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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to identify the max design operating pressure of the New Model Vaquero and the New Model Blackhawk.

I have seen references that list the New Vaquero at 14000psi and 20000psi. Comments?

A new concern, to me, is the New Blackhawk. Did Ruger make the cyl walls thinner or was the entire redesign related to the transfer bar mod?

I mic'ed the cyl walls on both guns and the Blackhawk is approx. ,020 thicker. This does not seem like much.


Comments would be appreciated.
 

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I don't think you will ever hear Ruger say that any of their revolvers are designed to be used with loads that exceed SAAMI maximums. That would limit the .45 Colt to something under 20,000 psi (too lazy to look it up).

All of the information regarding heavier loads comes from sources other than Ruger...some reliable and some maybe a bit too enthusiastic.

The strength of the Blackhawk and Vaquero revolvers is now a very confusing matter, because there are THREE different SA frames and systems we are talking about; the original "3-screw" Blackhawk with 4-click action, the "New Model" Blackhawk with transfer bar action and larger frame and cylinder (that's the one that is stronger), and the latest "New New" Flat Top Blackhawks that revert back to a Colt SAA size frame and cylinder and do not have the strength of the beefier "New Models".

In the Vaquero, there is the original one based on the "New Model" Blackhawk frame, with its extra strength, and then there is the "New Vaquero" with downsized frame and cylinder the same as the "New New" Flat Top Blackhawk.

If you are dealing with a 3-screw Blackhawk, a Flat Top "New New" Blackhawk or a "New Vaquero", then there is NO EXTRA STRENGTH that can be assumed over a Colt SAA.

If you have the larger "New Model" Blackhawk or the original Vaquero with larger frame and cylinder, you can consider souping it up, at your own risk.
 

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The New Vaqueros are no better than COLT CLONES. They can not withstand the higher pressures of the redhawk, Blackhawk, or OLD Vaqeuro. IMHO, stay away from the New Vaquero if you want to load hot in the 45Colt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ruger 45 LC operating pressures

Thanks to each of you.
This is precisely the information I was looking for.
 

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I have the firm impression that the current "Flattop" models are identical to any other New Model Blackhawk in the frame and cylinder, except for the flat top on the frame. If that's the case, it should stand up to any load that other New Model Blackhawks can handle. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd like to see some documentation.

The New Vaqueros, though, are a different matter. They do have smaller cylinders and frame, and are not designed for the higher-intensity stuff. I seem to recall that Bowen has turned out one or two NV .44 mags, but they have 5-shot cylinders, I believe.
 

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I believe you are correct and could use the 30k loads I linked above or any other "Ruger Only" data. Note - base on the info posted by wildhobbybobby I would have to say I have no idea so for "new" Blackhawks you will have to do some research. 20 k is the limit for the "New" Vaqueros.
 

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I have the firm impression that the current "Flattop" models are identical to any other New Model Blackhawk in the frame and cylinder, except for the flat top on the frame. If that's the case, it should stand up to any load that other New Model Blackhawks can handle. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd like to see some documentation.
I believe you are correct and could use the 30k loads I linked above or any other "Ruger Only" data.
That is absolutely NOT correct, except in the case of the new Flat Top .44 Magnum, which is the same size as the Super Blackhawk. The new Flat Top .357 Magnum and .44 Special revolvers are smaller in frame and cylinder dimensions than the previous transfer bar .357's and .45's, and are NOT suitable for the hot "Ruger Only" loads.

I have owned both and still have a new .44 Spl. Flat Top. It is smaller...

You are correct in that the newest Vaquero in .357 and .45 is a smaller frame also...it is the same size frame as my .44 Spl.

If you try to "hot rod" the latest .357 or .44 Spl. Flat Top or the latest .357 or .45 Vaquero, you are playing with dynamite.

Documentation:

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-NewVaquero.htm

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-44Flattop.htm

http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=31

http://www.gunsandammo.com/content/ruger-flattop-44-special-blackhawk-revolver
 

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Lots of bad information in this thread!

NMBH, OMBH, SBH, NMFTBH, Redhawk, GP100, Vaquero, & SRH can all be run as hot as you want to hold onto.

New Vaquero 45 Colt should only be run at SAAMI max listed loads and below, the New Vaquero in .357 Mag can be run as hot as you want.

