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First of all congrats and welcome to the Vaquero club! Great choice and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 357 NMV. I light heartedly promote 45 Colt but a 357 NMV is an excellent pistol and I know you're going to enjoy the heck out of it. I like the grips BTW.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
First of all congrats and welcome to the Vaquero club! Great choice and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a 357 NMV. I light heartedly promote 45 Colt but a 357 NMV is an excellent pistol and I know you're going to enjoy the heck out of it. I like the grips BTW.
Thanks Bonk. I knew that you were ribbing me. And I have that kinda sense of humor. I do love the 45 though. Still saving brass to roll me some black powder loads for mine.
 

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I collect original Vaqueros and I own more than a few. I have blue, stainless, CCH, short barrel, long barrel, Birdshead, plow handle and Bisley. I also have three New Vaqueros. Every Vaquero/NMV I own is 45 Colt.

Two of my NMV are my CAS guns. They're stainless 5.5" and I've have no idea how many thousands of round I've shot through them. The actions on both are like butter but I haven't done a thing to them except shoot the crap out of them and occasionally clean them. The reason these two are NMV and not original Vaqueros is because when I started shooting CAS I bough these two used and they were my first Vaqueros. I see no need to replace them simply because they happen to be NMV.

My other NMV is a 7.5" CCH framed 45 Colt. Even though I prefer original Vaqueros over NMV I bought this one because they didn't make a whole lot of NMV with CCH frames and 7.5" barrels.

OTOH, I'm completely enamored with original Vaqueros and I'll buy just about every one I find that's a little unusual and/or in excellent condition. I don't own any that are rare or super valuable but most of mine are not the run of the mill 4 5/8 to 5.5" basic blue Vaqueros. If you made me pick which my favorites are I'd have to say my 4" blue/CCH Birdshead and a consecutive serial numbered pair of 7.5" blue/CCH plow handled guns. All three are, of course, 45 Colt.

I prefer original Vaqueros for several reasons:

1. They don't make them any more.

2. Ruger QC was a little better back then.

3. Even though I don't shoot ROL in my original Vaqueros I could if I wanted to.

4. Original Vaqueros can be found in some pretty cool configurations.

5. It's a finite set of guns and I enjoy learning everything I can about them and trying to become a subject matter expert.

6. While they don't make them any more they're still available and every now and then you can find some really nice examples for sale.

7. As collector items they're still affordable.

8. I prefer the slightly more robust feel of the larger framed original Vaqueros. However, the size difference really isn't that much so don't get hung up on it unless you know for sure you want to shoot ROL.

My recommendation is look for the configuration that appeals to you and not worry about whether it's an original or a NMV. Either one will serve you well and unless you're extraordinarily abusive your great, great grandchildren will love owning them too. One last thing, 45 Colt is the only caliber worth buying whether you choose original or NMV. Why? Because it's 45 Colt. If I have to explain it...... :p
To the OP,

I own a NMV and there are/were only two things wrong with it. First, QC was not top notch and it went back to Ruger to have the barrel turned. Windage unacceptably off at 10-15 yds. Ruger made it shoot better than I am capable of. Other than that the quality is exceptional, including the trigger weight and crispness.

The other problem was me in that I purchased in in 357. I was ignorant to the barrel weight I was getting with this bore and now I just live with it. My only 45 SAA is a Taylor Tuned Cattleman in 45 and like Bonk said....if I have to explain.

And by the way my 357 NMV is blued and I've not touched the front sight. It hits POA with 158gr 38's and pretty close to that with 357's. If I can save the money I think I'd buy the 45 NMV in stainless. And ALL my SAA's are 4 5/8".
 

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I breath a deep sigh every time I see someone jump on the "there is no old model Vaquero". There isn't an old model Blackhawk either. We just call the 3 screw that.

Blackhawk and New Model Blackhawk.

Vaquero and New Vaquero

The only thing out there with "old" in it was the Old Army.

But, we have developed the language and don't like change, so here we are. Our references use the adopted language. A call to ruger will use the language. And guess what, last time I called Ruger about a Vaquero - they used the phrase "Old Model Vaquero".

Does it really matter if someone refers to the before New Vaquero as the old one? It's hardly worth stepping on someones toes, when we know very well what they mean.

