View Full Version : Ruger Vaquero?

February 28, 2015, 18:43
Looking at 357 4 1/2"case hardened. Anyone have one and wish to comment?

February 28, 2015, 22:10
New or old model Vaquero? They R different.

February 28, 2015, 22:14
I am not familiar with them but would like to know the difference of new and old.

February 28, 2015, 22:27
Old model frames were beefier & took hotter loads I believe; they were tanks. The new models R made slimmer much like the traditional Colt & Uberti SAA clones. TI think cylinder indexing is different as well; they haven't made the old models in some time & prices for those R somewhat higher accordingly. At least I believe this is the main difference, others can correct me if I am wrong.

Retired Bum
February 28, 2015, 23:21
I had an "old model" Vaquero purchased new in 1998. The frame is not case hardened. Ruger applies that color case hardened finish chemically. Real color case hardening such as my Colt 3rd gen SAA has looks ever so much better.

And so it goes.

The Retired One

Blue Monster
March 01, 2015, 07:49
Hope this helps.

Case hardened probably means it's a vaquero, New Vaquero case hardened are rare.

OP; does it say "Vaquero" on the frame or "New Vaquero" ;) easiest way for the unfamiliar to tell the difference.

As mentioned, the Vaqueros are big tanks (Blackhawk 357 frames), the new ones are smaller but still large compared to a SAA. I shoot a New Vaquero daily, chambered in .45 acp, only issue is the base pin is starting to wear at 3-4K rounds. But I bought last fall and been feeding it a lot, it's my Huckleberry.

Buy it and shoot the snot out of it, in either model it will handle 357's like a champ. Any issues, Ruger has superb customer service.

Here is an SAA 45 Colt, a New Vaquero 45 acp. and a Blackhawk 357 (same frame as a Vaquero) for a comparison;
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r61/bluemonster2003/DSCN6223_zpscd9nzn1g.jpg (http://s141.photobucket.com/user/bluemonster2003/media/DSCN6223_zpscd9nzn1g.jpg.html)

The SAA and New V side by side;
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r61/bluemonster2003/DSCN6225_zps8xpngjpw.jpg (http://s141.photobucket.com/user/bluemonster2003/media/DSCN6225_zps8xpngjpw.jpg.html)

http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r61/bluemonster2003/guns/DSCN5932_zpsd1d70e71.jpg (http://s141.photobucket.com/user/bluemonster2003/media/guns/DSCN5932_zpsd1d70e71.jpg.html)

Paul Cox
March 02, 2015, 17:14
I have one like you described. It's a tank and will digest any factory .357 load with ease. I feed it mostly lead .38 cowboy loads.

I used it and a similar stainless model in cowboy action shooting. I think they are accurate pistols but the sights limit that somewhat. For fast action on steel gongs they are more controllable than the SAA or clones due to the mass.

If you get one, install the Wolff spring kit and polish the hammer strut. They slick up nicely. They have a typical Ruger "lawyer" spring on both the hammer and trigger. I believe the hammer spring from the factory is about 24# IIRC. The Wolff kit comes with 17,18,19# springs. I run the 19# springs and like them.

March 03, 2015, 00:37
I have an old model vaquero, they are heavy by several oz. I have a stocking dealer sample , .45 lc 51/2'' with dealer ivory simulated grips , they have the ruger trademark on the lower part of the grip. This is the only grip set like this I have seen. Super smooth gun better than average accurate. It takes heavy loads with acceptable recoil. :rofl:

March 03, 2015, 12:33
As mentioned, the Vaqueros are big tanks (Blackhawk 357 frames), the new ones are smaller but still large compared to a SAA.

Adding this confuses the issue, since the smaller frame is based on the .357 frame. There were two sizes of Blackhawk: the smaller .357 frame (original from when when .357 was the only chambering) and the larger .44 frame, also used for .41 and .45. When the New Model Blackhawk was introduced in 1973, Ruger dropped the .357 frame and built all new Blackhawks on the large frame. When they brought out the Vaquero, it also used the large frame.

Then a few years ago they reintroduced the smaller frame for the .357 Blackhawk. I'm pretty sure the .44 Special and .45 Colt Blackhawks also use the smaller frame, but not 100% on that. The Super Blackhawk continues to use the large frame.

After reintroduction of the smaller .357 frame size, Ruger transitioned to that size for the Vaquero and called it New Vaquero.

Btw, your NV is a beautiful revolver. You might consider putting an oversize basepin in it, if you haven't already. I put a Belt Mountain basepin in my Bisley Vaquero (.45 Colt) that I bought as soon as they became available, and it did wonders for it.

Blue Monster
March 03, 2015, 21:37
Absolutely right!
I was good on the "New" on Vaquero then proceeded to forget it when I typed "Blackhawk 357". That being said, the comparison in the picture is still correct, the New Model Blackhawk on the right end is the same frame as a original Vaquero and the center is the New Vaquero, lol 'tis confusing!
(I got it right there didn't I?)

Thanks, printed my form out for a locking base pin from Belt Mtn. gonna send it off tomorrow.

March 27, 2015, 17:41
the old vaquero is real fussy about lining up the cylinder with the gate to unload your fired brass.
that is the only thing I don't like about mine.
mine is 45 LC (COLT) and is Stainless Steel, about 1998 vintage.