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Hi. First post. Bought a New Vaquero over the weekend -- Model 5104, .45 Colt, 5 1/2-inch barrel. I was out picking up ammo today and saw some HSM Bear Loads, 325 grains. Is that too hot of a load for this gun? I don't have any need for something like that at the moment -- I went with 200 to 250 to see what works best -- but I was just wondering if anyone's had any experience using the Bear Loads with this model.

Thanks.
 

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Definitely not in a NM VQ. Had some of those and shot them in my standard Blackhawk. Okay for that gun or any large frame NM Ruger 45 Colt, but not for the smaller frame Ruger 45 Colts like yours.

From the HSM website

"(HSM) 45 Colt ammunition OTHER than (HSM )Cowboy Action ammunition is for use ONLY in the OLD STYLE LARGE FRAME Ruger Blackhawk (post 1973, not the pre 1973 3-screw) including the ORIGINAL Ruger Vaquero and Ruger Bisley version of the Blackhawk, the Thompson/Center Contender, the Magnum Research BFR, or any firearm chambered in 454 Casull or 460 S&W including the Taurus Raging Judge.
It is NOT for the NEW STYLE SMALL FRAME Ruger Blackhawk and its variants like the NEW Vaquero or the New Flat-top Blackhawks."
 

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No heavy loads in a New Model Vaq! Maybe an Alaskan Redhawk but not a Vaq.
 

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I have the same gun as yours but with an adjustable rear sight and ramp front sight. (Flattop)
I reload so Ioaded some Speer 250 grain Deep Curls to 1050 fps,. safe in the medium frame Rugers.
If you don't reload, maybe try some Winchester PDX-1 JHP loads, they are safe even in Colts and Colt clones.
Some wide flat nose hard cast would be a good bear bullet ( penetration is king ), but I'm not aware of any factory loads using that bullet in a Tier II load suitable for the NV or Flattop.
 
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