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Thread: Ruger Vaquero 44 mag

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ruger Vaquero 44 mag

    Well back once again looking for some answers possibly. Iíve had this vaquero now for quite a few years and havenít really shot it much probably due to the 44mag and the size of my hand. My knuckle getting slammed every time I shoot it. Then I start holding the gun wrong and, well you know. Took it to the gun show to sell and a guy told me they didnít mame many of these so I been looking around to see then figured this would be the place to come and see. Decided to probably not sell it and load up some 44 special and run it with those. Just wondering what the answer is and how many were made plus possibly a value ( Iím try to price stuff so family knows values just in case). I did see it was made in 2000. Thanks much in advance!

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    Muzzleloaders....why don't you pick one up and smoke it sometime

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  2. #2
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    Use one single wrap of 1" wide stretchy bandage on that middle finger knuckle, shoot all day...

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    I don't know how your cylinder throats are, see what diameter boolit will go through the throats from the front, and see if they are all even.
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  3. #3
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    I just sold a couple of Vaqueros on Gun Broker (different calibers) and both went for around $650. They were in very nice condition, as yours seems to be from the photos. The gun market is very much a seller's market right now, and prices and continuing to go up. Perhaps the driving force is the threat of anti-gun legislation plus inflation. So I can't really answer your question as $650 today may be $850 in 6 months, or it could be less. It's usually best, when you decide to sell, to go to Gun Broker and do a history search on what that make and model has sold for recently.

    I happen to have that revolver, but in stainless steel. Story is that about 8 years ago I was visiting an FFL Dealer friend's shop in Bend, OR, and saw this antique-looking Vaquero in the display case. I might have been a little slow that afternoon, as it took me awhile to realize that a Ruger Vaquero (or any Ruger, really...) couldn't look as old as this one did, about Civil War vintage, because Ruger wasn't around back then. So I asked the proprietor about it and he said that it had belonged to a Cowboy Action Shooter who wanted it to look "period". He decided that it should look pitted and the grips should be scarred up. He tried putting various liquids on it hoping to get it to rust, but it insisted on remaining bright. Last experiment was to put iodine on it. Then he went in to dinner and forgot about it until the next morning. When he thought to look at it he found that he had achieved his objective, as it was rusted all over externally, however the bore and cylinder chambers remained in good condition. Eventually he moved on to another gun and traded the rusty Vaquero in on his new victim.

    I decided to buy it as a project, and was successful in removing about 90% of the pits. In fact, it became quite shiny and attractive, and I was considering buying new factory wooden grips, but then ran across a pair of pewter grips about the same color as the revolver, embellished with a fancy floral design. I bought them, put them on the revolver, and the result was something that the leading cowboy in a Wild West Days parade would wear while riding on his painted pony. You know...fringed chaps and lots of silver conchos. It's the last .44 Mag. that I own, and I just kept it because I've also got a stainless Rossi R92 carbine in the same caliber. The action is very slick, and you can tell it's been fired a lot by it's original owner as the cylinder has a little play, but not enough to need repair.

    DG

  4. #4
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    I've been a fan of the Ruger 44 mag for decades. I also got beat up by mine until someone showed me a different way to hold the gun. Basically curl your pinky under the grip, a firm grip instead of a death grip, don't lock your elbow, and your off hand is cupped under your shooting hand to carry the weigh. It works for me and I have not hit a knuckle in probably 30 years. While this works for my Blackhawk, the grips on my Redhawk were too big. Even though the Redhawk was heavier and had more to hold on to, I got tired of the recoil and gave it to my son-in-law.

    Mag loads pack a lot of recoil and the gun wants to rotate back and twist left. Let it. Just hang on enough to maintain control of it. When the gun goes off it rotates back, but having my pinky in the way stops the rotation in my grip and causes my wrist to start rotating up, and that lifts my shooting hand. Let it all happen, don't muscle it down. The normal left roll of the recoil makes the gun move up and left (a foot or more?), leaving me looking over my right forearm at the target. I'm right-handed, and I should say that probably makes a difference. It's a smooth movement for me, but if you're a lefty I can see where it would be twisting your elbow and wrist the wrong way. A few years ago there was a YouTube video showing this grip but I can't find it.

    With all that said, my typical practice load for the gun is well below magnum. With 240-250 gr cast boolits over 8.5 gr of Unique you can shoot all afternoon and leave wanting more. I don't need monster loads for punching holes in paper on Saturday. And at typical pistol range distances the impact isn't far off what it is with my magnum hunting loads.

    Sweet gun. It'd be a shame to peddle it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    8.5gr of Unique is perfect for 240gr. For the 200gr projectiles Iím running 7.0gr of Bullseye for some all day shooting.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaNapper View Post
    I've been a fan of the Ruger 44 mag for decades. I also got beat up by mine until someone showed me a different way to hold the gun. Basically curl your pinky under the grip, a firm grip instead of a death grip, don't lock your elbow, and your off hand is cupped under your shooting hand to carry the weight.
    Good advice, this works very well for me and my Super Blackhawk with the dragoon trigger guard. My off hand is cupped under the grip and grasps my shooting hand so the grip frame can't roll down forcing my knuckle into the trigger guard. My son who is 6-4 and weighs about 260 tries to lock his elbow and hold it down, the revolver then sometimes beats the dickens out of his knuckle. Now it feels weird to have all three fingers on the grip and not have my pinky curled underneath with my off hand both supporting and gripping my shooting hand.
    Maybe I'm not holding the gun "right", but it sure works for me. You'll find what feels comfortable.
    Last edited by GL49; 11-29-2022 at 07:59 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Sasquatch-1's Avatar
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    I load 7 to 7.5 grains of Unique with a 250 grain lead bullet in a magnum case. Pleasent to shoot and accurate enough to hit an 8" steel gong at 40 yards.
    A vote for anyone other then the conservative candidates is a vote for the liberal candidates.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    I have had good success with the full size Pachmayr grips on two different Super Blackhawks. They fill in the area behind the trigger ring and raise the grip by about 3/8 of an inch. If your goal is to use full power loads I recommend you give them a try. They won’t look right but should work right if your hand size is medium or larger.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Some good thoughts above.

    May I suggest you hook up with a known Single-Action handgunner or instructor in them? Someone who KNOWS how to properly hold & shoot heavy recoiling SA handguns. All too often, I see people say the very same things, and when I spend some time teaching them a proper gripping method for THEIR hands most problems go away.

    As for the quantity produced,, Ruger doesn't release production numbers. Sometimes a "Distributor Exclusive" will publish the quantity made. The Vaquero in 44 Mag isn't common, but isn't rare either.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master smkummer's Avatar
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    Value questions are best answered by finding 3 or more completed auctions on gunbroker. The latest trend for Rugers in SASS is the new vaqueros with the smaller colt sized frame. Certain cowboy guns are still in pretty high demand. Congrats on using 44 special for enjoying shooting that Ruger. My SASS loads are a 200 gr. at 700 fps. and range loads are a 245 grain at 750 and the skeeter load at 900-950 fps. Currently 38/357 is number 1 in SASS, 45 colt second then 44 spec./mag.

  11. #11
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    6.5 gr Red Dot will give you 925-975 fps loads and easy recoil. It is accurate in anything I have tried it in.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    6.5 gr Red Dot will give you 925-975 fps loads and easy recoil. It is accurate in anything I have tried it in.
    I went to 7.0gr to get a lower POI, due to only a 4-5/8 Barrel on My SBH, with XR-3 Grip

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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