Reworked Bearcats!!

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chet15

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Just found the fourth known 99xxxx range Bearcat with a re-worked serial number, serial number 991112 at the Des Moines show this weekend.
If anybody has a Bearcat in the 99xxxx range or D98xxxx range or even from 90000 up through 115000, be sure to check the serial number and side of the frame. Ruger apparently had issues with their serial numbering machine...which is probably why there were so many duplicate serial number guns around this time period. I also suspect that Ruger had issues with the serial numbering head indexing properly to a horizontally straight position.
So what to look for? Look for any Bearcat in the serial number ranges given and see if the serial number is heavily stamped or lightly stamped. If it is heavily stamped, look closely at the frame area around the trigger screw head and the hammer screw head for signs of waviness in the frame. If its there, the serial number side of the frame was ground off at Ruger several months later (when they had a group of guns set aside to rework) and the serial number was re-applied. That is the reason the serial number looks heavily stamped on these, because the thin aluminum side on the Bearcat was even thinner after Ruger ground any remnant of the original serial number away.







As luck would have it, we know Ruger set these guns aside to be reworked at a later date (they didn't have barrels on them when they were reworked) because the rollmark on the left side of the barrel is without SR...something that didn't change on the Bearcat until later in 1968 (October if I remember correctly).



These guns should have left the factory as factory "seconds".
Those known so far with re-worked frames include 990290 (pictured in JD's most recent book), 990299, 991112, D98251 and one other gun I reported in RENE a few years ago.
There should also be some 90xxx to 115xxx range Bearcats out there as well that have a re-worked frame....just look for a heavily stamped serial number. All other Bearcats during this period have a light but clear serial number.
And...this brings up another point...if they were having issues with the serial numbering machine on the Bearcat, I suspect there are some SA's out there as well that were having the same issues (and why not 10/22's or .44 Carbines?).
Chet15
 

chet15

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Ale-8(1) said:
Do the trigger guards on these show evidence of having been ground to match the modified frame surface?

The trigger guards are match polished to the sides of the cylinder frame. In the top picture you can see where the grinding sloped down into the trigger guard so to answer the question...any polishing has to be done with the trigger guard on the guns anyway.
The serial numbers on the trigger guards also match the serial number of the gun.
Chet15
 

chet15

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Ruger doesn't just grind away on their guns before they are finish polished. The main finishing on the sides of the frame and the ball of the breech is done using a pantograph pattern (the same way Ruger can make a dozen 10/22 stocks at a time for example).....then you get a finished product that doesn't look like they were finished with a hand grinder.
Chet15
 

chet15

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The last price guide that was published in Red Eagle News Exchange had the 99xxxx range Bearcat in 95-98% condition come in at $575....this price is derived at by collectors who have said they would give that to another collector in order to obtain one.
A reworked 99xxxx gun, or a reworked D98xxx range gun should have a premium over these prices (the D gun came in at 675).
If you have seen a reworked gun I would really like to hear more about them because nobody else seems to be coming up with them...I think they are pretty rare. I've discovered three of the four in the 99xxxx range and the D98xxx range gun was also sitting in our collection.
I'd been asking the one guy at the Des Moines gun show to bring in his four 99xxxx guns for the last five years and he finally did it. Lo and behold he had the fourth known rework.
Some of you guys have guns in your collections that are rarer than you think!
Chet15
 

El Numero Uno

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I don't see these 99xxxx Bearcats very often! In fact it was over 40 years ago when I saw my first and only one(that was not in a collection) and when I informed Mr. J. C. Munnell about it, he was a disbeliever and said I must be mistaken; because he had never seen one. In those days, it was joked that if Munnell had not seen one, it didn't exist! :lol:
This was probably when Chad was a pre-teen and not tabulating all things Ruger!
 

bigbore45colt

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I agree with ELU. I have only seen one and it was offered for sale, by a collector to another collector, at a much much higher price than is in the Price Guide, and sold. They are quite scarce little guns, that's for darn sure.

Just my $0.02

BB45C
 

chet15

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El Numero Uno said:
and when I informed Mr. J. C. Munnell about it, he was a disbeliever and said I must be mistaken; because he had never seen one. In those days, it was joked that if Munnell had not seen one, it didn't exist! :lol:

Right! His first book was "Dedicated to those of you who prove me wrong!" :D
Chet15
 

street

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chet15 said:
El Numero Uno said:
and when I informed Mr. J. C. Munnell about it, he was a disbeliever and said I must be mistaken; because he had never seen one. In those days, it was joked that if Munnell had not seen one, it didn't exist! :lol:

Right! His first book was "Dedicated to those of you who prove me wrong!" :D
Chet15

Yes! That book was dedicated to a lot of people!!!! :D
 

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