Transfer Bar Breakage...Ever Happen To Anyone Here???

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Joined
May 4, 2005
Messages
59
Location
Pineville, Louisiana, USA
I have a NM Blackhawk .357 with the transfer bar and an OM Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum without the transfer bar. Of course, there is a vastly different feel when cocking the guns. And, of course the sound is REALLY different going from the 4-stage clicks to the 1-stage click. Some questions came to mind when listening to them.

Questions:
**Does one of these trigger groups have more parts than the other?

**Is one trigger group more likey to break, if ever, over the other one? Is one more durable than the other?

Thanks
 

mickeyboat

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
81
I have numerous Vaqueros and new model Blackhawks and broke several transfer bars until I had the guns modified by a great gunsmith-Wes Flowers. Now I have 4 click hammers, no more broken transfer bars-in fact no transfer bars, welded up hammers, hammers have been short stroked and just love the guns. If you are going to use the guns in competiton, recommend you either replace the transfer bars yearly or make the mods. Several thousand dry firings and rounds seems to eat up transfer bars.
 

AzRebel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
216
Location
Next to the creek, under a pine
I know I'm missing out one something, but I've yet to own an old model.

I do own some new models, and all have transfer bars.

I've never broken one, I've never replaced one, and I've owned/sold/traded various Rugers with TB's over the years. I now have a few that are used pretty regularly.

That said, I don't make dry-firing on an empty chamber a steady practice. Yes, I do it on occasion, but it's pretty limited. An empty case wtih a piece of pencil eraser stuck in the priimer pocket makes a decent snap-cap.

But this thread wasn't about prevention or maintenance, so...

I'd say that they're both pretty close. Once in a while something will break on any mechanical device, and firearms are no different.

In my case, it's a rare enough occurance to be a non-issue. Seriously, I've never had one break.

Daryl
 

Skalkaho Slim

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 18, 2002
Messages
969
Location
Flathead Valley, MT
I used two 45 Colt Vaq's in CAS that had thousands of rounds through each of them. Nothing ever broke. I can't even begin to guess how many thousands of dry fires were performed on each of them as well with no problems.

I've also owned a number of other Ruger revolvers and have never had a problem with the transfer bar.

I think it's very, very rare. You'd have a better chance of getting struck by lightning on a sunny day.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
I, being a nobody ski bum from a dinky little town in far, far western Wyoming think that if one inspects the NM Lockwork one can "see the light".

Examine what's going on. The hammer strikes the transfer bar and forces it into the firing pin. Just how hard does that transfer bar need hitting? Enough to batter it to pieces over time? I think not. All it does throughout its' mundane existence is support the exchange of energy from the mainspring to the firing pin. Does this poor little piece of investment cast steel need to be battered with undue stresses? Nah!

Again, my theory and my theory only. Worth about 3 nickles and a uno centavo...........

Test: Empty gun. Check. Check again. Empty? OK. Cock hammer. Squeeze trigger, pretending you are harvesting the largest Whitetail you've ever seen.... :D Hold the trigger back after the hammer fall instead for following your normal instinct and letting it "retract". OK, now,
take a look at that hammer "squeezing" the transfer bar against the firing pin. Slowly let the trigger go forward while watching the hammer. If the hammer moves forward as the transfer bar retracts then, In My Humble Opinion, the transfer bar was pinched. Solution? Look at the "notches" on the hammer's face. One notch is designed to handle the thickness of the transfer bar but it's usually not deep enough. Deepening the notch just to the point that when the above test is performed the hammer does not move will reduce the battering of the transfer bar and, again, MHO, prolongs the life of the lockwork's components. ( We want the hammer to hit the cylinder frame in the hammer well at the same time it forces the transfer bar into the firing pin and the firing pin receives "full travel" into the cartridge's primer. )

I've never broken a transfer bar but, when I heard about such happenings I took a look and decided I'd try some tinkering.

