Original Vaquero and New Vaquero name engraving.

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NightSailor

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 24, 2022
Messages
54
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Connecticut
I took a few photos of my various Vaquero’s as I wanted to study the differences between Ruger’s Vaquero and New Vaquero.

I had a chance to buy a second 7.5” cavalry length model thinking this new one was a Vaquero based on the side engraved warning label. Perhaps I should have looked closer, but I have no regrets. It was, in fact, a New Vaquero and also incorrectly listed in Ruger Serial number database as an original Vaquero in the year after production ceased for the Vaquero. My guess is in assembly they used the side engraving to quickly identify the different models.

In the photos the white grips on the long barrel is the New Vaquero and the Coco-bolo grips are on the Vaquero. There is a slight difference in length.

My collection at present. Note the dots before and after 45 CAL
1995 7.5” RUGER VAQUERO .45 CAL.
2006 7.5” RUGER NEW VAQUERO 45 CAL.
2008 5.5” RUGER NEW VAQUERO 45 CAL.
2013 5.5” RUGER NEW VAQUERO 45 CAL.
2022 4.6” RUGER NEW VAQUERO (Smaller Font) 45 CAL

The 7.5” New Vaquero with the white grips is a low serial number on the series. I presume this was the reason for the old style side of barrel engraving—a left over barrel. It was a very low serial number, one of the first of the New Vaqueros produced in 2006. The Vaqueros production ran between 1993 and 2005. Who knows how many long barrels with the side warnings were used on the New Vaquero before they ran out of the old barrels. I would have preferred one with the warning label underneath. I would have also preferred a pair of Vaqueros with matching grips. But then again it is nice to have an example of each. I’ll need to shoot both to check to see if there point of aim is the same.

I used this opportunity to study the model name engraving on the opposite side of the frame. The hollow font seemed to be the same with Ruger Vaquero (no trademark) about the length of. 45 Colt brass case, followed by this particular “Ruger New Vaquero (R) about the length of a loaded 45 cartridge. I also noticed the engraving of the last “r” seems a bit less crisp looking on the very early New New Vaquero.

The extractor was slightly different as well as the cylinder pin on the two models. I was unable to remove the cylinder pin on the Vaquero.

My photo did not show the cylinder length difference well so I installed the New Vaquero cylinder in the Vaquero and you can see by the gap, the length difference is small. I did not measure it. I’ll guess a 1/8”difference. These are not interchangeable parts. I placed it in there only to visually show the gap— to convey the size difference. The other cylinder photos show the different wall thicknesses
Between the Vaquero and New Vaquero.

Finally, the newest 2022 4.6” example has the same font for RUGER VAQUERO but smaller—a tiny bit less than the length of a 45 case. I prefer the look. The “45 CAL” underneath is also darker, more bold, and crisper— more attractive than the fainter earlier caliber size engraving. I found it significant that “.45 CAL.” Was used on the Vaquero and later models dropped the dot in front of the 45 and the most recent 2022 model dropped the dot after CAL. It’s cleaner looking without the dots.

Of all, I liked the original RUGER VAQUERO name engraving and the latest version on the New Vaquero. The smaller but bolder 45 CAL looks best, in my opinion and ties it all together. Details matter. I have a good friend who is a yacht designer. His designs are stunning because it tweaks the details until everything looks perfect. I like the most recent changes and appreciate the fact that Ruger makes slight improvements over time, like moving the warning label under the barrel.

I hope people find this interesting. And perhaps help for buyers looking for something specific or to help more quickly identify a model year era.

Next up for me are two more BH hammer swaps on the two 7.5” single actions. That transforms these into a perfect single action.
 

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Last edited:
Joined
Dec 3, 2021
Messages
418
Location
Georgia
"I found it significant that ".45 CAL." Was used on the Vaquero and later models dropped the dot in front of the 45 and the most recent 2022 model dropped the dot after CAL. It's cleaner looking without the dots."

