Bisley Vaqueros and Carpal Tunnel?


November 13, 2004, 08:50 PM
I've been eyeing getting a Bisley Vaquero for awhile. I have the New Single Six and I'm impressed with the Ruger guns. My father likes the look of the .357 model, blued with Ivory grips. He's big into Clint Eastwood/Cowboy revolvers. He just loves them and the New Single Six is a favorite gun of ours. My question though: Monday he's getting his hand operated on for carpal tunnel. It'll take a year to heal but I don't think shooting is a problem but using the snow plow will be. I'm curious though what the .357 will feel like. The barrel will be 5 1/2 -- how is the recoil on this gun for those that have fired it. Does it feel fine? I have a 686 but this is a heavier gun. Of course we could shoot .38's to lesson the recoil if we must. Thoughts on this please?

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November 13, 2004, 09:15 PM
Personally I prefer the standard "Plow Handle" grip of the regular Peacemaker/Vaquero grip...

But .357 isn't bad "for me" in a Vaquero, the 5.5" barrel soaks up some of it, and the basic design of the gun means it rolls back in your hand. High barrel-to-grip axis, but... not bad.

There are lighter .357 loads too.

November 13, 2004, 09:17 PM
You could always just shoot .38 wadcutters out of the .357 Vaquero, and it would hardly recoil at all.

November 13, 2004, 09:20 PM
I can't imagine given the weight and barrel length of the gun that the .38s would be too much. Just interested in how it shoots overall by folks that own the gun.

Standing Wolf
November 13, 2004, 10:21 PM
Monday he's getting his hand operated on for carpal tunnel. It'll take a year to heal...

It might take a year to heal completely, but much of the healing ought to be done sooner than that. This might be a good time for him to take up shooting with his weak hand, too, just to spread the recoil.

November 13, 2004, 10:29 PM
I'm sure after the first few weeks he should be golden. The year timeframe probably refers to doing normal, heavy, activity that might be considered too much pressure during the initial healing period.

Jim March
November 14, 2004, 02:06 AM
I've had some experience with Carpal Tunnel myself. I've also studied wrist ergonomics back when I was doing computer tech support.

The Bisley grip will help keep your wrist straight, which is good. Hold your arm out, make a fist (gently), now look at where it's positioned. You want a grip that is as close to that position as possible, when dealing with CT.

I would guess that the Bisley would indeed be the best for a CT case of all the SA grip types. BUT, and this will sound weird, if the Bisley just doesn't fit you (and this is the case with a fair number of people), try the Ruger Bird's Head grip and switch the hammer over to the SBH or Bisley hammer to decrease the "reach" to the hammer. Basically, shifting grip to deal with a long reach hammer will hurt. The Bird's Head made by Ruger will set your hand fairly vertical and fairly high (which is why Ruger sells it with the highest hammer)...switch to the LOWEST hammer with the BH grip and your hand-shift to cock will be minimal. Or if your hand is on the big side, the SBH hammer is halfway in reach of the three Ruger types and is easier to fit to a non-Bisley grip frame than the Bisley hammer.

If you buy a Bisley gun and it isn't working out, a brass bird's head grip frame isn't that expensive and is easy to hand-fit to any New Model large-frame gun.

What else...357Mag on the large Ruger SA frame and either Bisley or Bird's-Head grips will be pretty damn controllable as long as you stay away from the most psycho hunting loads (Bufallo Bore, Cor-Bon 180/200 grain, etc.). And as you already know, he can start with 38s and work his way up the power scale as he heals.

DO - NOT - OVER - DO - IT! What I mean is, while recovering from CT, "pain is bad". If it hurts to do something, or hurts afterwards, DON'T DO IT. This isn't like normal excercise where "feeling the burn is good".


November 14, 2004, 07:05 AM
Just to throw in my .02. I'm on my second Bisley now. (the first was a .44). It's a .45LC with a 4 5/8. I think the Bisley grip frame makes recoil much less intense. I do prefer the "look" of the standard SA grip, but I always buy the Bisley. :)

Have a good one,

November 14, 2004, 09:10 AM
My father doesn't like the bird head look so it'll have to a standard. Which is fine, because I prefer the standard as well. I'm sure by the time I buy it, his hand will have been healing for several weeks so he should be in good shape.

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