I picked up a Blackhawk convertable .45acp/.45Colt almost 2 years ago. It is almost the same as the Vaquero except for the adjustable sights on the Blackhawk.
I picked it up expectimg to shoot a ton of .45acp reloads thru it. Its about as durable as a tank. I have found that I am shooting the .45Colt more. For no other reason than I can get a 255 grain lead slug moving about 1100 fps.
The only issue i have found is on cast reloads with the .45acp cylinder. I find I have to seat the bullets so the shouder is flush with the case mouth. I used to seat them so about 1/8 of an inch protruded from the case. When they are seated out like that, the lead bullet actually makes contact with the chamber step and the bullet doesnt seat fully without using a lot of force. And then it drags against the recoil shield when you thumb back the hammer. Seating it flush solved this. And with the bullets seated flush, they still functioned reliably thru my Colt 1911.
In all, the combo is a great setup. The .45acp doesnt recoil much, and you can reload the .45colt hot enough to take a deer out to 50 yards without going too hot. I find I get 1100 fps with the starting loads of Alliant 2400 from the ruger/TC section of the reloading manuals. This is considered +p but it really is not generating high pressures. The cases actually fall out of the cylinder for me.
And with both cylinders i get 2" groups at 25 yards. And I can reliably hit football sized rocks at 100 yards.
I put pachmyer rubber grips on it to match the grips I have on my Single Six. They use the same grip frame. I would like to find a pair of genuine stag grips for it. I think it would look awesome with stag grips. I have heard that they were not importing stag anymore. Maybe one of the manufactures will offer Elk grips for them. I have seen buffalo grips, but they just liike like brown plastic.
Good luck with your Vaquero. I dont think you could wear it out in 100 years.
I've had a New Model Ruger .45 Colt/.45 ACP Blackhawk convertible since 1976. I guess I'm lucky, but with my gun, factory .45 Colt (255 grain) loads shoot to the same point of aim as factory .45 ACP hardball at 25 yards. I haven't touched/adjusted my sights in a long time. I'd have no hesitation in buying a fixed sighted Vaquero convertible as long as I was going to stick to factory cartridges or handload standard loads. Heck if you handload you should be able to come up with .45 Colt and .45 ACP loads that shoot to the same point of aim.
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