Never Mind the MKI vs pre MKI or the "standard" which could be a post MKI, or couldn't it. Or A54 vs A100. Or should we just say Pre 100. Was there ever a 54 designation by Ruger. Or did I get those two confused?

I just love collecting Rugers. They sure made it fun for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
I'm sure no harm was intended. Lol. But I guess I opened that can of worms with my nomenclature post on reloading thread. So a thumb had to be stuck in my eye. Lol
And so, if there is a new model, which the side of the gun clearly states there is, then by default and reasoning we must be able to conclude a previous model. Thus an older model thus an old model. Same as to wording in trade books. Except in the case of the Vaquero where I guess technically it is a different model. But that would really look stupid on the side of a gun.
 

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But, back to the subject.

I have a Blued/Case Colored original Vaquero in .45 and a New Vaquero Stainless in .45.

As far as weight and "handiness", I don't feel the "wow" factor when I pick up one or the other. The difference is nowhere near as noticeable as picking up a Single Seven .327 vs. a Blackhawk .327. When I bought my New Vaquero the most notable difference was in the grip panels. I had to do a close comparison to see the difference in the cylinder wall thickness and the frame size. which one feels better will probably depend on the size of your hand.

Stainless is easier to maintain than blue. If you get one with "case coloring" it doesn't wear all that well. It doesn't take much field use for it to fade away.

If you want to run hotter loads, I would buy the original larger frame.

Between the two, I prefer the New Vaquero, but with replacement grip panels that mimic the original. It's a bit lighter and I like the new indexing system. I prefer to shoot cowboy loads, so I don't fret over any suspected difference in frame strength.
 

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I have a stainless New Vaquero in 45 Colt, 5.5” barrel...I love it.

I use it for target shooting at 25metres and load my own rounds.

Nicely made revolver which feels good in the hand.

��
 

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Try one of each

Never knew there was an "Old" Vaquero.

Got into cowboy action shooting and bought a store keepers short barreled 45 LC. Came upon a 32 H&R birdshead and just had to try it out. Kind of an odd pair to start shooting cowboy, but I got hooked. Then the 45 LC birdshead showed up and I could shoot 45 LC or birdshead Vaqueros in a match. Found a case hardened 45 that the owner was willing to dump because of a light layer of rust and went looking for a mate. Shipped them to Bobby Tyler and Longhunter for their magic.

20190805_132755.jpg

Trouble is I cannot part with the birdshead stainless steel 45 with a Bisley hammer or the 32 H&R birdshead. The birdshead just points naturally for me. The shop keeper was traded. Just could not get the short barrel to point where I wanted it.

I do have a Bisley Blackhawk and a Bisley single six in 32 H&R. They are great target guns, but the barrel length seems to slow me down and shoot more accurately.

I tend to shoot the birdshead more often, but I could not say that if I did try all the available styles.
 

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I have two Old model Vaqueros in 45C. I love them, they are accurate and easy to shoot and function flawlessly. I was doing SASS shooting so they also match my M94 Win. Best part is they shoot the same ammo and you get more velocity out of the rifle with the same rounds. Also the loading manuals list specific loading for the Vaquero as it is very strong. Try them out before you buy, but you can't go wrong with a Vaquero! Happy Trails!
 

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There is a way to check which might be better for you.

1. Find a 1/2" dowel or some other item, I used a long wooden cooking spoon.
2. Hold it in your strong hand with half the item above and half the item below your fingers.
3. Take your standard shooting stance.
4. Now close your eyes and raise your gun hand up as if you were aiming at a target.
5. Without moving your hands, open your eyes and look to see if the item is vertical or leaning forward at the top.
6. The more vertical the item is, the more a Bisley will point naturally.
7. the more the item leans forward, the more naturally the P frame grip will point.
8. Standing next to a mirror so you can see your hand will help to see what angle your hand naturally has.

Depending on the angle of your hand has naturally will tell you which grip will work best.
If you have to move your wrist forward or back to get a straight sight alignment, you should try the other grip.

For me, I like the Bisley the best.
I much prefer the "old model" (pre-2005) large frame models.
We have five now and two more (44 mag) in Gun Jail (CA waiting periods).
 

