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Old December 26, 2007, 06:12 PM   #1
straight-shooter
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New Ruger Old Army

Well I just bit the bullet and purchased a brand new Ruger Old Army .45 with the fixed sights. It should be here by the end of the week. Here is a photo that was online of the actual gun.

This will be my first venture into the black powder shooting arena and I can't wait! I've already burned out on reading the in and out's of the sport but i'll still keep on reading till the new gun arrives.

Merry Christmas to ME !



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Old December 26, 2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Dark Side. There's no hope for you now or at least wont be after you drop the hammer on that stinky stuff and start making smoke. May your next purchase be something more historically accurate. And believe me there are many more purchases of smoke wagons in your future.
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Old December 26, 2007, 07:03 PM   #3
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I hear ya on the historically correct part. Being this is my first black powder revolver I wanted something that would give the least amount of fuss. My next purchase will be a Uberti 1858.
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Old December 26, 2007, 07:36 PM   #4
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You bought the best. I have one and love it. We have pistol matches at our local club and the Old Army is often a winner. I'm not real happy with the chore of cleaning it up. Mine has adjustable sights and is also stainless. I have some of the Italian B/P pistols but shoot the old army a lot more.
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Old December 26, 2007, 07:37 PM   #5
straight-shooter
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Can anyone give me a head start and tell me where I can purchase the best starter kit or would it be advisable to just write up a list and get these items separately ?

Also what is the best method for loading the cylinder.... by removing the cylinder and using a cylinder stand or should I get the revolver stand that holds the entire gun in place ?
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Old December 26, 2007, 07:50 PM   #6
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Just get some FFF or FF will work just fine, some .457 balls, wonder wads and some caps. I think the Rugers take #11 but I never had one so I'm not positive on that. You don't really need a loading stand but if you just want one it depends on if you want to pull the cylinder every time you load or not.
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Old December 26, 2007, 07:58 PM   #7
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Well for those times that you have to send rounds downrange quickly here is a conversion cylinder to 45lc
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Old December 26, 2007, 08:15 PM   #8
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Congratulations and you made a great choice. I have the 7-1/2" as well as the newer 5-1/2" and great shooters. Aside from Ruger building their handguns by the pound, These Old Army's are very tough. I have others and these are the best built. Both of mine take a number 11 primer and suggest you get a spare set of nipples for future use. I build my own loading stands and suggest you buy or build one. Eventually you might want a spare cylinder but I don't have one for mine. As far as a starter kit, just make a list and buy what you need. You can also shoot conicals in these and I run my own lead and mostly shoot round ball as they are a little easier to load. I shoot American Pioneer powder in FFFg. Your pistol will come with a nipple wrench so for now, you won't have to buy one. Don't forget your wonder wads. I know you are going to love shooting these. Be safe !!
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Old December 27, 2007, 11:09 AM   #9
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Shopping list:

.457" round balls

A few tins of Remington #10 caps. Remington #10's and #11's appear to be the same diameter with the difference being in the length of the skirt.

A Ted Cash snail capper (Originally designed around Remington #10 caps)

Coupla pounds o' FFF black powder (Ya only gonna git 'bout 175-225 rounds per pound or 30-38 cylinders)

Powder measure, fixed or adjustable, capable of throwing 30-40 grains (volume). I use a FLASK with a set of fixed measures that screw into it and prefer a load that lets me use a full stroke of the ram so I get even compression on every chamber.

Can o' Crisco & a popsicle stick to shovel it in with or a large syringe with a large gauge plastic needle/tube/hose is a bit neater & cleaner.

No need to pull the cylinder to load, it's quicker & easier to leave it in place, but a loading stand might be handy. (I don't use one myself) In my experience, round balls shoot much better than conicals and conicals are a pain to load anyway. When you seat a ball with no powder under it (It WILL happen!), pull the nipple, push as much powder through the hole as you can, replace the nipple, SEAT THE BALL FIRMLY ON THE POWDER, cap it, and shoot the ball out. No need to get a full charge under the ball, just enough to push it out the barrel, but make sure there is no air space between the charge and ball. Unless you want to take the time to get 30+ grains through the nipple hole, you'll have to seat the ball by tapping it into the chamber with a dowel cuz the ram won't reach far enough. Five to ten grains should be sufficient to propel the ball out the barrel. Clean up is a snap with hot soapy water and a good oiling afterward. Don't forget to pull the nipples now and then and use a good quality breech plug grease when replacing them. Ya don't have to tighten them up like Gonzo at the Uberti factory does with their screws, just snug 'em up good so they'll come out easily the next time.

Caution; ROA's can be addictive.

