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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the forums so forgive me if this has been covered before. I did a search and came up empty, so here goes. I recently bought a new Ruger Vaquero in 45 Colt with a 7 1/2" barrel. The gun prints consistantly left and high with any of the 30 something load combinations I have tried. The vertical I know how to deal with but the consistant left grouping is driving me crazier. Others with Vaqueros in my club are having the same problem with proposed solutions running the gamut from filing the side of the front blade to repositioning the barrel. Anyone out there have the same problem? How did you fix it? Upon receiving the Vaquero I was very surprised with the lack of quality control evident on my gun. I have always felt that Rugers were a cut above in fit and finish, but this one has me considering looking elsewhere. The front sight blade has what appears to be a casting void in the metal (looks like a bubble popped), one of the chambers has a nick in the front inside that is causing flyers from that chamber, and the grips have sanding grooves in them. It is going to the gunsmith tomorrow for jeweling of the hammr and trigger, truing up of the chambers, an 11 degree forcing cone, and a plea to make it shoot straight. I will take your input with me.

Thanks,

John Neihouse
 

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I consider buying a ruger the same as buying a canvas to paint on. Theres not a one in my house that hasnt had at least a action job a belt mountain pin and a different set of grips or at least a reworked set on it. Just about all the .45s need throating. Every ruger made needs the trigger lightened. there still a **** of a deal for what you get for the money they cost. Before you get carried away trying to move your sights get the trigger pull reduce I allways tend to shoot a gun to the left with a heavy trigger pull. If its still does it then you can have your gunsmith turn your barrel (tighten) in just a smidge. You can also move your groups around alot by making small changes in you grip even removing wood on one side or the other will make a difference.
 

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J, I have a quick question for you, is this poor group coming from a benchrest or offhand? Most shooters of single actions have a tendency to "push" the groups away from the strong hand just because of the way the things are designed.

Butler Ford
 

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Have the same problem with my two RV's. One is just about an inch to the left at 8 yards and the other about 4-5 inches, again left. I shot both on the same trip to the range. Was holding it with a two hand grip.
Right now I have just over 50 rounds each so I am planning on shooting them for awhile--;et everything wear in a bit.
For what it's worth I shot to the left when I use my CZ-85. Last time at the match (USPSA) I just aimed at the right hand of the steel and down they went. Know you don't want to do this (neither do I) but it does work.
Planning on an action job and barrel tightening later to address the windage problem. Will keep monitoring this thread to see if someone has an easy, cheap fix
Walt
 

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Mine was 'WAY left until...

I did the calculations and figured the amount the front sight had to be moved....039" to the left. It was a stinker of a job bending the sight over that much and no more, but after doing it, and a bit of attention to my hand position, it shoots where it looks. The bent front sight makes it look a bit strange, but I'm willing to put up with that.
The thing about your hand position is that you have to get the gun to recoil straight up and back; any twist will mess you up. Get the mass of your hand as equal as possible on the right and left sides of the grip. Once you have found the proper position (verified by shooting), make your "muscle memory" go to work and memorize the feel of it. Also, it pays if the gun is not gripped really tightly...a slight relaxation helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To the gunsmith

Took my Vaquero to my gunsmith yesterday and after inspection he feels that there is a problem in the chamber/throat relationship. He is going to do an 11 degree throat job on it, measure and true the chambers if necessary, and if all else fails, reposition the barrel.

In answer to an earlier post, all shooting for group was done from a bench with the gun properly rested on bags. I had several other shooters that were much better at shooting from a rest group the gun and their results were the same as mine. Close to 900 rounds have been put through the gun with well over 30 combinations of bullet, brass, primer, powder tried. Everything points to the Ruger, not operator error.

Will post the results of the gunsmithing and the cost thereof when I get the gun back from the smith.

John Neihouse
 

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Sure sounds like a Ruger problem. Have you by chance contacted Ruger??
I guess it depends on the mood of the individual you talk to, but I've known folks to get windage corrected by Ruger for only the cost of shipping one way. If you do return it and have put any after market springs in, you'll need to replace them with the factory springs. Ruger returns the gun to original and doesen't return the replaced parts.

I sure wish it had been something we could have fixed with discussion!! Would have been a lot more fun for us all and a lot less frustrating for you.

That poses two questions:
1 It seems to be the consensus of almost all gunsmiths I know of that the optimal forcing cone angle is 11 degrees, why do manufacturers not make them that way?

2 It also seems that Ruger chamber throats are under bore size. I don't understand the "why's" of this. Any ideas???


I wish you the best of luck


Butler Ford
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ruger problem,should be

Agree that it should be a Ruger problem. I guess I may be too picky, but I hesitate to send it back to Ruger for correction since they didn't get it right in the first place and the gun obviously passed "quality control" whatever that is.

Good question on the forcing cone thing. It may be too hard to set up for mass production, or more likely, too hard to get it consistant with mass production methods to make a difference.

