Review and Range Report of Ruger Vaquero 44 SPL

Review and Range Report of Ruger Vaquero 44 SPL

This is a discussion on Review and Range Report of Ruger Vaquero 44 SPL within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; And, it was a very "special" day. Only 500 of these were produced as of this date. My LGS had 3, two with the 4 ...

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Thread: Review and Range Report of Ruger Vaquero 44 SPL

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Review and Range Report of Ruger Vaquero 44 SPL

    And, it was a very "special" day. Only 500 of these were produced as of this date. My LGS had 3, two with the 4 5/8 barrel, and one with a 3 inch tube. While waiting on a Colt SAA chambered in 44 spl that I ordered to be made, which will possibly take months, I couldnt help but to get my paws on this special edition from Ruger.

    Its a fact; I love big bore revolvers. Especially SA revolvers. I am in no way a Ruger fan, but when it comes to their SA guns, they do it right. But enough banter, lets get to THIS special gun.

    For those of you not familiar with the term " perfect pack'in pistol" , its a term referred to revolvers that are reasonably light to tote on a hiking trip, hunting trip or woods bumming, that is still reasonably powerful enough to handle about anything that one would or should do with a pistol. The problem is, up until this Ruger was produced, the only way to accomplish this was to convert Ruger guns on the 357 magnum frame to 44 spl. The medium frame of the older 357 mag Ruger guns was slightly smaller than the frames on their big bore guns, and this translated to almost a half pound on the belt, which doesnt sound like much, but over a long day, its noticeable.

    While the 357 magnum is a wonderful cartridge, that little pill has to be loaded to max speeds to accomplish the same thing a true big bore can do at moderate velocities. And put a little juice behind a 44 spl or 45 Colt, and it just out-performs the 357 over a wide range of applications with no ear drum splitting report. So, a prerequisite of "the perfect pack'in pistol", is lighter weight in something that starts with a 4.

    Enter the newest Ruger Vaquero. Built on a smaller frame than the old Vaquero, it more closely approximates the size, weight and feel of the legendary Colt SAA. Designed with the CASS , in mind, the new guns are wonderful to hold in the hand, and points like the finger of God Almighty.

    The piece is all steel, unlike the older New Model guns which had larger frames and were made of Aluminum, and the smaller grip allows a perfect, naturally feeling grip, and will take you back in time to your first game of "cowboys and Indians", where you never missed a shot. I mean really! If you cant hit with this gun quickly and accurately, then you need to take up something else besides shooting!
    The black handles are hard rubber, and have a checkering that gives a good, but not abrasive grip. The sights are simple SAA type fixed, and in my gun, well regulated.

    In shooting the Vaquero, I had only 19 rounds of a handload I had put together for use in the 629. I knew these loads might be a little "stiff", but I thought I would give them a try thru the Vaquero feeling confident that the gun could handle the load. The load was a 240 weight hard cast SWC over 2400( I'll keep the exact weight of the load to myself:) but I measured it over the screens at 1050fps from the 629 44mag.

    Touching off the first load at the target wasnt too bad. I was trying to get used to the sights, and at 15 yards, I cranked off the remaining 5. I reeled the target in, and was pleasantly surprised with a close 6 shot group a little low, and slightly left of the center mass on the humanoid target.

    I didnt realize it while shooting, but a crowd of people had gathered at the window to see who the crazy cowboy shooting such a boomer was. I was later told by one of them that a 4 inch fireball was clearly visible from the muzzle. I never saw this during firing, even though the range is not lit well.

    Feeling my oats, I ran the target out to the longest range of 25 yards to try a little " head shot" fun. I do this to gauge the maximum effect range of the firearm I am testing, to judge its potential in the field.
    Once again, the Vaquero did not disappoint! At this range, the tendency to shoot slightly left was magnified somewhat, but in my estimation still plenty accurate for deer hunting out to 35-40 yards.

    Having fired 12 shots, I decided that I would not subject the gun to anymore of my hot 44spl handloads. But I could not resist one more shot; quick draw from the stomach level at 10 yards. The results are in the picture.


    I gotta admit, I love this revolver. And it will be a part of my carry rotation. Even those there are no more of these available in 44 spl, it is possible they will become a regular production in Rugers line up. I hope so. But in the mean time, they have the venerable 45 Colt on the same grip frame, which is a must have gun too.
    Luckily, the 44 special is offered in the Blackhawk model, so all is not lost. I believe the 44Spl with these new frames offered by Ruger is about as good as it gets.
    zacii, multistage and bmcgilvray like this.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.


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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot to add, the hole to the right of the x was the quick draw point shot.
    Ignorance is a long way from stupid, but left unchecked, can get there real fast.

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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    You have to respect the SA wheelguns. Used to have a Vaquero (1995) 45 Colt. My cousin decided he needed it and brought over a case of beer. A few hours later, the "negotiations" began. He left with the Ruger. I came out ahead one Model 94, 24 empty cans, a headache, and a PO'd wife.

    She had the nerve to call me a redneck. Imagine that.

    Nice shooting, Glockman. Nice iron.

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    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...3"...hmmm...a real cowboy snub!!!

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