Blackhawk question


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biogenic
October 3, 2011, 05:23 PM
Saw an older Vaquero ( oops screwed up I meant to say Blackhawk ) 357 Single action 7.5" at a gun store the other day for $440.00 out the door... The gun is about 10 - 15 years old and it does not have the 9mm conversion. Any truth that the older Rugers are better than the one produced these day ?

What is everybody's take on the Vaqueros ?

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rcmodel
October 3, 2011, 05:30 PM
IMO:
The old Vaquero is built heavier then a Russian tank.
Much heavier and bigger then it needed to be.
Especially if you want to carry it around all day.

The new one is built on a smaller Colt SAA size frame.

I like the new ones much better.

rc

DWFan
October 3, 2011, 05:32 PM
"Better" is relative. The original Vaqueros are nothing more than the Blackhawk with fixed sights and are capable of handling the same loads. The "new" Vaqueros are on a smaller "Colt-size" frame and cylinder and can't be pushed as hard.


LOL, rc beat me to it.

rcmodel
October 3, 2011, 05:37 PM
I think the relative strength issue only applies to the big bores.

The new one is plenty strong enough for any sane .357 Mag load.
The "not as strong" issues come when the smaller cylinder is bored out with .44 or .45 holes.

rc

batmann
October 3, 2011, 08:43 PM
The new mid-size frame will handle about anything that is sane to shoot. The older one, like the one you asked about, are built on a .44 M size frame.
I have put some pretty stout loads through my 50th .357 Blackhawk (mid-size frame) so the one you are asking about is plenty strong. I don't shoot 'Cowboy' and the fixed sights are hard for me to pick up at my age so i need the target sights on the Blackhawks.

biogenic
October 3, 2011, 09:46 PM
Great info. Thanks

BCCL
October 4, 2011, 09:29 PM
I love both sizes, but the older "original" Vaquero's are really solid.

On the one you looked at, you might try for a little better price, I just got a very nice 357 one in the 4 5/8th's inch barrel for $340.00.

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 10:17 AM
Strength is a non-issue in the .357 chambering. Only applies to .45Colt's.


Any truth that the older Rugers are better than the one produced these day ?
No.

biogenic
October 5, 2011, 01:22 PM
Strength is a non-issue in the .357 chambering. Only applies to .45Colt's.

Can you expand on this a little ?

BCCL
October 5, 2011, 01:37 PM
With those little .357 diameter holes in the cylinder, there is plenty of steel left to handle even the stoutest factory loads.

In 45 Colt however, the New Vaquero cylinder is closer to the original Colt in size, and can't hande those heavy "Ruger Only" loads that the larger Blackhawk can handle.

CraigC
October 5, 2011, 01:44 PM
Any Colt SAA-sized single action is going to be of ample strength for the .357 cartridge. The cylinder is larger than the very popular S&W L-frame and Ruger GP-100. So you would be hard-pressed to hurt a mid-frame Ruger such as the Old Model .357 Blackhawk, 50th anniversary Blackhawk or the New Vaquero .357Mag, much less the large frame Blackhawk.

The only strength issue comes into play with the .45's. Because the large frame Vaquero is fully safe for "Ruger only" loads up to 32,000psi. The New Vaquero should be held to ~21,000psi.

Now Ruger has produced its first mid-frame .45 Blackhawk as a limited distributor special flat-top. Which muddies the waters a little. Now, more than ever, the shooter needs to know his firearm and its limitations.

biogenic
October 6, 2011, 01:05 AM
Thanks for the info. Came across another couple of Ruger Vaqueros SS version 45lc in 5.5 and 7.5 versions... I already have a smith 28-2 in 357... Time perhaps to get a 45lc ? Price is the approx the same in all 3 guns... Which one would guys recommend, The older blackhawk or the newer vaqueros? Decisions decisions. Would the 45lc be more versatile for hunting? Was thinking about getting a Marlin in 45lc down the road. I am not a huge fun of SS guns... I remember them being a pain to get really clean..

CraigC
October 6, 2011, 08:13 AM
I would take the .45Colt before the .357 and the .44Spl before either of them. The big bores, even loaded moderately (900fps) are much more effective than the .357 and do so without making your ears bleed. Although I handload, so the cost of factory ammo is irrelevant. IMHO, the .357 is the most overrated cartridge next to the .30-06.

biogenic
October 6, 2011, 12:08 PM
I would take the .45Colt before the .357 and the .44Spl before either of them. The big bores, even loaded moderately (900fps) are much more effective than the .357 and do so without making your ears bleed. Although I handload, so the cost of factory ammo is irrelevant. IMHO, the .357 is the most overrated cartridge next to the .30-06.

Interesting....

geo57
October 6, 2011, 02:15 PM
You may want to re-check that barrel length. To my knowledge the longest available in .357 magnum is and was 6 1/2 " . Blackhawks in .357 maximum were made with 7 1/2 " bbls however.

CraigC
October 6, 2011, 02:23 PM
I assumed he meant a 6" but early on in production Ruger did ship a few .357 Blackhawks (flat-tops) with 7" and 10" barrels.

geo57
October 6, 2011, 05:55 PM
Craig, thanks for the info. Upon further investigation in 1959 a relatively short production run was shipped with 10" bbls. I cannot find any data of a production run of a 7 1/2 " .357 mag Blackhawk. If you have any credible data suggesting otherwise I would appreciate seeing it. Thanks.

ridgerunner1965
October 6, 2011, 08:57 PM
in the early 80's i believe i purchased a blackhawk 357 with a 7.5 in barrel.its been years since ive seen it but my brother has it now.i need to get him to measure the barrel and see what it is for sure.i could be wrong.

CraigC
October 6, 2011, 11:07 PM
The only 7" New Models are Bisleys.

Gary A
October 6, 2011, 11:36 PM
The only 7" New Models are Bisleys.
You are referring only to .357, right?

biogenic
October 6, 2011, 11:49 PM
I'll double check that Blackhawk next Wed and advise with the barrel length.

CraigC
October 7, 2011, 07:53 AM
You are referring only to .357, right?
Yes. The only New Model Blackhawk .357's with 7" barrels are Bisleys.

Gary A
October 7, 2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks for the clarification.

geo57
October 7, 2011, 10:21 AM
Craig, I'm still searching or waiting for data that supports your claim that Ruger ever made flat tops or later model Blackhawks ( not Bisley ) in .357 mag with 7 1/2 " bbls. When you find it, please pass it forward. Thanks.

CraigC
October 7, 2011, 12:58 PM
I remembered it wrong. They produced 10" .357's (approximately 1000 guns) but the only 7" flat-tops were .44s. Which are also very rare. The 6" length is the most common for those guns. For whatever reason, they never made the .44 flat-top in the 4 5/8" length either but did produce .357's.

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