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New Vaquero 4 5/8"

This is a discussion on New Vaquero 4 5/8" within the Range Reports forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Took my brand new sixgun to the range. 25 degrees and snowing. 25 yards from a rest I could get 3 or 4 shot groups ...

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Old April 1st, 2008, 08:12 AM   #1
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New Vaquero 4 5/8"

Took my brand new sixgun to the range. 25 degrees and snowing. 25 yards from a rest I could get 3 or 4 shot groups within 1 1/2" but the rest would open it up to 5 to 7". New Speer 250gr factory, 255gr RNFP with 8.0 Unique, 255gr RNFP 9.0 Unique, 200gr plated SWC 8.6gr Unique and 250gr Winchester
factory cowboy ammo was used. I'm not sure if a steady diet 9.0 is too much for the new style Vaq but thats what I load for my friends old style BH, and that's what I had on hand. All loads were about 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches left and 3 to 4 inches low. I moved up to 30 feet. As would be predictable the groups tightened up and moved half way up and to the right toward
the bullseye. I was a little disappointed in the accuracy and the POI being as left as it was then I shot a 30 foot group with the SWC's that had five touch in a large jagged hole and the six opened the group up to 1 1/2 inches, POI was 7/8" left and 2 1/8" low. I felt better. Gun is clean and ready to go again. I took 8 thousands off the front sight not wanting to go very far at all till I get back to the range. I'm hoping the Vaq will group all the ammo a bit better after a break in. It is a nicely done revolver. The safety warning on the bottom of the barrel is genius and the new proportions are very comfortable for my hand, fit and finish is as nice as any of my other rugers. Will keep you posted. Picture is in the show me section. Lister.

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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:35 AM   #2
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Seems like a lot of folks shoot to the left with the Vaquero's, both old ones and new ones. I find I have to really, really concentrate more with the Vaquero due to the fairly small sights. I can shoot the Blackhawks much better. You got a nice one there!
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Old April 1st, 2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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Lister, You have a great gun there! Your low-left POI is very normal for a Ruger SA and it's not the sights. Ruger SAs have a very long lock time (the amount of time required for the hammer to drop once the trigger releases the sear). During that .075 seconds lock time, a right handed shooter will typically pull the muzzle low left. That's primarily because the grips don't fit well and in extreme cases ... anticipation of recoil. The fix is simple ... get a set of grips that really fit your hand and practice a lot. I have a "heavy frame" Vaquero much like yours (5.5" bbl) that when new shot low left too. After installing a set of oversized grips with finger grooves, my groups got tighter and were dead on the mark. I put my factory wood grips on the gun for show-and-tell and my custom grips on for a shooting session.

The next issue with Ruger 45 cals is the cylinder throats. In most cases, the throats are way too tight. They should measure .4525" but usually they will be under .451". This swages the bullet down in size so when it enters the bore, it's about .002" smaller in diameter than optimum. The solution is to chamfer the throats with a .4525" reamer. The difference in accuracy can be night and day. Group size with my bench mark load (255gr Hornady LRNFT .454" swaged bullet over 8 gr of Unique with a pinch of fiber filler) was about 5" @ 25 yds in my Vaquero before reaming and under an inch @ 25 yds after reaming. I also recut the forcing cone to a very smooth 11 degrees vs the rough 8 degree factory cone. I can now shoot a box of these loads with virtually no fouling and excellent POI=POA accuracy.

9 gr of Unique isn't too much as far as damaging pressure goes but it is the upper limit for soft lead bullets such as the Speers. This gun is not a wimp as some people would lead you to believe. It's way stronger than a typical Colt SAA clone but not as strong as the Blackhawk or older heavy frame Vaquero.

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Old April 1st, 2008, 02:00 PM   #4
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The VAQ seems to be breaking in

Second time out, the small bit off the sights really brought the group right to the point of aim but obviously didn't bring it left. Thanks for the tips Iowegan.
I'll concentrate even more. I am shooting from a supported rest with a firm grip. Here is the best group today. 255gr RNFP, 8.0gr Unique, 25 yds, 1 3/8".
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