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Old Vaquero, loose chambers

CapnEdCapnEd Member Posts: 2
I picked up an old Vaquero in 45 colt, I like it fine, except for one thing, if I tip the muzzle up while cocking, the cartridges are loose enough to slide to the rear.  This was not something i picked up on at the dealer's, because I was not loading any live ammo inside the shop.  I have to remember to keep the muzzle level or down while cocking.  Is this a defect, anything I should worry about, or just continue holding muzzle down while cocking?   btw, I have a new sizing die on order, although I do not expect that to make much of a difference, especially since I have not had this problem on another Vaquero, or a S&W m25  I own.  I am relatively new to single action revolvers.


  • navc130navc130 Member Posts: 1,091 ✭✭✭
    I checked my Ruger Vaquero 44-40 cal. and the cartridges are slightly loose in the chambers - they rattle a little if you shake it.  They all fall out of the cylinder easily.  I would say that is a normal condition.  There has to be tolerences involved to load and unload unfired cartridges.  If the cylinder rotates normally with the muzzle pointed up you do not have a problem.  Ammo is loaded to specifications but some may fit tighter than others.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,345 ✭✭✭
    My first good shooting pistol was a 8 3/8 S&W 25-5 in 45 Colt.  It had the then proper .454.  I had to buy a different mold because with the normal one, the bullets stuck out the end of the cylinder.  Crimp grove was in the wrong place.  Cylinder walls are very thin in the bolt notch, don't try an hot rod it with heavy loads, stick to 45 Colt loads.  BTW it was the only pistol without some sort of choke/spin arrester that would produce good patterns with bird shot, I ever found.. I think Ruger was the one that changed it to .451 so they only had to make one barrel for the 45's Colt or ACP.

    So what happens when they slide to the rear? Does it lock the action or make it really hard to cock the pistol - then you might have an issue. 
  • CapnEdCapnEd Member Posts: 2
    It can make it hard to * the revolver.  I am fearful of locking it up.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,345 ✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    Well, I would start with your brass.  You need to put a short bevel on the edge of the rim so that they will wedge forward during rotation away from what ever square edge in the rear of the pistol frame opening they are hanging up on.  You could polish that edge down now or wait for the ammo to do it for you.
    It could also be something in the guts of the pistol - try doing it on an empty cylinder.  Lightly stoning the working surface edges will help.
  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,614 ✭✭✭
    chambers have to be loose so brass can expand a bit and then contract for ejection.
    just because you could doesn't mean you should
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    Any time you buy a used firearm. Without knowing if it has been, "GUNSMITHED", by a previous owner. Your buying a pig in a poke.

    That said. No matter how loose, unfired cartridges are in the cylinder. If the don't expand and hang up in the chambers, after firing. With standard factory ammo. Making extraction difficult. I wouldn't worry about it.

    The 45 Colt, is a 19th Century black powder cartridge. Because of the legal liability, this presents to the manufacturers of modern commercial ammo. I wouldn't be worrying, about shooting any of the common over the counter commercial 45 Colt ammo. The exotic heavy bullet hunting loads. And red line hand loads, would be the ones. That would cause me sleepless nights.
  • ruger41ruger41 Member Posts: 14,626 ✭✭✭

    I have an old model Vaquero with thousands of rounds down the pipe and never an issue. I’ll have to try cocking it with the barrel elevated next time but I have a feeling it’s a non issue.

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