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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New Here, New Owner of Used Vaquero

I don't know what you guys call the Model Formerly Known As the Vaquero, but I just bought one. (I know it's not correct to call it the Old Model.)

In part, I wanted something to shoot +P in. I had bought a NIB New Model .45 Blackhawk earlier this year but traded it without firing it because I didn't like the poor quality of the frame fit. The grip was badly mated to the frame, with sharp corners, etc., but they were all like that so I didn't have a choice. I wasn't thrilled about aluminum either but it's hard to find a stainless .45 Blackhawk that isn't 7.5", or built on the small flattop frame (which would have precluded shooting the +P). So I was on the lookout for a WARNING-rollmarked .45 Blackhawk, and stumbled onto a 4 5/8 stainless Vaquero.

So now I have a nice frame fit, it will shoot +P, and it's all steel. It's a leap for me because I'm a history freak, and I have my own ideas about what a single action .45 should look like ; ) but this is what I can afford. I still want a Blackhawk, but I'll look for a longer barrel. The Vaquero, believe it or not, is for carry, at least for awhile. The same weekend, I got a nice old Winchester Model 94 -- made in 1976 -- never fired. It's been a good month.
 

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Welcome to the forum from Florida. Not sure what the correct term is - seems like whatever is used there's some who disagree. "First Generation Vaquero"? "Gen 1 Vaquero"? No, that sounds like a Glock. Anyway, welcome and enjoy your "new not new model Vaquero".

Wave
 

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Welcome to the forum From mid Missouri.

I have a friend who has a pair of Vaquero's she uses for cowboy mounted shooting. She bought them used , 45LC with 4" barrels . Looks like they were cut and re crowned and has a bead front sight. Nice job though.
Hope you find what your looking for.
 

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Welcome!

Yesterday I was out shooting my 'original' 5 1/2" Vaquero. Lots of fun! You'll enjoy yours! You might want to check the throats on yours. Mine were way undersized. Reamed them to .4525 and all is well.... Group size was cut in half.

Here are my pair of large frame pre-lock .45s....

 

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Nice pair of of 45's !!

My grandfather always called them 45LC so not to be mixed up with the .45 Schofield . Long time ago.

When He passed I wish I could have gotten all his guns. I was 14 and all us grand kids each got a rifle. Mine was a Model 74 30-30 Winchester dated early 60's. They sold all the handguns , my Dad said the .45 Schofield was sold for $8000. to a collector .
 

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I simply call the original Vaquero, the "Large Frame Vaquero". I have one with a Bisley Frame (5½"). I believe I am quite lucky because it shoots to the sights at 25 yards with Lyman's cast bullet 452664 (250 gr RF Cowboy bullet). Further, that particular bullet has a large enough grease groove to hold enough black powder lube. I have shot a lot of black powder loads in the revolver in a variety of pistol matches (restricted to black powder and fixed sights) and won more than my share of them. I did a trigger job on the Ruger and reamed the cylinder throats to .4525". It shoots extremely well with both black and smokeless powder.

It is a FINE revolver in most every way. I normally much prefer adjustable sights (have a Bisley .45 Colt/.45 ACP Convertible with 5½" barrel with adjustable sights) but this one is a keeper in spite of the fixed sights.

I can hardly imagine a better field revolver than this one is (or the Convertible, for that matter).

FWIW
Dale53
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the welcomes.

I didn't want to come out of the gate worrying about the chambers on this gun, but I'm glad someone brought that up. I had a beautiful 6" nickeled S&W model 25-5 earlier this year. I got it home and began to reacquaint myself with that model (the last one I owned was pre-Internet), and I read about problems with OVER-sized chambers in those guns. Undersized is better than oversized, so I'll get the Ruger checked out, but on the chance it needs reaming (and it may not, huh, even if they're under-sized?) does anybody know someone good? ...And fast? (With the unemployment in this country, you'd think we'd be awash in gunsmiths and it wouldn't take months to get something simple done...)

Though it shows little use, the trigger is veeeeeery light -- someone worked on it -- so maybe the chambers have been dealt with. It will be a 'target' gun eventually, so the light trigger is fine, but I always wonder about the competence of the person doing mods on a gun that's new to me. There are no signs of screwdriver abuse, so maybe it was done by a pro. The action is silky smooth and the finish is excellent. I'm happy.

One more thing... I see that Belt Mountain makes a Colt-style base pin. I like the look better, but I was reading about over-sized base pins raising the chamber axis ever so slightly, with corresponding damage to the forcing cones from bullets hitting higher than they otherwise would. Anyone have experience with these pins...?
 

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Here is where most people get it down if they don't want to buy the tools themselves : Cylindersmith.com Hand reamed cylinder throats

Not that expensive either. Personally I never used him as I bought the tool and have done all of my .45 Colt / .45 ACP cylinders.

I have several Belt Mountain pins and they work great. All of mine just dropped right in with no fitting required. Didn't have a 'loss' of accuracy either (nor do I think I gained any). I wanted some Keith #5 pins for my .44Spec Single Actions as it seemed appropriate :) .

I got a Belt Mountain Pin for my original Vaquero too. Here it is with a #5 and I also added a steel ejector housing.

 

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Hi, all! I'm also new to this forum.

I was recently given a Vaquero in .44 mag as a gift. I did a bit of online research and found that my 'old model' was manufactured in 1995. I also found that Ruger no longer makes a Vaquero in .44 magnum, although I read somewhere that a few .44 Specials were made at some point. Also, it appears to me that Ruger made the New Model Vaquero with a lighter frame in order to more closely match the size and weight of the Colt SAA, probably to appeal to the Cowboy Action Shooting audience. All quite understandable. Also makes me happy to have one in .44 mag with a heavy frame, capable of handling heavier magnum loads. I am now keeping an eye out for a New Vaquero in .357.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Cylindersmith looks like a good way to go. His website info is dated, but it can't be too bad. How long does it take to ream a cylinder? I was used to seeing major smithing wait times, and the kind of hellish delays you get from holstermakers.

Thanks for the info from all who participated.
 

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Welcome from the Mountain State of West Virginia
 

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Congratulations Pawnee Fork.
I don't mind calling my Old Model and Old Model and it shoots better than my New Model.
I hope you enjoy yours.
By the way, if you get any more good deals like that and you can't use them, please feel free to pass them along.
 

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How long does it take to ream a cylinder?
I was hoping someone here that has used cylinder smith would chime in and give you a turn around time. I know it isn't very long. To do it yourself it only takes a minute or less per throat.

I don't mind calling my Old Model and Old Model and it shoots better than my New Model.
You might not mind, but it does bug some of us a bit ;) . See the Old Model is Ruger's three screw pre safety bar revolvers.... The New Model is the rest of the line we have today. Therefore the original Vaquero and New Vaquero are both New Model revolvers :) . It's a fine point, but it is part of the terminology when we talk 'Rugers' and hate to see it 'diluted' so to speak.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I knew there was some ... interest in correct terminology. I forget where I read that. 'Original' is fine by me.

I just read a review of the original Vaquero today and the writer said there is a company -- Power Custom? -- that makes a kit to restore the series of clicks when you cock it (I dig the Old Model Blackhawks for that feature, and the elegantly simple barrel rollmark). I may look into the kit, but this gun has such a smooth, light trigger pull, I don't want to mess with it by introducing new parts.

Where are the pics, you ask? I don't actually have the gun yet. It's killing me to wait, but I pick it up Thursday.
 
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