They are nice looking guns for sure but they are not the work horse the older models are. Only standard loads for the new ones like what ya would load for colt or a colt clone. They will not take the high pressure that a black hawk will.
Snuffy, Lots of bad information floating around concerning the "New Vaquero". For openers, it IS a work horse gun compared to the average Colt SAA or clone. It is not a wimp like some people might think but I agree .... it's not as strong as the Blackhawk or older heavy frame Vaquero.
SAAMI standards for the 45 Colt is 14,000 psi max chamber pressure. An 8 gr charge of Unique under a 250 gr bullet will run very close to the factory velocity of 860 fps and max SAAMI chamber pressure. The "Ruger Only" loads you see listed in better reloading manuals are rated at 25,000 psi chamber pressure. With the right powder (H-110, W-296, or Lil'Gun), you can safely exceed 44 Mag power levels without exceeding max chamber pressure.
Tests were run on the New Vaquero at 19,500 psi chamber pressure. This is about dead center between the SAAMI max (14K psi) and the Ruger Only max (25k psi). At this mid-level chamber pressure, you can safely push a 250 gr bullet to 1100 fps with W-296 or H-110 and not exceed max allowable pressure for the New Vaquero.
Here's how the power levels stack up using a 250 gr bullet:
SAAMI 14k psi, 860 fps, 411 ft lbs Muzzle Energy (for standard Colt and clone SAAMI rated guns)
Mid-level 19.5k psi, 1100 fps, 672 ft lbs ME (can be used in New Vaquero)
Ruger Only 25k psi, 1200 fps, 800 ft lbs ME (Ruger Blackhawk, Redhawk, and heavy frame Vaquero)
As you can see, the Ruger Only loads are almost double the energy level of standard SAAMI loads. The mid-level loads suitable for the New Vaquero come in at 1.6X the power of standard loads ... that's certainly not what I would call a wimp load!