Bullet for Ruger Old Army; some info needed

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Onty

Single-Sixer
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Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
I have unfired Ruger Old Army, sitting on the shelf last 5 years. Now, I am retired, and ROA will finally see the range. As for bullets, not interested in round ball, would like to go with bullets similar to those used in standard revolvers. I know a gentleman who makes excellent molds, and worked with him before on some other projects, so I am thinking about Cramer style mold to make both, solid base and hollow base bullets.

Now, in order to design right bullet, I would need some info from knowledgeable members:

- What is the angle of forcing cone on ROA barrel? Is it 5° (included angle) as on standard Ruger revolvers?

- What is chamber dia on ROA cylinder?

Unfortunately, due these corona restrictions, I am grounded in one town, while my ROA and other guns are in another. Thanks for help!
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,333
Sounds like a fun project sad news is I'm no help to you!
Sure someone will chime in lots of smart folks here as you know! Enjoy ps
 

RSIno1

Hunter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
2,156
The manual says .454” conical bullet of pure lead. Ball dia us .457. I bought this mold but haven't tried it yet. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1010205589?pid=432413
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,266
I like shooting my ROAs... but always use the .457 ball. I save 'bullets' for my .45 Colt cartridges :) . Sorry no help here.
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,027
My Old Army didn't have a forcing cone when it left the factory. The breech end of the barrel just had a very slight (as in, sharp edge was just 'broken') chamfer. It now sports an 11-degree forcing cone.
 

daveg.inkc

Hunter
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Nov 14, 2015
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According to RL Wilson, “Ruger and His Guns”. Page 126. The Old Army has same barrels as .45 Blackhawk. I compared my .45 Convertible and an Old Army, forcing cone appears same to me. I’ve always heard that the barrels were same.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
daveg.inkc said:
According to RL Wilson, “Ruger and His Guns”. Page 126. The Old Army has same barrels as .45 Blackhawk. I compared my .45 Convertible and an Old Army, forcing cone appears same to me. I’ve always heard that the barrels were same.
Thanks Hunter! I suspected that angle is 5°, but wasn't sure.

All I need now is if few of you could measure cylinder on your Ruger Old Army revolvers. As soon as I have this info, I can start designing new bullet. Will post proposal here, and your comments will be appreciated.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,324
Here is some fun reading about the ROA. Enjoy!
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?251757-Ruger-Old-Army-101
http://www.rugeroldarmy.com/
gramps
 

Del J

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 17, 2007
Messages
459
Search this Kaido Ojamaa bullets. This may be of some help. Know of shooters who tried this bullet and love it. If he is still business. Western Bullets did sell a collar button bullet Lyman #457130, 150 gr. for the 45-70 light load. The info said could be used in a ROA. I have some but never tried them. They have huge lube grooves, which is always a help with black powder. Midway sells the mold. I have shot the ROA since the late 1970's, several different models, all were good shooters. When I started SASS, ROA 51/2's were used with different powders. For a accurate load FFFG and 457 round ball would my choice. Your interest in conicals has got me thinking. My so-so measurement of a ROA cylinder made 1972 is .449. I have limited equipment for this. Maybe some of the members here will help out. Please keep us posted on your project.
Del J/BFJ
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
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My so-so measurement of a ROA cylinder made 1972 is .449.
Pretty small cylinder you got there! :) Actually the cylinder is the same diameter as a BH (I didn't measure because I don't think that is what the OP was after). Now the six cylinder throats measure .452 with minus plug gauges on the ROA that I just checked. .453 would not enter. That's perfect as all Ruger .45 barrels are .451. Hope that helps. I suspect that not all cylinder throats will be the same, revolver to revolver though....
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
Thank you all for input.

Here are my proposals:

- Solid base (SB) about 263gr
- Hollow base (HB) about 230gr
- Main dia as cast .454"
- .450" dia reduced base for centering in cylinder
- Meplat .340" dia

ZBz5Qqo.jpg


I was thinking about Cramer style mold with set of pins for both, SB and HB. Here is example of HP with 4 different pins https://gunsmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/G-1119-THINK-2.jpg , but same works for HB molds. I already talked to Miha from MP-MOLDS https://www.mp-molds.com/ , and he could make them.

If there is interest for solid base (SB) only, I am open for that possibility also.

As for HB, I've got idea from Minie bullets for muskets, and WC-HB used in 38 Special. If later one is so good that is used in bullseye competition, I guess HB should certainly help accuracy in muzzle loading revolvers.

Regarding 2 grooves design, anywhere I looked lead bullet designs, multi-groove design is usually considered as a better design that gives better accuracy. As you could see, I purposely designed grooves so 1,5mm wide O-ring https://www.mcmaster.com/o-rings/oil-resistant-buna-n-o-rings-8/width~1-500mm/ could be used. This will provide a good seal to prevent chain fire, and also help for a better friction between bullet and cylinder, to reduce bullet “walking” due the recoil.

As for bullet nose skirt design, shown are 3 versions; round 2° (side angle) secant, double cone and cone/round. Regarding cone designs, this is something I learned from 44man (thanks!). He designed very accurate bullets with 5° included angle to mach forcing cone on Ruger revolvers. How I understood it, matching those angles creates maximum contact surface between bullet and barrel, minimizing bullet deformation in case of slight mismatch between bullet and barrel.

