The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 17, 2012, 08:40 PM   #1
Recondo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2012
Posts: 4
Which Ruger Vaquero Caliber?

I am looking at buying a Ruger Vaquero. I am stumped between the 357 Mag, or the 45 Long Colt. I like the 45 LC simply because of the nostalgia, but the 357 Mag seems more common. I have read on the internet that the 45 LC is the better choice. What to do???
Recondo is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:15 PM   #2
Walther22lr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2000
Location: Arizona Territory
Posts: 295
I have the .45 Colt version. It is a fun gun, but I do reload for it. That helps keep the cost down per shot.
I have shot the .357 version and it is a nice one too. If you don't reload, I'd go with the .357 version since you can shoot cheaper .38 Special ammo out of it too.
Walther22lr is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:19 PM   #3
Rob228
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2010
Location: Broomfield CO
Posts: 591
The .357 will save you a lot if you don't reload. I don't have a Vaquero, but I do have a Cimarron New Frontier .357 that is just pure fun.
Rob228 is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:20 PM   #4
Super Sneaky Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 9, 2011
Posts: 774
Get em both! That's what I did.

It sounds like you're new to these guns so start with the .357 then invest in a press.
__________________
anti-state, anti-war, pro-market
Super Sneaky Steve is offline  
Old December 17, 2012, 09:21 PM   #5
Cousin Pat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2009
Posts: 111
Vaquero caliber choice

I do cowboy action shooting: the 357 vaquero is a popular choice because of the low cost of 38specials that can be used and because the gun is so strongly built. 45C gets the big boom but it is very expensive unless you reload or buy reloads (as can be done via internet). As to nostalgia, I associate the 45C pretty strongly with Colt revolvers, not Rugers... so you might also consider a second-hand Colt if you want to go the 45C route... hope this helps...
Cousin Pat is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 08:49 AM   #6
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,535
Quote:
Get em both! That's what I did.
... I've got 2 spots on my wall for the 357 versions... the 45 Colt Vaquero Montados are my favorites ( I have a pair of consecutive serialed Montados in 45 Colt )... but don't have a single action 357 yet... I reload, so the 45 Colt is reasonable to shoot, I shoot CAS, & use a 45 Colt lever gun as well...

I have a 38 / 357 lever gun for MRS to use for CAS ( if she wants to ), & right now, a pair of 32 Mag Single Sixes... it's way more convienient shooting CAS with the same cartridge for both the rifle & the revolvers, so a pair of the 357 mags are definately in my future...

... & just to clairify, the Vaquero, is not "Ruger loads only" strong, those should be reserved for the Blackhawk / Super Blackhawks... the frame on the Vaqueros are sized the same as the old Colts, so I don't shoot "hot" 45 Colt loads... I've been told the 357 version, can handle a little more heat, because of the thicker cylinder walls with the smaller 357 chambers, but remember, the frame is still lighter / smaller than their Blackhawk brothers so keep that in mind, & avoid those "Ruger only" loads
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 08:57 AM   #7
Screwball
Member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2012
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 31
I just ordered a Convertible from Gallery of Guns... a 5.5 inch in stainless. Should be picking it up today.

Bought it mainly to give me the option to go with either .45 Colt or .45 ACP out of the same gun. They do make a .357 and 9mm Convertible, but not sure if in the Vaquero line.
Screwball is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 09:06 AM   #8
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,535
^^^ you'll like that gun... I love the polished stainless that Ruger does, IMO, it's the most user friendly finish they offer... easy to polish out any scratches, or holster wear... the stainless bead blasted finishes are nearly impossible for the owner to cover up a scratch, or holster blemish with a matching finish...