The NMFTBH has the same cylinder and cylinder frame of the NMBH/OMBH, but the smaller grip frame of the NV.

I own pretty much every Ruger Revolver made... I don't recommend exceeding published loads, as they are just plain overkill and unpleasant to shoot.
 

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Nothing personal but the two articles linked by Brian Pearce are well documented and I will go along with him over mattsbox 99 as relating to .45 Colt loads which is the whole point of this thread. Further, I have read many first hand accounts of individuals contacting Ruger and they were specificially told the "New" Vaqueros were +P rated - i.e. over 14k. They are not 30k guns but will shoot 20 k loads as discussed in detail in the articles I linked above. I have not researched the current production Blackhaws in .45 Colt but that picture of the cylinders from wildhobbybobby would make me do some research before using any loads over 20 k.
 

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You are wrong, I just grabbed my NMFTBH and my NMBH, and interchanged the cylinders, they fit perfectly. The cylinder frames measure exactly the same. So unless I have an anomaly (I don't) they are the SAME. The ONLY difference is the steel ERH and steel GF.

Ruger has NEVER said their NVs are safe for anything above published SAAMI loads, I know that for a fact, they stand their ground and say not to use handloaded ammunition period. There is no SAAMI +P load for .45 Colt, only .45 ACP, 9mm, and .38 SPL.

The picture above is a New Vaquero Cylinder on the right, and a Vaquero, OMBH, NMBH, NMFTBH cylider on the left.
 

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You are wrong, I just grabbed my NMFTBH and my NMBH, and interchanged the cylinders, they fit perfectly. The cylinder frames measure exactly the same. So unless I have an anomaly (I don't) they are the SAME. The ONLY difference is the steel ERH and steel GF.

Ruger has NEVER said their NVs are safe for anything above published SAAMI loads, I know that for a fact, they stand their ground and say not to use handloaded ammunition period. There is no SAAMI +P load for .45 Colt, only .45 ACP, 9mm, and .38 SPL.

The picture above is a New Vaquero Cylinder on the right, and a Vaquero, OMBH, NMBH, NMFTBH cylider on the left.
Matt, can you measure the cylinder diameters on the models in question?
 

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Again, with all due respect Ruger, the manufacturer, has specifically stated, in writing, that the "New" Vaquero will handle +P loads but does not recommend Buffalo Bore Ammunition ( I would not shoot Corbon either and probably a couple others who load to "Ruger Only" levels.) Here are the facts with written responses from Ruger http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=48978&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 This is a long thread and many made your point that there is no SAAMI +P spec for .45 Colt but as many state, who I side with - and common sense would dictate, anything over 14 k would be +P by definition. Again, I trust the articles I linked from Brian Pearce over you as he had specific data and measurements for his determinations that the New Vaquero was +P rated to 20 k which is consistent to the repeated responses - from Ruger - that the "New" Vaquero was +P rated, i.e. over 14k. This makes common sense. Facts are tough things. Sorry. I am surprised to learn that the "New" Blackhawk may be a 20K gun as well. The pictures from Wildbobbyhobby would make me think twice about going over 20k with the "New" Blackhawk without further research.
 

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Hopefully nobody reads your post... its all wrong!

Mike-
NMSBH- 1.722"
OMSBH- 1.722"
OMBH 357 - 1.662"
NMFTBH - 1.730"
NMBH- 1.725", 1.724"
Vaquero - 1.724", 1.727"

My New Vaquero is at the Engraver right now so I don't have a measurement for it. I didn't do all of my Blackhawks, it seems redundant.
 

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Just thought I'd throw this out there....
The 20 kpsi .45 Colt loads can be found at the Accurate Arms website. Although they are listed as "Ruger/Contender only", they are actually the .45 Colt loaded to match .45 ACP pressures. I have used these in a M25-5 S&W N-frame with no problems.
 

