New Vaquero Hammer spring problem

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jhe1956

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
I recently picked up a pair of New Vaqueros for Cowboy action shooting in .357. First think g I did was swap in Super blackhawk hammers ( a common mod for cowboy shooting). Unfortunately one of the guns gets light primer strikes (about one round in 5) with both CCI and Winchester primers (yes, I could use Federals but these days I need to use what I can get.)

I was going to swap out the hammer spring but ran into a problem there. The springs (I bought a set of 3 to find the best weight) I got from WOLFF are too long. They literally cannot be compressed enough to fit on the hammer strut. Compared to the spring that came out, they are about a half inch longer, uncompressed.

Wolff lists the same springs for all centerfire single action Rugers but, interestingly does not specifically list the New vaquero at all. Does the New Vaquero use a different spring than the Blackhawk or "old" Vaquero? If so, then I need to find another source.

TIA
JHE
 

jhe1956

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
OK, the springs I got were cheap enough that it is not worth the shipping to send them back.

Does anyone offer a heavier spring (19-21 pounds) for the New vaquero?
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,266
Why not cut a few loops off the long one and just use that? Leave a few extra loops for that little more compression. Can't put coils back on... That said, usually it's the other way around ... Ie. I've clipped a a loop or two off the 'stock' spring to get a little lighter hammer pull.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
The New Vaquero and the new model flat top Blackhawk both come with a lighter main spring. It was at the request of SASS shooters for easier and faster cocking. As well as the long hammer spur on the New Vaqueros. I've never had any misfire issues with the spring and in fact I prefer to use them in all my Ruger single actions, especially the small .22 and .32 frames.

However, your problem may not be the spring. Did you have misfires before installing the Super Blackhawk hammers?

Sometimes the very top surface of the hammer nose can be slightly too long for the thickness of the transfer bar. And not transfer the full force of the hammer blow thru the transfer bar to the firing pin. That upper nose of the hammer must be relieved a bit. Transfer bars can vary in thickness.

Also, less commonly the problem can very likely be that the SB hammer is for the large frame, and a different size, slightly taller. Your New Vaquero is a mid-size frame with slightly shorter hammer.

That can result in the transfer bar not reaching high enough for the notch of the taller SB hammer.. Compare the height of the notch in the SB hammer with the original NV hammer. If you mount them both on the hammer retaining pin, the difference can be seen.

That difference can cause the SB hammer to only clip the top edge of that transfer bar and not transfer the full force of the hammer blow to the firing pin. I've experienced that problem when changing SB hammers from large frames to the mid size frames.
 
Last edited:

jhe1956

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
I never fired it before switching out the hammer. I bought two that were on consignment from an estate. Neither showed any sign of having been fired much, if at all. One had the Blackhawk hammer and the other didn't. I decided I wanted the lower hammer on both, so I got someone from the club to help me switch it out ( having never disassembled a Ruger before.)
 

jhe1956

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
Well, with the numerous possibilities that have been suggested, both here and on other sites, I've realized that I am probably in over my head. I admit I'm not much of a revolver guy (give me a 1911 or a Garand and I can deal with most issues.) The trouble that the guy from my club (who IS a revolver guy) had reassembling my NV with the new hammer has made me leery of trying to do any more myself than replacing the spring. So I will try shimming the old spring with washers (assuming I can find some that fit on the strut and under the grips) and if that doesn't work, I need to send it off to someone who knows what he is doing.

Who do you recommend? I see a lot of lists of Ruger pistol smiths online, but most of those are 5-10 years old, and I have already run across a few instances of gunsmiths who are getting out of the business or who are not taking new work. As I think I mentioned, I don't want o send it off to Ruger as they will probably put the factory spec high hammer back in.
 

Dillon Justice

Bearcat
Joined
May 5, 2022
Messages
73
OK, the springs I got were cheap enough that it is not worth the shipping to send them back.

