Can It be done and Should I have it done?

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Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3
I found a (old) Vaquero at the Crossroads of the West GunShow in San Francisco, Ca. And it is a 45cal with a 4 5/8 Barrel and CCH/Blue frame. I got a fair deal on it. My question is: Can it be rebarreled & cylindered to 357 by Ruger and is it worth the trouble? I have a "New" Vaquero in the CCH/Blue with the 5 1/2 Barrel and I want both to be close in looks to each other. I know the older gun is larger, that is not a problem. Or should I just shoot it as is untill I can trade it for what I want? Any Help is welcome.
 

yankee7809

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
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Location
Powell,TN,USA
I don't believe Ruger will do caliber changes on existing revolvers but I could be wrong. If they would I'd join you getting my Acusport turned into a .44 Magnum. A good gunsmith should be able to turn the trick, however.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
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Star Valley, WY
Your best bet is to trade guns. That Vaquero in .45 cal. is a VERY popular "back up" gun for the woods since it'll handle some pretty serious loads, i.e. like 325 grain bullets at 1200 fps.

At least that's my take on the situation. You could have it converted to .357 by utilizing "take off" parts but I bet the bottom line, $, would be a bit expensive.

JMHO,

flatgate
 

Rex Driver

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
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Location
Colonial Heights, Va.
Sir, with all due respect, I do not think that this type of conversion on your Vaquero would be in any way possible in an economic way. I have way too many Vaqueros and love each and every one as fun shooters, however, they are $400 to $450 dollar shooter grade guns, deals on them for less.
I would also suggest that you either place a WTT add here or possibly find somebody just getting into Cowboy Fast Draw as Ruger 45Cal 4 5/8 guns seem to be the gun of choice for most.

Most of my Vaqueros are in 357 with a couple of 45s in for the fun of it. If you reload, after you obtain the brass you can shoot the 45 almost as cheap as using 38SPLs in a 357.

Now, I am finally getting my 41MAG gear together for my two new Black Hawks, I never thought that finding 41MAG reloading components would be as hard, on the cheap.
Nothing in the used market there.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Lake Lure NC USA
I have to agree with my friends above.
While it's possible to convert,, it'll cost $$$$$$. You can do a swap or sale outright & buy what you want much easier & cheaper.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
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Central Washington
bet if you just took it to a cowboy action shoot in the area someone would trade you. those are in demand since they arnt in production anymore.
 

yankee7809

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
195
Location
Powell,TN,USA
If you could lay hands cheaply on the correct cylinder and barrel it might not be as bad as having to foot the labor AND the costs associated with paying for new parts, if they are available. I could understand wanting to keep the basic gun for sentimental reasons, or if it's just a hard to find model.
Other wise the guys are right: trade with someone for the right gun.
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
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51st state of Jefferson
I'm curious as to why you would want to convert anyway? That .45 is more versatile, being able to use mild "cowboy" loads up to the serious stump thumpers as mentioned by Flatgate. Do you have a lot of .35 cal ammo on hand? Just curious.....(BTW, I think that ALL "CAS" shooting should be done with full tilt black powder loads like the ammo actually used back then. A .45 shooting a 250 gr @ 950fps with a fog of "aromatic" (snicker)BP smoke is a "blast"!) :shock: Anyway, if you HAVE to have a .357, yeah I'd swap the gun..........
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Butte, MT
I think that ALL "CAS" shooting should be done with full tilt black powder loads like the ammo actually used back then.
Well, at least shoot ammo (smokeless or BP) that is in the 'period' speed/size range for back then. Like .45 with 255g going 800-900 fps. or .44 Russian or ... Anyway, I was shocked to hear of some CAS shooters using .38 SP (1899 I think)/.357 (1935 caliber) ... and not only that ... using the lightest loads possible too :eek: ..... Seems like that just takes away the 'fun' of 'period' shooting which I 'thought' CAS was all about. I am not a CAS shooter BTW ... just seems 'logical' to me when reading about it.

Trade it off for something you want. Don't mess with it. That is my suggestion.
 

Rex Driver

Bearcat
Joined
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Messages
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Colonial Heights, Va.
Rclark":21ek4sc0 said:
I think that ALL "CAS" shooting should be done with full tilt black powder loads like the ammo actually used back then.
Well, at least shoot ammo (smokeless or BP) that is in the 'period' speed/size range for back then. Like .45 with 255g going 800-900 fps. or .44 Russian or ... Anyway, I was shocked to hear of some CAS shooters using .38 SP (1899 I think)/.357 (1935 caliber) ... and not only that ... using the lightest loads possible too :eek: ..... Seems like that just takes away the 'fun' of 'period' shooting which I 'thought' CAS was all about. I am not a CAS shooter BTW ... just seems 'logical' to me when reading about it.

Trade it off for something you want. Don't mess with it. That is my suggestion.

Sir. the fact that SASS shooting is a competition is what drives many of the members to become what is called being a "Gamer". The 38spl light loads are done for various reasons. Being able to stay or get sighted in on the next target faster. Since there are many older SASS shooters (Many grew up watching old B-Westerns) a more senior friendly load is sometimes needed for shooters in late 60s to mid 70s. Light load competitive shooting is nothing new as I was doing it in the mid to late 70s with PPC shooting and about 2.8Grains of bullseye behind a 148 Grain HBWC was pertty much the norm.

SASS shooting is set up with a power factor that requires about 600 fps with a 158 grain bullet from a 38 special. Attempting to get low enough to compete with a 45 Colt usually ends up with a bullet that does not seal in the barrel and leaving much unburned powder.

Black Powder and substitutes are great and there are classes just for the "Dark Side" shooters.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
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Butte, MT
Light load competitive shooting is nothing new
... True. However, reading the 'What is SASS' it sure doesn't seem to in the 'Spirit of the Game' . More like 'hard core' professional shooting where getting an 'edge' and 'winning' is more important than the intent of SASS. Likely, it evolved into something that wasn't quite intended over the years.... Observation only ... from the outside :) .

http://www.sassnet.com/About-What-is-SASS-001A.php
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
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Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
Location
Tucson, AZ, USA
A 45LC OldVaq is worth more than a 357 variant, by at least a little. I'd strongly recommend not modding the 45 to a smaller caliber.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3
Thank you for all your help. I am going to keep it, and at some point I may trade for what I want. As it has been said, A cowboy can't have too many guns. Thanks again for all your input.
 

Chukar hunter

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 2, 2008
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58
Location
Out West
Isn't the older style Vaquero a bit larger too? I have a buddy that is looking hard for a .45 LC 4 5/8" barrel. He wants it for cowboy shooting.
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
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Chukar-hunter, I have not gotten the gun in my hands yet(damned gun laws in Calif.) I plan for the short term to keep it. At some point I may trade for a CCH/Blue 357 Vaquero. And yes, it has the slighty larger frame. Good luck in your friends search.
 

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