.480 Ruger Vaquero

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Aggie01

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
968
Many thanks to singleactions forum member stumpbuster for taking the pics at Jack Huntington's shop while he was there for a visit.

The Story:
I had been fishing around gunsmiths for someone who would craft a .475 Cooper for me on a Ruger Vaquero. This Ruger Vaquero had started out as my FIRST centerfire SA (in .44 Magnum)
I was looking for a low pressure "big brother" to my New Vaquero in .45 Colt.

I wasn't getting a lot of positive response from gunsmiths on rechambering a 6 shot cylinder to a .475 bore. I wasn't really considering a five shot conversion, as I couldn't justify a "full-up" custom rig for something with Vaquero sights. My goal was a 300-325 grain bullet traveling at just under 1K fps - something that was going to be at the very limits of a .475 in a six shot cylinder, as best as I could tell.
When I got around to bringing it up with Jack, he let me know he had a few leftover cylinders in .480 Ruger and .500 Special and he wanted to do one in a Vaquero for a lighter weight, "less serious" gun - exactly like I was looking for - but in a five shot. Most five shot conversions have oversize cylinders. This particular one is the same size as a standard Ruger Blackhawk cylinder - even down to not filling out the frame window forward, as most customs (with the 1.4" cartridge case lengths) tend to do. Anyway, between Jack wanting to do a gun like this (although he wanted to put a shorter barrel on it) and the cylinder being in stock and prechambered, a deal was struck, and the .475 Cooper project died, but out of the ashes arose the .480 Ruger project.
It was sent off to Jack with a Montado hammer and a SBH gripframe with a rounded trigger guard and some gun show Eagle ebony grips.
It still lacks final fitting of the gripframe, but we can get a pretty good look at it right now thanks to these excellent pictures by stumpbuster.

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B.Roberts

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
101
I like the bright blue accents. Subdued, yet functional and classy. Nice gun! That is pretty close to what I was hoping ruger was going to introduce this year.
 

Stump Buster

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Messages
216
Hey Aggie01,

I hang out here quite a bit too!!! Glad you like the photo's....I can't wait to get a field report!!!....


....with pics!!! :D
 

3T

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 9, 2007
Messages
57
Very Nice! Now you've gone and gotten my interest up.

I have an almost new blued and same condition stainless Bisley Vaquero 44mag sitting in the safe being neglected. This is giving me a nice idea...now which one do I pick :wink:

Be sure to post how it shoots.
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,124
Hey a Ruger .480 single-action, now who woulda thunk of that?? SWEET. :D :D

...Jimbo
 

John E Davies

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
179
Aggie01":102b5dwx said:
My goal was a 300-325 grain bullet traveling at just under 1K fps - something that was going to be at the very limits of a .475 in a six shot cylinder, as best as I could tell.

Hey that is going to be quite a gun when it is finished!

I have to comment that you were misinformed about the velocities, unless that bullet weight was a typo. You can easily get a 400 gr bullet at over 1000 fps out of a 2.5 inch barrelled Alaskan. 325 grainers are significantly faster.

BTW I load up 325 gr ".480 Spl" plinking rounds at about 750 fps and they are a hoot.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

Aggie01

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
968
John - Note that my orignal weight/velocity intent as posted was in a rechambered six shot factory Ruger blackhawk cylinder.
You can't ramp the pressure up in that configuration.
The .475 Cooper is fractionally shorter than a .480 Ruger, so that you can't stick a .480 factory round in there and blow the gun up.

With the five shot cylinder, i can run this a lot hotter than I was planning on.
Between this and my Clements .475 Linebaugh, I bet my .475 BFR goes up for sale by March.
 

Unconverted

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
172
Very nice Ag,

You commissioned the .480 a lot of us here wanted the factory to make. The factory wouldn't have made it pretty with fire-blued parts and a dovetailed front sight though. Tell Jack a shorter barrel would have probably resulted in a taller front sight, which wouldn't have been as pleasing to the eye. :wink:
 

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