Any Known Problems with Stainless .357 Blackhawks?

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The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
I'm thinking of purchasing a 4.5" SS Blackhawk in .357. Given Ruger's ongoing QC problems, I was wondering if anyone has heard of any recent problems regarding this gun. It's a big purchase and I want to steer clear of any returns to Ruger if possible...

Any information yay or nay would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Jeff
 

Montelores

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
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1,337
I have asked this before, but any answers are appreciated.

What QC problems has anyone experienced regarding Ruger?

I am interested in knowing of specific, first-hand issues anyone has had, for the same reasons as the original poster.

Thank you,

Monty
 
Joined
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Oregon City, Oregon
The only thing I might say, concerning newer Ruger SA revolvers, and I've had my hands on a bunch of them...Do a hands-on inspection. Although all of mine function as intended, some are definitely better than others. Some, the action is noticeably smoother than others, and some have cosmetic fit-issues with the grips and grip frame. If you've got multiples to choose from, look at them all, and pick the best one.

Another issue is front sight alignment. There have been some SA revolvers with the front sight canted to one side or the other. With an adjustable rear sight, the front sight misalignment can be nullified, but I don't like having a rear sight that has to be adjusted all the way to one side or the other.

In spite of the reports of grotesque QC issues, I guess I've been fortunate, as in a nutshell, I continue to be pleased with the New Model Blackhawks.

WAYNO.
 
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The living corpse of San Francisco Ca USA
Good question, Monty.
From the factory, both my SS Accusport Bisley and my SS Single Six had casting crud in the hammer plunger holes, causing the hammer plunger to bind then bend and tie up the gun. The first went back to Ruger, the second I repaired myself, using parts from Brownells and a properly sized drill bit held in a pin vise, gently and slowly "drilling" out the crap by hand. After that, total reliability. The Single Six is now my favorite gun.

Both my 10/22 and my G/Gs son's 10/22s came with defective (dull) extractors. I suspected the loading problems and replaced both with Volquartsen Exact Edge extractors (from Brownells again). End of problem.

Jeff
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
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Feb 19, 2007
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525
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Tucson, AZ, USA
Ruger's stainless metallurgy is excellent. No problem there. The only possible "issue" is that barrel swaps later are a little more problematic as stainless is more likely to gall and strip the frame threads if you're not careful. Barrel swaps are still possible, just trickier, so some people into major customization go with blue.

Ruger has had an upswing in QC issues this year, probably a combination of a lot of new product rollouts, the Obama-inspired gun buy surge and possibly some changes to manufacturing processes. Do a hands-on inspection to eliminate the vast majority of such issues - including pull the grip panels and inspect underneath. The "checkout how-to" is at:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57816
 

w5lx

Single-Sixer
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Feb 25, 2002
Messages
334
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North Texas
WAYNO":xvaoxa5z said:
The only thing I might say, concerning newer Ruger SA revolvers, and I've had my hands on a bunch of them...Do a hands-on inspection. Although all of mine function as intended, some are definitely better than others. Some, the action is noticeably smoother than others, and some have cosmetic fit-issues with the grips and grip frame. If you've got multiples to choose from, look at them all, and pick the best one.

Another issue is front sight alignment. There have been some SA revolvers with the front sight canted to one side or the other. With an adjustable rear sight, the front sight misalignment can be nullified, but I don't like having a rear sight that has to be adjusted all the way to one side or the other.
WAYNO.

WAYNO's post is right on the money. Check them over carefully before laying your money down. There are sometimes significant differences between samples of the same model.
 

Montelores

Buckeye
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Oct 29, 2009
Messages
1,337
Thank you. Look for casting detritus, front sight alignment, fit between grips and grip frame.

On a new blued model Single Six, I noticed what might have been rust around the firing pin (viewed from the hammer side, possibly from the bluing process?). I lubricated the pin liberally from both sides and exercised it and fired it. No problems. It may just have been the normal colour of that area.

Every time I come across a new Ruger S/A in a gunstore, I have looked it over to see if there were any visible flaws (out of curiosity). I have yet to find any, but I'm rather new to the Ruger S/A world. Needless to say, I'd like to buy every one that I handle.

Also, thank you, Jim, for the invaluable guide.

Monty
 

Riot Earp

Bearcat
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Dodge City, New York
JimMarch1":fcd0llny said:
Ruger has had an upswing in QC issues this year, probably a combination of a lot of new product rollouts, the Obama-inspired gun buy surge and possibly some changes to manufacturing processes.

I got lucky with my 2009 Old Army, I guess. Quality is much better than what I saw on my late '06 / early '07 ROA.
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
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Tucson, AZ, USA
By far, most are OK. We are seeing odd stuff now and then...somebody spotted a Redhawk in Cabella's that had missed a step: the muzzle was uncrowned, looked like a hacksaw chop! Ooops. They claimed Cabella's staff shrugged and left it on the shelf - it should have gone immediately back to Ruger.

We've had reports of rust - possibly somebody forgot to wash the bluing salts all the way off. That's why you look under the grip panels. There's credible reports of a pair of LCRs that were having major topstrap erosion...looks like a small number of frames (one "tray" maybe, however many that is?) skipped a step in heat-treat.