I've thought about having a 45 ACP cyinder done up for one or both of my Montados, as I have tons of ACP brass, & don't shoot the bottom feeders much anymore
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 11:43 AM   #9
davidaker
Member
 
Join Date: March 29, 2011
Posts: 19
I love my .45 LC but I also reload. A buddy of mine got one with the .45 ACP cylinder and rarely uses the .45LC option.
davidaker is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 02:14 PM   #10
chewie146
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 853
I'd go with .357 or .45 ACP. The .45 colt can't be pushed too hot in the new vaquero, and the 9mm doesn't have the same diameter bullet as the .357, so the accuracy can suffer in some vaqueros. .357 is what I have in the Blackhawk, and the versatility of the .38/.357 combo in one cylinder is priceless.
chewie146 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 04:03 PM   #11
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 881
Get the .45 Colt, .357 belongs in a D/A revolver.
pete2 is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 05:21 PM   #12
Jbar4Ranch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 1999
Location: Near Helena, Montana
Posts: 1,550
All other things being equal, I'd go with the .45.

The extra weight of the .357 just doesn't balance well for me.
__________________
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced...

SASS 47015
Jbar4Ranch is offline  
Old December 18, 2012, 05:28 PM   #13
rclark
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 12, 2009
Location: Butte, MT
Posts: 1,689
The reason (I think) for more .357/.38 New Vaqueros (and even the original Vaqueros) is three fold. 1) Ammo availability for non-reloaders, and 2) In CAS, there is the need for powder-puff loads for speed (pop pop pop pop ... pop). 3) cheaper to shoot. Also for some ladies, it is easier to handle.

I know which I would pick .... .45 Colt .... for a myriad of reasons.... But really it all depends on you and your needs/wants. For example, you plan on target shooting a lot, but don't reload, and don't have deep pockets, then the .357/.38 route is the way to go. If you are after traditional SA Old West type shooting, the .45 Colt is the way to go.... Think how you intend to use it.
__________________
A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.
rclark is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 12:30 PM   #14
Shotgun693
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2011
Location: Poteet, Texas
Posts: 959
Quote:
In CAS, there is the need for powder-puff loads for speed (pop pop pop pop ... pop)
I'm shooting a .45 Colt. 200 gr bullet at 940 fps. Mine don't go 'pop'. I had a spotter tell me that I made the targets sound like church bells.
Shotgun693 is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 02:02 PM   #15
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,535
I don't shoot the gamer class either my loads are mid level 250 grains from the load books...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 02:51 PM   #16
Guv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2012
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,085
Hum, 45LC? Does LC stand for "long cartridge"?
Guv is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 02:54 PM   #17
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,535
Long Colt
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 03:50 PM   #18
Jbar4Ranch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 19, 1999
Location: Near Helena, Montana
Posts: 1,550
If I want powder puff loads, I use a cast 143 grain round ball over a modest charge of Trail Boss, but there's nothing like shooting Gunfighter category with a full case of black powder and 250 grainers!

__________________
Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets replaced...

SASS 47015
Jbar4Ranch is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 06:52 PM   #19
bedbugbilly
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2009
Posts: 2,316
I have a NV blued 5 1/2" in .357 and I love it. I only shoot 38 spl though primarily due to cost - I don't reload at the moment but will be soon. I love it. Go with the caliber that YOU like! If you're not reloading, then consider the price of the ammo but if you do or are anticipate it in the future . . . then the ammo cost is not that much of a factor for you.
__________________
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
bedbugbilly is offline  
Old December 19, 2012, 07:32 PM   #20
TheFlash
Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2012
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 49
I have two (2) Vaqueros and both are in 45 Colt. (Also have a Blackhawk convertible in 45 Colt.)

While I don't reload and it can get a bit expensive, I chose the 45 Colt Vaqueros because they just balanced better.

I found that even with a 4 3/4"bbl in .357, the bore was smaller than the 45 Colt and therefore had thicker steel in the barrel. That made those Vaqueros feel quite muzzle heavy to me.

Compare the 'feel' of a 45 Colt Vaquero in either 4 3/4" or 5 1/2"bbl to the .357 and you'll see what I mean.
Feel the difference and then pick what you like best.

Regards,
Mike
TheFlash is offline  
Old December 21, 2012, 12:35 AM   #21
gak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2005
Location: Aridzona
Posts: 2,767
+1 .357 of you don't reload, .45. Colt if you do. Also +1, watch the barrel length on the .357 for that barrel-heavy aspect mentioned, depending on your use: Packing it on your hip as a trail companion vs predominatley range use. Anyway, lots of small holes in that chambering means lots of metal left over. Nothing you can do about the cylinder, so you're left with barrel choice as the only potential moderating factor.

