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Old February 4, 2008, 01:59 AM   #1
JJBlanche
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For you Ruger Old Army guys...

I just bought a Ruger Old Army, 7.5" stainless, adjustable sights. It is currently somewhere in the US postal system, en route to my house. To deaden the anticipation, I've been doing a lot of research. I wanted to verify some of my findings with the community.

I've purchased .457 balls, and .456 220gr conicals. I intend to use the balls for targets and smallish game (turkey, maybe?), and the conicals for larger stuff, like deer and boar. After digging through all the load data I could find, this is what I've come up with:

(all loads listed are for volumetric equivalent)

Max load for round ball = 40 grains 777 (I've seen people running 45, but I don't wanna go that high)

Max load for 220gr conical = 35 grains 777

Hodgdon has stated pretty explicitly that they do not recommend running more than 35 grains of 777 under a ball, but I've heard of so many individuals who load heavier than this, that I can only assume Hodgdon was being conservative. Anyone have any light to shed on this?

Also, what do you guys use for caps?

Beyond the question of loads, I've heard a few gripes regarding the Old Army. The most popular are "it's too heavy, and it is unbalanced." I'm wondering what those that actually have the gun think. I'm not a cowboy action shooter or any of that, so I don't care much about how traditional it is. I'm just interested in function.

If, in addition to the above, you think there is something I should know about the Old Army, I'm all ears. Thanks in advance for any info/advice.

Last edited by JJBlanche; February 4, 2008 at 04:38 AM.
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Old February 4, 2008, 06:49 AM   #2
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I'm still learning my way around my ROA, having just bought it last week, so I really have no comments about the gun itself.

As to 777 and max loads: I have used up to 45 gr by volume of 777 in a Walker and 40 gr 777 in a Dragoon. It provided excellent results in terms of accuracy, although the most accurate load was somewhat less, about 5 gr in each case.

In the medium size frame Colts and Remington, 35 gr 777 is a max load and accuracy was not good at those levels. It depends somewhat on the gun, but somewhere between 20 and 25 gr usually worked out the best.

I intend to start testing at 20 gr 777 and 15 gr Goex and work my way up.

I always use lubed felt wads, also.
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Old February 4, 2008, 10:17 AM   #3
drdirk
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As far as the complaints are concerned, most are around the fact that it is not
"authentic" but a modern BP gun. The heavy is good, it is the most solid BP revolver around.

My only other comment is that for me the conicals did not work as well. The accuracy is just not as good as the round ball. Never figured out why that is but I am pretty much sticking with round balls. They are also VERY difficult to load.

Enjoy the Ruger. It is my favorite BP and maybe my favorite do all firearm.
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Old February 4, 2008, 12:09 PM   #4
JJBlanche
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Just got my ROA from the UPS guy! It's a newer one, with the grey plastic box and all the factory packaging. However, the barrel looks like it has some black soot in it or something. I looked at it, it looked dark, put my pinky down it, and it came out with black stuff on it. It doesn't look like fouling to me...I'm really hoping it came that way from the factory. If this guy sold me a used gun as NIB I'll be pretty ******.
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Old February 4, 2008, 12:18 PM   #5
sundance44s
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I`d run a patch with some light gun oil on it ..see what comes out ..keep the patch if you want to send the gun back ..Might want to show it too the seller .
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Old February 4, 2008, 12:25 PM   #6
mykeal
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Ruger ships new guns with preservative in the bore. Most retailers will not remove it while the gun is in inventory. That's most likely what it is. Clean the gun like you would any NIB gun and see if the bore comes back bright and shiny.
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Old February 4, 2008, 12:39 PM   #7
JJBlanche
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I'm looking at it, though, and the nipples have a bit of blackness on them, and when I removed the cylinder, the area inside the frame around the hammer recess has blackness in it also. I mean its not jet black, but that kind of yellowish black that comes from only shooting a few times. Unless Ruger test fired this thing, and did a horrible job of cleaning it, I'd bet it's been shot before. Just my luck.

Last edited by JJBlanche; February 4, 2008 at 01:54 PM.
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Old February 4, 2008, 01:56 PM   #8
JJBlanche
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Well, I called the seller, (a very reputable gun store), and he told me that Ruger does indeed do a very poor job of cleaning the guns when they test fire them. Based upon what I'm seeing in terms of grime, a cylinder or less has been fired, so this more or less confirms my suspicions.

UPDATE: No. 13 and Bore Butter took all the factory crapola out of the bore. Got a mirror shine in there. Dunno if it was fouling or storing grease or what, but its gone now.

Last edited by JJBlanche; February 4, 2008 at 04:47 PM.
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Old February 5, 2008, 11:36 PM   #9
4V50 Gary
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Ruger does proof test their guns, but don't clean them. That's labor intensive and takes time. I'd like to know what they pour down those cylinders for powder.
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Old February 6, 2008, 10:41 AM   #10
Jbar4Ranch
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I have a few myself...



