reliability issues with transfer bars?

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KCUB

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
41
Back in the 70's I bought a brand new Super Blackhawk that was marked "made in the 200th year of American Liberty" so it must have been 1976. This gun developed the problem that when you tried to cock it the transfer bar would hang up under the firing pin jamming it. If you pointed it toward the sky you could only then successfully cock the weapon. Gravity would take over causing the transfer bar to fall back toward the hammer allowing the action to get it's panties out of a wad.

Well I got rid of that harlot and have sworn off Ruger new models ever since as just a poor design that fixed something that wasn't broke and broke something that was fixed; simplicity and reliability that has kept the single action revolver going in frontiers and areas remote from gunsmiths all out of proportion to other concerns of obsolescence for what? decades? nay! centuries!

I eventually replaced that so called new and improved Blackhawk with an old model made in the 50's which works 100%. You just have to load 1, skip 1, load 4, and rest the hammer down on the empty chamber as people have done for the last 150 years, frivolous lawsuit attorneys and their damn foolish gun neophyte leg shooting clients notwithstanding.

The other day I was about to exit the gun shop flush with cash clutched in my fist from a gun sale when a fancy looking snubbie caught my eye in the gun counter. It was a polished SP101 .357 2" which I had never seen before.

Well that little revolver felt great in my hand, looked great, and just that quick I was seduced out of a goodly portion of my funds as though the fancy little thing was a reincarnated stripper or lady of ill repute who had caught a glimpse of my bankroll and charmed me out of it just like the pro she was. Easy come, easy go. I departed the grinning fool with my new companion.

But the trollop SP101 has a transfer bar you say? It's not a question of "if" but "when" she let's me down and breaks my heart? Maybe so, but I still love her just the same.

And so having taken the long way around the bush, so to speak, is the issue I once encountered with my old love Super Blackhawk unheard of amongst the double action Rugers or is it more reliable and central to the design or have they found a way to make it 100% reliable or is there any gunsmithing solutions to this problem/concern?
 

Stoots

Buckeye
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
1,465
Location
Carolina Beach, NC
KCUB":osx9foz8 said:
This gun developed the problem that when you tried to cock it the transfer bar would hang up under the firing pin jamming it. If you pointed it toward the sky you could only then successfully cock the weapon.

You say it 'developed' the problem.

That sounds like the transfer bar wasn't being 'pushed' away from the firirng pin by the base pin assembly. Weak spring, crud in the end, etc.

Just a guess.


FWIW, I've never had a problem, but that comes up occasionally, and alot of times that spring-loaded end of the base pin assembly is the culprit. I keep a small drop of oil there to keep things moving freely.

On a Ruger DA, I think it's called the 'Center Pin Lock'.

Have a look here. Good info!

http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtop ... highlight=


:wink:

By the way, looks like you're a bit of a wordsmith!

:D
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
I've had a "Liberty" .45 cal. Blackhawk since the mid 1980's and it's only malady was a "stacking of lolerances" which resulted in the base pin refusing to stay seated. John Linebaugh fixed it for me via a set screw.

Nowadays one can simply acquire one of Kelye's Belt Mountain base pins and eliminate any such troubles.

Your Blackhawk might have had a similar ailment :?:

Welcome to Ruger Forum!

flatgate
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,134
Location
So. Florida
I believe on the SP-101 there is a small plunger and spring in the trigger assembly that keeps the pawl and transfer bar in place. If you shake the gun it will rattle. Keep the gun clean and lubricated and you should not have any problem with the transfer bar system. The Ruger double-action revolvers basically all use the same design and it is very dependable. :D

...JImbo
 

pisgah

Buckeye
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
1,633
Location
Upstate SC
I would say the most common cause of this is the base pin not being fully seated. They sometimes jump forward under recoil. This can usually be fixed with a new base pin latch spring or switching to a Belt Mountain replacement pin. Other times, after being disassembled for cleaning, the rod is not pushed in quite all the way. That last little tiny fraction of an inch can take a bit of a shove.

There are also mechanical defects of several types that can cause it, but this has been the most common thing in my experience.
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
925
Location
Hamilton, Ohio USA
I have several Ruger New Models and the transfer bar has NEVER given me any problems. Not to say, you haven't had the problem, but it should have been easily fixed and after will STAY fixed.

I have a low numbered original Super Blackhawk that I never bothered to "upgrade" but that was mostly from personal "inertia" and not that I was afraid of the transfer bar system. Frankly, I appreciate being able to use all six chambers when in the field. I like owning "Sixguns" more than "Five Guns".

But, that is just me...

FWIW
Dale53
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Location
Land of the Pilgrims
Howdy

I too bought my first New Model in the 1970s, 1975 to be exact. A Blackhawk convertible with 45 Colt and 45 ACP cylinders. Since then I have added about a half dozen Ruger single action revolvers with transfer bars.

The pards are correct, the problem is not with the transfer bar, it is the spring plunger in the cylinder base pin that is the problem. The job of the spring plunger is to shove the transfer bar backwards as it rises, so it will clear the frame mounted firing pin.

And the most common cause of this problem is because the cylinder pin has jumped forward from recoil. I have had it happen to my guns and have seen it happen to many others. Sad to say, many cylinder base pin latches are not properly fitted to the retaining slot in the pin at the factory. These are mass produced guns and these specific parts are just slapped together with no proper fitting.

