Reloading for the Ruger Vaquero 357 mag/38 sp 6 shot revolver with 4.6ish barrel.

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BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
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Atoka Oklahoma
I'm a reloader and even though this is not a precision gun like I reload for, I do reload for a Henry big boy golden boy lever action that I tweak the loads some.
Anyone reload for this in a vaquero with this length barrel? I have no intention of +p or anything stupid just curious what power loads and powder folks are using that reload.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
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Lake Lure NC USA
"Welcome to the Forum!"

That gun will handle most of the published data for .357 Mag.

Now you can have one of (2) different models. One will be the "full sized" mainframe gun,, (same as a Blackhawk frame,) And can easily handle any load including the "Ruger Only" loads. These guns are easily identified by the 2-Digit prefix in their serial number, such as 38-12345.
Then there is the "New Vaquero,, which is on the mid-sized frame and can also use most loads,, but is a slightly smaller framed gun. It's serial number prefix will be a 3-digit one,, such as; 381-12345. And it'll say "New Vaquero" on the frame.
You can easily use most normal .357 loads,, but many suggest you stay away from the "Ruger Only" loads.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
"Welcome to the Forum!"

That gun will handle most of the published data for .357 Mag.

Now you can have one of (2) different models. One will be the "full sized" mainframe gun,, (same as a Blackhawk frame,) And can easily handle any load including the "Ruger Only" loads. These guns are easily identified by the 2-Digit prefix in their serial number, such as 38-12345.
Then there is the "New Vaquero,, which is on the mid-sized frame and can also use most loads,, but is a slightly smaller framed gun. It's serial number prefix will be a 3-digit one,, such as; 381-12345. And it'll say "New Vaquero" on the frame.
You can easily use most normal .357 loads,, but many suggest you stay away from the "Ruger Only" loads.
Thanks. I've got several Ruger's but this is my first Ruger Vaquero. I've never used Ruger only loads and wonder why they are a problem. Is it the pressure created by the powder or amount of powder in the load? Just curious. I've never used so I've never researched anything about them.
Thanks for the response.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
Thanks. Like I said, I have zero history with the Ruger Only loads. I'm a reloader but never explored or used Ruger only so my curiosity was there. Thank you for all that have responded. I enjoy having a group to discuss issues with. I'll have more as I get to take out and learn on my Vaquero. Once I get the feel for the gun, I'll probably start reloading for it in both 357 and 38. It'll be fun.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
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NikA,, I may be wrong,, but I seem to recall some commercial ammo in .357 that said; "Ruger Only" loads. Too many years of playing with all kinds of stuff may be playing tricks on my memory. But again,, I've seen reloaders do things they shouldn't too! :eek::eek:

Either way,, in general,, that Ruger should be just fine for the way the OP has mentioned his desires for reloading.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
"Welcome to the Forum!"

That gun will handle most of the published data for .357 Mag.

Now you can have one of (2) different models. One will be the "full sized" mainframe gun,, (same as a Blackhawk frame,) And can easily handle any load including the "Ruger Only" loads. These guns are easily identified by the 2-Digit prefix in their serial number, such as 38-12345.
Then there is the "New Vaquero,, which is on the mid-sized frame and can also use most loads,, but is a slightly smaller framed gun. It's serial number prefix will be a 3-digit one,, such as; 381-12345. And it'll say "New Vaquero" on the frame.
You can easily use most normal .357 loads,, but many suggest you stay away from the "Ruger Only" loads.
Mine is the "New Vaquero" according to what I ordered with that written on the frame. I've handled both the new and older version and noticed only a tiny better balance...maybe. I was trying to feel the difference knowing I was going to go with the "new vaquero" and in doing that, I tend to feel things that may not be there just to justify the pick I had already made (if that makes any sense)
Anyway, the pistol is scheduled to be at my FFL today or tomorrow. I had to cancel my original order because of a delay that wasn't suppose to happen and them asking that I reorder that would have just pushed the time line another 7 to 10 (working days) further down the line. I won't mention the place I was ordering from but found the same great deal and gun at Grab a Gun that not that far from me. It's in North Texas and I'm in Southern Oklahoma. May have been about 8 dollars lower in price. but the exact same gun so I cancelled the order with the other and reordered from GAG. I've used these guys before and have always been happy with the purchase.
More heave storms coming through our area again but I don't think any Tornado's but we had some more south of us again so I'm not sure if it will slow delivery down till tomorrow or not, but that ok because too much rain/lightning and wind to go shoot anyway.
Will post after first outing
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
NikA,, I may be wrong,, but I seem to recall some commercial ammo in .357 that said; "Ruger Only" loads. Too many years of playing with all kinds of stuff may be playing tricks on my memory. But again,, I've seen reloaders do things they shouldn't too! :eek::eek:

