View Full Version : Ruger Old Army

December 13, 2002, 06:31 PM
I have a fair amount of experience with muzzleloaders but am green when it comes to cap and ball revolvers. But I just bought a Ruger Old Army in the new 5 1/2 inch version and I have some questions:
1- what's the best way to drop powder into the cylinder. I'm not even sure how a powder flask is used for a revolver.

2- What size cap works best. Is there a capper made for Rugers?

3- Ruger recommends .457 balls. Correct size??

4- What's the best way to clean the cylinder? I seem to remember reading somewhere that the cylinder can be cleaned by soaking it in hot water and then nipples don't have to be removed.

Thanks for any help. This is really a great looking revolver in this shorter barrel length. Mine is fixed sight and in the high gloss stainless finish. Hope I can get it to shoot as well as it looks. Has a stiff trigger so may need to get that smoothed out.

4V50 Gary
December 13, 2002, 08:02 PM
1) To load the cylinder, pour powder from a powder measure into the cylinder. Never pour straight from the flask. BTW, the Civil War soldiers had cattiges (New England accent for cartridges) which were carried in a belt pouch.

2) I use #11.

3) Yep, buy yourself a .457 RB mould. You'll find a slight "ring" that is shaved off when you use the rammer to press it in. This ensures that your cylinder is sealed and no chain fire can occur from the front (you still use grease as a safety precaution though).

4) I clean mine by removing the nipples. Use a nylon bore brush (copper gets ruined really fast and nylon will last longer since it's more flexible). I scrub each nipple with an old toothbrush too.

December 16, 2002, 10:12 PM
Agree with all of Gary's recommendations except for the part about not using a flask.

This pre-caution has merit with long guns, where an excessive amount of black powder might leak around the flask's check valve, and fall waaaay down into a long rifle barrel, without the shooter knowing about it. But, with revolvers, the chambers are right there for you to see. If the flask throws too much powder, you can just shake it out. Flasks make shooting cap&ball guns much easier.

Ted Cash makes a nice brass capper, (Cabela's, Dixie GW, etc.) that I use with my Ruger.


Bill Mitchell
December 17, 2002, 08:38 AM

I don't think Gary's concern with loading from the flask is overloading the chamber- it's the possibility that the powder ignites from an ember in the chamber, turning the flask into a hand grenade (is that right, Gary?). Admittedly, the chances of this happening are pretty slim, and I have loaded from a flask. But, at End of Trail this year, a vendor loading an "exploding" target for demo had a flask blow up in his hand. Last I heard, attempts to re-attach the thumb failed.