Loading/handling the New Model Ruger Single Actions

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Bob Wright

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Jun 24, 2004
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This concerns a Wrangler, but applies to all Single Actions so far as I know:

I have always handled my Single Actions in the following manner when loading, unloading or just checking to be sure it is clear:

After loading, or ejecting, or examining the revolver, I close the loading gate, cock the hammer, then ease the hammer down; when loading I place my thumb between hammer and frame as I release the trigger until the hammer is forward some distance and my finger well off the trigger.


It has been noted that Ruger's instruction manual is contrary to this and advises to close the loading gate then rotate the cylinder by hand until it is locked by the locking bolt. I got into a slight brouhaha about this on the Single Action page on Facebook. The writer there said the hammer and action will lock up if there is an attempt to cock the hammer with the cylinder not in the locked position. The revolver in this instance was a Wrangler.

Does anyone know if this is indeed a peculiarity of the Wrangler? Is the action different from other Single Actions?

Bob Wright
 
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Do you do the same thing for both new and old models? Does your method avoid a turn line on the cylinder?

I actually give the cylinder a slight twist until it falls into the closest notch. No thumb on the hammer until I’m ready to fire the gun.
 

Bob Wright

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Gator89 said:
The Wrangler has a free spin pawl.

I thought those were aftermarket additions? So the Wrangler does have a tendency to "lock up?"

Well, now wait a minute! My New Model Flat Top has an anti-reverse pawl that allows the cylinder to index aligned with the ejector rod. But it will not allow the cylinder to "back up." So the Wrangler allows the cylinder to rotate in both directions?


Bob Wright
 

Bob Wright

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Kevin said:
Do you do the same thing for both new and old models? Does your method avoid a turn line on the cylinder?

I actually give the cylinder a slight twist until it falls into the closest notch. No thumb on the hammer until I’m ready to fire the gun.

Yes, its mandatory for three-screw Rugers and all other Single Actions, Colt and all replicas without any "safety devices." With these revolvers, its the old "load one, skip one, load four, cock and ease the hammer down." This assures that there is an empty chamber in line with the hammer, and the gun is instantly fo action. Works with New Models, too, should you only want to load five, which I normally do. Except for the one who goes with me all day is fully loaded with six.

But as you describe, the cylinder locking bolt rises and contacts the face of the cylinder when the loading gate is closed, so you tend to "engrave" that line on the cylinder.

Bob Wright
 

Gator89

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Bob Wright said:
Gator89 said:
The Wrangler has a free spin pawl.

I thought those were aftermarket additions? So the Wrangler does have a tendency to "lock up?"

Well, now wait a minute! My New Model Flat Top has an anti-reverse pawl that allows the cylinder to index aligned with the ejector rod. But it will not allow the cylinder to "back up." So the Wrangler allows the cylinder to rotate in both directions?


Bob Wright

Open the loading gate on a Wrangler and you can rotate the cylinder both clockwise and counterclockwise.
 

K1500

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Messages
120
What is the point of cocking the hammer when loading a new model? If you index the cylinder properly you can simply shut the gate and the cylinder locking bolt drops right into place, locking the cylinder.
 

Bob Wright

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K1500 said:
What is the point of cocking the hammer when loading a new model? If you index the cylinder properly you can simply shut the gate and the cylinder locking bolt drops right into place, locking the cylinder.

Because the hand (pawl) indexes the cylinder better than I can and much quicker. And, it is habit from loading Colt style revolvers as well as Three Screw Rugers.


Bob Wright
 

David Bradshaw

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Bill Ruger’s transfer bar lockwork is a PASSIVE SAFETY system. The revolver is loaded & unloaded without touching hammer or trigger.

Peacemaker lockwork requires manipulation of hammer & trigger to load & unload. The only safe carry is HAMMER DOWN on EMPTY CHAMBER. It is a manual safety system.

The old Peacemaker lockwork----pre-1973----tends to TIME CYLINDER LATCH (aka BOLT or STOP), so that the latch drops into the flute or leade of the NOTCH as cylinder rotates. With New Model lockwork, the latch usually drops early in cylinder rotation, which burnishes a drag line on the cylinder. Re-timing the latch is not necessary, and requires skill.
David Bradshaw
 

Bob Wright

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David Bradshaw said:
Bill Ruger’s transfer bar lockwork is a PASSIVE SAFETY system. The revolver is loaded & unloaded without touching hammer or trigger.

