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For the old-timers - Ruger Vaquero

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On 3/13/2021 at 11:19 PM, Cholla said:

I tried to send you a message asking about the record but it says you can't receive messages. I assume your inbox is full.



I sent you a PM.   You should be able to reply back now.




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On 3/13/2021 at 10:21 AM, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

My first pair of Cowboy revolvers - Ruger Vaqueros, birdshead grips, .357, 4 5/8" barrels, circa 2004.  Still going strong.




Nice irons - but I think those mags are illegal for most categories ....   :D:D

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I bought my first original Vaquero in 1997 when I joined SASS. I bought it at a gun show in Orange County CA. They seller had a deal going. For $750 you got a Ruger Vaquero in .357 and a Winchester 94 Trail's End. I jumped on it. I already had my Stoeger shotgun. I went to my first match and found out I needed two pistols. That really ticked me off and I darn near didn't bother with SASS. But I scrimped and saved and found a matching OMV for $369 a couple of months later. I went to my first match and remember being laughed at by a couple of folks for being silly enough to show up without real Colt's and "what's with this joke of a rifle ya have here. Yer gonna find out this rifles is terrible for SASS." They told me they were just having fun with me. That club no longer exists. I found the Coto Cowboys and went to shoot with those fine folks. Anyway, enough about that.


I honestly only bought the Rugers because I could afford them and I had heard they were built like tanks. 

I didn't care about "the bible" written on the barrel. It seemed to annoy some folks. I figured that I didn't buy the guns to look at, I bought them to shoot.

I shot that first set of Vaqueros from 97 to 05. Thousands of rounds through them with no malfunctions. I did replace the springs with 19# hammer springs in 2001.

I gave those Vaqueros to my son-in-law in 05. He still has them.

When I moved to North Carolina I bought an original Ruger Birdshead and 2 New Vaqueros. This was at the same time I just decided one day to quit Cowboy Action Shooting. I won't go into why, and don't PM me about why. I won't respond. That's of no concern regarding this thread.

I eventually sold the Birdhead (Yes, I am an idiot sometimes) and the 2 RNV's. 

I like the RNVs yet I dislike them. I have big hands so they seem small to me. I like the way the cylinder indexes and I like that they are more attractive than the originals but I like the originals more.

When I decided to get back into CAS in 2016 I bought a stainless original Vaquero with a 7.5" barrel in .45 Colt. I LOVE this revolver. I will never sell this gun. I bought it from the Cabela's Gun Library. It had been barely used.

I couldn't find a mate to it that hadn't been butchered, slicked up or just rode hard so I bought a stainless New Vaquero in ,45 Colt with a 5.5" barrel and got back into Cowboy Action Shooting.

I never could put my finger on it but I just didn't like that New Vaquero that I bought. It didn't feel right. It didn't work right. I cannot explain it but I sold it before moving back here to Kaleepornia.

Once I got back here I borrowed my old Vaqueros from my Son-In-Law and started going to matches here. The old guns still had what it took and I enjoyed shooting them again. The works seemed a bit mushy so just for kicks I sent them back to Ruger and they reworked them. Those old Vaqueros work like new again. I gave them back to my SIL in the hopes of enticing back into CAS. He's "too busy", so my ploy didn't work.

I went ahead and bought myself another stainless RNV .45 Colt with a 5.5" barrel. Now this little Ruger I really like. I don't know why but I really like this revolver. It's identical to the other one that I sold but this one feels right. It's solid. I had to send it back to Ruger though. It had an issue where it skipped chambers on cocking, I could have fixed it myself but why bother? Besides I like it so much when I sent it back I spent the money to have a .45 ACP cylinder made for it. Now it's a super cool little Vaquero.


In all I have owned 4 original Vaqueros and 4 New Vaqueros. I currently one one of each. I believe they are the most reliable and robust CAS revolvers made.

Folks can have their Colt's, Uberti's Pietta's, whatever they like, I will keep my Rugers.

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30 minutes ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:


Well...if you can figure out a way to stick that .40 Walther P99 mag into that Ruger, let me know......:P



Lots of lube...



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I bought my first Ruger in 1993; a super single six. I traded it off a few years later for a Ruger GP100. I liked the strength and dependability of the brand, so when I got into CAS in '95, I wanted to go with the Ruger Vaqueros.  I felt they were of better build quality than the Italian SAA clones (the Italian clones were rumored to be soft metal-wise then), and I liked the Ruger transfer bar safety allowing 6 to be carried. Colts were out of my price range then and I didn't think they would be as durable and reliable as the Rugers, either. (The RV barrel markings never bothered me in the slightest.)

I purchased two SS 44mag 5 1/2 in barrels RVs and used them for several years in CAS.  I had a local smith work on them; there was a stage at a big match where one needed extra handguns to finish the stage; this local smith supplied his own worked on guns and I was taken by their smoothness, alas. As it turned out his work lead to problems down the lane and I sold off this pair to another smith who could do the needed repair work.  (I think if I had not had them worked on, I would have kept them longer.  This taught me to be MUCH more chosey about who and what I would have done to my RVs in the future.)

At this time, I needed to replace them and I went with RVs again (I felt the prior ones didn't fail me; the smithing I had done did). I eventually decided on 45 colt and bought blued 4 5/8 in barrels this time; I liked the provenance of the 45 colt caliber over the 357 and was not interested in becoming very competitive. I used them for awhile till I decided I wanted to shoot black powder, so the 45s found a new home with a new shooter and I went the 44-40 RV route. Their durability, dependability/reliability, recoil absorption ability and good looks all work for me.

 I have over the years since, tried and sold off real Colt SAAs, Italian clone SAAs, Italian Remington 75 clones, Schofield clones, and a S&W new model clone; none felt or worked as well for me as an old model RV.

As for New RVs, tried one once and felt it did not stack up against the old model; too lightweight, silly long hammer, another silly little spring and plunger that I didn't think added anything significant, a more easily lost cylinder pin and uncomfortable 'cheese- grater' black plastic grips.  Sold it off and went back to my old model RVs.


Edited by Sacramento Johnson #6873
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I started with a .357 BH that my dad gave me. Great gun but not "Cowboy" enough for me, but it's what I had.

I like different, so I got a couple '75 Remingtons, then a couple converted '58 Remingtons… Then

A nice pair of OMV in .45 Colt, stainless and I went to town. Power Custom parts, slick this, polish that... They are SWEET!

Run like crazy and are VERY strong. They have a nice Cowboy look, although not Colts, I don't care, I think they're great!

Daughter shoots a slicked pair just like mine in .357... When I run out of LPP, I'll start using hers… LOL

Edited by The Rainmaker, SASS #11631
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I bought my first Vaquero, KBNV-35, 357 mag stainless, 5.5" in 1999.
I was playing saloon piano at the Gold Rush Days and wanted an authentic looking western revolver.
Thanks entirely to blind luck, I wound up with the Bisley Vaquero.

As it turns out, these are scarce... maybe 4500 made over the life of the product.
When SASS caught my eye, I had more blind luck and found its identical twin brother in a pawn shop in Junction City, KS.
Then came a pair of the same, but in 44 mag, and another pair of the same in Single Six 22LR.

I'm a sucker for Bisleys.

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