Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Vaquero Rethroat Range Report

Finally! I was able to work in a quick trip to the range. This was the first firing of the Colt 45(old model) Vaquero after receiving the rethroated cylinder back from the Cylindersmith. Background posts here and here.

The old school cowboy fixed sights and shiny surfaces on the sights are hard to shoot well. Would love to have this guy do some sight mods but no way that's in the budget. Wonder how much damage I could do with a checkering file from Brownells?

Off the cuff observations:
Subjectively: There was less crud flying around in the air in the indoor booth. No way to quantify that. However, intuitively it makes sense with the cylinder no longer shaving or swaging the 0.452" cast bullets down to 0.448" prior to entering the barrel forcing cone. Still it's putting out a fair bit of smoke. That's to be expected with an old smokeless powder like "Unique." It's been around since the 1890's. Smokeless can be a relative term. It's an oldie and a goodie and hard to beat it's overall utility (range of calibers served) with more modern powders.

1. Clean up went well but hard to tell if it was any easier. This stainless steel pistol has always cleaned up well.
2. The point of impact (POI) moved up to spot on at 15yds.(!!!) This gun has always shot 2-3" low at 15yds. YOWZA! This difference alone makes it worth it to me. I really wasn't looking forward to regulating the sights for my loads (by filing the front sight down).
3. Velocity, repeatability? No idea. Here's wishing for a chronograph for b'day or Xmas. :-)

That's about as good a shooting as I can do at 15yds w/ those sights. I know, I know. That's bold talk coming from a one eyed fat man.

Trying to reason out why the POI moved up... Other than it changing from a musket ball to a rifled slug (courtesy of fitting barrel lands properly now). I can only speculate.
Buehler? Anyone? Anyone?

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