Vaquero Front Sight Alignment

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seasterl

Single-Sixer
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Dec 5, 2011
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308
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FL
What’s been your experience with the Vaquero front sight blade when you fired your gun from a rest? With the exception of elevation, do your shots shots fire to point of aim, or do you find the windage is off due to front sight alignment? Is it an original Vaquero or a New Vaquero? I always thought they welded them on at the factory in perfect alignment, so that if my shots when to the left or right, then it was my fault. But recently I bought a new New Vaquero 357Mag in 4 5/8” barrel. After close inspection, I noticed the front sight blade was welded on crooked (guessing about 5 degree), and it was not parallel with the bore. This was a huge disappointment since it was hard to acquire this gun and I didn’t want to wait for what could be months to deal with Ruger (who’s obviously backed up and stressed out from the pandemic). So I adjusted it to shoot to point of aim and it’s good now, but just got me wondering all this time that maybe some of my sights really are on wrong by being improperly clocked on the barrel. What’s your experience?
 

Cholo

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It happens. For about 9 months in the late 70's I couldn't find a 4" Security Six in the Chattanooga, TN area without a barrel canted to the right. I've never seen it since in a Ruger.

I did find a grail S&W about 15+ years ago at a gun show and I could live with the price. Then I saw the front sight was canted to about 1:00 :(
 

SteelBlue

Single-Sixer
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Apr 13, 2017
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423
I think a couple of people have recently posted that their bought-from-Ruger pistols had canted front sights. Ruger fixed them free. I'm guessing they will do yours too...unless it is not an original barrel.
 

seasterl

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Dec 5, 2011
Messages
308
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FL
Mines a new recent-production New Vaquero. I had just had an action job done on it and spending more time with it when it dawned on me. Don’t know how I had missed it. Then I started looking at my other Vaqueros and noticed some were on straight but clocked to about the 12:30 position. I don’t want to have to send all my Vaqueros back to Ruger since their existing methods is what caused the problem. I’m not sure they would be able to correct it since I don’t understand their process. I’m thinking I’ll have to correct them like the last one. Thanks for the comments.
 

daveg.inkc

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Nov 14, 2015
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Kansas City, MO
I have a 10.5 “ Super BH that front sight was like this. Stainless, so, I removed sight and scoped it. I bought a .41 M from a member here. 4/58”. Front sight fell free shooting it. Ruger soldered a new one on. But now, I have to put rear sight to left all the way to shoot correctly. “Kentucky windage”
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
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Apr 3, 2009
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7,776
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People's Republik of California
Ruger takes no longer than 12 days to two weeks to fix, and return guns they repair. If they don't get it right the 1st time, send it right back! I had this experience once with a new model flat top 44. The sight was perfect after the 2nd repair. Call 1st and get a free shipping label.
 

princeout

Blackhawk
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Jun 12, 2009
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945
Location
Oklahoma
I've had a couple, both fixed sight Vaquero style. Sent one in, on Ruger's dime; they fixed it quickly and did a fine job. That gun was probably 10-12 years old at that time. The other I sent to Alan Harton and had him shorten the barrel a bit. No issues there!

Tim
 

Sacramento Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
549
Location
Nevada
I once had a Vaquero with the blade tilted slightly to one side; it, nonetheless, shot to POA. I'm wondering if when Ruger test fired it, they noticed POA and POI were off and they tilted the front sight to get it to match...
 

seasterl

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Dec 5, 2011
Messages
308
Location
FL
I just got off the phone with the Ruger rep about sending in some Vaqueros, and she said that if the firearm had any non-original factory parts or if the trigger pull was outside the range of 3.5 - 7.5 pounds, then it would be returned back to factory specification. While I do have action jobs on all my revolvers, I might only a few that would slightly under 3.5#. The biggest problem I would have is that all of my blackhawk hammers have been changed out for super Blackhawk hammers. Looks like I’ll have to engage local gunsmith help or invest in my own barrel vise (or should I call it vice?! LOL!). The other issue is that the ERH might not line up perfectly if the barrel is rotated. Thanks for all the comments.
 

Hondo44

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People's Republik of California
How many Vaqueros are you sending back and are they all for canted front sights?

Ho were your action jobs done; lighter springs? If so, the trigger pulls may still still meet specifications once Ruger installs standard trigger and/or hammer springs. And you'll get the custom springs back.

The super blackhawk hammers shouldn't be a problem, they're original factory parts, just not to the Vaqueros. And if they do change them out, they'll be returned to you.

Turning a barrel to fix the canted front sight is such a small amount, that it will not affect the ERH attachment adversely 99.9% of the time.
 

Rclark

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Jan 1, 2009
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Butte, MT
Turning a barrel to fix the canted front sight is such a small amount, that it will not affect the ERH attachment adversely 99.9% of the time.
+1 . I am lucky to have a gunsmith here that has his barrel vise mounted on his truck. So I would meet him at the range. he tweaked, I shot, until I was satisfied with results. The ejector housing just fit right back on with no noticeable change.
 

seasterl

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Dec 5, 2011
Messages
308
Location
FL
Hondo44 said:
How many Vaqueros are you sending back and are they all for canted front sights?

