Local dealer called me yesterday morning letting me know mine came in. 5.5" barrel. Unfortunately, my wallet was light, so I had to put it on layaway for a while. Hopefully, not for too long. Fit and finish were very nice. Grip fit was OK, but could have been better. It should make a great companion to my Williams .45 Bisley convertible. I really wish it came with the black and gray laminate grips like the Williams Bisley did. I much prefer them to the rosewood that was on it.
cbnutt, the small frame Ruger Flattop .45's will NOT handle the Ruger only 45 colt loads. The cylinder walls are way too thin. I believe Brian Pearce has published data that was pressure tested by JP White laboratories. I'm pretty sure he said no more than 23K PSI for these guns. My figures may be off a little, as I've not read those articles lately, but I think I'm pretty close.
I picked up my SS Flattop Bisley .44 special this morning. Evidently, I hadn't looked it over as good as I first thought. There are several places that the polishing could have been better. The recoil shield on the left side, loading gate on the right side, and the area underneath the base pin latch button on the right side of the gun. They have a somewhat less than smooth(almost wavy looking) finish. The barrel exterior finish was also slightly wavy looking. Also, the hammer doesn't quite fall all the way to the frame. You can push it just slightly and it will close the gap. This happens either when dry firing or live firing. It does fire, but it just doesn't seat against the frame quite right on it own.There is a sharp edge on the inside of the grip frame on the hammer slot on the right side that might be the cause of this. Hope that makes sense. I shot it 12 times after I got it home, and discovered these finish issues when cleaning it up. It also has a 1/16" gap on the bottom side of the loading gate(between it and the frame) when closed. Cylinder throats will pass a .430 Hornady 240 grain xtp bullet on 4 of the 6. The other 2 throats will not. Those 2 throats have a small mark right at the throat on each, almost like a small nick. Not sure what the purpose of that is. Trigger pull was smooth and measured between 4 1/4 and 4 1/2 lbs Anyhow, will call Ruger tomorrow to discuss fit and finish issues.
I would add, I traded my Williams .45 convertible to fund this .44 special Flattop. I was most impressed with the Williams fit and finish. This Flattop .44 isn't up to those standards. It's not terrible, but could be much better with a little final fit and finish polishing work. Not sure if I should worry about the cylinder throats or not. I measured them as best I could with my dial caliper to be around .430-.431. I'm going to have to invest in a set of plug gauges to more accurately measure them.
I spoke to a very nice lady at Ruger customer service this morning. I told her of the finish problems etc that my new gun has. She promptly emailed me a return label, and I boxed the .44 flattop bisley up and its heading back to the mothership for fine tuning. Hopefully, it will return soon as nice as it should have been to start with. I'll keep you posted
When you get your Flattop back, shoot it before you worry overmuch about the cylinder throats. If it shoots well (both of mine will do under 1" at 25 yards), then don't worry about the throats. If it doesn't shoot, then you can worry about the throats. I have not measured either of mine and won't be doing so. My "standard" .44 Special carry load is the old "Skeeter Load" of 7.5 grs. of Unique behind a 250 gr. Keith. My bullet is a Mihec version of the H&G #503, cast of WW's+2% tin sized to .430". Since those loads shoot well under 1" at 25 yards off a rest, I, frankly, don't care what they measure. On the other hand, if they leaded and didn't shoot well, I would be all over them with measuring tools until I solved the problem.
Thanks Dale53. I went ahead and mentioned to the customer service lady at Ruger that the throats were sized inconsistently. I also relayed my concern that they should be all the same size, and properly sized, to promote good accuracy. I also put that in my notes on the return order enclosed with my bisley. I just hope that they fix what needs fixing, smooth everything that needs smoothing, and don't mess anything up in the process. I had a SBH .454 for a while, and it was the first Ruger I ever had to send back. Its finish issues were even worse. The recoil shield on it looked like it had been whacked with a hammer, and "polished" with 80 grit sandpaper. Whoever does the refinish and polishing in their customer service department knows what they are doing. When it returned, it was slick as glass. Didn't even look like the same gun, but it was. I sincerely hope that the flattop .44 comes back as nice.
Just got an email from Ruger customer service this afternoon that my SS .44 special Flattop Bisley is on its way back to me. Should be here on Thursday. I'm hopeful and optimistic that its issues have been properly taken care of.