View Full Version : Ruger old army

July 14, 2002, 06:47 PM
I am new to blackpowder firearms. I have shot them alot with friends that have taught me how to do it. I just got a Used SS ruger oldarmy blackpowder revolver from a friend. can any of you guys other there help me out on how to take the cylinder out and some good loads i can use? thanks for all the help.

Chuck Dye
July 14, 2002, 07:51 PM
If you don't have a copy of the Lyman Black Powder Handbook, get one. Until the 20th century "bolt action" inline ignition gadgets came along, I never encountered a black powder question it does not answer. It also has a great deal of history and a lot of ballistics. Lyman agrees with my one friend who shoots the Ruger-you cannot overload it with black powder and N0. 10 caps. It has been a while, but I think I recall my buddy's roundball max load was a .457" ball 45 grains FFFg, no wad, greased. Our most shot load was the .457 roundball, 35 grains FFFG with an OxYoke wad, no grease. Never tried conical bullets.
My Armi San Paolo replica 1858 Remington calls for a .451" ball but shoots noticably better with a .453" that leaves a very thin ring behind when it is seated. Just be sure to remove the rings before shooting.

Lyman's Old Army FFFg loads-143 gr ball, Remington No. 10 cap, Lyman lube, no patch are:
G-O powder
30.0 gr 858fps 233ft-lbs
40.0 gr 917fps 263ft-lbs

C&H powder
30.0 gr 761fps 184ft-lbs
40.0 gr 772fps 189ft-lbs

FFFFg G-O brand
31.0 gr 964fps 295ft-lbs
41.0 gr 1036fps 340ft-lbs

C&H powder
31.0 gr 911fps 263ft-lbs
41.0 gr 1021fps 331ft-lbs

All the 30.0 and 31.0 grain loads use cornmeal filler between powder and ball.

Lyman's #45468 185 grain conical over 34.0 grains G-O yields 813fps, 271ft-lbs

We tend to either go for the max or go for best accuracy. We rarely tolerate the nuisance of cornmeal filler loads unless we are introducing small kids to "the stinky guns"-"I shot a .44, I shot a .44!!!!"

4V50 Gary
July 15, 2002, 05:52 AM
To remove the cylinder, first find the big slotted screw on the frame (ahead of the cylinder). Turn it such that you can remove the loading lever and the cylinder pin. Put the hammer on halfcock and this allows you to drop the cylinder out to the right.

July 15, 2002, 12:48 PM
Just to add a little detail to what 4V50 Gary said:

Put the hammer at Half Cock first. Unlatch the loading lever, but leave it almost all the way up.

The screw doesn't 'unscrew'; just turn it about 1/4 turn (can't remember whether it's clock- or counter clockwise). Pull the loading lever/cylinder pin assembly out. It will probably come apart in pieces, so look at it first to get an idea of how it all goes together.

Then the cylinder will more or less fall out of the right side.

4V50 Gary
July 16, 2002, 09:58 AM
KenF - you're a better man with words than me be.

Chuck Dye
July 16, 2002, 11:23 AM
Ruger is happy to mail you a manual for any of their products. They are free for the phone call.

July 16, 2002, 01:01 PM
Can some one give me some loads with pyrodex P. I was wondering do i have to clean the gun with hot soapy water when useing pryrodex?

Chuck Dye
July 16, 2002, 03:39 PM
Pyrodex is a volume for volume replacement for black powder so the Old Army just simply will not hold enough Pyrodex to be a problem. Go to:


and work your way through to the revolver data. Pay particular attention to all of the general info on handling, cleaning etc. Yes, the cleaning drill is the same for pyrodex as for black powder.

The phone number for Ruger's manual is 603-865-6555

July 17, 2002, 02:47 AM
Since i am kinda new to all of this. I was just wondering. when i load the powder, do i put a wad then the ball and another wad over the ball?

4V50 Gary
July 17, 2002, 09:32 AM
Powder, wad and then ball - in that sequence. The wad serves as a buffer between the ball and the powder. It also acts as a barrier to prevent flash firing. (BTW, Keith always thought the cause of this was loose percussion caps). You can apply a lubing (messy ole Crisco or lard) over the ball as an additional measure to prevent flash firing.