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Old January 17, 2013, 11:12 PM   #1
ZOOM2X
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Ruger New Vaquero 45LC

What loads (powder & bullet) are recommended for this pistol. I've seem some posts that indicate the Ruger is different from other 45s. Is that true? If yes, then what's the difference?
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Old January 18, 2013, 12:14 AM   #2
jmortimer
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You are good to 20k psi not the "Ruger Only" loads and more than SAAMI spec of 14k psi. You are limited by a shorter cylinder to about 280 grain max bullets. A really good bullet/powder combo would be a 255 grain SWC with about 9.5 grains of Unique.
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Old January 18, 2013, 08:54 AM   #3
reloader28
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The "New Vaquero" is nothing like the old "Vaquero".
If you have an old Vaquero you can load it up every bit as hot as a full power 44mag.

If you know what your doing and watch for pressure you will still be able to work up some hotter loads with slow powders. Way hotter than you will find in the books.

Last edited by reloader28; January 18, 2013 at 09:00 AM.
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Old January 18, 2013, 09:42 AM   #4
jmortimer
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"If you have an old Vaquero you can load it up every bit as hot as a full power 44mag."

No, not really. You can get close to .44 mag but the .44 mag has the edge. .45 Colt can use larger bullet and operates at lower pressure and for me is the best of all revolver cartridges. You can load it hot enough to kill anything on earth. Back to the New Vaquero, it has better tolerances than the Old model and is a sweet gun. Handloader Magazine has some specific loads for the New Model, and it is no slouch. I have had both New and Old .45 Colt Vaqueros and for sure the new Vaquero is the better gun. For me, the Blackhawk is the way to go in .45 Colt.
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Old January 18, 2013, 09:58 AM   #5
rodfac
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If you stay away from the oft mentioned "Ruger Only" loads which some have used to approach .44 Magnum performance, you can load anything that a Colt SAA will handle...which is considerable. Oft stated here and elsewhere, if you want a .44 Magnum, then buy one....the .45 Colt all on its own, and for over 100 years too, is no slouch for power in normal loadings, and the New Vaquero will handle it just fine.

However, you might find that the cylinder throats are too tight to handle cast bullets with good accuracy. (My NV had undersized throats.) A trip to cylindersmith cured that problem and I now have a gun that will shoot sub 2" gps at 25 yds with lead alloy slugs. BTW, it shot good groups with jacketed bullets before I had the smith open the throats to .4525". HTH's Rod
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Old January 18, 2013, 10:41 AM   #6
Ifishsum
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250-255 gr lead bullet and 8.5gr of Unique (std LPP) is my regular load for .45 colt. All day every day, accurate and comfortable but still pretty much full power.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:05 AM   #7
rclark
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Again some reading is in order as not to repeat :

Gunblast New Vaquero
Gunblast New Vaquero Revisited

Brian Pearce PDF on loads for the mediam frame New Vaquero :

Brian Pearce .45 Colt PDF

Should give you some good ideas on what you have and some loads.

I've used a lot of different combinations of powder and bullets. My current goto load is 7.0g of Green Dot under 250g RNFP. My heavier load is 13g of HS-6 under 255g SWC.
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Old January 18, 2013, 01:20 PM   #8
ZOOM2X
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OK. Thanks. I now understand "Ruger Only" to mean powerful loads for only the 1973 and later Ruger Blackhawk and the now "old" Vaquero and I can't use these loads in my New Vaquero. I like Gunblast. Good articles. I appreciate your sharing of your favorite loads. Chocolate or vanilla, lemon or lime. Everyone has a favorite!
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