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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the local pawn shop today looking an old style Ruger Vaquero nickel plated .45 long Colt. Do I understand the older Vaquero is better than the newer ones? Asking price is $499. Good or bad price?
 

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Depends on how you define better. I traded my "Old" Vaquero .45 Colt and got a "New" Vaquero .45 Colt - The original/old Vaquero can take higher pressure loads - 30 k psi and is a beast. It is larger and heavier. The new Vaquero has much better tolerances is lighter and more compact. The old Vaquero was really too big to be comfortable in my hands. The new frame is more compact and can be loaded to 20 k psi (don't want to re-argue this point - some say you cannot go beyond SAAMI Spec 14 K psi) but many shoot warm 20 k psi loads all day long ith no problem. Bullet weight is limited in the New Vaquero to about 280 grains. A 270 grain at 1,000 fps bullet is plenty for me. Had both like the New Vaquero much better. It is not "nickel" it is stainless - much better than nickel plate. price seems a little high to me but they don't make them anymore and many want to be able to shoot the "Ruger only" loads.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Seems a tad high to me but they aren't making that frame size anymore, I'll echo the previous post. I dislike the Vaqueros in stainless as it makes the sights difficult to see. My Vaquero is blued.....
 

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is it nickel plated or the factory polished stainless? What barrel length and what grip frame? Regular SAA or is it a bisley? Is it NIB with the fired cartridge and manual and plastic bag or not? or used?

All this makes a difference in price. If its NIB with all the goodies, then its priced about right for a collector. If its used in nice condition its about $50-$100 high I figure.

The Ruger Vaquero, as opposed to the New Vaquero is a larger, heavier, more robust handgun. It is overbuilt for what pressure the .45 Colt round runs at UNLESS you reload using RUGER ONLY loads. The New Vaquero is aimed at the Cowboy Shooting crowd who want a cheaper, more reliable Colt SAA clone to shoot lighter, lower powered loads through for faster repeat shots.

***NOTE*** Ruger Only loads are for Vaqueros only NOT New Vaqueros when you are talking about the Vaquero. Mix that up and you run the risk of blowing up your nice new New Vaquero with a load meant for a Vaquero.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I recon it is a stainless. Yes, it is used and a 5-1/2? inch barrel. I suppose the grips are standard. I do not know much about the Vaquero, but I thought it to be a high price. He wont come off it either. I guess I will pass that one up. Thanks for the information!
 

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The stainless Vaqueros (both old and new) are both brightly polished and look a bit tacky. Having said that, I have owned an old model in 44Mag and only traded it on a second hand pair of new models is 45 because I couldn't find a mate for the 44. Both great guns, a lot of the 'gamers' around here prefer the old model as it is heavier and soaks up recoil (not that their loads recoil much).

I don't know how your prices go, but I have occasionally have paid a bit extra to get a gun I wanted.

If it was to be used as a general knock about gun it would be a good thing, but a Blackhawk would be better. It's a shame the adjustable sights have that cheap pain on them that chips. That is about the only fault with them.
 

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is it nickel plated or the factory polished stainless? What barrel length and what grip frame? Regular SAA or is it a bisley? Is it NIB with the fired cartridge and manual and plastic bag or not? or used?

All this makes a difference in price. If its NIB with all the goodies, then its priced about right for a collector. If its used in nice condition its about $50-$100 high I figure.

The Ruger Vaquero, as opposed to the New Vaquero is a larger, heavier, more robust handgun. It is overbuilt for what pressure the .45 Colt round runs at UNLESS you reload using RUGER ONLY loads. The New Vaquero is aimed at the Cowboy Shooting crowd who want a cheaper, more reliable Colt SAA clone to shoot lighter, lower powered loads through for faster repeat shots.

***NOTE*** Ruger Only loads are for Vaqueros only NOT New Vaqueros when you are talking about the Vaquero. Mix that up and you run the risk of blowing up your nice new New Vaquero with a load meant for a Vaquero.
One thing we know for sure, it is not Nickel plated. Ruger did not make any Nickel plated Vaquero's, and it would be very unusual that someone would go to the trouble to have it plated. That gun, new, used, or other wise will not be what you would consider a collector, many, many Ruger's like that one have been sold, and many are still available at smaller gun shops. I would say that price is a bit high for a Vaquero chambered in 45 Colt. They are not as popular with the Cowboy Action Shooting crowd as the 357/38 Special. I've paid $250 for a 45 C Vaquero in very good conditon at a gun shop, altho that was two years ago. I recently bought a Stainless 357 Vaquero from a local pawn shop for $450, without the box. I doubt there will be much difference in the new Vaquero and the old Vaquero for the average shooter that buy's his ammo from the local store. If you are going to use it for Cowboy shooting either will work, if you are going to reload and use hot loads, get the old model. Good luck with your purchase.
 

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There are some Old Model Vaqueros currently available. They may all be gone as they were clean up guns.

As stated before, unless you really need the full power loads, the new Vaqueros are a nicer handgun (I've had old ones, but converted to the new) I feel.

It's funny, in pre cowboy shooting days, the Colts, Rugers in 357 were felt to have the 'heft' all wrong as there was too much metal. Come cowboy shooting it was good to reduce recoil (on pop gun loads, go figure), but everyone used to whinge about the big size of the OM Vaquero and continually lobbied for a Colt sized frame. They go it and now shooters lobby for the OM frame. I'm glad I'm not trying to make guns for a living. :D
 

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Flintlock,

The old Vaquero was built on the Blackhawk action. This action is larger than the colt action and can safely be loaded magnum pressures. All the loading manuals I have or have seen, show the load difference between Ruger,Freedom Arms and T/C being safe for 26.5 of H110 Powder for 1455 fps with 29,800 CUP pressures. These are magnum loads in everybody's list.
The bullet was the 250gr Hornady HP/XTP.
The highest pressures shown for the Colt and all clones, with the same bullet, is 7.3gr of HP-38 for 797 fps with 14,000 CUP.

I hope Hodgdon doesn't mind my citing their manual, it seems to me to be the most accurate manual I have and it's the first one I reach for.

I guess that cowboy action shooters are stickler, on the cowboy mystique as we know it, because a hue and cry that the Vaquero be closer to the feel and look of the Colt. Hence the New Vaquero. I've the old Vaquero and now I have the New Vaquero as far as I'm concerned I like 'em both. I hope that this is of some help.
 
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