I use original mainsprings in my smaller calibre stuff. but with .44 mag./ .45 Colt Rugers I'll sometimes install the Old Army mainspring. It's about 2# heavier and does a good job of "lighting caps". Of course, any undue contact of the hammer with the hammer well is fixed and any/all friction surfaces effecting the hammer's movement within the grip frame and cylinder frame are given attention.

flatgate
 

AzRebel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
216
Location
Next to the creek, under a pine
Great post flatgate. The hammer's pressure on the transfer bar is something I'd never really thought about.

But it makes perfect sense the way you described it.

I checked mine just now, and they all work the way they should. No movement of the hammer when the trigger is released.

Yer a pretty handy and knowledgeable fella to have around, you know it?
 

sash

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
19
Location
Back in OK
I have suffered the "broken transfer bar" syndrome twice. If you look at the transfer bar, some have a ridge making them thicker. This ridge is at the very top of the bar, and is only about 1 mm high. I have fixed the "pinch" that Flatgate describes in three different ways, to avoid the broken transfer bar:
1. Replaced the transfer bar with one not having the ridge;
2. Judiciously removed some of the hammer step just until the hammer does not pinch; and
3. Removed the ridge from the transfer bar.

Sometimes, a combination of the three will be right. After these mods, I have yet to break a tranfer bar on the 13 Rugers so equipped, and after tens of thousands of live and dry fires.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
8,113
Location
Ohio , U.S.A.
many reasons "why" it can break, and over the years we've had more than our share of them in the shop...
as long as EVERYTHING goes as 'expected & engineered' it should NOT be an issue,BUT ,now comes "human nature" and things go FUBAR...parts don't get heat treated properly, maybe NOT "fitted" ,maybe not used ( seated properly in the gun...) yep keep squeezing the trigger hard enough and something gives, or as they say down at the blacksmith shop here in the heart of Amish country, pound that steel hard enough, and you can make it do ANYTHING............... :roll:
(hell, we learned that in high school shop class....) 8)
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
Location
Cape Cod, MA, USA
Never had one break, but did have some binding due to a somewhat poorly fitted Belt Mountain base pin. Those pins use a set screw to hold them in place, and the installer usually machines a little divot into the underside of the barrel for the set screw to rest in. The divot on mine was drilled a little too close, and if you tighten down the set screw it pulls the base pin "in", which wedges it against the transfer bar. I solved the problem by not tightening the set screw all the way. It almost looks like the mechanism wants a little slop, anyway. That's what the stock base pin can move around a bit - it's supposed to (I think).

-- Sam
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
2,349
Location
Alexandria, LA USA
Just wondering, if the transfer bar is being contacted by the hammer when it's a rest, would that possible be enought to transfer energy to the firing pin if a 'OOPS sthumb slippage' occured?
Shortening the transfer bar if too tall or stoneing the thickness if the hammer notch is too shallow would seem the best remedy.
 

flatgate

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 18, 2001
Messages
6,784
Location
Star Valley, WY
jimbo1096":2twafivj said:
Just wondering, if the transfer bar is being contacted by the hammer when it's a rest, would that possible be enought to transfer energy to the firing pin if a 'OOPS sthumb slippage' occured?
Shortening the transfer bar if too tall or stoneing the thickness if the hammer notch is too shallow would seem the best remedy.

No, since the transfer bar is "retracted" when at rest so the hammer cannot touch the firing pin.

The genius of Bill Ruger is evident in the design. It just needs to be "fine tuned", IMHO, to make it better.

I have friends whom swear that they've seen Ruger's get "Accidently Discharged" even though the gun is a New Model with a functioning transfer bar system and the gun is in a holster.......

This topic probably needs a fresh thread.

flatgate
 

Wrangler John

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
38
Yes, I had a transfer bar break on a Super Blackhawk during a IHMSA match many years ago. My parts kit contains three spare transfer bars, a supply of firing pins, springs, pins, a spare trigger and hammer (both prefit) a hand (pawl) or two, and other parts. Breakage of any Ruger parts is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.
 

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