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My preference is the stainless smaller frame NMV or actually I like the flattop even better for woods carry. Having owned a lot of fixed sight guns, you just never know and sending guns back to the factory is not fun. The adjustable sights fix that problem and you have a much better sight picture if you want to lob a round at the coyote 50 yards away.

Ruger shows an actual 10 ounces difference in the small and large frame, same barrel length. Only matters if you are going to carry it and not hunt big stuff with it. https://ruger.com/products/newModelBlackhawkConvertible/specSheets/0310.html

Third, if you get any of the Rugers in 45, get the acp cylinder. I did not think I would use it much, but when I run across that cheap tullamo I buy a few boxes and just burn it up. I cast my own about 18 calibers, have molds for most of them, and reload for 6 revolvers that shoot 45, and a 1911, 3 of them fire both the 45 and 45 acp. But today I had carpel tunnel surgery and having a second in 2 months. Reloading may have helped cause it, LOL
Standard 45 acp ammo is a ***** cat to shoot, not hard on the hands at all. And at 71 with old hands it matters.

I even started reloading the steel case 45 acp ammo just for grins. I read an article on it years ago, and it works fine, I just load them light, about 8 grains of Unique behind a 200 grain bullet, about 300 ft pounds. all I need for the first 3 rounds in the chamber.

If you are not yet decided, they are also selling the short Bisley Stainless 44 special, Flattop. Lusting after that one.
 

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I like the New Vaquero for the reverse indexing pawl. If I had my way Ruger would put it in all their single actions.
 

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Thank you BGAVIN!

I have used your process for years and never been able to make a list of the imaginary sight system. I have turned down pistols because they did not pass this test. Just recently purchased a 41 mag Bisley with express sights. The first range trip was wonderful. Raised the gun, cocked the hammer, closed my eyes, opened my eyes to see the sights aligned on the target at 15 yards and squeezed the trigger. Six 41 holes in 1.25 group. Put the gun in the case and put the target in the reload book. Good day at the range.
 

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My range had a case-hardened NM Vaquero, lightly used, in .45 Colt. I had already bought my gun for the year, but at $399 I was mightily tempted.

If I were to buy another SA gun, it would be case-hardened. Ruger did a good job with it.

Plowhandle grips work spooky well for me. Try the test bgavin suggests.
 

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I'm happy to read all the responses to this thread. It shows how much love we have for all the many varieties of Vaquero. I've enjoyed shooting every one I've ever handled. They are great guns, and I don't think the OP can go wrong whatever style/ finish he chooses. I think they are all pretty and great fun to shoot. My two .45 Colt Vaqueros round out my collection of Ruger single actions and offer good nostalgic firearms enjoyment.
 

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Took me awhile to put my centerfire Ruger Vaqueros together, its great having the old style yet modern and very strong guns. Two in 44 mag, then a 45colt & 45 acp. Very accurate.

2 are birdsheads, 1 plow handle and 1 bisley. Really appreciate my current variety.

Its also nice to have a couple of centerfires in a lightweight profile though a little extra revolver weight has never bothered me. Best to hunt from a shooting rest anyway and more accurate that way at the range too.
 

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My take on the Vaquero revolvers.

To me the Ruger SS Vaquero/New Vaquero ar the best looking single action revolvers made for what they sell for in today's market. I own and have owned a fair number of Ruger single action revolvers from my first .44 mag back in 1961 to my ten that I now have. Not all have been trouble free, however most problems were minor and easily solved. I'm glad that many here seem to also like the Vaquero line of revolvers. Just my opinion for what that's worth.:D
 

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+1, for the new vaquero. I went with the Talo, birdshead, 3.75, SS, in 45 acp. ( I know everyone said have to go with 45 colt.) but this 45 acp is a great shooter, and ejecting casings is easy. Just my opinion.
 

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I have used your process for years and never been able to make a list of the imaginary sight system.
I'm just passing along the method used by cowboy shooters far more knowledgeable than me.

I'm a sucker for Bisleys, cuz they feel perfect in my hand.
Yesterday, I had one of my 357 Vaqueros at the range for a quick 100 rounds after my weekly trap get-together.
For me, the Bisleys are a pleasure to shoot.
 
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