When I started this blog I posted quite a few pieces on some of the guns I own and have used in a lifetime of being around shootin' arns and the folks who use them. But I haven't done that for a while and thought I would remedy that with a little ditty about tradition.
Despite all the modern and up-to-date handguns I own, and use, I still have a real soft spot in my heart, if not head as well, for the traditional single-action revolver. There is no doubt that a contemporary Ruger is a mechanically superior gun to the old-style five-shooter. Nevertheless, the classic Model P still has a lot going for it, even after 137 years. (The one illustrated is not, alas, original, but is so close that all parts interchange.)
For one thing, they are one of the safest revolvers around. Particularly for someone who works in rough environments. You can't get much safer than keeping the hammer (on which the old-style firing pin resides)down on an empty chamber. In that position, an accidental discharge is simply impossible, no matter how far you fall off that hinky horse or ATV. Even when cocked, the gun can still be kept safe by hooking your thumb over the hammer until you are ready to shoot or de-cock the piece.
The old Colt-pattern single-action is also smaller and lighter than the Ruger, and by quite a good bit. This makes for a slightly easier and more comfortable carry, especially on a wide, thick, soft leather belt. Plus, it just feels better in the hand. (Ruger's New Model Vaquero goes in the right direction but isn't there yet.)
My favorite caliber for a traditional SA is .45 Colt. That big, all-lead bullet does not need any fancy jackets or big hollow points to perform well. It's accurate, hits hard, and suits someone who likes old-style, traditional things instead of the latest, fastest, etc. They've sure served me well over the years.