Ho were your action jobs done; lighter springs? If so, the trigger pulls may still still meet specifications once Ruger installs standard trigger and/or hammer springs. And you'll get the custom springs back.

The super blackhawk hammers shouldn't be a problem, they're original factory parts, just not to the Vaqueros. And if they do change them out, they'll be returned to you...

I haven't yet decided if (or how many) Vaqueros I'd like to send to Ruger. Basically, my story goes like this.... Several years ago, I bought an original Vaquero with 7.5" barrel and love it and shoots really close to point of aim with Ruger-only 45 Colt loads. I thought this was great, so I got the bug and bought a couple more but with 3.75" barrels. I never benched them, but just shot them off-hand and noticed my shots were a little to the left and low. So I shoot some different loads and elevation difference was gone but still hitting to the left. I thought it was me, so I just got used to aligning the front blade to the inside-right of the rear gutter sight. (I never had this issue with semi-auto fixed sight pistols.) Fast-forward a year or so and I picked up more Vaqueros. One had the front sight that was not parallel to the bore axis (and it was also canted to the right at the 12:30 position, too, but I didn't notice it right off). So I shot it and noticed it shot way-left. I got to looking at it and noticed then that the front sight was canted to the right like the barrel wasn't screwed in all the way. It got me thinking about all my other Vaqueros and sure enough, some were canted to the right and some to the left. I noticed that all the New Vaquero models were all canted to the right (about 12:30 position) and the original Vaqueros were canted to the left (about 11:30 position), and I think I had a couple that were pretty close to straight up at 12 o'clock position. Then it dawned on me that I spent all this money on acquiring Vaqueros, getting action jobs (stone work on hammer and trigger and springs), custom grips, super blackhawk hammers, that Ruger seems to be producing fixed sight guns that are clearly not done in a jig of some sort, but apparently just assembled by eyeballing it by the fastest worker on the assembly line and there's nothing I can do to remedy it. It just seems that if you're going to make a fixed-sight gun, then you make it perfectly aligned and then the shooter just learns to shoot straight. So now I'm systematically taking each one to the range and firing it from a rest to see how it compares to what I perceive is a mis-clocked front sight, and if it's off, if I can live with it. I'm still in the process of getting four or five cylinder throats reamed, and when they come back, I'll get back to the range and see where I'm at. I was able to remedy one of the New Vaqueros, but I'm told I was lucky with the outcome and to be cautious about doing it again. So I'm tempted to do it again and if I fail, then I'll have had to send to Ruger anyway. The problem with Ruger service is that I called them three times and the lady that answers the phone doesn't know anything about handguns, they (always a different person) won't transfer me to a repair tech saying they don't accept calls. So I respectfully and politely (always being nice) request she ask the repair tech for me and then call me back. I called three times and talked to three different persons and never got any calls back in a week. I spoke to one very well-known gunsmith and he said to NOT send anything back to Ruger. I do know that, according to the lady that did take my call, they will only warranty the work if it was recently purchased as new by me within the last year or so, so that knocks out half of them (if I wanted to send back) since some were bought as "new old stock" and "never been fired" stuff from GunBroker sellers selling off their prized collections while the sellin' is good during the pandemic.

Sorry to be long-winded, but you can see that my thoughts have been all over the place. I think what I'm going to do is wrap up my customizing jobs with them since some are still half-way through the process, and get them back to the range and fire them from a rest. (So far the ones with obvious canted front sights do shoot to the left from a rest.) Then I'll see how far off and then try to correct them myself. The way I did it for the one was I used a hockey puck, big rubber hammer, and some sheets of paper to put between the metal and the rubber. I laid the front sight blade against the hockey puck and hit the barrel with the hammer. I'm not sure if it had the effect of rotating the barrel or if it bent the front sight blade since I didn't measure the barrel-to-cylinder gap ahead of time. It went from shooting 2.5" to the left to about 0.5" to the right of point-of-aim. I can live with that. The next one is firing 3" to the left from a rest and front sight is obviously canted to the right.
 

Crazy Horse

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
487
Location
LA.... Lower Arkansas
My experience is nearly all of them to not hit to the POA. I sent my favorite one to Mr harton and he put me a drift adjustable front sight in. Sometime I get lucky and get one that hits dead on ( left and right).
 

seasterl

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
308
Location
FL
I’m systematically making improvements but takes a while. I do it at home on a couple at a time then off to the range, then repeat the next week. I got my birdshead 45ACP at dead-on agreement at 10yds using 230gr FMJ. A few others are getting very close.
 

ElrodCod

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
105
Location
Rogersville, Tennessee
More than half of the Ruger revolvers I’ve ever owned had over or under clocked barrels. Two of the three that I currently own are perfect. The third one, a .45 acp/.45 Colt convertible Blackhawk is awful. It still shoots slightly to the left with the rear sight cranked all the way to the right.
One way of diagnosing the problem is to open the cylinder gate and push the extractor all the way out. If the barrel is clocked correctly the extractor should be parallel to the barrel.
 

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