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Old July 16, 2012, 08:25 PM   #1
ZVP
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Heavy lead bullets in New Model Vaquero

I have a 4 5/8" (I bought the short barrel just because I liked the look of it) Stainless .357 New Model Vaquero and have found that shooting fairly stout .38 Special158gr RN Lead reloaded bullets shoot as accurate as heavy FMJ .357 factory loads through the revolver!
When I bought the revolver new, I was told that the New Model Vaqueros favored full-house Factory .Jacketed .357's and that the best preformance comes from them.
It appears that fast lead .38's work also! Groups are the best with higher powered .38 Loads. I have yet to try +P or +P+ thru it .
Have any of you Vaquero owners experienced similar results?
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Old July 17, 2012, 04:21 AM   #2
Lawdawg45
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I was under the impression that the new models weren't rated for +P+.

LD
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Old July 17, 2012, 07:53 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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Balderdash.

This is a .357 MAGNUM, no .38 Special +p, +p+, or +p++ will bother it in the slightest.

There is all manner of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth because the New Vaquero and New Flattops are of the old just slightly beefed up Colt size and the .45s should not be magnumized like you can with an original Vaquero or New Model Blackhawk. I don't miss the opportunity, a 250 at 1000 fps is plenty and if it were not, I have a .44 Magnum.

But that does not even apply to ZVPs .357.
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Old July 17, 2012, 08:21 AM   #4
Salmoneye
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.357 Magnum chambered New Vaquero's are designed to accept any ammunition that conforms to SAAMI .357 Magnum specifications or under...

What they are NOT designed to do is take 'Ruger Only' loads that are listed in some manuals...
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Old July 17, 2012, 09:50 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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Which manual has "Ruger only" .357 Magnum loads?

I know the FA .357 is routinely overloaded but have not heard of actual published data for Rugers.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:19 AM   #6
Salmoneye
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Quote:
Which manual has "Ruger only" .357 Magnum loads?
None that I know of...

lol

I could have chosen my wording better by separating the two thoughts more succinctly...I was referring to the .45 Long Colt 'Ruger and T/C Only' loads I have in my Hornady #4, and thinking 'Vaquero' calibers when I wrote what I did...

There IS however a bunch of .357 'data' on the net (and elsewhere) from the bygone era of the older SAAMI specs that is still readily available...The 2400/Keith loads come to mind...Most of it should be avoided with the Vaquero...

Sorry for any confusion...
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Old July 17, 2012, 11:51 AM   #7
Master Blaster 2
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I wonder if you could blow one up by really loading up a high pressure round? or maybe you cant with a 38 or 357?
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Old July 17, 2012, 12:25 PM   #8
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It would take a lot to blow one up I think. The SAMMI pressures of a .44Mag and .357 are about the same. Now look at the cylinder wall thickness between the two rounds.... Not that I would go there (I like .38 and .44Spec levels) .... Just say'n .

I only shoot lead in my 50th .357 medium frame revolver. You don't need speed to get accurate loads.... just find the right combination of bullet/primer/powder for your revolver .
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Old July 17, 2012, 12:26 PM   #9
newfrontier45
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You really can't get enough slow burning powder in the .357 case to hurt the New Vaquero, or a Colt SAA, or replica for that matter.
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Old July 18, 2012, 09:49 AM   #10
ZVP
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I don't recommend shooting maximum pressure reloads in the Vaquero. Maximum factory .357 loads shouldn't hurt the revolver as it was designed to handle them along with .38Special "+or ++" loads.
The .357 Vaquero has massively thick cylinder walls and I'd feel comfortable using full power factory loads.
The "Ruger only" loads were intendedfor use in the massive Bkackhawk and Super Blackhawk frames. New Vaquero frames are smaller to emulate the old Colt Peacemaker and isn't as strong as the old Blackhawk.
A company called HSM sells a 180gr .357 Mag "Bear Load" and I'd avoid it with my New Vaquero just for safety reasons. I doubt they produce it with over pressure levels but why chance harming such a fine revolver? If I were in Bear Country I'd carry full power,.357 Magnum 158gr solids in the NM Vaquero to ensure penetration andgood shock levels.
For general purpose shooting and CAS, Factory Winchester .38 Special158gr, RNFP 250fp loads are more than adequate.
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Old July 18, 2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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In the .45 Colt new Vaquero you are limited to about 280 grains max bullet weight due to shorter cylinder. I assume that is not an issue for for the .357 so I guess you could shoot the 210 grain LFN.
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Old July 18, 2012, 10:43 AM   #12
newfrontier45
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"Ruger only" is "only" applicable to the .45Colt. Period. So there's really no reason at all to bring it up in this discussion.

There are no strength concerns whatsoever in the .357 New Vaquero. Period.

To keep things straight, it's Vaquero (large frame) and New Vaquero (medium frame). No further descriptors are necessary.
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Old July 18, 2012, 04:18 PM   #13
Jim March
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The NewVaq357 cylinder is beefier in all directions than the cylinders in a GP100 or S&W L-frame. Longer, wider and more metal between chambers.

A NewVaq357 still qualifies as one of the toughest 357Mag guns ever made. Possibly the equal of the S&W N-frame six-shot 357s; the cylinder may be a tad smaller than the classic 27/28 series but I suspect the heat-treat is better and I know for a fact the action parts are stronger (pawl, bolt stop, ratchet, etc.). (Stronger action parts don't equal "won't blow up as easy" but they do affect wear under stress.)
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Old July 18, 2012, 05:32 PM   #14
newfrontier45
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Yep!
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Old July 18, 2012, 07:19 PM   #15
Crunchy Frog
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So the New Vaqs are the toughest, strongest of the .357 revolvers I own.

And I use them to shoot the mildest loads I've ever worked up (105 grain .38 Specials).

I have noticed that the guns shoot to point of aim with 158 grain bullets. With the lighter bullets...where did I put that file?
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