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Old November 12, 2012, 12:08 PM   #1
StukaJU87
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Went to gun show, something followed me home ;)

So my wife tells me Friday there's a gun show this weekend where we live and wanted to know if I wanted to go or not. I told her no, that I was done with them for awhile. She said ok and that was that. Then Sunday rolls around and we're out driving around and she asks me: "You sure you don't want to go?" So I thought ah why not? I have a few items still on my gun show list I haven't been able to find yet, parts and reloading supplies, nothing big.

So I'm walking around, nothing's catching my eye. Then I see a guy selling a matching set of beat up blued Ruger Vaquero's. I thought to myself, I have been thinking about getting a Ruger to replace my 1st gen Colt SAA and I remember my fater-in-law knows more about them then me. So I give him a call to see what he thinks.

As we're talking, he tells me: "just look for a used SS 5.5", wouldn't you know it, the second he tells me that, I see a SS New Vaquero sitting on the end of the table, right in front of me. It seemed like fate so I asked my wife as a formality, cuz at this point I was pretty much sold. I got the green light and $525 latter I am the proud owner of a "like new" 2009 SS Ruger New Vaquero chambered in 45 Colt. Don't know if was a good deal or not but it was what I wanted and new ones around me range about $650 - $700. So all in all I think I did ok.

This is my first Ruger, is there anything I should know? Also, I've heard there's a difference in frame strength between the "old" Vaquero and the "new" vaquero. I went with the "new" because I wanted as close to my Colt as I could get and I plan on using the same loads I had been using with my Colt 1st gen, so I don't think the smaller frame will be an issue for me. I don't shoot +p ammo so I should be fine.

Any advice/tips from Ruger owners would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 12, 2012, 03:08 PM   #2
ljnowell
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Your new model vaquero is safe with any SAAMI spec load. Many people who handload will tell you that they are actually safe to 45acp levels, which is higher than 45 colt. I believe this to be true, myself, and see no reason to suspect it isnt. The gun is offered in a convertible so the frame isnt any issue, they are both 45 holes in the cylinder, so it shouldnt be an issue.

With that said, if it were me, stick to the loads you were shooting in your colt and be happy. If you want to hotrod get an Old model vaquero or a blackhawk.
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Old November 12, 2012, 04:01 PM   #3
DaleA
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Here's a link to some more information:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...hlight=vaquero

And IMhO you did good...I mean a Ruger single action .45 Colt? What's not to like?

I think the only thing you could have done better would have been to buy the two Vaquero pistols that originally caught your eye and give them a good home too. I just have an irrational urge to buy single action revolvers in pairs. But I realize you have to stop somewhere.

And compliments to your wife!

Last edited by DaleA; November 12, 2012 at 04:10 PM. Reason: add 'you did good'
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Old November 12, 2012, 05:57 PM   #4
Winchester_73
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Quote:
Many people who handload will tell you that they are actually safe to 45acp levels, which is higher than 45 colt.
Ummm can you explain that? 45 colt can be handloaded to 44 magnum levels. I don't know of a 45 acp load that duplicates 44 magnum pressures?
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Old November 12, 2012, 06:51 PM   #5
rclark
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Quote:
Ummm can you explain that?
In the 'medium' (repeat 'medium') frame New Vaquero and the .45 convertible flattop, both the .45 Colt and .45 ACP can be used in those revolvers. Therefore we would set the max pressure for these revolvers to ACP levels (23,000psi) . NO, NOTTA, NO way, shall any Ruger Only Loads find their way into these medium framed revolvers. Only the 'large' (repeat 'large') framed Blackhawk .45 Colt revolver and original Vaquero can handle the 30,000psi Ruger Only Loads which get you into Magnum territory. Talking Single Actions here as the (Super) Redhawks can also handle ROLs.

Hope that helps!

Here is an PDF of an article written by Brian Pearce that explains more about Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 loads (before the convertibles were released by Lipseys) :

http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazin...246partial.pdf

Quote:
is there anything I should know?
Go out and shoot it . All you need to know . You might find the SS sights a pain in the sunlight but that is all I can think of. Have fun!

Oh yeah, there is one thing. After shooting for a while and you just can't seem to get good groups and it may be leading.... Check the cylinder throats. Ruger is notorious for under sized throats. They should be .452 . In my original Vaquero, my groups went from 6" to 3" after I reamed them out. The New Vaqueros are said to be better so you might not need it. Just a heads up!
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Last edited by rclark; November 12, 2012 at 07:11 PM.
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Old November 12, 2012, 07:30 PM   #6
Winchester_73
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So in other words, ljnowell was referring to 45 colt (sub 45 acp pressure loads) being safe and then he was saying that perhaps, the gun could handle 45 acp pressure? I can understand that, but by the way he wrote it, I took it mean that he is inferring a 45 acp to be more powerful than 45 colt, which we know is not the case, unless you dumb down 45 colt a ways. Thanks for the explanation.
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Old November 12, 2012, 10:14 PM   #7
StukaJU87
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Quote:
I think the only thing you could have done better would have been to buy the two Vaquero pistols that originally caught your eye and give them a good home too. I just have an irrational urge to buy single action revolvers in pairs. But I realize you have to stop somewhere.
The guy wanted $890, out the door, for the pair. I really thought about it but their condition was too bad for my tastes. Plus I have no use for +p loads, so for me, the SS was the way to go. We all have our quirks. Lol
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Old November 13, 2012, 05:58 PM   #8
ljnowell
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Quote:
Ummm can you explain that? 45 colt can be handloaded to 44 magnum levels. I don't know of a 45 acp load that duplicates 44 magnum pressures?
Thats the kind of thinking that gets good firearms blown up. 45 colt can only be loaded to those levels in firearms that can handle it.

Load up 44mag level 45 colt loads and shoot them in a Colt SAA, let me know how that works out for you. The New Model Vaquero is NOT BUILT to handle those loads. It is, however, built to handle 45 acp loads which are warmer than SAAMI spec'd 45 colt by a good margin.

Quote:
So in other words, ljnowell was referring to 45 colt (sub 45 acp pressure loads) being safe and then he was saying that perhaps, the gun could handle 45 acp pressure? I can understand that, but by the way he wrote it, I took it mean that he is inferring a 45 acp to be more powerful than 45 colt, which we know is not the case, unless you dumb down 45 colt a ways. Thanks for the explanation.
45 colt is most definately lower pressure than 45acp, no matter what you want to believe. Look at SAAMI spec for it. You are not "dumbing down" 45 colt to make it have less pressure than 45acp. You are in fact "over loading" it to make it equal or greater pressure.
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Old November 13, 2012, 06:06 PM   #9
laytonj1
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Quote:
I took it mean that he is inferring a 45 acp to be more powerful than 45 colt
SAAMI specs for the ACP is 21K, for the 45 Colt it's 14K.

Jim
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Old November 14, 2012, 06:43 PM   #10
StukaJU87
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Finally got around to taking some pics. Don't be too mean, they didn't turn out as good as I had hoped.
First: Ruger New Vaquero

Second: Ruger New Vaquero and Colt SAA

After comparing them side-by-side, I couldn't be happier. While there are quite a few differences between the two, the Ruger is really nice Colt clone.
Almost forgot the most important thing, it's just as much fun to shot as the Colt. lol
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