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Does Ruger still service old model Vaqueros?

This is a discussion on Does Ruger still service old model Vaqueros? within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I posted a pic of my new to me old model 44 mag Vaquero a few weeks ago. Picked it up from a gun show ...


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Old February 26th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #1
 
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Does Ruger still service old model Vaqueros?

I posted a pic of my new to me old model 44 mag Vaquero a few weeks ago. Picked it up from a gun show for $160 and a 10/22 Target model.

I've been shooting it a bit and have discovered the cylinder likes to drag on two chambers. The BC gap goes to .000" on these chambers. I'm not sure if I've got a bent base pin or an out of square cylinder face. Either way, it needs to be fixed. After a dozen rounds or so the gun will lock up completely unless I manually help the cylinder rotate.

My question is, does Ruger still service the old model Vaquero? I don't care if they charge me for the work, I'm just curious if they would do the work.

I'd ask them myself... but it's Sunday and I'm impatient



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Old February 26th, 2017, 12:45 PM   #2
 
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I'd be surprised if they won't.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #3
 
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Check the Ruger website under customer service. They have a list of out of production models that have no parts and no service.

Last edited by True Grit; February 26th, 2017 at 01:48 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 01:43 PM   #4
 
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First of all, let me remind you there is no "Old Model" Vaquero among us old geezers. "Old Model" is applied to the Three Screw Blackhawks and Single Sixes that do not have the transfer bar action.

Among us curmudgeons, the terms for Vaqueros is original and "New Vaquero."

Since much of the innards of the Vaquero were identical to the
New Model Blackhawks, some parts are available. Just what do you need done? If broken parts, you may be better off fixing the gun yourself if parts are available.

My protocol is this, in order:

1. Fix it myself

2. Take it to my gunsmith

3. Send to factory.


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Old February 26th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Wright View Post
First of all, let me remind you there is no "Old Model" Vaquero among us old geezers. "Old Model" is applied to the Three Screw Blackhawks and Single Sixes that do not have the transfer bar action.

Among us curmudgeons, the terms for Vaqueros is original and "New Vaquero."

Since much of the innards of the Vaquero were identical to the
New Model Blackhawks, some parts are available. Just what do you need done? If broken parts, you may be better off fixing the gun yourself if parts are available.

My protocol is this, in order:

1. Fix it myself

2. Take it to my gunsmith

3. Send to factory.


Bob Wright
Thanks Bob.
Correct... it's an original Vaquero not an old model (semantics)

#1. I'd fix it myself if I knew what to do to solve my cylinder binding issue

#2. I'd take it to a gunsmith if there were any that worked on revolvers around here

#3. I'll send it to Ruger I guess since I ruled out the first two requirements

Last edited by Owly; February 26th, 2017 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old February 26th, 2017, 03:48 PM   #6
 
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Perhaps our resident retired gunsmith might be able to save my Vaquero a trip out to Newport. Any idea what's going on with my gun show find Iowegan?
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Old February 26th, 2017, 04:22 PM   #7
 
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I sent mine back 5 years ago with no problem.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 04:54 PM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Owly View Post
Perhaps our resident retired gunsmith might be able to save my Vaquero a trip out to Newport. Any idea what's going on with my gun show find Iowegan?
We need something in the forums like the "Bat Signal" from the old Batman TV show to summon Iowegan to a thread.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 05:58 PM   #9
 
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We need something in the forums like the "Bat Signal" from the old Batman TV show to summon Iowegan to a thread.
^^^^ Agreed

Something for admin to consider ???

That man is a wealth of knowledge and sagely advice.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 07:10 PM   #10
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Eastman, Bat Signal received!

Owly, Lot's of "could be's" but with the info you provided, nothing definite.

A couple guesses .... the recoil shield may have a set of divots that mate with the ratchet column. When the cylinder is rotated, it cams the cylinder forward and binds it up. An out of square cylinder will do the same thing as will a bent base pin.

Pull the base pin and remove the front screw from the ejector housing. This will allow you to remove the base pin. Once removed, roll it over a nice flat surface. If it is bent, it will be obvious..

Remove the cylinder. Use a caliper to measure the cylinder body from the face of the cylinder to the rear surface. Measure the body length for all six holes. If the cylinder has runout, some of the measurements will be different. Further, you can manually rotate the cylinder on a 1/4" shaft and visually see if the cylinder has runout on the front face.

With the cylinder removed, take a close look at the recoil shield especially the area where the ratchet column mates. If you see small ramped impressions in the recoil shield, you found the culprit.

You may have a rare specimen with a very tight B/C gap ....so tight that just a thousandth or two "out of square" cylinder will cause the face of the cylinder to drag on the barrel. Simple solution .... file a tad off the rear of the barrel. You want a B/C gap of .004~.008" .... .006" is optimum. A "facing cutter" is the right tool to cut the barrel back and keep it squared but if you are talented, a good single cut fine file will do the job.

Not much else I can think of at the moment except the most obvious .... have you cleaned the front face of the cylinder lately? Sometimes lead or jacket material will build up on the cylinder's front face.

BTW, Ruger's web site says the original Vaquero is OUT OF PRODUCTION, which means they may or may not have parts .... I'd give them a phone call before sending it in..

Last edited by Iowegan; February 26th, 2017 at 07:24 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2017, 09:06 PM   #11
 
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If the cyl pin is bent call Ruger and they'll send you a free one. The full size pin for the Blackhawks will interchange, but it won't have the collar on the front of the pin.

However in my experience, the chance is 99.9% that the barrel cyl gap is too tight. Even if the front face of the cyl is slightly out of square, filing the end of the barrel as Iowegan describes is the easiest proper fix.

The rub marks on the front of the cyl will indicate where it rubs on the barrel so that's where to file the barrel. You're looking at a 5 minute job, maximum.

Questions? Just ask.

Jim
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Old February 26th, 2017, 11:34 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwinters View Post
I sent mine back 5 years ago with no problem.
If there was no problem then why did you send it back?

Bada-BOOM!

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Old February 27th, 2017, 06:26 AM   #13
 
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Thanks guys. Great information.
I'll measure the cylinder for out of square and check base pin for a bend. Beyond that I'm going to chicken out and send it in. Filing on the barrel would be a disaster as I know how heavy handed I can be. Hopefully it's just a bent base pin, but likely not.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 08:54 AM   #14
 
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I pulled the base pin out last night and it is nice and true. Measured the cylinder for squareness and had 1.702" at all six chambers. No obvious defect in the recoil shield.
One thing I did observe is the BC gap is not perfectly parallel. When looking from the side, the top of the barrel touches the outer circumference of the cylinder, but the bottom of the barrel shank has several thousandths clearance from the cylinder.
I'm not sure what that indicates but it's not right. I'm waiting for FedEx to pick her up and take her home now.
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Old February 28th, 2017, 09:40 AM   #15
 
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Just means the end of the barrel isn't square. You had about 2 minutes with a couple of strokes from a file and it's fixed vs. 2 weeks w/o the gun.
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