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Older Ruger Vaquero - strong enough for .45 Colt +P?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by roscoe, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. roscoe

    roscoe Well-Known Member

    I have heard that the new Vaqueros are not strong enough for the heavy .45 Colt loads, but what about the older ones? Can I fire the same loads out of it that the Blackhawk can handle?

    Additionally, what are the accuracy differences? I know that the Blackhawk has adjustable sights - is that it?

  2. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    The "Old Vaq" is built on the same 44Mag class frame as the SuperBlackhawk. The Vaq topstrap looks weaker than a Blackhawk/Superblackhawk but that's actually not the case - the adjustble sight guns have enough "cutout" at the back of the topstrap to make overall strength a wash. In both cases when the gun is pushed past it's limits the topstrap will bulge out but not usually break. I've handled two blown-up large-frame Ruger SAs (wreckage kept around ranges showing how NOT to handload) and the topstraps held. Ditto several pictures floating around the web. This is a good thing.

    So yeah, the Old Vaq can handle any 45LC+P.

    The sights are the only difference. It is of course possible to improve the sights of a Vaq with some custom work :).

  3. timothy75

    timothy75 Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see a full right side pic of that gun.
  4. roscoe

    roscoe Well-Known Member

    The one I am looking at is a Bisley. It sems like an awkward grip, with my little finger crowded against my ring finger. Is there any advantage to it? It looks kind of odd, too.
  5. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    The Bisley rolls beautifully in your grip under heavy recoil--at least for a lot of us. My Bisley blackhawk makes shooting heavy .41 mags more pleasant with its exposed backstrap and skinny wood grips than my S&W 657 with its slightly greater weight and big fat squishy pachmayr deccelerator grips.
  6. Crosshair

    Crosshair Well-Known Member

    Use all load data at your own risk.

    My friend and I shot 50 rounds of "Ruger Only" 45 Colt handloads in my 7.5" Stainless Old Vaquero today. 14.8 grains of HS-7 under a 250 grain "Laser Cast" bullet is a powerfull load, yet still fun to shoot. Plus it gives a nice puff of white smoke out the muzzle so, even though I am shooting smokeless, it has the "look" of BP. So don't worry, the "Old Vaquero" is a member of the "Ruger Only" club. Be carefull because even with the Ruger only data it is still possible to have a double charge if you are not paying attention.

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