Army, the accuracy and trigger pull of a custom tuned gun and the production values and quality of a 21st Century gunmaker with a breathtakingly reasonable price tag.

I've lived with this gun, a Sundance Blue/Color Case-Hardened framed .45 Colt 5 1/2-incher, for more than six months, and I like it more every time I handle it. It is fiercely accurate with Winchester .45 Colt Cowboy loads, and I LOVE the four clicks when you pull the big hammer back. The slightly tapered front sight and wide rear notch gives a perfect sight picture for fast and accurate cowboy shooting.

More importantly, the Gaucho has the undefinable feel of a bank vault, the sense that this is a substantial gun built for the long haul.

Here's the bottom line...I'm lucky enough to shoot lots of guns in the course of the year, a fact my shooting friends take ready advantage of when we're at the range. One of my secret, sneaky tests is to watch which guns my friends come back to and want to shoot more. The Gaucho wins that competition hands down. No matter whether they're cowboy, IPSC, three-gun or law enforcement shooters. I've invariably been asked if I had more ammo, "...for that new cowboy gun..."

My hat is off to Bob Morrison and the Boys from Brazil.

You got this one exactly right!

BTW, we'll be making a formal presentation to Taurus at SHOT.

Honorable mention goes to:
• Ruger Alaskan
• SIG Mosquito
• Para-Ordnance Warthog

The State of the Industry

My friends, it has been a spectacular year for handguns!

It seemed like every month we were presented with another amazing piece of hardware. And for the first time the industry was truly committed to filling all the various and sundry niches. S&W introduced not only another plastic gun, the M&P, but blue steel "retro revolvers" in .44 Special and .45 ACP, not to mention their harry-chested ultra-velocity .460. SIGARMS not only expanded their already impressive 226/228/229 "Classic" line, but added an equally impressive .22, the Mosquito, that looks all the world like a 226 that went through the dishwasher and shrank. Freedom Arms added a new .50 caliber, the .500 Wyoming Express...Ruger downsized the Vaquero, granted the wish of hundreds of shootists by reintroducing the .357 Blackhawk Flat-Top and shocked the shooting world by delivering the World's Greatest Big Game Back-Up Gun, the .480 Ruger Alaskan Redhawk snubby.

It practically rained 1911s — you can now get everything from a magnificent US Fire-Arms 1910 Commercial replica to duplicates of WW1 and WW2 warhorses — the Auto Ordnance WW2 Parkerized is exceptional — to multi-thousand dollar masterpieces of the pistolsmiths' art. You can get 'em little, like Para-Ordnance's Warthog, or big, as in .50 GI, from Guncrafter Industries. An old friend — Detonics — returned from the dead; companies like Nighthawk Custom continued narrowing the gap between production guns and full-house customs; Kimber continued its policy of introducing what seems like 100 (or 1000) new 1911 models a year, dominating 1911 sales with their new Desert Warrior series; SIGARMS overhauled their GSR series and began offering a Chinese menu selection of guns; S&W jumped into the void left by Colt to produce a GUNSITE 1911 Commander-sized gun with a lightweight Scandium frame; Springfield offered the TGO "Legend" model, which includes (for an extra fee, of course) having Rob Leatham actually move into your home for a week and cook for you...WHEW!

What am I leaving out? Glocks in green; HKs in beige; Rugers in red...any color is the new black! Taurus' 50 or 60 new models, including the sterling 9mm snubbie I-frame 905 revolver.

If you couldn't find the handgun of your dreams this year...you weren't looking hard enough!

15 comments:

Michael Bane said...

C'mon!!!

Comment!

Michael B

Mister G. said...

I was fondling a new Colt SAA at a local gun shop the other day and I think it might have been the most beautiful handgun I had ever seen. The metal polishing, bluing and fitting of the parts was outstanding. I've been trying to figure out how to raise the money to buy one ever since.
How do you think the Taurus Gaucho compares to a new Colt SAA?
In years past, I found that some Taurus double action revolvers had a problem with barrel leading. Have you seen any evidence of this in the Gaucho?

Michael Bane said...

I haven't seen any leading problem with the Gaucho, but keep in mind I've shot exclusively Cowboy loads in the thing. The bullet's not going very fast. I used to have to carve the lead out of my M29 with I shot hotted-up lead bullet loads in it, so I backed off a couple of hundred fps and it was like a miracle.

RE: Colt SAAs...my heavens they are beautiful things! There are few things on earth, with the possible exception of Sarah Michelle Geller, more beautiful than a case-hardened SAA.

But...but...but...but...but...

Expense (the same price can get you a semi-custom heirloom USFA single action from master refinisher Doug Turnbull); reliability (there's a reason that you don't see a lot of for-real Colts in heavy duty cowboy shooters hands); Colt's ham-handed ambivalance toward civilian shooters (we don't sell them little bitty Saturday Night Dick Specials anymore...)...

I'd give the Colt the edge over the Gaucho on finish, and hte Gaucho the edge on reliability, accuracy and shooting ergonomics.

Michael B

PS: Am negotiating a special short run of .44 Special Gauchos with a very high fit and finish. People be barking like seals for one of those babies, if I can pull it off!

Anonymous said...

I have two Gaucho stainless 4-3/4, 45 LC pistols. Let us know if you pull off the run on .44 special Gauchos.

I just recently got a customized Mernickle rig for them and have Raj Singh fixing me a couple of sambar grips.

I used to be a vaquero fan but the Gaucho sure is tops!

Anonymous said...

I found a Gaucho,4 3/4 polished stainless one two months ago. it was love at first sight.

Anonymous said...

I love mine too. Any chance of Taurus making a spare cylinder in .45ACP?

BTW if they come out in 44 Special I'm first in line.

Anonymous said...

I'd wanted a Uberti in the Old West finish but could only get one by ordering and at about $90 more than the Gaucho. I read several good reviews of the Taurus, so I ordered and bought it. (Gaucho 357, 5.5")
I had to ship it back for trigger replacement/repair, before the gun was ever fired!
I'm disappointed.
Besides needing repair on a new gun (took 5 weeks), I found the grips too small, and on top of that, the gun just doesn't "point" for me. I've changed grips to a nice old walnut set from a Colt and that helps, but not enough. It always points/shoots right, unless I make a very concerted effort to hold it in an awkward loose grip, pointing left (straight?).
I've always liked Taurus guns, but bottom line: I wish I'd bought the Uberti.
Mike

Anonymous said...

got mine yesterday and shot it today in a SASS shoot no misses gun done great.i have 2 vaqueros thinking of selling one to get another Gaucho.real impressed.with the 5 1/2/.

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MA Firearms Safety Course said...

There are varieties of guns but the main thing is that which gun is best suitable for you. I like Colt SAA because it is easy to handle and have perfect shooting range. I go for hunting with this gun.

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