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Weight of Parts

This is a discussion on Weight of Parts within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; My 5 1/2" blued .357 New Vaquero is nice, but noticeably heavier than a Colt, even if the Colt is also a .357 Thinking about ...


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Old April 24th, 2017, 07:05 AM   #1
 
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Weight of Parts

My 5 1/2" blued .357 New Vaquero is nice, but noticeably heavier than a Colt, even if the Colt is also a .357

Thinking about things that might bring the weight down a little:

Some guns have an anodized aluminum ejector rod housing, instead of steel. Can someone tell me the part number, or which guns came standard with the aluminum?
(The weight difference would be small but since it's out in front, might be noticeable)

My blued Single Six has the aluminum grip frame, which is 1/8" wider than the steel grip frame on the New Vaquero. I believe the grip frames could be swapped, but might need some modification to retain the reverse-indexing on the NV. I do understand the effect on balance and grip shape.
Also, the thinner grip on the NV reduces its weight somewhat, though it will still be heavier than the aluminum one. Does anyone know the weight difference between the NV steel version and the aluminum SS version?
The NV steel does have a lot of "extra" steel down at the bottom, with the integrated lock and other stuff in there.

Finally, I could have the barrel cut back to the 4 5/8" length and have a new front sight installed in a dovetail. Aside from slight weight reduction, that would give me a front sight that could be drifted for windage adjustments, and easily replaced if I later changed loads and needed it to be higher again. But it may not be that simple...

I want to stay with the .357 caliber, I've got lots of .38/.357 guns but don't (heresy) own any in .45 Colt and want to keep my ammunition supply simple.

Comments and suggestions? Thanks!



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Old April 24th, 2017, 07:35 AM   #2
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There's more to the weight difference and, especially, the feel and balance between a New Vaquero and a Colt clone than just weight of the parts. Frame size, cylinder size and grip are beefier with the Ruger. The New Vaquero is definitely closer to a Colt in its dimensions than the original Vaquero or New Model Blackhawk, but it's still a bigger gun.

Here's a Colt clone in a Cimarron New Frontier in 357, at top, and a New vaquero in 357 with the same barrel length on the bottom.


At first glance they may look nearly identical, but for me, the little bit of difference in build size translates into two quite different guns as to how they handle. In particular, I find the Cimarron to be a much better fit for my hands. My thumb comes comfortably to a rest on top of the hammer with the Colt clone, but with the Ruger, I have to break my grip and stretch my thumb to access the hammer. I can draw the Colt clone from a holster and cock the hammer, easily, one-handed, but I struggle to do the same with the Ruger. I much prefer to shoot the Ruger with two hands, cocking the hammer with my left hand.

My advice is to enjoy the Ruger for the advantages it offers in terms of strength and durability, but if you want that genuine Colt feel and handling, just add a Colt clone (or two) to the collection as I have. Both great guns, but I don't think you'll ever be able to perfectly duplicate the feel of the Colt by modding the Ruger. My two cents, anyway.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 07:58 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North country gal View Post
My advice is to enjoy the Ruger for the advantages it offers in terms of strength and durability, but if you want that genuine Colt feel and handling, just add a Colt clone (or two) to the collection as I have.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 08:36 AM   #4
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NCG is right on the money. Besides the weight measured by a scale, the gun's balance can make it "feel" heavier. A good example is a normal blued 357 Blackhawk with an aluminum grip frame versus a Vaquero with an all steel frame. The normal Blackhawk is "nose heavy" and makes the gun feel heavier when indeed it isn't.

Personally, I like the extra weight. It helps me stay on target better plus it reduces recoil. My favorite Single Action revolver is my heavy frame Vaquero. It is a 45 convertible and handles like a dream. The only objection is the front sight is too shiny so I blacked it out and now get a good sight picture.

Here's my 2002 vintage Vaquero 45 Convertible:

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Old April 24th, 2017, 01:38 PM   #5
 
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Good news:
I just discovered that the new Uberti Cattleman II comes with a firing pin block that should make it safe against both drop-firing and slip-firing, and it's otherwise a Colt clone. Recent guns are said to be good quality.

Mediocre news:
The safety system is new for them, and there isn't much real world experience to see if it really works.

Bad news:
For any given caliber/length, the Cattleman II seems to be only 3 oz lighter than an equivalent New Vaquero.
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Old April 24th, 2017, 04:05 PM   #6
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Jim, as Iowegan said, it's not just the weight, though 3 ounces is still significant, here. You really owe it to yourself to at least try the Uberti and check for balance and fit.
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Old April 25th, 2017, 02:14 PM   #7
 
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Today I went to the LGS and was able to handle a couple of Cimarron and Uberti guns similar to my NV: 5 1/2" .357
For me, they are out of consideration:
The weight difference was detectable if I handled a Uberti and then immediately picked up my NV. Give me a couple of minutes between guns, and the weight/balance felt the same. The 3 oz weight difference is about the same as 6 rds of .357 ammo, and nobody complains about their ammunition making the gun too heavy.
A NV with the 4 5/8" barrel felt as good or better than the 5 1/2" Uberti, so I might trade into the shorter barrel NV at some point.
The Cimarron and Uberti guns looked like the color case hardening had been coated with shiny clear lacquer. Whether or not that's true, it looked cheap. Several (all?) of them had small but deep scratches on the cylinder, similar to photos I have seen on the internet. The fake color case on the older Vaqueros actually looked better to me.
The wider grip frames on the Italians felt better in my hand, but the NV can be fixed with thicker grips or a thin plastic "plate" cut to fit and sandwiched under the grips. Or the Ruger aluminum grips frames are already wider.
The "thumb-reach" to cock single-handed was not so much better on one or the other, just different.

So it looks like I'll be staying with Ruger.
Thanks for the replies.
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Old April 25th, 2017, 06:03 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gearhead Jim View Post
So it looks like I'll be staying with Ruger.
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