Well, it's not even close to the weekend, damn it! I sucked it up and bought a used Ruger Old Vaquero in .44 Mag yesterday to shoot at that big cowboy match in Utah next week. I'm filming an episode of SHOOTING GALLERY tentatively titled How NOT To Shoot A Match!
The Huntsman Senior World Championships (get that "Senior" thing???) doesn't offer a Men's Modern class, which is what I normally shoot in Cowboy. That means none of my Ruger Blackhawks qualify. I had a bunch of plans...run down a couple of Tauruses, a couple of Charles Dalys, a couple of New Vaqueros...all to no avail — largely because I didn't get out there and hustle and I hate to abuse my relationships with the gun companies.
I have a .44 Vaquero I bought 8 or 9 years ago when I first started thinking about cowboy. The .44 maggie Vaqueros were never particularly popular, sort of red-haired stepchilds sandwiched uncomfortably between the hugely popular .357 and 45 Colt versions. Now that all the Old Vaqueros have been discontinued in favor of the S.A.A.-sized New Vaqueros, the .44's are gone from the catalog. So it probably won't kill me to have another one, although it does delay by some time my anticipated purchase of what I was putting the money aside for, an S&W M29 blue steel .44 Magnum 3-inch snubbie, which are getting rarer and rarer.
My poor original Vaquero got cycled into the NSSF Media Education Program, where it was battered all over the place. The aluminum ejector rod housing looks like it has been gnawed by something. I'd stoke it up with 240-grain JHPs, and in the light Vaquero usually nobody wanted to fire more than one or two rounds. Recoil is...brisk...in the short-barreled gun.
Still, the .44 Mag Vaquero is one heck of a packin' gun in bear country, loaded up with Cor-Bon hunting loads and a sense of humor on your part. Y'all might want to think about running one down, since they're now at the rock bottom of their price cycle and likely to be in tighter supply in the future.
So I'll be shooting the two Vaqueros with powder-puff light Winchester Cowboy .44 Special loads. I'll also be shooting an out-of-the-box Marlin .44 Magnum COWBOY lever gun and a super Chinese M97 pump shotgun rebuilt by cowboy shotgun master Coyote Cap (watch for him on next season's COWBOYS...the guy is really good!).
Rule One on How NOT to Shoot a Match is, by all means, shoot new, untested stuff! BTW, be sure to check out Alphecca's weekly check of the media, now up!
And THANKS to the Carnival of Cordite for the link!