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Old October 22, 2012, 12:26 AM   #1
BlackJackID
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Virginian Dragoon

Today got a good deal on a Interarms Virginian Dragoon. Can find some info on the night but wanted to know what you all think of them.

Mine is in .44 mag with adjustable sights and a 7 3/4 barrel. Blued and in GREAT condition. Its stamped "we the people 1776-1976" on the butt strap.

It seems like a good solid gun (though every so often the cylinder locks up for no apparent reason).

Can I use a full powered load in these?

ABout what is it worth? (I paid about 200 for mine, in trade)

And what are the general opinions on these?

Also, the rear sight "blade" is missing..anyone know where to get a suitable replacement?
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Old October 22, 2012, 02:33 AM   #2
Mayor Al
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$200 is a fine price...I recently sold a SS version in the box with original papers for $395. I have seen others going for 300+.

no idea where to get parts. Sorry
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Old October 22, 2012, 03:07 PM   #3
Bob Wright
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The Virginian Dragoon was intended to compete with the Ruger Super Blackhawk, and pretty well did that during its rather brief marketing span.

These guns were well made and strong. I have little experience with them, but remember their actions felt a little "mushy" compared to the Ruger's. Seemed to me to have a fraction of a second longer lock time that a Ruger. But, they still have a good reputation.

Bob Wright
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Old October 25, 2012, 10:23 AM   #4
jtb1967
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My uncle owned one years ago. It appeared to be a heavy built revolver, but the it wouldn't zero in. Several of us shot it from a bench and it shot way off at 25 yards.
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Old November 2, 2012, 11:25 PM   #5
sig220mw
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I had one in the 80s chambered in 45 colt and it shot well and was a good solid gun. I later traded it for a ruger bisley in the same caliber. If yours is chambered in 44 mag then it will handle any 44 mag ammo out there. If you handload for it just stay within the limits posted in the manuals.
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Old November 2, 2012, 11:39 PM   #6
DPris
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I couldn't get a long-barreled .44 Mag to zero, either. Between that & the shifting grip panels, I finally sold it.
Workmanship was nice.
Denis
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Old November 3, 2012, 12:37 PM   #7
savit260
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Mine seems to shoot o.k. First five shots fired off hand.

Action and trigger are quite nice for a factory unaltered gun... much nicer than my NM Blackhawk was from the factory.
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Old November 5, 2012, 05:33 AM   #8
kcub
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I've got a 10.5" SS coming. You know about the cylinder pin safety, right? One position keeps the hammer from hitting the firing pin, a much better design than Ruger's transfer bar which I have had lock the gun up by hanging under the firing pin.

here is the definitive article on the VA Dragoon:
http://www.singleactions.com/VADragoons.pdf
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Old November 5, 2012, 09:52 PM   #9
Bob Wright
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kcub writes:
Quote:
a much better design than Ruger's transfer bar which I have had lock the gun up by hanging under the firing pin.
If you're having that problem, either your base pin is jumping forward slightly, or the pin at the rear is too short. This pin holds the transfer bar up to clear the firing pin. And make sure the pin is extending far enough out of the base pin, not "sticky" from sludge.

Bob Wright
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:39 AM   #10
kcub
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I had that problem in 1976. Something was keeping the spring from pushing the firing pin out such that it would hang under the firing pin. If you pointed it straight up in the air gravity would allow you to cock it. Nothing that couldn't be fixed but it's just a poor design that violates the KISS principle and fixes something that was not broken to start with. I no longer have any new model Rugers and thus no longer have that problem to worry about. The lawyers can buy those I would have bought because I refuse to have it that way.
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Old November 6, 2012, 06:20 AM   #11
FloridaVeteran
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Belt Mountain makes great base pins. They make a couple of lengths, to address problems like this, and they also make an unusual one that has a set screw that fits into a small detent that you cut into the underside of the barrel. I didn't need that one but it looks very effective at keeping the base pin in exactly the right position. The additional advantage is that the pin doesn't roll when the gun is fired.

You'd want to send them all available information on your Dragoon along with a photo of your current base pin and its exact dimensions - length and diameter.
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Old November 6, 2012, 08:46 AM   #12
kcub
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Nobody is having a base pin problem.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:50 PM   #13
savit260
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Quote:
You know about the cylinder pin safety, right? One position keeps the hammer from hitting the firing pin, a much better design than Ruger's transfer bar which I have had lock the gun up by hanging under the firing pin.
Better exactly how? The only way a Ruger will do what you describe is if the cylinder pin is not all the way in, and locked in place.

The "Swiss Safety" isn't exactly user friendly if you needed to get it deactivated in a hurry.

The Virginain Dragoon should be handled like a traditional Colt style single action , or 3 screw (non transfer bar) Ruger, and have the hammer down on an empty chamber.

They are NOT to be carried with 6 like a New Model Ruger safely can be.
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Old November 7, 2012, 05:52 AM   #14
kcub
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Better in that you can ignore it without consequence. Agreed, the Virginian should be carried with an empty chamber under the hammer.

The Ruger new model base pin has a spring that pushes a tit on the end that pushes the transfer bar out of the way. THOUGH THE BASE PIN WAS IN THE CORRECT POSITION, the spring became stuck and the transfer bar was left just flopping around. It's really stupid lawyer engineering. The best fix is to buy something else in my opinion. Colt, USFA, and the Italians make it the original correct way. But, you have to be careful not to have a loaded chamber under the hammer. Load one, skip one, load four.
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Old November 8, 2012, 09:48 PM   #15
FloridaVeteran
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Load one, skip one, and load four ought to be taught to anyone who buys a gate-leading single-action revolver.
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Old November 9, 2012, 12:48 AM   #16
SIGSHR
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I have one in 44, well made and finished. Parts are extremely hard to find-look at Gun Parts Corp's listing. The article mentioned notes that there was a problem with some guns having oversized throats that led too poor accuracy.
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Old November 11, 2012, 12:04 AM   #17
silvermane_1
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heck today i saw a 44mag in 6in and a 41mag in 10.5 in @ local pawn/gun shop, the clerk said the some folks came in a thought that the .41mag was the Joker's gun from the Tim Burton Batman movie, but that
was a buntline wheelgun
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Ruger:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlin: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfeild:XD .357sig 4",CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63
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Old November 15, 2012, 03:58 PM   #18
Indiana lineman
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.44 cal Dragoon

I am having trouble getting mine to sight in. Probably a sight that doesn't belong on the gun is the issue. I was directed to High Standard to inquire for parts (I guess they own the name now), but they were no help at all. Just throwimg my experience out there for reference to anyone looking.
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Old November 25, 2012, 01:20 AM   #19
FloridaVeteran
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Indiana:

1. Is your sighting problem mostly left-right windage, or up-down elevation, or all-over-the-place?

2. Have you yet tried a decently wide variety of ammo in the gun?

If it were me, I'd try to narrow down these two variables, with written notes and targets, before seeking a repair. Sometimes a gun is terminally "broke." But in my experience that is uncommon and the problem is either in the sight adjustment, the ammo being used, or the "hold" and trigger pull of the shooter.

If you were to post here a photo of a typical target that you shot with this gun, uncorrected, you likely will receive some good advice about what to try next to correct the defect. Folks here don't laugh at you - they/we are here to help. It is the virtue of the forum.
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Old November 25, 2012, 09:41 AM   #20
gwalchmai
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I have a VD, 7.5" in .44 Mag. It shoots great, is strong as a Ruger, and I really like it. I think the lock time is measured in minutes, though...
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