There are several simple solutions to this problem, but the problem is the pin jumping forward under recoil, the transfer bar is not the problem.

By the way, the pin can jump forward in Colts and three screw Rugers too. It just does not lock up the gun so you are not aware of any problem until you are on your hands and knees at the range searching for the pin. At least with Blackhawks and the 'original model' Vaquero, Ruger designed the pin so it could not fall out of the gun without removing the ejector housing. Not so with the New Vaquero, the pin can fall right out of the gun, just like a Colt.
 

Rodman

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 5, 2008
Messages
235
Location
Greenough, MT
one way to fix this is to take the transfer bar out and put a 45 degree angle on the top inside edge of it. that way even if your spring and plunger in the transfer bar goes bad it will still slide buy the firing pin. i do this to all my Ruger Single actions and then i put a slightly oversized base pin in that a friend of mine makes in his machine shop, that way it eliminates the spring and plunger on the base pin all together. i tune alot of guns for folks in the mounted shooting and i have never had any issues with cutting the inside edge of the transfer bar. i will try and take a pic of one and post it if anyone wants to see it.
 

jimbo1096

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
1,916
Location
Alexandria, LA USA
Wish I'd been there to take that 'Liberty' gun off your hands. The problem you had would be an easy fix. The SP is a different set up and will not have that problem unless grossly abused. Anything can break if not properly cared for. I have used Ruger's DA revolvers in the Security Six, GP100 and SP101 for thousands of rounds with no transfer bar problems at all. If there were problems along those lines, Ruger would not have the rugged dependability reputation they have or be known as the largest small arms manufacturer in the USA.
 

KCUB

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
41
the spring had gotten stuck inside its little tunnel and wasn't pushing the t bar back

doesn't happen (cause it can't) on the old models

I'm stickin to old models to solve the problem, no excuses will thus be necesssary
 

Lo-Bo

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
69
Been shooting Ruger single actions since earlier 70's and have never seen or even heard of one having problems firing because of the transfer bar. But I do personally know of 2 people that have been shot when they dropped their old model single sixes. One guy has one testicle now and the other a hole through his thigh.
 

KCUB

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
41
Lo-Bo":lir7q6z1 said:
Been shooting Ruger single actions since earlier 70's and have never seen or even heard of one having problems firing because of the transfer bar. But I do personally know of 2 people that have been shot when they dropped their old model single sixes. One guy has one testicle now and the other a hole through his thigh.

Darwin at work here. That's why you must carry an old model (or Colt or USFA or Uberti or Navy Arms or ...) with the hammer down on an empty chamber.

I talked to a gunsmith who says he sees transfer bar related problems all the time (never sees them on old models).

He rounded the tip of the Sp101 transfer bar more as apparently it comes already somewhat rounded. He also slicked up the action and rounded some sharp edges on the hammer and the trigger. I'm looking forward to rolling some cans with it today.
 

Lo-Bo

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
Messages
69
KCUB, shooters know that you should only carry 5 shots in a traditional sixgun. BUT we need to remember how many people there are that are not knowledgable shooters. These guys see 6 holes in a cylinder so they load them all. Both the people that I mentioned that were hurt where not gun savvy.
 

louiethelump

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
1,879
Location
Webster, Florida
I have worked on guns since 1981 either professionally or personally and on lots of Rugers, and have NEVER seen a transfer bar problem, other than the rare one that breaks off. As far as hanging up, NONE as long as the center pin is seated. My first gun was a new model single six that I waited to come out after reading about them in magazines, and My father had to buy for me as I was only 20. I am now 57 if that gives you a time frame. I did not know about the center pin and found out that it has to be seated. That is not really a transfer bar problem, but a shooter error in not reassembling the gun correctly. My second gun was a 6" Security six, again when they first came out. NO transfer abre issues at all.......

Years later, I started working on othe people's guns, and during those early years, the store where I worked (second job while full time police officer) sold a lot of Ruger revolvers as S&W guns were on allocation and you just about could not get them. No transfer bar issues.

I am not sure but I think your "gunsmith" sold you a bill of goods and took some of your money if he told you he sees transfer bar problems all the time.......................

How much did he charge you to "fix" your transfer bar? That is like being sold muffler bearings or grosbin bolts for your car........

Louie
 

KCUB

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 28, 2010
Messages
41
This gunsmith is the best revolver gunsmith I know of. He did not sell me a bill of goods, he made the SP101 much slicker than it was. Regarding the work he did on the SP101 transfer bar, I requested it based on my real life experience.

Once again, my original new model super blackhawk problem had nothing to do with the cylinder pin. It had everything to do with the transfer bar and the spring that pushes it back getting stuck somehow. No amount of alluding otherwise will change that fact. It was Ruger who sold that bill of goods.

I'm glad you an others, especially the police officers, have had no issues.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
KCUB":hbpmww84 said:
Once again, my original new model super blackhawk problem had nothing to do with the cylinder pin. It had everything to do with the transfer bar and the spring that pushes it back getting stuck somehow

Hmm, well, your troubles have EVERYTHING to do with the "cylinder pin" since it's the spring loaded plunger in the tip of the Base Pin (Ruger's nomenclature) that pushes the transfer bar back so it clears the firing pin when the hammer is pulled to the "full cock" position.

The plunger in the tip of the Base Pin may have been damaged some how. A new pin is $10.63 from Brownells. Click Here.

It takes but a few minutes to replace one.

JMHO,

flatgate
 

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