I recently purchased a Ruger Blackhawk. My first revolver ever. When you open the loading gate and advance the cylinder until it clicks, the chamber is not lined up with the gate. It is partially past the gate, not allowing a round to be loaded. I have to advance the cylinder 'half a click' to load. (AND unload).
My google search turned up a thread indicating this is normal: http://rugerforum.net/ruger-single-acti ... stion.html
Can someone give me their take as to why this is? Why not have gate moved to match a 'click'. Is it a safety issue?
Either way, I've had this gun for months, and did not fire it after purchasing it on gunbroker. At the very least, I should be admonished for not posting a photo of it - it is gorgeous in my humble opinion, thought plain and jane.
What you are experiencing is just the way it is.
The link you found is correct in that the matter at hand is indeed "normal" for the NM-type of action.
Why?....simply put, because Mr Ruger chose it to be that way.
Is it due to a safety issue?...only if one subscribes to the theory that it's possible to create an idiot-proof machine. Personally, I don't. Personally, I much rather be able to buy a new, properly-timed SA revolver from Ruger instead of having to throw money at it to make it so, or needing to "re-engineer" it's action parts, or pay the extra that Ruger spent in order to address but one of the aspects of the basic design being "out of time".
Apparently, there's a bunch of NM shooters who don't agree with me about that, and apparently, neither did Mr Ruger. That said though, there are ways to "fix" the various "problems" of the gun....if you think that they are indeed, a problem.
Also bear in mind that when ones modifies an existing gun design, he is also forgoing any factory backing should an AD, a component failure, or most-any other type of accident were to happen. In other words, you'd probably find that you'd be solely on your own in that arena.
JWhitmoore covered it well and to add to it, not having to manipulate the hammer while loading is part of the safety strategy. It provides zero potential for an accidental discharge while lowering the hammer after reloading live rounds while the gun may not be pointed at the target.
So to restate, the miss-alignment is a result of not having the hammer in the 1/2 cock position when loading. The hammer controls the cyl pawl position and the pawl in turn controls the position of the cylinder. So when the hammer is all the way down, the pawl positions the cylinder only halfway to aligning the chamber with the loading gate. The cyl hasn't moved too far, it actually hasn't moved far enough to align.
Ruger has corrected the miss-alignment issue in the New Vaquero and new FT Blackhawk by installing an indexing system to align the chamber and loading gate even when the hammer is down. It can be retroffited to any New Model.
I seriously doubt that upgrading an older new model with the factory's own "indexing system" would negate any factory backing when done correctly.
Actually my preference is the factory free spin cyl pawl w/o the indexing pawl for maximum safe manipulation of the cyl while loading and unloading. Being able to reverse the cyl rotation to remove a round with high primer, bullet pulled from recoil, etc., is a huge safety advantage and convenience, because you don't have to pull the cylinder with live rounds in it to unload it.