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Old January 5, 2013, 11:19 PM   #1
TennJed
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New Vaquero vs Blackhawk (strength)

I have owned many Blackhawks and "Old" model Vaqueros. I am really wanting a New Model Vaquero in 357. I know it is a smaller frame, but should I expect it to last generations and 1000s of rounds, like I would the other Ruger SA? I would not abuse it, but I woould like it to have at least close to the same life span as the others.
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:24 PM   #2
Super Sneaky Steve
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The New Vaquero in .357 has a lot of extra meat on it. The cylinder is thicker than my GP100 and the barrel is thicker too.

It's the exact same size as the .45's but with smaller holes trilled into it.

Think of it like an N frame .357.

The short answer is yes. It will last you a very long time.
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Old January 5, 2013, 11:25 PM   #3
TennJed
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Thanks,
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Old January 6, 2013, 05:33 PM   #4
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What Super Sneaky Steve said. It'll like shoot what you can for a very long time.
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Old January 6, 2013, 06:21 PM   #5
PetahW
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It's only the .44 Special & .45 Colt chambered New Vaquero & FlatTop Blackhawks with the smaller, old-model size frame, that cannot take "Ruger only " loads (they can take only Colt SAA level loads).



.
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Old January 6, 2013, 09:15 PM   #6
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PW

That is not true about the 44 small frame Rugers. Brian Pearce has written extensively on both calibers. His loads run to 25,000psi in 44 Special. I have used one of his 44 Special loads, in my 44 Bisley, of 17.0 gr of 2400 under a 240 JSP and the cases fall out of the cylinder. Normal pressure signs and measurements. I have a large frame 45 Bisley, but I would be very comfortable using his 21,000psi loads in a 45 small frame.
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Old January 6, 2013, 10:10 PM   #7
Bob Wright
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This is my old Ruger Blackhawk three-screw Flat Top .357 Magnum. It is built on the original Ruger MR frame, same as the new flat top Blackhawks and Vaqueros.



I bought it in 1958, which means I will soon have had it fifty five years. By my log book, it stands at just
over 17,000 rounds fired through it. Mostly 158 gr. and 173 gr. bullets backed by stout doses of #2400 powder.

I think that should answer your question.


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Old January 7, 2013, 02:45 AM   #8
Jim March
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The NewVaq357 is not at ALL weak. It still rates as one of the strongest 357s made. The action parts (bolt, pawl, cylinder ratchet, base pin, hammer, etc.) are the same strength as the large-frame Ruger SAs. The transfer bar is actually beefed up for the high round counts the SASS/CAS guys were doing.

The cylinder is beefier in all directions over a GP100 or S&W L-frame, neither of which are wimps.

Some people have successfully re-chambered the NewVaq357s to 41Magnum six-shooters just by reaming the factory 357 cylinder and swapping barrels. There are also functional 44Magnum conversions out there with custom 5-shot cylinders and they hold up just fine.
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Old January 7, 2013, 09:44 AM   #9
gak
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What Jim said. My .357 Montado (which is mostly just a short barreled New Vaquero) is a surprising tank, and I would have no qualms whatsoever converting my 5.5" to a .41 Magnum. "Wallyworld" ammo availability aside, there are good arguments to be made if you could only have one single action to cover virtually all anticipated needs south of the 40th-or-so parallel, a midframe .41M might be it. Have actually contemplated it, but already owning a .44 Mag Vaquero instead am looking to make a .38-40/.40/10mm convertible out of it "just because."

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Old January 7, 2013, 02:26 PM   #10
Bob Wright
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Quote:
gak said......... instead am looking to make a .38-40/.40/10mm convertible out of it "just because."
I've heard of these, never done one myself, but sounds tempting. But wouldn't a .40 and 10mm require different cylinders? The two case lengths are different, and both headspace on the case mouth.

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Old January 7, 2013, 02:51 PM   #11
gak
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Bob Wright said:
" gak said......... instead am looking to make a .38-40/.40/10mm convertible out of it "just because." I've heard of these, never done one myself, but sounds tempting. But wouldn't a .40 and 10mm require different cylinders? The two case lengths are different, and both headspace on the case mouth."

Yes I do believe it would require 3 cylinders. It's remained a wish-for gun and likely will for awhile yet, but it's on my bucket list. I figure on a "triple threat"--new BP chamfered .38-40 cylinder, regular Ruger NV (modest chamfer) .40--so reaming out the stock .357 for that might make sense--and a new fluteless 10mm, just to be cute about it...and make for quick differentiation between cylinders. Not necessarily a cheap conversion (the 10mm part was an add on to my original convertible idea and not critical, so could be down the line if needed).

Last edited by gak; January 7, 2013 at 03:00 PM.
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Old January 7, 2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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gak,

I really like the way you think!

But between the .40 and 10mm, I'd sure rather have the 10mm first, maybe not even consider the little .40.

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Old January 7, 2013, 04:42 PM   #13
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Dang Bob, I would love to have a Ruger like that. B-E-A-UTIFUL!
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Old January 7, 2013, 05:38 PM   #14
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Bob, I thought of that too (10mm first) but the .40's useful for cheap(er) plinking/target. Think .38 Sp. Truth of the matter is, if I'm (able to be) in that deep into a Bowen/Clements/Harton project, I'd probably spring for the third cylinder anyway, whatever cal it is!...and probably won't "go there" unless I can embellish things how I want them (since this is a highly discretionary idea to begin with!). Starting with a few requisite cylinder blanks from Bowen, etc, my local 'smith is more than capable of most of this, including one of the best tuners around--and if smart I could save a bundle there, and I may pursue to get the budget down--but usually doesn't get into "fine finishing" aspects, re-bluing, etc, and I'd like original new roll markings, a Bowen (Turnbull) or Harton "CCH" etc. I'd rather not be farming this around to two or three to get it done right. So, I my be waiting for awhile yet!
Added - also since I'd be leaving the stock .357 cylinder largely alone (with its mild factory NV chamfer) it'd be the cheapest to just ream out for the .40 S&W, given that I'd like the 10mm fluteless (= custom cyl) just for grins, so might as well go ahead and do the .40.
..And did I say, I shoot .40 already anyway?

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