Older Ruger Vaquero - strong enough for .45 Colt +P?


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roscoe
June 5, 2006, 01:48 AM
I have heard that the new Vaqueros are not strong enough for the heavy .45 Colt loads, but what about the older ones? Can I fire the same loads out of it that the Blackhawk can handle?

Additionally, what are the accuracy differences? I know that the Blackhawk has adjustable sights - is that it?

Thanks!

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Jim March
June 5, 2006, 02:47 AM
The "Old Vaq" is built on the same 44Mag class frame as the SuperBlackhawk. The Vaq topstrap looks weaker than a Blackhawk/Superblackhawk but that's actually not the case - the adjustble sight guns have enough "cutout" at the back of the topstrap to make overall strength a wash. In both cases when the gun is pushed past it's limits the topstrap will bulge out but not usually break. I've handled two blown-up large-frame Ruger SAs (wreckage kept around ranges showing how NOT to handload) and the topstraps held. Ditto several pictures floating around the web. This is a good thing.

So yeah, the Old Vaq can handle any 45LC+P.

The sights are the only difference. It is of course possible to improve the sights of a Vaq with some custom work :).

http://www.equalccw.com/vaqhawk.jpg

timothy75
June 5, 2006, 02:45 PM
I'd like to see a full right side pic of that gun.

roscoe
June 5, 2006, 07:18 PM
The one I am looking at is a Bisley. It sems like an awkward grip, with my little finger crowded against my ring finger. Is there any advantage to it? It looks kind of odd, too.

ChristopherG
June 5, 2006, 10:12 PM
The Bisley rolls beautifully in your grip under heavy recoil--at least for a lot of us. My Bisley blackhawk makes shooting heavy .41 mags more pleasant with its exposed backstrap and skinny wood grips than my S&W 657 with its slightly greater weight and big fat squishy pachmayr deccelerator grips.

Crosshair
June 5, 2006, 10:32 PM
Use all load data at your own risk.

My friend and I shot 50 rounds of "Ruger Only" 45 Colt handloads in my 7.5" Stainless Old Vaquero today. 14.8 grains of HS-7 under a 250 grain "Laser Cast" bullet is a powerfull load, yet still fun to shoot. Plus it gives a nice puff of white smoke out the muzzle so, even though I am shooting smokeless, it has the "look" of BP. So don't worry, the "Old Vaquero" is a member of the "Ruger Only" club. Be carefull because even with the Ruger only data it is still possible to have a double charge if you are not paying attention.

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