My first ROA

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gunboat57

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Just got my first Ruger Old Army. (My fifth Ruger) It's 7.5" blued with adjustable sights. Serial number indicates 1977 year of manufacture. It has a few dings and scratches but seems to have been fired little. I traded a used Marlin 25MN rifle for it.

I was going to take it apart completely for cleaning but it seems like a previous owner loc-tited the frame and action screws. Is there any kind of solvent I can use to free them up?

I'm going to download a manual from the Ruger site but I was wondering does it take a special wrench to remove the nipples? Can anyone recommend a brand and size of percussion cap to use?
 

Cracker-American

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I use number 11 caps and there is a special nipple wrench. You do not have to use it. You can probably find a nut driver to use while you locate a nipple wrench from one of the BP catalogs.

Thirty to thirty five grains of 3F behind a round ball work real well for me. Each old army is going to shoot different for each individual shooter. It's fun finding what works best for you.

I clean with a solution of equal parts murphys oil soap, alcohol, and peroxide.
 

Uncle Howie

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The usual cure for Loc-Tite that won't loosen is heat. I'll let someone more knowledgeable than I give specifics.

Good call on downloading the manual.

There is a "special" wrench from the factory. It has the nipple wrench on one end, and a screwdriver to remove the loading lever on the other end. If you have/buy a 3/16" (IIRC) nutdriver and a screwdriver to fit said slot, you'll do fine.

The manual calls for #10 caps. I've personally had excellent luck with Remington #11 caps.

When I bought my first ROA (used), the guy gave me a Ted Cash snail capper full of caps. I ended up extremely frustrated, because I was getting FTFs the first time I hit the caps with the hammer. The hammer was just seating the caps. On the second strike, probably 5 out of 6 would fire. In a rare moment of brilliance, I tried the Remington #11 caps I bought. They worked great on my revolver, and I've never looked back.

There are several very knowledgeable BP shooters on this forum that are willing to help with info. "Mykeal" is just one that comes to mind. There is also a decent write-up over on Greybeard Outdoors titled something like "Proper use of a cap 'n ball revolver." It's by a GBO forum member named Gatofeo.

Good luck.
 

gunboat57

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Thanks for the replies.

I got the OA apart last night. I was about to use a soldering gun to heat the screws but I gave it one more try and got everything apart without heating.

One thing I noticed on mine is a faint turn line around the cylinder. I thought it was from letting the hammer down from half cock and the cylinder latch dragging. But then I saw that the cylinder latch stuck up into the window of the frame when the hammer was at half cock. It didn't stick up much, just enough to mark the bluing on the cylinder. I know a lot of things could cause that but to fix it I bent the rear arm of the cylinder latch down about .015 inch. Now the cylinder latch doesn't stick into the frame window at half cock and the timing is still good.

Any suggestions for touching up the black coating of the alloy grip frame?

Can I replace the grip frame with a brass one?
 

G2

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Nipple wrench is a 3/16ths. I use a nut driver as I feel more control and it avoids stuff like this.
P1010008-6.jpg

Brass grip frame can be installed and about 1500 guns were shipped w/ them. (1972-73)
P1010001-8.jpg

A Ruger MR-3DB along with the proper Super Trigger can be had for ~$300. Currently there is nobody MFG a brass GF aftermarket, but they do show up from time to time, there sought after and go for ~$200. (Back a few years ago one could be had for $100.) You can get a steel Old Army GF from Ruger for ~$100 and it would need to be installed and blued. A call to Ruger to see what they would charge might be worth while as you can mail a OA for $10.
As for touch-up on the alum. GF, Birchwood Casey makes a marker that works ok.
Another option is to strip your alumn one and go with the silver look -or- a Stainless OA GF can be had unfitted for ~$100 and a Super Trigger for ~$35
IMO- If you want to change the look strip the alum and shoot and enjoy it. If you want a Brass GF gun they show up from time to time ~$500, buy it! and then post yours for sale for ~$300, Wala $200 later you have the Original Brass MR-3DB GF, Super Trigger, the beesnees of the Ruger Old Army.

Remington #10 caps work the best, I have tried them ALL. and all do work, BUT the Remington #10 work best.
EDIT; Wyandot Jim is correct Remington #10's :oops:

The cylinder ring is a common problem and IMO it is from neglect. I bought this gun and it was full of gunk, goo, rust, mold when i received it.
P1010005-13.jpg

It now sports a cylinder ring, but does have new nipples and operates and shoots perfect.
 
