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Missouri_Shooter
July 4, 2008, 10:30 AM
I just shot my Ruger Vaquero .44 mag for the first time and it was a BLAST! I set a 5 gallon bucket 27 yards out and was able to hit it pretty much in the center most of the time(until it fell apart:D). I used 240 gr factory loads for the magnum (American Eagle), shot all those, but stopped shooting the 240 gr specials(MagTech) after 12 shots. The specials are "Cowboy Action Loads" sold to me by the dealer I bought the gun from. Was told they were a good starter shell. The reason I stopped using them was because they turned my gun and hands black with powder, really dirty. It took me over an hour to get my gun back to shiny and new looking.
My questions are, am I being to picky about how my gun looks? I would really like to keep it in new condition because I am so proud of it (her). The magnums didn't get her very dirty at all, even after a full box of 50. Is it just the Cowboy Action loads that caused the mess or is it the smaller specials in general?
I know to many of you experienced guys these kinds of questions must seem silly, but I have to learn from someone and the people on this site really know their stuff. I live in a very small town with limited access to gun shops. I have to drive several miles to even get to a gun shop. It was an all day trip to go buy the gun. Thank You for taking the time to share your wisdom with a newcomer!

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theNoid
July 4, 2008, 10:36 AM
First of all, welcome to THR.

Oh my, it must be a faulty gun, better wrap it up and send it to me immediately for a lifetime of testing and cleaning. :neener: I love the 44mag Vaquero as that is what my friend owns and lets me shoot often. I would guess that is simply the cowboy loads as we have shot many 100's of non-cowboy rounds of both mags and specials through his and have never had such a cleaning issue. Never had any experience with cowboy loads but from what I understand is that many of them actually use black powder for authenticity and the likes and this would explain the problem I would think.

Once again, send me your gun immediately :D

Noidster

theNoid
July 4, 2008, 10:38 AM
Oh yeah, and I forgot this...



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v387/jonathanwong/thumb_thisthreadisworthlesswithoutp.gif

Noidster

Reddbecca
July 4, 2008, 10:44 AM
Some ammo is just plain dirtier than others and will leave a lot more powder residue than another brand will.

Nothing wrong with wanting your gun to be clean though.

Missouri_Shooter
July 6, 2008, 10:29 AM
Thanks, no more cowboy loads for me. I'm finding everyone has an opinion on what's the best way or the best load or the best anything. I just need to ask some questions and then figure out what's my best way and what works for me.
I went shooting again and my wife went along. She used her digital camera to take videos of me shooting and it really helped me! Right after shooting a full load, I watched the video and saw what I was doing wrong. I was holding the gun straight out in front of me but aiming with my right eye. I wasn't very consistant with shot placement. After holding the gun straight out with my right hand and aiming with my right eye, my groups really tightend up. I also noticed I was finching. I don't count my shots and when I tried to fire number seven, I really noticed I was finching badly. After correcting my aim and really concentrated on not finching, my grouping got MUCH better! I'm learning, I'm learning! Every time I go out and shoot, I learn a little something.
Oh yeah, my wife actually shot my .22 revolver, several times! She always said she didn't like guns, but now I think the .22 is hers! Heck, she's a better shot with it than I am! Shooting is such a GREAT sport!

The Lone Haranguer
July 6, 2008, 06:11 PM
The specials are "Cowboy Action Loads" sold to me by the dealer I bought the gun from. Was told they were a good starter shell. The reason I stopped using them was because they turned my gun and hands black with powder, really dirty.
These loads are very low pressure/velocity in keeping with this particular sport/game, so the burning characteristics of the powder may leave a lot of residue or even unburned granules. It is also possible that this is not powder residue, but from vaporized bullet lube, a semi-solid substance filling one or more grooves in the bullet, hidden when it is seated in the case. Finally, .44 Special ammunition, having a shorter case, will leave residue at the forward end of the chamber, in the gap between the case mouth and chamber shoulder.

None of this is harmful to your gun, or to yourself if you wash your hands before handling food, smoking, etc. It just requires a little extra cleanup.

Virginian
July 6, 2008, 07:13 PM
All that "dirt" is probably soot from the lube on the cast lead bullets, and the factory magnums were probably jacketed. It wipes right off, and will do much less actual damage to your revolver than the jacketed bullets, which will wear out the rifling... in a few lifetimes.
I have shot carloads of cast bullet .44 Specials thru my 44 Magnums; I prefer them; much easier on everything, especially an aging me. And I have never had any problems at all with clean up. Getting copper out of the bore is harder.

S&Wfan
July 6, 2008, 09:42 PM
Hi,

I'd strongly recommend you keep shooting those "cowboy loads," or better yet, start handloading yourself.

Why?

Well, these cowboy loads are a lot like my "for fun" plinking handloads . . . they are loaded at the "powderpuff" level. In other words, not much recoil . . . and NOT MUCH GUN WEAR EITHER!

I do it to reduce wear and tear on my guns . . . and I handload because it is so danged cheap! Save your brass, get a pound of Unique power, some Federal or Winchester primers and a 1,000 lead cast bullets and you will be amazed how much more shooting you can do for the money!!!

Save the flamethrower stuff for hunting and self defense. Your guns will thank you for it!

PS: Yeah slow handgun powders are more smokey, and yes, the bullet lube (which protects your bore anyway) is more messy. But you've gotta clean your gun anyway, right?

It is a small price to pay for light kicking, cheap shootin' fun . . . and less wear on your precious guns!

Been doin' it for years now personally,

T.

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