New ROA shooter needs advice and help

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1972

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
6
Good Day Gentlemen,

As you can see, I am new to the Ruger Forum. I've been involved with both black powder and smokeless powder firearms all my life, but I have just recently acquired a Ruger Old Army Cap & Ball revolver – and that is a new game to me. This particular model is stainless steel, has the long barrel, and was (I believe) made in about 1996. It is in essentially "unfired" condition. It also came with a conversion cylinder which will allow it to fire .45 Long Colt. A very nice piece, and I'm extremely pleased with it. :D

My present situation is that while I am familiar with percussion "cap" firearms (although most of my black powder firearms are flintlocks), I freely admit I don't know all that much about Cap & Ball Revolvers – including the Old Army.

So I thought, where better to ask for some "beginner's advice" than on the Ruger Forum. If I'm going to find any experts on the Ruger Old Army revolver – I imagine this is the place where they will be. So here I am!

My plan is to stay on board the forum, and with luck eventually develop some contacts amongst other ROA shooters (and some other Rugers I have), but for now I have a few questions about this revolver that I'd like to discuss. So, if there are any ROA shooters out there who have some spare time on their hands and don't mind sharing a bit of advice, here are a few things I was wondering about:

(1) BALL SIZE: I understand that the Ruger Old Army operates "best" with .457 round balls. Apparently anything any smaller will not fit tight enough to give optimal results. Is this true? I was thinking of buying Hornady swaged balls in .457 dia. Thoughts?

(2) POWDER & CHARGE: I am told the ROA works very well with a charge of about 25 to 28 grains of "real" FFF black powder. Apparently 777 also works well, but I'm kind of a traditionalist on the black powder. Any thoughts on this – any advantages to either one of these powders?

(3) WADS: I was told to use a pre-lubed felt wad about 1/8" thick between the powder charge and the ball. I understand Ox-Yoke makes such a product, although I have been told that even their pre-lubed "Wonder Wads" could use a bit more lube to do the job correctly. Some articles I have read suggest adding more lube to the Ox-Yoke wads to get the desired amount of lube on them. Any thoughts on this – and if I should use extra lube what is the most recommended?

(4) GREASE: If you use the wads between the powder charge and the ball, do you still fill the end of each cylinder to prevent chain firing? Theoretically a tight fitting ball and the felt wad should prevent that – at least from the open end of the cylinder. Loose fittings caps could be another story, but that has nothing to do with grease. Comments?

(5) CAPS: There are different makes of caps (Remington, etc) and different sizes of caps (#10 and #11). Is there a "general consensus" amongst ROA shooters as to which type and size the ROA usually likes best? I've been told #11 caps work well as a general rule, but I also read somewhere that the ROA liked #10 caps if they were Remington caps. I know I can try out different types and sizes, but thought I might as well get a head start by seeing what most of you shooting these revolvers use.

(6) GRIPS: I'd like to get a different set of grips for the revolver. I was told that any grips designed for the Ruger Blackhawk – will also fit the Ruger Old Army. Is this the case?

That should be enough to kick this off, and if I can get answers to the above it will get me started shooting. Of course, if anybody has any other thoughts or advice on the ROA I'd appreciate hearing what you have to say.

Thanks for your time gentlemen. I appreciate your assistance and expertise.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
3,407
Location
KY
1. Yes, .457 is the correct sized round balls.
2. Can't go wrong with real black powder. It ignites easier than any substitute. 777 is great though when it comes time to clean, as it will clean up easier than anything I have ever tried.
3.I have used wonder wads with complete satisfaction without any extra lube added.
4.If you use the wonder wads, no extra grease is needed.
5.I have had the best luck with Remington #10 caps. The CCI #10 are too little, the CCI #11s are too big.
6.Any grip for the XR3-RED should work.

Hope this helps, and welcome to the forum!
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,576
Location
Butte, MT
The CCI #10 are too little, the CCI #11s are too big.
Ever try just pinching them (make them slightly out of round)? I 'pinch' my #11s so they fit tight over the nipples on my 1858 Remington. Works well here.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
3,407
Location
KY
Rclark":22nrxw1r said:
The CCI #10 are too little, the CCI #11s are too big.
Ever try just pinching them (make them slightly out of round)? I 'pinch' my #11s so they fit tight over the nipples on my 1858 Remington. Works well here.

Yeah, I have. But the Remington #10s fit perfect, so why buy the CCIs?
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
FYI, 1972: I was unable to reply to the email you sent me due to the email filtering service you're using. I tried to reply, but I got back an email saying I needed to sign up for the same service for the message to go through; Sorry, but that's not going to happen. I know nothing about that service and don't want to have to learn, just for the sake of replying to an email from someone I don't know.

If you need to get in touch, PM me, or send me email from an account I can reply to. It looks like you got logged in, in any case.

-- Sam
 

nvbirdman

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 14, 2002
Messages
869
Location
fallon, nv
I use homecast .457 roundballs, real BP, and CCI #11 caps. I do not use the Wonder Wads. I grease the front of the cylinder with an olive oil/beeswax mix.
My only problem is that at twenty-five yards I can only go around the cylinder twice before the center of the target is so shot out that it has to be replaced.
 

1972

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 1, 2009
Messages
6
Sam – I PM'd you to explain what happened. Sorry for the trouble. Essentially I registered and got to post a couple of times – but then something went wrong and the system would not allow me to log in again. I was trying to get a message to somebody who might be able to help. Thanks for your efforts. I appreciate it.

Thanks as well to everybody else who helped get this straightened out.
 
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