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Discussion Starter #1
Just a random question, since CAS shooters use light .38 Specials in the .357 Vaqueros, for those of them that don't use the .45's........and Ruger made a special run of CAS .357 Vaqueros with the Montado hammer, I wondered why they didn't make a run of .38 Vaqueros?

As slight as it might be, it would reduce the jump to the chamber throat and also kind of make them something "different". I know many old Bullseye shooters would never use a .357 revolver for 25 yard Bullseye because they claimed a .38 chamber gave better accuracy, as slight as it might have been.
 

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1) I would imagine it's just too easy to shoot 38's in them.

2) Not a large enough market demand to make a gun that just has the capability of one already in production.
 

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ExArmy 11b,

I meant to thank you for your service!

Ruger should have made the CAS NVs in .38.

Why did Ruger ignore requests for a 44 Spl specific revolver for 50 years?

They always felt the dual caliber revolvers like 44 mag/44 spl and 38/357 mag worked well enough accuracy wise, were more marketable, and simplified production. Therefore why make two different guns if one will shoot both and sell well?

There was more demand for the 44 Spl on a smaller frame size. That was finally granted in 2009 and only because it was a distributor exclusive limited model requested by Talo/Lipseys. It was so popular that the FT Blackhawk mid frame version became a regular production item for awhile. But now it's no longer listed as such. So Ruger probably feels vindicated for their decision not to make it all those years because it would have been a slow seller.

The bottom line is that the only hope for a 38 Spl specific model is also as a distributo exclusive. And an easy one to produce. But the number of consumer demands and volume of differently configured regular models is so huge, a .38 Spl is not likely to ever see the light of day. In fact a 5 shot 38 only on the Single Six "Vaquerito" frame probably has a better chance. And that would work for CAS shooters because with the transfer bar action, it's safe to load all five. And I for one would prefer that size .38. Even a Colt SAA is overbuilt for the 38 Spl.

The 1873 Colt SAA actually killed the caliber specific frame sizes of the Colt cap and ball guns. They chambered it for everything from .45 to .22! Horace Smith of S&W insisted on right-sized-frame-for-caliber revolvers and was responsible for Smith continuing that philosophy to this day.
 

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Perhaps because so many .357-users know that they can use .38 Specials "any time", that Ruger was concerned about liability if some one tried to put .357's into a .38 Special chamber. Why not the same with .44 Special and .44 Mag? Because the CA shooters demand .44 Special much much more and the nostalgia of having a "true cowboy gun" is more worth it then the .38/.357 issues. Anyone shooting .44 Special is generally a dedicated user, and shoots nothing else.
 

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There is a difference in talking about a .38spcl dedicated New Vaq and talking about the 44spcl vs the original vaq 44mags. The New Vaq is a .357mag frame, one that can tolerate the .44spcl, but not the .44mag. To follow the same concept, they'd need a shrunken mid frame or small frame that tapped out between .38spcl and .357mag, otherwise it just doesn't make sense to have a .38spcl only version.

Just shoot light .357mag loads or .38spcl out of the .357mag vaq, it's really not an issue.
 

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I just cleaned and oiled my only safe queen, a Colt SAA in 38 special, custom shop, series 3 made as a series 2. Shorter barrel than my shooter 357 Colt SAA but it is a dedicated 38 special unfired safe queen. I shoot the shooter SAA 357 all the time and it shows.

If the frame size is not an issue and you have funds to spend, have Ruger cut you a 38 special cylinder to fit the 357 one. Or....... Just shoot several thousand 38s and call it even.

So why did Colt build this one? Someone paid Colt Custom Shop to make it. Series 2 Colts were made natively in 38s but few purchased them. Certainly Ruger knows this lesson.
 

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Hondo, I enjoy reading your stuff, it's always filled with quality information, here's the but, cowboy action shooting or SASS rules are very strict that the hammer is down on an empty chamber no matter if it has a transfer bar or not. Neat concept but would be of little use to the CBS crowd. Ut it would be a cool little gun especially if it was a montado.
 

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38 special chambered revolvers are usually more accurate with 38s than the same gun chambered in 357 but cowboy action does not have tough accuracy requirements.
 

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In answer to the original question: I have no idea.
My answer too :) . But really, all you have to do is load down your .357 cartridges to .38 power levels and your problem is solved ... That is how I handle it. I only have a few empty .38 cases around and never load them for myself.
 

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Sort of, kind of related .... when I had my shop, some of my customers and I got in a heated discussion about 38 Special accuracy. One guy says only a 38 Special revolver is capable of precision accuracy .... another guy claims 357 mags are just as accurate. So ... I grabbed some of my guns and a batch of match grade 148gr HBWCs and off to the range we went. The customers brought their favorite revolvers too.

