Lipsey’s Vaquero, 1 of 500, 44 Special

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Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
Made a trade for this at a gun show yesterday. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized how lucky I was.

I have had a soft spot for .44 Specials for many years. Prior to this gun I collected a S&W 624, Charter Arms Bull Dog, Uberti Cattleman, and a Ruger Super Blackhawk (actually a .44 Mag but usually only gets .44 Special loads). Recently, I re-read the information from Skeeter Skelton and his love affair with the 44 Special.

When I saw this at the gun show, I was a little surprised that it was a Vaquero and not a New Vaquero. It had an all-steel frame and was the size of my New Vaquero’s. I then found out it was a special run ordered by Lipsey’s, made in 2010.

5148_Cert..jpg


Vaquero_44_Spec.jpg


Close-Vaquero_44_Spec.jpg


I got the box and papers along with the gun at the show. The gun looks like it was fired very little or not at all. It does have a set of AJAX grips on it but I ordered some genuine Ruger grips last night.

I will be calling Ruger on Monday about one problem I am having however. When I open the loading gate (which frees up the cylinder for loading) I usually turn the cylinder slightly counter clockwise until it stops, before I close the gate. I do this with all my transfer bar Ruger’s since I was told that helps avoid the cylinder drag line a little. With this gun, the cylinder locks up when I try to cock it. If I do not turn it counter clockwise slightly, it functions OK after I close the loading gate.

The interesting thing is that when I installed a cylinder from my .45 New Vaquero, it did not do this (the .45 cylinder seemed to lock up and time just right during this test). And, when I installed my .44 Special cylinder into my .45 New Vaquero, it functioned correctly with out the “lock up” I am describing.

I have switched cylinder pins and the problem still persists with my .44 Special. The .44 Special cylinder pin when installed into my .45 New Vaquero functions correctly.

I made sure I did not have any burrs on my cylinder lock up lever, or cylinder rotation hand. They both seem like they have been lightly polished so maybe someone tried to address this issue before. In addition, it seems like during the time I was checking the gun, the cylinder drag line may have gotten worse than it was when I brought it home. (That may be just my imagination however. I am aware that this drag line is very common with Ruger transfer bar revolvers.)

There seems to be no logic to this issue.

• I would first suspect the .44 Special cylinder but it functions correctly when installed as a test in my New Vaquero .45.
• Next, I would suspect the cylinder rotation system with my .44 Special. However, when I test/install the .45 cylinder from my New Vaquero, it functions correctly.

I am sure Ruger will have an answer when I call them. I still am very happy I was able to find this revolver.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Trooper Joe
 

jdowney

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
49
I can't help with the mechanical question, but I can say congrats on a very nice trade!

I like 44 spc a lot, shoot it more than magnum in my original model Vacquero.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,262
I was a little surprised that it was a Vaquero and not a New Vaquero
Yeah, all Ruger .44 Special fixed sighted revolvers are marked 'Vaquero' rather than 'New Vaquero'. I personally don't like that as it is confusing as the .44 Special Vaqueros is exactly the same as a the New Vaquero... just not marked that way. Someone explained that since there was no large frame .44 Special Vaquero, when the .44 Special 'New' Vaquero was introduced, Ruger just called in a Vaquero. Go figure.... Just to confuse us I guess :) . Interesting that the certificate is 'New Vaquero' :) .

Nice gun. I am sure you'll enjoy it. I don't worry about the 'ring' as all New Model Rugers do that.

I am still looking for a .44 Special { New } Vaquero in 5 1/2" as I don't have one of them yet. I do have the .44 Special 'Sheriff' { New } Vaquero.
 

Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
Thanks Hunter,

Interesting comments about the “Vaquero” vs. “New Vaquero”. I really don’t care for the original Vaquero size vs. the New Vaquero size and steel frame.

I am really going to like this gun. There is quite a lot of information relating to Skeeter Skelton and his support for converting 3 screw .357 magnums to .44 Specials.. This gun will have all I want. Fixed sights, correct barrel length, and no need to convert an original 3 screw .357 Magnum.


Do you think that AJAX custom grips were standard on these Lipsey’s offerings?

Thanks again,
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
771
No, the original offerings had black grips like the first three screw models were supplied with. The original three screw grips have their pins in slightly different locations so it would need the factory supplied grips to be correct. They should be easy to find as most people replaced them with aftermarket.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
1. The Vaquero name for the .44 Spl is completely logical: when Ruger makes a new version of any previous model they call it "New". Just like the when the old models were discontinued and the transfer model guns were introduced, they were labeled "New Model".

The original Vaqueros were called just Vaquero (the large frame Vaqueros) because there were no old model Vaqueros ever made. So keeping with that logic, when the medium frame Vaqueros were introduced with the new Reverse Indexing Pawl System (RIPS) they were labeled "New Vaquero". Were there any original Vaqueros made in 44 Spl? No. So it's not a new version of a formerly made .44 Spl Vaquero; it's an original model, the first 44 Spl Vaquero and therefore just labeled a Vaquero.


