Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yet another .45

Single-action revolvers have been staples for American outdoorsmen ever since Samuel Colt began marketing them. There were other makers, of course, but it was the Colt versions that most dramatically captured the country's imagination— and loyalty.

This is one of the "New Vaqueros" by Ruger. This one is in .45 Colt. It is a slight downsizing of the old model Vaquero, in answer to the request of users for a revolver that more closely matched the feel of the original Colt Model P— something the original Vaquero simply did not do. Even with the down-sizing, the Vaquero is still slightly larger and heavier than the Colt. An empty Colt, with 4-3/4" barrel, weighs 35.6 ounces. The Vaquero weights 39.8 ounces. Some of this is in sheer "beef"— the Colt's cylinder diameter is 1.65" while the Ruger's is 1.68".

Nostalgia aside, from a mechanical standpoint the Ruger is a superior revolver to the Colt. It's better engineered, better built, and simply stronger all around. Which is really saying something since the Colt has been an American stand-by since it was introduced over 135 years ago.

An outdoorsman, hunter, rancher, backpacker, whoever who felt the need for a powerful, big-bore revolver could do much worse than one of the new model Vaqueros. They're available in the original standard Colt barrel lengths: 4-3/4" ('Civilian'), 5-1/2" ('Artillery'), and 7-1/2" ('Cavalry').

By the way, the picture is a little misleading. Unike the Colt, the Ruger has a safety mechanism that allows it to be a genuine six-shooter. No need to carry an empty chamber under the hammer.(Darn, now where am I supposed to keep my ten-bucks buryin' money?) I also prefer to use true Keith-style bullets in mine, rather than the original style round-noses as shown. 


theotherryan said...

I had one of those and ended up swapping it for a wonderful Taurus model 66. I loved having it but didn't really do anything with it and I am not at a place where I can have a piece of nostalgia in my collection.

Tmagnum62 said...

unfortunately, I found an old vaquero in 45 colt. Beautiful case coloring. It is preying on my mind....