RUGER OLD ARMY GRIP FRAME QUESTION

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Shamus2022

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Can anyone definitively answer this question: can the Old Army grip frame be swapped out for an XR3 frame?
 

hittman

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Hondo44

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Depends on which vintage OA you have and which XR3 grip frame you have, alloy or steel:

1. If you have an early blued OA with alloy XR3-RED grip frame and skinny trigger, yes, an old model alloy XR3 (pre 1963) grip frame will interchange.

2. If it's a later blued OA with steel XR3-RED grip frame or stainless steel OA both with wide trigger, yes the old model alloy XR3 will interchange but you'll need to use an old model skinny trigger or widen the trigger slot.

3. If you want to use a New Model Flattop Blackhawk/New Vaquero steel XR3 grip frame, yes but you'll need to use a wide OA trigger and adapt the grip frame to the old model trigger spring and plunger by using an empty .22 LR cartridge case. Or add a new model trigger spring shelf to the back of the trigger to use the new model trigger return spring.
 
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bpimwheel

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3. If you want to use a New Model Flattop Blackhawk/New Vaquero steel XR3 grip frame, yes but you'll need to use a wide OA trigger and adapt the grip frame to the old model trigger spring and plunger by using an empty .22 LR cartridge case. Or add a new model trigger spring shelf to the back of the trigger to use the new model trigger return spring.
Hondo44,
Would you be kind enough to explain in more detail exactly how this is done. I would guess there are other budding revolver mechanics that would like to know also.
 

contender

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Well, I'm not Hondo,, but I've used NM grip frames on OM guns often. I've never used the .22 casing method. I make an adapter for the trigger return spring & plunger to be placed in the slot where the NM spring goes. I've never modified a trigger either.

Here's an adapter. The block of aluminum is just wide enough to fit in the slot where the NM trigger return spring goes. The angle cut is to allow the hammer strut to work as it should. The cross drilled hole is used to hold it in place with a cross pin. And the hole in the end is for the OM trigger return spring & plunger.


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Hondo44

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Hondo44,
Would you be kind enough to explain in more detail exactly how this is done. I would guess there are other budding revolver mechanics that would like to know also.

Adapting the OM trigger spring and plunger to a NM grip frame:

The adapter that contender shows is the classy way to adapt the om trigger return spring and plunger to a nm grip frame. But I was installing so many nm steel grip frames on om Rugers I thought about an alternative: 1st I tried a piece of tubing which worked fine. Then I tried the .22 LR case which required almost no work and has worked for years now in many guns with no problems. It doesn't show when installed and is so simple! Both the adapter and .22 case require use of the NM front trigger spring pin to hold them in place. I file a shallow v groove in the case head of the 22 case to nest against the pin. The bottom of the hammer also holds it in place.
(note: the adapter works best on the Ruger Hawkeye single shot pistol because of the different hammer bottom with its rebound safety feature)


Adapting the OM trigger to use a NM grip frame with NM spring:

Aftermarket conversion triggers had been available from Clements and reasonably priced in the past. But now only the Ronnie Wells triggers are made but they're over $300 the last I checked.

So modifying an om trigger by adding the spring shelf shown below is another alternative.
1712186417850.png




1. Micro weld a small shelf like the NM triggers have, on the back of the OM trigger.

2. Or drill the trigger and press in a pin, or drill and tap for a small screw; file the top side flat and it will replicate the shelf for the spring.

3. If I'm installing a Bisley trigger in an om, it already has the shelf; I just cut off the nm sear and transfer bar lever from the nm trigger and micro weld on an om trigger sear.
(Note: unless you're using a Bisley grip frame, you'll need to length the trigger slot to the front on the standard plow handle grip frame.)
1712184695750.png
 
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BULL'S-EYE

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Unless you prefer steel, I'd just go the easier route an source and aluminum OM XR3 grip frame...They're still out there to be had.

Here's a good read by the great John Taffin about one he found so fitted...

 

woodperson

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Knoxville, TN
Since I paid Ruger to put an Old Army steel frame on my OM Blackhawk .41 Mag. I just have to ask. Why would you want to replace the Old Army grip frame?
 
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yes, you can and here is one we did for our late Navy Seabee friend Fred Price on his OM 41 mag cut the barrel down to 5 inch even and put the Old Army frame on it he liked the new white plastic grips so put them on,, alas he left us and may he rest in Peace. got the gun's over to his nephew after the funeral........put the both together for the pictures....... ;) (y)
 

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BULL'S-EYE

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Since I paid Ruger to put an Old Army steel frame on my OM Blackhawk .41 Mag. I just have to ask. Why would you want to replace the Old Army grip frame?
Most do it the get the authentic Colt SAA style grip that the XR3 replicated...And that Ruger foolishly abandoned when they changed to the "improved" XR3-RED.
 

Hondo44

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Since I paid Ruger to put an Old Army steel frame on my OM Blackhawk .41 Mag. I just have to ask. Why would you want to replace the Old Army grip frame?
The other reason is: to have an all steel Old Army. As I posted above, the early Old Army's came with the same alloy grip frame as your OM Blackhawk .41 mag and all other Blackhawks.
 
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