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Old July 31, 2012, 01:59 PM   #26
Jim Watson
Senior Member
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 14,155
I guess when the website said "Ruger only" loads, it means any Ruger,

A little history. The original Ruger Blackhawk .357 was on a frame very close to a Colt SAA somewhat beefed up. The Blackhawk .44 and then Super Blackhawk were bigger. Elmer Keith tells the tale.

The .45 Blackhawks were on the .44 frame and cylinder size.
It got to be commonly done to overload .45 Colt Blackhawks to the point that the manuals started showing Ruger Only loads.

When the New Model Blackhawks (and Super BH) came out, they just put them all on the .44 frame, which makes for a very stout .357 and still very strong .45s and the Ruger Only loads continued.

When the (first, old, original, just plain...) Vaquero came out, it was also on the .44 frame and the .45s continued to be routinely overloaded with the Ruger Only stuff.

But then the Cowboys and 1950s traditionalists were noticed by Ruger and they brought out the New Vaquero and a series of new make flattop Blackhawks in the old size close to a real Colt. The .45s in those models are NOT recommended for the Ruger Only overloads devised for the heavier and stronger .44 frame guns.

So the Internet Ballistics Experts are now quick to post that you should not put Ruger Only loads in a New Vaquero or the new flattop Blackhawk .45.
They are so passonate about it, you would think that Ruger is making wrought iron black powder 1873s. But the fact is that the New Vaquero will handle any SAAMI spec .45 Colt load and a bit more. Buffalo Bore sells a SAAMI compliant .45 Colt with 255 gr bullet at 1000 fps 5.5". Brian Pearce at Handloader Magazine delights in big loads that a Colt, USFA, or NV will handle. Even Lyman will get you to more than 900 fps at less than 14,000 CUPs.
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