Vaquero question


July 7, 2008, 06:27 AM
Is the Vaquero a clone of the Colt SAA or something else?
My friend wants a SAA but doesnt want to spend 1k+. I suggested the Ruger to him. I know it has modern technology in it so its not an exact clone, but its pretty close right?

He also thanks yall for the advice, my thread in rifle forum about 22mag vs 17hmr, and is getting a Henry pump 22 mag.

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shooting time
July 7, 2008, 07:45 AM
I use a pair of the vaqueros for cowboy mounted shooting and they work great and they look just like colt revolvers and I would say 98% of the hundreds of shooters we shoot with use them .

July 7, 2008, 07:47 AM
The 'new vaquero' is real close to a saa colt. The original vaquero is quite a bit larger, but can be found in 44mag.

Gary A
July 7, 2008, 10:08 AM
I'm no expert, having only one single-action revolver that is not a Ruger, but I think your friend can find something closer to a SAA from USFA ( for more money than a Ruger but significantly less than a Colt. The USFAs I have seen are beautiful guns and faithful clones.

That said, I like the "original" Vaqueros but am a real fan of the New Vaquero which is much closer in feel to a SAA but with different internals.

Good luck.

July 7, 2008, 10:28 AM
The new Ruger Vaquero is similar in size to the Colt SAA, but has a totally different action, therefore I would not consider it a clone. A lot of Ubertis and Cimarrons for example, are true clones. Colt parts will fit, and vice-versa. That to me is a clone.
If your friend wants something that looks like a Colt, but is much more durable, can be safely carried 6-up, etc, he would be hard pressed to do better than a Ruger. If he wants a true clone with the 4 clicks and everything else, then that's what he needs to get.

dagger dog
July 7, 2008, 10:55 AM
The Rugers are a Visual copy of the SAA, buts the internals are completley different.A lot of the Vaquero internals are from the New Model Blackhawk.

July 8, 2008, 02:50 AM
triple post - disregard

July 8, 2008, 02:51 AM
triple post - disregard

July 8, 2008, 02:53 AM
Yes, I have a new vaquero myself, and I'd say go for this unless your friend is looking for something closer to the SAA under the hood. The Ruger is safer and arguably "better" given what's already been said, but is not historically accurate, which is understandably important to some.

My second choice was a Beretta Stampede, deluxe model. While closer to a Colt, it also has a transfer bar.

Uberti/Cimarron/EMF and countless other imports/importers make P clones. There's a lot of options/customization available, too, to consider like a variety of finishes, bird's head grip style and the like. This site has some pretty, big pictures:

July 8, 2008, 07:27 AM
Thanks guys thats what I wanted to know. Im pretty sure hes looking more for the feel/looks than the same internals.

July 8, 2008, 03:29 PM
USFA has a special at the moment ... $845 for a SAA that is VERY close to the original Colt. I'm on the verge of ordering two SAA revolvers and passed on the Vaqueros for a number of reasons. As for USFA being cheaper than Colt, once you add on all the "nice" stuff to a base version you can easily end up spending close to $2000!! Tell your friend to check out Impact Guns ... they have a Colt on sale for $1200.

When you consider that the Vaquero can be bought for under $500, your friend could buy two and still be under his $1000 budget.

Decisions, decisions ... I'm leaning towards the .44WCF/.44 special dual caliber option from USFA since I could shoot an historically accurate caliber as well as a modern caliber that works in my S&W 629.


July 8, 2008, 07:06 PM
Haha, my computer was acting up.

Another thing to mention is that the "New" vaquero does not have as heavy a frame as the "old" vaquero, meaning you can't shoot the same hot loads you could in the old ones (which, as was mentioned, came chambered in 44 too, while the New Vaq is not).

Jim March
July 8, 2008, 10:13 PM
On average, quality control is higher with a Ruger New Vaquero than any other Ruger SA, period. At least in stuff made since 1973. Ruger first made the NewVaq in 2005 and they re-did how the guns were made...literally re-engineered the assembly line along with the gun. Quality control is VERY good with these babies.

Plus we're generally seeing Ruger quality control levels being on an "upswing" of late across all models. The new management is doing things right. At various times past Ruger QC levels would sometimes droop for a while, more than the usual complaints, etc. Never anything really ghastly like Charco (bleah) or old Taurus guns from before they did their own importing (avoid Taurii that have importer's marks!) but still.

Right now, quality control levels are really sweet at Ruger.

Fun fact: the Ruger NewVaq has a little-known cousin. The 50th Anniversary Blackhawk in 357Mag is built on the same size "mid frame" platform as the NewVaq but with adjustable sights, so it's basically Ruger's answer to the Colt New Frontier. Nice piece.

When chambered in 357, a Ruger mid-frame SA can handle near-unlimited diets of the hottest 357 ammo available. It is NOT weak. The cylinder is beefier than a GP100 or S&W L-frame. In 45LC the NewVaq has to be limited to the same loads that are rated for a late-model Colt SAA or it's various clones. So in this size gun, the 357s are actually more powerful (in terms of raw energy topping out around 800ft/lbs) than the 45LCs (peak around 550ft/lbs).

My NewVaq 357 is around SN5xxx, 2005 production and has been a dream. Zero complaints, and it's my daily CCW with modified sights, SuperBlackhawk lower-slung hammer, modified grips and a spring kit.

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