44SBH To convert or not?

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chm270

Single-Sixer
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Nov 1, 2008
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314
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SW Wisconsin
I bought a nice old 44 SBH 7 1/2" many years ago at a gun show.
I have only used it a few times. It is an old model.
When I did take it out, after a short time, using WWB ammo, (44mag) the gun would just lock up and I would have to force the cylinder to turn.
I never did try any lighter loaded ammo in it.
SO, years later, here I am wanting to do something with it.
My question, should I send the gun in to Ruger to be updated? Or would it be worth more in unconverted condition with this "problem"?
Any ideas on the value either way? I paid 450 for it.
Thanks for your input.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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First,, it is YOUR gun,, and only you can decide what to do.

Many people,, who collect or even shoot prefer to leave the OM's alone. The feel of a smooth OM action is usually much better than the converted one. However,, if safety is the concern,, then a conversion should be done.
Ruger doesn't modify the gun in any way to affect the collector vale. BUT,, the original parts,, are normally returned to the owner,, UNLESS the factory feels the parts are "unsafe."
Personally,, if I were to return an OM to Ruger for anything,, I'd remove the OM parts myself, ship them the gun, & let them go ahead & do the conversion. Otherwise they will not work on a gun unless converted.
The value of the gun drops in the same amount as it would cost to replace the OM parts to most buyers. So, keeping the original parts is paramount for value purposes. (Currently,, a set of original OM Super parts is about $150-$175.)

Now,, that gun locking up,, is most likely an easy fix. Not much to go wrong inside one of those guns. More than likely,, the pin/plunger in the hammer is either broken, bent, or just jammed. Disassemble the gun & check that pin once you get the hammer out.
 

chm270

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Location
SW Wisconsin
Thanks for the reply Contender.
I never really looked into taking it apart before now.
Youtube is my friend.
Looks pretty simple.
Would I still be able to get the parts I need for it?
 

contender

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Yes,, you can remove the OM innards that they will replace with NM transfer bar parts. But,, as I mentioned,, you asked for preferences,, & mine are to never send one back unless I absolutely have to.
 

chm270

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I'm sorry I wasn't clearer.
If I needed parts to repair the bent or broken part, would I be able to get it for the original lock work?
I intend to keep it as is if it can be fixed as is.
Thanks
 

NitroAcres

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Dec 21, 2012
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222
Location
Ball Ground, Georgia
chm270 said:
I'm sorry I wasn't clearer.
If I needed parts to repair the bent or broken part, would I be able to get it for the original lock work?
I intend to keep it as is if it can be fixed as is.
Thanks

Original Old Model Parts show up on ebay all the time, they can be pricey.

IF you would like a set of conversion parts, I have some I will send you for free...I dislike them enough to give them away.
Keep in mind, the conversion hammer is a narrow spur version..I have not seen a wide spur conversion hammer.
 

contender

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The parts to repair any broken pieces,, (such as the pin in the hammer,) can be found. You have to know what is broken or needs repair first. As noted,, sleezebay has parts,, so do the better places such as our own classifieds here,, or Numrich, Jack First,, etc!
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
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Aug 16, 2005
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Milo Maine
I'd repair the thing with old model parts if it was mine. New models are a dime a dozen!
Converting it will lower the value it's your gun do as YOU please! ps
 

chm270

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
314
Location
SW Wisconsin
Thanks again.
I intend to keep it original.
I will take it apart one of these days and post what I find.
 

Johnnu2

Buckeye
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Messages
1,957
Location
NYS
CHM270, I have seen a problem like that happen more than once. I found that, often, the cylinder pin was moving forward upon recoil. It would move enough after several rounds to cause binding, but often not enough for the casual shooter to notice. Often, that problem was caused by someone in the past having taken the gun apart then assembling the cylinder pin (cross-bolt) in backwards. It would assemble completely, and shoot, but rather soon after, the cyl pin would start to move forward. I was actually 'gifted' an immaculate OM SBH by someone who was just mad as hell that his gun would not function reliably.... I fixed it, told him it was fine but he insisted that he didn't want it. I gave it to another close friend who wanted an OM SBH BADLY..... Also, I have "repaired" a lot of guns that were completely "locked-up", by total disassembly, and CLEANING.
J
 

Hondo44

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Apr 3, 2009
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People's Republik of California
All great advice above!

After checking the cyl pin, spray the gun with cleaner/lube thru every opening, let drain.
The biggest problem with SAs is crud from not cleaning.

If you still need to take apart:

Ruger Factory OM disassembly/re-assembly video

Ruger doesn't have an OM single action 3 screw video so choose the video at this link for ‘Revolver Tech Tips”: http://www.ruger.com/videos.html?vid=13 ... at=3769277
and scroll down to “Tech Tips-Old Army Disassembly” and “Tech Tips-Old Army Reassembly” which has the same lock work as all Old Models.
 

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