I'm glad a few folks finally mentioned that it is the New Vaquero (large N) likely being discussed, and not the "old"/original/large frame "Vaquero." The latter can shoot virtually any .45 Colt load, just like the NM Blackhawk with which it shares its frame. Both New and "old" Vaquero can shoot virtually any .357 load, so the decision in either is weight, also mentioned. Most find the New Vaquero more than adequate for .357 and the larger "old" Vaquero overkill--or at least not necessary--heft wise.

Contributing to the mis-naming by folks and adding to the confusion for many - for some odd reason, for the past two or three years Ruger (with its distributors/vendors following suit) has been calling its New Vaquero line just Vaquero in its literature. (The limited distributor-only New Vaquero .44 Special is an additional oddity in having just "Vaquero" on its frame; all others to date say "New Vaquero" on them.) The use of Vaquero vs New Vaquero is supposed to denote large (BH/SBH) versus the smaller "mid" frame size shared among .357, .44 Sp and .45 Flattops and New Vaqueros, and other design/feature changes when the New Vaquero took over from the Vaquero ca 2005 or so.
gak is offline  
Old December 21, 2012, 01:32 AM   #22
ZVP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2009
Posts: 917
I bought a 4 5/8" .357 since I don't reload and have found both the CAS reduced velocity Winchesters nice to shoot as well as full power Remington 158 gr LRN fun!
As stated the NM Vaquero is a standard duty frame and those super heavy Blackhawk loads ate unsafe!!!
Standard. .357 loads can be shot all day thri a NM tho. The gun issas for standard .357s.
HTH.
ZVP
ZVP is offline  
Old December 21, 2012, 12:52 PM   #23
gak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2005
Location: Aridzona
Posts: 2,767
Magnumwheelman said:
"... & just to clairify, the Vaquero, is not "Ruger loads only" strong, those should be reserved for the Blackhawk / Super Blackhawks... the frame on the Vaqueros are sized the same as the old Colts, so I don't shoot "hot" 45 Colt loads.."

I think you meant the New Vaquero.is not "Ruger loads only" strong. The Vaquero is most certainly "Ruger only" strong for .45's as it is built on the same frame as the large BH/SBH.
gak is offline  
Old December 21, 2012, 02:21 PM   #24
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,829
Quote:
I am looking at buying a Ruger Vaquero.
Stop right there!

Any further discussion needs to know which Vaquero you are looking at.

Because there are two different "Vaqueros".

The Vaquero was made with the same size frame as the New Model Blackhawks (and Super Blackhawk). IT is a bigger, beefier gun than the Colt SAA and clones. It will handle Blackhawk "Ruger ONLY" loads in .45 Colt.

The New Vaquero (and it says "New Vaquero" on the frame) is the same size as the Colt SAA, and is NOT built to take the "Ruger ONLY" heavy .45 Colt loads! It has plenty of metal in it to handle full .357 Mag loads though.

So, knowing which gun you are looking at determines which options are eliminated, which is germane to which chambering is better for your intended use. Vaqueros have been out of production for some time, but there are lots out there still, some still new in the box.

A new production gun will be the New Vaquero.

If there is one thing I wish I could slap the guys at Ruger for, its the naming policy for these guns. Even though the guns say on them either "Vaquero" or "New Vaquero" is it very difficult in conversation to tell which one you are talking about.

To make matters even worse, some people refer to the original Vaquero as the "old model". And the term "old model" is used by collectors/shooters (not Ruger) to refer to all the Ruger SA's with the pre-1973 lockwork (no transfer bar). There are no Vaqueros (of any kind) with this lockwork.

SO, which one is the one you are looking at buying?
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old December 21, 2012, 07:27 PM   #25
colbad
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 3, 2012
Posts: 344
I went with .357 for mine. Ammo much cheaper than .45
colbad is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15125 seconds with 9 queries