New Bird's head Vaquero


June 7, 2004, 09:28 PM
Hello All,

I just added a Bird’s head Vaquero in 45colt to my collection. It is the 3-¾-inch barrel color case blue “Sheriff’s” type model. I also bought a brass Bird’s head grip frame from Qualite to put on this gun. I took the original Ruger Bird’s head grip frame and assembled it onto my NM Blackhawk convertible in 38/357/9mm. With the brass frame assembled (not quite fitted yet) to it, the 45colt shot like a dream! No recoil. I was pretty surprised. Very accurate as well. I then shot my Blackhawk, first with 38 then 357 mag. I had to recheck the head stamps on the 357! These Bird’s head grips virtually eliminate recoil. This gun had much more recoil shooting 357 mag with the aluminum “plow handle?” grip. Maybe it is a function of the extra weight. I also assembled a free spin pawl and belt mountain base pin into the Blackhawk. I’m not sure I like the pawl though, it doesn’t make the sound any more. I guess I thought it would click in both directions. It is easier to load and unload though. The belt mountain pin is nice and tight. As a matter of fact it was too tight for the 45. Maybe after I put a few hundred rounds through her it will go in. My next step is to purchase a Bisley hammer and trigger from Power Custom. I like the idea of the chambers lining up at ½ cock. Lastly I want a 45 ACP cylinder. I called Ruger but they won’t fit one for me because the gun didn’t originally come with one! I told them I own 4 Ruger’s and am a loyal customer. The customer “service” rep. didn’t care much about that. Any one have a cylinder for sale?


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June 8, 2004, 10:28 AM
Sound like Ruger's ttandard operating procedure. You might try ebay or one of the sixgun/sixgunner boards for a cylinder. I'm told in most cases fitting is not required but I can't say for sure.

June 8, 2004, 06:43 PM
What's worse is that I've heard that if you send a Ruger back with custom parts installed, they will bring the gun "back to spec" by replacing non-factory parts, regardless of whether the malfunction had anything to do with the custom parts. My Vaquero will eventually be going to Bowen for real color case hardening and I may have them fit a brass frame while they are at it, not sure yet.

June 11, 2004, 12:27 AM
I, too, have just adopted a birdshead and a companion for it.

June 13, 2004, 08:38 PM
I just finished fitting and finishing my brass grip to my new Vaquero. The gun came with a black set of grips and the Qualite brass frame came with an Ivory set. I could not decide which looked best when I decided to resculpt my old Plow handle wooden ruger grips. I think it looks right with the wood. I am attempting to post a picture of the finished product. It may work, hopefully.

June 13, 2004, 09:41 PM
If you don't mind, what was involved in the fitting and how difficult was it? I'm eventually going to send my Vaquero to Hamilton Bowen to get real color case and when I do, I will either go with a brass frame or steell, but I kind of like the brass look.

June 14, 2004, 06:26 PM
Fitting the gripframe was time consuming. You need to sneak up on the size you need, cuz once your beyond you can't put stock back on. I spent about 6 hours grinding,filing,sanding and polishing. I am very happy with it.

June 14, 2004, 07:50 PM
I told them I own 4 Ruger?s and am a loyal customer. The customer ?service? rep. didn?t care much about that.

Did you really expect that to get you the desired cylinder? :scrutiny: They have thousands of loyal customers; some with many, many, many more than 4 of thier products. Anyways, from time to time cylinders appear on eBay. It would need to have fit and timing checked though.

You know...a "loyal" :p Ruger customer would simply buy one of the 45LC/45ACP covertables to get ahold of a 45ACP cylinder. They've available as Vaqueros and Blackhawks.

June 14, 2004, 08:15 PM
Actually I did expect they would fit a cylinder for me. My gunsmith said they would. I do not see what the issue is. Why is a Vaquero less worthy than a Blackhawk? I actually paid more for the Vaquero than my Blackhawk. I do plan on buying another Vaquero eventually but the models I like do not come with the 45 ACP. And yes, I know they have many customers that have many more guns than I, thanks for pointing that out.

June 14, 2004, 08:40 PM
It's been a long-standing Ruger policy to not provide services that would make a model variation that wasn't produced. They're kinda touchy about this concerning the special edition variations also. Yeah, it's kinda inconvienant but I'm sure they'd have to sat up an entire seperate division just for these alterations if it was allowed. I'm guessing that they don't offer (cataoged anyways) Vaqueros because these guns are pretty much intended for cowboy action shooting or for those that want the nostalgia accosiated with this style. Modern pistol cartridges (.40S&W, .45acp, 10mm, 9mm) don't exactly fit this nostalgia niche. they did make a few moels of convertable vaqueros. Some in a 38-40/.40 chambering and others in .45lc/.45acp chamberings. Not sure exactly what models/variations you prefer, but here those avail. in .45 caliber.

All were contract runs for Davidson's and according to thier website are in stock currently.

June 14, 2004, 09:06 PM
I remember reading in one of the recent American Rifleman magazines that Ruger is making a "custom shop" mostly for cosmetic things like engraving, but said it would also be for custom barrel lengths, etc. I don't know when this will be up and running, but you might be able to get a lot of what you want that way. They even talked about real bone and charcoal color case hardening.

June 15, 2004, 03:48 AM
All I want is a Ruger Sheriffs model, birdshed grips with Bisley hammer and trigger in 45LC/45 ACP. Stainless steel preferred. A short 3" barrel. I would be happy with a few of them.

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