Does anyone offer a heavier spring (19-21 pounds) for the New vaquero?
I also shoot cowboy, just curious, why do you want heavier springs? I used Wolf reduced power springs, as did all my Cowboy buddies.
 

rkrcpa

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
286
I also shoot cowboy, just curious, why do you want heavier springs? I used Wolf reduced power springs, as did all my Cowboy buddies.
I like a full power hammer spring for the quicker lock time. The New Vaquero/Mid Frame lock time seems lazy compared to full size counterparts. It may not make a difference in cowboy action shooting but for me, at hunting distances, I feel the quicker lock time is beneficial.
 

Dillon Justice

Bearcat
Joined
May 5, 2022
Messages
73
Bearcat. There are numerous YouTube videos on every possible mod to your Vaqueros. Don't give up, I've never done any mods until I started Cowboy Action. My Vaqueros were my first, but certainly not the last. My newest mods were on my GP100. My GP was my first DA/SA trigger job. I couldn't be happier with it.
 

jhe1956

Bearcat
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
11
OK, I shimmed the spring with a washer and have it reassembled. Will have to wait until Tuesday afternoon before I can test fire it (local range is closed on Sunday and Monday. ) Will try with factory ammo. I checked my ammo locker and I have Federal, CCI and Winchester .38 special ammo so I can try it with all 3 brands of primers.

If that doesn't work, then I may send it off to Cody at the Cowboy shop.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
If you're referring to the Custom Cowboy Shop in Cody, I don't see that they offer gunsmithing on their website.

But here are some recommendations:

BOBBY TYLER: in Texas
https://www.tylergunworks.com/

[email protected] (converts Bearcats to 327 and CCH Rugers)
Magnolia, Texas, north of Houston
Recommendations here: http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=249804
Does some of Alan Harton's CCH work (which I really like), and he has built a 327 Bearcat, and flutes the cyl.

Ben Forkin - Forkin Custom Classics
PO Box 444, 205 10th Ave SW
White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645
406-547-2344
mailto:[email protected]


Andy Horvath - DIAGONAL ROAD GUN SHOP
14131 Diagonal Rd.
La Grange, OH 44050
(440) 458-4369, (440) 355-5618

Jack Huntington
JRH Advanced Gunsmithing
775-355-6898
385 Freeport Blvd, Suite 13
Sparks, NV 89431
mailto:[email protected]
New website: http://www.jrhadvancedgunsmithing.com
Old site: www.jrhgunmaker.com/
His turnaround time is short, his work is first rate, and his prices are reasonable.

Ten Ring Precision in San Antonio, TX
Address: 1449 Blue Crest Ln, San Antonio, TX 78232
Phone: (210) 494-3063

Long Hunter
Amarillo, TX
http://www.longhunt.com/web/
Sounds like a nice package for $135.
Taper cylinder and ejector rod housing $45.00 USD – This page:
http://www.longhunt.com/web/index.php?page=models-ruger-vaquero-blackhawk-bisley

Nelson Ford in Ph, AZ
http://www.thegunsmith.com/price_list.html
Not to be confused with the above Ford in Florida:
See work here post 42: http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-ha...on-relieved-grips-help-pls.html#post138237660

Oglesby & Oglesby Gunmakers
Bill Oglesby
744 W Andrew Road
Springfield, IL 62707-4626
Phone: (217) 487-7100
Cool video: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oglesby-Oglesby/166638046696474

Ryan Ross at RCCG
Roan Mountain, TN
[email protected]


Harry Lawsons
520-326-1117
Tucson, AZ.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,715
Short stroked '73s are neat. But years ago when they approved them for SASS I still don't understand why? None of the originals had a short stroke! I agree with action jobs being approved, the gun isn't truly modified in function. But short stroking certainly is a modification of the operation of the '73. And I've never seen or heard of an original '73 with a short stroke.
 

hittman

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
8,999
There’s a member here using the name 2 dogs. He is in Texas and could maybe help you. Be extra nice if you two are fairly close but Lord knows TX is a big state. You might send him a “Conversation”.

From the list above Ryan Ross is known to me and has a good reputation.
Bobby Tyler did a small job for me and I was pleased with his work.
 

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