Cost saving measure possible or their dots wore out some time ago along with the little r. I must have at least 50 or so Vaqueros and 5 late New Vaqueros so I'll have to give some of them a look see the next wipe down. Details, details, details.....
 

chet15

Hawkeye
Joined
Jan 22, 2001
Messages
5,751
Location
Dawson, Iowa
Keep in mind that Ruger switched to laser engraving of the serial number and markings on the left side a few years ago, so that would be a difference there. If you look close you can see the differences in laser and a pressure applied rollmark. .45 CAL without the dot is laser engraved. With dot is rollmarked. I wouldn't get too involved with rollmark differences because they do wear out/break and new rollmarks have to come into use so there will be slight differences. When researching non "INC." rollmarks of Ruger's old production 1949 to 1965, we found at least five maybe six different rollmarks that can all be identified as to letter spacing in the first line over letters of the second line. That info can come in handy though when the need arises to see if a rare gun because of barrel length for example has been rebarreled or not.
After discontinuing the Vaquero, and when the New Vaquero was in full production, Ruger had a lot of cleanup "large frame" Vaquero components left over. These are the "cleanup Vaqueros" and are all identified as having the Warning rollmark located on the bottom of the barrel. That change on the New Vaquero happened something like 10-14,000 guns after New Vaquero production started, so is easy to see why we call them cleanup Vaquero's.
Another interesting tidbit... even thought the large frame is typically a Vaquero and the Vaquero is long discontinued, Ruger models 10596, 10597 and 10598 are large frames in .44 Mag. But the rollmarks say "New Vaquero". The whole idea of a NEW VAQUERO was for the smaller size cylinder frame, the base of the model, but doing that Ruger couldn't offer a .44 Mag. So they still use large size cylinder frames even though they are called a New Vaquero.
Chet15
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
8,129
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Ohio , U.S.A.
......like our friend Dave has always said, "all Vaqueros are New Models....." simple as that, anyway, the "newer" model or the "old, first, older, original" model of the Vaquero; grooved, rear sight,ala Colt,more like an authentic 'Cowboy' gun, need I say "6 shooter"........:rolleyes:
now back to Fords or Chevy or clips or magazines...:cool:;)

SEMANTICS..........:cautious:


...and those are NICE pictures fine looking ones and all look GOOD to us....;)
 
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Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Apr 3, 2009
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7,825
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People's Republik of California
Chet, I always appreciate the incredible amount of insight you provide, thank you.

I believe the designation NEW VAQUERO is based upon the free spin cyl with chamber alignment system rather than frame size.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Jan 1, 2009
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3,371
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Butte, MT
Hondo I have to disagree. My .44 Special {New} Vaquero (Sheriff) is just roll marked Vaquero. It has the chamber alignment system and on medium frame.... Seems like I read if the caliber was offered on the original Vaquero, it then was called New Vaquero on the medium frame. But if never offered on original Vaquero (like the .44 Special) then it is just Vaquero.... Of course all .44 Mag are on large frame regardless for 'every' style of revolver.... So confusion continues to reign supreme... :rolleyes: :) .
 
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Hondo44

Hawkeye
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You’re exactly right about the.44 Spl vaqueros. But that’s a separate situation.

The key to understanding is to remember that frame size is not relevant to the designation “NEW” in NEW VAQUERO”. It applies to all Vaqueros in calibers offered in the original Vaquero version that have now been offered with the cyl alignment system. So a 44 Spl with cyl alignment system is an original, therefore not a new version of anything. Not confusing once you know Ruger’s logic.

The next time an engineering design change is made on the vaqueros the 44spl will become a New Vaquero and the current New Vaqueros will become “Newest Vaqueros “. LOL!
 
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Rclark

Hunter
Joined
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Butte, MT
Not confusing once you know Ruger's logic.
Ah huh. And just by having this conversation ... It must be a bit confusing because otherwise, this would be a subject that we never need to discuss as it would be obvious ;) Ha! :D
 

BROKENBEAR

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
138
Old Vaquero .. there I said it and why folks go ape fertilizer over it is amazing
It to many people simply means the heavier larger framed larger handle first edition

That one phrase sets the stage for holsters, grips and anything else accessory wise that might be impacted as well as informing one contemplating purchase that it differs from new current specs so you are on your own to determine which one is for you..

I have a whole stable full of old Vaqueros and I’m lik’in the prices I’m seeing on them😎

Bear
 

KRuger

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Messages
55
Location
Loomis,WA,USA
OV ("original vaquero" or "old vaquero") does not seem to trigger the rage button like OMV ("old model vaquero"). There were/are no old model vaqueros, unless.....
Years ago someone on this board had a pair of .44 special old model vaqueros that he had Harton build from old model .357 blackhawks. Those always fascinated me.
KRuger
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Messages
7,825
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People's Republik of California
Ah huh. And just by having this conversation ... It must be a bit confusing because otherwise, this would be a subject that we never need to discuss as it would be obvious ;) Ha! :D
Many things are not obvious to the casual observer, But now that you KNOW the Ruger logic, is it still confusing?

One common example: Some people think the 38 Spl is a different caliber than the 357 Mag. How many times have you had to explain that they use the same caliber bullets and why they have different names so people understand the logic of it? There ya go.
 
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