Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Review: Beretta Stampede .45LC

Who says product cannibalism is a bad thing? It sure works out for consumers when it's time to liquidate redundant stock! Case in point are these Beretta Stampedes we just picked up at closeout prices: $70 off of dealer cost-- only $448!

After watching Appaloosa a few weekends ago, I grew a wild hair up you know where and began hunting for cowboy action guns and a pistolero rig. I handled dozens of different makes and models at the Shot Show and decided that Uberti, Colt, and the new Italian models from Puma were the best of breed. From birdshead to Bisley, case hardened to bright nickel, walnut to ivory-- the options are overwhelming. Then, I stumbled upon the Beretta Stampede.

Not unlike the Vaqueros by Ruger-- Beretta/Uberti incorporated a transfer bar so you can "safely" load all six chambers. You won't be doing this in any matches, but it's nice to have the option. The Stampede is made by Uberti in Italy and Beretta, of course, owns Uberti. Hence, there was no need to manufacturer two similar models under the same company umbrella.

In typical cowboy fashion, the Stampede arrived in a brown cardboard box with brown paper sleeve. As soon as you open the box, the gleam of bright stainless steel shines through. This model features a 5.5in barrel and is chambered in .45LC. You can also shoot .45 Schofield and other cowboy loads if you want, so it's a versatile platform for the sport. The trigger is very light and requires your full attention, lest ye be fond of 45cal holes. The hard black rubber grips are lack-lustre and quite slippery, so these will be one of the first accessories to upgrade.

At the range, I had no problem removing the center of a target at 10-yards. That was with a two hand grip. However, my confidence got the best of me. When, I switched to shooting one-handed, I missed the target so far to the left that I struck a wooden support column-- removing several large chunks of wood and littering the range with splinters. Oops! The RO on duty told me he'd pretend he didn't see that. Apparently, watching a western movie for two hours doesn't provide adequate training for accurate one-handed pistolero shooting!

So, if you're ready to "cowboy up," the Stampedes by Beretta/Uberti are a tremendous value. That's all for now. Have a good one and God bless.

-- Evan

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