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Are the new Ruger Vaqueros (new production) as strong as the older models?
I like this one a lot.

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First .... If talking .357, then the medium and large frame BHs and the medium frame New Vaqueros will handle ANY and ALL .357 SAAMI load that you can put in them. In fact for the .357, the medium New Vaquero frame is 'perfect' for that cartridge. My preference is that Ruger would go back to the medium frame for the BH for good for the .357.

Second, talking .45 Colt, then No. The medium frame is good to around 23K psi (what we call Tier 2), while the large frame will handle the 30k psi loads (Tier 3 or Ruger Only Loads). Tier 1 is 14K which is the .45 Colt SAAMI pressure.
 

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The New Vaqueros can safely shoot any commercially loaded ammo not labeled "Ruger Only". If that's an issue for you remember that most guns cannot shoot "Ruger Only" loads so this isn't a real serious limitation.

I don't hesitate to shoot full power 357 ammo in my 357 Vaqueros. That's what they're chambered for.
 

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Are the new Ruger Vaqueros (new production) as strong as the older models?
I like this one a lot.

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No they are not. If you look at the size of the frames you can see the difference. The Old Vaquero's were .44 mag and needed the heavier, larger frame ( I carried one for a long time) but Ruger listened to the Cowboy Action Shooting people who wanted a smaller frame single action more like the Colts so they developed the New Model Vaquero in .45 Long Colt ( a lower powered round). I also had a New Model Vaquero which I recently gave to my son for his 51st Birthday and went out and bought a used New Model Blackhawk in .44 mag which has never been shot except at the factory.
 

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The medium frame New Vaqueros are not as strong as the large frame original Vaqueros. That's well established.

Are the New Vaqueros plenty strong? Yup, stronger than most of the other Colt SAA clones out there.

The 357mag versions don't tend to see as much difference as the 45colts - the little 357mag case just can't capitalize on the strength tolerance of the large frame original Vaquero. There's a marked difference for the large 45colt case, however. The 45colt New Vaqueros are only thought to be tolerant of a moderate diet of "Tier 2" Ruger only loads, a 250grn bullet at 1,000fps, whereas the original Vaquero on the large frame would swallow copious amounts of Tier 3 Ruger Only loads with a smile on its face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry for not mention it. I am looking at the 357 Magnum model. I am also looking at the Blackhawk in 357 Magnum. The Vaquero is the 3" barrel.
I wish they make the Blackhawk with 3" barrels.
 

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My preference is that Ruger would go back to the medium frame for the BH for good for the .357.
My 3 Screw and GP100 are definitely less massive than my 90's era BH, but I have no concerns about feeding them anything .357. The BH, is overkill for loads published in the good 'ole days.

I wish Ruger would bring out an adjustable sight 3.5" model on the smaller frame, for the shooters that actually prefer SA revolvers for back country carry. Size matters, and sometimes less is more.
 

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You don't have to baby the New Vaqueros (45 Colt or 357). You can shoot anything you want except 'Ruger Only' Tier 3 loads. You're not going to hurt them with a steady diet of hot ammo.
 

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The medium frame New Vaqueros are not as strong as the large frame original Vaqueros.
Of course not.... But for the .357 cartridge, the New Vaquero is even overkill. Ever notice the cylinder wall thickness and compare to the .44Mag wall thickness? Yet both cartridges are set at about the same max PSI? So, no, the New Vaquero does not need to be babied! Also remember the medium frame is the same as was introduced for the .357 back in '55.... So, go shoot it as any .357 ... light or hot or hotter. You'll be fine. You'll wear out before the gun does ;) .

And as for the .45 Colt, only Ruger Only Loads (Tier 3) cannot be shot from the New Vaquero. But with Tier 2 loads, that leaves a LOT of leaway! :D .
 

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My 3 Screw and GP100 are definitely less massive than my 90's era BH, but I have no concerns about feeding them anything .357. The BH, is overkill for loads published in the good 'ole days.

I wish Ruger would bring out an adjustable sight 3.5" model on the smaller frame, for the shooters that actually prefer SA revolvers for back country carry. Size matters, and sometimes less is more.
Right you are! But we won't see a mid frame 357 on the standard Blackhwak frame with ribbed rear sight now that Ruger is making mid frame Flat Top Blackhawks in 357.

The only possibility is an old model 357 from 1962 - 1972 if you want a mid frame with ribbed rear sight.
 

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The actual frame is plenty strong on the midframe Blackhawks and new vaqueros, the weak link being the cylinder. Quite a few fellas have had 5 shot 44 magnums, 45 colts, and 480 Rugers built using the midframe as the platform. The 5 shot 45 colt cylinder will handle large frame 6 shot Ruger only loads. Don't worry about running full strength .357's.
 

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The New Vaquero isn't as strong as the Vaquero, but it's strong enough!
Heck unless you are using a revolver as a primary hunting gun & after game larger than Elk, I'm not really sure you need .454 Casull power. I've seen a hard SWC of 245 in the .44 Special & .454 in the .45 Colt at velocity levels of 850-925fps penetrate clear through game such as deer & howl off into space. This level of load is pretty easy to shoot well, & mild enough to practice with & carry for everyday chores.

That is all I require from a six-gun! The New Vaquero is a very pretty six-gun too.
 
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