Right there, what are you referring to, a Vaquero or a New Vaquero? Calling the New Vaquero a "New Model Vaquero" is a great example of exactly what I'm talking about....my friend's brace of SS New Model Vaqueros.!
If the tech told you that, he/she was wrong. Period. End of discussion. Plain and simple. I know exactly what guns you're talking about and Whitworth has one for testing. It is a large frame.I don't know if that phone tech was accurate, on mid framed 44 Mag. Birdsheads, and their first run may be so small that even collectors missed that train.
I'm saying never. You remember it wrong, plain and simple. As I've said multiple times now, the original .44Mag Blackhawks were built on a new large frame, completely different from the mid-frame .357. Production ran from early 1956-1962. Word has it that Ruger made three mid-frame prototype .44Mag's but when one blew during proofing, they scrapped it and designed the larger frame. NONE were ever shipped. Never. Ever. The Super Blackhawk that debuted in 1959 was not larger or stronger than the .44 flat-top. It used the same sized frame with the added rear sight ears. The cylinder is the same diameter, just unfluted. It only 'seemed' larger and stronger due to the longer grip frame and greater weight.But I do remember watching a dude shoot his 44 Mag. mid frame, three screw Ruger Blackhawk.....
This is rather comical. Because that .45 you refer to as "large and clubby" was the same physical size but a few ounces lighter than the .44Mag flat-top that you thought was a mid-frame.I don't have my late brother's New Model Blackhawk with it's 7.5" bbl. for the simple reason that I don't want anything that large and clubby. Not then, not now, and not in my future.