The ROA will take any charge of BP or sub you can get in the chambers. Thirty grains is about the minimum without using a filler of some sort to get a full stroke of the ram.
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Old February 6, 2008, 01:26 PM   #11
Pahoo
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Hard to add much to the current replies as mostly right on the mark. I own a 7-1/2" and a newer 5-1/2". I find that the 5-1/2" had better balance but I certainly don't have any gripes about my 7-1/2". As far as loading, you will find that the 777 is noticeably hotter than most of the subs that I have shot and I've shot all of them. Perhaps that is why the reduced load is stated. Do know that there are many warnings about 777 being loaded too high in some traditionals. Also understand that Ruger makes or made these by the pound and they can take a beating. Might suggest that you pull the nipples before you shoot and apply a good anti-siez on the threads. I like loading my 5-1/2" light and lots of fun to wheel and shoot. Be safe !!!
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Old February 6, 2008, 01:44 PM   #12
sundance44s
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Jbar4 whats your favorite cap and ball revolver ? Thats easy ..lol nice looking brace of ROA`S
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Old February 6, 2008, 06:41 PM   #13
long rider
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I wonderd that to,

Sod Buster Tried To Pull On Willson.
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Old February 7, 2008, 01:29 AM   #14
JJBlanche
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I like the varying shades of grips on those ROAs...shows the range one can get. I think I lucked out with the grips on mine; they have to be the sweetest factory Ruger grips I've seen. They make the ones that came on my Redhawk look like K-Mart specials.
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Old February 11, 2008, 05:48 PM   #15
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Here is my 7 1/2 adjustable sight that I will be selling shortly

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Old February 11, 2008, 06:45 PM   #16
long rider
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How much????????????

Sod Buster Tried To Pull On Willson.
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Old February 11, 2008, 06:50 PM   #17
deanodog
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425 shipped
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Old February 12, 2008, 12:52 AM   #18
GASCHECK
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Ruger Old Army

Old Army Guys:

I have been shooting my stainless for ten years, have about 4,000 rounds thru it. I use forty grains of Pyrodex P and a H&G conical cast from range scrap. Crisco over the bullet. 40 grains does away with needing those ridiculously overpriced wads. Crisco is very cheap and I get no leading whatsoever. Velocity is about 1100 FPS. I use CCI magnum caps.

I clean the gun by running hot water thu the bore, and wash the cylinder in a cup of same with detergent. If you hold the gun barrel down, you can get the sink spigot in to run hot water thru bore, and then wash to the back of the cylinder opening with a toothbrush. The rest I clean with Hoppes. Clean out the hammer opening with a cut down popsicle stick and Hoppes on a patch. Every winter I take it all apart and throw it in a bucket of hot water with detergent ("Fantastik") Blow it out with an air gun.

When I bought the gun, it would not fire. The caps just wouldn't ignite the first time around. Tried different nipples, caps, no luck. Sent it back to Ruger and they sent me another one without comment. Works fine. I do not believe Ruger ever test fired the first gun. Maybe they since wised up and that's why there is residue in new guns.

It is not an authentic piece, but if you are looking for an easily maintained BP fun/hunting pistol, I think it is the best.

I have had absolutely no problems with the second gun. It is very accurate and I can shoot it better than most of my cartridge guns.

Gascheck
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Old February 14, 2008, 07:39 PM   #19
classicballistx
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Ruger Old Army and then some...

Fellow worshippers of Bill Ruger's favorite revolver-

You will all get a laugh out of this story - not mine. And you can get an idea of what you probably shouldn't do with a stock ROA.

Use the Dick Dastardly link at http://www.classicballistx.com/rugerstuff.html.

The Achilles heel at high ballistic performance with a factory ROA is those damned nipples. Those of you who have experienced "busting a cap" in the very literal sense may have already diagnosed the problem, but the flash hole in the original Ruger and a few of the aftermarket items is simply too large.

Ron Blomquist's Ruger item and the ones from Treso solve the problem, and, paradoxically, deliver better ignition. I'm at a loss about the rocket science of why, but little flash holes in centerfire cases (and Berdan primed cases as well) just seem to deliver the goods better, as well. But in the case of an open ignition system, the smaller hole also offers radically better pressure containment and maybe something more important than scoring x's instead of 10's.

We can testify from experience as to all points, though not as entertainingly as Dick does.

Regards all,

Wisent
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Old February 25, 2008, 02:08 AM   #20
azwizard
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Hensly & Gibbs Conicals

Say Gascheck,

I'm a long time shooter of BP about 30 years, 1st one a Navy .36 and then mostly single barrel smokepoles of one variety or another. Just got some new equipment though to join the 20th century. New additions are a Knight disk extreme in .52 and a ROA in .45.

My question is for the ROA as I intend it to be a back up/close range option for BP deer hunting. I've already added a higher partride type front sight and I plan on using 777 powder and Remington #11 caps but I can't seem to find a good bullet. Right now all I've really been able to find is the .456"/220gr Lee's (field reloadable) or some .455"/250gr SWC's that probably need a press to get down the cylynder due to lenght.

While I think 6 shot's is 5 more than I'll ever need, being able to reload in the field is very important to me as I'm not able to resist the ocasional Rabbit of opportunity type of fun.

What is the weight and diameter of those conicals? What Brinel Hardness are you casting to. And lastly where can I get a mould for it?

Thanks for any info.
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