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Well I shoot a weeeeeeee bit of black powder in CAS matches. I have a few State and Regional Match wins.
So when you get tired of the Rem #11 caps falling off or jamming up, get the Rem #10 like the manual recommends. The Rem and Winchester #11 are a larger Dia. cap than the #10. A cap that is to large will go bang but it can also jam up the cylinder after firing. Not a good thing in a match. A CCI #10 is to small in dia..
I don't know what happened to the nipples in the picture, but they just need to be snug. Not as tight as those were. The stock Ruger ones are stainless and do not stick.The Ruger nipple wrench works fine it also has a screw driver blade on one end for taking out the cylinder.
Also the latch pin tends to stay up in the half cock position so the Cly. will ring. Don't know why but it does on mine.
I shoot about 20 grs. of Goex FFFG with a ball and or 180 ga. .454 bullet. That gives plenty of smoke and fire. But I use a press when I load the Cly. out of the gun. Much easier and a WHOLE lot faster. I also put the caps on at this time. Then I seat them with a dowel after I put the Cly back in the gun.
Jim
Here are my nickle plated ones. Notice in the top picture no ram rods. This allows the cyl. to come out esier.
1266881671.jpg

I shoot Black in all this stuff
blacksht4-1.jpg
 

G2

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Corrected my post, YES #10's not 11. Remingtons work the best IMO.

Wyandot Jim":1gvavt7n said:
I use a press when I load the Cly. out of the gun.

Wyandot Jim; What press do you use? I'm thinkin I might need one.
 

gunboat57

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G2, I like the idea of stripping the black off the grip frame and going for the silver look. Is there a chemical that will strip it?

But I think I'll try to avoid that special "rounded hex" look on the nipples.

After you got rid of all the gunk and goo did the cylinder latch still ride high at half cock on your OA?
 

Cracker-American

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I just had to go check and see if my old memory had failed. I shoot CCI caps and use #10's for my rifles and Italian Colt Navy replica. For my ROA I use CCI #11's. Don't know why but that is what works.
 

G2

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gunboat57":1bwsfqpo said:
G2, I like the idea of stripping the black off the grip frame and going for the silver look. Is there a chemical that will strip it?

If it were me I would use a foam nail board that you get from the local wallgreens/drug store you can get them in various grits down to about 800. Once cleaned up would use a little flitz. I have never stripped one, I am getting ready to do one on a single six that I am going to have engraved like time of old.
This was addressed a little while back here;
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtop ... light=oven


gunboat57":1bwsfqpo said:
After you got rid of all the gunk and goo did the cylinder latch still ride high at half cock on your OA?

It rides just a bit proud but does not rub anymore.

Cracker-American":1bwsfqpo said:
I just had to go check and see if my old memory had failed. I shoot CCI caps and use #10's for my rifles and Italian Colt Navy replica. For my ROA I use CCI #11's. Don't know why but that is what works.

Penny, This is why I got off tilter, I do have some CCI # 11's and am using those up right now. the CCI #10's are too small as noted above. The Remington (#10) is the prefered cap, I only have about 50 cci's left and then Remington's from here on out.
 
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Well I sure am glad we got all that cap stuff sorted out. :roll:
Just remember one thing :lol: If ya want an OA to go bang every time and not jam up use Rem # 10s.

G2 I don't remember where I got the press. Do a search of the BP suppliers and you will find it. It was about $50-60
In shooting CAS it is a must. It will allow you to shoot 15-20 Grs. where using the loading arm will not.

On the polishing out the Alim. grip frame not a good idea. Because the BP/or sub will stain it very easy just like it does brass.

By the way Ruger does not sell Steel or Alum grip frames anymore.
Jim
 

gunboat57

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Gotta get me some #10 Remington caps.

Forgot to mention, those nickle plated OAs look sharp Jim, especially with those grips!
 

mykeal

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BP cylinder loader is available from Powder, Inc. http://www.powderinc.com/cgi-bin/bp...ge&thispage=cyl_loader.htm&ORDER_ID=175711144

Here's a little primer on cap sizes:
CapSizes.jpg

You'll notice there's no standardization about cap sizes; CCI No. 10's are not the same as Remington No. 10's, and in fact, Remington No. 10's are actually larger than Remington No. 11's.

Those numbers are the average of at least 20 samples of each of the brands and sizes shown. The opening diameter measurement is very difficult to make accurately and so probably has an error of from .002 to .004.

Finally, you don't get 3 decimal place precision for 4 cents, so don't expect these numbers to be consistent with other batches of caps, even the same size from the same manufacturer can vary considerably. Other people on the black powder forums have not been able to verify these numbers, or, for that matter, each other's numbers. It's a crap shoot.
 
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gunboat57":1tqhz8y7 said:
Gotta get me some #10 Remington caps.

Forgot to mention, those nickle plated OAs look sharp Jim, especially with those grips!