Either way,, in general,, that Ruger should be just fine for the way the OP has mentioned his desires for reloading.
Yep. I have friends that are reloaders that are always trying to get the FPS and power up. Reloaders know how each gun has a load and a magic combination on long guns for accuracy. Not so much with a gun like this but reloading is preferable when prices go up and availability goes down.
I'll settle on a mold, powder, primer that's a good match and stay with it. I'm just not one of those guys that like to press the lead into the powder...Ha
Thanks for the feedback. That's what makes channels like this important.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
7,257
Location
Richmond Texas USA
If you live in OK and buy a handgun in TX, doesn't it have to ship to an FFL in OK for you to pick up?
"Anyway, the pistol is scheduled to be at my FFL today or tomorrow. I had to cancel my original order because of a delay that wasn't suppose to happen and them asking that I reorder that would have just pushed the time line another 7 to 10 (working days) further down the line. I won't mention the place I was ordering from but found the same great deal and gun at Grab a Gun that not that far from me. It's in North Texas and I'm in Southern Oklahoma. May have been about 8 dollars lower in price. but the exact same gun so I cancelled the order with the other and reordered from GAG. I've used these guys before and have always been happy with the purchase."
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
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Messages
26,120
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I too have seen way too many reloaders who think the only way to reload is "Rocks & dynamite" types of ammo. Accuracy be derned. And many people who wanted me to load for them long ago used to say; "I like them hot,, load them up!"

FPS, power etc are fine,, IF,, IF,, the accuracy is there. Most often,, I've found the most accurate load to be mid-range to just above mid-range.

Those who look at a reloading manual as "Just a guide,, I can load hotter than the max" thinking they know more than these companies,, are playing with potentially dangerous things.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
I too have seen way too many reloaders who think the only way to reload is "Rocks & dynamite" types of ammo. Accuracy be derned. And many people who wanted me to load for them long ago used to say; "I like them hot,, load them up!"

FPS, power etc are fine,, IF,, IF,, the accuracy is there. Most often,, I've found the most accurate load to be mid-range to just above mid-range.

Those who look at a reloading manual as "Just a guide,, I can load hotter than the max" thinking they know more than these companies,, are playing with potentially dangerous things.
I've never had any luck with pushing the +p other than seeing it split a casing and mess up the action. Not me. Even my 6.5 Creedmoor loves the 140 grain. As a matter of fact, by expensive long range precision gun loves the factory Hornady blackbox 140 grain more than anything I can load to. Ha. I have had success playing with the Grendel, 300, 223 and others but not that one.
I've got buddies that try to push that FPS up so far the shell is pushed down into the powder. I AIN'T DOING THAT!!!!
At my age and what I do, I can hit within the moa at distance of 1500 and in. That's just lots of shooting and trusting the gun and ammo.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
555
There are times a compressed load is fine. It might be more accurate. I load for .270 Win. Compressed does not automatically mean dangerous or crazy. This is on the slowest burners. 4350. 4831.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
There are times a compressed load is fine. It might be more accurate. I load for .270 Win. Compressed does not automatically mean dangerous or crazy. This is on the slowest burners. 4350. 4831.
True but when your reaching out on distance and accuracy, some reloaders try different powder. This is often because the powder they love is hard to find or tripled in price. That or just pushing out the best combinations for that gun. I did that a tiny bit when I first started but not anymore. Burn rate is the deal but when you have to try a powder you're not used to or is new, best be cautious IMO.
Better heeled reloaders have the historical knowledge I'll never have and can do some outstanding things with powders and now zinc.
 

BigAl

Bearcat
Joined
May 26, 2024
Messages
38
Location
Atoka Oklahoma
You will get there. When did you start? Grab as many reloading manuals you can.
About 8 years ago but once I got cancer, I was in and out of hospitals for a couple of years. and only just got started having reloaded for a few years first. Have a great set up including lots of powder, primers I've rat holed. I also have collected lots of brass. Have a ton of wheel weights and lead, molds ect. I also have a lot of powder coated bullets ready to go.
But like everything else, I have to relearn what I knew. Doing the same with my Golf game. Had to reinvent my swing but I'll get there
 

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