Gun Review: Ruger Vaquero --David Gates

Last year I got a Ruger Vaquero (Spanish for cowboy) for Christmas. This is essentially a Blackhawk revolver with old western style sights (big. tall, thin, rounded blade on the front, a notch and groove in the backstrap on the rear), and a special coloring process that makes the frame look like it is case hardened.

Although it is made to look like something from the turn of the century, it is a truly modern gun, with good metallurgy and a transfer safety bar mechanism (safe to carry with 6 rounds in it, unless you like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with a loaded gun).

I bought mine with the 7.5 inch barrel (I like long barrels), blued, with wood grips in .45 Long Colt (nostalgia) just to have a single action revolver for teaching hunter safety courses.

Early in the summer, I finally got the components and equipment to load ammo for it and try it out. It has quickly become my favorite handgun. It has a very nice trigger on it, is very accurate, and the sights are right on at 25 yards (as Ruger claimed they would be).

It is such a pleasure to shoot, I have a tendency to shoot it as fast as I can load and fire it. Being a strong gun, I can load ammo for it that would blow up one of the old Colt peacemakers.

With this hotter ammo, I was able to take it deer hunting with me in Virginia. It rides nice in a cross draw holster, even 4.5 miles back into the wilderness area. I almost got a chance at a buck with it the last day out, but that is another story.

My only complaint is that the chambers line up with the loading gate not quite halfway between clicks. This requires that you hold the cylinder in place with the hand you are holding the gun in to load or unload the chamber.

Originally published in the GGC Newsletter- Spring 2000