Straight from the box, the New Vaquero does not have a free spinning cylinder. Practically speaking, straight out of the box, the New Vaquero does not have a 'free spin pawl'.
The 'original model' Vaquero had a pawl (or hand as most manufacturers call it) that was fairly similar in operation to a Colt hand. With the loading gate open, and the bolt retracted, the hand was retracted almost all the way, but a tiny bit of it protruded and engaged the ratchet teeth on the cylinder, preventing the cylinder from rotating backwards. This is really no different in operation than a Colt, except that the Colt bolt was lowered by the hammer being at half cock. Whatever the reason the bolt is lowered, the cylnders on both the Colt and 'original model' Vaquero (New Model Blackhawk too) will not rotate in reverse. Frankly, Colts have been like this since 1836 and I fail to see the need for a cylinder that spins in either direction.
The beauty of this arangement on a Colt is that when the hammer is set at half cock, the hand pushes the cylinder around just enough so that the chambers line up perfectly with the loading gate. Keeping the hammer at half cock speeds the loading and unloading process by indexing the chambers exactly where they need to be for easy operation. The problem with the 'original model' Vaquero was there was no half cock position on the hammer. So there was no way to ease the hammer back just enough so that the chambers indexed to the loading gate. Which is by the way why I installed half cock hammers in my 3 Vaqueros, so the chambers would line up perfectly, but that's another story. But with a stock Vaquero (original model) the gun had an annoying tendancy when loading or unloading for the chamber in question to slip just a tad too far past the loading gate, and then the pawl would engage the next tooth on the cylinder, making it completely impossible to load or unload that chamber without going around again. This could be very annoying. Again, that's why I installed half cock hammers, so the chambers would line up with the loading gate, just like a Colt, without that annoying tendancy to slip just too far.
When the New Vaquero was designed, Ruger had a great idea. They changed the pawl ever so slightly, so that until the hammer was drawn back a tiny bit, the pawl did not engage the ratchet teeth at all. That's your 'free spin pawl'. Then they did something truly brilliant. They installed a tiny spring plunger in the frame, postioned precisely so it would pop out and index the chambers directly to the loading gate, just like a Colt, making loading and unloading much easier than it ever was on the 'original model' Vaquero.
That's what you hear clicking when the cylinder spins, the little spring plunger is being shoved out of postition and popping back every time a ratchet tooth goes by. If you have ever spun the cylinder of a Colt at half cock, the Colt has a much sharper, clicking sound than a New Vaquero, the New Vaquero sounds kind of mushy to my ear. Removing the little spring plunger is what will give you a true 'free spin pawl'. With the plunger still in place, you have perfect indexing to every cylinder.
Frankly, like I said, I don't see the value of a free spin pawl. When I put the half cock hammers into my Vaqueros, I could have added a free spin pawl for much less money. But that's not what I wanted, I wanted the chmabers to line up automatically with the loading gate. I often see guys spinning their cylinders on the line at CAS matches. Or on the rare occaission a reload is needed, they can pop a live round into the empty chamber, and advance it to the left for a quick shot. Reloads like that are so rare I can't remember the last time I encountered one.
Like I say, Colts have spun only one direction since 1836, and that's fine with me. I like my Rugers to only spin one way too.
As for wear, unless you hook up your cylinder to a drill and spin it at 360 RPM for hours at a time, you are not putting any significant wear on it with the little spring plunger. Spinninig cylinders uselessly is a good way to increase wear, the little plunger ain't going to add much.