Yep, All of this stuff with an OA is hard to do. So there isn't any reason to try and figure it out yourself. It took me a longgggggggg time to figure it out. When I shoot in a major match that can cost a total of $300-500.
I want my stuff to go bang the same every time. I also want it to do it REAL fast.
To do this ya got to screw with them a lot. Just not the same as a center fire gun.
I have probably done everything wrong that can be done to a OA.
I might even tell ya how to stick 3 BALLS in a barrel when you are trying to load in the rain :oops:
GOOD EXPERIENCE IS FROM HAVING A LOT OF BAD ONES. :cry:
Boy have I had those :D
Jim
 
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mykeal":36t4bs2i said:
BP cylinder loader is available from Powder, Inc. http://www.powderinc.com/cgi-bin/bp...ge&thispage=cyl_loader.htm&ORDER_ID=175711144

Here's a little primer on cap sizes:
CapSizes.jpg

You'll notice there's no standardization about cap sizes; CCI No. 10's are not the same as Remington No. 10's, and in fact, Remington No. 10's are actually larger than Remington No. 11's.

Those numbers are the average of at least 20 samples of each of the brands and sizes shown. The opening diameter measurement is very difficult to make accurately and so probably has an error of from .002 to .004.

Finally, you don't get 3 decimal place precision for 4 cents, so don't expect these numbers to be consistent with other batches of caps, even the same size from the same manufacturer can vary considerably. Other people on the black powder forums have not been able to verify these numbers, or, for that matter, each other's numbers. It's a crap shoot.

Mike have not heard from you for awhile. How ya been doing?
Are you going to get to Texas this year? I sure hope you can make it
Great info on the caps.
All I can say is if ya got an OA buy the Rem # 10s and be done with it.
Every winning CAS guy uses Rem # 10s. And Like I said if I spend $300-500 to shoot a major match, I will use what works.

As an example. I'm going to shoot in a big match this weekend sooo
Gas $60
Match fee $60
Motel two nights $70=140
Food $100
Bullets and stuff powder $15 balls $15 Caps $15
I go to win so I know what works.
Total about $405
Jim
 

G2

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It must be the extra length that keeps em on.

Jim, When one wins this match what do you win?
 
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G2":1sz9ixnc said:
It must be the extra length that keeps em on.

Jim, When one wins this match what do you win?



Bragging rights and knowing that you out shot your Buds.
Yea ya might get a belt buckle or a $5 wood plaque. Kind of asking someone that wins in the Olympics. What do they get for all the work???
Competition shooters are crazy. End of story,
It's just what we do. Can't justify it no way. :roll:
Jim The stupid one :cry:
 

G2

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Wyandot Jim":3d6hsw2i said:
Bragging rights and knowing that you out shot your Buds.
Yea ya might get a belt buckle or a $5 wood plaque. Kind of asking someone that wins in the Olympics. What do they get for all the work???
Competition shooters are crazy. End of story,
It's just what we do. Can't justify it no way. :roll:
Jim The stupid one :cry:

I understand... :D I have never been to a CAS and wondered if there was some good dough to win.

Not stupid at all, those memories you will take with you, sorry you have to leave the Rugers behind.
 
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G2":2m3qeait said:
Wyandot Jim":2m3qeait said:
Bragging rights and knowing that you out shot your Buds.
Yea ya might get a belt buckle or a $5 wood plaque. Kind of asking someone that wins in the Olympics. What do they get for all the work???
Competition shooters are crazy. End of story,
It's just what we do. Can't justify it no way. :roll:
Jim The stupid one :cry:

I understand... :D I have never been to a CAS and wondered if there was some good dough to win.

Not stupid at all, those memories you will take with you, sorry you have to leave the Rugers behind.

G2,
The Ruger Old Armys will be shot this weekend.
Now then if they don't do what they are supposed to do. Welllllllllll ya might see them for sale in the classified :D :D :D
After all the stuff I have been telling ya how it should be done. They had better go bang every time. They need to do that for 120 times total.
No cleaning just load and shoot.
Jim
 

mykeal

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Wyandot Jim":2pkf7vc6 said:
Mike have not heard from you for awhile. How ya been doing?
Are you going to get to Texas this year? I sure hope you can make it
Jim
Jim,

Alas, it doesn't look good for Fredricksburg and me this year. Been busy getting the club range dug out and opened for the winter, plus the house and yard. SWMBO does taxes for the work (cures cabin fever in February) and spends the income antique hunting and visiting old friends in the UK in April. Unfortunately this has been a very bad year here (22.5% unemployment in our county, calculated the government's way, more like 40% real unemployment) so her income is way down. Plus, some of the stories she's had to listen to from people who need a tax refund just to survive but aren't going to get one have really gotten her down. Anyway, I did a little creative accounting with her antique hunting account so she could go and visit her friends and it's left me a bit short on stacks of gold. I'll be there just as soon as my share of the stimulus money shows up....sadly, I've just restored a really messed up 5 1/2" ROA that I was going to show off, too.
 

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