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 Post subject: Ruger Old Army Gunsmith?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 1:02 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 13
Anyone aware of a smith who's known for this type of work?

One of my gunshop haunts let me know they had a very unique Ruger Old Army they figured I'd be interested in.

They were right.

It's been heavily customized for what I'm guessing is some form of bullseye handgun competition.
I'm still playing with different load combinations to see what will make it sing - but I have no doubt I'll find it.

I've already checked with Hamilton Bowen, Alex Hamilton, Dave Clements and Jack Huntington - none of them did the mods.
Trying to research by way of the gunshop and the fellow they got it from has been a dry well.

Image

Rear of cylinder milled away - maybe trying to control cap fouling?
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Front of cylinder milled away and barrel set back so small powder charges had no major jump to the throat.
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Cylinder loading tool.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 2:47 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Posts: 3044
Location: Kansas City, MO
What a unique way to ruin a Ruger. Wonder what William Batterman would say about this?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:52 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:01 am
Posts: 99
Location: Fayette County, TN
Oh my. That is the most elegant "Bubba" job I have ever seen. I can only imagine what other wonders they did to the action.
It's so hideous, yet so precisely done. I'd love to hear the story from the person who did this.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:38 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 13
dusty3030 wrote:
Oh my. That is the most elegant "Bubba" job I have ever seen. I can only imagine what other wonders they did to the action.
It's so hideous, yet so precisely done. I'd love to hear the story from the person who did this.


The action itself is absolutely sweet.
Zero creep plus an almost boringly consistent glass-rod breaking two pound trigger pull.

The color case on the frame is the "tone" I prefer. I like Turnbull's work, for example, but some of the colors that result are almost too bright for my taste.

Some thought went into the loading tool as well. I have a variety of percussion handguns and the tool works for all of them.

I have no plans to sell it, but just want to find out what I can in regards to its history.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:31 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 2:55 pm
Posts: 432
Location: Arkansas
Very cool.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:17 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2006 2:01 am
Posts: 679
Location: Ohio
I think it is kind of neat- somebody spent some time on it.
Sure not any worse than seeing a corroded Old Army due to the lack of cleaning.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:44 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 1259
Location: MN
I looked around a bit... thought I found the answer. Turns out I just found a thread by Rum River on another forum! :P

I LIKE it, though I don’t plan to emulate it with one of my ROAs.

Like others have said, purpose-built for a specific job. I imagine it does that particular job quite handily! :idea:


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:36 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 1311
Location: Southwest VA USA
I really like the color case hardening.

I have seen pictures of .45 ACP S&W revolvers with the same short cylinder/long barrel shank conversion. All were done with the intention to reduce bullet jump from cylinder to barrel.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:55 am 
Buckeye

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2000 2:01 am
Posts: 1155
Ask Turnbull https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/ . He is well known for color case hardening.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:17 pm 
Buckeye

Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 1259
Location: MN
Cylinder/barrel/hammer treatments remind me of the Freedom Arms “252 Casull.”

https://historical.ha.com/itm/handguns/ ... 40-40254.s


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:42 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 13
Onty wrote:
Ask Turnbull https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/ . He is well known for color case hardening.


I should have thought of this before, a message has now been sent.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:56 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 2597
Location: UT/AZ
We have seen this very style of OA years ago on this forum, I have searched but no luck yet. It was pre 2008.
I recall it was a competition target type sorta thing.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:57 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:17 pm
Posts: 20354
Location: Kentucky
Whatever its intended purpose, I just think it's a really neat piece of work! I'd like to play with it a little. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 10:34 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:53 am
Posts: 13
It's definitely fun to shoot.
I've heard from others that their Rugers like the .457 ball and this one is no exception. In my case the problem is the only 457 ball I currently have on hand were cast by a manufacturer using multiple molds. The diameters and weights are not consistent at all. I sorted them into groups as best I could, first by diameter and then by weight. Even within the same diameter there could be weight differences of 5 and 10 grains, so I'm guessing different lead alloys were a factor as well. I definitely noticed a difference in the amount of force required to shave the lead ring when seating the ball, even when diameters were the same.

I managed some groups at 25 yards that were 4"-5" but feel this rig is capable of far better performance. I want to try some swaged round ball plus casting my own - then I think things will come together.

The competition target discipline makes a lot of sense. As purchased, the revolver had one chamber with no nipple plus a roundball seated with no powder charge so it would not be loaded by mistake. This is no carry gun so I don't feel it was done from a safety aspect, I think it's more likely only 5 shot strings were allowed.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:35 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Posts: 3044
Location: Kansas City, MO
What is your powder charge? 10-15 grs?


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