Four of my fixed sight guns shoot perfectly to point of aim with no regulation of the sights, but I haven't shot the fifth one yet, so it might very well be just as good. I've shot the adj sight pair in Cowboy Action Modern class several times and always kick ass with them.
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Old December 27, 2007, 11:30 AM   #10
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definitely grease the nipple screws when you remove for cleaning. teflon pipe thread grease does well. a tip for powder measure is that a 7.62X39 (AK OR SKS cartridge) is about 32 grs. I load it with 3F and a .32acp caseful of 4F under it as a 'primer' load it seems a little hotter charge. I use Lee mold slugs I cast. this load has some 'whomp' to it. shot a wild/feral pig a little over 200 lbs with it. complete pass-thru. it ran aways, I shot too far back but still got both lungs and there was a blood trail after about 100 yards. when I found it in thicket about 200 yards on it was near dead but I stuck another slug into base of skull/neck.
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Old December 27, 2007, 12:32 PM   #11
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Yer gonna enjoy that ROA, and, like Hawg said, "There's no hope for you now"


More historically correct, and those nine inch barrels and four and a half pounds apiece make 'em a bit slower to shoot, but sixty grains of 3F makes for quite a crowd pleaser, especially around dawn or dusk.



My CAS rig for the Walkers. Took 'bout half a cow to make the holsters and the belt was formed from a leather weight lifters belt.

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Old December 27, 2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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straight-shooter

Have forgotten one of my safety rules and that is to read the manual, then get physically intimate with your new love. Hell, take it to bed. Is short, get to know this excellent firearm. Might want to also pick up a manual by Lyman or Dell and written by Sam Fadala .... Be safe
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Old December 27, 2007, 07:01 PM   #13
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I certainly appreciate all the great advice being given here. Another question is I was going to use Wonder Wads in my loads but none are available here locally but I did find some Pre-Lubed Pillow ticking patches. Can these be used instead. They are .20 in thickness.
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Old December 27, 2007, 07:09 PM   #14
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I've never tried it but I don't think they'll work to well. They were made for single shot muzzleloaders that use undersize balls. Best stick to Crisco or beeswax, etc. till you can get wads. Just don't use anything petroleum based.
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Old December 27, 2007, 09:25 PM   #15
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Hawk is right - they will not work in a revolver. You will need to buy some from an on-line retailer such as Dixie Gun Works, Track of the Wolf, etc.
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Old December 27, 2007, 09:36 PM   #16
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Ok, glad I didn't purchase them because I was thinking the same thing.

I'm actually toying with the idea from another forum. I read a tutorial on how to make paper cartridges by just using FFF and cream of wheat. Just pack this cartridge into the cylinder and load a ball on top of it. Thus eliminating the need for a wad or lube.
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Old December 28, 2007, 05:19 PM   #17
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That's a damn nice looking pistol, straight-shooter
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Old December 28, 2007, 10:07 PM   #18
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robhof

I got back into Bp pistols a few years ago with a SS ROA; only with adjustable sights. I think most of your questions have been answered quite well. I have both the conical and round ball mold and cast with pure lead; the round balls print a tighter group, am going to try a LBT ball bullet, saw someone shooting with these at the range and he was getting a 1" group at 15 yds. LBT makes molds only. I had a kit gun as a teen, single shot Kentucky in 45 that took many rabbit and a few armadillos. If you get the fever bad you'll need a few spare cylinders, there's an aftermarket that works well (I've got 3) and a cylinder loader (get a quality one) so you won't spend so much time reloading between 6 shot groups. I have othe pistols, but I bring the Ruger to the range every time I go, just to fire a few rounds.
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Old December 29, 2007, 12:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
I'm actually toying with the idea from another forum. I read a tutorial on how to make paper cartridges by just using FFF and cream of wheat. Just pack this cartridge into the cylinder and load a ball on top of it. Thus eliminating the need for a wad or lube.
I've made some. It is time consuming but takes less time to load when you wanna shoot. I make mine with tea bags and glue the paper to the ball and load everything at once. No need for filler with 30 grs. or more of powder.
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Old January 5, 2008, 05:55 PM   #20
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Well, I took the Ruger Old Army out to the range today for it's intial firing. I used a paper cartridge containing 25gr FFFg & 5gr of filler topped with one of my homemade lubed wads and a .457 Hornady round ball. I used the No. 11 CCI magnum primers.

The reason for using paper cartridges today was because my powder flask has not arrived in the mail yet. I didn't have to poke a hole through the bottom of the paper catridge which was nice. Loading the paper cartridges was fast and seemless then topped with the wad and pressed in the ball.

At 25 yards freehand my first shop hit the bull dead center but from there on out I was hitting about 2" low and 1 1/2" right. All remaining shots grouped in this fashion but kept about a 2" group. I may try a hotter load next time to see if that will bring up the shot a tad higher.

No mis-fires at all and everything went as planned. Certainly a very fun gun to shoot.

Monday my powder flask measure will arrive in the mail so I may skip making the paper cartridges or I may not. I'll try loading with the flask at the range and see how I like that. It will require a tad bit more time I'm sure but I won't be picking paper out of the cylinders from time to time. The only draw back I found to paper cartridges.

Anyone care to comment about loading slightly hotter to bring the shot up about 2" ?
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Old January 5, 2008, 11:07 PM   #21
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"Hotter" (faster) should make the point of impact even lower at 25 yards.
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