Full Circle, with the Ruger Vaquero

April, 2011

My tag-along gun for the day was my Old Vaquero in .45 Colt. Almost as an afterthought, I realized I hadn’t shot it much since the previous fall, when I killed the last of its ‘zero gremlins’. So after mowing was done, I walked down to the backstop to discover my hard-used target board had succumbed to the last wind storm. Great… I grabbed the biggest chunk, stapled a target to it (none too neatly I might add) and walked back to the 50 yard stake to confirm this old .45 was shooting where it looked with my most used load; a Missouri Bullet 250 grain RNFP over 7.2 grains of W231, for about 825 fps.

Lacking a suitable rest, I plunked down on the ground and shot the six loads in the gun from sitting, rested over one rickety knee and pressing the trigger when the front sight touched the little red dot in the middle of the target. In retrospect, I probably should have held six o’clock.

Now gentlemen, I realize in the grand scheme of accurate sixguns a four-inch group won’t start any ticker-tape parades. The shooter, as usual, is the weak link in this chain because the Vaquero will hold under an inch at 25 with loads it likes. Still, I am pleased as can be. I take much comfort in a fixed sight .45 Colt I can shoot this well after ignoring it for six months, from a not particularly solid position and taking no great care to produce a photogenic group. This old Ruger is the one handgun that would stay, if all the rest of them had to go.

I guess that makes me a single-action man and I’m good with that, too. It’s where I started out and there’s worse things in life than coming full circle to something really good.


5 Responses to Full Circle, with the Ruger Vaquero

  1. Ed Engarto says:

    All good articles Sarge. I stumbled on your site recently and found somethinguseful in everything that you’ve written. I am somewhat of a minimalist myself; only enough of everything, including guns, to do what I want to do. So solid articles on bullseye shooting, a favorite and influential firearm, ‘the truck gun’, and for that matter even a good article on an old truck; are all good reads. In fact, I think I’m goin to stop by the farm of an old friend and ask him about an old tractor that I know he’d like to give to a good home. Looking forward to chatting about casting, reloading, single and double actions, more bullseye, and outdoor skills.

  2. Great article, I love your vaquero, its very westerny and I love old guns. Any chance you know what Vaquero means?

  3. Michael Case says:

    Great articles, I have already subscribed to your website.

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