I appreciate you comments and suggestion.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,008
I've been watching this thread a little. The ROA in general has been most successful for most shooters with the round ball, it was designed for.
BUT,,, some folks have been able to work with & use different conical bullets with success too.

Your idea above is interesting. You mentioned Miha of MP molds. My thought is that in general, he requires a minimum order to build his cherry's to make the molds. And often, that can be more than 2 years out to get a mold. I truly enjoy his EXCELLENT quality molds, and have quite a few. But, I'm still awaiting a mold that is well over 2 years behind.
Maybe Dan at Mountain Molds could do what you wish a lot quicker & in a smaller quantity? He has built the Bradshaw-Lee .357 Maximum mold for them, and it was a LOT quicker to get & use. Just a thought.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
contender said:
I've been watching this thread a little. The ROA in general has been most successful for most shooters with the round ball, it was designed for.
BUT,,, some folks have been able to work with & use different conical bullets with success too.

Your idea above is interesting. You mentioned Miha of MP molds. My thought is that in general, he requires a minimum order to build his cherry's to make the molds. And often, that can be more than 2 years out to get a mold. I truly enjoy his EXCELLENT quality molds, and have quite a few. But, I'm still awaiting a mold that is well over 2 years behind.
Maybe Dan at Mountain Molds could do what you wish a lot quicker & in a smaller quantity? He has built the Bradshaw-Lee .357 Maximum mold for them, and it was a LOT quicker to get & use. Just a thought.
Yeah, I am aware that Miha is busy, and I know about minimum order, I was honcho for few molds. Minimum use to be 20 molds, I am not aware that this changed. Let hope that things could change for better regarding lead time, and that Miha will address this issue.

As a matter of fact, I informed Miha about this thread, hope that he will drop here and let us know what he thinks. And of course, everybody is the most welcome to comment and suggest.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
A gentleman on another forum suggested bit different configuration with rounded driving bands:

4VxVlSE.jpg


Would like to retain rebated base, otherwise, centering on ROA cylinder with its sharp edges will be impossible. O-ring is just an option.

I was even thinking modifying mine to have a chamfer using 9.56° ball joint taper reamer. Making larger dia .460" will be enough. Going this way, bullet will get squeezed, rather than cut. This should create a better seal and larger friction.
 

toysoldier

Hunter
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
3,260
You'll probably turn up your nose at this, but Lee makes a single-cavity mold (456-220-1R) for the Ruger Old Army. It's a single-radius round-nose flat-base slug. I've swaged them down to .452 to make heavy-bullet loads for my S&W 1917 .45acp.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
toysoldier said:
You'll probably turn up your nose at this, but Lee makes a single-cavity mold (456-220-1R) for the Ruger Old Army. It's a single-radius round-nose flat-base slug. I've swaged them down to .452 to make heavy-bullet loads for my S&W 1917 .45acp.
It's OK, but I would rather have from Lee REAL 260 grain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQVu3d3NpxU . The only thing I do not know how well this bullet is flying on 50 yds.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
Here is the latest update; I had discussion with Miha from MP-MOLDS https://www.mp-molds.com/ regrading new bullet for Ruger Old Army.

We are working on two versions;

- Cramer style mold, flat point
....Hollow base (225 grains)
....Hollow base (225 grains), and flat base (260 grains)

- Solid style mold, flat point, flat base (FP-FB) 260 grain

IjCFd5b.jpg


Please note conical portion in front of first ring. It was purposely done 5° (included) to match forcing cone of ROA barrel. According to a gentlemen who had designed some boolits for 44 Magnum Ruger SBH, RH and SRH, this design offers maximum contact surface between boolit and barrel forcing cone, resulting in minimum boolit deformation and better boolit alignment, contributing to grater accuracy.

Initially, I was after accurate bullet 220-230 grains. So hollow base looked as a logical choice, since some of most accurate bullets have hollow base. Well, once we have Cramer mold, it´s just matter of adding additional set of bottom pins to get solid flat base bullet. In a nutshell, same hollow based pins could be just flipped to get solid flat base bullet, but pins will be protruding from bottom of the mold and could be easily damaged.

Also, we hope that with this design we could avoid use of pure lead, and use wheel weight instead, that is easier to get.

As for molds, here are following options:

- Cramer style, brass, 2 cavities and 4 cavities, pins for HB only
- Cramer style, brass, 2 cavities and 4 cavities, pins for and HB and FB
- Solid style, brass or aluminum, probably 2, 4 or 6 (aluminum only) cavities, FB only

Once we have design frozen, we will make a prototypes and test them.

I would appreciate your comments and suggestions.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,008
Every time I think I've got all the molds I need from Miha,, something else comes along to tweak my interests.
Keep me posted.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
390
Here is another design for cal. 45 muzzle loading revolver. Weight is 255 grains. This one, because of the crimp groove, could be also interesting for low pressure (SAAMI level) 45 Colt loads, 45 Schofield, as well as for 455 Webley and 455 Eley.

crpG3Ed.jpg
 

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