2. I have one like yours. When you roll the cyl counter clockwise with the loading gate open, then close it and cock the gun, you are positioning the cyl to be scribed every time just like every other time when the gun is cocked. You were told wrong.
Look closely at the notch and the cyl bolt positioning when you do it your way to confirm it.

Before you close the loading gate you should be turning the cyl clockwise so that a cyl notch lines up with the cyl locking bolt in the bottom of the frame window. That will lessen the line scribing every time you close the loading gate and first cock the gun!

My gun does not have the problem you describe. HOW DO YOU CLEAR IT AND GET THE GUN TO COCK WHEN IT HAPPENS?

But I can't tell you why the gun works with the 45 cyl without having it in hand. I suspect you just may have a very slightly out of tolerance cyl hand (pawl)/.44 cyl combination. My advice is to first lube the gun including the little RIPS plunger in the recoil shield that stops the cyl when you roll it counter clockwise and also the transfer bar. I'd check the cyl hand and the .44 cyl ratchet teeth for burrs or sharp edges and smooth them out if any. If that doesn't help you could try swapping it with your .45 hand. Sometimes parts fitting just 'stack' up wrong with other parts. If both cyls work in the 44 frame with the 45 hand, then the 44 hand is the problem. Or just not turn the cyl counter clockwise as I suggested above, it only adds to the cyl line scribing.

It will be very interesting to hear what Ruger's response is. They may just tell you the same thing, don't turn the cyl counter clockwise before closing the gate, since the gun works fine in all other respects.

Note: maybe a former owner has been inside the gun to enhance the action or whatever. Also the transfer bar hammer lock out notch can also be slightly modified so the gun can be cocked with the loading gate open. This is done for installing an after market half cock hammer (made by Power Custom).

Keep us posted,
 

Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
Thanks for all the information Hondo44

My gun does not have the problem you describe. HOW DO YOU CLEAR IT AND GET THE GUN TO COCK WHEN IT HAPPENS?

Sometimes when I point the gun up, it seems to free itself (gravity works). Other times, I wiggle the cylinder slightly and it seems to free up. I agree that an accumulation of out of spec parts may be causing this.

It will be very interesting to hear what Ruger's response is. They may just tell you the same thing, don't turn the cyl counter clockwise before closing the gate, since the gun works fine in all other respects.

If I don't turn the cyl counter clockwise, the gun works just fine like you stated. However, at times, it seemed to position itself to cause a jam even if I did not intentionally turn the cylinder counter clockwise before closing the loading gate. Again, my other transfer bar models do not do this but I will take your advise and stop turning the cylinder counter clockwise before closing the loading gate.

Note: maybe a former owner has been inside the gun to enhance the action or whatever. Also the transfer bar hammer lock out notch can also be slightly modified so the gun can be cocked with the loading gate open. This is done for installing an after market half cock hammer (made by Power Custom).

I thought of this but the gun does not seem to have any aftermarket parts installed. Ruger wants to see the gun so it is on it's way back as we speak.
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,987
Hmmmm...............and the grip frame is??????????

The New Vaqueros have the smaller grip frame of the original XR-3 profile, while the New Model Blackhawks and original Vaqueros have the XR-3RED grip frame. Just out of curiosity, which does this gun have?


Bob Wright
 

Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
Bob Wright said:
Hmmmm...............and the grip frame is??????????

The New Vaqueros have the smaller grip frame of the original XR-3 profile, while the New Model Blackhawks and original Vaqueros have the XR-3RED grip frame. Just out of curiosity, which does this gun have?


Bob Wright

Don't know. The grips from my New Vaquero fit on this gun however. They are the same size.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
It has the New Vaquero and Flat Top Blackhawk XR3 size grip frame, with the internal lock and 7/16" wide instead of the standard 1/2" wide.
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,131
Trooper Joe said:
Sometimes when I point the gun up, it seems to free itself (gravity works).

I would double-check the “base pin” for full insertion, and be sure the spring loaded plunger at the end of it is working properly.

If the base pin isn’t fully inserted, I believe that it won’t be pushing the transfer bar to the rear, as designed.

“Can’t hurt, might help!” :p
 

Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
I would double-check the “base pin” for full insertion, and be sure the spring loaded plunger at the end of it is working properly.

If the base pin isn’t fully inserted, I believe that it won’t be pushing the transfer bar to the rear, as designed.


I already did that. Even swapped base pins from an almost new New Vaquero 45 and the problem persisted.

Gun just arrived at Ruger today and I am sure they will find the problem.
 

Trooper Joe

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 8, 2007
Messages
82
Got the gun back from Ruger today.

The tech called me Monday to discuss the issues I had. He replaced the cylinder hand and polished some parts. He got the gun to not lock up like it did for me. He also advised against rotating it counter clockwise as I mentioned above.

The tech shot it at their range and it functioned perfectly. He also buffed and reblued the cylinder.




This is the second revolver I have sent to Ruger in the last several months. Both time the tech took personal interest in my gun and made sure it came back in the best condition they could make it. You can't ask for better service than this.
 

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