Is it me or does it bother others to have to spend a couple of hundred dollars to make what is already a several hundred dollar gun shoot to point of aim?

John
 

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While the whole world knows I'm no fan of Ruger guns you should be happy they finally started making them undersize. At least you can pay someone to fix that or do it yourself. Before they were oversize and nothing short of a new cylinder would make them shoot. Someone the other day compared Ruger guns to an blank canvas an artist can take and make of it what he will. I kinda agree with that. Buy one you get nothing and if you want something you have to pay someone to do what Ruger has already been paid to do. Oh yeah love it when someone else comes up with another good one for me to add to my list of why I don't like Rugers. :-D

GB
 

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Well, I gotta say that one of the first things I had done to my RV was the forcing cone thing, but it was done to help eliminate leading, not for accuracy reasons. It's an easy job; look at the tool for it in Brownell's catalogue if you don't believe me; my gunsmith said it takes longer to figure out where you've put the tool than it does to do the job. And it really helped with the leading. It still leads a little, but the more I shoot it, the less it leads. Accuracy in mine was improved with the OS cylinder pin, and (this was strictly personal; other peoples' hands are different) the replacement of the factory grip frame with a nice brass birdshead grip frame, also from Brownell's. I understand Ruger is now making birdshead grips; I have yet to handle one.
 

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shooting left

If your gun is shooting left, check a couple things as well as the other advice above. Are you shooting single handed (presuming right)? Strong hand unsupported will shoot to the left. Try shooting weak (left) handed unsupported, you might find it shooting to the right. It will recoil toward your thumb as well as up. Try a tighter grip, always helps accuracy to hold as tight as possible without shaking. Heavy triggerpull will throw it off as someone else suggested. Bullet strike can also be affected by the direction of rifling twist, as a heavy bullet will try to rotate the gun, again affected by the firmness of your grip. Rotating the barrel is the proper sight correction, as opposed to trying to bend the sight over. Look carefully from front and rear to determine if the front sight is pointed straight up, or angled a bit (in this case) to the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Report from the Gunsmith RE: Vaquero

Visited with my gunsmith this afternoon. He cleared up the interference between the barrel extension and the cylinder and did the 11 degree forcing cone. Before the work done the gun tested high and left with roughly a 6 inch group at 25 yards. After the work the group tightened to two inches and moved from waay left to around 2 inches. Also brought the group down. Chamber all miked to within .001 of each other so he left them alone. Still to go is to reposition the front post (it is not straight) and a trigger job. Should have it back after new years. Will post a report after I get the gun back and shoot it. Will include the cost of the gunsmithing work for reference sake. Thanks to everyone who offered help.

John Neihouse
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Vaqero back from gunsmith

Said I would post results and associated costs when I got the "leaning to the left" Vaquero back from smith so here goes.

Gun was shooting waaay left with considerable dispersion in the groups. Gunsmith turned 11 degree forcing cone, cleared up the interference between the cylinder and the barrel extension, and re-indexed the barrel. Also performed a trigger job. Results: Gun now shoots to point of aim with groups under 2 inches. A couple of groups printed all six shots touching one another. This from a rest using a 240 grain hard cast bullet over 5 gr of TiteGroup in Winchester brass using Winchester LP primers.

Cost: 147.00

Thanks to all who gave their input on this problem.
John Neihouse
 

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Discussion Starter #16
indexing the barrel

It means to remove and replace the barrel in such a way that the front sight is in proper alignment.

John
 

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This problem common to all Vaqueros??

I'm brand, spankin new--just in the past 60 minutes--to this forum, and this is the first time I've posted in any forum anywhere so please allow me time to learn. Anyhow, is this problem--shooting to the left-- common to ALL Vaqueros?? I need to know because I was planning to own one by next Tuesday morning!
Jayhawk Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Can't speak to all Vaqueros, but it does seem to be a common problem, to a greater or lesser extent for the Vaquero owning contingent at our local gun club, which has a very active Cowboy Action Shooting group, and hence a large contingent of Vaqueros. Mine seemed to be worse, most likly due to the interference between the cylinder and the barrel extension. After the gunsmithing the gun is great. Last sunday I was consistantly hitting the 100 meter hunter pistol ram. Nothing like launching that big ole slug and hearing that satisfying "clang" come drifting back... considerably after the shot.

John
 

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Re: This problem common to all Vaqueros??

Ps welcome to the forum!
Jayhawk Dan said:
I'm brand, spankin new--just in the past 60 minutes--to this forum, and this is the first time I've posted in any forum anywhere so please allow me time to learn. Anyhow, is this problem--shooting to the left-- common to ALL Vaqueros?? I need to know because I was planning to own one by next Tuesday morning!
Jayhawk Dan
 

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It's only going to affect you if you're right-handed...if you're left-handed it will shoot right, until you learn the proper grip. The only reason I had to bend my sight was that I have pretty small (not small, pretty) hands, and even with maximum grip shifting, it was still printing left.
 
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