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Discussion Starter #1
So,

Long story short I have been lusting over the new vaquero birdsheads for a while. And this certainly didn't help: http://rugerforum.net/ruger-single-action/71549-rfboc-picture-gallery.html

My main question about the birdshead is in regards to the grip frame. Obviously it is rounded off hard on the back, but compared to the standard XR-3 grip frame, is the front on the birdshead as long? I am just curious if I'll have room for my pinky finger. I certainly wish I could handle one, but of course my LGS doesn't have any in stock. And secondly, the new vaquero has a smaller frame size correct? Akin to the 50th anniversary flattop frame? And the reason I ask this is because I was wondering how much weaker this frame is compared to the old larger vaquero. I handload, and my goal isn't to hot rod it, but would like to load some warmer "level II" loads as labeled by Brian Pierce.

And finally, I think there is a new TALO model coming out soon. I was goofing off on facebook. On Talo's page, there was a picture of a new model vaquero birdshead in stainless and the caption read "how long since there was a .44 BirdsHead" I haven't found any other information yet. But if they do produce one in 44 Special I will be all over it!
 

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I don't know the answer's to your tech questions, but thanks for sharing the info on a possible upcoming .44 spl birdie. That would be exciting news!

I have one now, but it is a Cimarron Thunderer, quite a nice revolver.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yeah, I'm excited too if they actually bring it out. I just hope they make a large enough run that they'll be available for a few months before being all bought up!
 

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The New Model Vaquero is very strong, but any loads labeled "Ruger Only" do not apply to the new model. Use only standard load data for the new model, but you can at least use the hottest loads listed in the standard data.

The pinky will no doubt fall under the grip for med to large sized hands, still, it is comfortable and provides controll.

Lots of old model Vaqueros still out there on Gunbroker, buy used ? Its hard to wear em out.
 

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Viceroy 🟩🟩🟩
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I've been curious about this too. Love the looks of a birdshead, but when I held one for the first time in a shop the other day I couldn't figure out exactly how to grip it. Pinkie in front of the grip was way too cramped. Pinkie under didn't feel quite right compared to a traditional plow handle or Bisley grip.
 

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I have large hands and can get my little finger on the bottom front corner of the birdshead grip. I have one in 45 ACP and have loaded 230 gr. bullets to just over 1000 FPS. A top end +P load and find the recoil not unpleasant to shoot. The Vaquero birdshead is built on the mid size frame and can handle loads at 23,000 CUP without any problems on safety or undue wear on the gun.
Due to the shape of the grip, the recoil is absorbed by the palm of the hand and does not sting the web of the hand between the thumb and trigger finger.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have large hands and can get my little finger on the bottom front corner of the birdshead grip.
HBK, that is one sweet lookin shooting iron. Thank you for the information also. I am not too concerned if I can't get my pinky on the grip. But it's something I was wondering about. I wish I had enough funds. A BH in 45 ACP would be a lot of fun too!
 

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So,


1. My main question about the birdshead is in regards to the grip frame. Obviously it is rounded off hard on the back, but compared to the standard XR-3 grip frame, is the front on the birdshead as long?

2. And secondly, the new vaquero has a smaller frame size correct? Akin to the 50th anniversary flattop frame? And the reason I ask this is because I was wondering how much weaker this frame is compared to the old larger vaquero. I handload, and my goal isn't to hot rod it, but would like to load some warmer "level II" loads as labeled by Brian Pierce.
1. Below are the three basic Ruger grip frame sizes. The XR3-RED and the New Vaq/Flat Top XR3 can be compared. As shown, they have the same vertical length.


The birdshead is 1/8" shorter than both of them. But it's also 1/8" wider at the mid point from front to back. So there's a little more to hang on to. For me, there's no difference in felt recoil and they both roll up in the hand to dissipate recoil.

2. The frame strength is no different between the Vaq and New Vaq. The difference is the cylinder diameter is the limiter, and the resulting thinner chamber walls especially at the weakest points, over the cyl notches.

I agree with the pressure restrictions posted above for the 45 Colt in the New Vaq cyl. However, and you probably know this already, that doesn't apply to the 44 Spl if you buy the new 44 Birdshead.

The 44 spl doesn't have the case capacity for the Tier III 45 Colt pressure plus the chamber walls are obviously thicker. So you'll be safe with Skeeter's and Keith's pet 44 loads and more. I'm not saying someone couldn't roll an insane 44 Spl load and blow up the cyl, but they'll handle over 23000 CUP.

Some have had the 44s chambers reamed to 44 Mag length to shoot factory Mag loads which are 36000 CUP, as a test with no ill affects. I'm not saying to do that either! But just adding a little perspective and I suspect Ruger anticipated this when designing their mid frame 44s as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hondo,

Great information. An 1/8" shorter on the grip frame certainly isn't a deal breaker. I do wish there was one in my home town to fondle. Regardless you answered my questions. That makes sense on the strength too. My shootin' buddy has a flattop Blackhawk in 44S and the cylinder wall thickness was actually impressive. I mean, 90 % of my shooting is going to be low pressure level "fun" ammo anyways. But It's nice to know I can carry a cylinder full loaded with 2400 when I'm visiting Idaho where deer and antelope and bear roam! Now TALO just needs to hurry up and release the 44 model!!
 

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i shoot "Verity"
a couple times a week
she is my daily carry in crossdraw
she is so easy to shoot
i kind of giggle inside when ever i pull the trigger
i dont shoot her as well as many of my other guns
but i can keep a 6" plate ringing at 25yds real easy
not to mention how darn attractive she is
 

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Corps Commander NGV
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I bought my first birdshead two weeks ago. It a 2004 production Vaquero .45Colt 3.75" case color/blued beauty. My large hand has plenty to hang onto. I shot cowboy loads and std pressure hollow points in total comfort. Tier II loads should be controllable. Now, I understand the New Vaquero has a thinner grip frame and could feel completely different.
 

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Hondo,

Great information. An 1/8" shorter on the grip frame certainly isn't a deal breaker. I do wish there was one in my home town to fondle. Regardless you answered my questions. That makes sense on the strength too. My shootin' buddy has a flattop Blackhawk in 44S and the cylinder wall thickness was actually impressive. I mean, 90 % of my shooting is going to be low pressure level "fun" ammo anyways. But It's nice to know I can carry a cylinder full loaded with 2400 when I'm visiting Idaho where deer and antelope and bear roam! Now TALO just needs to hurry up and release the 44 model!!
Oops, forgot to post the grip frame comparison illustration:

 
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