View Full Version : Ruger SASS vaquero 357 revolver

June 2, 2010, 03:36 PM
Thinking of buying a pair & I am looking for comment from anyone who owns one. Also how do they go for accuracy? :)

June 3, 2010, 05:01 PM
I have the similar Montado. The new mechanism is nice, in my view, because it indexes your cylinder properly for ejection of the spents. The polished stainless models are very smooth right out of the box and they look just great. Mine does not shoot left or right of aim (thank goodness) but of course it's all over on the vertical depending upon what weight bullet and load you're shooting. I love the Bisley-type hammer. I do NOT like the grips at all, but that was not a problem and I replaced mine with a nice set from Pvt. Shultz (eBay, Google etc.).

In .45 my Montado is not balanced well, very much like a Marshall's or Sheriff's model from other makers, and while the .38 version would balance better I think that the SASS length barrel will be really nice.

I can't comment on accuracy vs. other single actions.


June 3, 2010, 11:51 PM
Thanks olyinaz I'm just getting into Cowboy Shooting & hoping to get the best I can for the money & the Ruger's look very good to me.:)

June 4, 2010, 04:44 AM
Don't think the montado is legal for anything but mounted matches.

June 6, 2010, 12:48 PM
IIRC they changed that rule right around the time Ruger released the SASS matched pairs for sale. I'm sure a PURE coincidence.

I would say just buy 2 regular SS New Vaqueros for less money. The only difference only noticeable difference is the hammers. The longhorn style are more authentic to the old SAA guns. You can buy SBH hammers online and change them yourself.

The lower hammer spurs are really only an advantage in shooting with one hand. IMHO you can't go wrong with whichever NV you pick.

My vote and money went to the regular SS NV in 357.

Magnum Wheel Man
June 9, 2010, 06:57 AM
I thought the new SASS 357 had the grooves from the grip frame removed to make them SASS legal, while the Montado ( I have a pair of consecutive serialed Montados in 45 Colt ) had the grooves machined into the grip frame... also thought the SASS model 357 had a touch longer barrel & ejector rod... my Montados will not fully eject the 45 Colt cases, if the gun is not pointing upwards, & thought they fixed that with the SASS 357 by using a touch longer barrel & ejector rod ??? BTW... I just shoot for fun... so I'm not sure of any formal rules 1st hand...

one thing to look for with these, if accuracy is what you are after, is my cylinder throats were tighter than the bore on both of my Montados, & I had to have them opened up a little... doing this helps with accuracy, & can cut down on barrel leading

June 10, 2010, 01:06 AM
I think you're right on all counts Wheel Man but I also think that the new Montados have a smooth grip frame.


gun nut
June 10, 2010, 07:13 AM
I have a couple of vaqueros (45 colt) and they're great shooting guns. One is the old model the other is the new model. The new model is much lighter and quicker. I've put many more rounds through the old one and am more accurate with it. It has great accuracy. You wont be disappointed with them.

Crunchy Frog
June 13, 2010, 09:39 PM
I bought a pair from Longhunter; he opened the forcing cones to 11 degrees, slicked up the works and installed spring kits. Many SASS shooters end up sending their guns away for modification; this saved me some shipping.

They were about $100 more than a pair of standard stainless New Model Vaqueros. If you like the lower Mondato-style hammers, I'd go with the SASS Edition, no question. You also get the wider rear sight channels on the SASS Edition guns (plus the matching serial numbers, special grips, etc.).

Some shooters like the higher standard spur for two handed shooting. I like the low hammers just fine.

Right now the SASS Edition guns come in one configuration: Stainless finish, .357 caliber, 4.75 inch barrel. I think that is a great setup for CAS but if you prefer blue steel, different chambering or a longer barrel, you have to go with the standard NMV.

Accuracy on my guns seems very good so far. They are spot on windage-wise. The loads I have tried (light bullets) have printed a little low. On paper targets I hold a bit high. In matches, well, have you seen the size of the targets we shoot in SASS matches?!

Overall I am very pleased with my SASS Edition New Vaqueros.

June 14, 2010, 12:00 AM
Are you sure the SASS aren't available in 45LC?

Jim March
June 18, 2010, 06:34 AM
The SASS Special NewVaqs are simply standard 4.68" barrel NewVaqs with Montado hammers grafted on, now that Montado/SuperBlackhawk-type hammers (or roughly equivalent from other vendors) are legal.

Early Montados are still not legal for SASS unmounted shooting as they have grooves in the grip frame. They could be sanded down I guess or filled in with epoxy as a temporary remedy. Later Montados have standard grip frames and are legal in all classes.

NewVaqs and Montados tend to shoot very well. The NewVaq was the first Ruger SA made with the new cylinder boring process where all six chambers are done with the same bit/reamer set in sequence instead of all-at-once. The rest of Ruger's SA wheelguns and I think the DAs too have now migrated to the new process, which means better uniformity between bores. When they came out, the NewVaqs were able to outshoot all other Ruger wheelguns on average, out of the box. The rest have caught up :).

In 357, a NewVaq cylinder is beefier in all directions than a GP100's cylinder. You can run some very hot loads through a NewVaq or Montado 357, and in large quantities. It's not as unGodly-strong as the large-frame 357s built on a 44Magnum-class platform, but they're not "weak" either.

I've had my NewVaq357 since 2005, and very quickly installed a SuperBlackHawk hammer, which I prefer over the Montado pattern. The SBH hammer thumbpad's horizontal grooves let me slip my strong-side thumb slip sideways off the pad at the end of the cocking stroke. I'm sure the Montado wouldn't be bad, but the SBH hammer really feels right.

I had a chance to compare the "hammer reach" between my gun and some real Colts. Turns out Ruger must have been immitating the hammer reach of the post-WW2 Colts as that has a longer reach than my gun. Mine (with SBH hammer) matched almost perfectly the reach of a pre-WW2 1st gen Colt SAA; I was able to compare with three of those and they all matched up to mine within a millimeter or two tops. I was more than pleased with that discovery.

So: while the SASS special or Montado don't look quite "period correct", it turns out that on a purely functional level, they'll feel damn near exactly like something Wyatt Earp and them guys would have carried and shot back in the day...and it's the post-WW2 Colt SAAs that are actually more "fake" in terms of feel and shooting skills needed. I think it's these abnormally high-rise hammers that led to the rise of off-hand-cocking in SASS/CAS which in terms of both period-correct skills and gunfight survival is an abomination. This is yet more evidence (if any was needed) that SASS's rulebook has for years put "period correct looks" over actual effective use of SA wheelguns and leverguns.

June 20, 2010, 08:30 PM
The lower hammer is easier to shoot one handed but I still prefer the regular one because I can get a higher grip without getting pinched. Plus you have better control with two hands.