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Thread: Ruger New Vaquero Range Report

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Ruger New Vaquero Range Report

    A while back I picked up a .454" round ball mold and I've been trying to find a useful load for my RNV. My last round ball experiment with 45 caliber round balls in my RNV showed some promise so I gave it another try. This time I used 6 grains of Red dot which averaged 730 fps out of my 5.5" Ruger New Vaquero. At 25 yards the load prints about 8" lower than point of aim (POA).


    The25 yard Round ball group is below the target on the cardboard. The group in the bull is a 255 grain Lee bullet over a slightly off the reservation load of SR4756 (~925 fps).

    To be useful in the field for plinking and small game it would need to print closer to point of aim but even at 25 feet the group was lower than what I would consider practical for field use.


    25 foot target - 5 shot 255 grain load in center of the bullseye, the RB load (2 shots) at the bottom of the bull.


    The cases came out sooty but not as bad as they came out of my Marlin 1894CB.

    After the serious work of testing was done I decided to have a little fun and see how the RNV and the 255 gr load would do at 100 yards. Shooting at an 16 x 16 inch target paper I would aim just above the target and the shots would print on the lower half I estimate that load drops about 12" at 100 yards. It takes a while to get there. Blast....thud.



    Good fun day at the range!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Throckmorton's Avatar
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    A good fun day to be sure !

  3. #3
    Boolit Master August's Avatar
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    It is normal for NMVs to shoot low because most of the end users are CAS shooters who will regulate the sights to their loads. You can't add sight height to a gun that's shooting high, but you can file it away from a gun that's shooting low. All my roogers required removal of some front sight to work with Cowboy loads.

    Once you've settled on your main load, you can regulate your pistols with a file, a sand bag rest, and an hour at the range.
    That I could be wrong is an eventuality that has not escaped me. I just painted the pictures as I saw them. I do not know how to do anything else. (Saint Elmer, 1955)

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    DanWalker's Avatar
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    Don't give up on roundballs in your 45 just yet.
    Try seating them deeper in the case. This will increase pressure and velocity and will bring POI closer to POA.
    I use 5 grains of RED DOT under a 454rb lubed with LLA for my grouse and bunny load in my blackhawk. I just screw the seating stem all the way in on the die and it works great for me.
    I have adjustable sights so it's not much of a big deal for me to change loads.
    At the risk of being called a liar, I used to own a 7 1/2" blackhawk that liked the RB load so much I took it shooting prairie dogs and killed one at 65 yards (with a witness).
    This is the shot he likes to bring up every time I manage a humiliating miss on big game with a handgun.
    I'll be a nice to you as you'll let me be, or as mean as you make me be.

    Polite society started dying the day it was no longer necessary for rude men to physically defend themselves from the consquences of their actions or words.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master





    EMC45's Avatar
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    Good shooting!
    Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Rodfac's Avatar
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    Nice group with the 255 gr. I've got a New Vaquero in .45 LC as well and it too, likes hi pressure loads. Mine shot 2" low and left out of the box. File correction to the rear notch was not too difficult and centered things up. The same amount off the front sight brought the load to pt of aim at 25 yds. I may adjust it farther up in deference to some of the underweight slugs I shoot. Usually, they're a cpl of inches apart at 25 yds. Regards, Rodfac

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check