New Vaqeuro- Winchester 94


crooked stripe
December 29, 2011, 03:24 PM
Both chambered in 45 colt. Is it safe to shoot the same bullets in both guns? I do realize I can't shoot the loads in the TC and Ruger Blackhawk section in the Vaquero. This new Vaquero loading has me afraid of what to shoot in it. I sometime regret buying the Vaquero, I get the feeling I better stick with Trail Boss powder. Is there an easy way to figure out what is SAMSI specs and what is not so I know what to shoot?

If you enjoyed reading about "New Vaqeuro- Winchester 94" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 29, 2011, 04:02 PM
As long as you don't hotrod the rounds, both firearms will take them just fine. If the Vaquero couldn't handle standard SAAMI loads, Ruger wouldn't dare sell them.

Any good reloading manual will give you the load information you need. I would recommend the Lyman #49, since it will give you both cast and jacketed data.

I personally shoot the Magma 200 gr. RNFP through my .45 Colt firearms, since all I'm shooting with them is steel and paper targets. I get more bullets per pound of alloy, and still get the joy of shooting this old round.

Hope this helps.


December 29, 2011, 04:10 PM
The New Vaquero is a bit stronger than a Colt SAA or faithful clone. It'll eat SAAMI standard loads like salted peanuts.

crooked stripe
December 29, 2011, 05:47 PM
I have the Lee, Hornady, Lyman P&R, Lyman 49th edition and the Speer manuals. I haven't seen where they designate SAAMI loads or not. Maybe I am overlooking it. Anyone care to tell me where to look? I know people are trying to help but all the warnings from the posts and there isn't a lot of warnings in the manuals. Maybe that kind of things come from experience.

December 29, 2011, 07:05 PM
Since you're not going to believe the loading manuals on what's safe in a firearm produced by a domestic firearms company, here's the link to the SAAMI specifications for handgun cartridges:

Hope this helps.


December 29, 2011, 07:50 PM
Yes, it is safe to use the same bullets / loads in both guns.

The new small frame Ruger is as strong or stronger then a SAA Colt.

You can use any standard pressure load data for either one.
SAAMI .45 Colt spec is 14,000 PSI.

In fact you can use loads develping 23,000 PSI in the Ruger, as it is also available in a convertable model with a .45 ACP cylinder with the same size holes in it.
SAAMI for the .45 ACP is 21,000 PSI and +P is 23,000 PSI.

If you get out much, check the news stands ASAP for the December issue of Handloader magazine before they are all gone.

It has a feature story on loading for the .45 Colt small frame Blackhawk, which is the same strength as your Vaquero.

It should go far in easing your fears.
It also has a ton of load data for them in standard & +P pressure.


December 29, 2011, 09:47 PM
I'm running 7.0 gr Unique under both 200 and 255 gr lead bullets and the guns shoot just fine. My Speer manual says I can go up over that but for a plinking round that load works for me. Those Rugers are a lot tougher than you think. Ruger is known for over-building their guns and they last a long time to prove it. Certainly, there are limitations in the New Vaquero but standard loads will shoot very well. Stay away from the Thompson load section and you should be fine.

Metal Tiger
December 29, 2011, 09:59 PM
Thanks RCmodel for the tip on the Dec issue of the Handloader magazine. I will run out to see if I can pick up a copy and subscribe while I am at it.

Metal Tiger
December 29, 2011, 10:02 PM
Here is a link to Handloader mag Dec issue:

December 29, 2011, 11:39 PM
Now that you got your answer I'll as a question. Where did you find a Winchester 94 chambered in .45 Colt? I think they are rare. Any chance you could post a picture of your .45 Colt battery?

December 29, 2011, 11:41 PM
Most folks recommend a flat nosed bullet for use in a lever action rifle, fearing a chain reaction in the tubular magazine under recoil. It's rare, but been known to happen with heavier recoiling cartridges. Also many lever guns don't like wadcutter or semi-wadcutter bullets...the sharp edge can cause feeding problems.

A classic round nose flat point (RNFP) profile is a good bet for one type to use in both guns.

I prefer Titegroup powder in the .45 Colt. Titegroup was designed for small powder charges in large cases. Clays (not Universal Clays) is another popular Cowboy Action powder.

Check page 28 of Hodgdon's basic manual for some .45 options, and page 32 for Cowboy Action Loads:

Archangel CD: Winchester started chambering 94s in .45 colt for Cowboy Action shooting. They are a pretty common entry level rifle for CAS. The Cowboy Action Shooters who compete seriously prefer the Model 73 and 66 reproductions because the horizontal feed is less likely to jam than the angle feed in a 94 or 92.

You can find several examples in this list:

December 29, 2011, 11:53 PM
Thanks for the information, I didn't think the Winchesters were as common as the Marlins in .45 Colt. Thank goodness for Cowboy action because their demand caused a lot of old guns to be manufactured again. I did know the Win 73 was very popular with the Cowboy Action crowd.

crooked stripe
December 30, 2011, 03:20 AM
I have no idea on how to post a picture. I down load pictures to my computer but I never sent one through the web

crooked stripe
December 30, 2011, 06:09 AM
Here is a picture of the vaquero. I will try to get a pic of the 94 shortly. Hope this works.

crooked stripe
December 30, 2011, 08:52 AM
Pictures aren't that great, not a very good camera. I see the 94 advertised all over the net for around 600. I offered 450 at my local gun shop and took it home. I don't know if I could have done better but I wanted it and it looks and operates well. I am going to load up some shells today and shoot them into the crony. To rainy and windy for the range.

December 30, 2011, 08:55 AM
Just a thought that I don't see where anyone brought it up but in the past issues of reloading manuals, there is a seperater section for "Ruger and Thompson Center Only". If you have the new Vaquero, Called the "New Model Vaquero", about the same size as a Colt SAA, then don't use this section. Loads are too hot for your Vaquero.

crooked stripe
December 30, 2011, 09:14 AM
I was trying to find what the a and e stood for and I am not getting any where. I did see a link to find the serial # but it wasn't on there. In the picture of the link, showed this screw in pre 64 models. I have that screw and my serial no. isn't stamped where shown in the link. I will keep looking.

December 30, 2011, 09:23 AM
That's a dang nice gun for $450.

December 30, 2011, 12:39 PM
AE stands for "angle eject".

The original model 94s ejected straight up. The newer ones eject to the side as an accommodation to those who want to put a scope on the rifle.

December 31, 2011, 12:11 AM
Yes, you can use the same bullets but there is no reason to be afraid of the New Vaquero. It can be loaded well above SAAMI standard pressures, which are kept low in deference to all the old blackpowder guns still in circulation. Which yields 1100-1150fps with standard weight cast bullets. Expect those loads to clock at least 300fps faster out of your Winchester. The 94's can be loaded hotter, up to 40,000CUP, in which case care must be taken to keep them out of your Ruger. Any Ruger, for that matter.

PS, it's Vaquero (large frame) and New Vaquero (mid-frame). Both New Model single actions utilizing the "New Model" lockwork. No need to go confusing it with extraneous descriptors.

The New Vaquero is a bit stronger than a Colt SAA or faithful clone.
At present, there is ZERO scientific evidence to support this claim, though it gets repeated often enough. Colt's and replicas have been chambered in .45ACP so we can set the pressure ceiling as equal between them. We also know that USFA's .44Spl's can be safely rechambered to .44Mag (10,000psi hotter than the old Keith .44Spl load) and that says a lot about the strength of a good Colt replica.

December 31, 2011, 12:12 AM
Great guns, I'm sure you will like shooting them!

If you enjoyed reading about "New Vaqeuro- Winchester 94" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!