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From the thread you apparently did not take the time to read

maybe you fellas know something i dont, but i thought id chime in


before buying my new model vaquero 45 colt, i did alot of online research and reading about the gun. all i ever found was that the new vaquero 45 was sort of a weak suck, and couldnt handle much more than black powder pressure loads. somehow , i fund that hard to believe.

i got a wild hair and decided to call ruger directly. firstly, i spoke to a gentlemen down there, but for the ife of me i cant remeber the guys name. we spent about 1/2 hour on the phone discussing the new model vaquero and what types of amunition can be fired in it. he said while ruger doesnt advocate the use of reloads in any of there firearms, that the new model vaquero is well suited to handle all regular factory loads,including +P AND +P+. i told him had read all of this stuff online saying that the gun couldnt handle those sort of pressures. re replied that rugers 45 proof loads were ABOVE 45 colt +P+ pressures, and he assured me that the new model vaquero can handle it.

then, the next day, i called to ask them another question on the subject, because someone else trying to prove a point (i guess) stated that he had fired ammunition in his new model vaquero,1 round of buffalo bore and the frame twisted and the headspace changed considerably. i got ahold of a very nice lady by the name of tina (very nice lady by the way )for about 40 minutes.she told me that buffalo bore and a couple other manufacturers ammunition was WELL ABOVE +P+ pressures and SHOULD NOT BE USED , BUT the new model vaquero was rated to handle +P and +P+ without any issues


now, let me ask you this. who would you trust under the circumstances?.what you have read online, or what the manufactuer tells you?

i wouldnt figure that they would want to give you any misinformation,seeing that if they did it could cause them one big lawsuit of the gun was to blow up and someone was to get hurt.

now, im not saying the new model vaquero can handle nuke powered loads or anything, but i have personally loaded up stuff myself that was high end pressure side from a well known online manual and powder manufacure,using there online load database and fired them without any problems whatsoever.

Her it is in writing - directly from Ruger
emailed riger and posed the question t them , so i could get it in writing so t speak, just in case that something ever did happen. heres the response i got


Dear john XXXXXXXX ,


Thank you for using the Ruger On-Line Customer Support Request Form.

This e-mail is in response to your question or comment of 04/16/2009
Request No: XXXXXX

Comment / question:

i own a new model ruger vaquero in 45 colt. in doing some research on ammunition on the internet, ive found a lot of forums and such that say the new model vaquero will only physically and structurally handle nothing but the low end cowboy style ammunition (14,000 CUP). on the same note, there are places that sell ammunition marked "ruger and t/c only". i called the other day and a ruger employee named tina said it will handle +P and +P+ ammo. i just want to know what it will shoot so i dont blow it up.

Response:
All of our firearms including the New Model Vaquero are designed to handle all US Industry Standard Ammunition made to SAMMI Spec. including all +P and +P+. We do not however recommend the use of Buffalo Bore Ammunition in any of of the firearms we manufacture.

If you need further information, please visit our website at www.ruger.com or contact us at:

Revolvers, shotguns, rifles, 10/22 Charger Pistol: (603) 865-2442
Pistols: (928) 778-6555
Serial Number History Information: (603) 865-2424

Please note: This e-mail is sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Sincerely,
Ruger Firearms



so there ya have it, directly from the manufacturer . personally, all im worried about with mine is having some decent loads to practice with, and some higher end hollowpoints to carry when im in the woods,like the difference between 38 special and 357 magnum. i load milder loads up with either unique or titegroup and 255gr hornady cowboy LRNFP, and higher end loads with 240gr hornady XTP'S and either titegroup,H110 or lilgun. but as you can see, id rather hear it directly from the hoses mouth rather than rely on some ofthe info you read on the internet.

I spent hours researching this issue and for you to say Ruger never said something I've read over and over again is insane. I know you know more than Ruger and Brian Pearce. Who are you going to believe me or your lying eyes. Really don't get the mule-headed attitude.
 

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You wasted a lot of time, there is no factory SAMMI +P or +P+ loads for the .45 Colt!

What Buffalo Bore makes is way beyond SAMMI Limits, and they say so themselves.

I can't believe you fail to recognize this simple fact!

I've read that thread and the Ruger Gurus agree with me. I don't care what Brian Pearce says. You don't have to believe me, I could not care less, I don't want you spewing false information.
 

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My Lyman reloading handbook reads in the comments of the 45 Colt under rifle sections if 45 Colt can be loaded to higher pressures, in this case they used 44 Magnum pressures. This case is not meant to hold that pressure is the answer so if you're looking for more punch go with something designed to handle the higher pressure.

I'm sure the same would apply to revolvers no matter what the strength of the action or cylinder.
 
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