Ruger Vaquero Model 00551 45 Long Colt Bird’s Head Case Color Revolver 1994

SOLD FOR: $1775

LSB#: 210921LJ04

Make: Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Model: New Vaquero (Model #00551)

Serial Number: 55-43305

Year of Manufacture: 1994 (RUGER Serial Number Lookup)

Caliber: .45 Long Colt

Action Type: Single Action Revolver

Markings: The left side of the barrel is marked with a Ruger two-line warning. The left side of the frame is marked “RUGER VAQUERO / .45 CAL.”. The right side of the frame under the cylinder is marked with the serial number “55-43305”. The back of the cylinder is marked “S” and the front is serial-matching, hand-scribed “3 0 5”. Each grip plate features an inset Ruger phoenix logo medallion.

Barrel Length: 4 5/8”

Sights/Optics: The front sight is a steel blade set into the barrel. The rear sight is a square-notch integral to the topstrap.

Stock Configuration and Condition: The grips are two-piece smooth faux-ivory panels on a modified bird’s head grip frame. It appears that original Ruger Ivorex grip panels were modified to fit the grip frame. There are a few minor handling marks, but otherwise the grips are free of any notable wear or damage. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips rate in Excellent condition as modified.

Type of Finish: Blued with Case Color Frame

Finish Originality: Most finish is Original, the grip frame was refinished when it was modified to its current configuration.

Bore Condition: The bore is bright, and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion, but there is minor stubborn fouling evident on parts of the grooves.

Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 97% of its metal finish. Case color is very strong. There is minor holster wear on the left side of the barrel. The frame has scattered minor nicks, most notable on the left side. There is a faint turn line on the cylinder. The screws are sharp, the pins are unmarred, and all markings are clear. Overall, this revolver rates in Fine-plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The cylinder locks with light play at each stop. We did not fire this revolver. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.

Box, Paperwork, and Accessories: The Vaquero will ship with a non serial-matching gray Ruger snap case, the manual, and a lock.

Our Assessment: The Ruger Vaquero is a fascinating revolver. In all ways that matter it seems to be a classic single-action revolver that evokes all manner of nostalgia for the old west, for more wild and dangerous times. But like always, Bill Ruger had a keen ability to find gaps in the market and target fine products to fill that gap. As classic as the Vaquero looks, it dates back only to 1993, and this example dates back to 1994. Ruger brought the Vaquero to market to meet the demands of Cowboy Action Shooters as the popularity of the sport grew. Compared to the original Single Action Army, there are a number of improvements including a coil mainspring, more robust frame and cylinder, and the improvements in metallurgy one can expect from a modern firearm. This revolver started out as a 4 5/8″, .45 Colt standard Vaquero, but has had its grip frame modified to a birdshead profile, found more comfortable by those with smaller hands and also concealing better than a square-butt frame. This Vaquero is in good shape with a great bore, strong mechanics, and minor handling wear. It will be a great revolver for those who want a cowboy-style sixgun and would also make a nice hunting sidearm. Good luck and happy bidding on this fine revolver!