Ruger Vaquero (2003 gun) Base Pin Question

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Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
Hey everyone...two weeks ago at a gun show I purchased a Ruger Vaquero 45 Colt Birdshead grip 3&3/4" bbl blued and casehardened gun in excellent condition (I thought) with the original box, manual, lock, and the envelope with the fired cartridge dated 2003. Two questions/problems 1. The Base Pin fits flush with the frame of the gun, it does not stick out like all other base pins I have ever seen. There is nothing to get your fingers on to pull it out to remove the cylinder. I don't understand why it is like this. Is this factory Ruger or has someone screwed up the gun? 2. There is no half cock when you pull back the hammer. What's going on here? I have a regular Ruger Vaquero (also old model) that has the regular base pin and half cock on the hammer, so Im wondering what is going on with this new Birdshead short bbl Vaquero that I just purchased. Thanks for the help on my questions. I know a picture would help, but I can't figure out how to post one.
 

NikA

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
1,384
Short barrel Ruger SAs sometimes have the "sheriff's" basepin to my knowledge. I don't know of ANY new model Ruger SAs that have a half-cock notch without aftermarket parts. Sounds like your new gun could be original and your previous one may have had some work done on it.
 

Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
So you're saying that a flush fitting basepin (that is difficult to remove) and no half cock on the hammer is normal for an old model Vaquero Birdshead with the short barrel? My other Vaquero was possibly used in Cowboy competition and is as smooth as silk when cocking it, better than my Python, so it well could have had some work done on it.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,018
Yes, a flush fitting base pin has been installed at the factory on a few models. And yes,, most likely correct for your Vaquero birdshead model.

And your ORIGINAL Vaquero isn't an "Old Model" as it has the 2 pin, New Model action. The only Old Models are the pre-1973 SA handguns that have a 4 click action. THOSE guns came from the factory with a 1/2 cock hammer position, which allowed the proper loading of the gun. The New Models, which came along in 1973,, have the "safety transfer bar" system in them. ALL SA handgun made after 1973 have that. Vaqueros came along in the 1980's. And I'd say your Original Vaquero most likely has an aftermarket hammer such as "Powers Custom" installed. Not an uncommon modification by many.
 

Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
Thank you everyone for your answers. The knowledge here is simply amazing. You have greatly relieved my mind.
I guess my only question now is why the flush fitting base pin? What purpose does it serve? It is much more difficult to remove, and it really looks a little weird.
 

jgt

Blackhawk
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
773
Guns with short (sheriff) barrels have short ejector rods. This pushes the empty case out of the cylinder only a short distance. The length of the center pin that does not stick out the front of the frame gives the ejector rod that much more travel when ejecting the brass from the cylinder. To counter the difficulty pulling the base pin, some people grind finger nail slots on the inside edge of the center pin head to aid in pulling the pin.
 

Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
jgt said:
Guns with short (sheriff) barrels have short ejector rods. This pushes the empty case out of the cylinder only a short distance. The length of the center pin that does not stick out the front of the frame gives the ejector rod that much more travel when ejecting the brass from the cylinder. To counter the difficulty pulling the base pin, some people grind finger nail slots on the inside edge of the center pin head to aid in pulling the pin.

Thank you jgt. That makes perfect sense. Logical. This is only the second "Sheriff's" model that I have even seen in person, and I think the other one had the regular base pin, so it was like what's going on here? So much to learn. Thank you everyone who took the time to answer my questions. I really appreciate it. If you have anymore insights on this or opinions I would love to hear them. I fell in lust with my friends Birdshead Sheriff's model stainless steel Vaquero and just had to have one. Mine isn't stainless, but it's a beauty. They are as rare as hens teeth it seems.
 

seasterl

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
259
Here’s a pic of one of my (original) Vaqueros… not to be confused with a “New Vaquero” for a point of reference: (This is the factory Ruger base pin that requires using a thumbnail to slide out.). Also, there is no half-cock (or four-click) on the hammer…

 

Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
Thank You very much for that picture. Other than yours being stainless steel (beautiful btw) it looks just like mine. You guys have relieved my mind about what I have being factory. It most surely is. Thank You Everyone!!!
 

seasterl

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
259
Thanks!… and since you started a birdshead thread, you might as well enjoy a few pics. Here’s one in 45ACP that shoots to point of aim:



… and here are more of its friends:



 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,716
You will feel much better about the weird base pin if you try your other vaquero's base pin in the sheriff model and then try to eject empty cases.

Some of us use a compromise: by using a standard base pin, cutting off the front end about a 1/4" and polish it. You give up 1/4" of ejector rod travel.

You can also purchase a base pin puller for Colts that works well and with slight modification, on Rugers also from Peacemaker Specialists: https://www.google.com/search?q=peacemaker+specialists+base+pin+puller&oq=Peacemaker+Specialties.&aqs=chrome.2.69i57j0i13i30l4j0i10i22i30.4518j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

gunscrewdriver.png
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,616
per Hondo44: "You can also purchase a base pin puller for Colts that works well and with slight modification, on Rugers also from Peacemaker Specialists: https://www.google.com/search?q=peacema ... e&ie=UTF-8"
OR:
I made my own copy of this base pin 'puller' by using an old feeler-guage (or any piece of metal) and picking an appropriate piece with the thickness that would work for me. I cut it to the length I wanted and then simply filed away (or dremel'd) an arc at the top of the piece of metal that would fit my base pin and NOT touch the barrel or ejector housing etc. A little patience and some filing to smooth the edges and I saved my self some money by using an old guage that was about to be trashed anyway. If you can do it yourself, you would save $50.95 + s/h etc etc etc. An obscene amount for a simple "tool" IMHO.

J.
 

Fanner50

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
53
Beautiful Vaquero's guys. Nice collections. Thank you for sharing. Makes me want more, lol. Those base pin pullers look cool too. I especially appreciate the instructions on how to make my own puller. Thanks.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2007
Messages
11,171
Johnnu2 said:
per Hondo44: "You can also purchase a base pin puller for Colts that works well and with slight modification, on Rugers also from Peacemaker Specialists: https://www.google.com/search?q=peacema ... e&ie=UTF-8"IMHO. J.


Something wrong with that link, Jim. :wink:
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,616
Ale-8(1) said:
Johnnu2 said:
per Hondo44: "You can also purchase a base pin puller for Colts that works well and with slight modification, on Rugers also from Peacemaker Specialists: https://www.google.com/search?q=peacema ... e&ie=UTF-8"IMHO. J.


Something wrong with that link, Jim. :wink:

Try this one: http://www.peacemakerspecialists.com/accessories/

and scroll down to the $50.95 +s/h base pin puller..... hard to believe anyone would pay that for that

IMHO,

J
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,716
Johnnu2 said:
Something wrong with that link, Jim. :wink:

Try this one: http://www.peacemakerspecialists.com/accessories/

and scroll down to the $50.95 +s/h base pin puller..... hard to believe anyone would pay that for that

IMHO,

J[/quote]


Thank you!!

Yeah they're pretty proud of that tool!

Pretty easy to make one out of a thin piece of spring steel.
 
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