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Old June 24, 2010, 02:22 PM   #1
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Ruger "Vaquero" - need advice / input

I know this is a BP site but am going to post this anyway as I know a lot of you shoot CAS, etc. and use a Ruger "Vaquero". Up to now, I've strictly shot BP for over 45 years with the exception of a 1911A! Colt Automatic. I usually shoot a '51 Colt Navy. I am looking at purchasing a "Vaquero" to use for target practice, critters on the farm and HP as well. I don't want a fancy "automatic" pistol - I'm more comfortable with a revolver and used to single actions. I'm looking at buying a 357 so that I can shoot 38 specials in it. I'm thinking a 5 1/2" barrel. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to "handle" one as the local dealers don't have any on their shelves so it will have to be ordered. Now for my questions.

Barrel length - is the 5 1/2" barrel a good length? I want something more compact than say a 6 or 7 inch barrel. I know they make it with an approx. 4 1/2 inch barrel as well. What are your experiences as far as barrel length and accuracy?

Finish - blued or stainless. Evidently they are about the same price. I won't be shooting BP cartridges in it. I'm thinking about holster wear over time, etc. as well as shooting on bright sunny days. What would your suggestions be?

# of cartridges in cylinder - I know they are 6 shot - for normal "field use" - i.e. carrying while hunting or hiking, etc. - what is normal? The hammer resting on an empty chamber? (as I do with my BP revolvers).

Design - I've looked at the pictures of the standard Vaquero as well as the "Bisley". I know the hammer spur is higher on the standard model and the Bisley is lower. The grip frame on the Bisley seems more "canted" (for want of a better word) towards the triggerguard. Does one model have advantaqges over the other? Will the standard model grip and point more like a "51 Navy. How comfortable is the Bisley to hold in regards to aiming and pointing?

I'm going to purchase this as I said for general use - target shooting and carrying in the field. I won't be using it for CAS or similar - more for a "utility" piece. No "quick draws" or "Wyatt Earp" shenanagins either. Any input / suggestions / remarks / what to ask the dealer or to look for / etc. would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks! bedbug
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
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Old June 24, 2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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Barrel length - I prefer the 5 1/2" barrel but it's really a matter of personal choice. I think it points and balances better. There's no significant difference in accuracy between a 4 1/2" and a 5 1/2" barrel.

Finish - For a utility gun I would think blued is a better choice. The SS finish can be a bit harsh on the eyes on sunny days, but you can always darken the top of the barrel if that interferes with sighting (a shiny barrel can be a problem to sighting in sunlight).

# of cartridges in cylinder - All the new model Ruger single action pistols have a transfer bar action. They are safe to carry with the hammer down on a loaded chamber, so you can carry 6 safely.

Design - I personally do not like the Bisley grip frame, but I do like the lower hammer profile. Many people do find the Bisley more comfortable and visually appealing, I just don't happen to be one of them. I guess it's like Ford or Chevy...
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Old June 24, 2010, 04:28 PM   #3
Join Date: October 31, 2007
Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
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I have a pair of reg New Vaqueros in 357 with 5.5" barrel and SS.. I also just bought a pair of New Bisley Vaqueros in 45 colt with 5.5" barrel and SS..Love em both and shoot smokeless and BP in both.

I prefer the 5.5" length.. I like the balance.. I also prefer the SS over the blue as it's pretty maintence free..

The only advantage to shooting the Bisleys is for a duelist (single hand) shooter which is why I bought the 2nd pair... I changed my CAS shooting catagory to Frontier Cartridge Duelist...Many 2 handed shooters dont like them..

As mykeal stated the Vaqueros have a transfer bar and are perfectly safe carrying 6 rounds..

You say no one in yer area has them for sale? Any CAS groups in yer area? I know you have no interest in CAS but a visit to a CAS shoot would allow you to handle both I'm sure... CAS shooters are generally a pretty friendly bunch!
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Old June 25, 2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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Thank you fellows very much for your info and input - it is greatly appreciated! You both pretty much confirmed what I was thinking about. I'm going to go with the 5 1/2" barrel and will also probably go with the "blued" model. The stainless is pretty but I'm sort of a "plain jane" sort. This will be used in both Michigan and Arizona when I'm there for the winter. With the bright sun, I'm a little aprenhensive about the SS reflecting, etc. But who knows, if I get the blued model and like it . . . I may have to get a SS one down the road as well.

I'm not aware of much CAS in our area but thanks for the suggestion as far as attending an event and looking over what some of the fellows shoot. I got a call from a dealer today saying that they had ordered one to have in stock so I'll stop in the beginning of next week and take a gander at it and see how it feels. I've looked at info on a lot of different makes and models and I still keep coming back to the "Vaquero".

Once again, thanks so much for your help . . . that's what makes this forum such a great place! Have a good one! Sincerely, bedbug
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
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