Ruger Old Army Gunsmith?

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Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
Anyone aware of a smith who's known for this type of work?

One of my gunshop haunts let me know they had a very unique Ruger Old Army they figured I'd be interested in.

They were right.

It's been heavily customized for what I'm guessing is some form of bullseye handgun competition.
I'm still playing with different load combinations to see what will make it sing - but I have no doubt I'll find it.

I've already checked with Hamilton Bowen, Alex Hamilton, Dave Clements and Jack Huntington - none of them did the mods.
Trying to research by way of the gunshop and the fellow they got it from has been a dry well.

Ruger-1a.jpg


Rear of cylinder milled away - maybe trying to control cap fouling?
Ruger-2.jpg


Front of cylinder milled away and barrel set back so small powder charges had no major jump to the throat.
Ruger-3.jpg


Cylinder loading tool.
Cylinder-loader.jpg
 

dusty3030

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
57
Location
Fayette County, TN
Oh my. That is the most elegant "Bubba" job I have ever seen. I can only imagine what other wonders they did to the action.
It's so hideous, yet so precisely done. I'd love to hear the story from the person who did this.
 

Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
dusty3030 said:
Oh my. That is the most elegant "Bubba" job I have ever seen. I can only imagine what other wonders they did to the action.
It's so hideous, yet so precisely done. I'd love to hear the story from the person who did this.

The action itself is absolutely sweet.
Zero creep plus an almost boringly consistent glass-rod breaking two pound trigger pull.

The color case on the frame is the "tone" I prefer. I like Turnbull's work, for example, but some of the colors that result are almost too bright for my taste.

Some thought went into the loading tool as well. I have a variety of percussion handguns and the tool works for all of them.

I have no plans to sell it, but just want to find out what I can in regards to its history.
 

lark63

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Messages
434
Location
Ohio
I think it is kind of neat- somebody spent some time on it.
Sure not any worse than seeing a corroded Old Army due to the lack of cleaning.
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,195
Location
MN
I looked around a bit... thought I found the answer. Turns out I just found a thread by Rum River on another forum! :p

I LIKE it, though I don’t plan to emulate it with one of my ROAs.

Like others have said, purpose-built for a specific job. I imagine it does that particular job quite handily! :idea:
 

Muley Gil

Blackhawk
Joined
Oct 27, 2004
Messages
585
Location
Southwest VA USA
I really like the color case hardening.

I have seen pictures of .45 ACP S&W revolvers with the same short cylinder/long barrel shank conversion. All were done with the intention to reduce bullet jump from cylinder to barrel.
 

Onty

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Messages
425
Ask Turnbull https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/ . He is well known for color case hardening.
 

Uncle Howie

Buckeye
Joined
May 28, 2004
Messages
1,195
Location
MN
Cylinder/barrel/hammer treatments remind me of the Freedom Arms “252 Casull.”

https://historical.ha.com/itm/handguns/single-action-revolver/freedom-arms-silhouette-class-single-action-revolver/a/6140-40254.s
 

Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
Onty said:
Ask Turnbull https://www.turnbullrestoration.com/ . He is well known for color case hardening.

I should have thought of this before, a message has now been sent.
 

G2

Hunter
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
2,240
Location
UT/AZ
We have seen this very style of OA years ago on this forum, I have searched but no luck yet. It was pre 2008.
I recall it was a competition target type sorta thing.
 

Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
It's definitely fun to shoot.
I've heard from others that their Rugers like the .457 ball and this one is no exception. In my case the problem is the only 457 ball I currently have on hand were cast by a manufacturer using multiple molds. The diameters and weights are not consistent at all. I sorted them into groups as best I could, first by diameter and then by weight. Even within the same diameter there could be weight differences of 5 and 10 grains, so I'm guessing different lead alloys were a factor as well. I definitely noticed a difference in the amount of force required to shave the lead ring when seating the ball, even when diameters were the same.

I managed some groups at 25 yards that were 4"-5" but feel this rig is capable of far better performance. I want to try some swaged round ball plus casting my own - then I think things will come together.

The competition target discipline makes a lot of sense. As purchased, the revolver had one chamber with no nipple plus a roundball seated with no powder charge so it would not be loaded by mistake. This is no carry gun so I don't feel it was done from a safety aspect, I think it's more likely only 5 shot strings were allowed.
 

Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
daveg.inkc said:
What is your powder charge? 10-15 grs?

You're right in there, lowest I've gone is 15 grs. by volume of FFFg Goex.
I am going to mess with other charges but first I want more consistent projectiles.
 

Rum River

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 4, 2008
Messages
40
Turnbull Restoration replied to my question, they did not perform the work either.

I tried searching for black powder bullseye handgun competitions and came across the name Jason Gregoire.
He used some specialized firearms similar (and beyond) the one I have. I'm going to see if I can follow up on that angle.
 
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