James purchased a Ruger Vaquero for just $25 … a bargain if it had not been underwater for at least a week! He finished it up and apparently it functions “quite well”. He wrote …

My Ruger Vaquero that sat underwater for a week or two. Bought for $25 and (poorly) refinished with new grips.despite the outside appearance it still functions and shoots quite well.

Could have uploaded one of my decked out tacticool ARs, but this is one of my favorite pictures i’ve taken.

I agree, its a nifty photo. I wonder what kind of groups James’ gets out of it.



  • Blake

    I’d replace the all mechanical guts of that thing, for safety reasons alone. Sounds like a fun project :-).

    • MR

      The cylinder and bore would be my main areas of concern, if the bore is clear and the cylinder isn’t structurally compromised, you’re probably okay. Might need a spring or something replaced to function well, but that’s not so much a safety concern.

      • Blake

        I’d want to be sure that all the fire control group springs came from Wolff, and probably replace the firing pin as well just to be sure…

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Aren’t the moving parts all stainless steel? An interesting project once you clean and end the corrosion. Geoff Who has heard the range legends of abused guns.

  • M.M.D.C.

    Fresh or salt?

    • FalconMoose

      Great South Bay sounds like salt/brackish. Amazing if true.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Looks like it got beaten up pretty good as well.

  • derfelcadarn

    I own a Stevens model 311 shotgun that I stumbled over netting bait in Great South Bay in New York. How long it was in the water is unknown, took it home washed it down replaced one pin and the trigger return springs and it has been a faithful waterfowling companion for more than thirty years. Reliable shoots as well as I can manage and there is no concern using it as a paddle if needed. Enjoy your “new” gun.

    • Bal256

      My firat thought at the idea of a gun found underwater is murder weapon.

    • Y-man

      Reported this shotgun to make sure it was not discarded after a crime?

      • derfelcadarn

        I did speak to local police back in 1978 about it they laughed, serious.

  • Tiru Maru

    From the pitting on the barrel, behind the cylinder, and over the trigger, that sucker looks like it was under water a lot longer than a week or two.
    And salt water to boot.

    • the ammo addict

      As a professional geologist with a strong background in geochemistry, I fully agree.

  • Don Ward

    I’m more interested in the story HOW the thing got to be submerged for so long.

    • iksnilol

      Not that interesting. Either an honest to goodness accident… or a murder requiring disposal of evidence.

      • Don Ward

        Oh come now. Murders are interesting. And accidents even more so!

        • iksnilol

          A murder might be interesting. Hearing about how Billy Ray Bob III dropped his shotgun when he slipped in his canoe… a bit less interesting.

          Tough I will agree, some of those guns might have interesting stories behind them.

          • Don Ward

            So there I was, a huntin possum with my old lady when what should I see but Jimmy Carter gettin’ attacked by one of them swamp rabbits. I hollered out “Jimmy! I’ll save ya!” and skinned my Ruger Vac-arrow faster than chained lightnin. That swamp rabbit was fast and what with my old lady jumping around in the canoe, my aim was a might off. Now I never much cared for Jimmy after he gave the Panama Canal away to the communists. But me and his brother Bill, God-rest-his-soul, go way back. And I jest couldn’t sit there and watch his older brother torn to pieces by no rabid swamp rabbit. So I hefted my Vac-arrow by the barrel, like my grandpappy taught me to do and flung it at that swamp rabbit, hitting it square between they eyes.
            President Carter done gave me the Presidential Freedom Medal for the work. Traded it for that Harley Davidson motorsickle you see on the front porch right there.

          • iksnilol

            I take back what I said. That is way more interesting than any murder I know about.

          • Dan

            Would you mind writing my obituary?

          • FalconMoose

            LOL! Great!
            IT was a good yarn…or not.

          • FalconMoose

            Billy Beer!

          • FalconMoose

            I have been swimming after my fishing rod. Maybe worth $20 at the time. Never got the fish that jerked it out of the boat or my rod. I wanted the fish dammit!

  • Jim_Macklin

    Ruger can make it like new, for a small service charge.

  • JNick

    $25! Usually you have to pay extra for that custom distressed finish…

    • Andrew

      Jesse James would sell this “battleworn” revolver for $3,500.

    • andrey kireev

      Orrr you could buy a “To hell and back” kit for $80ish

  • PeterK

    Where do you even look for deals like that? I want in on that action, haha.

  • uisconfruzed

    With pitting like that, it was A LOT longer than two weeks. Unless it was the dead sea

  • jamezb

    I love a gun with character…one I’m not worried about scratching or laying on the ground. Plus, any sixgun that looks trail-worn fires up my imagination… it looks great to this guy!!

  • FalconMoose