Peacemaker lockwork requires manipulation of hammer & trigger to load & unload. The only safe carry is HAMMER DOWN on EMPTY CHAMBER. It is a manual safety system.

The old Peacemaker lockwork----pre-1973----tends to TIME CYLINDER LATCH (aka BOLT or STOP), so that the latch drops into the flute or leade of the NOTCH as cylinder rotates. With New Model lockwork, the latch usually drops early in cylinder rotation, which burnishes a drag line on the cylinder. Re-timing the latch is not necessary, and requires skill.
David Bradshaw

That being said, I will continue to load my Rugers the same way I have done for many, many years. For everyday use, I load six rounds, but on the range, five. And I'll continue to cock the hammer and ease it down after closing the loading gate. I load five because my cartridge boxes are arranged in ten rows of five cartridges.

Bob Wright
 

K1500

Single-Sixer
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Messages
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I was going to say, I think the New Model gets a turn line regardless of how you handle them. I’ve got both old and new models and honestly, while I grew up on the old model I don’t have anything bad to say about handling the new model using only the loading gate. I also like that you can safely carry six and there is no need to re-index the gun if you cock it and do not fire it. Just let the hammer down and carry on. I will admit I miss the three clicks and half cock from the old model.
 

Bob Wright

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K1500 said:
I was going to say, I think the New Model gets a turn line regardless of how you handle them. I’ve got both old and new models and honestly, while I grew up on the old model I don’t have anything bad to say about handling the new model using only the loading gate. I also like that you can safely carry six and there is no need to re-index the gun if you cock it and do not fire it. Just let the hammer down and carry on. I will admit I miss the three clicks and half cock from the old model.

My thoughts exactly.

Bob Wright
 

Xrayist

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 9, 2007
Messages
127
Ruger's instruction manual is contrary to this and advises to close the loading gate then rotate the cylinder by hand until it is locked by the locking bolt.

Bob Wright[/quote]

After reading the original post, and all the replies, I am curious about the question. As the OP pointed out in the quote above, this should pretty much answer it. I do not believe that a company like Ruger, with all the liability they have, the engineering that went into the firearm, and getting past all their lawyers, would give inaccurate information in their manuals. Just does not make sense to me. This of course is just for Ruger revolvers with the "new model" lock work, an NO OTHER single action revolvers regardless of what safety measures they do, or do not have. Not trying to be an ass, just didn't make sense to me.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,267
For me, the New Model BH hammer stays put. Open gate, load one, skip one, load 4 more, close gate, rotate cylinder to click into place. Some times I'll load all six depending on my mood at the time. That's the way the New Model operates safely... Keep that hammer down. No fuss, no problem. For the Old Models, ROAs, and Colt/Colt Clones which have the loading notch in the hammer, ... yes, after loading (5 rounds) , you pull back to full cock and then pull trigger and slowly let hammer down on empty chamber. That is the procedure for those guns and in most cases with eliminate the turn line too. The guns are different actions, so use a slightly different procedure. Not that hard to understand or follow.
 

woodperson

Single-Sixer
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Sep 27, 2004
Messages
407
Just to be sure. Do you load the old model with the hammer at half cock and from there pull the hammer back and lower to empty chamber? I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Most times I end up with it down on the empty chamber correctly. But sometimes I do something wrong with the hammer and miss the empty chamber.
 

Biggfoot44

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As I own SA revolvers of multiple flavors , I standardize my manual of arms to the load one, skip one, etc, etc for everything .

But IF I were to load 6 on a New Model , I can't see a need to do more than shut the loading gate
 

David Bradshaw

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Messages
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"But IF I were to load 6 on a New Model , I can't see a need to do more than shut the loading gate.”
----Biggfoot44

*****

Close gate and advance cylinder to engage cylinder latch. I suspect you include this touch, as all revolvers are meant to start the cocking stroke----double or single action----from a latched cylinder.
David Bradshaw
 

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