The absolute best groups were fired in a customers Colt Python 357 Mag (6"). My S&W Mod 14 (6") 38 Special came in a close second. Several other brands, models, and barrel lengths of 38 and 357s were also fired. The worst groups were fired in my 4" S&W Mod 10 ... and they weren't that bad .... under 2" at 25 yards. I think this was an eye opener for some of my friends and myself. One would think revolvers with 38 Special chambers would have been more accurate with 38 Special ammo and a few were .... but mostly it was a dead heat.

A 38 Special case is about .135" shorter than a 357 Mag case. This accounts for an extra .135" of free bore when shooting 38 Special ammo in a 357 Mag chamber; however, because the bullet is quite long, it starts into the throat long before its base exits a 38 Special case. This fact combined with the presence of an internal forcing cone inside each chamber makes the bullet stay aligned during the transition from case to bore so accuracy will maintain quite well. The same concept also applies in other revolvers such as 44 Specials in a 44 Mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the good info:)

I am not a match grade handgun shooter, yesterday, shooting both 130 gr. .38's and 158 gr. .357's through my 1980 Blackhawk, I saw no real accuracy difference.

Each gun is an individual too, I have identical 4" GP100's, one in .38 and one in .357, both are excellent shooters. I may have to try to shoot these from a sandbag and see if .38's shoot any tighter in the .38 version.

My question wasn't related so much to "accuracy", just that when I saw the limited edition "CAS" .357 Vaqueros, with the Montado hammers, CAS stamp, and 4 5/8" barrels, I had thought it would have been an added "touch" to make them more CAS specific by chambering them in .38 Special. I still think Ruger would have sold all they made. A regular catalog gun, no, but a run of 5,000 pairs of them, they would all sell.
 

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Or, if you don't like the fouling ring from shooting 38's in a .357, load up a bunch of .357 brass as 38's. Problem solved
Except for the fact that some load combinations can turn into deadly high pressure curves if you do that. Changing case length or diameter can have dire consequences. Stay with your load data, and load tested lightweight 357 loads if that's what you want.
 

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I have to disagree Junkpile, The sky isn't falling to load .357 to .38 special velocities. One misses the beauty of reloading if you don't load from barely exiting the barrel to zingers. Yes there are a couple powders like 296/h-110 that you don't load down. But powders like Unique, Universal, Red Dot, etc. can easily be used to meet your velocity requirements. :)

Hondo44 really what purpose would be served by a .38 Special Ruger Vaquero
There is only one reason... Accuracy. Anytime a bullet has to jump a gap (in this case into the throat), there is the possibility of loss of accuracy (but as Iowegan points out minimal chance). But then using the New Vaquero or original Vaquero for accurate bullseye shooting is a trial in the first place (at least that is what I've found). For hitting big steel plates at 15 feet or whatever it is for CAS, accuracy isn't much of a concern!
 

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I don't know much about CASS or SASS firearms other than the object is to use period correct firearms (or modern clones) chambered for period correct cartridges.

The 38 Special cartridge was patented in 1898 at the tail end of the "old west cowboy" chapter in American history. It was originally a black powder cartridge but just a year after it was introduced, the 38 Special along with many other cartridges were being converted to smokeless powder. Based on this information, a 38 Special qualifies for "period correct" ... but only by about a year or so.

The accuracy "tests" in my previous post were certainly not conducted in laboratory conditions .... just normal people shooting normal revolvers. I know I was somewhat surprised to see a 357 Mag finish in first place as were my friends. I don't recall how many guns were involved but it had to be at least 5 of each (38 & 357). Point being ... there's a lot more involved with accuracy than just a 38 or 357 chamber so in my opinion, the informal test proved there's virtually no difference in accuracy between the two. Even if there was a notable difference, it really wouldn't have an impact on CASS or SASS because these sports are not about match grade accuracy.

It appears if a period correct cartridge safely chambers in a period correct firearm (or clone) it would be within the CASS/SASS rules ... no matter if it was a 38 Special or a 357 Mag .... providing 357 Magnum ammo was not used. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Hondo44 really what purpose would be served by a .38 Special Ruger Vaquero :confused:when with a .357 Vaquero you can shoot all the .38 Specials you would ever want? Really no money made for Ruger to make such a gun. Probably why there hasn't been one!

Plus I really do not need your help I simply made a statement of my feelings. I don't think I could have said it plainer:rolleyes::rolleyes:
Already asked and answered.

No, you don't and no, you couldn't have, nice trolling!
 

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You have quite the attitude there Hondo44.........whoops now I see you are from nuff said:rolleyes:
Sorry, you're getting personal, although typical of trollers, but doesn't change what you did.

Everyone will have attitude for trollers or sarcasm on forums. When you do, and you did in your first post, if no one else beats me to it, I will call you on it. And if you didn't know you were doing it, now you do.

I gave you a subtle hint first, but it went right over your head and now you're digging an even deeper hole. Have you ever read the home page on this forum? "Welcome to RugerFornum.net, a friendly gun and firearm community for past and present Ruger owners!"
 
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