Overall, "skipped a step" seems to be a common thing with these "birth defect cases". We know Ruger went to a system of "cells" that do one thing, checking their own work at the end of their step...that just might explain how an entire step could be missed and not caught in final QC.

Again: none of this is common. And to their credit, Ruger has been paying shipping both ways and *usually* fixing things fast. But there's been more complaints this year than I've seen in a long time. From 2004-2008 Ruger QC was in very good shape, producing some of their best guns ever. In 2005 when I bought my NewVaq357, I had three to pick from at one dealer and inspected all three thoroughly. All were more or less perfect - not just "good", trigger feel was sweet, barrel/cylinder gaps were tight, they felt as close to a Freedom Arms as a factory Ruger will ever get.

Ruger needs to get back to that point ASAP.
 

lfpiii

Blackhawk
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Illinois
Over the years I have owned more than 20 Ruger single actions and only in the last month did I have my first QC problem. A New Model Vaquero had to be sent back because of timing issues. Gun was repaired and back in 3 weeks.
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
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Aug 29, 2007
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925
Location
Hamilton, Ohio USA
I have bought four Rugers in the past year:

1 - 50th Anniversary Flattop .44 magnum - this one was
near perfect. It has the new loading pawl (I REALLY
like that) and just needed a trigger job to be "right
there!" The cylinder throats are correct at .431" and it
shoots like a match gun.

Cons: It had a small red deposit that looked like bluing
deposit. It cleaned off with no blemish. Not a
problem.

2 - The .44 Lipsey Special. I have waited fifty years for
this one. It has proper cylinder throats (.431") and,
again, this one shoots like a match gun. It also has
the new pawl and only needed a trigger job. I got the
5½" barrel and it is just exactly what I hoped it would
be, regarding performance.

CONS: One place on the frame was not polished
perfectly but is acceptable. It had some
bluing red on it but it wiped off with a bit of
steel wool with oil (not really a blemish, more
like a deposit).

3 - Ruger SP101 4" barrel in .32 H&R Magnum
This one was near perfect except it too needed
trigger job. I could NOT zero the sights with the
"windage only" rear sight. I had this drilled and
tapped and installed a small red dot sight on it.
It is a very interesting, very strong little
revolver with correct throats (.313") and shoots
better than I can hold it.
Cons: Other than the sights, nothing.

Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts.

FWIW
Dale53
 

Rclark

Hunter
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The only thing is, with the stainless, they forgot to finish them at the factory. Left the factory without putting the proper 'bluing' on them ;) . Other than that, the stainless will probably function okay ... :p . That said....

Both my 50ths (the flattop .357 and .44mag) had problems with the Ejector Housing coming loose. Also the little pin that goes through the sights worked it way loose. Little locktite fixed that.... Jury still out on the Ejector Housings. Seem to be holding now. Note I don't shoot 'hot' loads either.....
 

Montelores

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
Messages
1,337
Rclark -

On a blued Single Six, I had to remove and replace an ejector housing (with a stock piece from Ruger). There was quite a bit of factory Loc-Tite (red or purple) on the original screw; enough so that some had squeezed between the housing and the barrel.

On replacing the housing, I found that there was not a perfect alignment between the threaded hole on the barrel and the corresponding hole on the ejector housing. The fit was far enough from aligned that the screw shoulder would not bottom in the mating surface in the ejector housing screw hole. I believe that the ejector housing had too much paint or anodizing on it, and that prevented seating the housing into the frame far enough so that the screw holes would align.

I "adjusted" the fit appropriately and used some blue Loc-Tite, but I believe that I'll try an aftermarket piece from Brownells. I'm curious about them, anyway.

Monty
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Oregon City, Oregon
Rclark":1h7p0mag said:
The only thing is, with the stainless, they forgot to finish them at the factory. Left the factory without putting the proper 'bluing' on them ;) . Other than that, the stainless will probably function okay ... :p . That said....

Both my 50ths (the flattop .357 and .44mag) had problems with the Ejector Housing coming loose. Also the little pin that goes through the sights worked it way loose. Little locktite fixed that.... Jury still out on the Ejector Housings. Seem to be holding now. Note I don't shoot 'hot' loads either.....

I think I had a total of 5 Anniversary Flattops. Every one of them was absolutely gorgeous, and everything about them was flawless. Guess mine were all made on a Wednesday. :wink:

WAYNO.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Butte, MT
Guess mine were all made on a Wednesday.
Mine must have been made Friday around 16:55 .... :eek: .... Other than my 'little' problem.... The 50ths have been super. Just these 'little' things :) .

Thanks Monty! If it comes apart again, I'll take a closer look!

Richard
 

raw6464

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
85
I have a 6-1/2" SS 357 Blackhawk. The only issue I have is the front sight is askew to the right. To compensate I have to adjust the rear sight to the far right. It's as if they didn't tighten the barrel enough.

As long as I can hit the target I'm leaving well enough alone. Since the ejector ride housing is screwed to the barrel any additional tweak to the barrel will mis-align the ejector rod housing.
 
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